STARS TELL US ABOUT THEIR BEST SUMMERS EVER
"The summers of childhood, when I woke up at noon, watched cartoons, went to the movie theater and rode my bike."
"The summer of 1990. My son was born and then for some reason my career took off, so it was sort of serendipitous."
"When I was 14 and I went to upstate New York for the summer. I couldn't believe my friends were living this life—jumping into rivers."
"Last year was a fun summer. I was on tour and all my girlfriends were with me. So we'd lie on top of the tour bus and tan."
VACATION LIKE THE STARS
From the Aloha State to the Riviera, here's how celebs have been sunning, surfing and sightseeing
SAINT-JEAN CAP FERRAT, FRANCE
In France for a friend's wedding, Tom Cruise
, Katie Holmes
and baby Suri stayed at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden Roc. Junior Suite: about $1,750 a night.
Jen Garner, Ben Affleck
and daughter Violet spent their vacation splashing in the surf. The average cost of a hotel room in Kauai: about $570 a night.
DISNEYLAND, ANAHEIM, CALIF.
Mariska Hargitay and son August, 1, rode the carousel and the park's newest attraction: the Finding Nemo
Tickets: $63 for adults, free for kids under 3.
Touring the Riviera in their chartered yacht, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z docked for a day of sightseeing in this coastal town. Weekly yacht rental: as much as $70,000.
CELEBS' SUMMER PLANS
"I'm renovating a house!"
"I'm touring in Canada, the U.S. and then Europe."
"I'm traveling around Europe with my little sister."
"Summer vacation means the beach to me."
20 THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER
For more summer fun, check out PEOPLE's first-ever digital magazine at people.com/summer
1 Go barefoot
2 Catch a firefly
3 Toast a marshmallow
4 Play charades
5 Paddle a canoe
6 Visit a farmers' market
7 Get up and watch the sun rise
8 Have a barbecue
Get Take Home Chef Curtis Stone's grilling tips at people.com/summer.
9 Relax in a hammock
Find other ways to chill out at people.com/summer.
10 Sip a fruity drink through a straw
Go to the beach with The Hills' Lauren and Audrina at people.com/summer.
11 Fly a kite
12 Sleep under the stars
13 Run through a sprinkler
14 Eat ice cream from a cone
15 Skip a stone
16 Reread your favorite book
17 Build a campfire
18 Ride a Ferris wheel
19 Eat cotton candy
20 Throw a Frisbee
See more pics of Matthew McConaughey
5 WAYS TO HELP THE WORLD
• Help save the declining frog population by observing your local leapers.
• Be a foster parent for the pet of a soldier in Iraq.
• Plant trees.
• Set up a lemonade stand to raise money for kids' cancer research.
• Round up old bicycles to send to Third World countries.
5 THINGS YOU CAN ONLY DO THIS SUMMER
Attend the Monterey Summer of Love Festival July 28 and 29.
Vote for the new seven wonders of the world.
See David Beckham
's first game with the L.A. Galaxy.
Celebrate America's birthplace at Jamestown, Va.'s 400th anniversary.
Rock out at the worldwide Live Earth concert series July 7.
The hippest ways to dress, snack, work out and stay connected
Aerosoles metallic leather Santuary sandal, $69; aerosoles.com.
This sweet-and-sour crunch—nicknamed Koolickles—has been a favorite in Mississippi's Delta region and is suddenly gaining fans nationwide.
Recipe: Prepare a pitcher of Kool-Aid as directed on package. Add pickles so that they're submerged in liquid. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
OVERSIZE METALLIC SUNGLASSES
Forever 21 sunglasses, $4.80; forever21.com.
Apple's latest innovation combines phone, iPod and Web browser into one sleek package—for a price of $499 and up. Available only in limited quantities and only at Apple and AT&T stores (and their Web sites), the techie toy of the season was a phenomenon even before its June 29 debut.
The old-school pastime is back in vogue thanks to the top-rated Disney Channel movie Jump In. But it isn't just for kids anymore—Matthew McConaughey
, Katherine Heigl
and Hilary Swank all swear by it to get their hearts pumping, and ESPN airs professional jump rope championships.
SUMMER FUN FACTS
Surprising stats about everyone's favorite season
Standing 49.55 feet tall and 60 feet wide, the LARGEST SAND CASTLE on record was built in May in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and required 300 truckloads of sand.
THE MOST POPULAR ICE CREAM FLAVORS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF
BLUE MOON: This Midwest fave (which tastes like Froot Loops) has a Smurfish hue. icecreamsource.com
Chocolate ice cream, caramel swirls and chunks of chocolate and peanut butter brownie pieces make up this Philly hit. bassettsicecream.com
PEACH SORBET WITH HABANERO PEPPERS
This Arizona blend mixes sweet and spicy. Karen's Kreamery, 623-877-1026.
THE POPSICLE was accidentally invented in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson, who had left a flavored drink outside in the cold with a stir stick in it. He dubbed it the Eppsicle, then changed the name decades later after his own children began referring to it as "Pop's sicle."
The number of degrees reached on July 10, 1913 in Death Valley, Calif., making it the hottest day in U.S. history.
The number of Americans who either hosted or attended a barbecue in 2006.
The inflatable beachball was invented in 1938.
The record for the longest watermelon seed spit.
TOP SUMMER SONGS
2002: "Hot in Herre"
2003: "Crazy in Love"
by Beyoncé, featuring Jay-Z
2005: "We Belong Together"
by Mariah Carey
by Nelly Furtado, with Timbaland
Sources: Billboard, Nielsen Business Media, Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.
Sources: National Ice Cream Retailers Association, Guinness Book of World Records, U.S. Census Bureau