All your summer essentials are here – from salsa to sports and camping to beer. Bring on the warm weather!
Wood Orchard Cherry salsa – Sometimes I think Door County goes a little overboard with the cherry pride, especially since I’m just not generally a fan of the flavor anyway. But I loved this. The sweetness of the cherry tones were the perfect counterpoint to the zesty salsa (not as "hot" as the "hot" label indicated, but that’s good, in my opinion) and the salty chips. Yum. – Colleen Jurkiewicz
Brewers vs. Pirates – Of course, I can't recommend Summerfest enough – but if you need a breather from the heat and the people, turn on the TV to see the Brewers take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Brewers are putting together a solid month and have an All-Star-caliber shorstop in Jean Segura worth seeing. – Jim Owczarski
Narragansett Summer Ale – A nice, smooth-drinking ale arrives in tallboys from the North American Brewery in Rochester, N.Y. Subtle malt is balanced with a nice hoppy bitterness and an alluring blonde hue that foams nicely when poured into a glass. It's no surprise this ale took a silver medal at the 2011 World Beer Championship. At 4.2 percent alcohol, it won't knock you on your rear, so you can have a couple. They'll go like hotcakes at your next neighborhood cookout. You can find it at some local pubs like Caffrey's and The Hotch Spot, and some retail outlets like Avenue Wine & Liquor on Howell Avenue and Sunrise Liquor on 93rd and Capitol. – Bobby Tanzilo
Pistachio cardamom scone from Stone Creek Coffee – Stone Creek Coffee has long been a fan of cardamom in its lattes and a Thai iced coffee. It's one of the oldest spices around, too. And, now, inside the coffee company's new scone it mixes with pistachio to create one of the best baked items I've had in a long, long time. Flaky, but not dry, these scones are great. Trust me. – Jeff Sherman
The teepee at Mauthe Lake – Beautiful Mauthe Lake is located in the Northern Kettle Morraine and has a campground with 135 wooded sites, including one teepee site. The authentic teepee features six cots and offers a really fun twist on the usual camping experience. We had perfect weather and there weren't many mosquitoes yet, however, the teepee does not completely seal shut, so a few bugs and/or raindrops could be part of your "fun." Also, we had to book the teepee in January and it's now booked solid for the season, so if you want to go in 2014, mark your calendar to reserve it early next year. Don't forget the marshmallows. And the cooler filled with beer. – Molly Snyder