Outdoor summer theater across the country

By Nicholas DeRenzo
January 12, 2022
Courtesy <a href="" target="_blank">Wikipedia Commons</a>

This week marks the start of the 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season in New York City, with free performances of All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure playing through July 30 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Since the program began in 1954, the Public Theater's famous—and famously free—productions have attracted stars like Anne Hathaway and Al Pacino. And all you have to do to snag a seat is wake up early and wait in line. In fact, an online lottery system has made the system even easier—simply sign up, enter the drawing in the morning, and check back at 1pm to see if you've been selected for a free seat for the evening.

But you don't have to come all the way to New York City to see exciting live outdoor theater this summer! Last month, the New York Times compiled a comprehensive lineup of summer theater across the country. Here are some regional standouts from their list:


Houston Shakespeare Festival

July 29–August 7

Othello and Taming of the Shrew

San Diego

The Old Globe

May 29–September 25

Much Ado About Nothing, Tempest, and Amadeus

Santa Cruz

Shakespeare Santa Cruz

July 18–August 28

Henry IV, Part 1

Spring Green, Wisconsin

American Players Theater

June 4–October 16

Taming of the Shrew, Tempest, Glass Menagerie, and Of Mice and Men

Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Vineyard Playhouse

July 20–August 14

Comedy of Errors

Check here for other shows in your area.


Video: How to Get Broadway Tickets for Less

Finally! Affordable hotels in New York City have arrived

London: Pop-up theater

Keep reading

Great surf spots you've (probably) never heard of

In honor of International Surfing Day on June 20, and another 'endless' summer (shaka!), we asked the Surfrider Foundation to put together a list of some lesser-known surf spots around the country that everyone from the novice to the experienced rider can enjoy. "I tried to pick spots that are legit from a surfing standpoint, but for various reasons don't get the attention that they deserve," explained Matt McClain of the Surfrider Foundation, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of coastlines. McClain put together this list from West Coast to East: 1) Pine Trees, Kauai, Hawaii: Located off the sleepy surf town of Hanalei on the north shore of Kauai, Pine Trees offers an escape from the circus-like atmosphere of Oahu's North Shore. It's a fun break for intermediate and advanced surfers, while beginners can find gentler waves in front of the nearby pier. 2) Yakutat, Alaska: If you want to get away &mdash; far away &mdash; then Yakutat is the place. Don't let the towering Sitka spruce and bald eagles fool you. Yakutat is a bona fide surfing destination that has drawn some of the biggest names in professional surfing. 3) Cowell's, Santa Cruz, California: Located just inside the famous break at Steamer Lane, Cowell's is the perfect spot to learn how to surf. This break is renowned for its gentle peaks and long, rolling waves. A number of surf schools operate here. 4) Burnout, Torrance, California: Despite being one of the most photographed spots in Southern California, Burnout is still relatively unknown outside of the South Bay. A quintessential California beach break, on any given day pro surfers like Alex Gray and Holly Beck can be found pulling into the barrels at Burnout. 5) Trails, San Clemente, California: Technically part of San Onofre State Beach Park, Trails is often overshadowed by the park's other spots, Trestles and San Onofre. The surf itself is not the most amazing you'll ever ride, but the laid-back atmosphere and dog-friendly policy make it worth the trip. 6) Reef Road, West Palm Beach, Florida: With it's clear, warm water, Reef Road is about as good as Florida surfing gets. A popular spot with local surfers, the sandy bottom break can range from three- to six-footers, up to two times overhead on a storm swell. 7) The Cove, Cape May, New Jersey: If The Cove were located in California or Hawaii, it would probably be as famous as Malibu or Waikiki. The Cove is primarily a longboard spot and attracts surfers of all ages and abilities. 8) Alamo, Montauk, New York: Located out on the tip of Long Island, Montauk pulls in all kinds of waves and weather. The hearty souls that are willing to brave the wind and strong currents are rewarded with thick heaving lefts (waves that break from left to right when you're looking out from the beach). This spot is for experienced surfers only. There's also a whole host of activities taking place around the country, and around the world, over the coming days in honor of International Surfing Day. For a schedule of events and additional information about the day set aside for celebrating the sport of surfing, go here. More from Budget Travel: Legendary Surf Towns The Swellest Little Town in Costa Rica Movie Quest: Chasing an endless summer, finding a lifetime passion


5 best new ice pops in the U.S.

These revisionist takes on a classic summer treat will probably upset Popsicle purists. To which we say: Chill out! They may not look like the stuff of many a childhood brain freeze, but your mouth will love them all the same. 1 New York Most new-wave ice-pop artisans acknowledge at least some debt to the paleta&mdash;a frozen fruit treat sometimes made with nuts, milk, and spices that gained popularity along Mexico's Pacific coast in the 1940s. Former pastry chef and Mexico City transplant Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina has a special connection to the confection: In fact, she's publishing a book of recipes (titled Paletas) this month. There's a store in the works, too, but for now, the best place to get ahold of her avocado, hibiscus, or cajeta (caramelized goat's milk) pops is her stall at the Hester Street Fair. Hester St. at Essex St.,, from $2. 2 Atlanta Launching a cold-sweets business in a city nicknamed Hotlanta? Now that should be a no-brainer. Mining Southern culinary touchstones for his inspiration, Steven Carse has more than earned his King of Pops moniker&mdash;and his loyal following, who visit his cart in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood (a.k.a. Atlanta's burgeoning street-food center) weekdays from 3 to 8 p.m. and weekends from 12 to 8 p.m. His stick shtick? Frosty takes on Georgia peaches, Arnold Palmers (sweet tea and lemonade), and banana pudding&mdash;complete with frozen hunks of Nilla Wafers. 1079 North Ave.,, $2.50. 3 New Orleans It takes something truly refreshing to lure the French Quarter crowds away from Bourbon Street's slushy-dispensing daiquiri stands. At Meltdown, Michelle Weaver creates sophisticated botanical combinations&mdash;pineapple and cilantro, saffron and rose water, blackberry and sage&mdash;that are nevertheless appealing to (and healthy for) ice pop fanatics of all ages. The shop's decor also hits a wholesome note&mdash;how very un-Big Easy!&mdash;with white paper lanterns, cheery green walls, and a chalkboard in the front window listing each day's specials. 508 Dumaine St., $3. 4 Raleigh, N.C. Summer Bicknell did not open her ice-pop business on a whim. In 2004, she traveled 2,000 miles to Tlazazalca, Mexico, for an intensive, three-month paleta-making apprenticeship. She hasn't stopped moving since. In 2005, Bicknell opened the first Locopops in a tiny space near the Duke campus and has since expanded to Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Her flavors cover plenty of ground, too&mdash;crowd-pleasers like chocolate brownie share the stage with wilder styles that incorporate black truffle, olive oil, and even bacon. 1908 Hillsborough St.,, from $2. 5 Los Angeles Personal chef Michelle Sallah can take the heat, but she still likes to get out of the kitchen once in a while. So last summer, Sallah and her partner John Cassidy started L.A.'s mobile Popcycle Treats as a weekend project. With the help of a custom-built freezer bike, the pair pedal their wares through Silverlake's farmers market each Saturday and the Holly-wood farmers market on Sundays. They're clever locations in a way, since the ingredients for their next batch of salty cucumber-lime or coffee-cardamom coolers are always just a farm stall away. Twitter @popcycle treats for locations and flavors, $3. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL Gourmet food trucks: Track 'em down with these four Web tools San Francisco: Sweet treats to try before you die Why cruise ships almost never stay in port overnight


The new King Memorial is ready for its close-up

More than 400,000 visitors may descend on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall in late August to witness the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. What do travelers need to know to plan a visit? The four-acre site is set between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. It is the first piece of construction to be placed on the central axis of the Mall that doesn't commemorate a war or a president. It will feature a 28-foot-high granite statue by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin, along with a crescent wall engraved with King quotations chosen by historians and writers. The social realist sculpture has been completed, but the site as a whole, funded by private donations, still needs $8 million for finishing touches. We hope it rises to the occasion. The dedication ceremony takes place on August 28 at 11 a.m., preceded by a planned concert at 10 and followed by another concert around 2 p.m. Free standing room areas will be open nearby, but tickets have already been given away for the seats in the stands. Expect long lines to form early in the morning. Giant television screens may be set up for guests who can't see the ceremony up-close, but details are still being worked out. Assuming all things go as planned, visitors will want to book now for lodging in the city during the weekend before the Labor Day holiday. The popularity of the upcoming event, along with customary family trips during summer peak season, is jacking up prices temporarily. Consider Budget Travel's picks for affordable hotels in the city and its environs. Be sure to also catch up on "The 20 Best-Kept Secrets of Washington, D.C." from our April issue. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL The disappearance of cheap red-eye flights Open secret websites for booking hotels Rental car companies charge frequent flier mile redemption fees


Where in the world will your interests take you?

CNN recently spoke to travel writer Tony Perrottet, who journeyed across Europe in search of sites so salacious, they've become the stuff of legends. Among them, the Venetian home that once belonged to Giancomo Casanova, and the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a very closely guarded washroom in the Vatican's papal quarters decorated with some decidedly secular imagery by Raphael himself. You can get all the juicy details on Perrottet's trip in his book The Sinner's Grand Tour, which hit bookstores last month. The interview itself is a pretty fascinating read&mdash;and while I won't presume to guess what train of thought it will lead you to, I can tell you what it got me thinking about: all the varied, off-the-wall themes that can inspire and shape a trip. Sure, you can visit a place with nothing more on the agenda than discovering it organically&mdash;some might say that's the only way to travel. But it seems that now more than ever, you can take off to anther part of the world in an effort to trace the steps or follow the trail of just about anything: the book you'll find on every Nook and Kindle (Stockholm has seen a jump in tourism since introducing Girl With the Dragon Tattoo tours, based on the wildly popular series of novels by Stieg Larsson, last year); a real-life historical figure (among those honored with their own itineraries: Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Che Guevara, and Kate Middleton); your taste buds (one of BT's recent dream trips urges travelers to take in Paris via patisserie); or even...toilets (yes, really). As someone who was dragged along the Da Vinci Code trail in Paris (and despite herself, managed to enjoy it), I'm curious to hear from others who have ventured into themed travel: What's the wackiest tour you've heard of, been on, or can't wait to try? Around what theme would you base a trip, and where would it take you? MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: 12 Mysterious Underground Tours New trend: Urban bike tours in Los Angeles and New York Chernobyl officially opens for tours