In the mountains of Colorado, there is never a shortage of activities to keep busy in the summertime. But there’s more to do that doesn’t involve breaking a sweat. If eating and drinking are more your speed, there are plenty of culinary and boozy festivals to satisfy your inner food and wine lover. These fun events can also be a great excuse to spend a weekend away somewhere lively with lots of fun activities to keep you as busy as you want to be. If breaking a sweat happens to also be of importance to you, several of these festivals weave physical activity into the event schedule.

Here are some of our favorite food and wine festivals to be found in the high country this summer.

Colorado BBQ Challenge

via Colorado BBQ Challenge

Image courtesy of Colorado BBQ Challenge

Where: Frisco, CO

When: Thursday, June 16 (kickoff, no BBQ), Friday, June 17th and June 18th (BBQ contest)

Tickets: Prices vary, but can be purchased online in advance

The town of Frisco has celebrated this unique challenge for 23 years and its popularity continues to grow right along with it. With more than 70 barbecuers competing for the title of grand champion this year, you will have your hands—and your plates—full picking a winner. Famous for the Bacon Burner 6k, Whiskey Tour, and BBQ contest, this event will be cause for plenty of laughs and celebration. It runs over Father’s Day weekend so it can be a great way to treat dad for his special day. Don’t miss live music from bands including Ronnie Baker Brooks, Mike Zito Band and a Fela Kuti Tribute featuring members of The Motet and Euforquestra.

Telluride Wine Festival

Image courtesy of Telluride Wine Festival.

Image courtesy of Telluride Wine Festival.

Where: Downtown Telluride

When: June 23rd – 26

Tickets: prices vary, but can be purchased online in advance

Adding this festival to your summer schedule not only means you get to attend one of the best food and wine festivals in the state, but you also get to enjoy the beauty that is Telluride. Tucked neatly into the western edge of the San Juan mountains, this festival is one you return to year after year. Sip on wines from around Colorado with tips from “Sommelier to the Stars,” Christopher Sawyer and sample dishes from award-winning chefs including Lisa Dahl and Lionel Vatinet while enjoying live music, decadent meals and world-class seminars.

Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival

via Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival

Image courtesy of Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival

Where: Downtown Crested Butte

When: July 28th – 31, 2016

Tickets: prices vary, but are available online in advance

Featuring more than 500 wines, this festival kicks off in true Colorado style with a guided mountain bike tour, with plenty of adventures and seminars to follow. A wine hike with picnic lunch, farm-to-table dinners, Bursting with Bubbles Champagne Brunch and more keep you active and engaged all weekend long. The Grand Tasting event takes place on Saturday July 29th and is the holy grail of this festival, and even allows designated driver tickets to those who want to attend but will not be consuming alcohol. Proceeds benefit Center for the Arts.

Steamboat Wine Festival


Image courtesy of Steamboat Wine Festival.

Where: Steamboat Springs (see full schedule for specific event location information)

When: August 10th – 14th

Tickets:prices vary, but can be purchased online in advance

Steamboat Wine Festival brings wine, beer, spirits and more, starting with a gondola ride to the top of Mount Werner. Catch live music, explore the town, and enjoy food from some of Steamboat’s best eateries, including Bistro C.V., Café Diva and Laundry. This festival has even found creative ways to get some of your favorite activities in on the fun, including golf, hiking, yoga, standup paddle boarding, cycling and even shopping. Explore the town while you taste with the Stroll of Steamboat event. Proceeds benefit STARS – Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports.

Colorado Mountain Wine Fest


Image courtesy of Colorado Mountain Wine Fest.

Where: Palisade

When: September 15 – 18

Tickets: Prices vary, but can be purchased online in advance

Featuring wines from more than 50 Colorado wineries, this event is one of the most affordable and educational wine festivals our state has to offer this summer. In addition to the typical wine festival events like winemaker dinners and chef demonstrations, you can also participate in a ceremonial grape stomp and paint your very own masterpiece of a beautiful vineyard landscape. Every year this festival closes by inviting everyone on a free tour of the wineries on Sunday. This is a great opportunity to explore Colorado’s wine country, enjoy live music and appetizers.