The Best Thing to Do in Every State This Summer: Southwest
There's no shortage of things to do in the American Southwest this summer. Live the #TinyHouse life in an Airstream trailer, bobsled like Jamaican pros, and make a splash in a brand new waterpark that appeals to the adult crowd. Interested in more U.S. regions? See here for the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, and Northwest.
Go Wild in Las Vegas...Literally
If you’ve had enough neon for a lifetime, head to Raintree Trail for a six-mile round-trip hike to see a 3,000-year-old bristlecone pine tree known as the Raintree. Along the way, you’ll spot bird’s-eye views of Sheep Range and Sin City; be on the lookout for mule deer and even the occasional mountain lion. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens on Raintree Trail you’ll want to shout from the rooftops.
Sleep in a Tricked-Out Trailer
If you’ve ever fantasized about chucking it all and living the #tinyhouse life that’s now so popular there are entire magazines devoted to the subject, we have some advice: try before you buy. At AutoCamp, with locations in Santa Barbara and along the Russian River in the Sonoma redwoods, Airstream trailers are fitted with all the cosseting amenities you could ask for—down comforters, Malin + Goetz soaps, flatscreen TVs, electric BBQs, and even two beach cruiser bikes (with helmets) for breezy whirls around town. Oh, did we mention the Santa Barbara location is just three miles from the beach?
RELATED: California's Top Hot Spring Resorts
See the Newly Expanded Meow Wolf
When it debuted inside a Victorian house in Santa Fe, the Meow Wolf art complex kicked the town’s flourishing (if somewhat clichéd) art scene on its derrière. Major upgrades premiered in February—including a “portal into the multiverse” (you’ll have to see to believe), a brand new interactive room by L.A.’s Cakeland mastermind Scott Hove, and even a Cajun café serving up absinthe cocktails with a cotton candy cloud. There’s a reason more than half a million people visited in 2017—now, they have fresh reason to trek back.
Take an Insta Trip
Instagrammers come to Antelope Canyon from around the globe because, as selfie backdrops go, its slot canyons are the absolute coolest: sculptural Navajo sandstone with filtered sunlight illuminating eye-popping curves. Because they’re on Navajo Nation land only accessible by guided tour, you’ll want to book your trip well in advance; it’s totally worth it for the “likes” you’ll garner with each Ansel Adams-worthy post.
Sleep in an Art Museum
They don’t call it O.K. for nothing, but for our money, the coolest thing to do in a hot Oklahoma summer is book an invigorating stay at the new 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City. Where else can you bunk in a former Ford Motor Company assembly plant that now feels like the hippest hotel west of the Mississippi? Each room has industrial steel windows, original art, and Malin + Goetz amenities; the 14,000 square feet of on-site art exhibition space includes pieces like a 16-foot-tall steel tree by New York sculptor Matthew Geller and a work by R. Luke DuBois that turns Britney Spears into religious iconography. Go now.
Explore the North Shore
Yes, we know it feels like summer all year ‘round in America’s 50th state. But the months of June, July and August are still an exceptional time to visit Hawaii, thanks to one vital thing: you can surf or swim along each isle’s northern shore, which are significantly calmer in summer. Don’t leave Oahu without stopping by Giovanni’s shrimp truck, beloved for its garlic shrimp scampi served with garlic lemon butter and caramelized garlic cloves.
RELATED: The Best Hotels in Hawaii
Bobsled for the Gold
Okay, you may not think of this as a 'Jetsetter' experience, but trust us, you'll love it (we did!). You can shred the gnar like an Olympian on the bobsled track at Utah Olympic Park, near Park City (yes, where Robert Redfords’ Sundance festival is held). It's the ultimate thrill to join a pro bobsled pilot as he steers down the luge at up to 60 miles an hour. Gnar, indeed!
Get Quirkier With Your Coffee
We take our coffee seriously. In Austin, the just-opened Fleet Coffee shop is percolating a buzzier spin on basic black: you can order steamed Oreo-infused milk coffee and the even more inventive E.T.—essentially tonic water with iced espresso, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. (If you’d rather keep things simple, you can stick with a Chemex pour-over, but do not leave without eating at least one black bean, egg, and cheese breakfast taco on a freshly made corn tortilla.)
RELATED: How to Do a Girls' Weekend in Austin
What to bring when you go.
- 12 Versatile Womens Jackets
- 7 Adventures You Need to Take in Your Lifetime
- How to Plan a Romantic Weekend in Hudson Valley