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Beachgoers lounge on Playa de la Concha in San Sebastián, the heart of Spain's Basque Country. (Photograph by JIL Photo, age fotostock/Alamy)

I Heart My City (in the Summer)

The first official day of summer is fast approaching (for the northern half of the world, at least), so we thought we’d kick the season off right with a special edition of I Heart My City. (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.)

> Here are 20 summer must-dos recommended by “I Heart” contributors in 20 cities around the world:

Anna’s Yerevan (Armenia): Experience the singing fountains at Republic Square in the heart of Yerevan. Late in the evening, the streams of water come to life in a colorful, synchronized “dance” that’s set to classical music.

Melissa’s Miami (Florida, USA): Go to Coral Gables and swim in the Venetian Pool, a historic public watering hole that’s said to be the largest freshwater pool in the United States.

Diana’s Milan (Italy): Enjoy Milan by bike using Bikemi, the city’s bike-share system. Summer is the perfect time to visit because many residents are on vacation and there is very little traffic.

Nicole’s Nizwa (Oman): Take a dip in the fabulous pools at the Golden Tulip or the Al Diyar Hotel to stay cool in the scorching heat.

Mimi’s Brooklyn (New York, USA): Go to the West Indian-American Day Carnival, or any of the other raucous parades that explode over the streets of Brooklyn when it’s warm outside. Plus, you’ll get your fix of roti and meat pies for the year.

Eamon’s Belfast (Northern Ireland): Take a Titanic boat tour and attend a Gaelic football or hurling match. Féile an Phobail, also known as the West Belfast Festival, happens in August, too.

Emily’s Oxford (England): Swim in the Thames. Follow the footpath past Godstow’s ruined nunnery to find one of the best “wild-swimming” spots in Britain. Bathing suits are not obligatory. 

Gregg’s Bozeman (Montana, USA): Mountain bike. The trail in Leverich Canyon is an after-work classic, and Grassy Meadow is a great one for a long day. The best place to rent a bike is Summit Bike & Ski.

Stephanie’s Taipei (Taiwan): Take the train to the surf-worthy coastline and relaxed hippie vibe of Taitung or take the ferry to Green Island to do some snorkeling.

Marina’s Bratislava (Slovakia): Cool down in one of the lakes surrounding the city. We might not have a sea nearby, but when the summer heat comes you can catch some rays in Zlaté Piesky or Nové Košariská.

Dearbhaill’s Galway (Ireland): Attend the Galway Arts Festival and one of the numerous traditional boating festivals or Connemara pony shows that are all within an hour’s drive of the city.

Christina’s Beirut (Lebanon): Hike the Holy Valley and check out the Khalil Gibran Museum in the poet’s hometown of Bsharri, a city about 75 miles northeast of Beirut.

Jill’s San Francisco (California, USA): Take advantage of all of the free concerts in the park. Every weekend there is live music in Golden Gate Park and Stern Grove. Outside Lands is another popular music festival in August. It’s not free, but it’s worth the investment.

Beth’s Hong Kong (China): Join in the excitement of the Tuen Ng Festival. The highlight of this festival is the colorful and lively dragon boat races; the energy levels are contagious!

Marti’s San Sebastián (Spain): Take the ferry (which only runs for three months) out to Santa Clara island in the middle of La Concha Bay, and focus on soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the long days.

Sharada’s Hyderabad (India): Feast on the varieties of mangoes that flood the city. You should also try the hand-churned, natural mango ice cream at Famous Ice-cream, Shah Ice-cream, or Gafoor’s outlets in Mozamjahi Market.

Iryna’s Calgary (Canada): Go floating down the Bow River, taste ribs at the barbecue at the Bow Festival, and hunt for free pancake breakfasts during the city’s famous Calgary Stampede, held every year in July.

Kieran’s Breckenridge (Colorado, USA): Visit the Breck Summer Fun Park, which features an alpine slide that’s been a must-do since the ‘60s, a new alpine roller coaster, and tons of kids’ activities. You can also take your mountain bike up the Colorado SuperChair lift all the way to the top of Peak 8, and then ride all the way down without having to pedal once!

Nuno’s Lisbon (Portugal): Drink an ice-cold Capilé, a traditional Portuguese drink made with an old syrup.

Audrey’s Seoul (South Korea): Avoid the monsoon rains and dizzying heat by visiting the COEX Mall. It just so happens to be the largest underground shopping center in Asia, home to restaurants, a movie theater, and an aquarium.

Wherever you are, what’s your favorite thing about your city in the summer? Tell us about it in the comments section below.