Editor’s Note: Welcome Summer!

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Sunburst railbikes in Santa Paula.

Okay. Yes. Technically, the solstice isn’t until June 20. And for those of us closer to the beach, there’s still plenty of cloud cover. And temperatures are less than balmy at the moment.

But I am stubbornly refusing to keep that from dampening my excitement for the season ahead. Because there’s so much to look forward to over the coming months, and putting some of that summer fun in focus is lifting my spirits.

One of the newer activities I encourage everyone to check out soon is a ride through the citrus orchards on a Sunburst Railbike. A railbike is a seated, four-wheeled contraption designed to roll along train tracks. It’s operated with a mix of pedal power (think recumbent bike, but more comfortable) and electric assist. Super easy for folks of all ages and abilities, and a great way to explore the picturesque countryside of the Heritage Valley. Read all about it in About Town.

For foodies, the most exciting event of the season is likely to be the Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival (Food & Wine). It takes place every year in early June, at the spacious and lovely campus of CSUCI. If you’ve been, you know that the food, beverages and entertainment are all divine. And if you haven’t attended this smorgasbord of gourmet eats and treats…well, you should. Because it’s a fabulous afternoon of noshing on some of the best food in the area, all in support of a wonderful organization doing vital and important work for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Every Ventura County summer should include some oceanside activity. And I can’t think of a better way to explore our local waters than a trip to the Channel Islands. Island Packers offers a dozen ways to visit our offshore wonderland, including a few unique trips freshly added to the calendar. Check out our Discovery pages to learn more about this rare opportunity to see Cueva Valdez, Fry’s Harbor and Fraser Point.

If you want to get out of the area, how about a trip to San Antonio (Travel)? The home of the Alamo is also a vibrant and bustling metropolitan area with amazing food, atmospheric bars and scenic boulevards designed for walking and exploring. Culture, cuisine and Southern hospitality abound here — and late spring and early summer just might be the best time to visit.

Gloomy conditions aside, I think it’s going to be a lovely summer. And really, once the fog lifts and the mercury starts to rise, we’ll all be begging for lower temps and a cold breeze. Why not take advantage of the cool while we can?

– Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer
nshaffer@timeslocalmedia.com