The best summer events in the US include some of the world’s most famous music festivals, sporting events, and more. The coming summer is a great time to blow off the cobwebs, get outside, and enjoy interacting with other people.

    Among our list of great summer festivals and events in the US, you’ll find a wide array of music genres represented, making it easy to find something that suits your preferences. What if your preferences do not include music festivals? Well, we’ve even got a few alternatives for you, too. Check out the list and start planning your summer fun.


    Orca watching

    Seattle, WA: July–August, 2022

    Orca watching in Seattle is a truly unique experience that is at its best in summer. While the idea of seeing such natural wonders within such a short distance of a major city seems illogical, the bountiful Puget Sound attracts orcas, grey, and humpback whales every year, along with a wide array of sea creatures. The migration pattern of orca whales means you can see these magnificent animals from May to September, but it's best at the height of summer.

    There are several places and ways you can see these majestic marine mammals. The simplest option is to head to Alki Beach in West Seattle, though you'll need a pair of binoculars to see the orcas out at sea. It's a lot better to book a tour with one of the many whale-watching operators in the city so you can get up-close with the whales. Choose your provider with care, though, to make sure you get one that uses animal-friendly practices.

    Location: Puget Sound, Seattle, WA, USA


    San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival

    San Francisco, CA: August 27–August 28, 2022

    The San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival is an exciting annual celebration featuring a parade, live entertainment, and plenty of food and drinks. The Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival) is one of the biggest holidays in Chinese culture. It's celebrated in a very big way in San Francisco's huge and historical Chinatown.

    Most of the festival is focused around Grant Avenue, where you can enjoy a vibrant parade and a street fair of about 200 stalls. A stage is set up at the crossroads of Grant Avenue and Washington Street. Expect displays by acrobats, martial artists, dancers, and more throughout the weekend.

    Read more

    Location: Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA


    photo by Jonathan Chen (CC BY 2.0) modified


    US Open Tennis Championships

    New York City, NY: August 29–September 11, 2022

    The US Open Tennis Championships is one of the most important sporting events in New York City. It’s the last of the year’s Grand Slam tournaments, meaning that the outcome has a big impact on deciding player rankings for the following year. As you might imagine, the stakes are high, the atmosphere is electric, and the gameplay is intense.

    The US Open is one of the oldest of the world’s major tennis competitions, having first started in 1881. The first serve is on the last Monday of August, with the competition then running for 2 weeks. It takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. You can easily go from enjoying the action on the court to exploring New York City.

    Location: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadow - Corona Park, Flushing, NY 11368, USA


    photo by Steven Pisano (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Burning Man

    Reno, NV: August 29–September 5, 2022

    Burning Man has very rapidly become one of the most iconic festivals in the world. Only founded in 1986, it now attracts nearly 80,000 people to the temporary town of Black Rock City in the spectacular Black Rock Desert every year over the 9 days leading up to Labor Day.

    More than just a music event, Burning Man is a festival of art, community, and self-expression. It’s equally famous for the weird and wonderful outfits people wear (or, in some cases, the complete lack of an outfit) and the namesake wooden effigy that is burned on the penultimate night of the festival.

    Location: Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert, Gerlach, NV 89412, USA


    photo by Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Made in America Festival

    Philadelphia, PA: September 3–September 4, 2022

    The Made in America Festival is a music event spanning the Labor Day weekend and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The road that leads up to the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art annually hosts up to 60,000 people a day. Since 2014, a couple of years after the first festival, there’s been an edition in Los Angeles, meaning the festival also spans the whole country.

    The Made in America Festival was founded by none other than Jay-Z, but it doesn’t focus specifically on rap. Instead, you can expect a line-up of both established and up-and-coming musicians playing hip hop, R&B, EDM, pop, Latin, and rock. This year’s headliners include Bad Bunny, Lil Uzi Vert, and Tyler, The Creator.

    Location: Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA


    photo by Mike Barry (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Primavera Sound

    Los Angeles, CA: September 16–September 18, 2022

    Primavera Sound is a music festival that originally started in Barcelona, but, for the first time in 2022, is expanding to venues around the world, including Los Angeles. Unusually, the festival has no specific genre focus – it presents artists and groups playing rock, electronic, indie, pop, and hip hop.

    Primavera Sound creates a unique opportunity for artists and fans of different generations and preferences to meet and interact. Headlining acts for the 3-day event at Los Angeles State Historic Park include the likes of Lorde, Giveon, Nine Inch Nails, Surf Curse, Arctic Monkeys, and more. Here’s hoping this first US outing of one of Europe’s largest and most popular music festivals is successful enough to keep it coming back each year!

    Location: Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA


    photo by Raph_PH (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival

    Las Vegas, NV: September 16–September 18, 2022

    The Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival is a 3-day celebration of…well, the beautiful things in life – music, food, art, comedy, learning, and more. The festival covers an 18-block area of Las Vegas, in some cases even covering the streets with sod to provide attendees a cool place to lay on the grass in the shade, right in the middle of the city.

    Music is a big part of the festival, which can include hip hop, indie rock, EDM, pop, and more. Headliners for the 2022 Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival include Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Lorde, Kygo, and Migos.

    Location: Downtown Las Vegas, NV, USA


    Louder Than Life Festival

    Louisville, KY: September 22–September 25, 2022

    Louder Than Life Festival is a rock and metal music event that rocks Louisville for 4 days each year. It often features stalls selling craft beer, whiskey, and gourmet food, alongside a line-up of top names in rock.

    Among the headliners for 2022 are Bring Me The Horizon, Nine-Inch Nails, Slipknot, Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Given such a star-studded line-up, it's no surprise that Louder Than Life Festival has rapidly grown in popularity since its debut in 2014, now attracting well over 120,000 people.

    Location: Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Exposition Center, 1016 Phillips Ln, Louisville, KY 40209, USA


    photo by Jesse Morgan (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Rolling Loud NYC

    New York City, NY: September 23–September 25, 2022

    Rolling Loud is an international hip-hop festival, with events in Australia, Europe, Canada, and the US. The festival, which started in Miami in 2015 and added a weekend in New York City to the schedule in 2019, continues to showcase big-name rap and hip-hop artists to audiences of over 200,000 fans.

    Among the many headliners hitting the stage at Citi Field in Queens in 2022 are Nicki Minaj, Future, and Busta Rhymes. There are dozens of others in the line-up, as well as some surprise guests scheduled.

    Location: Citi Field, 41 Seaver Way, Queens, NY 11368, USA


    Austin City Limits Music Festival

    Austin, TX: October 7–October 16, 2022

    Austin City Limits is a huge, multi-genre music festival held over 2 consecutive 3-day weekends in October. While Zilker Park isn't exactly on the city limits, it's large enough to accommodate nearly half a million attendees, as well as an exhaustive array of food and drinks, an art market, a kids' area, and more.

    Naturally, the music is the big attraction at Austin City Limits, with headliners for 2022 including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Culture Club, Lil Nas X, and many more. Whether you like rock, folk, country, hip hop, or indie tunes, there's almost certainly going to be at least 1 iconic group performing.

    Location: Zilker Metropolitan Park, 2207 Lou Neff Rd, Austin, TX 78746, USA

    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveler

    Start planning your trip

    Keep exploring

    United States of America

    Back to top