Where: Winthrop, Washington, in the Methow Valley. Why: For the 28th annual Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival (7/17–7/19; The Blues Ranch, 19190 Hwy. 20; 509.997.3837; winthropbluesfestival.com). What: Get your groove on as bands play live and the Methow River plays backdrop. This year’s lineup includes Elvin Bishop, recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Seattle’s own masterful young blues musician Ayron Jones.
Temps as hot as the licks: Beat the Methow heat with the help of the fest’s new shade tents and crowd misters, not to mention the beer garden, serving up brews that include Moose Drool and Scape Goat. Campsites on the festival grounds have river access, so grab one close to the water’s edge ($45; first come, first served).
While you're there: Splash around with Methow River Raft + Kayak (27 Rader Road; 509.341.4661; methowrafting.com), which offers stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, inner tubes and inflatable rafts for rentals and tours for all ages and skill levels. Or, head over to the Methow Valley Ciderhouse (509.341.4354; methowvalleyciderhouse.com), for another way to quench your thirst.