West Coast Festivals to Experience this Summer

 Experience West Coast Festivals

 
There are lots of fabulous west coast festivals to experience this summer. Here are some great events that will make a fun, memorable trip.

San Francisco Summer of Love

2017 celebrates 50 year anniversary of San Francisco Summer of Love
West Coast Festival – San Francisco Summer of Love 1967
This summer is the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love”. SanFrancisco is packed with event offerings and great music. Many of them are free! For a complete listing visit: http://summerof.love/events/2017-06/.
 
From April 17th until September 4, 2017, you can take a “magic carpet ride” through the city. Featuring San Francisco landmarks, the 2-1/2 hour guided tour departs three times daily. Explore the city that launched a cultural revolution.
 
You’ll visit The Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Warf, Pier 39, Coit Tower, Palace of Fine Arts, China Town, Golden Gate Bridge and more. The tour features sights and sounds from the Summer of Love – 1967.
For details visit: www.extranomical.com.

Sacramento Music Festival

 
If you like music Sacramento Music Festival is a great place to be

High Street is always a favorite band
High Street Jazz Band at Sacramento’s Music Festival
Jazz, Zydeco, Rock, Latin, Blues Sacramento Music festival has it all
Festival fans love their music

Memorial Weekend. Old Sacramento dresses up in ith holiday finest and hosts a safe, four-day party featuring LIVE music. 100 performances. Stree dancing. animated parades, instruments booming, great food and drink.

 
It’s a high energy atmosphere and so much fun. It used to be traditional jazz, but it has evolved into much more. Jazz, blues, rock, zydeco and more. Bands from around the world.
 
There are many venues and free buses whisk attendees with no parking worries. You’ll wake up to music in the morning and go to sleep with it echoing in your brain. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that makes me smile every time I remember my visits.

Portland rose Festival

Grand Floral Parade  is a highlight of Portland's 100 year tradition of the Rose Festival
Grand Floral Parade at Portland’s Rose Festival
 
Portland is often called the City of Roses. Their Rose Garden is a must see. And at Rose Festival time, you’ll see them all in bloom. Usually held in early June, this year it is May 26 – June 11, 2017. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, built on the site of a former freeway hosts the celebration.
 
Besides the festival, the week offers concerts, water races, and other events. June 3rd will be the evening Starlight Parade through downtown Portland. The week culminates with the Grand Floral Parade on June 10.
 
This year is honors the 100 years of roses at the International Rose Test Garden. For complete details visit www.rosefestival.org.

Napa Valley Festival

Napa Valley Festival features local cuisine specialties
Taste of Napa
The Napa Valley is also in the festival mode. July 14-23, 2017 will be the best of Napa.
Features include food, wine, music, dance, theater and more. They plan to offer the finest performing arts. Stars of music, dance, and theater combined with fine wine and cuisine.
Complete details are here: https://festivalnapavalley.org/
 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland Oregon is home to the Shakespearean festival
Shakespearean festival under the stars
Each year Oregon Shakespeare Festival attracts people in droves. This regional repertory theater in Ashland, Oregon is first class. The festival produces eleven plays on three stages. The season lasts from mid-February until early November.
 
The festival is set against a backdrop of pristine parks and stunning landscapes. You’ll find great food and friendly locals. For complete details visit: https://www.osfashland.org

Tall Ships

Tall ships crew works as a team to sail the vessle
Tall ships crew setting off
Ship Ahoy!! Direct from the movies, the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are on the move. Early in the spring, they sail from their home in Washington to San Diego.
 
Then they make their way up the coast stopping in ports and sharing their magic.
 
It’s the experience of a lifetime and if you have the opportunity, don’t miss it. Here is a link to their 2017 schedule:
http://coastexplorermagazine.com/features/tall-ships-visit-oregon-and-washington-coast-in-2017.
 

Highland Games

Professional athletes compete in highland games
Mackenzie Highland Games photos by David Postier
Highland Games are a great way to spend a day, a weekend or several. Fun for the entire family and there is probably one near you.
Bagpipes, drummers, brass, piano, harps and more. Add in the dancers, parades and the games.
Ah yes, the games. What is more fun than watching men in kilts vie for titles in arduous events? Kaber tossing (think small telephone poles). Pitching boulders, kegs, staffs and more. The events are as diverse as the games.
 
The quickest way to find an up-to-date list of Highland Games near you is a Google Search. Type in highland games and the state where you want to attend one. It may surprise you how many there are. Open to everyone, you don’t have to be English or Scottish to attend. Bring your smile and come have fun.

Eugene Fun Enjoy the culture, diversity, outdoors without Portland’s traffic

Experience Eugene…. Portland Fun

Without the Traffic

looking south across downtown Eugene
Eugene, Oregon Courtesy Almay Photo
By Judith Culp Pearson
 

Eugene offers fun quirkiness and the diversity of Portland. But there is a key difference… you get that fun feeling and gorgeous scenery without the big city traffic. And, it’s

home to the University of Oregon Ducks! It’s laid back, casual, sophisticated, cultural and quirky all at once. It’s a beautiful outdoors playground.

 

At the southern end of the Willamette Valley, the hills tuck in and the valley narrows. The city takes advantage of two high Cascade snow melt rivers, the Willamette and the McKenzie. They create a habitat for wildlife and a place for people to have a great outdoors experience.

Whether you arrive by car, Amtrak train or air, you will find getting around Eugene easy. The airport is user-friendly. They say fly EUG, it’s EASY. Easy to get around, easy to park, easy to find a cab, a shuttle or a car.
 
Amtrak riders disembark only blocks from the heart of downtown and hotel properties. Cabs and the local bus service can whisk you wherever you want to go if you don’t want to rent a car.

 

Outdoors fun is one of the most popular activities.

There are over 46 miles of shared use paths. Want to hike? We have lots of

miles of walking / biking paths along the river
Wooden bridge along walking path

that too. Many of the trails run alongside the river and delta ponds.

See the town like a local. There are at least 10 different resources for renting a bike. With all those paths plus 187 miles of on-street bicycle lanes, it’s a great way to get around. Check out this web page sponsored by the city. You can even download a free bicycle map. https://www.eugene-or.gov/3260/Bike-Rentals
 
If you like watersports those are aplenty. Rent a canoe at Alton Baker Park and explore the inlets. Kayak, boat or sail at Fern Ridge Reservoir. With its 9000 acres, you can paddle narrow inlets, or sail across wide expanses. Catch white crappie, brown bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and native cutthroat trout. Many easily accessible parks dot the shoreline offering great picnic locations.
 
You’ll find diverse arts, music, and theater rub shoulders with baseball, track and field and football at Autzen Stadium. Kids sports, soccer, hockey, and golf are all there to tempt or entertain you.
 

Go for a Broadway play, the symphony or a ballet at the Hult Center.

Hult center offers diverse cultural entertainment, symphony, ballet, opera, Broadway plays
Hult Center

Wander through the many galleries located throughout the downtown. Like classical music? You can enjoy nearly three weeks of events at the Oregon Bach Festival. It runs late June to mid-July. http://oregonbachfestival.com/

 
And then there is the food. Many restaurants feature fresh, locally sustainable regardless of cuisine. Cafes, food trucks, fine dining… you will find the diversity delightful.
 

Here are 5 fun Eugene activities you might want to include:

 

1. Tour the markets.

5th Street Market has made a name for itself as a premium attraction. It’s located on the site of a historical market where vendors could rent space for $5.00 a day. Now you’ll find diverse boutiques and great food options like Marche, Provisions and the food court. Plus the market there are lots of local merchants along 5th and 6th Streets. Restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries vie for your attention. In good weather, your dog can join you in one of the outdoor patio dining areas.

 
Local produce,meats, flowers, baked goods and more at the Eugene Farmers' Market
Eugene Farmer’s Market

On Tuesday and Saturday, you can experience the Lane County Farmer’s Market. It

offers a wide diversity of fresh, organic produce and flowers. You find farm fresh eggs, meats and honey as well as a wide range of prepared foods you can enjoy there or take home. It’s held on Oak St and 8th, only a few blocks from 5th Street Market.

 
On Saturdays, the Saturday Market joins the Farmer’s Market across eighth street at Oak. Across two park blocks, you’ll find over 200 local artisans offer handcrafted wares. Before you reach the International Food Court, you’ll catch aromas and spices of Asia, India and local favorites. Made fresh on site with local produce when possible. Music from the entertainment stage carries across the venue. It features live music of every imaginable type. Bring the family, there is something for all ages. But please, no pets allowed.
 

2. Museums on University of Oregon campus.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is beautiful architecture. It was built without windows to protect the treasures inside. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you will find an extensive collection of American, European, Korean, Chinese and Japanese art. Visit Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm, Wednesday until 8pm. You’ll find it at 1430 Johnson Lane.

 
A short walk across campus is the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. It highlights the university’s anthropological, zoological and paleontological artifacts. It focuses on the natural and cultural history of the area. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm. 1680 East 15th Avenue. Website: http//natural-history.uoregon.edu/.
 

3. Relax and enjoy a sunset

Sweetwater’s patio is a great spot to watch the Willamette River while you

Sweetwaters patio

dine or sip your favorite beverage. Located at Valley River Inn, it is blessed with an amazing river view. Accessible from either the parking lot or the walking path along the river, it is a popular place to gather.

 
The patio is perfect to enjoy a warm summer afternoon, the river and your favorite brew. If it’s a bit chilly to sit outdoors enjoy the views from the panoramic windows. They specialize in fresh, local Northwest cuisine. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
 
Whether you want fine dining, or just enjoy a glass of wine and the view, this is a popular place to relax and do just that. Sweetwater is located at 1000 Valley River Way (541) 341-3462 http://www.valleyriverinn.com/dining.htm.
 

4. Enjoy a game.

No matter what time of year you visit there are great

Autzen Stadium home of Oregon Ducks Football
Autzen Stadium

sporting events to watch. In summer, take in a Eugene Emeralds baseball game at PK Park. The whole family will love it. Kids love their special activities. They get to run the field, play games and visit with Sluggo, the team mascot. http://www.milb.com.

 
Track and field events take place on campus at historic Hayward Field. It’s great family entertainment. Parking nearby can be iffy. But public transportation will whisk you there and back again without any issues.
 
Starting In September, the acoustics at Autzen Stadium roar as fans cheer the Ducks football team. GO DUCKS! The games sell out so get tickets well in advance.
 
Come early and meet up for tailgating. Casual to sophisticated, it’s considered an art form and a great way to spend time with friends.
 
Avoid the traffic… take advantage of park and ride centers strategically located around town.
 
In the winter, it’s back to campus and Matthew Knight Arena for basketball. (This fabulous arena is also a great location to catch a concert or other special event.)
 
www.goducks.com gives you details for all the different sporting events associated with the college. For information on upcoming events and tickets visit http://matthewknightarena.com/ticketsales.php.
 

5. Experience the Eugene Ale Trail.

The area has a legacy of home brewing

Eugene's ale trail is the ultimate pub crawl
Ale Trail

before, during and after prohibition. The ultra pure water of the McKenzie is a brew crafters dream. Add a strong emphasis on local and regional hops and grains and you have a great recipe for great brews. The close proximity to many of the many beer tasting rooms makes it easy to do the ultimate pub crawl.

 
You can pick up a Passport from any participating brewery or bottleshop. They are also available at The Downtown Eugene Visitor Center at 754 Olive Street, or the Adventure Center in Springfield.
 
As you visit each brewery, ask them to stamp your passport. Collect eight stamps from eight participating breweries in the Eugene-Springfield area. They will earn you a 64oz amber Eugene Ale Trail growler.
 
Visit their website for complete details. You’ll also find suggestions for safe transportation. They recommend either a chauffeured driver or designated driver. https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene-ale-trail/.
 
Eugene residents are a friendly lot and they love living where they do. They are happy to share their city, its beauty and its quirky side. For more help planning your trip, visit https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/eugene/.

Skip the Boozy Bachelorette – Celebrate with a Bachelorette Spa Wellness Retreat

Escape to a spa for your bachelorette retreat
Getty Images

In the past, brides, as well as grooms, have celebrated their upcoming nuptials with a weekend away partying. But with the growing focus on health and wellness millennial brides are opting for something more low key. A de-stressing bachelorette spa wellness retreat.

If you’re a bride or know a bride, it’s a great way to arrive at the wedding, relaxed, pampered and calm.

It might be just you and your bridesmaids or include some of your best friends. It’s a time to enjoy each other’s company and bond. Find somewhere local or pick a destination location.

Make it personal and include activities you and your friends enjoy.

  • Spa treatments
    • Massage
    • Facials
    • Manicures
    • Pedicures
  • Yoga together
  • Outdoor activities
    • Hiking
    • Horseback riding
    • Water sports
    • Skiing
    • Local walking tour
  • Personal fitness advice
  • Cooking class
  • Wine tasting

If fitness is a goal, find somewhere that offers healthy food choices that taste decadent. If the spa you want to visit isn’t in a hotel, is there a nice one nearby that meets those needs? It’s great to keep the group together for the best bonding and fun.

Some hotel resorts offer a great wedding location. They may also offer a package that will allow you and the girls to arrive a few days early. You can have your bachelorette spa retreat on-site. You will feel pampered, rested and relaxed for your magical day.

Their event planner can assist you with all the details and support services you will need.

Here’s a link to Brides for more ideas.