America's Top Summer Activities 2009
Seafood Shack: Clam Box, Ipswich, Massachusetts
This 70-year-old landmark in the northeastern part of the state, whose building resembles a take-out container, serves fried clams in heaping portions. The lines outside can be long, but the patient are rewarded. Dinner for two $30.
Hotel Bike Rental: Boston
The Liberty Hotel, in Beacon Hill (doubles from $295), and Harvard Square’s Charles Hotel (doubles from $199) are partnering to allow guests to travel the five miles between the two properties along the Charles River on Electra Amsterdam Classic bikes.
Summer Festival: All Points West Music & Arts Festival
Only in its second year, this thriving newcomer will showcase rockers from the Beastie Boys to Coldplay and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, on a grassy site with rare Manhattan views. Liberty State Park, Jersey City, N.J.; July 31–August 2.
Hotel Bike Rental: Boston
Harvard Square’s Charles Hotel (doubles from $199), and The Liberty Hotel, in Beacon Hill (doubles from $295), are partnering to allow guests to travel the five miles between the two properties along the Charles River on Electra Amsterdam Classic bikes.
Ballpark Bites: The Yankees
The Stadium: Yankee Stadium is no longer the original House That Ruth Built, but it’s still a shrine to Yankee triumphs past.
The Menu: For a genuine taste of the Bronx, go to field-level section 127 for a sandwich from Mike’s Arthur Avenue Italian Deli, like the light-and-zesty eggplant parm. Other options: Lobel’s of New York and Brother Jimmy’s BBQ. But if you’re in one of the 4,000 premium seats (which run as much as $1,250 a pop), you’ll have access to the Legends Suite Club—where celeb chefs including Masaharu Morimoto and April Bloomfield (the Spotted Pig) will make guest cooking appearances.
The Drink: Duck into Tommy Bahama’s Bar for a “Mo”jito—a blend of rum, club soda, sugar, mint, and fresh lime juice—named for the Bombers’ longtime closer, Mariano Rivera.Ballpark Bites: The Mets
The Stadium: Citi Field, a big upgrade on Shea, has a sunlit rotunda honoring Jackie Robinson.
The Menu: A trio of top Manhattan restaurateurs is catering to the Amazin’ faithful. Danny Meyer hits a homer with outposts of Shake Shack and Blue Smoke, plus slow-cooked pork tacos with tomatillo-chipotle salsa at El Verano Taquería. Drew Nieporent (Nobu; Corton) has opened the upscale Acela Club (reservations required), and David Pasternack (Esca) operates Catch of the Day, where the lobster roll bats clean up.
The Drink: Brooklyn-brewed Shack-Meister Ale is sold exclusively at Shake Shack (for a booze-free option, try a creamy vanilla frozen custard s
Summer Festival: Vermont Festival of the Arts
Visit the studios of dozens of local artists and attend concerts by the likes of the Vermont Philharmonic. Mad River Valley, Vt.; August 1–September 6.
New Sport: Paddleboarding
Interested in surfing but can’t commit the time? Stand-up paddleboarding is surfing made easy: the platform is wider, longer, and more stable than a standard surfboard, and a long paddle makes maneuvering simple. Riders can catch waves but also zip through smooth water. On Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort (doubles from $430) arranges lessons through Hans Hedemann (lessons from $75), an outfitter that also runs classes in Waikiki. On the mainland, the hub for the sport is Santa Barbara: BlueLine Paddle Surf (lessons from $75) is located a block from prime paddleboarding territory on East Beach.
Summer Festival: The Edible Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is holding an 11-week-long celebration of edible plants and local food, with gardening demonstrations and lectures by celebrity chefs such as Lidia Bastianich. Bronx, N.Y.; through September 13.
Hotel Bike Rental: Miami
Summer Festival: Festival del Sole
California wine country’s top summer festival, which takes place at venues throughout Napa, combines classical music—including a recital by Renée Fleming—with wine tastings. Napa Valley, Calif.; July 17–25;.
Summer Festival: Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
This year’s inaugural concerts, on July 19 and 20, feature works by Caplet and Debussy with narration by actress Claire Bloom. Santa Fe, N.M.; July 19–August 24.
Seafood Shack: Crab Claw, St. Michaels, Maryland
Homestyle recipes like spiced Chesapeake blue crab, Southern-style coleslaw, and rockfish stuffed with lump crabmeat are the dishes to order at this capacious family-run eatery. Show up at 9 a.m. to see the crabbers drop off their catch. Lunch for two $30.
Hotel Bike Rental: Chicago and Beyond
You’ll find a fleet of Paul Frank Beach Cruisers at the James Chicago (doubles from $269). Element Hotels (877/353-6368; elementhotels.com) plans to install its Trek bike-lending program in seven of its properties, including Las Vegas and Houston, by the end of the year.