June Culture Travel Guide

Chicago Blues Festival
Experience the past, present, and future of blues music at the Chicago Blues Festival. (courtesy, ChicagoFests.com)

Chicago Blues Festival
A year after the great Muddy Waters died in 1983, Chicago held its inaugural Blues Festival in Grant Park to celebrate the history of blues music in the city. Muddy must watch over the June event, because something special always seems to happen onstage, like the time Keith Richards joined Chuck Berry to croon out a song.

Houston, Texas
When you think of Houston, you think of George Bush, ribs, and the Astros. The Arts certainly don't come to mind. But Houston contains two of the finest art museums in the country, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil. Rafael Moneo's grand Beck building at the MFAH houses vast works of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. The Menil Collection specializes in surrealist works, including paintings and sculptures by Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and Giorgio De Chirico. If time permits, stroll down to the Rothko Chapel, where the artist Mark Rothko created 14 large canvases that circle the room.
(www.mfah.org; www.menil.org)

Napa Valley
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and actress Geena Davis both showed up in 2006 to raise money at the granddaddy of wine auctions, the Napa Valley Vintners Annual Auction. The four-day event raised over eight million dollars for healthcare, low-income housing, and youth services in the Napa Valley. Bid on an array of wine from such famous vintners as Joseph Phelps and Screaming Eagle, while dining on food from San Francisco's celebrity chefs.

CMA Music Festival, Nashville
For a long weekend in June, downtown Nashville plays host to over 150,000 people at the annual CMA Music Festival. Grab tickets now, before they sell out, and you'll be treated to celebrity sports competitions, autograph signings, and more than 70 hours of live music from the best country musicians.

Stonewall, Texas
Located 13 miles west of Fredericksburg on the Pedernales River, Stonewall, Texas is best known as the birthplace of former president Lyndon Baines Johnson. ‘Ole L.B.J. certainly knew that Stonewall grows some of the sweetest peaches on their side of the Mississippi River. A rodeo, dance, parade, and tasty peaches and cream are all part of the annual Peach Jamboree, held in June.

Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska celebrates the longest day of the year with the Midnight Sun Festival. On June 21, close to 50,000 people head downtown to enjoy live music, food, dancing, and arts and crafts into the wee hours of the morning. With 12 hours of nonstop fun, you'll try your hand at gold panning, check out some classic cars, and chat with local artists.

Manchester, Tennessee
Who says Woodstock is dead? Less than an hour's drive southeast of Nashville, on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, folks camp out for three days to listen to some of the best rock, reggae, and blues of the era at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The 2006 eclectic line-up featured Radiohead, Moe, Matisyahu, Ben Folds, Buddy Guy, Beck, Elvis Costello, and many more name groups. Don't miss out this year.

Lisbon, Portugal
The sardine season officially begins in Lisbon at the Feast of Saint Anthony. From the night of June 12 to 13, festivities include parades and streets filled with the sweet smell of sardines grilling on bonfires. Head to the Alfma district of the city, where the parties thrive in full swing and show some love for the matchmaker saint.

Milwaukee's Summerfest
Billed as the World's Largest Music Festival, Milwaukee's Summerfest celebrates on 75 acres with ten stage areas, a children's theater, sports court, and plenty of food and beverage vendors. Toby Keith and other name performers entertain fans on the shores of Lake Michigan. This being Milwaukee, known for its German food and drink, expect your fair share of bratwurst and beer.

Winslow Homer's primary residence from 1883 until his death in 1910, sat on a spit of land dangling from Maine's shoreline. Here he would paint every nook and cranny of these rugged shores, creating works that would garner his reputation as one of the leading painters of his day. Visit this small community, just south of Portland, and take the same mile-long cliff walk Homer took almost every morning at 4:30 a.m. with his dog Sam. Then stop by 5 Winslow Homer Road, where a small white sign stating “Homer, The Studio" denotes this simple structure's legacy. Portland Art Museum is refurbishing Homer's studio and it will reopen in the spring of 2008.

Boston-based writer Stephen Jermanok has authored or contributed to 11 books on the outdoors, including Outside Magazine's Adventure Guide to New England , Discovery Channel's Backcountry Treks , Discovery Channel's Paddlesports , Outside Magazine's Guide to Family Vacations and Men's Journal's The Great Life . His latest book is New England Seacoast Adventures . His many adventures appear in National Geographic Adventure , Outside , Men's Journal , Forbes FYI , Travel + Leisure , Hooked on the Outdoors , and Backpacker . He can be reached at farandaway@comcast.net.

Published: 6 Mar 2007 | Last Updated: 7 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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