Seafood is a way of life for many Massachusetts natives. We’re surrounded by the sea and sustained by it, and we love to celebrate its bounty the tastiest way we know how: seafood festivals! Check out these incredible chowder, scallop and oyster festivals across Massachusetts. Many of them have admission prices that are less than a nice seafood dinner at a restaurant, but deliver so much more delicious ocean bounty for your buck!
1. Wellfleet OysterFest: Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16
This is probably the most famous oyster festival on this list. Wellfleet has the highest rated oysters in the world. Once you process that fact, imagine an entire festival with those incredible oysters covering nearly every surface. Cooking demos by local chefs, kids activities, walking tours, a road race and amazing live music will also be included in the fun. This year's festival will run Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16.
2. Wareham Oyster Festival: Sunday, May 1 (FREE admission)
More than a dozen master oyster chefs and artisans will be bringing the briny goodness at this great festival. Live music will include Southcoast Jazz Orchestra and Led Zeppelin tribute band Heartbreaker. If you're not into oysters, they will be plenty of other tasty seafood to munch on as well.
3. Boston Seafood Festival: Sunday, August 7
This festival is about more than oysters, but oysters are a huge part of the fun and feasting. This is a family-friendly event with plenty of tastings, demos and activities. Think you're the fastest shucker in the capital? Compete in the Battle of the Shuckers for a $500 cash prize. There are also clambakes and exotic seafood tastings.
4. Cape Cod Scallop Festival, Falmouth: September 23, 24 & 25 ($20 admission)
This scallop was named one of the Top 100 Events in North America and earned the Best Festival Award from Cape Cod Life Magazine. What to expect: lots of scallops, arts and crafts, kids rides, live music and entertainment, and did we mention LOTS of scallops?
5. Duxbury Oyster Festival: Sunday, May 15 ($100 admission)
This festival benefits the Duxbury Education Foundation and the Duxbury Student Union. Admission might be a bit steep, but you get all-you-can-eat oysters in return! Wine and local craft beers will also be on offer.
6. Rockport Rotary Club Lobsterfest, Rockport: August 13
You get a lot of tasty grub for your admission ticket here: your plate will be piled high with hot-boiled lobster, homemade clam chowder, buttery corn on the cob, a fluffy roll, fresh watermelon, and soda or water. This is a great reason to visit the scenic, coastal town of Rockport and fill your belly with tasty seafood at the same time.
7. Hookers Ball, Chatham: Saturday, Aug. 6
The tagline for this seafood festival is: "15 Years of Being Knotty." This event is meant raise money to preserve local sea life and keep small-boat fishing fleets on the water. You can expect boat-to-plate seafood dishes and plenty of live music. Plus: open beer and wine bar!
8. New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival: September 23
Sample clam and seafood chowder from over 20 local restaurants at this seaside festival. The stuffed quahogs are not to be missed.
9. Cape Cod Chowder Festival, Hyannis: Sunday, June 26 (Admission: $14)
Get a taste of Cape Cod at this famed chowder festival. Slip and slurp your way through the best chowder recipes that local restaurants have to offer. The fan favorite will win the coveted WCOD Chowder Bowl. Tickets are only $14!
Do you know of any other amazing seafood festivals in Massachusetts? Let us know!