Worth the Road Trip: 5 Fall Food and Drink Festivals Around Arizona

Five fall festivals in Arizona worth the road trip.
Five fall festivals in Arizona worth the road trip. Sedona Winefest
Fall is a beautiful time to be in Phoenix, as Valley residents are blissful over the double-digit temperatures, bless their hearts. But it’s even more of a beautiful time to be elsewhere in the versatile state of Arizona, especially if there’s some sort of fall festival on the calendar. And this being 2019’s autumnal season, attendees can expect hearty wine, beer, and food on deck.

Here are five food and drink-focused fall festivals happening throughout Arizona that are definitely worth the road trip.

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Ales on Rails Festival offers food and beer on the tracks.
Verde Canyon Railroad

Ales on Rails Festival

Through Thursday, October 31
Verde Canyon Railroad
300 North Broadway, Clarkdale

Verde Canyon Railroad’s annual Ales on Rails event is a celebration of Arizona’s beer, food, and scenery. Happening daily through October 31, the event starts at the Verde Canyon Railroad depot with beers from Oak Creek Brewing Company and elsewhere on the patio from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., just before the train leaves at 1 p.m. Aboard, expect an Oktoberfest-inspired lunch (i.e. German food) along with more beer from Grand Canyon Brewing Co., That Brewery, Prescott Brewing Co., and local brews from SanTan, Four Peaks, and Huss Brewing Co. Tickets are $99.95 for a first-class train ride, commemorative beer glass, and five tastings on the patio, or $110.05 for all that plus the Bavarian lunch.

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At the Sedona Winefest it's all about the food, wine, and red rocks.
Jenelle Bonifield

Sedona Winefest

Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29
Posse Grounds Park
525 Posse Ground Road, Sedona

The 11th annual Sedona Winefest will feature 25 wineries from around the state — including High Lonesome Vineyard, Burning Tree Cellars, and Caduceus Cellars — backdropped by the intense red rocks of Sedona. And there will be food, too, with bites at the ready from Canyon Jack’s Roadhouse and the Merkin Pizza Wagon, as well as shopping, music, and even massages. The Sedona Winefest runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Tickets include six tastings and a commemorative wineglass.

2019 Flagstaff Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 5
Wheeler Park
212 West Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff

Reward yourself with beer and bratwurst for traveling north to the 2019 Flagstaff Oktoberfest. Food vendors include Nava Sausage Co., White Eyes Fresh Fry Bread, Kabobs by Karen, and Phoenix Pretzel, and there will be plenty beer at the ready. There will also be shopping, live polka, and contests for brat-eating and stein-holding. Don your dirndl from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for this full-day fest, with tickets available in advance for $10 or at the gate for $20.

Pearce Wine Fest

Saturday, October 19
Four Tails Vineyard
274 East Pearce Road, Pearce

Head to this little southeast Arizona vineyard for the inaugural Pearce Wine Fest. This is a more intimate, boutique wine festival held at, and hosted by, Four Tails Vineyard, highlighting local wineries like Laramita Cellars, High Lonesome Vineyard, Rune Wines, and of course, Four Tails, The small festival also offers food and live music, all happening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $25 a ticket.

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An aerial view of the Willcox Wine Country Fall Festival.
Mike Barnacastle

Willcox Wine Country Fall Festival 2019

Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20
Railroad Park
157 North Railroad Avenue, Willcox

They know how to pour down in Willcox, especially during the 2019 Willcox Wine Festival. The event will host 15 of Arizona wineries, including Carlson Creek Vineyard, Pillsbury Wine Company, and Birds and Barrels, as well as food, arts, and crafts vendors. Attendees may also enjoy live entertainment, glass in hand, from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. each day. Tickets range from $20 to $45 in advance, or $25 to $55 at the gate.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.