SUMMER VIBES: EVERYTHING WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO COME JUNE

It used to be that the end of the school year marked the start of summer, but as an adult, what do you really use as a milestone to kick off the summer season? We’re all about the little things that make the days really feel like summer, from switching your morning beverage over to something iced to rolling the windows down on your drive home from work.

We may not get a true summer break anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yourself to some experiences and objects that will help you to welcome the warmer season. Here are just a few things that we’re looking forward to using, buying and doing come June.

Cold brew. The moment when you realize it’s warm enough for cold brew is an important one in any coffee lover’s year. Whether you make it yourself or pick one up at one of the coffee shops around town, replacing your hot morning coffee with a refreshing cold brew is one of our favorite summer rituals. We’d suggest an iced coffee from the Bureau or the Japanese-style flash brew from Arriviste.

Ice cream. Nothing says classic American summer like treating yourself to an ice cream cone or a sundae with all the toppings. Lucky for us, Pittsburgh has had a bit of an ice cream moment the past few years. This summer, we’re excited to indulge in Millie’s Summer of Soft Serve (along with their tried-and-true sweet shops, of course), throwback cones at Page Dairy Mart and vegan ice cream treats at Reed & Co.

Sandals. Sandals are a bit of a hot topic — some love them, some never wear them, but everyone agrees that a good, high quality pair is far superior to anything of the rubber variety. Whether you’re looking for a true sandal or just a great summer shoe, we’d suggest Italian-made options at Vestis for the guys, vintage sandals at Ruhling Woven and chic, boho-inspired shoes for summer at Pavement.

Outdoor concerts (and movies… and everything). Arts Fest is just around the corner, and with it comes a whole slew of other outdoor concerts of both the free variety and the pay-hundreds-of-bucks-for-tickets variety. Aside from all of the outdoor concert fun, keep an eye out for outdoor movies at the city parks, block parties in various neighborhoods and other outdoor events.

Plants galore. We always love having a house full of plants, but with warmer weather in full swing, we love having an outdoor space filled with plants, too. With new plant shops like Synthesis opening just in time for summer, you can snag a giant cactus or a whole garden of tropical plants for your porch, patio or whatever your urban oasis may be.

Pools & Picnics. No matter how old you get, pools and picnics never get old. Come summertime, we want to be lounging on a towel at any one of the city’s public pools — or, if you’re lucky enough to live in a building with a pool, tanning at your own apartment. As for picnicking, our ideal picnic location list includes the walled garden at Mellon Park; admiring river views at the tables under the 40th Street Bridge (and hit up the dog park nearby if you’re a pup parent); a picnic by the lake and some trail hiking at Schenley Lake; or even combine the two activities with a picnic lunch poolside at the pool at Highland Park (maybe with a little rosé spritz in tow).