18 cool events to plan your 2020 US trip around

Hatching plans for a trip to the USA in 2020 but not sure where to go? Why not work it out according to what you want to do when you get there? From unique annual events to exciting new attractions, pick an experience and create amazing holiday memories. 


Waste Management Phoenix Open, Arizona 

Love golf? Combine winter sun with watch some of the best golfers play at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, in ScottsdaleArizona, on January 30. Known as the 'Greatest Show on Grass', this event draws the largest crowds on the PGA Tour to the TPC Scottsdale. In 2017, a record 665,434 fans enjoyed a week of championship golf, live entertainment and more under the Scottsdale sun.


Leap of Love: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California

On 29 February 2020, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California, will host Leap of Love, a collective Leap Day mountaintop wedding. Up to 50 couples will get married or renew their vows at the picturesque High Camp Upper Observation Deck before a laid-back gathering in the Terrace Bar & Restaurant and group ski down 3.2 miles to The Village at Squaw Valley. 

US Olympic Team Trials Marathon, Atlanta, Georgia

Some of the fastest marathon runners in the country race from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, to compete for a chance to represent the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on 29 February 2020. You can watch the runners as they run the looped course before returning to Centennial Olympic Park. It’s the first time Atlanta has held the Olympic team trials, and record participation is expected.


Saint Patrick's Day in Savannah, Georgia 

There are brilliant Saint Patrick’s Day festivities across the USA - in Chicago even the river turns emerald green. But the Paddy’s day celebrations in Savannah, Georgia, are the oldest, and one of the largest, in the nation. Every 17 March, the city grows by a half-million or so people, most wearing green, to take part in events throughout the city.


Georgia’s springtime flower festivals

Celebrate spring in Georgia, with two joyful botanical festivals. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival takes place every April in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, with views of the skyline framed by blooming trees and flowers. It’s the city’s oldest outdoor event. In Macon, the International Cherry Blossom Festival is held in late March or early April. The city’s 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees have earned it the title of ‘Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.’ Over the last 30 years, the festival has grown from a weekend event to 10 days of parades, live music and fireworks.


New Civil War reenactment at Roaring Camp, Santa Cruz, California

Take a step back in time to the 1880s over Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25 with a new Civil War reenactment at the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad in Santa Cruz, California. Guests are invited to witness the sights and sounds of cavalry charges, musket fire and artillery shells at this Civil War Re-enactment event. The $5 admission price includes a Redwood Forest Steam Train ticket. 


World Oceans Day, Florida Keys 

Celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8 by taking part in Florida Keys’ efforts to ‘Connect & Protect’ the eco-system and waters surrounding the island chain, which home to the continental USA’s only living coral barrier reef. This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which protects waters including John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America’s first underwater park. Do your bit to preserve the Keys’ natural environment by visiting Visit The Turtle Hospital, a small non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of sea turtles, join the drive to control the invasive Lion Fish population - even just by ordering it in a restaurant. You can also help restore the reefs around the Keys with the Coral Restoration Foundation™ in Key Largo - the world's largest non-profit marine-conservation organization dedicated to restoring coral reefs to a healthy state.

BerryFest, California

Hosted over US Mother’s Day Weekend (9-10 May), in Roseville, California, BerryFest celebrates all things strawberry. All berries at the festival are grown and picked fresh in California by local farmers – but there’s more to this event than fruit. Visitors can try their hand at the extreme skate pro park, watch a parade, compete in a strawberry shortcake eating contest, go on a guided graffiti-wall tour and more.



40th Annual Hemingway Days, Key West

For the last 40 years, Ernest Hemingway fans, writers and anglers have joined forces to celebrate the late author’s work on Key West in Florida, in mid-July for the annual Hemingway Days celebrations. This quirky festival celebrates the legacy of the American literary giant who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s, prose and poetry readings, the wacky ‘Running of the Bulls’ event, an exhibition of rare Hemingway memorabilia and a three-day marlin tournament to celebrate his passion for deep-sea angling.[Photo credit: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO]


United Tribes International Powwow, North Dakota

The spectacular annual United Tribes International Powwow in North Dakota dedicated to Native American culture sees hundreds of members of more than 70 tribes from all over the US gather for the United Tribes International Powwow in the Lone Star Arena at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. For nearly 50 years, the monumental three-day event has brought thousands of visitors to the Great Plains to experience unique cultures of indigenous communities.

Custer State Park Buffalo Round Up, South Dakota

Each year crowds gather to watch the extraordinary sight and sounds of the remarkable Custer State Park Buffalo Round Up. The ground rumbles and the dust flies as cowboys, cowgirls and park crews saddle up to bring in the thundering herd. The 71,000-acre Custer State Park is home to one of the world's largest publicly-owned bison herds, which is nearly 1,300 strong. The annual roundup, held the last Friday in September, is open to the public - this year it celebrates its 55th anniversary.


50th Anniversary of Atlanta Pride, Atlanta, Georgia 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Atlanta Pride event in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, where the GGLF (Georgia Gay Liberation Front) met to pass out information to people attending the Piedmont Park Arts Festival (the first march did not happen until 1971). The week-long annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) pride festival held in Atlanta is the largest pride festival in the Southeast.


Mandarin Orange Festival, Auburn, California

Now in its 27th year, The Mandarin Orange Festival in Auburn, California celebrates the fruit’s historic and uniquely Californian heritage. Visitors will find fresh mandarins and endless samples at stands throughout the fair. Find everything from wood-fired Mandarin pizza, Mandarin glazed kettle corn, Mandarin-pork tater tots, as well as Mandarin funnel cakes, milkshakes, fudge, pistachios and more. Runs 20-22 November.

Scottsdale SkyFest & Balloon Glow, Scottsdale, Arizona 

The skies in Scottsdale, Arizona, are set to fill with the spectacular sight of hundreds of colourful hot air balloons over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 27-29 November, with the first first annual Scottsdale SkyFest & Balloon Glow. The nation’s largest hot air balloon company is celebrating Thanksgiving weekend with a three days of hot air balloons shows, as they take to the air both early morning and evening. Expect holiday arts and crafts, a kid’s zone, beer garden and live music.

Through the year


Discover meditation sites in Lake Havasu

In need of some R&R? Head to the city of Lake Havasu, which recently discovered new enhanced meditation sites, also known as vortexes near to the city centre. These sites have energy flow patterns that can boost a person's meditation experiences and mindful awareness and were identified by Pete A. Sanders, Jr., a Sedona vortex expert and scientist trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was invited by the city to identify the most accessible and beneficial meditation sites for renewal, relaxation and inspiration - some of which tap into the many wellness-enhancing benefits of water. The newly identified sites will be published in a new map and brochure include Take Off Point Recreation Area at Parker Dam, about 16 miles south of Lake Havasu City, Buoyed Swim Area at Rotary Community Park (pictured), 1400 Smoketree Ave., Lake Havasu City and Topock Gorge section of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, about 15.5 miles north of the London Bridge. “Relief obtained from the wellness of water is what Lake Havasu offers in abundance. Lake Havasu is like a giant float tank under the night sky," Sanders says. [Photo credit: Mary P. Martin]  

New US Olympic & Paralympic Museum, Colorado Springs

The new US  Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs opens this year, and will be dedicated to the nation’s athletes and their stories. Visitors to the 60,000-square foot museum housed in a striking new building will be able to see a range of Olympic artefacts and memorabilia including Olympic Torches from different Games over the years. The museum is less than a ten-minute drive from the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Centre. 

New Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Greater Palm Springs

Opening this year in downtown Palm Springs, the stunning Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is a new museum to celebrate the history, culture and modern times of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The museum will include never-before-seen artefacts as well as a spa and bathhouse, complete with ‘snow room’, and an entertainment and sports arena, which will lend itself to a new American Hockey League franchise team. 

Hearst Castle celebrates 100 years, California

100 years ago, construction began on Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, a decadent and meticulously preserved hilltop estate which is now recognised as a National Historic Landmark. Designed and built by art collector and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Hearst Castle is home to Mr Hearst’s extensive art collection, surrounded by unparalleled views of the California coastline. Hearst Castle will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary in 2020.  

Posted on: 14/01/2020

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