Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
In an area packed with great summer fairs and festivals, the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts stands out as one of the best. Its laid back atmosphere, cool live music, and gourmet food and drinks are just the frosting on the cake; this festival is truly and uniquely about art. For two days, hundreds of local artists display their fine art, from jewelry to sculptures to impressionist paintings, most of which is available at very affordable prices. It’s not just another festival, focusing mostly on the food and alcohol, and quickly turning into a party; it’s successfully a place to discover talented local artists. If you have kids, bring them along to see something new, and then head over to the Kids’ Art Studio, an arts and crafts area. Whatever you do, don’t miss the incredible sidewalk chalk artists!
Spend a day meandering through the booths, perhaps sipping a microbrew or glass of fine wine, listening to live music. You can even go dancing if the mood strikes you! Pick up a unique gift, or perhaps find the perfect accent to your own home. For 31 years, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce has sponsored this art and wines festival, which now draws over 150,000 people a year. Admission is free, and so is parking, and food and drinks are both fairly affordable. Parking can, however, be difficult so use public transportation (stop at the Palo Alto Station) or ride a bike to avoid unnecessary hassle. The festival takes place across six blocks of University Avenue from August 24-25, 10am-6pm.