2024 U.S. Social Calendar: From Racing Thrills to Artistic Marvels
Local festivals and events provide a unique window into a destination, and can be great touch points to plan an unforgettable trip around. These events celebrate the best of a locale, and bring together people from near and far with shared passions.
No matter your interests, we know the perfect occasion to pique your interest: Indulge in culinary delights at the prestigious Aspen Food and Wine Festival or savor Southern traditions at the Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Immerse yourself in the world of cinema at the iconic Telluride Film Festival or embrace the vibrant music scene at the NOLA Jazz and Heritage Festival. Witness the thrill of motorsport at the United States Grand Prix or feel the thunder of hooves at the Kentucky Derby. From captivating art exhibitions to exhilarating rodeos, we’ve rounded up a year filled with both well-known, iconic events, as well as a smaller, unique festival as its counterpart in the same genre.
Food Festivals in the U.S.
Iconic: Aspen Food and Wine Classic
When: June 14-16, 2024
The Aspen Food and Wine Festival is a premier culinary event that takes place annually in the picturesque mountain town of Aspen, Colorado. Renowned as one of the most prestigious food and wine gatherings in the United States, this festival brings together top chefs, winemakers, industry experts, and passionate food enthusiasts from around the world.
Off the Beaten Path: Lowcountry Oyster Festival
When: Feb 4, 2024
The Lowcountry Oyster Festival annually celebrates the cherished tradition of oyster consumption in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, the star of the show is, of course, the oyster, but the festival also features a diverse array of Southern dishes such as gumbo and fish tacos.
Film Festivals in the U.S.
Iconic: Telluride Film Festival
When: Every September on Labor Day weekend
The Telluride Film Festival is both world-renowned and intimate. Held in the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, the festival is unique in that it keeps the program secret until the opening day, creating an air of anticipation and excitement. Attendees are treated to a carefully curated selection of films, often including highly anticipated premieres, independent gems, and international cinematic treasures.
Off the Beaten Path: Santa Barbara International Film Festival
When: Feb 7-17, 2024
Known for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a prestigious annual event that celebrates the art of filmmaking in the beautiful coastal city of Santa Barbara, California. The festival takes advantage of Santa Barbara’s stunning coastal setting, offering a unique cinematic experience. Attendees can enjoy film screenings in beautiful historic theaters, as well as in unique outdoor venues, taking in the ocean breeze while enjoying the magic of cinema.
Motor Sports in the U.S.
Iconic: United States Grand Prix
When: Dates TBC
Truly one of the most iconic in the US, the Grand Prix epitomizes the speed, precision, and glamor of the motorsport world. Held annually in the United States, the Formula One racing event’s location has varied over time, but has been primarily located in Austin, Texas since 2012. Crescendoing in roaring motors and cheering crowds, each event is a thrilling showcase of human innovation and determination as the driving teams use cutting-edge technology, adrenaline-fueled overtakes, and strategic pit stops to overcome their opponents.
Off the Beaten Path: Sun Valley Tour de Force
This three-day event showcases an impressive lineup of exotic cars, vintage classics, and high-performance vehicles that take to the roads of Sun Valley, Idaho. The signature event of the weekend is the ‘NO SPEED LIMIT’ high speed runs at Phantom Hill. Located in the heart of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, 3.2 miles of state highway becomes a no-speed limit zone. For one day only, drivers are allowed to put their machines to the ultimate test. To date, the fastest speed on record is a Bugatti Chiron achieving 253 miles per hour.
Horse Racing Events in the U.S.
Iconic: Kentucky Derby
When: First Saturday of May
Known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” The Kentucky Derby is a world-renowned horse racing event and the first leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.The event is as much a social gathering as it is a horse race, with attendees dressed in their finest attire, including extravagant hats and outfits.
Off the Beaten Path: Carolina Cup
When: March 30, 2024
Held in the heart of Camden, South Carolina, this steeplechase race has become a beloved tradition for both racing enthusiasts and the local community. Taking place in the picturesque Springdale Race Course, the Carolina Cup offers a thrilling day of horse racing amidst rolling hills, green pastures, and a festive atmosphere. Although there is a full day’s worth of events, the featured race is the steeplechase competition that spans several miles and includes obstacles such as jumps and water crossings.
Music Festivals in the U.S.
Iconic: NOLA Jazz and Heritage Festival
When: April 26-May 5
The NOLA Jazz and Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is an iconic celebration of music, culture, and the vibrant spirit of New Orleans. Held annually in the beautiful city of New Orleans, Louisiana, this legendary festival has become a cornerstone of the city’s rich musical heritage. Jazz Fest brings together a diverse array of musical genres, including jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, rock, funk, and more.
Off the Beaten Path: Tanglewood
When: June to Labor Day yearly
Tanglewood’s idyllic wooded surroundings in the Massachusetts Berkshires set the stage for a captivating lineup of classical music, jazz and folk performances. Renowned as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the festival has a long legacy of uniting nature’s serenity with the harmonies of human creativity. With its open-air Shed and the striking architecture of Seiji Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood provides the opportunity across its various venues to hear symphonies, chamber music, and star-studded concerts.
Art Festivals in the U.S.
Iconic: Art Basel
When: June 13-16, 2024
Showcasing an eclectic array of contemporary artworks – from paintings to digital pieces – Art Basel draws top galleries, artists, and all manner of art aficionados. Each year, the gathering sparks cultural conversations, featuring talks and discussions that delve into current artistic trends. The event’s fusion of creative expression with Miami’s dynamic ambiance creates an immersive experience, attracting international attention.
Off the Beaten Path: Desert X
When: Every two years
Desert X is a captivating art exhibition that transforms the desert landscapes of the Coachella Valley in Southern California into a dynamic open-air museum. This biennial event showcases a diverse range of contemporary art installations, blurring the boundaries between nature, art, and the human experience. The artworks range from large-scale installations to immersive experiences.
Rodeos in the U.S.
Iconic: Cheyenne Frontier Days
When: Yearly in July
For over a century, Cheyenne Frontier Days has been a cherished tradition, immersing attendees in the spirit of the American West. It is the largest outdoor rodeo and western event in the United States, attracting thousands of visitors from near and far. The event showcases thrilling rodeo competitions featuring top-notch cowboys and cowgirls competing in various disciplines, such as bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and more.
Off the Beaten Path: Prescott Frontier Days
Prescott Frontier Days, also known as the “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” is a legendary annual event that celebrates the spirit of the American West in the historic town of Prescott, Arizona. Spectators can witness the adrenaline-pumping action of bull riding, bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and roping, as cowboys and cowgirls showcase their skills and bravery.
Sporting Events in the U.S.
Iconic: The Masters
When: First week of April yearly
The perfectly manicured course. The reverent silence that would rival that of a cathedral. The blooming azaleas and fresh spring air. Attending the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia is certainly at the top of the wish list for any golf aficionado. Only the most elite golf players gather at the beginning of April to vie for the coveted green jacket.
Off the Beaten Path: Iditarod
When: Beginning of March, yearly
Stretching over a thousand miles of treacherous terrain, Alaska’s Iditarod is a battle against nature’s extremes. Mushers and their sled dog teams navigate the 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, facing blizzards, icy rivers, and rugged landscapes. Rooted in the state’s history, the race honors the life-saving dogsled deliveries of diphtheria antitoxin in 1925, showcasing the vital role of sled dogs in Alaska’s past. Today, spectators can witness the historic race by converging with the crowds at the starting line in Anchorage, or staying at one of our favorite wilderness lodges located along the trail at the Finger Lake Checkpoint.