Where to Celebrate the First Day of Summer in All 50 States
Anchorage enjoys a whopping 22 hours of daylight on its summer solstice. The city takes advantage of the extra sun with a number of celebrations. In particular, downtown Anchorage becomes the scene for a family-friendly festival in the streets, the Solstice Festival & Hero Games on June 18.
Related: Great Summer Festivals in All 50 States (and D.C.)
Observe the solstice by taking in the night sky at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. Every Friday throughout the summer, visitors can view the stars through a research telescope at the observatory; the fee is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Guided evening walks are a popular summer solstice activity, and Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland offers a free stroll on June 21. A guide will discuss topics such as summer solstice celebrations from different cultures around the world.
The annual RC-Moon Pie Festival & 10 Mile Run arrives in the tiny town of Bell Buckle every third weekend in June. Now in its 22nd year, the event takes place June 18 and offers plenty of all-day fun with music, games, clog dancing, and, of course, food. Featured fare includes Tennessee smoked barbecue, hand-squeezed lemonade, RC Cola, and deep fried moon pies -- and don't miss the cutting of the world’s largest moon pie.
Crimson Dawn Park & Museum in Mills, Wyoming, is the scene for a summer solstice celebration that’s been running since 1929. Every year on June 21, the park hosts a Midsummer’s Eve event. Visitors gather to enjoy an evening of storytelling and strolling through a network of shrines, and then snack on cookies and hot chocolate at a bonfire. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.