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The RFT's St. Louis Summer Survival Guide 

Summer in St. Louis is not for wussies. For starters there's the suffocating heat and humidity, which (for the uninitiated) can feel like you're being waterboarded — in a steam bath. And when the weather finally breaks, it does so in biblical fashion; floods and tornadoes are commonplace. So, too, are the crowds of people and pests (seriously, how can sooo many mosquitoes call St. Louis home?) found at the multitude of outdoor events held throughout the season.

The best way to handle it all is to, as the Boy Scouts say, be prepared. Here, then, in the manner of any fine survival handbook, is the RFT's guide to enduring (or even celebrating) a St. Louis summer. This year our writers offer tips on everything from how to best manipulate summer festivals and concerts to how to get out and enjoy the water — be it the Mighty Mississippi or a canoe trip down a southern Missouri stream. We also got the lowdown on the best places to imbibe outdoors, where to stock up on your (barely) legal arsenal of fireworks, cool (in more ways than one) day trips and places you and your pooch can hang out during the dog days of July and August.

So here's to summer in St. Louis, and here's to seeing you this fall wearing that tourist-trap T-shirt. You know, the one that boldly states, "I Survived the St. Louis Summer of 2012."

Read on for stories about...

Can't miss festivals

Nearby day trips

Navigating the Mississippi

Surviving float trips

Getting the biggest bang from your fireworks

Activities for you and your dog

Great outdoor-drinking spots

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