It’s that time of year when, at any given moment, it seems like half of Philadelphia has fled to the Shore. My Facebook feed fills with photos of friends’ toes in the sand, umbrella drinks and cresting waves.

I don’t have a beach house, but I welcome the change of season all the same. For me, summer means a less congested city, easier parking, and breezing into almost any restaurant or bar I want to visit without having to elbow my way through a mob. It’s the perfect time of year to try out a buzzed-about restaurant.

Clearly, there is no better time to cook and eat local fruits and vegetables. Every few weeks a new crop hits its peak, and it’s a race against the calendar to eat all the perfect asparagus, strawberries and tomatoes before they fade for another whole year. Some of us visit one of our many farmers’ markets (guide on page 16) while others open a weekly CSA box; there are more ways to get your hands on local foods than ever before.

Everyone has a favorite seasonal food, but I think we can all agree that peaches are one of summer’s best treats. And Carrie Havranek explores the local orchard growing the sweetest, most succulent peaches of them all (page 18). These beauties are really worth seeking out.

Even if you spend the summer, like me, mostly city-bound, it’s good to know a short getaway is always close at hand. Barely an hour away, Atlantic City is a beach destination you pop in on when you have a free afternoon. Our Road Trip piece gives you options to enjoy AC regardless of your budget (page 42).

Wherever you find yourself this time of year, try to remember how quickly the summer will pass by. Appreciate the long daylight hours and bright sunshine before they disappear again. And, above all else, try to eat as many ripe tomatoes as you can!

Joy Manning

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