Cruel Summer

How to survive Florida's meanest season

Cruel Summer
Amy Walters

Yeah, we get it. Summertime in Central Florida means a constant barrage of hot-as-hell temps and afternoon thundershowers. But the way we see it, if we're going to have to deal with this sticky season anyway (do we have any other choice?), we might as well make the most of it.

Fortunately, we have the cure for your summertime blues – in the following pages, we've compiled all the essential info you need to get through the hottest, most humid, sweatiest three months of the year. We've researched the best places to lounge poolside (ideally, with cocktail in hand), beachside and belly-up-to-the-bar-side. We've listed the outdoor street parties where you can kick back with a cold one (or six) and the handful of music fests that soldier on despite summer's relentless sun and midday downpours. We've put together a playlist of hot summer jams, which we've also embedded on our website (, and on page 18, we've listed all the best places you can catch a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

Let this guide distract you from the fact that your hair is always flat (or frizzy), your skin is always clammy and you're always a little bit sunburned all summer long.

If you can just forget how much you hate the heat, you might be able to squeeze some enjoyment out of this lemon of a Central Florida season after all.