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5 summer cities

As a travel therapy company we are used to a high percentage of our northern travelers looking to head south for the winter. Just like those retired snowbirds invading the plentiful Texas/Florida RV parks, our therapists seek warmer locales when old man winter comes calling. Conversely, it is now mid-July and a raging inferno has been blanketing the southeast for weeks. Suddenly, these glorious sunray locales aren’t so marvelous. We thought it would be fun to look at some cities that thrive in the summertime and allow you to “Beat the Heat”. We invite you to jump down and cool off with our top 5 summer cities.

Chicago

As enticing in summer as it is miserable in winter, the windy city flourishes with sun-soaked entertainment. That biting wind of Lake Michigan becomes a pleasant breeze and transforms the lakeshores into a mid-western beach… minus the surfboards. Here, the wealth of pristine public parks on offer is truly visible come summer. Whether it’s hitting the free zoo in Lincoln Park or strolling through monuments and museums in historic Grant Park, Chicago has you covered. Chicago also has a wealth of music and food festivals, not to mention an iconic ballpark by the name of Wrigley Field. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the official food of summertime: hotdogs. No one does them quite like Chicago. Simply put, if you’re not putting relish, celery salt, mustard, pickles, and sport peppers on a poppy seed bun (with all-beef frank of course)- You’re doing it wrong!

Minneapolis

Although temperatures in this northern outpost can get a little higher than you would expect, this is still an ideal spot for summer fun. Since this place is buried in snow half the year, the summer is treated as a monumental event- virtually packing a year’s worth of festivals/entertainment into 4 months. Downtown Minneapolis is bike/pedestrian “super” friendly and boasts the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. This 50-mile stretch of paths, roads, and trails was built in the 1930’s and gives travelers ideal visual viewing of the cities 22 lakes and the Mississippi River. Minneapolis also boasts the “Aquatennial”, a 4-day festival in July that showcases a diverse array of entertainment. The downtown Warehouse district houses Target Field the new baseball park for the hometown Twins. The park perennially ranks as one of the best venues in the game and earns bonus points for actually fielding a competitive squad this year.

Seattle

This northwestern gem of a city overcomes its rainy reputation in the summertime. In fact, with average temperatures hovering around 75, this place is downright cozy in the summer. Seattle is another city that famously revolves around its waterways. Visit the historic Pike Place market and grab coffee at the original Starbucks or check out their bountiful fish selection. Watch out for flying fish though as the fish- mongers famously love to toss them to unwitting customers. Summertime in Seattle can find you watching hydroplanes on Lake Washington, hitting ritzy lunch spots in Bellevue, or soaking up the Nordic charm of Ballard. In summer, the relatively clear skies allow for a stunning HD-style view of Mount Ranier, hovering over the city like a live-action painting.

Boston

The “walking city” becomes even more foot friendly in summer, as temperatures clock in about 10 degree south of our southern locations. Boston has much of the vibrancy of New York but in a much more intimate setting. For history buffs, walking the “liberty trail” is essential. Boston also has a terrific ferry system that allows for generous exploration of 6 harbor islands. I recommend heading to the waterfront (virtually anywhere) and grabbing a lobster roll with a Sam Adams lager to wash it down. You can’t talk Boston in the summer without mentioning the venerable Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. This historic landmark with an iconic left field wall (the green monster) sparkles in the summer as the fans get to shed their parkas and enjoy a baseball environment unlike any other.

Portland

This eclectic, hip, and irreverent city can be hideously barren in wintertime. Come summer, the character of this place roars to life. Portland boasts a cultural scene with a particular international flavor, as well as being known for its prodigious output of world-class coffee and beer. In July, Portland hosts the Oregon Brewers Festival, the largest gathering of independent brewers in the country. Known as the “Rose City, Portland is home to gleaming rose gardens that especially strut their stuff come summer. If you are visiting around the 4th of July, make sure to catch the Blues Festival at Waterfront Park. The festival is currently the largest Blues Festival west of the Mississippi. As anyone who has caught the brilliant satirical tv show Portlandia can attest, the culinary scene thrives with a “farm to fork” ethos. What one may not know is the ingrained culture of street food in Portland.  I advise you to get outside- away from the many craft breweries and urban wine bars – and take advantage of the over 600 food trucks/vendors that churn out some of the most unique eats in the country.