3 Central Coast Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss

Festival season is upon us! The Central Coast is teeming with excitement about upcoming events sharing live music, fresh food, and delicious local drinks. But if you can’t go to all the best Central Coast festivals, then which one should you choose? Here are three local spring and summer festivals, each showcasing a different, much-loved aspect of the Central Coast: from our fun-loving spirit, family-friendly vibe, to the bounty of wineries and breweries that are so popular alongside our shores. Stay tuned, and enjoy festival season!

36th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival

Paso Robles Wine Festival is the best example of our wine culture here on the Central Coast. While many festivals have wine options or celebrate tasting, few have the breadth, experts, and esteem as does the Paso Robles Wine Festival. Now in its 36th year, you can’t miss this Paso Robles tradition, which bring together the 100s of Paso Robles wineries to the Downtown City Park to celebrate wine. Take a stroll across the street from the Paso Robles Inn to be at the heart of the festival, where wines will be organized by style and region: move from Bordeaux, Rhône, Zinfandel, Burgundian, Italian varietals and enjoy Other Wild Wines for your tasting pleasure. Plus, don’t forget about the food samples and local artisan merchants, the perfect counterpart for your wine tasting experience. While the main wine tasting at City Park is the capstone event of the weekend, there are other special events that you can try out over the weekend of May 17-20.

Photo: (c) Travel Paso

Strawberry Festival in Arroyo Grande

Showing farming culture and the bounty of our natural world on the Central Coast, the Strawberry Festival combines one of the favorite Central Coast crops, strawberries, with wholesome family fun. In addition to the main festival with snacks, drinks, and games, the festival offers 10k and 5k run and/or walk called the Strawberry Stampede. Treats of all kinds available including shortcakes, funnel cakes, milkshakes, ice cream, and more will be available!  As one of California’s largest festivals and premiere free festival on the Central Coast, this family-style event brings together thousands of visitors and residents to enjoy activities and entertainment. This summer, this festival is the best way to enjoy the family-focused vibe of the Central Coast with a great outing for kids, and will let you savor in fresh fruit and delicious baked goods right from the source.

Photo: (c) The Tribune

Avila Beach Tequila Festival

Get ready to party on the Central Coast at the Avila Beach Tequila Festival, right down the street from the Avila Lighthouse Suites! This fun Central Coast event is super popular every year with younger crowds and older people alike, anyone who’s drawn to warms sunshine, tastings of tequila, and live Latin music performed by Calexico and La Misa Negra. You can choose to do the VIP experience if you want to learn more about tequila and try out comparative tastings with Pasote Tequila and Tequila Fortaleza. Otherwise, hang out at the beach club, enjoy your 6 complimentary tastings, grub on fresh tacos, vibe to the live music, and celebrate at one of the Central Coast’s most fun festivals this summer! Additionally, stay at the Avila Lighthouse Suites  – about a two-minute walk away from the festival – to make the most out of this Memorial Day weekend event.

Photo: (c) @dion_doc_b