Get Outside in the U.S.A.
‘Tis the season to get outside. Frolic in the sunshine at these five open-air events across America.
Tango in the woods:
Tanglewood, the world-renowned music festival and summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), marks two major milestones in 2015: the 75th anniversary of the Berkshires-based Music Center (alums include Seiji Ozawa and Wynton Marsalis) and the inaugural season of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons.
The celebratory lineup includes Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga; Yo-Yo Ma; and the Boston Pops; plus perennial events such as the day-long Tanglewood on Parade, which ends with fireworks.
Unleash your inner cowboy:
Pony up and chow down at Kansas’ biggest Old West fest. Top draws at Dodge City Days include the Roundup Rodeo, Food Truck Wars, and a longhorn cattle drive along Wyatt Earp Boulevard—be sure to sit on the north side for frighteningly close views.
This year’s festival, which takes place July 24-August 2, salutes the 150th anniversary of Fort Dodge, the frontier fort built to protect pioneer wagons traveling on the Santa Fe Trail.
Engage in urban exploration:
Named for Chicago’s zip code prefix, the 606 is a linear park-and-trail system that links four community parks and four northwest neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square.
Spanning the urban oasis is the centerpiece Bloomingdale Trail, a multiuse skyway built on a former elevated railroad. At the western trailhead, climb the mounded Exelon Observatory for unexpected hilltop views of the flat Windy City.
Basque in culture in Idaho:
Staged every five years, Jaialdi is a multisensory bash celebrating all things Basque.
At the Basque Block, the cultural heart of Boise’s thriving Basque community, sip festival favorite kalimotxo, or red wine and Coke over ice; learn the jumping jota folk dance steps; and witness farm feats of strength such as oxcart pulling and hay bale throwing.
Walk and smell the flowers:
When Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) members led a campaign to protect, not pick, the wildflowers.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Celebrate the park’s 100th birthday in 2015 by joining a free, CMC-led wildflower walk. Certified native plant masters accompany each group to identify the flora, which ranges from the ubiquitous columbine to the rarely seen yellow snow lily, growing in remote reaches of the park.
This piece, written by Maryellen Kennedy Duckett, first appeared in the June/July 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.