Summer in the City: Here's what to eat, what to drink and where to go to get the most out of your St. Louis summer

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The rain-drenched spring is ready to bid an affectionate farewell. Soon those cool, breezy days will be a distant memory, something to cling to, though, when the sweltering sun pummels us into sweet submission. And now, as the final moments of a quite mercurial May recede, we look forward to embracing the languorous days of a St. Louis summer.

Admittedly, there is a certain amount of trepidation that accompanies this inevitable march into the hellish heat. We at Riverfront Times know well the sweat-soaked journey that lies ahead, the cruel humidity, the savagery of summer. Do we complain of this annual assault on our very pores? Not one bit. For as the RFT's Paul Friswold wrote last year, "When it gets pants-wringin' hot, we don't retreat to the air-conditioned sanctuary of our homes; we go out and live our lives."

Pants-wringin' hot indeed, but chill out. There is, after all, so much out there that will surely compensate for such a petty indignity: the smell of summer lawns; a splash in the pool; the sensuous, lethargic nights; the cry of the cicada. All of this, and so much more, has compelled us to compile a guide on the coolest ways to beat the heat. So come with us and find out the top spots to drink the night away, or where to hear the city's hottest music, or what big events you just can't afford to miss. Learn about some great water adventures and hot-air ballooning, and where to go find the very best and freshest food the region has to offer.

So don't retreat. Get out there and have a wonderful summer. It is our finest season in the sun.

Summer Senstations
So much to do, so little time. Here's what we recommend you dare not miss.

Keep It Elemental
Our formula for a stress-free summer.

Food Tripping
There's no better time than now to get to know what you eat.

Sot In the City
It's time to hit the bottle — not the beach!

Alive with Great Live Music
Tune in to the city's hottest summer sounds.

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