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.
Ales on Rails FestivalThrough 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.
Sedona WinefestSaturday 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.
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2019 Flagstaff OktoberfestSaturday, October 5
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 FestSaturday, 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.
Willcox Wine Country Fall Festival 2019Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20
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.