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Creative Loafing Summer Guide '06 

Sensory Overload

It's what summer's all about, isn't it? Feeling the heat of the sun on your back at some magical spot between Nags Head and Charleston. Hearing the crash of waves on the sand. Seeing the colorful bikinis (or Speedos) flit by in hot pursuit of a Frisbee or volleyball. Tasting the salt of the ocean and grit of the sand. Smelling the coconut oil in suntan lotions, which for me always evokes some extra-sensory composite childhood memory. During the summer months, all of our senses -- even the sixth one -- work overtime.

With this in mind, we bring you CL's annual Summer Guide. Last year, we took you on a tourist romp across Charlotte to show you everything this city has to keep you cool and having hot fun in the summertime. This year, we're taking you to places in and beyond the Charlotte area to get your senses working. After all, summer is about getting away from the bustle of the city, if only for a day or weekend.

Don't worry, we're not taking you too far away. There are plenty of travel mags available to tell you all about Brazil or the Fiji islands. We just want you to see places like the gorgeous Sapelo Island, off the Georgia coast; to smell the mix of cotton candy and fried chicken at county fairs all across the region; and to experience the range of sensory pleasures at eclectic music and arts festivals such as Bonnaroo, in Tennessee.

We also want you to experience the pain of summertime vanity: CL Urban Explorer Jared Neumark valiantly signed up for a bikini wax just so he could accurately report on the lengths women (and some men) go to look great on those magical beach spots.

So take a deep breath and dive into our swirl of summer sensations. The water's just right.

– Mark kemp

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