What to Do in Washington in August

Summer adventures begin on a boat, bike, or horse—or simply on a sunny wine picnic.

By Taylor McKenzie Gerlach

Woodinville takes the party outside for a winemaker picnic.

Image: Curbow Photo

The final month of summer crams in a season's worth of outdoor hangs and big festivals. While Seattle goes full Seafair, the rest of the state branches into bicycle, wine, and art events.

Index Arts Festival

August 6

Self-described as the smallest town in Western Washington with the biggest views, tiny Index is one of those no-stoplight towns we hear about in our grandparents’ folklore. Nestled along the Skykomish among views of towering Mounts Index, Persis, and Baring, the town rallies to bring dozens of art vendors, food trucks, yoga, live music, and poetry readings to the central town park every summer. 

Pierce County Kite Festival

August 6 & 7

The sky above Chambers Creek Regional Park, just south of Tacoma, transforms into a colorful patchwork for the weekend. Kite-building kits allow the whole family to harness the wind-powered entertainment, while inflatables, food trucks, and vendors anchor the fun on the ground. 

Winemaker Picnic and Barrel Auction

August 12

Forget the red carpet; Washington’s winemakers roll out a metaphorical picnic blanket on Woodinville's Chateau Ste. Michelle grounds laden with barbecue of global proportions: Korean, Indian, Northwest, Texan, and Southern. Wine experts and dilettantes alike mingle with winemakers and test pairing skills to match over 100 wines with those BBQ bites before bidding on a case to bring home. 

Gigantic Bicycle Festival

August 12 & 13

A bespoke festival for cyclists rolls into Snoqualmie. Not for the hill-adverse, the weekend centers around 100-, 50-, and 20-mile races past views of Mount Si, the Snoqualmie River, and a llama farm. Non-pedaled activities abound with an accompanying film festival, art workshops, guided yoga, and live music from a handful of indie outfits.

Art hits the beach on Whidbey Island.

Whidbey Plein Air Paint Out

August 15–18

Coupeville’s beaches, forests, townscapes, and vistas populate canvases as artists, both professional and hobbyist, paint the picturesque landscapes. At the culmination of the weekend, artworks are displayed in a public gala and sale. 

Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo

August 23–27

The Tri-Cities host national bull-riding competitors and country music star Billy Currington for their annual showdown, awarding cash prizes for bareback riding, saddle bronc, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and team roping.

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