Festival go-ers sitting on grass listening to outdoor concert.
Entertainment

Outdoor Events on the West Coast

ByEssex

July 27, 2021

Summers on the West Coast mean golden light floating in the air at sunset, long days at the beach, and a busy outdoor entertainment schedule of concerts, county fairs, and festivals. With so many great events already underway from Seattle to San Diego, there’s never been a better time to enjoy the season.

From date nights to music shows to sporting events to food festivals, our expansive list of activities from July through October leaves plenty of time to head out and have a little fun.

Seattle Area Events

Greater Seattle Area residents will find plenty of fun things to do this summer, from relaxing in paradise at the Doe Bay Festival to exploring the region’s ethnic and cultural diversity at Festal events. Pacific Northwesterners can enjoy wine tasting, music festivals, art fairs, and even Oktoberfest!

Don’t miss out on the Bremerton Blackberry Festival, held over Labor Day weekend on the Bremerton waterfront boardwalk. The family festival has live entertainment, food booths, arts and crafts, and fun activities for kids. Proceeds from the event go to scholarships, parks, and community needs.

Certainly, you’ll want to make a trip to the Washington State (Puyallup) Fair, which runs throughout most of September. Whether you're into oldies, country, or rap music, you’ll be able to take in a live show this year at the fair. If you’re looking for other activities, consider the classic games, rides, and enjoy some of those fair food novelty items like deep-fried candy bars and other imaginative treats!

Man playing saxophone at festival.

Bay Area Events

Bay Area residents living in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and San Jose won’t need to scour the West Coast summer events section long to find things to do. Catch a free performance of Shakespeare in the Park, or perhaps visit an outdoor art market in a redwood forest or one of several summer craft fairs or festivals in the area.

If you’re a fan of live music, you won’t be disappointed with a variety of annual music festivals. Choose from events like Oxbow River Stage and BottleRock Napa Valley in the Napa area, Outside Lands in San Francisco, TreasureFest in Marin, or the popular San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, which returns with a spectacular line-up in mid-August.

Be sure to check out the Santa Cruz County Fair this September at the fairgrounds for several days of safe, affordable fun and festivities. Fairgoers can expect great things from years past, including animals, exhibits, fair food, entertainment, rides, and carnival games.

Man riding a wave on his surfboard.

Los Angeles and Orange County Events

Los Angeles and Long Beach residents looking for events in Los Angeles are in for some serious fun. Choose from a Christian, Latin, and gospel hip-hop festival, classic cars cruising Route 66, punk-leaning bands at the So Cal Hoedown, exploring the wares at the Renaissance Faire, and an opportunity to dance for hours on end at the electronic dance music festival Beyond Wonderland. That’s before even looking for lesser-known events on Eventbrite!

You won't want to miss the incredible Long Beach Greek Festival in September. With live Greek music, cooking demonstrations, authentic Greek food, dance performances, and shopping, you’ll be immersed in the rich culture and beautiful traditions of The Hellenic Republic.

Summers were made for sunny Orange County, California! From Orange to “Surf City USA” Huntington Beach to Costa Mesa, there are some exciting events on the calendar this summer, including the Vans US Open of Surfing, back again at the pier in Huntington Beach.

Sample a world of delights at the sprawling Orange International Street Fair, a massive food and beverage festival which happens annually on Labor Day weekend. Other attractions include arts and crafts booths, activities for kids, and live entertainment.

Take in carnival games, rides, animals, fair food, and performances at the amazing OC Fair, back this year in full force. You’ll need to buy your tickets in advance online, so be sure to pick the day you’d like to go well in advance. All three are perfect for a summer date night or afternoon out with friends and family!

Food trucks at dusk on the West Coast.

San Diego Events

San Diego County residents won’t miss out on the fun either! From biking over the world-famous San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge to art walks, horse races, free outdoor summer concerts, and the World Bodysurfing Championships, living in San Diego means enjoying every bit of the summer season. There are the big local attractions including Sea World Aquatica Water Park, the Legoland California Water Park, The Wave Waterpark, the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Wildlife Park, and Sea World San Diego, which offer various seasonal events and shows.

San Diego's most prominent summer art and music festival takes over 5th Avenue in early August for Hillcrest CityFest with live bands, electric dance music DJs, arts, crafts, and mouth-watering street food spread out over nine city blocks!

Don’t miss attending a concert or symphony at gorgeous new Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, a state-of-the-art concert venue just built on the edge of the bay near downtown. Upcoming shows include notable musicians that range from pop to soul to Motown, in addition to tributes, symphonies, and more! Skip searching ‘concerts near me’ and click right on their line-up page!

Whether you prefer a lively crowd or a more relaxed vibe, the West Coast truly offers something for everyone.

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All events are subject to change. Please check local listings for current information on dates, times and activities.