June kicks off the summer season in the United States, and the warmer weather combined with the month's holidays make it a popular time for travel. Schools let out for the summer break, and many people take time off to travel and enjoy the nice weather. If you're planning a trip to the United States in June, here are a few event highlights happening this month.
Early to Mid-June: Chicago Blues Festival
Don't miss your chance to hear the blues in the city that made it popular.
The Chicago Blues Festival is a free musical event each June that features local and internationally known blues, jazz, and rock artists. It takes place outdoors in Millennium Park, which lies within Grant Park, on multiple stages over the course of three days. The largest free blues festival in the world, it has drawn big names such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, Buddy Guy, and Mavis Staples. Not surprisingly, the event also draws big crowds, so be prepared for long lines. Make sure to book hotels and restaurants in advance of this beloved festival. Learn more about America's Music Cities.
June 14: Flag Day
Although not a federal holiday, Flag Day celebrates the day in 1777 when George Washington and the nation's other Founding Fathers made a resolution that officially designated the stars and stripes we know today as the American flag. June 14 was officially declared a day of recognition by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
People are encouraged to hang the flag outside their homes, and many businesses display flags in celebration. Learn more about America's flags.
Third Sunday in June: Father's Day
Father’s Day is a day to celebrate dads and parenting. In the United States, it became a national holiday in 1972. It is typically celebrated with card-giving, brunch, and family outings to wherever dear ole dad wants to go.
June 21: Summer Solstice
The solstice marks the official first day of summer, and, in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year. After the 21st, days get incrementally shorter until the winter solstice on December 21 when nights are at their longest. Then, the cycle starts all over again.
People have recognized and celebrated the summer solstice since the time of the ancient Greeks. It marked the beginning of the Greek calendar year, which was rung in with days-long festivals. Today places all across the United States celebrate the first day of summer with parades, parties, and music. New York City takes a different approach by hosting its annual "Mind Over Madness" yoga day with free classes in Times Square from sunrise to sunset. On the West Coast, Santa Barbara, California, celebrates with a three-day arts festival. Each year has a different theme, and people come out to dance, listen to music, and view public art installations put up especially for the event.
Late June–Early July: New York Restaurant Week
A good reason many tourists flock to New York is for its world-class dining. Twice a year, for two weeks from January to February and two weeks from June to July (though sometimes from July to August), foodies have the chance to dine at some of the best restaurants in the city at a bargain prix fixe price.
Restaurants across Manhattan and Brooklyn participate, so you'll have plenty of choices in both ambiance and cuisine. Make sure to reserve a table early—New Yorkers and visitors alike love the chance to try out new cuisine for a bargain and tables fill up fast. If you're a foodie, planning your New York City trip around Restaurant Week is a no-brainer. Learn more about New York Restaurant Week. See also July events in the USA.