The 13 Best Festivals for Health Nuts and Fitness Freaks

Featured Article, Healthy Living, Healthy Travel, News and Advice
on April 2, 2013
Wanderlust is a health festival.
Tinywater Wanderlust California 2011

Healthy Living Festival
Dates: April 13-14, 2013
Cost: Free
Location: Del Mar, Calif.
Last year, more than 5,000 people attended the Healthy Living Festival, and the event’s second year is expected to produce an even greater turnout. The two-day fest features lectures and workshops by health and fitness experts and activities like yoga, belly dancing, Zumba, medical screenings and healthy cooking demonstrations. Guests can also peruse nearly 200 on-site vendor booths.

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Festival Foods Grandad Half-Marathon (Formerly the La Crosse Fitness Festival)
Dates: May 3-5, 2013
Cost: Half-marathon, $70 per person; for other events, prices vary.
Location: La Crosse, Wis.
The Festival Foods Grandad Half-Marathon was founded in 2008 with the goal being to make La Crosse America’s healthiest city. This year, the festival features a new half-marathon course, which descends almost 600 feet of scenic landscape. Other sporting events during the festival include non-competitive bike tours, a 5k run/walk and youth races. All proceeds go to local nonprofits dedicated to improving the community’s health and wellness efforts.

Green Festival
Dates: Chicago: May 18-19, 2013; see website for specifics
Cost: $32 for weekend pass
Locations: New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Los Angeles
The world’s largest sustainability conference, Green Festival, sponsored by Green America, is a two-day event focused on promoting environmentally sound solutions for healthy living. Each festival location features live music, a vegan/vegetarian food court, an organic beer and wine garden, eco-friendly fashion shows, speakers, workshops and the Green Marketplace, which features an array of sustainable products from local, regional and national organizations.

Mountain Sports Festival
Dates: May 24-26, 2013
Cost: Free festival admission; sports event fees vary
Location: Asheville, N.C.
This popular three-day festival is action-packed and family-friendly. All ages can participate in events like the family scavenger hunt, rock-climbing, a duathlon for kids, relay races and a family night hike. Adults can register to compete in Ultimate Frisbee, a dodgeball tournament and numerous runs and mountain bike races. In addition to sporting events, attendees can enjoy healthy eats from local vendors while listening to an eclectic medley of live music, featuring everything from bluegrass to funk.

Elephant Rock Cycling Festival
Date: June 2, 2013
Cost: $75 for 100/62-mile ride; other courses cost less
Location: Castle Rock, Colo.
Described as the unofficial beginning to the Colorado cycling season, the Elephant Rock Cycling Festival is a favorite of all ages! Now in its 26th year, the event is expected to attract upwards of 7,500 cyclists. Riding options range from dirt to paved courses, with tracks from 8 to 100 miles long. Afterwards, participants can partake in the post-ride picnic and cycling expo, where they can get samples and learn more about the sport from industry-leading companies like Specialized, Clif Bars, Shimano, Shaversport and Optimize Endurance Services.

Telluride Yoga Festival
Dates: July 11-14, 2013
Cost: $289 for full-festival pass
Location: Telluride, Colo.
Telluride Yoga Festival is an annual four-day event featuring more than 40 presenters specializing in karma yoga, a form of yoga that focuses on positive thinking and service. Workshops are broken down into three levels: beginner, advanced and all-levels. A bonus of this small Colorado town’s charm: Each workshop is easily accessible on foot or by Telluride’s complimentary gondola.

Maine Yoga Fest
Dates: July 13-14, 2013
Cost: TBD
Location: Portland, Maine
Three yoga enthusiasts founded this festival to share the healing powers of yoga with the Maine community. While classes take place in both indoor and outdoor venues, the event is headquartered at the East End Community School, a LEED-certified energy-efficient building. Along with local music and fresh food, the festival also offers classes and a series of lectures on topics such as yoga injury prevention, the integration of Eastern medicine and yoga, and how to better apply positivity to everyday challenges.

Wanderlust Festival
Dates: Wanderlust California: July 18-21, 2013; other dates on website
Cost: Vary by location
Location: Various locations across North America (and one in Chile)
Wanderlust, a one-of-a-kind annual event, takes place at various times in multiple locations. Each year, this festival attracts more than 20,000 people for live music performances, meditation hikes, and classes led by renowned yoga instructors like Dharma Mittra and Shiva Rea. The Kula Market, which is the center of the festival, showcases yoga props, products, clothing, and other accessories. For yogis unable to attend on of the four-day festivals, Wanderlust puts on day-long “Yoga in the City” events in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Fitness for America Sports Festival
Dates: July 20-21, 2013
Cost: Varies based on events
Location: Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Taking place just 30 miles from downtown Chicago, the Fitness of America Sports Festival hosts the country’s second largest inline skating marathon. Last year’s event attracted fitness fanatics from 35 states and 5 countries. In addition to the inline marathon, the festival, which is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, features a half-marathon, 10k, 5k run/walk, and an obstacle course for kids.

Vail International Dance Festival
Dates: July 28-Aug. 10, 2013
Cost: $149 for adults, $59 for students
Location: Vail, Colo.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Vail International Dance Festival honors a variety of cultural traditions through a variety of dance styles including classical ballet, jazz, ballroom and tango. Festival attendees can participate in a number of offstage events, such as master classes, sneak-peek free performances and a no-experience-necessary Dance-a-thon to celebrate National Dance Day.

Dates: Aug. 30- Sept 2, 2013
Cost: $250 (until June 28)
Location: Pottstown, Penn.
Each year, this music, yoga and cultural festival offers an eclectic experience. Guests can enjoy a diverse musical lineup featuring artists like WT Funk Experiment, The Flowdown, and Tony Vacca’s World Rhythms, and yogis can partake in classes led by instructors like Krishna Devi, Xumantra and Epigene. An all-access camping pass serves as a ticket to all music performances, yoga classes and workshops like “Starting a Small Business” and “Capturing Nature in Watercolor.” While participants are encouraged to purchase one of the 1,000 first-come-first-serve camping passes, those who prefer an indoor experience can book a dorm-style room at nearby Fellowship Farm.

Floyd Yoga Jam
Dates: Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2013
Cost: $100 for 3-day pass
Location: Willis, Va.
Advertised as the newest yoga festival on the east coast, this second-annual three-day event takes place in a forested area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Guests can enjoy instruction from more than 30 yoga teachers like Dr. Robin Sarawati Markus and Beryl Bender Birch, a bestselling author of three yoga books. The festival also features 18 bands, including the popular MC Yogi and the locally acclaimed Deer Run Drifters.

Sedona Yoga Festival
Dates: Feb. 6-10, 2014
Cost: TBD
Location: Sedona, Ariz.
Each year, festival-goers enjoy a yoga-fueled getaway in scenic Sedona. Located at multiple venues throughout the area, the festival features authors, yogis, healers, live music, film screenings, and speakers from around the world. Due to the success of this year’s event, next year’s festival is adding on two additional days of programming.