man jumping into the water

93 Days of Summer!

We’ll help you soak up every second of the season: Wake up with the solstice, stop and smell 500 types of roses, and check out 12,000 classic cars. (And that’s just the first three days.)

June

21 / Wake up with the solstice.
Signaling the start of summer, the sun shines through a window at Casa Rinconada, a 400-year-old ceremonial kiva at Chaco Culture National Historical Park—known as the “Machu Picchu of North America.” Descendants of the Ancestral Puebloan people perform traditional dances and park rangers lead tours of the ruins, located three hours from Albuquerque.

22 / Stop and smell 500 kinds of roses.
At the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon, don’t skip the Shakespeare Garden, where blooms are named for the Bard.

23 / Travel to the 1950s.
Auto enthusiasts show off nearly 12,000 customized cars at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul.

24 / Catch a firefly show.
Hit up the Annual Pennsylvania Firefly Festival to watch the Photinus carolinus transform Allegheny National Forest into a dazzling display.

25 / Relive summer camp.

Camp No Counselors Held at camps nationwide, these weekend-long experiences include themed parties,crafts, water sports, and happy hours.
Kennedy Space Center Prepare for liftoff in Titusville, Florida, where astronaut training includes a space shuttle mission simulation.
Camp Wandawega Rent a cozy vintage cabin outside of Milwaukee. Guests can fish, bike, boat, and—of course—make s’mores.

26 / Check out Mexico’s mega-library.
Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City boasts masterful murals, rooms devoted to prominent intellectuals, and a giant whale skeleton.

27 / Don a jet pack.
Think jet skiing, only vertical. SoFlo Flyboarding in West Palm Beach, Florida, rockets riders 25 feet above the water.

28 / Find a “wow” piece.
Beginning in June, Urban Farmhouse Designs will sell décor crafted from reclaimed wood at the Dallas Farmers Market.

29 / Stay at a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
Celebrate the architect’s 150th birthday by booking the Palmer House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its most impressive feature: no 90-degree corners.

30 / See an opera by starlight.
Take in Santa Fe Opera’s masked ball of Die Fledermaus in an outdoor theater.

July

1 / Get to Gettysburg.
More than 10,000 actors assume the role of Confederate and Union soldiers for this three-day reenactment in Pennsylvania, marking one of the Civil War’s most brutal battles.

2 / Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a homemade pint.
Churn out flavors like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake using a hand-cranked wooden machine in a class at Brooklyn’s Ample Hills Creamery.

3 / Surf Costa Rica.
During a retreat at Playa Grande Surf Camp, perks include daily lessons and hammocks set in private cabanas.

4 / Drop in at the world’s oldest rodeo.
The annual hootenanny in Prescott, Arizona, honors the wild legacy of the American West.

5 / Take in American folklife.
Learn about Pennsylvania Dutch heritage at the Kutztown Folk Festival, featuring handmade quilts, blacksmith demonstrations, and fresh bread from a 19th-century oven.

6 / Spot wild orchids.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers more than 1,500 kinds of blooms, from purple-fringed orchids to black-eyed susans.

7 / Stroll along the boardwalk.
The 1.2-mile-long promenade in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, comes alive with stilt walkers, bagpipers, jugglers, and, on Wednesdays, fireworks.

8 / Follow in the footsteps of literary giants.
Every Saturday, Boston by Foot’s 90-minute walking tour explores the scribbling haunts of famous authors like Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott.

9 / Cheer on baby turtles.
Watch as hatchlings forge a path to the Gulf of Mexico at Texas’ Padre Island National Seashore, the United States’ biggest nesting site for endangered Kemp’s ridleys.

10 / Eat Key lime pie in Key Largo.
In Florida, Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen uses real Key limes in the tangy dessert.

11 / Marvel at Manhattanhenge.
Twice a year, the setting sun aligns with Manhattan’s street grid, allowing for unobstructed views.

12 / Paddle a bioluminescent bay.
Dinoflagellates glow in Tomales Bay, an hour from San Francisco. Book a tour with Blue Waters Kayaking.

13 / Stare down a great white shark.
From July through November, more than 100 sharks call Mexico’s Guadalupe Island home. Board a Nautilus Explorer excursion to snap a photo of their toothy grins.

14 / Soak up the tunes.
Louisville’s Forecastle Festival celebrates 15 years with a star-studded lineup and a Bourbon Lodge serving mint juleps.

15 / Build a sandcastle.
Teams face off at the Imperial Beach Sun & Sea Festival, just south of San Diego.

16 / Devour a Coney Dog.
For the classic combo of chili, onion, and mustard, head to Duly’s Place in Detroit.

17 / Jam in Jamaica.
Flock to beautiful Montego Bay for the annual Reggae Sumfest.

18 / Discover Utah’s Dead Sea.
Float weightlessly in the Great Salt Lake at Bridger Bay Beach in Antelope Island State Park.

19 / Go below in a sub.
In Grand Cayman, Atlantis Submarines descend 100 feet on night ocean tours.

20 / Try fried green tomatoes.
Alabama’s Irondale Cafe inspired Fannie Flagg’s iconic novel.

21 / Master the mini.
Putt-putt like a pro at Bluegrass Mini Golf, the host of this year’s mini golf U.S. Open in New Jersey.

22 / Swim with wild ponies.
Cowboys round up 200-plus horses and guide them to Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

23 / Sniff out lavender.
The fragrant flowers turn Sequim, Washington, into an Impressionist painting.

24 / Glimpse a red-footed booby in Belize.
See South American birds that have flown north for the winter at Half Moon Caye Natural Monument.

25 / Meet Santa in July.
It’s always Christmas in Santa Claus, Indiana. This Midwest Pole boasts themed zip lines, a Santa Claus Museum, and a candy castle that serves more than 30 kinds of hot cocoa.

26 / Dive into a natural wonder.
Just 35 miles from Austin, Jacob’s Well Natural Area is a turquoise-hued artesian spring flowing from a 140-foot-deep aquifer.

27 / Make like a Viking.
At Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa, events include a canoe race and rock-throwing competition.

28 / Sip vino in Baja.
Fiestas de la Vendimia, a food and wine festival in Baja California, boasts more than 60 wineries. Baja Test Kitchen leads guided tours.

29 / Two-step across Texas.
Boot-scoot to the state’s famed Gruene Hall, outside of San Antonio.

30 / Play next-level Frisbee.
Flip City Disc Golf Park transforms a 35-acre farm in Shelby, Michigan, into a flying saucer obstacle course.

31 / Roller skate in a Romanesque church.
Go for a spin at San Francisco’s Church of 8 Wheels. Spared from the wrecking ball by roller skating enthusiasts, the rink hosts kid-friendly lessons and adult disco nights.

August

1 / Chill on a glacier.
Summit Washington’s icy Mount Rainier for stunning 14,410-foot views and the chance to say you’ve hiked the most-glaciated peak in the contiguous United States. RMI Expeditions teaches trekking techniques prior to the four-day climb.

2 / Do hot yoga under the Vegas lights.
Get away from the Strip and unwind at The Neon Museum with an outdoor yoga session surrounded by salvaged signage.

3 / Feast on watermelon.
Two hours from Atlanta, the Cordele State Farmers Market is a hotbed for the classic red seedless type, as well as crimson sweet, sangria, and yellow flesh varieties.

4 / Scour the world’s longest yard sale.
Stretching 690 miles from Gadsden, Alabama, to Hudson, Michigan, the 127 Corridor Sale snakes through six states, spans four days, and promises plenty of quirky finds.

5 / Roll on the river.
Rent a kayak or canoe and join Cincinnati locals for the Ohio River Paddlefest’s 9-mile course.

6 / Glamp in Gold Rush country.
Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, California, brings you closer to nature without sacrificing a good night’s sleep.

7 / Hike by the light of a full moon.
Head to Arizona’s Red Rock State Park for the monthly 2-mile trek, led by a knowledgeable naturalist.

8 / Dig into frozen custard.
Try Mr. Wizard’s Frozen Custard for a St. Louis–style concrete or the creamy strawberry shortcake.

9 / Pick wild blueberries.
Thanks to the Pine Tree State’s long winters and acidic soil, the farm fruit at Alexander’s Wild Maine Blueberries is extra sweet.

10 / Witness a tug-of-war across the Mississippi.
Since 1987, residents of LeClaire, Iowa, and Port Byron, Illinois, have battled it out over a 2,700-foot rope. The winner receives a statue of a bald eagle and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

11 / Take part in the Tomato Art Fest.
No matter how you say tomato, you’ll love this eccentric Nashville event featuring concerts, a bloody mary competition, and tomato-inspired artwork.

12 / Dress down in The Big Easy.
A week after White Linen Night—an upscale art walk in New Orleans—Dirty Linen Night encourages guests to wander through the French Quarter, stopping at shops serving dirty martinis and dirty rice, all while wearing their dirty linens.

13 / Savor sweet corn.
Chow down on three different types of Nebraskan maize at Omaha’s Sweet Corn Festival.

14 / Explore what lies beneath.

Carlsbad Caverns This New Mexico gem contains more than 100 smaller caves and is a summer home for Brazilian free-tailed bats. At dusk, watch as they exit the caverns at speeds up to 25 miles an hour, bound for dinner in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Strataca Some 650 feet below ground in Hutchinson, Kansas, there’s a 275-million-year-old dried salt sea. See special exhibits and take a 15-minute train ride into the preserved 1940s mine tunnel.
Natural Bridge Caverns When it’s pushing 100 degrees, cool off in the largest commercial caverns in Texas. Just outside of San Antonio, take in stalagmites, flowstones, and soda straw stalactites by lantern light.

15 / Pay tribute to the King.
Forty years ago, Elvis left the building forever. Toast America’s pompadoured prince in Memphis with a weeklong tribute at his Graceland estate.

16 / Thrill on a wooden rollercoaster.
Opt for a throwback, the Shivering Timbers coaster, at Michigan’s Adventure, outside Grand Rapids.

17 / Meet the next Mike Trout.
More than 70 teams play to win at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

18 / Try all the foods at the Iowa State Fair.
Last year, culinary creations included apple fritter bites and ice cream nachos.

19 / See synchronized water skiing.
Florida’s Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team pulls off 12-person pyramids.

20 / Go fly a kite.
The annual Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach features a kite ballet and illuminated night flights.

21 / Gaze up at the Great American Eclipse.
For the first time in decades, a total solar eclipse stretches across the U.S. In St. Joseph, Missouri, experience two minutes and 38.6 seconds of darkness, use a solar-scope, and enjoy a celestial-themed concert.

22 / Take a lap on a NASCAR track.
Circle the Indianapolis 500 course via the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

23 / Island hop.
Albury’s Ferry Service, headquartered in the Abacos’ Marsh Harbour, offers ferry rides to dreamy Bahamian destinations daily.

24 / Eat ice.
Since 1945, John’s Water Ice in Philadelphia has been churning out the same four flavors—lemon, cherry, chocolate, and pineapple.

25 / Drink a sweet peach.
Visit either of Manhattan Beach Post’s California locations for Soho Punch, made with cranberry juice, cinnamon, and grilled peaches.

26 / Meet at the Falls.
Spokane, Washington’s annual pow-wow brings together Native American tribes from across the country to showcase traditional music, dance, and culture.

27 / Visit the Grand Canyon’s other side.
Forgo the crowded south rim in favor of a peaceful stay at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge, open May through October.

28 / Lose your loose change.
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas features hundreds of old games and pinball machines, some dating back to the 1940s.

29 / See the world’s largest cast-iron statue.
Vulcan Park & Museum shares the story behind the 56-foot Roman god’s arrival in Birmingham.

30 / Take the table to the farm.
Collaborating with renowned chefs and local growers across the U.S., Outstanding in the Field hosts pop-up alfresco experiences to teach diners about agriculture, sustainability, and seasonal produce. This year, they visit Chatham Bars Farm on Cape Cod for the first time. Set on a sandbar, it’s sure to be an unforgettable meal.

31 / Conquer the River of No Return.
Brave 80 miles of the adrenaline-inducing Salmon River. Three hours from Boise, Idaho, Wapiti River Guides run half- to six-day trips.

September

1 / Meet the Swampers. Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama, is famous for its house rhythm section, “the Swampers,” which helped produce hits by Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, and the Rolling Stones.

2 / Stomp grapes in Napa Valley.
During California’s harvest season, Grgich Hills Estates invites visitors to hop into old oak barrels and squish grapes between their toes.

3 / Immerse yourself in American history.
Exactly 234 years after the war ended, the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia invites visitors to board a replica privateer ship and see rare artifacts such as military discharge papers signed by then-general George Washington.

4 / Grill out like a pitmaster.
Rob Magee, of Kansas City’s Q39, shares tips for the perfect Labor Day barbecue.

Pick the best meat:never-frozen chicken; ribs and pork shoulder with plentiful marbling; and certified Black Angus for brisket.
Don’t over-season: You want a good bark on the outside without it being overpowering.
Match wood accordingly: hickory and a touch of mesquite for brisket; apple with hickory for pork shoulder or ribs; and peach or plum tree for chicken.

5 / See big-time art in a small town.
In Bentonville, Arkansas, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art boasts an impressive collection ranging from colonial-era portraits to avant-garde mixed media.

6 / Snag a rooftop view of the sunset.
Few spots can boast marina views like The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island. Try the namesake cocktail, made with vodka, lemongrass, and pear puree.

7 / Captain a boat.
During a two-hour introductory lesson at Annapolis Sailing School in Maryland, you’ll learn tacking, jibing, and steering aboard a classic Rainbow 24.

8 / Rent your own private island.

Eagle Island Set on a Georgia salt marsh, this cabin sleeps 12 and has a 1,500-square-foot screened porch. Other amenities include a fireside hot tub and crab traps.
Laurel Island Up to 36 people can stay on this Lake Pocotopaug island in Connecticut. Five retro cottages include a kitchenette and private dock.
Coral Caye Owned by director Francis Ford Coppola, this 2-acre island in Belize accommodates 12 guests. Possible add-ons include a butler, alfresco massages, and guided fishing trips. (above)

9 / Swim with whale sharks.
The world’s biggest fish (up to 40 feet) is also the gentlest of giants. There’s no better way to appreciate their beauty—not to mention scale—than floating alongside them. The world-class service offered by The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, frees you up to enjoy an intimate experience.

10 / Picnic at a former dairy farm.
Goats, chickens, and the occasional horse still roam Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz, California.

11 / Sip sweet tea.
Take a trolley tour through the Charleston Tea Plantation to taste this South Carolina favorite.

12 / Sail down waves of sand.
An hour from El Paso, New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument offers thrill-seekers the chance to sled down mountains of sand.

13 / Cool off at an ice house.
Before freezers were standard, Texans socialized over cold brews at ice houses. West Alabama Ice House in Houston and The Friendly Spot in San Antonio keep the culture alive.

14 / See the skyline in a new way.
On a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise, learn about the Windy City’s well-known masterpieces.

15 / Polish off a paleta.
Puerto Vallarta’s best fresh fruit ice pops can be found at La Michoacana. Try the guava or cucumber with chile.

16 / Dig for clams in Rhode Island.
With a permit, hunt quahogs in Narragansett. Too much work? Aunt Carrie’s, open only in the summer,serves their famous clam cakes and a clear “South County”–style chowder.

17 / Hang loose.
The world’s largest amateur surfing group wraps up its 50th year with the Eastern Surfing Association Championship in Nags Head, North Carolina.

18 / Bike across the Mississippi.
Nearly a mile in length, Memphis’ Big River Crossing is the longest bike and pedestrian bridge over the river. At night, it’s illuminated with more than 100,000 lights.

19 / Pop in for a soda on Route 66.
Choose from 700 different fizzes at Pops 66 in Oklahoma City.

20 / Meet a real-life Indiana Jones.
Archaeologists at Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark unearth everything from mammoth bones to Puebloan ceramics.

21 / Soar over the Adirondacks.
Some 150,000 hot air balloon enthusiasts converge on Glens Falls, New York, during the Adirondack Balloon Festival, a free four-day event.

22 / Make the last minutes count.
With a 26-foot diameter, the Philadelphia City Hall clock is one of the largest in the world. Ascend 500 feet in a glass elevator to the observation deck, where you’ll find remarkable views of the city. Tours end at 4:15 p.m. Luckily, the end of summer on the east coast is 4:02.


Cover photography by Wynn Myers (Balmorhea State Park in West Texas); Photography by Brad & Jen Photography (Wandawega), iStock (Myrtle Beach), Wynn Myers (Jacob’s Well), Geoff Schellens (glacier), and The Family Coppola Hideaways (Coral Caye)

Originally Published May 2017