September 23 2010 by Julie Drossos
If you're like me and you're fortunate enough to travel quite a lot, you likely find yourself looking for new ideas for destinations to get away too. Come summer time I find myself not so much looking for an exotic tropical paradise (I'd rather save that for the grey blah winter months).... I tend to look for more urban destinations to enjoy and explore new experiences. Here are a few of my suggestions for summer cities worth dropping in on that you might not think of visiting.
For some reason that I've never quite figured out, Portland, Oregon seems to often be overlooked as a great place to visit. Despite being touted as the "Best American City for summer travel", it still seems to be forgotten as a great summer destination. If you've never been to Portland, summertime is absolutely lovely there. Portland is hip, eco-frendly and has some of the most beautiful parks I've seen (be sure to check out Washington Park - it has some great trails and a lovely Japanese garden). The temperature is normally in the mid-60's so it's very enjoyable. Portland has a charming "euro" feel to it, and this coming from a true Farmer's Market aficionado - has some of the most wonderful Farmer's Markets I've visited! The Portland Farmer's Market is at PSU and is quite grandiose as far as Farmer's Markets go. There's also the Portland Saturday Market located in Old Town China Town. You'll find nifty homemade crafts, and lots of great music and entertainment here. Last but absolutely not least, you can't go to Portland without visiting some of their renowned breweries. I recommend Lucky Lab, Hopworks Urban Brewery and McManamins.
Quebec City, Canada
Go North to Canada and visit Quebec City, our own little slice of Europe. Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec, a bilingual city where many people speak predominantly French, its summer climate is warm and humid (highs reach the mid to high 70's but it feels warmer due to the humidity). Quebec is filled with cobblestone streets, old-town architecture and a whole lot of character. Quebec City in the summer is all about the festivals! Come summertime, wherever you turn, there will be festival or celebration of some sort.
Asheville, North Carolina
Ever heard of Asheville, North Carolina? It's another great summer destination that might not come to mind when planning your summer getaways. Here are just a few great recommendations for things to do on your visit to Asheville:
- Woolworth Walk: Wondering what the heck this is? It's something very cool, especially if you're into art. Basically, they've taken an old Woolworth's department store, and converted the nearly 20,000 square foot space into an art display of over 150 local artists. The artwork includes paintings, jewelry, crafts, prints and more range in price and include a plethora of styles. There's also a vintage soda fountain - kinda fun :-)
- Asheville Food Tour: Are you a foodie? Love to eat in new places? Doing the Asheville Food Tour is an absolute must. You'll sample 7 different excellent eateries in just over two hours, each different than the one before. You'll experience Italian cuisine, Spanish, Indian and more. Along the way you'll also learn about the history and culture of Asheville, and take in some stunning architecture. At most of the establishments you'll receive smaller "bites" which for most is just enough.. a few stops are a little more generous and hearty in their servings, I've heard from some that it's actually too much food and it's best to pace yourself! The added bonus is that it's a walking tour so you'll at least be burning a few calories whilst enjoying your delicious gourmet adventure.