What to Do in Washington State in July

Berries and bluegrass take center stage for relief from the impending summer heat.

By Taylor McKenzie Gerlach

Fans of all ages rock out at Timber!.

Washington lives up to the hype of its dreamy summer season with tons to do outdoors. July’s festivities usher in full-sensory experiences in tangy berry bites, the sounds of live music, and the unmistakable scent of lavender.

Northwest Raspberry Festival

July 15–16

Sixty million pounds of raspberries come from Whatcom County’s fields each year, and summer is a sweet time to celebrate the literal fruits of another year’s labor. In a festival ripe with berry puns, the Razz and Shine Cruise-In draws hundreds of vintage vehicles for motor hobbyists to browse, and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast tops the syrup-sucking favorite with as many fresh berries as attendees can stomach.

Sequim Lavender Festival

July 15–17

Among rolling purple fields, dozens of farms open their gates to visitors to offer educational tours, U-pick lavender quests, and demonstrations of the aromatic plant’s many uses: soap felting, lavender wreaths, and essential oil distillation. Lavender ice cream, lemonade, and lattes fuel the all-day activities complete with a street fair, nightly barn dances, and an over-the-top comedic melodrama of a mythical history outlining Sequim’s rise to lavender-inspired fame.

Darrington Bluegrass Festival

July 15–17

Born in the 1950s as the brainchild of banjo-picking North Carolinian transplants, the Darrington Bluegrass Festival continues to bring Southern twang to the Cascades. Headlined by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, the Chapmans, Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa, and Zach Top and Modern Tradition, all that’s missing is the country grits and fried okra for a true Southern feel.

Vashon Island Strawberry Festival

July 15–17

The ruby-red berry of summertime fame inspires an entire weekend of festivities on nearby Vashon Island, and taking the ferry there is just part of the fun. A lineup of Vashon and Seattle bands jam with tunes for an all-ages dance floor while a beverage garden pours local beer, cider, and wine.

North Bend Block Party

July 16

Beneath the majestic backdrop of Mount Si, regional musicians play alongside a beer garden, petting zoo, vendor market, and kid zone. Dogs are welcome to partake in the free, family-friendly Saturday bash. 


July 21–23

Curated for the active, outdoorsy types of PNW fame, Timber! Music Festival offers a 5k team race, morning HIIT workout and yoga, evening bat-watching walk, nightly stargazing, and Tolt River beach access to cool off from a full day of outdoor activity and music swaying. On stage, artists span genres with goofy kid-friendly acts, Built to Spill’s indie rock sound, and singer-songwriter Tomo Nakayama’s electronic synth-pop explorations.

Group Therapy Weekender

July 22–24

A festival designed to inspire community draws bands and outgoing music aficionados to one of Washington’s most iconic venues: the Gorge. When not taking in the aural experience, festivalgoers can partake in a ping-pong tournament, yoga and meditation, and artist events. Workshops give attendees the chance to hone hooping techniques, Buti yoga skills, and breathwork.

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