Summer is fast approaching and our friend Alex Bondar brings us some ideas of where to go on your vacation.
As finals conclude and the rain slows down, everyone’s favorite season arrives: summer! The most popular time to go to music festivals, see new places, and be outside in general. Many choose to travel for summer; whether it’s across the state or across the country, when the sun finally comes out, the vacations begin. Not sure what to check out this summer? Here’s some must sees.
Many people have been making their way to Colorado as of late for the beautiful landscapes and the cool cities. One of these cities, their capital, is Denver. Denver is a vibrant space full of life and expression. In fact, U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Places to Live in the USA of 2016 was topped by this Mile-High City! With an award like that, this capital makes a fantastic place to visit as well. During the summer, Denver’s climate stays comfortable, floating between temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Being in a semi-arid climate also means little rain. There are plenty of museums to check out, such as the Museum of Nature and Science, Museo de las Americas, and the History Colorado Center. Folks who prefer thrills can have at the Elitch Gardens Theme Park located right within the city. As for the foodies, Denver is full of diverse flavors. In fact, hardcore foodies can catch culinary tours of the city, which are normally 2-3 hour excursions where attendees try small plates and refreshments from restaurants located throughout the metropolis. Whether you want to discover the entirety of Denver or sit back on a balcony and stare at the mountains, this city caters to everyone.
When you think about the West side of the US, it’s hard to complete the picture without Yellowstone National Park. With wolves, geysers, and one of the largest caldera volcanoes in existence sleeping beneath, Yellowstone is easily the most well known national park in the United States. In fact, it’s the first established national park in the world! Over 2 million visitors travel here every year. The park consists of over 3,000 square miles covering three states (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho). Inside, there are over 2,000 campsites, 9 visitor centers and museums, and 900+ miles of trails, making this heaven for any nature lover. Tourists especially love seeing the famous wolves of Yellowstone, with around 500 residing within the park boundaries. Bison are also a frequent sight, and often cause blockages on tour routes. A basic 7-day pass for a vehicle entering the park is only $30, but the sights in Yellowstone are priceless.
Cedar Point, located in Sandusky, OH, has been a summer vacation destination for decades. CP is the second oldest theme park in the US; the first year of operation was 1870. With world famous coasters like Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force, thrill seekers from around the world travel to Ohio to catch some g’s. The park opens May 19th and stays open until October 30th this year, leaving plenty of time for everyone to go to the park! Cedar Point held the title of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for 16 years, from 1997 to 2013 – this place isn’t just for those looking for thrills. Cedar Point actually has an entire section of the park called Camp Snoopy for a more kid-friendly atmosphere. Including things like smaller coasters and minor rides, families can enjoy their time here with their younger riders. Along with the theme park, an outdoor water park was opened in 1988 called Soak City. After riding coasters all day, you can cool off with 11 different water rides! Online, tickets are $20 less than gate prices, with a total of $45 per ticket – so get your tickets online to have the time of your life!
Looking to find yourself and do some soul searching this summer? Head to the Burning Man gathering, located in a temporary community, Black Rock City, in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The temporary community is erected specifically for the gathering; each year, it is built and then deconstructed, all while focusing on “leaving no trace” on the environment. The first event took place in 1986, and has only grown larger and larger. This year, Burning Man will be held from August 28th to September 5th. Focused on love and inclusion, tens of thousands of people head out to the desert annually to join together in the collective. This gathering is often described as an experiment in community and art – all are welcome here. The event gets its name from the yearly ritual of burning of a towering wooden effigy named “the Man.” The burning takes place on the Saturday of the event, and is meant to be symbolic for community members. With sculpture building, performances, and even the creating of “art cars,” the gathering gives way to artistic creation without barriers. The last ticket sale is August 3rd, so grab your backpacks and head on into the desert! Get your tickets to experience Burning Man HERE!
For fans of art of any kind, Chicago is the city for you. Those who appreciate visual art will be in heaven here with the world famous Chicago Institute of Art, which holds pieces like “American Gothic,” “At the Moulin Rouge,” and “Sundays.” The Field Museum has a special present in store for visitors, with a showing of China’s Terracotta Warriors. The exhibit is open until January 2017, so history buffs have all summer to check them out. Like Saturday Night Live? Check out where many of them got their start at Second City, an improv show that’s been in Chicago since 1959. This city is littered with bombastic music festivals all summer, and hundreds of thousands of people travel to see fests such as Pitchfork, Riot Fest, Lollapalooza, Spring Awakening, and much, much more. Food in Chitown is serious business, and flavors from all over the world converge in the metropolis. Art takes every form it can in Chicago, so plan a trip this summer to be enlightened.
Everyone knows that summer is the time to travel; why not plan the trip of a lifetime? These places are waiting for your arrival.