Things to Do in Summer
Go on a Road Trip
When the urge to travel strikes, hitting the road (assuming you have a car) is one of the easiest ways to indulge your spontaneous mood. Magnificent roads are never far—routes that meander through forests, cruise along the coast, and climb over mountain passes. 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 favorite drives, the world's most scenic roads, and (for a bit later) best drives for fall foliage.
In the early days of May, it's easy to see summer as an endless opportunity. It's finally stopped snowing, going outside no longer requires wearing a slightly-altered sleeping bag, and—could it be?—fresh cherries and rhubarb are being piled onto farmer's market tables country-wide. On the horizon are endless weekends spent floating on a lake or hiking the American wilds or combing the beaches for shells.
Except, really, summer is terribly finite. There are only so many weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day, after all, and any weekend spent in air conditioned environs seems ungrateful at best. That's why you've got to approach summer travel planning with vigor—leave no Friday night rosé-less, no brunch strawberry-less. In short: no summer day wasted.
To make it easier, we've planned out a perfect summer. Think of it as a check-list of sorts; a shortcut to winning the season. The national parks, for example, offer ample opportunity for fair-weathered fun—be that animal-watching, backpacking, or a mini road trip.
Speaking of leisurely drives, an end-of-summer road trip is all but a must—and don't worry, we have plenty ideas for those vacations, too. Whether you're leaving from Boston or Maui's Paia, road trips are becoming increasingly more affordable, plus have an other-era tint that makes every moment feel life-changing.
Then, of course, there are beaches, state fairs, and waterfalls. There are corndogs and summer shandies and potato salad. There are icy cocktails, farm-to-table restaurants, and barbeque spread on gingham table cloths.
And, really, that's just the beginning. For more things to do in the summer, read on.