The first official day of summer is tomorrow (for the northern half of the world, at least), so we thought we’d kick it off right: with a special edition of I Heart My City.
Here are 20 quintessential summer must-dos from past I Heart contributors all around the globe (by the by, for those of you who live in hot climes and want to get away, it’s a great time to visit the Southern Hemisphere).
Wherever you are, what’s your favorite thing about your city in the summer? Tell us about it in the comment section, and we’ll feature your best responses on the blog in the next few weeks.
Bart’s Amsterdam (Netherlands): Buy a bottle of wine at the supermarket, and chill in Vondelpark.
Neha’s Zagreb (Croatia): Make your way to the Strossmayer Promenade, sit under chestnut trees, and hide from the scorching sun. Summer is also the time to enjoy Zagreb’s longest street festival on the promenade; an event full of art, music and wine.
Charlotte’s Wellington (New Zealand): Go surfing every day at Lyall Bay. If there are no waves, just hop on the Interislander Ferry and go explore the South Island of New Zealand (only three hours across Cook Strait).
Lola’s Stockholm (Sweden): Experience Smaka På Stockholm (Taste of Stockholm) to sample the best culinary delights the city has to offer.
Caroyln’s Budapest (Hungary): Ride the BKV boat along the Danube and get off at Romaifürdo to have dinner before heading back to town.
Albert’s Philadelphia (USA): See the Welcome America Celebration, our kick-off to July 4th which includes an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, a ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell, and even a screening of Rocky on the very steps he made famous.
Louise’s London (England): Visit the Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre (although checking the weather forecast first isn’t such a bad idea). Bring a picnic and eat it beforehand in the park.
Sylvia’s Tokyo (Japan): Attend a matsuri (festival) in a yukata (summer kimono) and enjoy all the tasty Japanese street food.
Keith’s Montréal (Canada): Take in Jean-Baptiste Day and join the huge crowds on Mont-Royal.
Anne-Sophie’s Oslo (Norway): Island hop in the Oslofjord, stopping at Hovedøya to swim and explore medieval monastery ruins.
Jo’s Cape Town (South Africa): Take a drive around the peninsula with your car windows rolled down so you can smell the fynbos.
Katie’s Reykjavik (Iceland): Stay up late to experience the midnight sun, when the sun barely sets each night.
Kash’s Edinburgh (Scotland): Enjoy festival season in Edinburgh when the city plays host to the world’s biggest arts festival (the Fringe Festival).
Charyn’s Seattle (USA): Go to Discovery Park and pick wild blackberries. My pantry is filled with blackberry jam made from summer walks turned impromptu picking fests.
Rafa’s Coimbra (Portugal): Head to the immense and luminous beaches of Figueira da Foz, 31 miles west of the city and enjoy the regular surf and longboard competitions.
Jessica’s Barcelona (Spain): Attend the Sonar Music Festival – an amazing gathering of the best musical acts from the world of advanced music and media art.
Kristina’s Santiago (Chile): Take a dip at one of the two swimming pools atop Cerro San Cristobal and end the day watching the sunset with a cocktail on the rooftop bar of the W Hotel.
Zain’s Amman (Jordan): Camp overnight at the new ecolodge in Wadi Feynan.
Karen’s St. John’s (Canada): Picnic at Cape Spear National Historic Site and stay from sunrise to sunset for whale-spotting, wave watching, and photo opportunities with the local lighthouse that has been restored to its 1800s charm.