Colorado, Alabama, Idaho, Washington, Indiana, Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Hawaii, Delaware
Where to Go and What to Do in the USA in 2017
Planning a trip to the USA next year and want to make sure to add something fun and special to the itinerary?
Check out these 12 must-attend events happening across the USA in 2017.
January: X Games in Aspen, Colorado
Start the year off with a dose of extreme sports at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado. This annual sports competition and music festival will include more than 200 competing athletes in events like snowboarding and skiing at Aspen Snowmass resorts. And the great news? Admission to the sports competitions and festival village is free to the public. Start booking hotels and flights because this annual event fills up fast.
February: Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama
Most people associate Mardi Gras with the city of New Orleans, but Mobile, Alabama, is actually home to the oldest version of the celebration in the United States. Mobile's event began in 1703 and includes all the usual Mardi Gras trappings, from the marching bands and the colorful parade floats to the masquerade balls and intricate costumes. If you miss the event, catch the Mardi Gras museum while in town.
March: Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho
The sixth annual Treefort Music Fest combines live music and local treats in Boise, Idaho, and is unique in that many of the invited performers are emerging artists. Festival performances take place at numerous venues throughout the city's downtown, showcasing the close-knit community of Boise. While you're in town, you can also check out the interactive Discovery Center of Idaho or the Boise Art Museum.
April: Skagit Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, Washington
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place each spring in northwest Washington State, drawing upwards of 1 million visitors each year who come to see the more than 120 hectares of colorful tulips, daffodils and irises. The tulips can be enjoyed by foot, bicycle, car, tour bus or even seaplane. Once you've been tuliped-out, you can enjoy other outdoor activities in Skagit Valley like whale watching, kayaking or hiking in the nearby North Cascades.
Girl runs through tulip field at the Skagit Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, Washington.
May: Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana
Race car fans should already have the famous Indianapolis 500 (also known as the Indy 500) on their travel bucket list. The annual race held in Indianapolis, Indiana, sees drivers circling the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track 200 times. 2017 will mark the 101st anniversary of the Indy 500. Read our guide for more info.
June: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee
The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day music festival that has been taking place at Great Stage Park in Tennessee since 2002. Bonnaroo is known for its diverse variety of musical styles performed across more than 10 stages, and takes a cue from famous festivals of the past (think Woodstock). Its festival inspirations give it a down-to-earth, positive vibe where just about anything goes.
July: Comic-Con International in San Diego, California
Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, enters its 48th year in 2017, making it the United States' longest continually running comics and popular arts convention. Comic-Con draws more than 100,000 comic, film and pop culture fans each year for the four-day event, who gather at the San Diego Convention Center to browse comic books, buy memorabilia, get sneak peeks of upcoming blockbuster films and meet some of their favorite actors, directors and artists. And while dressing up is popular, don't worry — costumes aren't mandatory.
August: Solar eclipse, numerous states
For the first time in nearly 40 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the continental United States in 2017. During this unique event, the moon will completely eclipse the sun, blotting out sunlight for two minutes or more. According to Total Solar Eclipse 2017, about a dozen U.S. states from Oregon to South Carolina will offer the best eclipse views. You can check out the eclipse from places like Grand Teton National Park or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can even pair up your eclipse viewing with more cool festivals in the U.S.
September: Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky
Bardstown and bourbon have been connected since 1776. So it makes sense, then, that the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival would take place in this Kentucky town. The six-day festival consists of distillery tours, tasting galas, live music, and more. Afterward, hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which includes nine historic distilleries spread out between Louisville and Lexington.
Barrels of Kentucky bourbon being filled.
October: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in Hawaii
Oct. 20-Nov. 5
The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival takes place over the span of three weekends on three separate Hawaiian islands: Hawaii Island, Maui and Oahu. The weekends feature more than 100 master chefs and culinary personalities, along with wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and special Hawaii-centric dining opportunities.
November: World Championship Punkin Chunkin in Bridgeville, Delaware
Once Halloween is over, some Americans like to have a little fun with their leftover pumpkins. This is especially true in Bridgeville, Delaware, where the World Championship Punkin Chunkin is held. “Punkin Chunkin" essentially consists of flinging a pumpkin as far as possible using some sort of mechanical means (i.e. slingshots, catapults, trebuchets, etc.). Bridgeville is a small town, so you might want to pair your visit with a trip to somewhere else nearby like Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, or Chincoteague Island in Virginia — both of which are less than two hours away.
December: NYE fireworks in the USA, numerous states
Lastly, no year in the United States would be complete without some fireworks to ring in the New Year. Head to Chicago's Navy Pier to watch fireworks burst over Lake Michigan; join in the massive block party in Las Vegas that ends with a choreographed fireworks show over the Strip; or watch the fireworks burst over Jackson Square in New Orleans before taking the party over to Bourbon Street.
No matter where you plan to visit in the USA in 2017, be sure to tag your photos with #VisitTheUSA!