By Alli Hill
Washington is truly the outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a backyard perfect for all things water sports, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing. From bike fests to ATV jamborees, celebrate the outdoors with these 10 festivals in Washington State.
The name doesn’t lie—this festival for all things cycling is GIGANTIC! Enjoy a whole weekend of rides, races, live music, and bicycle yoga (yes, that’s a thing). Camping will be available for those who want the true outdoors experience. You can sign up for family rides, guided tours, and for the daring, the Gigantic 50-mile challenge. Clif, The Stranger, KEXP 90.3 FM, and Essential Audio Group are helping to make this event possible.
This incredible party for all things outdoors offers the best of both land and water activities. For water aficionados, you’ll get your fill of kayaking, canoeing, SUP yoga, and paddleboarding, along with water sports demos and clinics. For those who want to stay dry, there’s plenty of rock climbing, geocaching, and disc golf to keep you busy. This festival is also the biggest bike demo in the state, including attendance from local bike shops like the Bike Hub, Wheel Sport, North Division Bicycle Shop, Velofix, and Mojo Cyclery. Some of your favorite outdoor brands will also be making an appearance, like Trek, Yeti , Santa Cruz, Pivot, Specialized, and others. Being part of this festival is like becoming part of a community dedicated to outdoor sports and adventure.
One of the biggest water ski and wakeboard festivals in the state is happening this summer June 22-24. Water ski clinics, the highly anticipated Wake Surf Experience, and wakeskate competitions combine with land-loving activities like a classic car cruise in, motorcycle rally, fun, run, and golf tournament to create an epic festival that offers the best of the wet and dry worlds. Bob Feil Boats and Motors, Northwest Inboards, Bjornson Marine, and many more will be on site for you to partake in a boat demo. The first annual Fun Run is something not to miss, the race starts at Friends Riviera and ends at Riverbend Park.
Enjoy of the most amazing views of the state while hiking in the majestic Olympic National Park. This three-day festival includes five guided walks that take you through lavender farms, along a jetty, around lakes and canyons, and other picturesque places you’ll only find in Washington State. There are also several social events planned to complete the weekend. There is a “Howdy-Do” event on Friday afternoon as well as a buffet on Saturday afternoon that will be held at the Eagles Lodge in Port Angeles .
This mountain bike festival spans two days at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park and is a must-go for any avid mountain biker. Expect tons of demos and clinics from some of the best names in bikes, including a chance to test them for yourself on real trails. Over 50 vendors will be in attendance, including Evo, Yeti, Giant, Clif Bar, Evil, Kona, Sun Peaks Resort, Gregg’s Cycles, Corpore Sano Physical Therapy and more. A beer garden, jump show, kids activities, and raffles make this free festival one you can bring the whole family to.
As one of the biggest weekend festivals in Seattle’s summer scene, this family-friendly outing is like an unofficial holiday. Hydroplane racing and wakeboarding shows are just the beginning. There’s always plenty of live music and food to go ‘round, as well as a Boeing air show featuring the Blue Angels that’s sure to dazzle and delight kids and adults alike. The Seafair tradition has been going strong since 1950, and every year it gets a little bigger and a little better.
This one of a kind festival is dedicated to celebrating slugs of all types. Slug-themed arts and crafts, a human slug race, and a slug play structure for kids are just a few of the interesting activities you’ll find inside. But why slugs? The Northwest forests are teeming with them. They’re a vital part of the local ecosystem, helping to maintain healthy trees so we can continue to enjoy the great outdoors as we know it. The Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is also a destination for ziplining, hiking, science experiments, and spotting wildlife, all of which you can do during Slug Fest.
This scenic mountain town is hosting the only festival of its kind in the state—a dedication to all things off roading. This four-day adventure includes guided rides on your ATV or UTV, classes and demos, scavenger hunt, vendor area, and a bucket run. The best part is getting to see all the beautiful natural scenery as you’re riding through the area, with maps taking you to places you’d never be able to see by car. The jamboree runs from Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10, and you won’t want to miss a single day of events.
Whether you have a wooden boat, or simply love looking at them, this wooden boat festival is the biggest of its kind in the state. Over 300 boats will be part of the show. You’ll be able to tour vintage watercrafts, tall ships, and modern wooden boats while enjoying live music and a breezy atmosphere. You can also take a boat tour and enjoy a weekend on the water.
Held from June 8-10 at Legon Memorial Park in Everett, Washington, the Sorticulture Garden Arts Festival brings together gardnerers in the community. Ciscoe Morris of Seattle Times PNW Magazine wrote, "The only thing as exciting as finding a spectacular plant for your garden is scoring a magnificent, one-of-a-kind work of garden art, and the place to do both is at Sorticulture." Presented by Everett Cultural Arts, this event is sponsored by Everett Community College, Everett Animal Shelter, KXA, Housing Hope, Everett Transit, KRKO-AM 1380, Everett Herald, KNKX, and the City of Everett. Featuring free admission and plenty of fun for the entire family, this is the perfect way to spend a little time outside.