The Jersey Shore's legendary beaches and boardwalks are a manageable escape from New York, and the area is home to the New Jersey State BBQ Championship, one of the summer's tastiest festivals!
A short drive or train ride out of New York City, you can find some of the metro area's best summer festivals, where they are serving up heaping portions of local food, craft beer, great wine, world-class art, music, and the all-American county fair experience. Click here to see me share these top festival picks on PIX11 Morning News this morning, and read on to learn more about these great summer events:
Beer, Bourbon & Bacon: The Hudson Valley Brew Festival. June 20. This tasty event at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY, can be reached by a scenic drive up the Hudson River. The grown-ups-only festival lets you pig out, literally, all day, with a pig roast, fresh craft bacon (don't worry, there's other great food too), your own beer-tasting glass, and live music all day long. Tickets from $45 in advance, $55 at the gate
Art Southampton, Long Island, NY. July 9 -13. Sure, the Hamptons are expensive this time of year, but a ride on the Long Island Railroad isn't, and daily admission to this spectacular art show is just $25. Top artists and galleries from NYC and beyond will be showing their work, and while we can't promise you'll see Diddy, Southampton is prime celeb-spotting territory. If you stick around for a trip to the beach, remember the sky-high parking rates drop to $0 after 5 pm.
New Jersey State BBQ Championship & Blues Festival. July 10 - 12 in North Wildwood, NJ; It almost sounds too good to be true: This FREE festival celebrates the best BBQ cooks, live blues music, and is located on one of America's most spectacular stretches of surf and sand. If you're driving down from the city, make your escape in the early morning to beat the inevitable traffic to shore points off the Garden State.
Connecticut Wine Festival. July 26 & 27, Goshen, CT. Yes, Connecticut is an up-and-coming wine region and this festival pops the cork on a great selection of locally sourced wines and wineries. A tasting ticket will get you your own wineglass, tote bag, access to some free food samples, with plenty of other quality foods, wines, and crafts on sale all weekend long. Tickets from $25.
Ulster County Fair, NY. July 28 - August 2. If you want an "editor's pick," this one is my personal favorite and I take my kids every summer to enjoy the farm animals, fun rides, upstate food specialties like fresh ice cream and an array of apple-inspired fare, plus nightly concerts all in the heart of the Shawangunk Mountains (one of New York State's lesser-known knockout travel destinations, with gorgeous peaks that rival the Catskills and Adirondacks for natural beauty and hiking opportunities) in New Paltz, NY; $15.