Go and do something fun and unique this year, with our curated list of some of the best 2016 events you’ll find on the East Coast.
SeaGrapes Wine Festival [April 23]
Just a half-hour drive east from Clearwater, Florida Aquarium is home to this event, when you’ll sample some of the 150 high-end wines, taste appetizers from 25 local restaurants, and watch tanks full of tropical fish and snorkel-wearing mermaids drifting by the party.
Rockland Lobster Boat Races [June 19]
Entertaining and a little absurd, these races pit bulky lobster boats and their grizzled crews against one another in high-speed runs on the Atlantic off Rockland. The action is best viewed from the water aboard a spectator boat or on the Rockland breakwater, and to capture the full flavor of the event, pack a lunch of lobster rolls from one of the Samoset’s recommended haunts.
Where to Stay Samoset Resort
Hemingway Days [July 19–24]
You don’t have to be a true Hemingway enthusiast to enjoy a few cocktails, parade around Key West with bearded men toting a fake bull, and participate in a huge marlin-fishing tournament with $50,000 in prizes. An appreciation for the author will be useful for the readings, museum exhibits, and conversations with dedicated impersonators.
Where to Stay Sunset Key Cottages
Flaming Leaves Festival [October 10–11]
All Lake Placid is a show in early October, when the leaves change over to fiery reds and oranges, and this tranquil resort town celebrates accordingly. Olympic ski jumpers perform as you sample local barbecue, listen to blues musicians, and take a chairlift to the top of Whiteface Mountain to appreciate the sea of autumn colors below.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge
Clearwater Jazz Festival [October 13–16]
Home to legendary acts for the last 36 years, this four-day festival welcomes the Avett Brothers, Amo Lee, and dozens of others this year, all set against the backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico and with easy access to the Clearwater Beach.
Mount Desert Island Marathon [October 16]
No matter how many marathons you’ve run or watched, you haven’t been to one as scenic as this Midcoast Maine gem, where you’ll wind your way through rustic coastal towns, along the rocky Atlantic coast, and underneath still-vibrant foliage in cool temperatures ideal for your run before you reach your reward at the Finish Line Barbeque.