Getting off the beaten track and seeking out new and authentic experiences is a familiar travel style in Asia, South America and more traditionally “adventurous” destinations. But what about the good old US of A? Outside the metropolises of New York and LA and the brilliant but oft-visited attractions of Graceland and the Grand Canyon, there’s a whole host of fantastic experiences that are worth throwing away that internal flight ticket for.
In fact, it’s a much better idea to jump in a campervan, head out onto the open road and seek out adventure in the wide open US landscape.
These offbeat festivals may be a little “out there” in more ways than one, but they’re a wonderful opportunity to see a side of American life that may otherwise fly by as you fly through.
Image courtesy of BLM Nevada on Flickr.
Which weird and wonderful U.S festival can you simply not pass up this year?
Wyoming – Cheyenne Frontier Days 22 – 31 July 2016
In the last weeks of July, in the state where the myth of the Cowboy was born, comes a celebration of all things Wild West. Featuring the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, an old west pop up town, cook offs, truck rides and square dancing, your time in Cheyenne (once known as “Hell on Wheels”) will be anything but quiet.
Wyoming itself is a fantastic state to explore with RV parks galore, iconic sights such as Old Faithful in Yellowstone, the stunning Jenny Lake and the less visited but no less beautiful Grand Teton National Park.
Image courtesy of Roger Heele
Burning Man 29 Aug – 05 Sep 2016
The daddy, the big one, the festival epic to end it all – Burning Man has become such a legend that it’s sometimes difficult to separate the facts from the mythology. What you can be sure of is that this week long celebration of art, community and self-expression in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is an unforgettable and often life-changing experience which should be added to every bucket list.
The cost of camper rental can rocket during this extremely popular period as those who sensibly decide not to brave the searing winds of the desert with just canvas for protection descend on mass on Nevada. Book (very) early and plan to include the festival in a longer road trip to ensure you get value for money.
Texas: Fun Fun Fun Fest (6 – 8 November 2016)
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the fun! Fun Fun Fun Fest(or FFF for short) is an eclectic celebration of progressive music, comedy and street food. Past year’s varied line-ups have included, among others, M.I.A., Slayer, Snoop Dogg, The Wu-Tang Clan and Jurassic 5!
Smack bang between Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, Austin is a perfect spot for a road trip stop during a Texas adventure.
Denver – Delaware FireFly Music Festival 16 – 19 Jun 2016
FireFly is like a wooded wonderland of musical treats with a surprise around every corner. Last year’s line-up included Paul MaCartney, The Killars, Kings of Leon and Morrissey as well as and dozens of smaller acts on stages dotted amongst the trees in a woodland glen. The festival is RV friendly so if exploring the extent of America’s second smallest state is not enough to satisfy, the whole of the north east coast is at your disposal.
Alabama – The Hangout – May 20 – 22 2016
A beach party with a festival atmosphere on the gulf coast in Alabama, this three day music fest has it all, sun, sand, margaritas and a giant water slide. Camp a little in-land and catch the daily shuttles to the beachfront for a budget friendly experience…and the chance to win free VIP Upgrades and cupcakes.
Image courtesy of Rock Cousteau
Mountain Jam Festival – upstate New York – June 2 to June 5 2016
Often cited as one of the top music festivals in the USA and just a stone’s throw away from New York, the Mountain Jam Festival promises four days of almost non-stop music set among the beautiful Catskill Mountains.
If you tire of the eclectic line-up of 40 bands across three stages (unlikely) take in the mountain views from the Sky Ride or for the more adventurous there’s the longest, fastest and highest zipline in North America! Coupled with daily morning yoga sessions, participation drum circles, hammock grove and copious food trucks makes Mountain Jam an unforgettable outing.