1. Maine Lobster Festival: Get your nutcrackers and bibs ready, because this event celebrates everything about your favorite crustacean, from feasting to cooking contests to lobster crate races and more. August 1 to 5. Tickets range from $5 to $25.
2. Burning Man: About 50,000 people attend this annual arts festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The organization itself, a nonprofit, even has trouble articulated what the Burning Man festival is, but suffice to say it’s an event where freedom of expression is embraced and just about anything goes. First-timers: leave your inhibitions at the door. August 27th through September 3rd. $390 per ticket.
3. Telluride Film Festival: Head to the cozy mountain town of Telluride, Colorado to check out this famous movie fest, now in its 39th year. This year, Geoff Dyer is the event’s guest director, who pick a series of films to be shown, and author Dave Eggers is the featured artist of the festival’s official poster. August 31st – September 3rd. $390 - $3900 per pass.
4. Outside Lands: The second biggest music festival in California (Coachella, in April, is the biggest), takes place in San Francisco and this year, headliners include Muse, Phish, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys and Erykah Badu. August 12th – 14th. Available tickets range from $225 to $495.
5. Fremont Festival of the Arts: The largest free arts and music festival west of the Mississippi takes place right on the streets of Freemont California. It usually draws over 350,000 attendees and about 650 artisans. August 4th – 5th.
6. Minnesota Renaissance Festival: With seven themed weekends, sixteen stages of live entertainment, jousting, artisan booths – plus food and drink – this festival is your Renaissance dream come true. August 8th – September 30th. Tickets range from $6 to $80.
7. Elvis Week: Strap on your blue suede shoes and head over to Graceland in Memphis, TN for the 35th anniversary of Elvis Week, baby! Die-hard fans will find Elvis tribute concerts, fan meetups, Elvis film viewings and lots more. Ticket prices vary by event. August 10th – 18th.