Take your shirts off, put your Havaianas on and turn the music up! The year’s sexiest season is about to begin.
Can you believe it’s finally happening again? After what seemed like an impossibly long wait, along comes another Memorial Day in all of its glory to remind us why June, July and August are the hottest months in the gay calendar — in more ways than one.
This weekend marked the unofficial kickoff to the summer, which is the official season for Pride celebrations, frozen margaritas, tea dances, tanned bodies and summer loves. Just to name a few of our favorite things.
We surveyed a few of you to see how you plan on spending the warmer months, and what you think we should all do to make the summer of 2016 the best ever.
Mason Meyer, 36, Los Angeles, CA
I just kicked off my Memorial Day summer plans with a trip to Costa Rica with a couple of my best buddies. We are hitting up all the hottest spots we heard about: up north in the jungle at Arenal Volcano to soak in the hot springs, rock climb through the waterfalls, zip line, and white water raft. Then we head down to the Pacific beach at Manuel Antonio. Finally a little time in San Jose to do a little urban cultural stuff like visiting the museums and the market. I’m still planning the rest of summer but I definitely want to go back to NYC to connect with friends and then spend most of my time on Fire Island and the Hamptons while I’m back East. Laguna is fun for the Fourth of July so I’ll probably do that. Lastly, I want to go to Hawaii for a week or so in August since I haven’t been yet and it’s not a far trip from LA. I hear Maui and Kauai are amazing.
Tips for the best summer ever: Don’t let it pass you by. Do something or go somewhere you’ve never been. And always have fun doing it.
The song of the summer will be: “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”, by Mike Posner
Laura Calçada, 28, and Fanny Zarifi, 25, Brooklyn, NY
Working and enjoying New York City until the beginning of August. Then we are traveling to Europe. We still have to figure out where and when. But the plan is to go to my hometown Marseille and my family house in Provence. Then to Laura’s Italian family in Positano. We’d also love to spend one or two weeks in this little hotel we’ve heard about in Mexico, which looks like paradise on earth. Plans for the future: to get married there!
Tips for the best summer ever: Spend it with people you love and a glass of French rosé.
The song of the summer will be: “Hold Up”, by Beyoncé
Jacob Groody, 25, Alameda, CA
This summer I’ll be moving from Alameda, California to Portland, Oregon. I’m moving in the beginning of summer and for the rest of it, I’ll be unpacking, decorating, and looking for a job. My ideal summer would be to go to Mendocino. My family and I would sometimes stay there and it was always a lot of fun. I haven’t gone in years and I miss it! But I’ve always been a winter person: hot days while wearing two binders can be a real drag!
Tips for the best summer ever: Take a lot of pictures, wear a lot of sunscreen, and be a little more spontaneous than you normally would be.
The song of the summer will be: “HandClap”, by Fitz and the Tantrums.
Leslie Howitt, 53, New York, NY
It’s always a gay summer for me. Pride is like my Christmas! (Howitt is a proud straight ally.) This Summer I’m having fun in Fire Island Pines, of course! I love spending a few months on the Island painting and dancing. I also like traveling here and there. Greece would be nice. Every summer gets better. I meet new people and make new friends… and reconnect with old ones.
Tips for the best summer ever: Spend as much time as you can with good friends, laugh as much as possible. Dance, beach, beach, beach and wear sunscreen.
The song of the summer will be: “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, by Justin Timberlake
Valerio Rosa, 45, Miami, FL
I just arrived in East Hampton from Miami, and I’ll stay here until a little after Labor Day. I’m going to be working here, and having a lot a fun with my friends, as I do every Summer. We love hanging out at home drinking wine, having barbecues, going to Two Mile Hollow Beach, eating at the town’s cute little restaurants and sitting around bonfires at the beach. I’m also going to celebrate Pride in New York City, which I haven’t done in a while. I hope this is going to be a really good summer.
Tips for the best summer ever: If you are in the Hamptons, check out the town’s little restaurants and bars. And eat the lobster!
The song of the summer will be: “Hold Up”, by Beyoncé
Enio Cavaretto, 51 and Michael Leary, 48, Charlotte, NC
We have a few trips planned for the summer. In June, we are going to Gay Pride in New York City, a longstanding tradition for us and great time to reconnect with friends and celebrate our community on grand scale. After the Pride festivities, we will head out to the Hamptons to relax and visit friends there as well. Later in the summer, we are making a trip to Northern Michigan to visit with family and enjoy the beauty of the Great Lakes. We’ll be in Deer Lake, near Boyne Mountain in Michigan, go on boat trips, and visit the little towns in the area. We used to go every year and take the dog, when we lived in Chicago.
Tips for the best summer ever: Fully embrace every moment, conversation, glance and adventure that comes your way; be ready to be amazed. Spend quality time with friends, have fun, laugh, drink wine, go to the beach, watch sunsets.
The song of the summer will be: “U Wear It Well”, by RuPaul or “Work” by Rihanna.
Nicole J. Caruth, 37, Omaha NE
I’ll be doing travel-work more than vacationing this summer, though I’m fortunate that my jobs requires me to engage with artists and art spaces. I plan to see as much art as possible this summer, particularly in the middle of the country. Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago are on my list. I’d also love to spend one week at the Berlin Biennial, two weeks in Mumbai followed by a month volunteering on a farm or researching food insecurity near New Delhi, and a month in Thailand taking yoga with the fabulous Tara Eden, a former New York City-based instructor.
Tips for the best summer ever: Do two things you didn’t do last summer.
The song of the summer will be: Something from Drake’s new album.
Tom Meier, 49, Long Island City, NY and Ron Tuazon, 43, Montreal, Canada
It’s important to not only plan ahead, but be spontaneous and go what feels like fun. This year, we kicked off our summer in Montreal. We are celebrating Pride in New York City, of course, and right after that we’ll go to Fire Island Pines for July 4th weekend. In August, we’ll go back to Montreal for Pride, and then an entire week in the Pines. We are also doing a weekend in the Hamptons, but haven’t decided when, yet.
Tips for the best summer ever: Break free from your routine, stay up late, miss some workouts, sample all the food at the BBQ, have a tequila-fueled night. Dance on the beach. Laugh as much as possible. Surround yourself with great friends, fresh food and sunshine.
The song of the summer will be: “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, by Justin Timberlake.
Towleroad readers, let us know in the comments where you’ll be going, what your summer tips are, and your vote for the song of the summer.
Please respect the choices of fellow readers – no personal attacks, please.