Our summertime philosophy can be summed up in two words : get. Outside.
After a winter of sitting indoors (which isn’t all bad. We’re big fans of getting cozy with blankets and hot beverages of choice!), we love to stretch our legs and explore. Sometimes we get bit with a bit of a wanderlust bug and take off traveling. Other times, we’re simply content to picnic on our own patios. That’s why we love these seven hot spots near The Dartmouth North Hills Apartments. They combine the best of both worlds : a chance to explore the gems around us while remaining close to home.
Five of these spots are right in North Hills. Couldn’t be more convenient! Two are a short (15 minute or less) drive away, but we think they’re worth it.
1. The Midtown Park Ampitheater: the ultimate community green space.
It’s hard to beat an outdoor concert setting like the Ampitheater. First of all, it’s bookended by a restaurant (shoutout, Chuy’s) and a stage. Food and live music – what more could you want?
We’re big fans of grabbing a group of friends, piling onto blankets, and listening to live music. It screams summer. But there’s so much more to do in Midtown Park than that. Bonus!
Organize an impromptu wiffle ball game on the lawn. Stroll through the walking path, gently shaded by the overhead trees. Rent some space for a private party – or just sit back, relax and enjoy the fountains.
2. The Midtown Farmer’s Market: eat seasonal, local produce all summer long.
We believe in fully taking advantage of summer in the kitchen. It’s a robust season of flavors and produce. What other season can you bite into a sun-warmed peach that literally was just harvested? So we highly recommend grabbing your basket every Saturday and heading to the Midtown Farmer’s Market.
The Market boasts a line-up of 45+ vendors selling farm-fresh produce, meats, cheese, baked goods, seafood – and more. And each vendor is only allowed to sell items they’ve produced, so all of your goods are truly, in essence, farm fresh.
There are even options to make a day of it. Entertainment lineups include fitness classes, onsite BBQs, live music and kids’ activities. It’s the healthiest fun you’ll ever have.
3. Hit up the summer’s best outdoor concerts at the Beach Music Series:
We probably won’t have to sell you very hard on the concept of taking in a summertime concert. But we would be remiss if we didn’t let you in on our favorite theme in the North Hills lineup – the Beach Music series.
Every one of these Thursday night concerts evoke feelings of being on a sandy oasis, waves crashing in the distance and the perfect tunes carrying through the air. (Did we mention it’s one of the few free concert series in the area?)
This Thursday’s concert is a chance to catch Steve Owens and the Summertime Band, but different performers take the stage every week from now until August 11. Mark your calendar – and practice your Shag dancing!
4. Sit back and relax on The Commons:
Great summer activities don’t always have to mean a scheduled event. Sometimes, there’s no better way to while away an afternoon than a period of unscheduled, uninterrupted fun.
When we want a little R&R, we head to The Commons. Grab an ice cream, sit with friends and indulge in some people watching (we’re all guilty). Or sprawl out with a good book and tackle that ambitious summer reading list we know you’ve crafted!
It’s the perfect spot to relax. And if you snag some takeout from a North Hills restaurant, your dinner is pretty perfect, too.
5. Benefit from The World of Beer’s proximity to The Pocket Park:
The Pocket Park lives up to its name: it’s a totally intimate gem. Nestled against the base of the CAPTRUST Tower, the detailed landscaping and accompanying fountain is the perfect site to stargaze and catch up with friends – or a special someone.
And in case you’re feeling thirsty, the Pocket Park is right next to the World of Beer, which has five hundred – yes, you read that correctly – beers from around the world. Did someone say sampling tour?
6. Take the whole family for an outing at Pullen Park
A short 15-minute drive from North Hills, Pullen Park is the park of summer nostalgia.
Remember growing up, when you were able to have the run of the outdoors, inventing stories to go along with the trees you played in? Pullen Park is a throwback to the hours you spent outside. And it’s just as popular an option for kids today. In addition to having the run of the grass, hidden gems beckon around each corner: paddleboats on the water, a playground, train, and carousel to hold little imaginations captive.
Take a stroll or run around the park. Have a picnic. Or just enjoy the Instagram-ready vignettes scattered throughout (yes, we went there). It’s a beautiful place to spend a day.
7. Plan a Girls’ Night Out at L. Whidbee Visual Arts
Learn from the master at L. Whidbee! Join the sipping and painting nights with a group of friends as you’re taken through recreating one of the artist’s works. But this time, the paintbrush is in your hand!
Everything is taken care of – canvas, brushes, and paint. What better girls’ night could you ask for? After you create your masterpiece, wander the gallery to see the artist’s creations.
As you can see, there’s so much to do around The Dartmouth this summer that it’s almost impossible to narrow it into an action plan.
We hope you enjoy our suggestions – but, more importantly, we hope it inspires you to get out and explore a bit on your own. The best part of summer is finding new favorite spots. Let us know what yours are, and make sure to see all of North Hills’ activities on its website.