From downing stacks of blueberry pancakes to celebrating garlic, there are a lot of delicious food festivals that take place every year in the Pacific Northwest during the summer. Here are five festivals that make for a tasty road trip.
July 26: Blueberry Pancake Day. The historic Cedar Creek Grist Mill, about nine miles east of Woodland, Washington, holds a Blueberry Pancake Day celebration every year. They take grain grown from Bob's Red Mill in Oregon and combine it with locally grown blueberries from the many farms around the area.
While the pancakes are delicious, the trip is worth it just to see the mill. Its cast-iron turbine was installed in 1886, and it's fascinating to watch the belts and shafts in the building spinning and turning to grind the flour. The mill is entirely supported by donations and volunteers, so while there's no charge for the delicious breakfast, donations are encouraged.
Road Trip Length from Seattle: 2 hours, 20 minutes
August 1-3: Mossyrock Blueberry Festival. The Mossyrock Blueberry Festival is much more than just a chance to stuff your face with fruit. While there are plenty of blueberry pancakes breakfasts, a blueberry pie eating contest, and blueberry farm tours, there's also a wiener dog race, a car show, and a 5K run. The whole town joins in for this family-friendly festival and hotel rooms go quickly.
Road Trip Length from Seattle: 2 hours
August 15-16: Blues and Seafood. As the name implies, this festival is just as much about music as it is about seafood. You can rock out to Billy D and The HooDoos and Lisa Manna and Her Really Good Band while eating oysters and sipping local wines and micro brews. The Blues and Seafood Festival at the Port of Ilwaco has a food court, dozens of bands, and two days of fun.
Road Trip Length from Seattle: 3 hours
August 22-23: National Lentil Festival.The National Lentil Festival in Pullman, WA brings cooks from all over the country for the Legendary Lentil Cook-Off. The finalists this year concocted recipes like Warm Weather Watermelon & Lentil Gazpacho, Lentil Hummus Stuffed Mini Peppers, and Lemony Lentil Scones. With the winner walking away with $2,000, you can be sure the competition will be fierce.
When you're not munching on lentils, you can also visit cooking demonstrations, watch concerts, or meet the Lentil Family of the Year. (If you can't tell, they take lentils pretty seriously in Pullman).
Road Trip Length from Seattle: 4 hours, 30 minutes
August 22-24: Chehalis Garlic Festival. Bring some minty gum and an empty stomach to the Chehalis Garlic Festival. You'll be treated to everything from fries coated in garlic to saffron mussels. There are garlic mascots, garlic hats, and absolutely no vampires.
Road Trip Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes