WHILE THE CALIFORNIA BEER FESTIVAL... is still several weeks out, at least around Southern California, lovers of spirits and spicy eats can savor a party put together by the very same people behind the mondo, on-the-road foam fest. It's the Tequila & Taco Music Festival, it's been around for a few years now, and it lands in a city known for its strawberry and wine and fruit-forward parties: Oxnard, California. But for one big weekend -- Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 -- mavens of mezcal and meaty-cheesy-vege-filled pockets of tortilla goodness make for The Collection at River Park for the sampling of fine libations and the meeting of many of the makers behind the labels. Your first stop, if you're intrigued, should be...
FINDING YOUR PLACE TO STAY... so you the drive home can wait for the next day. The festival has information on how to do this, and recommendations, like a Tequila Weekend Package at the Clocktower Inn. You can also find a room at several area hotels, from the Marriott Ventura Beach to Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort.
AS FOR APPETITE-STOKING ENTERTAINMENT? Metalachi -- that's metal meets mariachi, oh yeah -- is one of the live entertainment choices during the weekend. Rock out to the offbeat fusion awesomeness on Saturday, July 18.
AS FOR A TOP SHELF TEQUILA TASTING? That's happening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, alongside the serving of margaritas and posh craft brews. Sunday is more about the margaritas, but tacos shall reign supreme both days, with El Taco de Mexico, Tacos Biri's, Tacos Don Chente, Mom & Pop's Tacos, and an array of other street-savory creators of culinary goodness, the kind of cuisine that hits the spot with a salt-rimmed margarita. Have your hotels and ride lined up? Ready to sip some tony tequilas and nosh on stuffed tortilla yumness? Okay, start here.