The dog days of summer are here. Temperatures keep pushing up and up and humidity is settling in over a large swath of the country. It can be … stifling, to say the least, and leave you longing for milder climates to beat that summer heat.
Finding a spot in the summer that boasts the benefits of still being in a city (restaurants, clubs, bars) and has no shortage of swimming holes to cool down in is a pretty legit definition of paradise. You get the chance to meet new people, try new foods, drink new beers, and also score a little r ‘n r at the beach, on a river, or along the lakeshore.
With all those goals in mind, we thought we’d throw together a shortlist of some of our favorite small cities that offer wonderful escapes from the hotter spots in the country. We’ve tried to include larger small cities and some lesser-known spots that feel more like big towns. Some of the locations are inland and some of them are surrounded by the sea. Variety — with relatively cool temps — is what we’re going for.
Average Temperature and Precipitation In Summer:
H: 83° L: 64°, 3.29-inches of rainfall.
Nestled along the Atlantic coast in a small corner of New England, you’ll find the small-but-bustling city of Providence. The city is seaside adjacent with one of the best art communities in the country — thanks, in part, to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) calling the city home.
Where there are artists, there’s a great scene. The food community in Providence is bourgeoning, with talented chefs staying home after attending culinary school thanks to cheap rents in the city for brick and mortars. The bar scene ebbs from classic dives full of college students to rooftop cocktail hangouts, where you might actually bump into the mayor. The city is covered in murals celebrating all walks of American life.
Protip, don’t skip on Federal Hill. It’s one of America’s oldest Little Italy neighborhoods with classic red sauce restaurants, delis with hanging cheeses and cured meats, bakeries overflowing with cannolis, and a long list of great bars to crawl through.
Where to take a dip: Newport County
Rhode Island is the Ocean State. There’s a lot of coast to choose from. Newport County tends to be the spot where you can find secluded beaches like Mackerel Cove, Gooseberry Beach, and South Shore Beach. The best part, Newport is barely 30 minutes from Providence by car. Rhode Island is tiny, y’all.