Things to Do in Summer

  • Things to Do in Summer: Take a Weekend Getaway to a Beach Town

    Photo: iStock

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    Take a Weekend Getaway to a Beach Town

    Whether your idea of a perfect summer day is relaxing at the beach, taking a road trip, or exploring a national park, T+L has the travel advice to make your summer a success.

    From July 2013 By

    In summer, the quest for a great American beach town becomes a national passion. Beach towns from Rehoboth, DE, to Santa Cruz, CA, are the places to go to relax underneath an umbrella, stroll along a charming boardwalk, or comb the sand for shells. So get that beach chair ready—and prepare for the simple pleasures of summer at one of these classic retreats. Read on for more of America’s best little beach towns.

  • Things to Do in Summer: road trip

    Photo: Brad Mitchell/Alamy

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    Go on a Road Trip

    When the urge to travel strikes, hitting the road is the most spontaneous way to get your fix. Magnificent roads are never far—routes that meander through forests, cruise along the coast, and climb over mountain passes. Once you find the right route, it’s easy to rediscover the exuberant freedom of the open road. From the dramatic Oregon coast to the shady lanes of New England, there are countless drives suited to summertime. Get inspired by our road-trip coverage, including America’s iconic drives, most scenic roads, and T+L editors’ favorite road trips. And read on for some handy gas-saving road-trip tips.

  • Things to Do in Summer: waterslide

    Photo: Courtesy of Polin

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    Ride a Waterslide

    Adrenaline junkies will want to take a ride on one of the world’s craziest waterslides. Try the 66-foot-tall Wild Vortex, which opened in 2012 at Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee. If you’re not ophidiophobic, catch a ride on the King Cobra waterslide at New Jersey’s Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, which allows riders to zip up to 32 mph. Need to cool off during your Disney World vacation this summer? Head to Mount Gushmore’s Summit Plummet slide at Blizzard Beach water park. From the top of the faux mountain, riders take a vertical plunge straight down to the base of the mountain, plummeting 120 feet (about 12 stories) at a speed of 60 mph. Read on for more of the craziest waterslides to visit this summer.

  • Things to Do in Summer: state fair

    Photo: Jon Miller

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    Go to a State Fair

    New York held America’s first fair in 1841 to promote agriculture. Livestock, vegetable-growing, and recipe showdowns sprung up at other fairs and are still major draws, sometimes with modern-day revisions. Today, fairgoers can sample the fattiest, most questionably edible, strangest state fair food—much of which falls into one of two genres: “deep-fried” or “on a stick”—and then participate in some wacky state fair contests.

  • Things to Do in Summer: swimming hole

    Photo: Randy Green/Alamy

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    Take a Dip in a Swimming Hole

    In summertime, when the mercury reaches the tip of the thermometer, the best place to cool down is an old-fashioned swimming hole. These often-secluded natural pools are the perfect antidote to crowded pools with sunscreen-slathered kids or water parks with $5 sodas. They offer a dose of classic Americana, with sunny days measured by cannonballs and good friends. So grab your swimsuit, a towel, and a pair of water shoes, and jump in at some of America’s best swimming holes, from New York to Arizona.

  • Things to Do in Summer: national park

    Photo: iStock

    6 of 8

    Visit a National Park

    There are 59 national parks in the United States, all of them oases of majestic beauty that support a remarkable variety of plants and animals. The marquee parks—Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite—are well worth visiting for their glorious views, landmark lodges, and some of the best wildlife spotting in America. But there are others worth seeking out. Michigan’s gloriously isolated Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior gets barely 15,000 visitors a year, and there are many more underrated national parks to add to your bucket list. So strap on your boots and get ready to hit the nature trails of some of our national treasures.

  • Things to Do in Summer: swimming pool

    Photo: Courtesy of Grand Wailea

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    Lounge at a Cool Swimming Pool

    The coolest pools have blossomed into imaginative works of art that flaunt a wow factor—be it a pool elevator, hidden grotto, or magnificent view. For example, Maui’s 25,700-square-foot Grand Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is home to the world’s first water elevator, in which swimmers are lifted to the surface in a sealed chamber. This summer, dive into a pool that will inspire more than just a dip—some of the world’s coolest pools and best swimming pool views may just inspire a whole vacation.

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  • Things to Do in Summer: Take a Weekend Getaway to a Beach Town

    Take a Weekend Getaway to a Beach Town

    In summer, the quest for a great American beach town becomes a national passion. Beach towns from Rehoboth, DE, to Santa Cruz, CA, are the places to go to relax underneath an umbrella, stroll along a charming boardwalk, or comb the sand for shells. So get that beach chair ready—and prepare for the simple pleasures of summer at one of these classic retreats. Read on for more of America’s best little beach towns.

  • Things to Do in Summer: road trip

    Go on a Road Trip

    When the urge to travel strikes, hitting the road is the most spontaneous way to get your fix. Magnificent roads are never far—routes that meander through forests, cruise along the coast, and climb over mountain passes. Once you find the right route, it’s easy to rediscover the exuberant freedom of the open road. From the dramatic Oregon coast to the shady lanes of New England, there are countless drives suited to summertime. Get inspired by our road-trip coverage, including America’s iconic drives, most scenic roads, and T+L editors’ favorite road trips. And read on for some handy gas-saving road-trip tips.

  • Things to Do in Summer: waterslide

    Ride a Waterslide

    Adrenaline junkies will want to take a ride on one of the world’s craziest waterslides. Try the 66-foot-tall Wild Vortex, which opened in 2012 at Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee. If you’re not ophidiophobic, catch a ride on the King Cobra waterslide at New Jersey’s Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, which allows riders to zip up to 32 mph. Need to cool off during your Disney World vacation this summer? Head to Mount Gushmore’s Summit Plummet slide at Blizzard Beach water park. From the top of the faux mountain, riders take a vertical plunge straight down to the base of the mountain, plummeting 120 feet (about 12 stories) at a speed of 60 mph. Read on for more of the craziest waterslides to visit this summer.

  • Things to Do in Summer: state fair

    Go to a State Fair

    New York held America’s first fair in 1841 to promote agriculture. Livestock, vegetable-growing, and recipe showdowns sprung up at other fairs and are still major draws, sometimes with modern-day revisions. Today, fairgoers can sample the fattiest, most questionably edible, strangest state fair food—much of which falls into one of two genres: “deep-fried” or “on a stick”—and then participate in some wacky state fair contests.

  • Things to Do in Summer: swimming hole

    Take a Dip in a Swimming Hole

    In summertime, when the mercury reaches the tip of the thermometer, the best place to cool down is an old-fashioned swimming hole. These often-secluded natural pools are the perfect antidote to crowded pools with sunscreen-slathered kids or water parks with $5 sodas. They offer a dose of classic Americana, with sunny days measured by cannonballs and good friends. So grab your swimsuit, a towel, and a pair of water shoes, and jump in at some of America’s best swimming holes, from New York to Arizona.

  • Things to Do in Summer: national park

    Visit a National Park

    There are 59 national parks in the United States, all of them oases of majestic beauty that support a remarkable variety of plants and animals. The marquee parks—Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite—are well worth visiting for their glorious views, landmark lodges, and some of the best wildlife spotting in America. But there are others worth seeking out. Michigan’s gloriously isolated Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior gets barely 15,000 visitors a year, and there are many more underrated national parks to add to your bucket list. So strap on your boots and get ready to hit the nature trails of some of our national treasures.

  • Things to Do in Summer: swimming pool

    Lounge at a Cool Swimming Pool

    The coolest pools have blossomed into imaginative works of art that flaunt a wow factor—be it a pool elevator, hidden grotto, or magnificent view. For example, Maui’s 25,700-square-foot Grand Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is home to the world’s first water elevator, in which swimmers are lifted to the surface in a sealed chamber. This summer, dive into a pool that will inspire more than just a dip—some of the world’s coolest pools and best swimming pool views may just inspire a whole vacation.

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