Best Summer vacations, Best Summer vacations 2012, best summer family vacations
Summer vacation comes but once a year, so pick your place wisely. We'll help you narrow it down to our list of 10 happening destinations. These are places worthy of a visit any time, but a combination of new and interesting events and attractions, from summertime concerts to momentous anniversaries, make them winning possibilities for your 2012 summer vacation.
There's one big reason to visit Boston this summer, especially if you're a sports buff: This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Purchase a few tickets to see your favorite team square off against the Sox, or take a tour of the historic ballpark.
Other new and noteworthy attractions to see in Boston this summer include the Faneuil Hall Visitor Center, which opened in May, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, which is scheduled to open in June.
Celebrate the season in the thick of an energetic crowd while waving your hands to some incredible music under the sun. If outdoor summer concerts sound like your kind of vacation, Philly is the place to be this year. This September, rapper Jay-Z is performing at and curating the lineup for the Made in America Festival on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Other performers include Skrillex, D'Angelo, and Pearl Jam. According to MTV, this will be "one of Pearl Jam's only U.S. dates this year."
Other outdoor summer concerts in Philly include the two-day Roots Picnic in June at the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, the Fourth of July Welcome America concert at Penn's Landing (featuring acts like Queen Latifah and Joe Jonas, plus plenty of fireworks), and Bruce Springsteen at Citizens Bank Park.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of San Francisco's most iconic attraction, the Golden Gate Bridge. Although The Golden Gate Festival marking the occasion took place in May, there are still plenty of celebratory events and activities in which you can partake this summer. These include special exhibits, musical performances, and September's Architecture and the City Festival that will feature architect-led tours of the city. Find a full list of events on the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary website.
Yellowstone National Park
This year, Yellowstone turns 140; founded in 1872, it was the first U.S. national park. Summer is arguably the best season to visit the park, which is abundant with geysers (the world's largest collection of them, in fact), hot springs, and bears. Oh my. Bring your bear spray as you explore high-altitude lakes by boat or snap photos of bison herds and bald eagles.
For travelers seeking the best deals, a low-season Caribbean trip is a good idea—and we recommend St. Vincent. The island plays host to some enticing summer festivals in June and July, including Vincy Mas, a Carnival-style celebration. And it's a great place to avoid crowds, at least for now.
According to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, St. Vincent is "often overlooked by visitors to the Grenadines." But the less-traveled spot could soon lose its undiscovered air. Buccament Bay Resort, which has more rooms than all other resorts on the island combined, just opened last summer. Moreover, a new international airport, which will likely lure crowds of travelers, is set to open in 2013.