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The HIGH TIMES Guide to Your Stoniest Summer Vacation Ever

Mark Miller

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Look away from that sweet nug of shatter before and up at the calendar on the wall, and you’ll see that Memorial Day Weekend—the (un)official start to summer in America—has come and gone. And if it’s summer, you know you’re going to be all high—so it’s time to start planning where you’re going and what you’ll be doing while you get your blaze on.   

With that in mind, we’ve metaphorically zig-zagged across the country with a stash and roll of Zig Zags to assess and assemble the raddest list of 10 pot places each hosting a unique event to be enhanced by the chronic. 

Because, as we all know—things don’t go better with some carbonated soft drink—they go better with weed!

So, twist a fatty, kick back and ruminate on this list of THC travelogue suggestions of some of the best ways to spend your stoned Summer of ‘17.  Of course, we’ve also included recommendations of summer strains to enhance the experience as only cannabis can!

1. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—SUMMER OF LOVE ANNIVERSARY, ALL SUMMER LONG

Haight Ashbury District—Haight Street Fair, June 11

Sure there are bands, but the free fair is more about soaking up the atmosphere of one of the most famous and colorful neighborhoods on the planet—and the epicenter of the 1967 Summer of Love. Get baked and walk Haight Street to check out all the heads—and head shops, in case you need an extra bowl or vape pen.

Golden Gate Park, DeYoung Museum—The Summer of Love Experience, ongoing through August 20

Every Summer of Love trip to San Fran has to include dropping out to Golden Gate Park, where the seminal counterculture confluence known as the Human Be-In took place in 1967. If you check out the DeYoung exhibit, you’ll experience the sights and sounds of the “art, fashion and rock & roll” of the Summer of Love.  However,  you’ll have to provide the sweet smells on your own, outside among GG Park’s trees before you go in the museum. 

Golden Gate Park—Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Concert, August 27

This year’s Summer of Love just got lovelier, as it was recently confirmed the anniversary celebration concert will be held in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, August 27.  The artists and acts have yet to be announced, but the 2007 event included heavy hitters like the late great Ray Manzarek of The Doors, plus tons of classic psychedelic ’60’s bands like Canned Heat and Moby Grape. Check the website for updates on the legendary line-up for this year’s celebration of hippie values. 

STRAIN TO SMOKE: Swiss Bliss, a sativa-dominant that meshes magically with the Summer of Love vibes of peace and love.

2. VERMONT—GREEN MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE CHALLENGE, MAY 26 – SEPTEMBER 4

Are you up for the challenge, bro? If you’re starting your “jay vacay” back East, consider the Green Mountain Adventure Challenge. 

The challenge, located in Dover, Vermont, and surrounding towns, seems ideal for a curious cannabis mentality, as it’s self-described as: “an epic real life action-adventure game that presents you with a reality-based secret world hidden in plain sight that can only be revealed by solving a series of riddles and clues hidden in the Vermont forests, mountains, rivers, and sometimes with locals themselves.”

The Adventure Challenge takes a minimum of two days to solve, and the cost of one pass to play anytime during the listed dates per person is $95. There are also lodging packages available. 

And even if the demanding mental and physical straining of the Adventure Challenge is all too much, then stuff your pipe with the green and absorb the majestic green mountains that tower all around you. Vermont is truly one of the most special states in all of America and should be experienced by everyone.

On the legal pot front, Vermont is making progress, but for now, only medicinal cannabis is legal in the state. 

STRAIN TO SMOKE:  Not only does Green Crack keep with this entry’s “green theme,” it’s the perfect strain for taking on the Adventure Challenge, as the energetic stimulating sativa will get you deciphering every game clue as it sends you soaring up the Green Mountains.   

3. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS—HARBORFEST 2017, JUNE 30 – JULY 2

The end of June means summer has kicked into full gear, so why not head to legal city Boston for Harborfest?

Soak up the nation’s largest Independence Day celebration, along with three million people taking in U.S. colonial and maritime history, as well as a tribute to the American Revolution that liberated the colonies from British tyranny. Unfortunately, pot shops won’t be open in Massachusetts until July of 2018 at the earliest, but as of 2016, personal possession is perfectly legal statewide, as is being gifted up to an ounce of cannabis flowers by your bud buddies.

STRAIN TO SMOKE: Get inspired by the fight for freedom with the uplifting, yet stress-free, sativa dominant, Boston OG.

4. WASHINGTON, D.C.—NATIONAL MALL FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION, JULY 4

After prepping in Boston, come down to another legal city to fully celebrate American—and cannabis—freedom in the District of Columbia. Just make sure you’ve got your joints locked and loaded by 9:30 p.m., because that’s when the free spectacular fireworks display begins at the National Mall.

It’s interesting to note that marijuana is not among the list of officially prohibited items at the 4th celebration on the National Park Service website, so if you do get busted by chance, refer to the webpage listed.

STRAIN TO SMOKE: To fully appreciate the sounds and sights of the booming colorful explosions overhead, you’ll need a top-notch awareness heightening strain like indica Mercury OG, a kush phenotype particularly noted for such sensory enhancement qualities.

5. STEAMBOAT SPRINGS & DENVER, COLORADO, ALL SUMMER LONG

Steamboat Springs, Colorado—Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, July 8 – 9 

Head to the legal recreational Rockies and see if you can get higher than all the multi-hued balloons floating against the backdrop of the Yampa Valley mountains during this weekend festival. Get there early to watch the balloons inflate while you inhale! Technically, the Balloon Rodeo is located in the town of Bald Eagle Lake, check out the link above for more details.

Denver, Colorado—International Church of Cannabis, All Summer Long

Though pot industry analysts project Los Angeles to inevitably supplant Denver as the cannabis capital of America, the Mile High City is always going to righteously represent the dank. For those more interested in the spiritual side of sativa and the inner light of indica, then you might want to visit the International Church of Cannabis, where weed is regarded as a sacrament.

The church just opened this past April 20 in a 113-year old house of worship that has been transformed to glorify “The Holy Chemical”—that’s THC—in all its varied forms!

On May 10, Denver Channel noted the Church of Cannabis is now performing “weed weddings.” Wedding packages can be had for $4,200.

As reported by 9News, the Church of Cannabis—hosted by Elevation Ministries—is situated at 400 East Logan Street in the city’s West Washington Park neighborhood. Church landlord Steve Berke proclaimed “Elevationists (those practicing this particular faith) believe that one can find the path to spiritual fulfillment through the ritual use of cannabis.” Amen.

STRAIN TO SMOKE: Consistently one of the most popular strains of reefer in the Rockies, Durban Poison will serve you well both drifting among the balloons at the Rodeo, as well as communicating with the gods of ganja at the Church of Cannabis.

6. PORTLAND, OREGON—WORLD DOMINATION SUMMIT, JULY 11 – 17

Portland is non-conformist by nature, so head to this legal land where the hipsters dwell for the seventh annual World Domination Summit, self-described as a “unconventional weekend for unconventional thinkers.” 

Despite the ominous Orwellian name, WDS is actually a self-empowering gathering to better the whole self–and the planet as a whole, not rule or bomb it into oblivion. 

The first three days of WDS consist of smaller group activities, but starting on Friday July 14 through Monday July 17, the four-day wraparound weekend sees larger-scale events, like the “Big Adventure,” “Opening Party” and workshops on a variety of topics.

STRAIN TO SMOKE: To dominate the world, you’ve got to summon your superpowers—and the best weed to help with that is Super Jack, the wake-and-bake sativa strain combining Jack Herer and Super Silver Haze for an instant replenishing of your creative juices, to come up with ideas to match—and surpass—your WDS counterparts.

7. JUNEAU, ALASKA—MENDENHALL GLACIER, MAY – SEPTEMBER

If you really want want to cool off this summer, go north, to Alaska, But it won’t be too frosty if you go in July, the warmest month, which is drier than rainy August. 

Come see the glaciers before they all melt away due to our society ignoring global warming, and Mendenhall Glacier at 13 miles long, is one of the most impressive. Also check out the trippy Mendenhall Upside Down Garden and Ice Caves, for a spectacular visual treat to entrance any psychoactive state of mind.

As noted on their website, Kush Tour‘s operations in Alaska are still being developed, but it’s worth checking out and contacting them if you’re planning a trip, as the tourism company can legally “gift” you an ounce of cannabis, per state law. 

STRAIN TO SMOKE: Has to be the legendary namesake, Alaska Thunder Fuck (ATF), the sativa strain hailing from the state’s Matanuska Valley.

8. RENO, NEVADA—HOT AUGUST NIGHTS, AUGUST 8 – 13

If the cool glaciers of Alaska aren’t your thing, go in the opposite direction to the high desert of Reno, Nevada, where it’s so hot, it’s muy caliente. If checking out classic cars and spending cash at the casino are your things, consider hitting this northern Nevada gambling hub. 

The annual “Hot August Nights” event features an endless parade of polished chrome on wheels from yesteryear in the evening heat. If all the doo-wop nostalgia gets to be trite, you can hit up the modern-day nightlife in the “Biggest Little City in the World,” as Reno is regarded. 

More importantly, recreational cannabis is expected to to be available for retail sales by then. At present, if you’re a tourist who wants weed, you must be a medical marijuana patient from another state and bring your documentation. As noted by Las Vegas Sun, “early start” recreational licenses will be awarded to currently licensed Nevada MMJ dispensaries in good standing with state agencies to allow them to sell recreational pot starting July 1.

STRAIN TO SMOKE:  As the event name suggests, even at night, it’s gonna be hot in Reno, so you definitely want some chill bud. And it doesn’t get much chiller than Ice, this straight up hybrid from Nirvana Seeds combining Skunk #1, Northern Lights, Shiva and Afghani landrace strains

9. SUQUAMISH, WASHINGTON—CHIEF SEATTLE DAYS, AUGUST

Here’s a chance to celebrate the wise and courageous namesake of one of America’s great stoner cities, Seattle. The great thing about this Pacific Northwest vacay is that you can check out a million and one things to do in Seattle—and stock up on weed, oils and edibles! Then, take the Bainbridge Ferry to Suquamish, which means “people of the clear salt water,” home of the noble tribe that once lived in harmony with nature across the famed Cascade Range of mountains, including majestic Mount Rainier.

The official dates haven’t been announced, but we confirmed with the Suquamish Tribal Council office that the Chief Seattle Days will indeed be held this year. It’s generally during the third weekend in August, which would make that August 18-20 this year.

STRAIN TO SMOKE: Fill up your ceremonial pipe and get in touch with the higher magic of the Suquamish with Sativa Spirit, a head-rushing strain.

10. VENICE BEACH, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 24

Let’s face it, the summers in Los Angeles are so insanely hot, it’s better to wait until the end of the season to do something down there. So take a vacation from your vacation, and say goodbye to your “Summer of Buds” down at Venice Beach, the counterculture epicenter of SoCal’s version of the Summer of Love. Enjoy the food, music and celebration of alternative lifestyles for 50 years as they’ve been lived on one of the most famous stretches of street in America, Abbot-Kinney. 

And if the crowds and utter insanity get to be too hectic, you can take an easy stroll to the adjacent beach and commune cannabis-style with the Pacific Ocean, at the place where America comes to an end, a fitting finale to your smoked-out summer of 2017. 

STRAIN TO SMOKE: It doesn’t come cheap at $72 an eighth, but the mega-potent Dr. J’s Alpha Omega OG, available at the Venice Beach Care Center per LA Weekly, is said to originate from the same mystery master cultivator that developed the legendary OG Kush.

Now, soon to be weary traveler, you have no excuses for missing out on a pot-themed vacation. So take a hit and hit the road!

RELATED COVERAGE:
The HIGH TIMES Summer Festival Guide 2017
The HIGH TIMES Guide to Flying with Marijuana
10 Ways to Travel and Toke Up
Danny Danko’s Top 10 Cannabis Travel Destinations
Here’s Why Puerto Rico Is the Newest Hot Pot Travel Spot

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