Summer Preview 2014

The Party Circuit for Cyclists

100 Miles in Style: Best Gran Fondos

The best gran fondos recall 100 years of Italian cycling tradition with routes that trace the most famous mountain passes and historic races in cycling history. And then there's the hallmark of each event: the post-ride celebration, with plentiful food and wine. These five from around the world are the most worthy of your bucket list.

Cracking Shells on The Chesapeake

Postcard: Crabs on The Bay

Kent Island, Maryland -- I'm working through something like my fourth large blue crab. My hands are covered in salty Old Bay seasoning and some ooze that probably served a vital function when the recently deceased was scuttling around the Bay. Things are good.

The drive is the destination

10 Great Drives: Less Traveled, All-American

Long holiday weekends aren't just for sleeping in and backyard barbeques. Hop in the car, embrace the fresh air and hug the asphalt like you don't have a care in the world. There are a ton of great roads out there, twisty, straight and some off the beaten path. We've listed some of the best (and some less-traveled) for your vacation enjoyment and paired them with the ideal vehicle to maximize the experience.

The Right Sunglasses for the Long Drive

From the Archives: Sunglasses are sunglasses, right? Nope. You can't slap on a pair of clearance carousel drugstore shades and expect a great behind-the-wheel experience; nor does spending $300 on top-of-the-line sunglasses necessarily get you the best sunglasses for the road. In this guide we've rounded up a few favorites -- perfect for negotiating that hairpin like Fangio.

$14 Well Spent

Complete Guide to 2014 Summer Films

Summer is movie season, and in a chaotic era of remakes, reboots, trilogies, and $14 movie tickets, it's nice to have a guide. We've gathered a mix of big names, indies that aren't disastrous or unbearably depressing, and some sneaky under-the-radar flicks, all of which should be worth your while. Oh, and we threw the rest at the bottom for you to stream after a long day at the pool.

Meet Your Summer Drink

The Michelada Three Ways

A michelada makes a shandy embarrassed to be liquid. We caught up with our friends at The Third Man in New York for three variations on the drink: one original, one with rhubarb and bourbon, the last with tequila and grapefruit.

Juniper, lime and absinthe

Fresh Five: Summer Fragrances for Men

Summer is an olfactory roller coaster, a time to trade in heavy colognes for something lighter. These five fragrances are our favorites.

bat dogs, biscuits, and $3 beers...sign us up

Minor League Baseball: The King of Summer Sports

If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night this summer, put down the craft cocktails and go take in the American Pastime at its absolute best.

You were looking for something to do?

The 50 Best Festivals in America

Americans, we’re a people who enjoy a good gathering. It’s right there in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution: the right of the people to peaceably assemble, adopted on December 15, 1791 -- and darn it we’ve been doing it something serious since then. We caucus to select political representation, we gather around grills on July 4, we congregate in town squares to see who grew the biggest pumpkin. Most of all, we just like to get together and have a rollicking good time. That’s what this story is all about. It’s a survey of America’s greatest festivals, from a small-town California celebration of the local garlic crop to a skull-rattling military air show to the greatest collection of musical performers at one venue, on Earth. We’ve taken certain liberties in defining a festival, so you’ll also find a few conferences that have made an important impact in popular culture. Mark your calendars. Fill up your gas tanks. Pack some beef jerky. These are the 50 best festivals in America.

Have Fins, Will Travel

Three Diving Adventures to Plan Today

Swimming with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas, exploring the Northern Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, or crossing the thermocline boundary to explore ghostly WWII wrecks in Papua New Guinea might sound daunting, but whether you have three days or two weeks, there's time enough for one of these adventures.

Founder of Oskar Blues

Beers and Bikes with Dale Katechis

GP correspondent Will McGough goes for a bike ride with beer pioneer Dale Katechis and ends up with a bloody elbow and an appreciation for the canned beer movement.

Watching Pedalers and Panoramas from a support car

GP Short: 2014 Tour of California

We took our espresso stateside this year, catching the Giro d'Italia on television and showing up in person for the 2014 Tour of California, where we shot this video while riding along in a support car.

Heighten your inseam and your confidence

Best Swim Trunks of 2014

That time of year when you can finally get some sun on your pale thighs is nigh. PSA: the '90s are over, and beach style has gone full circle. Think Wilt the Stilt on the boards and Connery on the screen. Our favorite swim trunks have higher inseams and louder colors, because the beach is no place to be modest.

From the Latest Tech to the Tried and True

Ten Shirts that Can Take the Heat this Summer

Summer is the enemy of body temperature and presentability. But a crop of new companies is combining technical fabrics and quality cuts for easy breathing style. That isn't to say we're willing to ditch our madras and seersucker just yet, but here are 10 of our favorite lightweight shirt options, new and old.

Keep the chills, lower the bills

Five Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

From the Archives: Heat waves are becoming summer commonplace, and we plan on being prepared. These relatively simple tips to increase energy efficiency should keep you cool and help your wallet stay fat and fluffy this summer season.

Classic cars, Champagne and yachts

Photo Essay: 2014 Monaco Grand Prix Historique

The Historic Grand Prix is one of the most important historic track events of the year, and it’s easy to see why: throughout the weekend, classic cars of all sorts drive the circuit in downtown Monaco, drivers mingle in their race suits, mechanics tinker, car nuts scoop their tongues off the ground and tall women glide by in cocktail dresses and heels.

Packing Heat

Best Trailers and Roof Racks for the Beach

The right gear haulers make the difference between beach misery and beach revelry. We've assembled ten great summer carriers that will transport everything from an ATV to personal watercraft to the smaller (but still vital) bits for the shore. Just don't forget the sunscreen.

Hot rides

Dominate the Dunes: The 7 Best Beach Rides

Beach trips can be as much about getting there as what you do when you arrive. Mom's minivan might be practical, but it might also eviscerate every ounce of road style you've ever had. If you're at the beach on a regular basis (or you just dream of being there 24/7) it might make sense to upgrade your beach ride to one of these sandy shore, white wave seekers.

Spray tans, wine coolers and badminton. Not.

Welcome to Summer 2014

People who live in the tropics have a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it’s nice to drive around with the top down all year; on the other, most guys seem to end up with too-slick hair, too few closed buttons and a CGI tan. (Not to even get into the issues of equatorial squalor.) For the rest of us in multi-season climates, the arrival of longer days, fewer layers and colder beers is eagerly anticipated. Last we checked it was 72 degrees outside GP HQ, so we’ve decided to pull the trigger on our 2nd annual Summer Preview a few weeks shy of the solstice. What’s in store should keep you plenty busy until things really heat up: we’re visiting legendary car races, debating the best films of the season, taking you along on the summer’s biggest bike race, visiting the best festivals in America, mixing up the Michelada three different ways and much more. Axial tilt be damned: summer starts today.

Collateral Damage

Godzilla, The Small-Scale History of a Big-Scale Monster

Sixty years ago, a sweating young man named Haruo Nakajima put on a 220-pound lizard suit and trounced a miniature version of Tokyo. Today, Legendary Pictures’ irradiated Godzillasaurus, three times the size of the original, is crashing through Hawaii and San Francisco on screens across the country. This is the story of how $1.5 million and a rubber suit launched a billion dollar franchise.

Take a Break from Work for a visit to Hanapepe, Hawaii

GP Short: And Now… 30 Seconds of Waves

Tucked away behind a small industrial complex in Hanapepe on the Island of Kauai lies a hidden local treasure: Glass Beach. And just a short walk east from the parking area, one can find an even cooler gem -- a naturally formed lava arch and keyhole cave on a jagged dark amber shoreline, where firm breezes make the tumbling waves a sight to behold.