Best Annual Events in the North Bay

Looking for something to do in the North Bay? With so many offerings in the area, we’ve curated five of the annual events you can’t miss. Less researching and more enjoying your time in the area. Enjoy!

*Things change, so please check in with the organizers of these events for details.

Featured Photo: Lech Naumovich

January

Come for piping-hot cocoa and of course all-day, family-centered skating at Marin on Ice in San Rafael.

February

Beer lovers rejoice — the infamous Pliny the Younger from Russian River Brewing Company is released the first Friday of February.

March

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Photo: Courtesy of Sonoma International Film Festival

Sonoma International Film Festival

One of the premiere Bay Area festivals, this is an entirely walkable five-day annual event. The 25th annual Sonoma International fFilm Festival (March 23-27, 2022) represents the best in film, food, wine and fun.” Hear panel discussions, meet the filmmakers, vote for your favorite films, join after-parties.

More info: sonomafilmfest.org

Also in March:

  • The Mendocino Coast Whale Festivals, which take place on concurrent weekends in the villages of Mendocino, Little River and Fort Bragg, are timed to coincide with the annual grey whale migration to maximize your chances of a successful sighting. 

April

Pick of the Vine is one of the fun one-day Santa Rosa events in April where you can sample the best of Sonoma’s wine and beer. More than 30 wineries and craft breweries tend to participate.

May

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BottleRock

Over the past few years, BottleRock has evolved into a major music festival with a stellar artist lineup and an equally impressive culinary stage. Held outdoors over three days in late May at Napa Valley Expo, its a short walk from Downtown Napa.

More info: bottlerocknapavalley.com

Also in May:

  • Nobody does Pinot Noir like Anderson Valley, one of the most beautiful places in California. More than 50 wineries participate in the annual Pinot Noir Festival, including two dozen prestige labels from Napa and Sonoma that covet the fabulous fruit.

June

First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world.

July

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Festival Napa Valley

Over 10 days in July, world-class performances are staged in iconic Napa Valley settings, featuring renowned artists and emerging talent. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants, chefs, and vintners participate each year. Gala fundraiser events benefit arts education for youth. Save the dates: July 15-24, 2022.

More info: festivalnapavalley.org

Also in July:

  • Fairs aren’t just corndogs and funnel cake! Celebrated as the Healthiest and Greenest County Fair on Earth since 2008, the Marin County Fair proudly features a solar powered carousel, solar powered stage, and a 92% waste diversion rate.

August

An intimate, relaxed, and upbeat celebration, the Petaluma Music Festival also offers an exceptional variety of music for people of all ages, fine beers, premium wine tasting, and specialty food vendors.

September

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Sausalito Art Festival

For more than 65 years, Labor Day Weekend has meant the Sausalito Art Festival, largest of its kind in the U.S. More than 30,000 art, music, and food lovers gather outdoors on the waterfront at this premier event where juried artists show quality artwork for sale. Music from more than 20 local and nationally recognized bands includes everything from rock to pop to blues. 

More info: sausalitoartfestival.org

Also in September:

  • Does the combination of fresh raw or grilled oysters and Peruvian Ceviche sound like a culinary delight? If so, come out to Petaluma Oyster Fest.

October

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Mill Valley Film Festival

Founded in 1977, the internationally renowned Mill Valley Film Festival typically takes place over 10 days in early to mid-October. Californias oldest film festival attracts Oscar contenders and indie films for a mix of high-profile screenings, often with filmmakers in attendance.

More info: mvff.com

Also in October: 

  • The small, west Sonoma County town of Duncans Mills presents the Russian River Rodeo, a top notch professional rodeo each year. Catch some exciting cowboy skills and other entertainment.

November

Petaluma proudly hosts the largest Veteran’s Day Parade north of the Golden Gate. The event is dedicated to the men and women who set aside their civilian pursuits to serve our nation’s cause, defending our freedom and preserving American heritage.

December

It isn’t Christmastime without a visit to the amazing Rombeiro Christmas House in Novato — it’s the ultimate holiday experience in Marin.

You so deserve a vacation. 

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