25 Things to Eat, See and Do This Summer — From Staying at Prince's “Purple Rain” House to Exploring an Ice Cave

From music festival hopping to trying the most delicious croissants in America, these travel spots don't need to wait for your bucket list

<p>Eric Ogden; Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett</p>

Eric Ogden; Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett

  1. Hike in a Flower Field



After the winter snow melts, the Rocky Mountain town of Crested Butte, Colo., comes alive when miles of colorful wildflowers blanket its meadows. Visit during the July wildflower festival, when all the flowers are in full bloom.

2. Hang With the Penguins



Called the world’s largest penguin facility, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo is a massive 326,000-gallon, 25-ft.-deep aquatic habitat of ice, water and fresh snow. Visitors can walk through the underwater gallery with see-through tunnels and walls and observe the birds playing, swimming and exploring the world around them.

3. Stay Gold at The Outsiders House

<p>Clutch Pockets Wambli/ZUMA Press Wire/Alamy; Nancy Moran/Sygma via Getty</p>

Clutch Pockets Wambli/ZUMA Press Wire/Alamy; Nancy Moran/Sygma via Getty

Used as the Curtis brothers’ home in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film, the white bungalow in Tulsa, Okla. is now a museum with memorabilia and rare behind-the-scenes photos. The movie, based on S.E. Hinton’s 1967 novel, starred then-newcomers Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise.

4. Immerse Yourself in Art

<p>Brad Horn/Courtesy of Crystal Bridges</p> The Portal: An Art Experience by Jewel

Brad Horn/Courtesy of Crystal Bridges

The Portal: An Art Experience by Jewel

Jewel’s self-curated exhibit “The Portal” at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., features a 200-piece drone show, a meditative art walk and private works by the singer — including a painting she created of her son.

5. Spend a Day in Space


The Astronaut Training Experience at Kennedy Space Center in Florida lets kids experience the sensation of microgravity and walking on Mars — all while tackling real-world challenges using NASA science.

6. Indulge at a Wine Spa



Enjoy the beauty of Virginia’s wine region in a new way. At the Salamander Middleburg resort, pampering treatments include a pinot noir body wrap, a vino facial and a grape-seed scrub and massage.

7. Dine at the Newest Hot Spot



One of the toughest reservations to snag in New York City, Coqodaq has made Korean fried chicken and champagne the ultimate pairing. Order the bucket of ultra-crispy, rice-flour-breaded pieces (which includes an array of sides and dipping sauces!) and juicy chicken nuggets generously dolloped with caviar.

8. Make New Friends at Garth’s Bar

<p>Blue Rose Inc</p> Friends in Low Places

Blue Rose Inc

Friends in Low Places

“A lot of love has gone into this building,” Garth Brooks said about his Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk, which opened in Nashville in March. Named after his 1990 hit song, the four-story venue boasts a retractable stage repurposed from his 1997 Central Park concert, a rooftop “Oasis” with 10-ft.-tall palm trees and a menu with dishes by wife and fellow Grammy winner Trisha Yearwood. “You can’t have a Garth Brooks bar and not have Trisha food in it,” she said. Favorites include Brooks’ lettuce-less Cobb salad (“just extra of all the good stuff”), chicken tenders and a spicy chili that, she said, stays “true to its Nashville hot chicken roots.”

9. See PEOPLE Through the Years

<p>Masato Onoda/WWD/Penske Media via Getty</p>

Masato Onoda/WWD/Penske Media via Getty

The “PEOPLE: Celebrating 50 Years” exhibit at Fotografiska museum in New York City showcases archival covers (see Mia Farrow on PEOPLE’s very first issue in 1974), iconic portraits and an interactive area that lets visitors become cover stars themselves! May 9-June 3

10 → 13. Rock Out at a Music Festival

<p>Theo Wargo/Getty; Humphrey Nemar - WPA Pool/Getty; Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty</p>

Theo Wargo/Getty; Humphrey Nemar - WPA Pool/Getty; Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty

10. Minnesota Yacht Club

Catch sets by Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morissette and Red Hot Chili Peppers at the inaugural event in St. Paul. July 19-20.

11. Oceans Calling

<p>Mario Skraban/Redferns; Mike Coppola/WireImage; C Brandon/Redferns</p>

Mario Skraban/Redferns; Mike Coppola/WireImage; C Brandon/Redferns

Dave Matthews Band, Blink-182 and the Killers headline the weekend along the Ocean City, Md., boardwalk. Sept. 27-29

12. Fool in Love

A long list of legends — like Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight — will take the stage in L.A. Aug. 31

13. Sea.Hear.Now

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band return to their Asbury Park roots on the New Jersey Shore. Sept. 14-15

14. Channel Your Inner Cowboy

<p>Western Skies Photography; Lacey Arnold</p>

Western Skies Photography; Lacey Arnold

Dude ranches are having a renaissance since the release of Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter. At Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Laramie, Wyo., guests of all ages can ride horses, work with cattle, fly-fish in the river and drift off to sleep beside a campfire under a star-filled sky.

15. Visit the Newest Theme Park Land

<p>Universal Orlando Resort; Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett</p>

Universal Orlando Resort; Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett

Splash around Shrek’s swamp, scream out loud on the Trolls Trollercoaster, and learn new moves with Kung Fu Panda’s Po when DreamWorks Land opens on June 14 at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.

16. Release a Lantern

<p>Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii</p>

Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii

Walk down to the beach at sunset to watch as thousands of glowing rafts are set adrift at O‘ahu’s Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i festival to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. The lanterns are gathered up afterward and cleaned for use another year. May 27

17. Step Into a Picture Book

<p>The Rabbit Hole</p>

The Rabbit Hole

Children’s stories come to life at the Rabbit Hole, a new museum in Kansas City, Mo. Within the 40 life-size, book-themed exhibits — from Goodnight Moon to Caps for Sale to Robert the Rose Horse — kids play, touch, climb and, of course, read as much as they want.

18. Explore a Frozen World



Summer is the time to visit the Mendenhall Glacier — a 13-mile-long glacier located outside Juneau, Alaska — and the spectacular blue ice caves that have naturally formed inside.

19. Go Grazy in the Purple Rain House

<p>Eric Ogden; Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett</p>

Eric Ogden; Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett

In August Airbnb is allowing Prince fans to spend a night in the real Purple Rain house in Minneapolis. Guests can listen to unreleased music, browse memorabilia and sleep in the purple basement bedroom — a replica of the one from the 1983 film. Prince bought the home, now owned by his estate, in 2015.

20→23. Line Up For Croissants Gone Viral

20. Crookie

<p>Thuy-Trung Pham</p>

Thuy-Trung Pham

Mania for cookie-dough-stuffed croissants started in Paris earlier this year but has come stateside to Houston’s EaDough. They now offer flavors like birthday cake in addition to chocolate chip but, plan ahead, because they sell out almost every day.

21. Flat Croissant

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/noonnamu" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">@noonnamu</a></p>

A spin on the trend that took off in South Korea earlier this year, the pressed croissants are buttery with a sugary, crunchy exterior. Alexander’s Patisserie in the San Francisco Bay Area offers classic plain and croissants dipped in flavors like mango and strawberry-chocolate.

23. Hot Chocolate Croissant

<p>Lakon Paris Patisserie</p>

Lakon Paris Patisserie

At Lakon Paris Patisserie in Newton Highlands, Mass., their edible spiral croissant-cups are filled with sippable dark hot cocoa and topped with sweet whipped cream, mini marshmallows and chocolate pearls.

24. Croissant Cereal

<p>Ashley Coiffard</p>

Ashley Coiffard

Lines form early at Brooklyn’s L’Appartement 4F. Their bite-size croissants are painstakingly hand-rolled, coated in cinnamon-sugar syrup and meant to be eaten in a bowl with milk.

24. Do a UFO Road Trip

<p>BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty; Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty</p>

BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty; Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty

The 487-mile loop from Las Vegas runs down Nevada’s Route 375, known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. Shop for souvenirs at the Alien Research Center (a gift shop with a two-story silver alien outside), eat saucer-shaped burgers at Little A’Le’Inn, and drive past Area 51 — the restricted military base that’s rumored to house UFO secrets.

25. Taste a Scene-Stealing Sundae

<p>Alamy; FX</p>

Alamy; FX

FX’s The Bear is a love letter to Chicago dining, even if Chef Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) is too busy putting out fires in his restaurant to explore the city. During season 2, Chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) stops by Margie’s Candies, a century-old candy and ice cream parlor, for its classic ice-cream sundae while getting the scoop on the local food scene. (In 1933 late owner George Poulos renamed the store after his wife, Margie Michaels.) Viewers left hungry for season 3 (premiering June 27) can scoot into a booth at the beloved spot or re-create a bit of the magic at home with this sundae recipe.

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