Traveling on vacation this summer? We want to go with you! Or maybe just find us when you get there. Many of our stores are around the corner from many of your favorite summer destinations. We’ve been featuring stores located near vacation destinations like historical landmarks, beaches, artsy and adventurous escapades, festivals and more. This time, we’re going boating.I can’t say that I know how to sail myself, but I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being able to holler “I’m on a BOAT!” while setting sail. (That will never get old for me!) Summer is a great time to cast off on a boat trip — it’s so freeing to jet out in the water with the cooling wind whipping your hair back and forth. Around the U.S., various cities were built based on commerce from ports and harbors and today those hubs bring us some major fun. Here are some popular nautical destinations with fun activities for you to check out before you ship out. Don’t forget to look at our store list to lay in provisions before setting sail.BostonBoston’s bustling water community extends beyond its boats (but if you’re looking to sail, paddle or windsurf, there are places to rent plenty of water equipment). The HarborWalk along Boston Harbor winds through the city’s waterfront neighborhoods as well as downtown and along the way there are spots to picnic, enjoy art, fish and see a working port in action. Children will enjoy the Boston Children’s Museum, featuring a permanent Arthur & Friends exhibit, a New Balance climbing structure and a PlaySpace for little ones. For a slightly different museum experience, the grand architecture of The Institute of Contemporary Art is a vision on the harbor, and the exhibits inside promote artful reflection, inspiration, provocation and imagination through contemporary art.
Home of the United States Naval Academy (tours are available to the public), Annapolis offers a dose of history along with beautiful visions of boats sailing on the water. The Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was signed here, and Peggy Stewart, a cargo vessel burned during the “Annapolis Tea Party,” rests beneath the water. Often called “America’s Sailing Capital,” Annapolis has plenty of opportunities for you to hoist your sails — be sure to take a cruise into the Chesapeake Bay or check out the boats at City Dock to get your nautical fix.
Local Whole Foods Market: Annapolis
San Francisco’s gorgeous year-round mild weather makes it a great destination in the summer! Walking up and down the city’s steep hills is a fun workout as well as a scenic treat — boat watch in the bay or take the trolley from Union Square down to Fisherman’s Wharf to spot all kinds of water vessels sail by. For fun outside of the water, visit the iconic Ferry Building or stroll around Japantown for fabulous shopping and eating experiences or take in a movie in the historic Castro Theatre. And if it’s not too foggy, head toward the base of the Golden Gate Bridge or up to Twin Peaks for some of San Francisco’s most incredible views.
Seattle is a major seaport near Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) and offers an array of entertainment options for visitors in the water and beyond. Take classes, boat rentals or free Sunday afternoon boat rides at the Center for Wooden Boats to celebrate the small craft heritage of historic wooden boats, or for a slightly different sailing experience, rent electric boats that have CD players/mp3 jacks that connect to sound systems. To get a taste of what makes Seattle famous, visit a hub of music and technology at the Experience Music Project (or EMP Museum) or take themed walking tours that feature Seattle perks like coffee and microbrews.
Hemmed in by three borders of water, the windy city grew up — literally! Chicago is filled with tall works of architecture you can see from the water by taking architectural cruises that tour downtown Chicago via the Chicago River or brilliant sunset cruises on Lake Michigan. To explore a lakefront playground, visit the Navy Pier for rides (like a 15-story Ferris wheel!) and performances. If you find yourself in downtown just before the sun sets, find Buckingham Fountain for a spectacular light and music show that begins at dusk. Other works of art can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago or in Millennium Park, just off of the “Magnificent Mile” (aka Michigan Avenue).