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The 50 Best Things to Do this Summer in All 50 States: The Northeast

Summer is coming, and with it come tons of great summer events. Every state has more than enough to do, but what can you absolutely not miss? We’ve collected iconic, quirky, and just plain fun things to do this summer from every state. Here, the best of the best in every state in the Northeast.

Rhode Island Clam Chowder Photo by Ricardo Rossi (flickr.com/photos/ricrossi)

Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Photo by Flickr/Ricardo Rossi

Where? Newport, Rhode Island
What? Great Chowder Cook-Off
When? June 6th
Why Go? Newport’s chowder competition is the longest running championship in the U.S. Once featured on Food Network and again on Travel Channel, this cook-off is beyond legendary. On top of that, attendees all get unlimited “chowdah” samples—from the traditional to the bizarre. $25 to attend. newportwaterfrontevents.com.

Boston Dragon Boat Festival Photo courtesy of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Boston Dragon Boat Festival
Photo courtesy of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Where? Boston, Massachusetts
What? Dragon Boat Festival
When? June 13th-14th
Why Go? The Boston Dragon Boat Festival is the oldest in North America. Come for the race, where 63 teams from across the country will battle it out for the win—but stay for the Asian culture, food, music, dance, and martial arts performances that give the event its special flair. Free to attend. bostondragonboat.org.

Where? Dover, Delaware
What? Big Barrel Country Music Festival
When? June 26th-28th
Why Go? Big Barrel’s creators know country. The fest is made by the same people who do California’s Stagecoach Festival every year, and the lineup is packed with Southern stars, including Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. From $99 for a three day pass. bigbarrel.com.

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Photo by Simon Abrams (flickr.com/photos/flysi)

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival
Photo by flickr/Simon Abrams

Where? Brooklyn, New York
What? Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival
When? July 11th
Why Go? The 11th annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival takes New York’s hip-hop roots and amplifies them. In addition to performances by big name artists like Mobb Deep and Common, the festival speaks to hip-hop as a service in panel discussions, exhibitions, and a block party. From $50. bkhiphopfestival.com.

Where? Yarmouth, Maine
What? Yarmouth Clam Festival
When? July 17th-19th
Why Go? Unsurprisingly, this clam-centric festival is one of Maine’s most popular events. Come out to see a clam cook-off, participate in a clam shucking contest, watch a clam cooking demo, and—of course—eat a lot of clams in the process. Free to attend. clamfestival.com.

Blueberries Photo by @rsseattle (flickr.com/photos/rsmith11235)

Blueberries
Photo by flickr/rsseattle

Where? Deerfield Valley, Vermont
What? The Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival
When? July 31st—August 9th
Why Go? For the first 10 days of August, Vermont’s Deerfield Valley is all about blueberries: blue-themed cocktails and beers, blueberry-inspired foods, a blue auto show, blueberry bingo—you name it, they’ve got it, and in blueberry flavor. Free to attend. vermontblueberry.com.

Where? Mystic, Connecticut
What? Mystic Outdoor Art Fest
When? August 11th-12th
Why Go? As one of New England’s most prestigious juried art shows, Mystic draws over 300 artists from all backgrounds to exhibit their works. Free to attend. mysticchamber.org.

Pennsylvania BBQ Photo by vew82 (flickr.com/photos/vew82)

Pennsylvania BBQ
Photo by flickr/vew82

Where? New Holland, Pennsylvania
What? New Holland Summer Fest
When? August 28th-29th
Why Go? This Pennsylvania state championship BBQ cook-off pits over 70 teams from all over the states against each other, all vying for that $15,000 prize in several categories. Perhaps the most exciting? The whole-hog contest, where teams are challenged with cooking—you guessed it—an entire hog. $1 to attend. nhsummerfest.org.

 

Where? Crisfield, Maryland
What? National Hard Crab Derby and Fair
When? August 28th-31st
Why Go? This crab fest has contests for both crab cooking and boat docking, dance and music performances, and the aptly named Miss Crustacean Pageant. The main event, though, is the crab derby, where 50 crabs race on a track. Free to attend. nationalhardcrabderby.com.

Where? Atlantic City, New Jersey
What? Atlantic Air Show
When? September 2nd
Why Go? Over 500,000 spectators regularly attend this show of fancy flying, where the nation’s best civilian pilots and most seasoned military pilots do air acrobatics. Free to attend. airshow.acchamber.com.

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival Photo by rickpilot_2000 (flickr.com/photos/26531284@N02)

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
Photo by Flickr/rickpilot_2000

Where? Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
What? Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
When? September 11th-13th
Why Go? New Hampshire boasts New England’s largest seaside event, with over 60 top restaurants showcasing their best dishes. It’s all combined with music, arts vendors, and a can’t-miss skydiving performance. Free to attend. hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com.

Check out our picks for the best things to do in the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West

Top photo: Atlantic City, by OnMyWayTo.