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The Scene's guide to having the best summer of your life

Summer Guide 2016: Get Outside!

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Sweltering Southern heat is no longer our foe, praise be our lord and savior, Air Conditioning. But there's no need to run and hide inside just because a little mercury has started to rise. We live in Nashville, where we let our frizzy hair dance in the humidity and fearlessly stare down that scorching orb in the sky while gorging on hot chicken every Fourth of July.

To ensure you have the best summer of your life — and to prove there is summer fun beyond hugging your HVAC — we've rounded up some of our very favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors.

To really cool off, hit up one of the great swimming and canoeing destinations we list here. Up for an on-land adventure, or a weekend in the woods? See the best places to camp, and hike. (There's even something for you, goth kids — click here for a tip on a nearby historic cemetery that makes for an interesting, albeit untraditional, summer outing.)

Being that this is Music City and all, there are plenty of ways to ruin future hearing abilities by way of outdoor music festivals and concerts — we've listed the highlights. Or just kick back and relax with a chilly cocktail (or three) on a few of our favorite patios. Indoor kids are not excluded, either — this is still a fun town post-sundown; we've got outdoor movie options, shady nooks for devouring great books and more ways to chill.

So no excuses, Nashvillians. Slather on the sunblock, embrace those inevitable pit stains and keep yourself well-hydrated — it's time to get your ass outside.

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