No Vacation Necessary: The Best Bay Area Summer 2017 Events
Summer officially begins next week, and with its arrival, the housing market usually slows, as thoughts turn to vacations instead of open-house tours. But if you plan to stay put this summer and shop for homes while the competition is less fierce, you have plenty of entertainment options all around the Bay Area.
Below, we’ve curated a list of the many things to do this summer across the Bay Area and the Lake Tahoe region as recommended by our local offices. Enjoy your summer!
Contra Costa County/Tri-Valley
Danville Summerfest, Danville
On June 17 and 18, the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce presents Danville Summerfest 2017. Family-friendly and dog-friendly, the festival features art, food, entertainment, and a classic-car show.
Lafayette Rock the Plaza, Lafayette
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in Lafayette at the Lafayette Rock the Plaza Concerts. Enjoy the groovy sounds of the Bay Area’s best cover bands in Lafayette Plaza Park on Friday nights through the end of June — for free
Alameda County Fair, Pleasanton
This year’s Alameda County Fair will be held from June 16 through July 9 and will feature concerts, learning opportunities, an action-sports arena, horse racing, entertainment, and of course, a carnival midway.
Summer Cinema Series, Livermore
On select nights in August and September, Wente Vineyards in Livermore invites you to bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy its Summer Cinema Series. These events are free, and of course, wine is available for purchase to enjoy as you catch a flick al fresco.
Art + Soul Oakland
Art + Soul Oakland has been named among the top “7 Bay Area Music Festivals To Get Your Groove On.” But there is much more than music at this two-day festival in “America’s 15th coolest city to visit,” which takes place on August 19-20. Dancing, food, vendors, and art make this a fun event for the whole family.
Berkeley Kite Festival
If you live in the Bay Area and have not yet attended the Berkeley Kite Festival, you are in for a treat. On July 29-30, you’ll get a chance to see kite stunts and team flying competitions, participate in kite-making lessons, and more. Head over to the festival’s website for details and to watch a video about the event.
Alameda Art & Wine Faire
On the last weekend in July, head to the island of Alameda to experience the Alameda Art & Wine Faire. Besides art and wine, the event offers live entertainment, food, crafts, and a special kids’ area.
Summer of Love Reception, Bolinas
Seek out the Bolinas Museum for the Summer of Love Reception on June 17. The event features a free outdoor concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, as well the museum’s “Counter-culture & Creativity” program.
Fourth of July Celebration, Corte Madera
Everyone loves a parade, and if you are in or near Corte Madera on July 4, that’s what you’ll find. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. and will feature several incredible bands. Festivities continue at Corte Madera Town Park, where you’ll find art, entertainment, food, and activities for kids.
Marin County Fair, San Rafael
The Marin County Fair always features fantastic concerts, but there’s much more: carnival rides, fireworks, contests, arts and crafts, baked goods, horse shows, livestock, and all the great things you’d expect to find at a first-rate fair. This year’s fair runs from June 30 to July 4.
Taste of Napa, Napa
On Saturday July 15, Taste of Napa presents more than 70 local wineries, restaurants, and food artisans. Add live music, and you have a perfect summer afternoon in the Wine Country.
Summer Music Series, Oakville
For almost five decades, Robert Mondavi Winery has hosted talented artists at its Summer Music Series. This summer, Patti LaBelle, Ben Harper, and others will provide the tunes. And, the best news: Proceeds from the concerts benefit the Napa Valley Unified School District Music Program. Everyone wins!
This year, Outside Lands celebrates its 10th anniversary. The festival takes place in Golden Gate Park from Aug. 11-13 and is described as a “celebration of music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy.” Come for Metallica, The Who, Lorde, or a Tribe Called Quest, and stay for the tamales, cheeseburgers, crab rolls, and funnel cakes. Ticket options include single-day admission, weekend-long passes, and VIP passes.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Billed as “Free, Outdoors, Fresh,” the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival takes place throughout the summer, ending on Oct. 29. You’ll find music, theater, poetry, and dance performances. The festival also provides a Children’s Garden Series for kids under 10 and lunchtime concerts. Visit its website to see a full schedule.
Various Street Fairs
San Francisco has a plethora of street fairs every summer, including the North Beach Festival in June, the Fillmore Jazz Festival in July, and the Nihonmachi Street Fair in August. Check out a comprehensive list of free San Francisco summer street festivals at SF Station.
Christmas in the Park, San Jose
Christmas in July? OK! The 2017 Christmas in July event on July 15 at San Jose’s History Park will feature live music from the HouseRockers. Food, drink, a live and silent auction, and fun activities like a zip line ensure that this night, which helps raise money for the nonprofit Christmas in the Park, will be a blast.
Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance, Burlingame
Do you like cars? If so, head to the 2017 Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance on July 16 to view prized vintage vehicles. “For 61 consecutive years, The Hillsborough Concours d’ Elegance has built and maintained a proud tradition of honoring and celebrating excellence in automotive design and engineering” according to its website. The event takes place at the Crystal Springs Golf Course in Burlingame.
Menlo Charity Horse Show, Atherton
If horses are more your thing, mark your calendar for Aug. 8-13, when the 2017 Menlo Charity Horse Show will be held. Inaugurated in 1970, the event is recognized as one of the finest equestrian events in the United States, and it raises money for numerous charities. This don’t-miss event takes place at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton.
Sonoma County/Sonoma Valley
Meet the Maker, Sonoma
Treat your palate to something special at the Meet the Maker: Corner 103 Wine & Bacon Dinner on Saturday June 24. At the event, oenophiles will be guided through pairings of owner Lloyd Davis’ Sonoma County wines with locally produced small bites.
Art & Garden Festival, Petaluma
Arts, crafts, music, food, wine and beer — sounds perfect! Find them all at the Art & Garden Festival in downtown Petaluma on July 9.
Rivertown Revival, Petaluma
Celebrate Petaluma and the river at the Rivertown Revival, which takes place on July 22 and features music, art, boat races, kid-play areas, local food, and beer. Participants are encouraged to don creative costumes.
NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma
Are you ready for some exciting drag racing? The NHRA Sonoma Nationals take place July 28 – 30. Get your tickets for a front-row seat; you don’t want to miss a new track record!
4th of July on the Plaza, Sonoma
Sonoma’s 4th of July on the Plaza begins with a parade at 10:00 a.m. Festival goers will enjoy live music, games, food, beer, and wine at Sonoma Plaza during the day before a fireworks display in the evening.
Summer Concert Series, Healdsburg
Chris Isaak, Kenny Loggins, and Kool and the Gang? You can find these great shows at the Summer Concert Series at Rodney Strong Vineyards. These fantastic outdoor events will take place throughout the summer; check out the schedule on the official website.
Broadway Under the Starts, Glen Ellen
From June 16 through Sept. 10, you can experience Broadway Under The Stars at Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen. To quote the official website, “This award-winning series of four Broadway-inspired concerts in Sonoma’s Wine Country features incredible talent from the New York and Hollywood stages and screen.” Sounds awesome!
Music on the Beach, Kings Beach, California
Every Friday night from June 30 to Sept. 1, visitors and locals alike enjoy free concerts directly on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Besides music, the event offers a rotating selection of beers from a local microbrewery, wine, and food. Check out this website for a full schedule.
Summer Concert Series, Lake Tahoe, Nevada
The Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series at Harvey’s Outdoor Arena hosts renowned musicians from every genre, including Sammy Hagar and The Circle, Train, Lenny Kravitz, Third Eye Blind, The Who, Linkin Park, Jack Johnson, and Eric Church. The series begins June 25 with a performance from the legendary Paul Simon.
The Magic of Rob Lake, Stateline Nevada
Magician and illusionist Rob Lake performs nearly each night at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe from June 23 – Sept. 4. His show, The Magic of Rob Lake, features large-scale illusions and theatrical presentations.
(Photo: iStock/Andrew Cribb)