The season of popsicles, warm weather and longer days has arrived. Summer brings plenty of outdoor activities to indulge in across the USA (and a few indoor ones too). Here is a roundup of new ideas and experiences across the destinations we represent.
Louisiana is launching a hot sauce trail to celebrate the summer…
Louisiana Hot Sauce Trail – To coincide with Louisiana bringing TABASCO Raspberry Chipotle flavoured ice-cream to London Waterloo Station in July 2023, a new hot sauce trail has been launched across the state, the first of its kind. Featuring stops at five of Louisiana’s most famous hot sauce makers, the trail is a fiendish 666 miles long and encompasses New Orleans, Avery Island and Ville Platte. Check out the full tour here: https://www.americaasyoulikeit.com/louisiana-hot-sauce-trail.
Explore Louisiana’s Film Trail – Known as Hollywood of the South, more than 2500 films have been shot in Louisiana. The most iconic scenes of the classic film Steel Magnolias (1989) were filmed at the Cook-Taylor House near downtown Natchitoches, while the more recent Where the Crawdads Sing (2022) was shot at Houma’s historic downtown district. Explore these unique sites and iconic movie locations in Louisiana.
New Orleans, is known for its vibrant nightlife and live-music scene, multi-cultural cuisine and festival spirit.
Say “Cheers” to Summer – New Orleans was named top US city for neighbourhood restaurants in the Inaugural 2023 Global Tastemakers Awards by Food and Wine. Tales of the Cocktail will take place at a variety of New Orleans hotels, restaurants and bars between 23rd -28th July. The theme for the 2023 event is ‘Vitalize’ as it promises to bring new energy and life to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Pride Events – New Orleans & Company will be bringing a New Orleans flavour to the annual Brighton Pride Community parade, taking place on Saturday 5th August, including a float taking to the streets of Brighton & Hove. The free colourful carnival of diversity kicks off Saturday’s festivities and leads the way to the main fundraising event FABULOSO in the Park at Preston Park, which is headlined by the award-winning group Black Eyed Peas. The following day will see Steps perform their only British show in 2023 as the finale to the event.
Back in New Orleans, Southern Decadence, is the city’s largest annual LGBTQ celebration. Taking place from August 31st to September 4th 2023, it is a cornerstone of queer culture not just in the city, but in the wider American south. Southern Decadence attracts attendees from all over the world and encompasses street parties, concerts, club events, a parade, and much more.
New England, comprises the six states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. New England is spectacular year-round and summer offers a wide variety of experiences across every state.
Scenic Strolls & Sights in Rhode Island – Nicknamed “The Ocean State,” Rhode Island is a worthy contender for New England’s best seaside stroll. The Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile (5.6km) coastal pathway, traverses the backyards of Newport’s famed Gilded Age mansions. Not far from the Cliff Walk but less well known, the 1.5-mile (2.4km) Ocean View Loop Trail at
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown is a smooth, paved nature trail with phenomenal sunset views. The WaterFire in Providence, only takes place in summer and involves special bonfires along the three rivers of downtown Providence. It is cited as a powerful work of art and a moving symbol of Providence’s renaissance.
Scrumptious Seafood in Maine – The Maine Oyster Trail is an interactive guide to the state’s oyster industry, from tours of natural habitats and oyster farms, to raw bars, restaurants, and markets. The trail’s trip planner lets you customize an itinerary to suit your interests and location.
Cruising in Connecticut – From kayaks to schooners, river cruises to river rapids, sailing on Long Island Sound offers hundreds of ways to make a splash. The Mystic Boat Adventures create an interactive, historic, and breath-taking adventure. The Connecticut River Cruise & Charter offers harbour and island cruises along the scenic Connecticut river.
Massachusetts Light House Trail – The Massachusetts Lighthouse Trail invites visitors to take a scenic road trip through the Bay State. Massachusetts is home to the first lighthouse site in the U.S., and now home to over 45 lighthouses. From Cape Ann to Cape Cod, travellers can journey along the trail to explore coastal communities and the maritime history of the Commonwealth.
Journey through Vermont- The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT) is a four-season, multi-purpose recreation path across northern Vermont following the former 93-mile Lamoille Valley Railroad (LVRR) rail line from St. Johnsbury to Swanton. It officially opened in May this year and is the longest rail trail and bike path in New England.
Bike across New Hampshire– Join Great American Bike Tours, a NH-based cycle touring operator, on one of three new summer adventures through the Granite State. The Covered Bridge Bike Tour, a two-day ride, takes you to seven of New Hampshire’s beautiful, historic covered bridges while cycling through mountain vistas and past sparkling lakes, rivers and streams. This includes an overnight stay in Lebanon and covers food, bike rental and tour guides. The Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail is a 3-day ride that will take you through the breath-taking scenery of NH’s White Mountains and charming towns. Pedal, Paddle & Hike is an incredible weekend of adventure taking you to many of New Hampshire’s most beautiful and iconic areas.
Currently British Airways, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines fly direct from London to Boston Logan International Airport. Additionally, Delta operates from Edinburgh to Boston during the summer.
Explore Boston’s Neighbourhoods– Boston is a city of neighbourhoods, where currents of cross-cultural communities, ethnic dining, eclectic villages and a diverse populace intermingle to make the city a confluence of cosmopolitan and multicultural exchange. Summer would be a nice time to stroll through the three neighbourhoods to the west and south of the city centre: Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Dorchester. Jamaica Plain is home to beautiful natural assets, rich culture, fabulous cuisine, and an array of small businesses that collectively create a wonderful community. In the Lower Roxbury area, Hibernian Hall puts on a diverse lineup of theatre productions and programming, while the cutting-edge Roxbury Innovation Centre functions as an incubator for entrepreneurial energies. The beautifully restored Strand Theatre offers a grand welcome, showcasing the enduring cultural vibrancy of Dorchester.
New Hotel opening – Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel will join an impressive collection of 12 unique Raffles properties around the world. Raffles Boston will include 147 guestrooms and 146 residences in its new 33-story building at the corner of Stuart Street and Trinity Place in Boston’s Back Bay. As the first Raffles hotel in North America, the property will include a mix of signature services such as the Raffles Butler; elegant and lively public spaces; a two-story sky lobby perched high above Copley Square; five distinct food and beverage venues; a state-of-the-art Raffles Spa with a 20-meter indoor pool; a rooftop garden terrace and lounge, and expansive meeting and pre-function space.
Explore the music, food and southern hospitality of Tennessee this summer.
Celebrate the Soundtrack of Tennessee – Elvis Presley’s Graceland’s newly reimagined ’68 exhibit, with artifacts like tickets to the legendary 1968 NBC television special, a replica stage and ELVIS in red lights, Elvis’ made-for-TV outfits and more. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum‘s new exhibit, “I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music” at Bristol honours the hidden heroines, activities and success stories of women who have impacted the roots of old-time music, from Mother Maybelle Carter to Rhiannon Giddens.
Summer Festivals – Raise a glass to the past at Nashville with History Uncorked at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. This is a night of whiskey, wisdom and words featuring Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery’s head distiller, Andy Nelson. Meet the Mountains at Johnson city is a free, family-friendly festival to experience all of the region’s outdoor activities including live music, zipline, yoga, rock wall and more. Rock City’s Summer Music Weekends at Chattanooga features live country, folk and bluegrass music every weekend, delicious southern cuisine, and some beautiful views.
Wine & Dine– St. Vito Focacceria now open in Nashville, celebrates Sicilian cuisine, culture and community with delicious pizza and rotating dishes. Downtown Johnson City’s newest late-night Mexican eatery, Diablo’s Mexican Bar & Grill, features extravagant brunches and nightlife with exotic cocktails and delectable bites. The world’s largest Buc-ee’s opens this summer at Sevierville on Interstate 40 at exit 407 with 120 gas pumps, EV charging stations, 250-foot-long car wash and snacks like world-famous Texas BBQ, kolache pastries and Beaver Nuggets.
Theme Parks – Tennessee has water and amusement parks with something for the whole family during the summer vacations. Experience Big Bear Mountain, the longest roller coaster at Dollywood and a first of its kind with music on board, taking guests of all ages on an unforgettable family-friendly expedition. Wetlands Water Park at Jonesborough has water slides, nature trails & picnic places perfect for a fun summer day.
Mississippi is known as ‘the state of wanderers’ and promises a great summer escape.
Take a walk through History – This Summer, explore the Civil Rights sites and destinations of the state from walking along the Freedom Trail to visiting the famous Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. These sites offers an opportunity to reflect on the struggles of the past and be enlightened and inspired by the stories of courage you discover along the way.
Set Sail in Mississippi – A Gulf Coast Eco Tour experience allows guests to take part in a boat and walking tour, both of which feature the rich wildlife of the Pearl River wetlands and an up-close view of this thriving coastal ecosystem of cypress swamps, salt marshes & hardwood trees, along with a breathtaking experience for bird-watching enthusiasts. Blackwater Voyages sailing adventure cruise charters feature sunset cruises, day sailing, and brunch cruises aboard a 38-foot sailing yacht. Blackwater Voyages now features multi-day cruises as well.
Mesa, Arizona is surrounded by the natural Sonoran Desert beauty of Tonto National Forest and the communities of Apache Junction, and Queen Creek.
Grab a Bite – Across Mesa throughout the Summer, every Saturday from 5:00-9:00pm visitors can enjoy gourmet food trucks, handmade boutique vendors, and live music sampling the finest in local cuisine. Ranging from gourmet hot dogs to tacos, there is something for everyone to tuck into on the glorious summer evenings in the city. https://azfeastivals.com/weekly-feastivals/
Catch a Movie – Every year, hundreds of independent films are screened in venues throughout Downtown Mesa for the Mesa International Film Festival from October 19th to October 22nd. The festival welcomes participation from industry veterans, students, and everyone in between. The Mesa International Film Festival will host films from around the world for three days of film, art, music food and fun for the whole family. https://mesainternationalfilmfestival.com/
Summer in North Carolina is like no other for hiking and camping from the mountains to the sea.
Season of Summer Camps – Having welcomed campers for more than a century, the Blue Ridge Mountains extends opportunities for everyone seeking a camping experience. The Jellystone Park Golden Valley property was for four decades a Girl’s Scout Camp. Whether sleeping in a tent, RV, cabin or yurt, travellers can let the setting and daily activities transport them, take a digital detox and indulge in some slow travel Carolina style. The Deerwoode Reserve on the French Broad River has welcomed campers for more than 100 years. Travellers seeking traditional camping experiences this year have a variety of choices with Family Camp at Camp Grier and Ridge Haven. These camps set to take place across the summer include many adventurous activities like mountain biking, rock climbing, sailing, hiking, archery, riflery, lake canoeing, creek walks and much more.
Hiking Trails for all –North Carolina offers a wealth of trails that are accessible to people of all abilities from national forests and state parks to urban gardens and greenways. The Cradle of Forestry in America is nestled in the Pisgah National Forest along the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. A trio of paved trails take in the scenic setting of America’s first forestry school. The Discovery Centre’s hands-on Adventure Zone is designed to engage people on the autism spectrum, with the outdoors. A leg of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Hillsborough Riverwalk runs through downtown along the meandering Eno River. With its boardwalk and asphalt surfaces, the path passes by a Bee Hotel that’s home to 90 native bee species.
A city rich in culture and food, San Antonio offers a culturally immersive experience.
Visit Theme Parks- Get ready for a fun ride this summer with the all new Kid Flash Cosmic Coaster, Texas’ only racing roller coaster arriving at the Six Flags Fiesta Texas. This ride will run two trains on two parallel dueling tracks, simultaneously allowing guests to compete and race to the finish. The Six Flags Fiesta also offers many more such thrilling rides, splash zones, wave pools and a lot more live entertainment along with fireworks, perfect for a summer family adventure. Located in the center of the booming retail and entertainment district, don’t miss San Antonio’s largest & most popular theme park that guarantees a joyful ride. The city also is home to Morgan’s Wonderland which is an ultra-accessible theme park hoping to make everyone feel included and bring people of all ages and abilities together.
Kayaking on the River Walk – One of the best outdoor activities in San Antonio during the summer is to enjoy a kayak ride on the River Walk which is the heart and soul of the city. Kayaking can be enjoyed by people of all ages and multiple ability levels, thanks to the river’s calm waters. This activity must be reserved through Mission Adventure Tours. It is not a guided tour but a chance to freely roam the River Walk by kayak. Families can also cruise along the River Walk with Go Rio Tours – by arrangement you can even have dinner aboard.
Adventure and art await in Tucson, Arizona, the soul of the Sonoran Desert.
Summer of Adventure – With over 300 days of sunshine, Tucson is perfect for lovers of outdoor adventure. Tucson is a city that has adventure in its DNA and there’s no better way to experience it than getting outside. The terrain lends itself to a variety of adventures that travellers can indulge in, from the beauty of Saguaro National Park to the rugged expanse of the Coronado National Forest and the region’s Sky Island mountain ranges, in southern Arizona. Travellers planning a trip in 2023 can choose from a wide selection of activities including hiking and rock climbing.
Shop Local – Proper Shops open retail spaces for merchants and artisans in Tucson. Located on the corner of Congress St. and 5th Ave., Proper Shops is a collective of local merchants and artists featuring their best products. Shoppers can find goods from local woodworkers, cosmetic companies, boutiques, and more all in one stop. Shopping here is a great way to support Tucson’s local art community.
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