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Pool flamingo float used in the summer

Our Editors’ Picks for Summer

road trips, playlists, accessories and more

Now that summer is in full swing, there seems to be a different feeling in the air. Maybe it’s that there’s no school or there’s way more sunlight, but generally summer brings about this laidback vibe. And considering how 2020 has gone so far, we’re here for it.

So check out our editors’ favorite things for summer—from our favorite road trips to what’s on our summer playlists.

Favorite Way to Beat the Heat

“Whenever the kids come in red-cheeked from the heat, they ask for ‘ice lollies.’ I always feel like I’m cheating when I give them these organic ones and they don’t notice.” —Heather Vance Devers, Creative + Content Director

“There’s a snow cone stand on Belt Line in Carrollton called Lyn’s Tasty Sno—the owner is a sweetheart; she’ll remember your name and snow cone order from season to season! And her snow cones are fluffy and flavorful.” —Carrie Steingruber, Executive Editor

“We frequent the aquatic center at The Rec in Grapevine. It has a great indoor pool area (so you don’t have to worry about slathering on the sunscreen constantly). There’s a really fun kids’ section, and you don’t have to be a resident to get a membership.” —Alexis Patterson, Managing Editor

“I love anything involving water—the pool, the lake, the ocean, a river—all of it. This year we’re spending a lot of time at the family lake house on Lake Texoma and on the rivers near Austin and San Marcos. South Padre Island’s beach is hard to beat too.” —Sydney Blalock Ritchie, Digital Editor

“I love a good fruit smoothie when I can’t escape the sun. It’s not too heavy and instantly cools me down.” —Emily Yearwood, Assistant Editor

Favorite Road Trip

“We love exploring and (when it’s not so hot) camping in Texas state parks. Inks Lake State Park in Burnet is a favorite, and Tyler State Park is good for escaping into the shade of the East Texas Piney Woods.” —Carrie Steingruber

“I love going to New Braunfels and San Marcos to float the river and hang out in Gruene. The small town (except it’s not even really a town) is so cute with great shops and restaurants.” —Sydney Blalock Ritchie

“Our family did a road trip to Turner Falls in Davis, Oklahoma, about two hours north of us. It’s the biggest waterfall in the state, and you can swim in the cold springs (yes, they’re definitely cold). Be sure to take a life vest or other Coast Guard-approved flotation device for kiddos 12 and younger—they’re required, no exceptions. You can also explore caves and go hiking in the park.” —Alexis Patterson

“We love to escape to the cool mountains in the summertime, so we usually take a road trip to Colorado or New Mexico.” —Heather Vance Devers

“For weekend trips, I like travelling down to Austin for a quick getaway. Some of my favorite spots are Zilker Park, the Texas State Capitol and McKinney Falls State Park. There’s so many unique spots in Austin, so I try to get out as much as I can when I’m there.” —Emily Yearwood

Favorite Summer Accessory

“I have two, and I can’t really pick one over the other. First, my sunglasses. I love sunglasses. I have at least four pairs and am always looking for another style to add to my collection. Second, my straw market bag I got from an Etsy shop. I use it as a beach bag, at the Dallas Farmer’s Market, pretty much anywhere that I need a lot of storage.” —Sydney Blalock Ritchie

“I recently splurged on this Kate Spade purse and can’t get enough. It’s perfect to dress up or down and can even hold my laptop. Hands down one of my best purchases.” —Emily Yearwood

“In the summer I can’t live without the Megababe Beauty products. They have an awesome natural deodorant called Rosy Pits that smells great and actually works. The Thigh Rescue is great for wearing dresses in the summer too.” —Heather Vance Devers

“My real must-have accessory is a jacket because I freeze in the air conditioning! But as far as summer favorites, I just bought a couple pairs of wedge sandals from Ann Taylor. I don’t have many places to wear them (I’m all about athleisure these days), but they’re super cute and summery.” —Alexis Patterson

“I love my L.L. Bean Maine Isle flip-flops—they’re durable and comfortable. I have three different patterns!” —Carrie Steingruber

Favorite Backyard Activity

“On nights when there’s a breeze, I like hanging out on patio chairs and making s’mores in the firepit. The dogs love the occasional fallen graham cracker and we get some relief from the heat (even if it’s just for the night).” —Emily Yearwood

“We downloaded a bug identifier app and have been exploring our yard to see what species we find. It’s fun but not perfect—my son took a selfie and it said he was a desert tarantula.” —Alexis Patterson

“Currently my husband and I are on a big backyard game spree. We get pretty competitive with a good game of Kan Jam or Spikeball.” —Sydney Blalock Ritchie

“Weeding, birding or sitting on the porch with my laptop!” —Carrie Steingruber

“We set up a unicorn sprinkler my daughter named Rainbow Sunshine in the backyard. The kids run through and wear themselves out.” —Heather Vance Devers

What’s Always On Our Summer Playlist

“I have loved the all-sister band Haim for years, and their newest EP ‘Don’t Wanna’ has some great summer bops.” —Heather Vance Devers

“I love listening to either the Yacht Rock Spotify playlist or Backyard BBQ Spotify playlist. Both have a lot of great oldies with the Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith … I could go on.” —Sydney Blalock Ritchie

“In the summer, I’m ready for strong female vocalists. Lately I’ve had R&B and soul on the brain—Nina Simone and Chyvonne Scott.” —Carrie Steingruber

“Can you ever go wrong with Taylor Swift?” —Alexis Patterson

“There’s nothing quite like belting out the words to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with all of your windows down. It’s a must on any and all summer playlists.” —Emily Yearwood

Image courtesy of iStock.