Whenever we travel I'll usually look up any fun events happening in the area -- like state fairs. But have you ever traveled just for an event? Exciting races and festivals are happening all over the country this spring and summer, and they're worth planning your next family vacation around. Love sports? Prefer pirates? Here's a few that look especially fun to me -- something for everyone, no matter what your interest.
1. Amgen Tour of California: Cycling fans who can't travel to see the Tour de France can see world-class cyclists compete in the Tour of California. It's happening THIS WEEK, but you can catch the tail end of it this weekend. The race winds up on Sunday in Santa Rosa (Northern California).
2. Indy 500: The Indianapolis 500 takes place every Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kids under 12 can see the races for free! The events start in the morning with marching bands and demonstrations. Check out IndyKids.com for more information on doing the race with your kids.
3. Pirate Festival: Yes, this exists. The Northern California Pirate Festival runs the weekend of June 15-16 in Vallejo, California. Arg, thar be fun for the whole family, thar be! If you love dressing up and stepping back in time, there are Renaissance fairs in nearly every state throughout the summer.
4. Children's Day: Celebrate Independence Day on July 3 at the Boston Harborfest Children's Day. Free games, music, and entertainment for kids all day in this historically-rich city.
5. U.S. Open Surfing: From July 20 to 28, Huntington Beach, California, is home to the U.S. Open Surfing competition. There's lots going on, including skateboarding and free concerts.
6. U.S. Open Tennis: On the other side of the country we have the U.S. Open for tennis in Queens, New York, August 26 - September 9. Arrive a couple days early and you can check out Kids' Day on August 24, with concerts and activities for families. There's usually a family day at the Open as well, so be on the lookout for that.
7. Beaver Creek Rodeo: Starting June 27 and running through August 15, Beaver Creek's family-friendly rodeo runs every Thursday night starting at 5 p.m. in Avon, Colorado. There's mutton-busting, face-painting, pony rides, and of course the big events, all against the spectacular setting of the Rockies. But you can catch local rodeos like this all over the west.
Does your family ever travel for special events?
Image via karlnorling/Flickr