There is something about eating a fresh lobster drowned in butter while sitting outside in the summer breeze that just makes it taste better. Summer is seafood’s time to shine, with the freshest fish, lobsters, crabs, and oysters you can find.
Maine Lobster Festival, August 3-7: This five-day festival serves up over 20,000 pounds of lobster and 1,700 pounds of butter and includes a road race, lobster crate race, parade, cooking contest, and arts, crafts, and food stalls. There is also a full entertainment schedule, beauty pageant, and marine tent. $5 for adults and $2 for kids on opening day, with adult prices increasing to $8 for all other days; Sunday is "Family Fun Day" with admission free for all ages.
Boston Seafood Festival, August 7: Hosted by the Boston Fisheries Foundation, this one-day festival is celebrating its fifth year with seafood tastings, a clambake, lobster bake, chef demonstrations, oyster shucking contest, and more. $15 general admission, $50 for lobster bake ticket, $80 for a VIP ticket; children 6 to 12 cost $5, and children under five are free.
Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival, July 22-24: LA hosts the world's largest lobster festival, with freshly caught lobster flown in from Maine each day of the festival for their famous $25 discounted lobster meals. While you're eating your lobster, lobster fries, lobster roll, or lobster quesadilla, enjoy the entertainment acts and admire the backdrop of America's largest port. General admission $12, children under 12 are free; first class ticket available for $65.
Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival, June 25 and August 27: Enjoy all-you-can-eat crabs and all-you-can-drink beer and wine at this Maryland festival, serving more than 30,000 crabs in one day in Baltimore and over 60,000 crabs in National Harbor. There are two sessions for each day and there is also live music on both days, and a city run for the June date to kick start the festivities. For June: tickets range from $29 to $89; for August: tickets range from $29 to $119 and kids under 3 are free.
SalmonFest Seattle, August 5-7: Head to Seattle for all the smoked salmon you can eat at this three-day salmon bake. Enjoy the beer garden, live music, car show, street festival, and parades while eating your salmon plate. Free general admission.
San Diego Oysterfest, June 17-18: Sample San Diego's culinary scene at Oysterfest, offering foods from established local restaurants, a full two-day music lineup, a "Shuck and Suck" contest, and off course full bars and oysters. Tickets starts at $39.
St Pete Crab & Music Festival, June 18: Indulge in local seafood and crabs with live music and beautiful views at this one-day festival in St. Petersburg, Florida. The all-day affair has a full music lineup and local seafood offerings. Ticket prices range from $20 to $150.
Tualatin Crawfish Festival, August 5-7: This three-day festival features a cooking competition, food trucks, live music, a crawfish eating competition, a half marathon, 5k, and 10k, and a pancake breakfast on top of food booths and vendors. Friday is free, adult tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $4 and $2 for children from 4 to 12.
Other Great Outdoors in Milford, CT, United States
Milford Oyster Festival, August 20: This one-day festival offers the largest variety of oysters of any U.S. festival. They have 35,000 oysters in 19 varieties from eight different states along the East Coast. There will also be live entertainment, a kayak and canoe race, a car show, food and drink stalls, and an oyster shucking contest. And don't miss Oyster Eve—a pre-festival tradition at Lisman Landing and downtown Milford shops. Free admission.
Cooper River Wild! Salmon Festival, July 15-16: This Alaskan town is known for its salmon, so it has created a whole weekend to celebrate it. Activities include the Salmon Jam Music Festival, Taste of Cordova Salmon Cook-Off, arts and crafts festival, road races, and a salmon barbecue. The Salmon Barbecue ($15 adult, $8 child) and Salmon Jam Music Festival are ticketed ($20 adult one-night, $8 child one-night; $35 adult weekend, $15 child weekend).
Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival, August 13-14: Celebrate shrimp in this fishing village over a two-day festival complete with a shrimp heading contest, live entertainment, fireworks show, beer and wine garden, and food and craft vendors. Tickets: Adults $5, children $2, children under five are free.