22 Places We've Been (Or Want to Visit) This Summer

May 17, 2016

One of the greatest parts of summertime is that sunny, vibrating anything-is-possible feeling that swells at the end of May and thrums along through Labor Day. It's the same feeling that inspires lists of all the places we'll eat when, someday, we go to Oakland or Ann Arbor or Knoxville; and Bruce Springsteen-fueled daydreams about jumping into watering holes. Adventure! Hello, open road!

Packing your bags? Here are our guides to the places we've been so far. 

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Why Everyone's Going to Iceland (and Why You Should Join Them)

Is your Instagram feed full of so-beautiful-you-can't-believe-it's-real photos of waterfalls, fuzzy-looking ponies, the Northern Lights, long and winding roads, electric-blue hot springs? Ours are—and the photos convinced Leslie Stephens to drive around Iceland (which she called "painfully magical"). And she convinced us to add the country to our must-visit lists.


Start Planning Your Trip to Cuba Now

How to pack, where to stay, and what to eat now that travel to Cuba has become more accessible. (Hint: Museums. Beaches. Lots of cocktails. Old cars. Good walks. Go, go, go.)



8 Ways to Spend a Day In & Around Baltimore

Don't just go for the crab cakes—there are Baltimore snowballs, Baltimore pizzas, and Baltimore farmers markets to enjoy, too. (Though the crab cakes alone are worth a trip.) And be sure to make time to check out the local history.


What to Do in the City That Puts Beer Gardens in Public Parks

Milwaukee gave us the American beer industry, and that's reason enough to visit. But there's also lots of beautiful historic neighborhoods to stroll through—not to mention Fonzie (yes, from Happy Days), cast in bronze.



All the Places to Go at the Tip of Michigan's Mitten

Scramble up Sleeping Bear Dunes, gorge yourself on cherries and fudge, and throw yourself into Lake Michigan. There's lot of local beer and wine to be had, too.


One Simple Act That Can Change How You Travel (+ Recommended Corners of Japan to Visit)

Wherever you go, ask the locals for their recommendations! Here's what doing just that yielded for our editor Samanatha Weiss-Hills when she visited Japan in January. Sweet design shops, whiskey bars, temples, and galleries abound.



Pick Your Berkeley Vibe & We'll Tell You Where to Find It

Whether you're a free spirit, an architecture nerd, or a San Francisco tourist who took a wrong turn, there's lots to see and eat in Berkeley, including the UC Berkeley campus, bakery collectives, and botanic gardens.


Three Stops to Fuel Your Philly Day Trip

Sometimes you have a week (or two weeks, or more) to really learn a city. Sometimes you've only got a day. You could happily go either route in Philly, but if you go the latter, you'll need lots of sustenance. Think the world's best hummus, bagels galore, and a killer burger. (And stop at printshops, museums, and beer halls along the way.)



Why Your Next Florida Vacation Should Be on Highway 30A

Take in sandy stretches and tiny beach towns between picturesque rental cottages, paddle boarding, open-air markets, and seafood so fresh your meal was swimming when you sat down at the restaurant. You may even forget it's all in the same state as Miami.


Maya Lin

Why You Need to Spend at Least Two Days in Ann Arbor

There's so much more to Ann Arbor than the University of Michigan. Whether you visit for the small-town vibe, the independent bookstores and eateries, the great outdoors (trails! cascades! an arboretum!), Zingerman's Deli, or to catch up with your favorite UMich attendee, visit. And say hi to our editor Lindsay-Jean for us while you're there!


10 Reasons to Visit Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville is a cozy college town and then some: Music. Pizza. Tapas. History. Country roads. What are you waiting for? 



10 of America's Best Farmers Markets

One of the best ways to really see and learn about a place is to eat there. And how better to get started than at a farmers market? From San Francisco to Saint Paul, are 10 markets we think are pretty special.



Where to Really Go in Oakland

Just outside of San Francisco, Oakland holds its own: Prioritize some of the local haunts and make sure you grab an It's-It and head to Mountain View Cemetery to take in the best view of the bay there is.


Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, Spain's Costa Brava, and 5 Other Food-Filled Honeymoons

Getting married? Congratulations! We've got some ideas for the places to honeymoon when the ceremony is over. Take your beloved for Balaedas in Honduras or mussels in Nova Scotia.



How to Eat Your Way Through Coastal Maine

It's called Vacationland for a reason. Drive up the coast, drive back down again, and eat as many lobster rolls (and ice cream, and doughnuts, and beer) as you can along the way.



Honky Tonk, Hot Chicken, and 8 Other Reasons to Visit Nashville Now

Do you like fried chicken? And country music? And small-scale coffee roasters? And craft beer? Nashville is the place to be for all of the above. Local whiskey makes for an excellent souvenir.


New Haven

New Haven: Lots of Grilled Cheese, Lots of Pizza & Some Other Stuff Too

Yale might be the first thing you think of when you think of New Haven—and you should be sure to tour its campus and admire its architecture when you're there. But the pizza, the food trucks, and the coffee cake are not to be missed.



What to Do (and Eat) During Summer in Los Angeles

That Santa Monica Farmers Market is pretty amazing—but there's also incredible Korean food, ice cream, and more vegetable-and-grain bowls than you could count, not to mention beautiful hiking trails and generous vineyards. 



The 15 Things You Shouldn't Miss in Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville is home to our Design & Home editor Amanda, but it's also home to some great regional beers, an old-fashioned candy store, cozy coffee shops, and lots of local music.


Prefer to armchair-travel in the comfort of your air conditioning? We've got some tips for that, too:


How to Turn Your Local Beach into the South of France

Lakeside or beachside, all it takes to make your local water feature as nice as Nice are a few elegant upgrades to your beach bag and a thoughtful menu.


How to Explore Italy's Best Kept Secret

Get the to the island of Ponza for its colorful homes, incredible views, friendly locals, local wine, and markets—and explore on foot and scooter and by boat.



How to Drink Beer Like You're in Eastern Europe

If you're a beer lover, put Eastern Europe on your must-visit list: There are superb suds to be had in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and beyond. Here are tips for how to order beer like an Eastern European until you get there.

This travel dream-list was originally published in July 2015. We've updated it with more of the places we've been since. The list gets ever longer. 

Have you been to any of the places above? Do you have any recommendations? Share them (and your own travel plans) in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Chris Dawson
    Chris Dawson
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    Taste of France
  • Panfusine
  • Jan Weber
    Jan Weber
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Chris D. May 19, 2016
Number 1, Iceland. Been there done that, want to go back again, bring money.
Taste O. May 18, 2016
I want to visit all the Cathar castles, go to Biarritz, cross the Pont de Gard and climb Mount Alaric.
Panfusine May 17, 2016
Cape Town definitely (although the best time would be late Sept/October when spring strikes the area with BLAZING colors), treks up Table Mountain, Stroll around the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens (they have some splendid concerts there during the season ), the wine tours, Muizenberg, rounding the Cape from the Atlantic to the Indian ocean side, The penguin colony on Boulders beach,.. the list is endless, but then I'm shamelessly biased towards the city..
Jan W. May 17, 2016
Just a warning: much of Japan gets powerful hot in the summer - so if you decide to visit during that season, do be sure to pack your breeziest clothing. Hotels will often hand out free hand fans and bottles of water for this reason. The heat gets worse the further south you go, so try visiting the north/Hokkaido or the mountains of the Japanese alps on Honshu. You will be greatly rewarded.