Traditionally, summer has been a time when major cities rolled up the sidewalks as their denizens escaped for cooler temps and a more relaxing vibe at the beach, the country or the mountains.
But many cities –– save Paris, which still seems to shut down in August –– not only are keeping the doors open in the warm weather months, they’re also offering a range of incentives to visit; here’s a sampling:
Cutting-Edge Toronto bookends the summer with two major festivals: The indie-focused NXNE, running from June 14-20, boasts performances by 650 bands and screenings of 40 films, as well as an interactive component focused on digital trends and topics. At summer’s end is the more traditional Toronto International Film Festival, a major stop on the festival circuit that runs this year from Sept. 9-19.
Hot Location, Cool Deal If you can stand the heat, the Miami Sanctuary South Beach boutique hotel will reward you with a refreshing rate through Sept. 30: $99 per night for guest rooms on weekdays, and a $35 food and beverage credit at Ola! (created by Nuevo Latino master chef Douglas Rodriguez) for two-night stays.
More Filling, Tastes Great The Taste of London festival, which runs June 17-20 in Regent’s Park, offers samplings from Le Gavroche, Rhodes Twenty Four and more than three dozen other top tables. For a British summer staple — strawberries and cream — a stop at a little tennis tournament called Wimbledon is a must. The Championships, as they’re known across the pond, will be held from June 21-July 4.
Star Power The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix hopes to attract visitors during the annual summer bake off with its Hollywood & Vine Festival. On tap are an appearance by the Bacon Brothers, wine dinners featuring celebrity bottles from Dan Aykroyd and Francis Coppola, and presentations by top Tinseltown set and costumer designers, as well as “dive in” screenings of their films at the pool.
Lights, Liberty, Renoir! In Philadelphia, July 4th is the fitting date for the premiere of “Liberty 360,” a new $10 million 3-D film that recreates the story of the founding of the nation. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, from June 17-Sept. 6, is offering its latest blockbuster exhibition — “Late Renoir” — which focuses on the final decades of the French master’s career.