There is no doubt that the U.S is among the best tourist destinations that we have in the world. Between their vibrant cities, beautiful national parks, and exciting festivals and cultural traditions, a visit to the US can be a fun experience. While a lot of people travel all over the world to experience unique festivals, some of these once in a lifetime experiences can be found right within the US. Here’s a carefully curated list of some of the best festivals that are located in the US.
For some people, going to the US is super easy given how fast and easy their visa application is. Citizens of the UK and other nationalities can even just apply for a visa online. All you need to do is apply for an American visa update, and you are good to enjoy every moment in the country. For ASEAN citizens like me (and for other countries), the visa application process is a lot more rigorous and needs careful planning.
If you want to experience the best of New Orleans and the rest of the Southern hospitality, a fun week experiencing the colorful street parades and parties is a must. Although not celebrated nationwide, Mardi Gras is certainly one of the best things to do in New Orleans, drawing crowds from far and wide. While it originated as a celebration brought about by two French Catholic brothers, this is now being celebrated in the French Quarter and all over the city. Celebrated with multi-colored beads, fanfare and festivities, this carnival type of celebration is a blast to experience and is worth traveling down south for!
Underwater Musical Festival
This event is usually held once a year and is based in Florida. It involves music being broadcasted and passed through pipes to the underwater. Participants usually have mermaid-like costumes and put on a show to entertain the audience. The audience is made up of hundreds of avid divers and snorkelers who come together to conserve and protect the Looe Key Reef, the only living coral barrier reef in North America. They have underwater diver musicians and heaps more of underwater entertainment!
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
This music and arts festival that started in 1999 has now evolved into a massive yearly festival where people from all over the country and even the world travel to the US for. Held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio California, Coachella is a melting pot of music, art, and cultures. Featuring loads of musical acts from every genre and heaps of art installations, festival-goers flock to this location every year. Throughout the festival, there are various musical acts, camping, and loads of merrymaking. If you’re into pop culture and want a taste of modern America, this festival should be on your list.
Sundance Film Festival
If you’re looking for a little bit of art and culture, the Sundance Film Festival is a great place to start. Held in Park City, Utah, the Sundance Festival is widely considered the most important film festival in the U.S. The only one that rivals its scale is the Festival de Cannes in France.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Imagine seeing hundreds of colorful hot air balloons cruising the sky? If this sounds like a dream come true, head on over to Albuquerque, New Mexico to witness the largest hot air balloon event in the world. The entire event is a pretty magical sight and is something which I think is worth traveling for. The Balloon Fiesta is made up of a nine-day celebration and has over 500 balloons flying high each year.
Other Music Festivals
While I could list every single music festival in the US that I think is worth going to, this article would be way too long. Instead, I am pooling them all together to create an epic must-do list for every festival goer. From the relatively low-key Austin City Limits, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy Carnival to Bonnaroo, the US if home to loads of fantastic music festivals and celebrations.
Naturally, no festival list in the US would ever be complete without mentioning Burning Man. While hardcore burners will often correct you in saying Burning Man is not a festival-it’s a community, this large gathering of art, love, and music is definitely one of the highlights of any trip to the US. This annual gathering is held in the deserts at Black Rock City is a transformational celebration of life as you burn the past and get ready for new transformations. While it sounds very hippy-dippy, between the leave no trace policy and the incredible music and art installations, this festival has made it to my bucket list experiences and is something I would love the opportunity to participate in.
Similar to the music festivals, if I start naming all the fantastic food festival choices in the US, It will take all my self-restraint not to book tickets asap. Being a food lover myself, the US can be a cultural haven for foodies as there is simply so much option and variety. Listed below are a few festivals worth traveling for. From the popular Eat & Drink SF, New York City Wine & Food Festival or the Seatle Street Food Festival, it is hard to say no!
Hopefully, this article has just inspired to start planning a trip to the US to experience some of its best music, food, and art. What are you waiting for?