Brett Simpson - US Open (2)

SURF’S UP CALI-STYLE

It’s going to be ‘off the wall’ at Huntington Beach aka Surf City USA as Southern California’s surf festival rides the waves from July 20 to 28. The biggest names in the sport will take to their boards for The Vans US Open (vansusopenofsurfing.com) as thousands of people will cheer them on along the coastline during the nine-day event. As well as the surfing there will be professional skateboarders from around the world who will show off their tricks in a new state of the art all cement bowl built on the sand, BMX pro street riders, live DJ’s and bands playing on the Vans US Open music stage. There’ll be plenty of autograph signings too.

All events are free and open to the public.

OC FAIR

There’s something for everyone at the OC Fair an extravaganza of events taking place in Costa Mesa, California (ocfair.com). From July 12 through to August 11 enjoy non- stop entertainment including live music from high-kicking country acts such as the Kelly Rae Band to classic rock with Ragdoll and soulful tones with Blues legend Bill Magee. In the aviation hangar-type building fairgoers can stomp their feet to the best in tribute bands covering everyone from The Eagles and David Bowie.
It’s non stop giggling in the Fun Zone where you can watch comedy, circus and theater acts or if creepy crawlies are more your thing then head on down to the multitude of Exhibit Departments, each one home to a diverse range of offerings. In Dr Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders, get up close to scorpians and a Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula (ok – so not that close!). If you’re more of a homemaker then the Get Real exhibit is ideal – join in craft and food workshops and learn how to knit or bake. And talking of food a variety of gourmet food trucks laden with a selection of mouthwatering treats – waffles and burgers, lobster and much much more will present their food truck fare. Look out for naughty but nice treats such as deep fried cookie dough an OC Fair delicacy!

You’ll be in shoppers paradise too with a multitude of stalls selling everything from hair products to hot tubs while the kids can head to the carnival rides and games for plenty of high-octane fun.
Admission $11 per adult, $6 per child

JOIN IN THE FUN AT THE FAIR

Whether you like music and dance or food and shopping – all this and more can be found at the Californian State Fair in Sacramento (bigfun.org). Taking place from July 12 to 28, there’s something for everyone. Sample some winning brews at the Brewers Festival or shop till you drop for souvenirs or head to the farmer’s market in Shopper’s Row. Children will love the theme park rides in the Magical Midway which features 68 rides including four originally from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, whilst the State Monorail will whisk you tram-style around the fairgrounds. For sporting fans there’s motorcycle racing with the Sacramento Mile, a key attraction at the fair, horse racing and to play into the night live concerts on the Golden 1 Stage. General admission $10 per adult, $6 per child, various prices for events vary.

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NEW YORK NEW YORK

If you’re in New York this summer, take a harbour cruise with Statue Cruises (statuecruises.com) and pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Liberty Island where the city’s iconic monument is located reopens on July 4 after months of repair due to damage at the end of last year caused by Superstorm Sandy. Take the short hop to the island from either Battery Park New York or Liberty State Park New Jersey and climb up to the Statue’s crown for mesmerising views over the city. Tickets from $17.

Also in NYC dine out for just a few dollars during NYC Restaurant Week taking place from July 22 through to August 16. More than 300 of the city’s best restaurants from steak houses and Italian bistros to pizzerias take part in this great incentive offering gourmet lunches and dinner for amazing prices. For more info visit: nycgo.com/restaurantweek>.

CROATIAN FEST

A favourite with Beyonce and Jay Z, Croatia is a great place to soak up the sun and enjoy some cool events taking place throughout July and August. If its dancing on the beach to a sunset backdrop then Soundwave (soundwavecroatia.com) from July 18 to 22 is THE hottest place to party.

Nestled amidst the beautiful coastline where the Dalmation Coast meets the Adriatic Sea the stage arena where you can watch a multitude of performances is situated just a stone’s throw from the seafront. Headlining this year is an eclectic mix including Bonobo, Robert Glasper and Doom. Tickets $183.

ON THE BEACH IN PARIS

From July 20, along the banks of the River Seine in Paris will be transformed into a car-free beach paradise. Paris Plages (paris.fr) gives the romantic city a taste of the South of France with sandy beaches and deckchairs where you can sit and relax or head to one of the charming quayside cafes and restaurants before a spot of designer shopping on rue Faubourg Saint-Honore. Beaches are spread across three locations from the right bank of the Seine from the Louvre to the Pont de Sully, along a stretch of the southern part of the River and further north towards the 19th arrondissement . There’s swimming pools, and a water sports complex where you can take to the water in a kayak or pedal boat. Beaches are open until midnight until August 18.

ANIMAL CRACKERS IN FLORIDA

Enjoy the Summer Nights experience at SeaWorld Orlando (seaworldparks.com). Watch the stars of the show killer whale Shamu and dastardly duo – sealions Clyde and Seamore as they perform spectacular afterdark showcases under a twinkling star lit sky. The park stays open until 10pm and will see fireworks light up the sky and a mesmerising water fountain finale. Until August 11. Tickets from $82 per adult, $72 per child.

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DUBAI’S WATERWORLD

Perhaps one of the most exciting waterparks in the world, Atlantis The Palm (atlantisthepalm.com) in Dubai is making its Aquaventure park even bigger with more rides and the longest zipline in the Middle East. From this August you can get wet and wild on the world’s largest diameter slide, try a slide within a slide and for families a vertical ride. Hold onto your costumes as you can take to the sky on the zipline and whizz along high above the park. Back on terra firma Aquaventure also has a jaw-droppingly long 2.3km river ride with tidal waves and pools and animal encounters you can sink your teeth into including Shark Scuba Diving. – What are you waiting for! Admission from $68 per adult, from $55 per child.