Best Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

How can you quench your thirst for summertime fun while exploring some of the top walkable cities in the US? We’re compiling lists of urban beaches, ice cream shops, patio bars and sidewalk cafes that will do just that in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC. Discover (or rediscover) neighborhood gems by foot, bike or public transit (or pogo stick, roller blades, skateboard if you prefer).

Vote for your favorite urban “gem” on Walk Score’s new place pages or share them with friends and family to make plans for the waning weeks ‘til fall. What’s missing? Add it to the list (with a photo).

Visit a Local Ice Cream Shop

Nothing says summer like a waffle cone topped with ice cream. Gelato, sorbet and ice cream cool the body and soul.

Seattle's Bottega Italiana serves artisan, authentic gelato near Pike Place Market

Ice cream shops in Seattle

Ice cream shops in Boston

Ice cream shops in Portland, OR

Cool Off at Sidewalk Cafes

Hunt down shady outdoor spots or dine alfresco while waiting for a breeze in sultry summers. Or hit coffee shops in mornings when temperatures are more bearable.

Piano Terra is set in the North Garden of the Art Institute of Chicago

Sidewalk cafes in San Francisco

Sidewalk cafes in Washington, DC

Sidewalk cafes in Chicago

Splash Around Urban Beaches

Whether you dip your toes or dunk your body, cooling off at urban beaches is a summer ritual for adults and kids (plus dogs) of all ages.

Aquatic Park is part of San Francisco Bay with a wading area for kids and kids at heart

Urban beaches in Seattle

Urban beaches in San Francisco

Urban beaches in Boston

Plop Down at Patio Bars to the Toast Dog Days of Summer

Sip wine, toast to your health, bike to pubs and sample tasty snacks at these outdoor bars or restaurants with killer patios.

Departure patio bar

Patio bars in Portland, OR

Patio bars in Chicago

Patio bars in Washington, DC

What’s the best ice cream, cafe, patio bar or urban beach in your neighborhood or city? When was the last time you took time to walk or pedal to one of these places? Life moves quickly. Summer will end soon. Get out and experience life and beat the heat this record-breaking year.

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