As the old saying goes, we've saved the best for last, and summer is indeed the best season. People look forward to summer because it has much more to offer than the other seasons. It's always warm, the days are long, and unlike the other seasons, there is no point where it is too cold to do something.
From cookouts to vacations to swimming, summer just provides so many opportunities for things to do. After all, during what other season can you just choose a day and know that it'll probably be a nice one? No other season except summer.
Why Summer Is The Best
Warm Weather. Consider this: the national average temperature of the United States during the two full months of summer — July and August — is 74.29 and 72.77 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the northernmost city with a population of over 20,000, Fairbanks, AK, has an average of 72.7 degrees F. in July. Which other season can claim that it's comfortably warm almost anywhere for at least one month of the season? That's right, only summer can do that.
It's gets even better for cities that are among the contiguous 48 or are Hawaii, because you can be sure that almost any day of the summer is a good day for an activity. Want to barbecue? Great. Go camping? Go for it. Take a trip somewhere? You've picked the right time. There is almost nothing that can't be done during summer. You can even ski if you're willing to take a trip to Oregon. No other season has weather that allows such varied types of activities.
No School. Well, unless you're from one of those states that have school year around, in which case you have my sympathies, though even they get decent-length breaks every so often. But at least for us in the Northeast, summer was the one time of year that every student greatly anticipated because it meant at least two months of no school and relative freedom to do whatever we wanted. Of course, there was the occasional summer reading assignment, but this was a rare thing. So, for the most part, we looked forward to summer. Here in the real world there is no such thing as a summer break, but we still await it because of all the other opportunities for activities and smaller vacations it brings.
Swimming. Swimming and summer are things that go together like ice cream and hot fudge. They're inseparable concepts. You say "let's go swimming" in the fall or spring, and who wants to do that? People who enjoy swimming in cold water, that's who (admittedly, there are a few people who like this). When else can you swim outside and not have it feel like you just made a huge mistake? As far as I'm concerned, no other time. It's just not an activity people consider at almost any other period of the year because it's just too chilly. Okay, so a heater for your pool's water might give you an extra month of swimming time on both ends, but you also have cooler air that will chill year when you get out of the pool.
Swimming is the perfect summer activity. It gets a little too hot out for your liking? Go swimming. Want to exercise without overheating? Go swimming. Need to do something fun and easy with the kids? Go swimming.
Beaches. Visiting a beach is another activity that is usually done during the summer, because any other time of year the water is just too cold, even more so than in a pool. Of course, beaches are often much more than just places to go swimming. Take the Atlantic City beach, for example, with its range of attractions, including the famous boardwalk. As another example, people often go to beaches in order to tan themselves. Health considerations of this activity aside, it's much more difficult to do this in spring, fall, or winter, because the UV index is best for it in the summer (depending on where you are).
The Fourth of July (if you're from the U.S.): Apart from its more important purpose of celebrating the founding of the United States, Independence Day is a great excuse to get out, have a barbecue and some drinks, go swimming, and generally have a great time. It is, along with Labor Day — which I claim because it's astronomically, if not meteorologically, within the summer season — the only two major holidays summer actually has, so I'll take what I can get.
Vacation Time. Summer is an extremely popular time to take a vacation. Last year, a Morpace survey found that nearly 60% of Americans planned to take a vacation during the summer. Sure, there are vacations during all times of the year, but summer is the season most associated with them. And is it any surprise? With plenty to do and great weather pretty much anywhere you go, it's the perfect choice of season in which to take one.
In conclusion, summer is the best season because it provides the best opportunities and warmest weather. Unlike winter, spring, and fall, you never have to worry about part or all of the season being too chilly to do what you want. Summer is always warm and inviting, and at the times where it's a bit too hot, there are ways around that, like going swimming.
There are certainly no lack of options for activities. Beaches are open, and everyday is a great day to put some hamburgers and hotdogs on the barbecue. If you're a sports fan, summer lacks in variety, but there are still options, such as soccer and baseball. In all, summer is just the way to go.
All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Barbecue image by Hedwig Storch.