Southern California hosts diverse hippy festivals throughout the year, as well as a plethora of other cool events and celebrations to cater to almost all interests. Book your Orange County vacation rentals early for the perfect place to stay when enjoying the varied festivals in Orange County.
In addition to terrific beaches, historic sites, natural attractions and cultural spots, Orange County’s festivals can add a new dimension to any trip. You’ll find plenty of fun at any time of the year.
Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival
Held each May, concerts are performed on two stages in the famous Joshua Tree National Park. There are fun events for kids, making it a family-friendly event. Plentiful food and drink is available.
California Strawberry Festival
If you’re a fan of the small red fruit, you’ll love California Strawberry Festival. See inventive ways of using strawberries as you sample delicious products of many food stalls. Strawberry beer, strawberry kebabs, and strawberry nachos are just a few delights to try. Various competitions add to the lively atmosphere.
Another May event, the popular Fiesta Hermosa takes place on the Labor Day weekend. The main highlight is food from around the world, reflecting the area’s diversity. Dig into Mexican, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian and Thai cuisine, plus others.
Orange County LGBT Pride
Show solidarity and join in with the lively activities at Orange County LGBT Pride. Held at the end of each June, music, dancing, comedy and stalls are all part of the revelry, with the huge and colorful parade drawing many participants and observers.
Beaumont Cherry Festival
Another fruit-themed event, Beaumont Cherry Festival takes place every early June. Taste cherry-flavored goodies and enjoy fairground rides and live entertainment. There’s also a car show and a parade.
Pacific Islander Festival
Another early June event is the Pacific Islander Festival. Celebrating the rich traditions and cultures from across the diverse Pacific Islands, it’s a great place to learn more about island life. Featuring music, games, performances and food, travel around Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Kiribati without leaving California.
Ringing in the start of the season for lavender harvesting, the Lavender Festival is another of June’s fun festivals in Orange County. It takes place in Cherry Valley at the historic San Gorgonio Pass. See how lavender oil is obtained. Learn about the uses of lavender, including culinary uses. Enjoy live music and take a tour in a horse-drawn cart.
Join in the merriment and experience Latin American and Colombian culture through dance, art, and food. Sancocho Festival takes place in Pomona.
Hollywood Fringe Festival
You can watch numerous performances at many venues around Hollywood and LA at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Performers come from around the local area as well as from farther afield. It’s another cool festival to add to your itinerary if visiting Orange County in June.
Playboy Jazz Festival
Head to the Hollywood Bowl and groove to the soulful sounds from different jazz performers. Musicians travel from far and wide to please the crowds at Playboy Jazz Festival.
Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival
Feast your eyes on the vibrant balloons that float across the skies above Lake Skinner at the annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. Evenings are filled with live entertainment and there are plenty of beers, wines, and meals to enjoy at all times.
Starting each June, Laguna Art-A-Fair showcases the works of more than 100 artists. You can also get creative and join in with workshops. Food and drinks and entertainment are also part of the festivities.
Orange County Fair
Orange County Fair is in the top ten biggest fairs in the whole of the USA. It has been running for more than 120 years. There are fairground rides, carnival stalls, games, live music, food stalls and more. Held each July, it’s one of the biggest and best festivals in Orange County.
San Clemente Ocean Festival
San Clemente Ocean Festival promises to be a lively July weekend. Focused on the seaside, events include a beach run, sand-sculpting, and paddle-boarding contests.
Mariachi USA Festival
Showcasing mariachi musical traditions, the Mariachi USA Festival features some of the biggest mariachi performers from the US and Mexico. Be hypnotized by folk dancing and dazzling fireworks.
California Wine Festival
Held in Santa Barbara, the California Wine Festival is one of the biggest al fresco wine festivals in the state. You’ve likely sampled several of California’s great wines; add more to your taste list at the large festival. You might discover a new favorite! There’s lots of tempting food to pair with your choices.
Surf ’n’ Suds Beer Festival
Providing mid-August fun, the Surf ’n’ Suds Beer Festival takes place at Carpinteria State Beach. Sample an array of craft beers, savor tasty wines and fill up on assorted fare from the many trucks and stalls. Live music and surf culture add to the ambiance.
La Habra Corn Festival
Hosted each August by the Lions Club in La Habra, the diverse program includes competitions and games, live entertainment and a parade. There’s also plenty of tasty food including delicious corn.
Orange International Street Fair
Stroll the themed streets in Orange, each offering various tasty treats from around the world. Be transported to different parts of the planet through your taste buds. While ethnic foods are a highlight of Orange International Street Fair, you’ll also find games, activities for children, music, and ethnic handicrafts.
Kaaboo Del Mar
Lasting for three days, Kaaboo Del Mar is a great place to enjoy the last days of summer. With diverse music, comedy, and food, there’s something to appeal to everyone.
Tall Ships Festival
The yearly Tall Ships Festival in Orange County is usually held in the second week of September. Marvel at the large vessels, enjoy live entertainment and watch engaging cannon battles. There is also, of course, plenty of food and drink to tempt you too. It takes place at Dana Point.
Summer is certainly lively and diverse in Orange County! Don’t be glum if your trip falls at a different time of the year though, as there are cool festivals in Orange County during the other seasons too. Visit the area’s highlights, enjoy a few festivals and have a brilliant time in Southern California.
Thos of us are fortunate enough to be able to glide around the globe with a free spirit should also know where to find the best of parties. The following five destinations are, personally, the best safe haven for hippies:
1. Burning man
We couldn’t talk big free-spirited festivals without mentioning burning man. This spectacle of life-enjoyment in a barren wasteland is a true testament that any place can be fit for a party with the right attitude.
Bringing some of the most unique experiences over the course of several days is what this festival is all about. That, and of course the ceremonial burning of the humongous bonfire. Some may find it hard to chew, but it’s definitely iconic enough to find itself on the list of the top five.
Finding big hippie festivals can prove to be difficult in the day and age we live in, thankfully Coachella is a healthy alternative to a full blown hippie festival. Coachella offers something other festivals struggle to, and that’s a consistently good lineup. It brings one of the best musical experiences a festival can offer, ranging across several genres.
3. EXIT festival
Personally, one of the best festival experiences I had was at EXIT. It’s annually held at Novi Sad, Serbia, but it’s rapidly gaining traction by expanding to neighboring regions. Sea Dance is a must go festival after completing the four day adventure that is EXIT.
It’s location on top of a medieval fort is really what sets it aside from the rest. Going up and down, in and out the mountain-fort seems like a little adventure of its own.
Even though centered around electronic music, it’s still one of the few festivals where people aren’t afraid to let go and get in touch with their inner music self. Costumes of all shapes and sizes aren’t a weird sight, on the contrary, lack of costume might make you appear weird.
But then again, nobody there will judge you. The sheer positivity is what makes it hippie in my book, and it’s certainly while I’m looking forward to go attend it once more.
Of course, we can’t mention the best festivals without one of the most iconic ones – Woodstock. If there is any place where people have a sense of belonging, this is it. The music line up aside, the loving energy that breezes though the air is what truly defines this festival.