With sunshine, long days and warm weather, summer is the season for outdoor festivals. Every year, these events pop up around the United States, offering a unique variety of music, food and other features. And while each event has its own cult following and an interesting mix of experiences, we’re partial to the festivals that help you break a sweat…and not just because you’re baking in the desert sun (Coachella, anyone?).
The events we love feature different types of athletics—from mountain biking to yoga. At some, participants can practice their sport throughout the day, while others offer incredible opportunities to see world class athletes strut their stuff. In the latter case, the events are nearby world class climbing, hiking and biking trails that allow attendees to break away and seek out their own action.
Consider Crankworx in Whistler, British Columbia. After watching world-class mountain bikers compete in events ranging from best trick to dual slalom, you can hit the nearby lift-serviced trails. And while you may not be able to compete with professional bull riders at Cheyenne Frontier Days, Rocky Mountain National Park is just a short drive away.
Compare these to more immersive experiences such as the Esalen Yoga Festival in Big Sur, California. After the opening ceremony, there are a vast diversity of classes and workshops to choose from over the next six days.
While the level of participation differs from place to place, there’s no doubt that these festivals are all great places to learn more about your sport through gear demos, presentations and conversations with likeminded athletes. Because many outdoor sports, such as mountaineering and mountain biking, can be solitary activities, these large gatherings can also help you expand your network and learn about cool new places for your next big trip.
So grab your calendar and get ready to schedule your next getaway to one of these amazing events.