Hot fun in the summertime! Thank goodness. It’s finally here. Warm weather, sunny skies and late evenings out on the town (thank you for staying up late, Mr. Sun!) If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to start planning for your summer vacations. qnotes staff scoured the websites of visitors’ bureaus across the South. Here’s just six of the sure-fire best bets for summer travel this year.

Elvis at 75
This year marks the King of Rock-n-Roll’s 75th birthday. The caretaker of Elvis’ legend, Graceland, is celebrating it big. This year, they’ve unveiled the first-ever Elvis fashion exhibit and the special “From Tupelo to Memphis,” an exhibit following young Elvis’ path from childhood to international music sensation.
Dates vary
Memphis, Tenn.

Key West Pridefest
We can barely think of anywhere gayer. Well, maybe San Francisco. But, here on the East Coast, Key West is the place to be! Hot fun, hot guys and gals and all the Pride you can handle. Key West’s Pridefest kicks off with a reception at the nationally-renowned Island House resort and ends with a fabulous parade.
June 9-13
Key West, Fla.

PLUS: See our list of upcoming Prides in the Carolinas.

Travel with Pride

Capital Pride
Washington, D.C.
June 4-13

Los Angeles Pride
June 12-13
Los Angeles

SF Pride
June 27
San Francisco

Chicago Pride
June 27

NYC Pride
June, various dates
New York City

Atlanta Pride
Oct. 9-10

Big Apple RaUnch
If Country Western dancing is your thing, and you happened to miss the Carolinas’ Queen City Stomp, head up to New York City for the Big Apple RaUnch. And, while you’re in the Big City you might as well enjoy NYC Pride!
June 26

Highland Games
For more than 50 years, Grandfather Mountain has played host to North Carolina’s most well-known Scottish Highland games. Bagpipes and music, dancing and heritage, contests and sport. It’s all there. And, its all within a day’s drive.
July 8-11
Grandfather Mountain (near Linville, N.C.)

Bele Chere
Arts and crafts, food and drink, activities for the kiddies and adults alike, homegrown and diverse entertainment. Downtown Asheville’s Bele Chere festival brings out more than 300,000 visitors each year. It’s a perfect and affordable getaway.
July 23-25
Asheville, N.C.

Satchmo Summerfest
The sweet, seducing sounds of Jazz. New Orleans: there’s no better a place to experience it first-hand. For lovers of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, the French Quarter’s Satchmo Summerfest offers everything you love: life, music, food, entertainment. Relax and submerge yourself in the culture of Satchmo’s New Orleans.
Aug. 5-8
New Orleans, La.