This will be no surprise to many people, but the most popular summer vacation is still going to the beach or to the ocean. As someone who grew up on the East Coast and lived for a time in Cape May County, New Jersey, I can verify this. During the summer, Cape May County, and particularly shore communities like Wildwood and Cape May, are overrun by vacationers coming in from Philadelphia and other places.
Other popular summer vacations include visiting a famous city, touring or camping at national parks, escaping to a lake, or going to a resort.
In the United States, more than 650 million long-distance summer trips are made annually.
Interestingly, the most popular summer vacation activity is not swimming, even though the most popular vacation is going to the beach. The most popular summer activity is actually shopping! The second most popular summer activity is not visiting the mall, like you might suspect, but visiting historical sites. Swimming or water sports only comes in third on the list.
The most popular summer food must be hot dogs. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat over 7 billion hot dogs. Pass the ketchup and mustard.
Did you know that the popsicle, also a popular summer treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905? He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning the soda had frozen. He began selling the frozen treats at an amusement park and the trend quickly caught on. In the U.S., cherry reigns as the No. 1 flavor.
Another ubiquitous summer treat is watermelon. Watermelon is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually, with the bulk of that being consumed during the summer months.
Here are some other interesting summer fun facts:
— Contrary to popular belief, crime rates do not increase during the summer. However, the types of crimes change as the seasons change. For example, during the summer, bike thefts and items stolen from cars increase. During the winter, criminals are more likely to steal cars and Christmas presents left in cars.
— According to Facebook studies, across age groups, couples are more likely to break up earlier rather than later in the summer, though summer is less popular than winter or spring for breakups. December is the most popular month overall to break up, as are Mondays.
— According to Forbes, the top 9 most hazardous summer injuries are caused by 1) playground equipment; 2) skateboards; 3) trampolines; 4) lawn mowers; 5) amusement attractions; 6) non-powder guns, BBs pellets; 7) beach, picnic, camping equipment; 8) barbecue grills, stoves, equipment; and 9) trimmers, small garden tools.
— Studies reveal that most American babies are born in the late summer (Sept. 12, 18, 25, and 26), while the least are delivered on major holidays.
— According to Rolling Stone, the top 10 summer songs of all time are 1) “Dancing in the Street,‘ Martha and The Vandellas; 2) “Summertime Blues,‘ Eddie Cochran; 3) “School’s Out,‘ Alice Cooper; 4) “California Girls,‘ The Beach Boys; 5) “Rockaway Beach,‘ The Ramones; 6) “Hot Fun in the Summertime,‘ Sly and the Family Stone; 7) “Summer in the City,‘ Lovin’ Spoonful; 8) “Vacation,‘ The Go-Gos; 9) “Summertime,‘ DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince; and 10) “Cruel Summer,‘ Bananarama
— Before the Civil War, schools did not have summer vacation. In rural communities, kids had school off during the spring planting and fall harvest while urban schools were essentially year-round. The long summer holiday didn’t come about until the early 20th century
— At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice.
— The first day of summer 2019 in the Northern Hemisphere was Friday, June 21. The last day of summer 2019 will be Monday, Sept. 23.
— The “dog days of summer‘ refer to the weeks between July 3 and Aug. 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer.
— Marc Antony named the month of July, in honor of Julius Caesar.
— The month of August was named for Julius Caeser’s adopted nephew Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius, who held the title “Augustus.‘ He named the month after himself.
— The month September is from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.‘
— The Eiffel Tower actually grows in summer. This historic structure is made of iron. Metal expands with heat. As a result, the Eiffel Tower can grow more than 15 centimeters (6 inches) in hot weather.
— July is national ice cream month and also national blueberry month.
— The first National Spelling Bee was held on June 17, 1825.
— More thunderstorms occur during summer than any other time of year.