Low-Key Summer Festivals with Great Live Music
Music festivals are a great excuse to plan a vacation and take advantage of the great summer weather with outdoor performances. While events like Bonnaroo and Burning Man typically draw the most crowds and attention, there are plenty of other great gatherings across the country with less-pricey tickets, smaller crowds, great food, and amazing artists. If you're looking for a more low-key experience to round out your late summer plans, check out some of the events below.
AVL Fest (Asheville, North Carolina)
Asheville shines as a music destination for being the home of luminaries – like Nina Simone, Bill Monroe and Robert Moog – a trove of storied venues, and an abundance of music and record shops. This summer is poised to go down in Asheville music history, as the inaugural AVL Fest kicks off on August 3rd and goes through August 6th. The three-day music festival features local and national acts, performing at more than 20 venues across town. Make a whole trip out of it and go hiking in the mountains, plan a bike ride, tour the Biltmore, and catch great food and drinks in town.
Farmstead Roots Creek Dinner Series (Leiper's Fork, Tennessee)
Going on this summer until October 7th, the Farmstead Roots Creek Dinner Series at Wines in the Fork are multi-course meals prepared by local chefs paired with wine under the stars, cocktails and cigar-rolling. While the star of this festival is local cuisine, dinners are accompanied by live music and local artisan demonstrations. The location also makes for an excellent addition to any country music lovers trip, as Leiper's Fork is just a short drive outside of Nashville. Add in plans to see a bigger concert in town, tour the historic Ryman Auditorium, and take a stroll through the Country Music Hall of Fame to round out this low-key getaway to Music City.
The Colonial Oak Music Park Concert Series (St. Augustine, Florida)
The Concert Series at The Colonial Oak Music Park in St. Augustine, Florida continues through the summer and into the fall. These free concerts feature local musicians and improv actors at an exceptional music venue. Music acts range from country, rock, pop, and dance. Improv shows rely heavily on audience participation, so come ready with some ideas. Tucked away on St. George Street, The Colonial Oak Music Park features towering oaks and plenty of space to dance or relax. Food and beverage from the adjacent St. Augustine Seafood Company is available during all events. Concerts are free and offered weekly, from Thursday through Sunday.
Glenville Festival's Commemoration of Hip Hop's 50th Anniversary (Cleveland, Ohio)
Beyond being known as a rock 'n' roll city, Cleveland has a deep history with hip hop. The trailblazing Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Kid Cudi and Machine Gun Kelly hail from The Land. MC Chill became Cleveland's first hip hop star in the 1980s, and, today, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors hip hop artists and their contributions to the artform. This summer, Cleveland offers multiple experiences to explore various genres and attend signature music events. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's new exhibit commemorates 50 years of hip hop with never-before-seen and “new school” artifacts from artists like DJ Kool Herc, Roxanne Shante, The Sugarhill Gang, Salt-N-Pepa and Jay-Z.
An annual neighborhood event, Glenville Festival, takes on a hip hop theme this year on August 12th with a lineup of local hip hop artists and a DJ battle. The neighborhood is where Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and other Cleveland hip hop artists started out, and the event is known for live music and surprise headlining artists.
Blossom Concert Series (Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio)
The renowned Cleveland Orchestra returns July 1 - September 9 for a summer lineup at Blossom Music Center inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The 2023 Blossom Concert Series features a diverse array of musical performances and special guests, including Beethoven's Ode to Joy, music from Final Fantasy, Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings, as well as Sibelius' First Symphony and an evening with six-time Tony award-winning artist Audra McDonald.
For the Culture KS Fest (Topeka, Kansas)
A new first-of-its-kind festival celebrating African American culture and heritage is coming to Kansas’ capital city this summer. “For the Culture KS Fest” (FTC KS Fest) will run July 28-30, 2023, in Topeka, Kansas and include musical performances and vendors, as well as networking and panel sessions focused on professional and personal growth for Black individuals. The three-day event will feature several musical performances from local artists: Kansas-native Justin Aarons, a Top 8 contestant on The Voice; saxophonist JahVelle, who recently performed at the NFL Draft; Topeka-native rapper Brandon “Bizzy” Evans, and more. Discussion panels, hosted by a diverse group of experts, will range from business development to personal wellness. Additional activities include a choir hour with participation from five different churches; a two-hour African American history bus tour led by local Topeka historians Sherri Camp and Donna Rae Pearson; an art exhibit at the historic Jayhawk Theater; and scholarship giveaways of $1,000 to three local high school students.
“We wanted to create a sustainable art and cultural initiative for the state of Kansas that celebrates the positive influences in our local communities,” said co-founder Rodney Harmon, a Department of Justice - Bureau of Prisons retiree living in Topeka who has since dedicated his time to community volunteering and mentoring. “We’ve never seen Black culture represented on this scale before, and we wanted it to be more than a music festival. This is why we sought to include activities focusing on more than just performances, bringing together the intersection of art, business, health, and history of the African American community.”
Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival (Clarksdale, Mississippi)
Taking place August 11-13, the Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival is one of the oldest festivals celebrating authentic blues music since 1988. This event is free to the public and located inClarksdale, in Coahoma County, often referred to as the “Birthplace of the Blues.” Visitors will want to be sure to add a visit to the Delta Blues Museum and historical sites that were significant to the history of blues music such as The Crossroads, W.C. Handy’s home, Muddy Water’s home, WROX Radio Station, the Riverside Hotel, and the Blues Alley Railroad Depot.
Hop Country Music Festival (Yakima, Washington)
Hop Country Music Festival returns on September 15 and 16 this year, and features multi-Platinum sensation Neal Mccoy joined by stars Chris Janson and Easton Corbin. Chinook Fest has partnered with SOZO Sports of Central Washington to bring the thrilling festival back to the playing fields. Hop Country Music Festival is a new event for Central Washington with all proceeds going toward putting more youth on the field. For one weekend in September, country music stars will be at the complex for a festival filled with music, food, and fun! Find the full 2023 lineup here.
Get the Best Views of Philadelphia from these Rooftop Bars
The temps are rising — and your happy hour game should be, too. It is rooftop bar season, after all. There's nothing quite like taking in the stunning views atop the Philadelphia region's best drinking and dining establishments with a bite to eat and a drink in hand. Philadelphia's skyward hospitality reaches impressive heights with the bird's-eye views at places like Victory Brewing Company's taproom on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Bok Bar in South Philadelphia and El Techo in Rittenhouse Square. Below are some great spots to catch a few rays over bites and brews during what is arguably the best time for alfresco eating and drinking. Just don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen. Assembly Rooftop Lounge Alfresco drinks and small plates nine floors up. Where: 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Modern luxury is what it's all about at Assembly Rooftop Lounge at The Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel. Far beyond your average hotel bar, Assembly is situated nine floors above street level, is open year-round, and offers plenty of seating nests and firepits. As if picturesque views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway aren't enough, craft cocktails (frozé, anyone?), charcuterie, fondue and more add to the appeal. South Broad Street in Downtown Philly by Heartbreak G - UnsplashAttico Rooftop Lounge A stylish rooftop bar with prime balcony seating. Where: 219 S. Broad Street Perched on the 16th floor above the Cambria Hotel on Broad Street, Attico offers Center City views from dozens of feet over the street. The stylish year-round outdoor balcony is the perfect spot for epic parties, including brunch parties (arguably the best kind of party), as well as happy-hour selections like $2 oysters, $3 shrimp cocktail, and $6 baked ham and cheese, or eggplant toasts.Bok Bar A bustling rooftop beer garden in South Philly. Where: 800 Mifflin Street Each spring, summer and fall, the rooftop of South Philadelphia's former Bok High School turns into a spacious beer garden with stellar skyline views. The seasonal watering hole serves a variety of drinks (including a mostly local can list) alongside bites from monthly chefs in residence. Even better? No reservations are required, so drop in whenever you'd like to feel the wind in your hair and a cold drink in your hand. Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia by Ethan Hoover - UnsplashThe Continental Mid-town Retro rooftop vibes in Rittenhouse Square. Where: 1800 Chestnut Street Just off Rittenhouse Square, Stephen Starr's classic eclectic restaurant features a retro rooftop lounge — the spot's pièce de résistance. With its 1960s vibe (think comfy sofas and firepits), the rooftop is partially enclosed so that it's serviceable year-round. The lush deck area is uber popular during warmer months, particularly with the Saturday and Sunday brunch crowd. El Techo Rooftop tacos and tequila in Center City. Where: 1826 Ludlow Street Queso fundido, tacos, frozen cocktails, oh my! Add in the smattering of downtown skyscrapers peering overhead and you've got yourself the whole package at El Techo. Condesa's taqueria spans the 11th floor and offers rooftop dining all year long thanks to a retractable glass roof. Reservations aren't mandatory, but it's smart to have one — especially for brunch. Irwin's Sicilian tastes and vino with a view. Where: 800 Mifflin Street Bok Bar's more formal counterpart, chef Michael Vincent Ferreri's Irwin's — named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit — serves Sicilian cuisine paired with natural wines — that are best enjoyed on its eighth-floor rooftop terrace. The outside space — open May through September — isn't available to walk-ins, so be sure to make a reservation. The Schuylkill River and Philadelphia Art Museum by Chris Murray - UnsplashLark Rooftop romance in Bala Cynwyd. Where: 611 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd The rooftop terrace at this restaurant offers stunning views of the Schuylkill River. On the menu: seafood-forward cuisine such as striped bass ceviche or squid ink chitarra decked out with mussels, black truffle, preserved tomato and chili. Liberty Point Wind down on the waterfront. Where: 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard Billed as the city's largest restaurant, Liberty Point has enough space to seat 1,400 people across three indoor-outdoor levels. The Delaware River waterfront-located establishment boasts multiple elevated outdoor deck areas for dining, dancing and live entertainment — perfect for views of the river while vibing and sipping. Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti Elevated Italian eats. Where: 212 Walnut Street Positano Coast's Italian eats taste even better from the elevated seating on the spot's second floor. While taking in great views of Old City — and admiring the restaurant's stylish new renovations — diners can enjoy tasty snacks such as seafood boards and burrata paired with fine wines or signature cocktails from the bar. Christ Church in Philadelphia by Dan Mall - UnsplashRevolution House For comfort food and creative cocktails overlooking the Historic District. Where: 200 Market Street On warmer nights, patrons of Old City's Revolution House take advantage of the spot's roof deck, offering a prime view of Christ Church's steeple. (Christ Church is where Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross and many other colonial notables worshiped.) The restaurant's full menu of comfort food and creative cocktails are all available from the higher perch. Stratus Rooftop Lounge A posh spot atop the Hotel Monaco. Where: 433 Chestnut Street The trendy Stratus Rooftop Lounge sits on the 11th story of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. A curated cocktail menu pairs perfectly with light bites and shareable snacks. Adding to the ambiance: leather seating, low lighting and a “green wall” that serves as an Instagram-friendly backdrop. Sunset Social A high-altitude hangout in West Philly. Where: 129 S. 30th Street High atop West Philly's Cira Center, Sunset Social offers drama and relaxation in equal measure. The fast-casual menu includes a selection of bowls, burgers and fries, plus beer, wine, and frozen and bottled cocktails that patrons can enjoy along with the epic view. Vango Lounge and Skybar Rendezvous with a view all year long. Where: 116 S. 18th Street Drinks, hookah and rooftop views: There's little else you need at Center City's Vango Lounge and Skybar. The restaurant and hookah bar keeps its third-story deck open all year round for eats, drinks and high style. Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Catherine Kerr - UnsplashVictory Brewing Company What's better than craft brews with a view? Where: 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway As if its 14,000-square-foot interior wasn't enough, Victory Brewing Company taproom on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway boasts a rooftop patio with panoramic views of the Parkway. In addition to all the Victory beers you could ever imagine, guests can fill up on brisket meatballs, kebab naan, smoked chicken pot pie and more. XIX (Nineteen) French Renaissance rooftop vibes. Where: 200 S. Broad Street High above the city streets, this spot on the 19th floor (hence the name) of The Bellevue Hotel features a balcony overlooking Broad Street. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at XIX (Nineteen) with a view, or get gussied up and grab a few friends for a picture-perfect happy hour.
A trip to the Grand Canyon is a quintessential American family vacation. Combined with the beauty of various other nearby Southwestern sites, like Antelope Canyon and Lake Havasu, Arizona is a popular choice for vacationers. If you're planning a trip to the region, be sure to consider some other great attractions that the whole family will enjoy. Discover a "Hidden Gem" National Monument The South Fork trail at the Chiricahua National Monument by Lori Stevens - Unsplash Located near Willcox, Chiricahua National Monument is a hidden gem in Southern Arizona where visitors can hike among whimsical rhyolite rock pinnacles, better known as hoodoos, made from the remains of an ancient volcano eruption. Explore the area's 17 miles of hiking trails, including the popular Echo Canyon Trail, where travelers can immerse themselves among the irregular rock formations. As one of the region's “sky islands,” guests will encounter four ecosystems to explore as they travel higher in elevation throughout the monument. Additionally, the bipartisan Chiricahua National Park Act, which is under consideration by Congress, would designate the the monument as the state's fourth national park, joining the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest and Saguaro National Parks. The designation would help increase awareness of this beautiful area of the state and boost conservation efforts in Southern Arizona. Enjoy Scenic Flight Tours Over Monument Valley Walking down the Wildcat trail in Monument Valley by Ganapathy Kumar - Unsplash Westwind and Redtail Air have partnered with Goulding's Lodge to provide visitors a bird's-eye view of Monument Valley on their scenic flight tours. Westwind's day trip tour includes amazing views of the Valley's famous red sandstones from the air before landing to embark on an off-road tour through the park to see the formations up close and learn about Navajo culture. Thanks to multiple departure locations throughout the state, travelers have several options to fit their schedules. For those who seek to stay longer, Redtail Air's tour can also include an overnight stay at Golding's Lodge. Become a Junior Ranger in Prescott The City of Prescott Recreation Services Park Rangers has created a free Junior Ranger program to promote Prescott's historic attractions, outdoor recreational opportunities and Appreciate AZ Leave No Trace Principles. The program offers free downloadable guidebooks that map out all of Prescott's historic sites and recreational spaces helping children explore Prescott in a responsible manner. Within the guidebook, there is a special passport that outlines the city's museums and attractions. Children who visit at least seven of the passport sites and take the Appreciate AZ pledge can earn a Prescott Junior badge!Cool Off at the New AquaRidge WaterPark A child plays in a water park by Yianni Mathioudakis - Unsplash JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa announced that AquaRidge WaterPark, a 140,000-square-foot reimagined and expanded pool experience, is set to open this summer. The $18 million pool transformation embraces the destination with renewed areas offering an enhanced lazy river, a refreshed Wildfire Grove featuring two pools and a waterfall, and the lively Havasu Playground that will offer three new exhilarating water slides.Visit an Unusual Family Art Collection-turned-Museum Visit the Last Supper Museum in Douglas to see the world's largest collection of last supper art. One of the most unusual museums in the U.S., two families collected last supper art for 100 years to create this one-of-a-kind museum. Every medium is represented including coal, mother of pearl, volcanic ash, and gourds, among many others. Paintings and sculptures from all over the world representing more than 50 countries are displayed. Open every day but Monday, art lovers will appreciate this new hidden gem that was recently Roadside America's “Sight of the Week!”
Biking is an excellent way to get outside and explore the US—but for beginner trail riders or cyclists looking for a more casual experience, it can seem like some of the best views are out of reach. However, most of the routes on the list below offer great access to beautiful views and interesting landmarks while also being relatively flat, downhill, or paved paths. Plan a getaway to these stress-free trails for your next outdoor adventure. Colonial Parkway (Virginia) The Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia by Mateus Campos Felipe - Unsplash This 23-mile, cobble aggregate-paved highway connects the sites and landmarks of Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown and the Yorktown Battlefield for a pleasant ride that's also educational. If you have any interest at all in early American history, this location is a must. In the fall and summer seasons, bikers will also find very pleasant weather to enjoy on the route. On hotter days in the summer, visitors may want to schedule in some extra time to stop at any of the river-side beaches along the parkway or the longer two-mile beachfront in Yorktown. While the road itself is open to pedestrians and motor vehicles as well, the posted speed limit varies between only 35 and 45 mph and the road is wide with an extra third lane for passing. There are also two tour roads in Yorktown: the seven-mile Battlefield Tour Road, marked by red arrows, and the nine-mile Encampment Tour Road (which typically has less traffic), marked by yellow arrows. Then, in Jamestown, the Jamestown Island Tour Loop is a one-way three/five mile scenic loop drive of the Island. These tour roads are open to pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles. Stowe Recreation Path (Vermont) Fall colors in Stowe, Vermont by Clay Kaufmann - Unsplash The Stowe Recreation Path in Vermont is an internationally recognized greenway stretching from Stowe Village to Top Notch Resort on the Mountain Road, featuring a 5.3-mile paved trail follows the West Branch of Little River and is open year-round for bikers as well as snowshoers, cross country skiers, roller bladers, and pedestrians. Along with mountain views, it has access to restaurants, lodges and local businesses. In 2017, bike maintenance stations were also added to the path—one at the Lintilhac Park and another at Chase Park. These stations include all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. Hanging the bike from the hanger arms allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.Madison by Bike (Wisconsin) Madison, Wisconsin by Josh Sorensen- Unsplash “Madison By Bike” is a free digital passport program featuring four bike routes with suggested check-ins and stops, encouraging locals and visitors to explore the highlights of the greater Madison, Wisconsin area. Participants can earn prizes and redeem exclusive discounts at local businesses; the program also benefits Free Bikes 4 Kidz in Madison. Choose from four different trails—Capital City Trail, Cannonball Loop, Lakeshore Path and the Southwest Commuter Path. With more than 30 stops ranging from restaurants to parks to retail, “Madison By Bike” showcases the best of the Greater Madison area in an easy, mobile-friendly way. “Biking is more than a ride in Madison — it's our culture, and it's for everyone,” said Destination Madison President and CEO Ellie Westman Chin. “'Madison By Bike' makes biking approachable for cyclists of all experience levels. Whether you're a longtime local rider or a first-time visitor, the trail connects you to the people and communities that make Dane County so special, and completing the experience makes them feel rewarded.” American River Parkway (California) The American River Parkway ends in Old Sacramento by Joel Durkee - Unsplash Also known as the Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail, this 32-mile parkway follows the American River between Folsom Lake at Beal's Point and Old Town Sacramento in northern California. Most of the trail is level and around half is shaded by trees, but it does include some rolling terrain. For the easiest bike ride, start at the northeast end of the trail at Beal’s Point and travel downhill. The first 8.4 miles of the trail are managed by California State Parks; here, signage refers to the trail as the American River Bikeway. Beginning at Hazel Avenue, the trail is signed as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail and is managed by Sacramento County. The two-lane trail is fully paved, with mile markers, trailside maps, water fountains, and restrooms along the way. The trail provides picturesque views of wildlife fields, Folsom Lake, Lake Natoma, and the American River, connects with multiple other trails, passes by parks and swimming areas, and intersects with several hiking trails. Riders will also see beautiful pedestrian bridges along the route, such as the Fair Oaks Bridge, a truss bridge built in the early 1900s, and the Guy West Bridge, a suspension bridge that links the trail to the California State University, Sacramento, campus. Route of Hiawatha (Idaho) View from the highway near Lookout Pass at the Idaho-Montana border by John Kakuk - Unsplash This scenic mountain trail in Idaho is 15 miles long with 10 train tunnels (nine that you ride your bike through) and 7 sky-high trestles. It begins with the St. Paul Pass Tunnel, or Taft Tunnel, following the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains. Don't worry, though; visitors won't need to deal with any strenuous inclines as the trail is almost all downhill and features shuttle buses back to the top. Trail passes, shuttle tickets, and mountain bike rentals with lights are available at Lookout Pass Ski Area located right alongside Interstate 90, take Exit 0, at the Idaho-Montana state line. From there, the start of the Hiawatha is a short 7 mile drive. This trail is open daily in the summer, closing in September due to the winter weather.
Solo travel has been on the rise this past decade. According to research by Kayak, searches for single-traveler flights are 36% higher for 2023 travel than for 2022 travel. Escape from the distractions of everyday life and opt for a transformative, renewing experience in the wilderness. The three great options below all offer plenty of seclusion, adventure, and incredible encounters with wildlife and nature. Embark on a Wilderness Cruise in Alaska Embark on a journey of discovery in Alaska, Vancouver Island, or Desolation Sound while reveling in the freedom of solo exploration. Small group adventures are an alluring option for solo travelers seeking to explore in the company of likeminded people, but expedition cruises often require a single supplement to pay for the high level of experience they offer. Boutique wilderness cruise company Maple Leaf Adventures has pioneered safari-like trips in Alaska and British Columbia since 1986, with small group exploration at its core. Ships carry either 8, 12 or 24 guests and when ashore, guests are usually in groups of about 12 people. Some of their upcoming expeditions this season include the Alaska Supervoyage (August 6-17 aboard Swell), Alaska Supervoyage with Canadian Geographic (July 26-Aug 6, aboard Swell), Whales & Wild Isles (July 23-31 and August 3-11, aboard Cascadia), and Desolation Sound & Fjords of BC (October 17-24, aboard Cascadia). The nature of this style of travel eliminates the barriers a solo traveler may face on larger ships; compared to bigger boats, guests do not feel overwhelmed by hordes of strangers . Guiding crew are essentially “built-in” solo travelers to share the journey with guests—their expertise and warmth are as much a part of the trip as the place, wildlife and ship. Hike to a Backcountry Hut in Colorado The sunlight breaks through clouds in Colorado's San Juan Mountains by Kody Goodson - Unsplash In the San Juan Mountains just outside of Silverton, Colorado, travelers can hike or snowshoe to a unique lodging experience. The OPUS Hut is a full-service, European-style backcountry lodge with solar-powered lighting, indoor composting toilets, in-floor solar-thermal heating, and healthy, natural food served up daily. In the summer months, one can drive to within just a quarter mile of the hut, but in the winter the road closes and it’s a 3.5 mile hike. This, cozy lodge features two wood stoves, a large dining area with seating for 20, and a small reclining area by the fire. While the hut is certainly off the beaten path, it still has plenty of little luxuries like outlets for charging devices, filtered drinking water, hot and cold tap water, as well as beer, wine and a limited selection of spirits are available from their bar. Meals are prepared with quality natural, organic and when possible, locally grown products. This summer, the hut is also trialing a new full bedding service by providing sheets, pillows, pillowcases and a duvet—which means visitors don't need to bring a sleeping bag liner or any other bedding in their packs. However, this is trial run, and may not continue in the future; be sure to double-check before your booking, or else you might be sleeping a little less comfortably. Further north in the high peaks of Leadville, those seeking a unique off-grid overnight experience can sleep sustainably at the Weston Pass Hut, set at 11,950 feet. While this hut is technically accessible by vehicle, get the full experience by hiking, skiing, or biking to this remote escape. Hikes from this high perch look out to the tops of the Sawatch and Mosquito ranges, including Colorado’s two highest peaks, showcasing Mother Earth’s splendor. The hut itself complements the surrounding natural beauty, as it was built with locally harvested and milled beams and an earth-covered, naturally insulated tundra roof. Stargaze in the Adirondacks The Milk Way galaxy rises over the Adirondacks by Kurt Von - Unsplash The Adirondacks, located within a day’s drive for 25% of the entire North American population, is home to hundreds of New York state-owned campgrounds where visitors can pitch a tent, park an RV, swim in one of the cool lakes, fish along the shore, and explore the area’s mountains, trails, and attractions. At night, campers can enjoy the region’s extreme darkness to easily admire the nighttime sky - offering billions of stars under which to sleep. The Hamilton County region, in particular, is known for its wilderness and the “big” experiences that it offers to visitors. The area’s wide-open nighttime sky provides a 180-degree view of the Milky Way, billions of stars, planets and sometimes satellites, all twinkling against an ink-black background. In fact, the Adirondack sky is a prime Eastern stargazing zone, with very little light pollution, relatively low humidity, and elevation—all important factors for viewing the stars. Hamilton County’s billion-star camping options include riverfront and lakefront sites, perfect for daytime swimming, fishing and lounging. Many offer restroom facilities, showers and easy access to local attractions. Who needs a 5-star resort when you can have a beautiful, remote, adventure-filled, billion-star hotel? This summer, last-minute camping under the stars is possible, as campsites are still available; many for less than $20 per night. It has also recently been announced by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation that two campgrounds in the region (Moffit Beach and Lewey Lake campgrounds) have extended their seasons until October 9th.