If you have a soft spot in your heart for the Renaissance era, where knights protected kingdoms and corset wearing maidens served ale to the hard working peasants, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival is for you.
The fun of the ren-fest is in being able to let go of your preconceived notions and enjoy it for what it is: an eccentric romp through facets of what the renaissance period might have been like. There's a certain group of people who are natural fits for this, and I'm one of them. I love fantasy writing and I am sure that if lived a past life it was during the Renaissance time. But even if you're not a fantasy geek, you will find the performances to be captivating.
Aside from the various guests and staff in character, there are also dozens of shops and makeshift tents set up to suit all of your shopping needs. Purchase ale at the Drynk booth, new leathers or armor at the various armories and fresh steel for all of your conquests of dragons and other mythical creatures. If you feel the need to visit the Drynk Booth too often, be sure to check your steel l'est you not be drawn and quartered by to local knights.
The Renaissance Festival is a full-service event, with shows and spectacles going on throughout the event in regular intervals. Want to see a clash of swords? A Jousting Field and staged sword fight entertain the crowd. Want to see performers thrash around in the mud or perform a play? It can be seen here, continually evolving as the festival carries on.
The greatest thing about the Festival is it's replay value. You can go every weekend and get a totally different experience. I've noticed every year the festivals become more risque, more robust and more interesting. If you fancy yourself a knight or maiden or simply want to stare at a bunch of wenches, the Bay Area Ren Fest is worth your gold and silver pieces.