We dug deep into all Opal destinations in Florida, Maine, and New York to build this list of top summer events and seasonal vacation ideas.
Time seems to move a little faster in the summer. One minute, the entire season is ahead of you, and before you know it, the weeks blend together and it’s over. To maximize the precious remaining summer months ahead, we dug deep into all Opal destinations to build this list of top events and activities you can only take advantage of during these select months.
Find Family Whitewater Rafting Options [Lake George, NY]
The 17-mile section of the Hudson River, which runs north to south from North Creek to Warrensburg, just 15 minutes west of Lake George, is rife with Class III to Class V rapids come April through May as a result of the snowmelt plumping the river and its tributaries. But starting in June, the water finally mellows, making the summer months the ideal time for families looking to hit the less intense Class I, II, and III rapids. Book a two-and-a-half-hour excursion with Wild Water Outdoor Center, offering easy access to the river from Warrensburg, rafts that hold six to eight people, and a riverside lunch.
Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort
Savor Some Classic Maine Seafood [Bar Harbor, ME]
No trip to Coastal Maine is complete without a smorgasbord of seafood. To get the most out of your meal, avoid the long lines at tourist traps like Geddy’s and head further south to spots like the Tan Turtle in Northeast Harbor. This funky and colorful eatery has a great view of the bay and a great local vibe, not to mention dishes designed around scallops, lobster, and fish that came off the boat that morning. Don’t want to leave the confines of Bar Harbor? Stewman’s Lobster Pound is an icon overlooking Frenchman Bay and famous for a meal called The Downeast Lobster Experience: clam chowder, a 20-ounce steamed Maine lobster, mussels, buttered sweet corn and potatoes, and finally, homemade blueberry pie for dessert. To avoid the crowds, make the trip either for a late lunch or early dinner between the times of 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Enjoy Olympic Events Even in the Summer [Lake Placid, NY]
Lake Placid may be most famous for hosting not one, but two Winter Games, but that doesn’t mean the Olympic-themed activities cease when the snow melts. The town serves as the summer training grounds for a slew of Olympic athletes, including ski jumpers and freestylists who practice their big-air stunts during the Summer Jumping Series. Held at the Olympic Jumping Complex every Wednesday and Saturday across July and August, the event lets you witness Alpine flyers soaring off the 90-meter tower and freestyle athletes flipping into a 750,000-gallon pool.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge
Savor the Start of Lobster Season [Key West, FL]
August 6th is the official start of lobster season in the Keys. While you can witness the thrill of the harvest through several local charters, the easiest way to get up close with the unique variety of crustacean – known down here as “spiny lobsters” for the spines on their body – is to check out the annual Key West Lobsterfest, held August 9th through 12th. The three-day party includes a street fair, live music, craft shows, and lobster specials all over town. Try a traditional-style tail with butter sauce at Commodore Key West or go a little funkier with a famous lobster reuben special from Keys Fisheries.
Catch a Slew of Shows [Sarasota, FL]
Sarasota is home to a host of theaters, from big art halls like the Van Wezel and Asolo Repertory to small black-box venues, like the Urbanite Theatre. During the months of June, July, and August, nine of them come together to create the Sarasota Summer Stage, a citywide deal on tickets. For comedy, check out McCurdy’s, with free shows on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If you’re looking for something more serious, The Players Center offers 10 percent off on their off-Broadway productions.
See a Rare Release [Jupiter, FL]
Yes, sea turtle nesting season begins in March, with babies hatching some 60 days after being laid to crawl back into the sea. However, some don’t make it to the ocean – because they are too weak to make it past the wave break, they head in the wrong direction, or are attacked by local wildlife. Which is where the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach (five miles south of Jupiter) comes into the picture. After being rescued and held at the facility for a couple of weeks, the baby turtles are released back into the open ocean by the center during its annual August Hatchling Release program. Every evening during this month, a series of hatchlings are released by a staff member at the beach for the public to view – a rare experience, so we suggest you reserve in advance.
Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort
Cool off with a Classic Flick [Hutchinson Island, FL]
July and August can be brutal in Florida, with temperatures in the 90s and humidity ranging from 60 to 90 percent. Sure, one way to beat the heat is to glue yourself poolside, but for a taste of culture in an air-conditioned setting, head to downtown Stuart to The Lyric Theatre, a Mission Revival–style building originally built in 1926 as a silent movie house. In July and August, the venue even offers a free summer film series, screening Academy Award–winning films at 2, 3, and 5 p.m., from classics like The Birds and Dirty Dancing to La La Land and Jersey Boys.
Where to Stay Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa