There’s a party to be had just about every summer weekend across the Northwest. Celebrations of music, the outdoors, food and drink, our nation’s independence and so much more make for exciting times all across the area. There are many incredible experiences to choose from, and here are some of our favorites.
People from all over the country flock to this stunningly beautiful North Idaho community for its small-town charm, endless outdoor experiences and to enjoy Lake Pend Oreille. Sandpoint also puts on one heck of a live music experience and has for the past 34 years. Each year, a variety of popular musicians, from country and rock to blues and orchestra, play in a beautiful outdoor setting. Already announced this year are country-star Jake Owen and classic rocker George Thorogood and The Destroyers. Attendees can buy a season pass to see all shows or choose to attend one or more of the events. Ticketed guests are also allowed to bring in their own food and beverages into the venue, adding to the feel of a backyard get-together. All information and Lineup >>
As a natural stopping point for travelers road tripping between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, Missoula sees its fair share of summer visitors, and lately, it’s seeing big-time music acts making summer stops as well. For the past several years, Big Sky Brewing Co., famous for its Moose Drool Brown Ale, has added an outdoor stage behind its brew house. This summer’s lineup includes Sublime, Ben Harper, The Decemberists, UB40 featuring Matisyahu and more. Also wanting to get in on the beautiful summer nights, local favorite KettleHouse Brewing Co. is opening a brand new riverside amphitheatre just east of town with a lineup that includes Ween, Primus, Lyle Lovett, Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge. One sip of Kettle House’s Cold Smoke Scotch Ale or Double Haul IPA, and you’ll never want to leave.
For 49 seasons, artists from all across the Northwest have been flocking to Coeur d’Alene for a spectacular weekend of arts and crafts. Held on the beautiful campus of North Idaho College, adjacent to Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River, this is a summer favorite for the artsy and creative types. Paired with the Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes at City Park and the Coeur d’Alene Street Fair on Sherman Avenue, you’ll find more than 250 booths of artistry, food, crafts, home decoration and inspiration. All three celebrations are connected to each other and easily walkable. Remember to bring the swimsuits for a refreshing midday dip at City Beach right in the heart of downtown.
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Hydroplane races take center stage along the Columbia River each summer, and fans of speed certainly get their fill at the Columbia Cup. With races all weekend long, spectators get to witness these incredible machines hit speeds of 160 mph; that’s like traveling a football field in about one second. The Columbia Cup has earned Race Site of the Year three consecutive years for its dedication to the sport and support from fans. The event includes a remarkable air show, up-close views of the hydroplanes through pit tours, an autograph session and several Kids Zones. General tickets are available as well as hosted areas and RV parking and hookups.
Since the 1950s, this annual celebration of air and sea is an unofficial holiday for the greater Seattle community. You’ll witness ultrafast hydroplane races and water-ski and wakeboard competitions on Lake Washington. The Blue Angels take to the sky for an amazing air show followed by many other military planes both past and present. Genesee Park is filled with food and fun for the entire family. Also taking place August 1 through 6 is the annual Seafair Fleet Week and Boeing Maritime Celebration, celebrating and honoring the Navy. Several classes of ships will be docked in the Port of Seattle, and you can take free tours aboard the massive vessels.