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Summer-vacations Summer vacation season is right around the corner, and nothing says summer like outdoor music festivals. Whether the music sounds better outside or the combination of fresh air and festival food just makes everything more fun, music festivals are popular from coast to coast. A handful of the biggest festivals are highlighted here to help you with your summer vacation planning.

Bonnaroo: Calling Bonnaroo a music festival is possibly the understatement of the year. The four-day event June 11-14 on a huge Manchester, Tennessee, farm invites people of all ages to camp on site and enjoy music, comedy and much more. There's a space that shows movies 24 hours a day, a market with artisans and national vendors, a beer tent where you can taste brews from around the country, and a kids area with games, sports and recycling art projects. All of this wrapped up in a mission of environmental sustainability. (There's even a community garden this year.) But if you really are looking for music on your summer vacation,  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Elvis Costello, Phish and Wilco are among the headliners. (Tip: Nashville is the closest airport, and the festival has organized shuttle service.)

Summerfest: More a marathon than a sprint, this Midwest favorite stretches over 11 days and features names like Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson and KidRock. This festival's prime lakefront location in downtown Milwaukee and plentiful food vendors add to the atmosphere. A fireworks show opening night helps get things started. June 25-July 5.

Summer vacation Monterey Bay Blues Festival: The Neville Brothers and Jeffrey Osborne are among the headliners at this prestigious music fest in Monterey, California, June 26-28.

Montreal Jazz Festival: For a summer vacation with international flair, head to Canada June 30-July 12. Don't let the name fool you, the Montreal Jazz Festival features music of all genres, including Reggae, Electronica and Blues. And it's not even just about music. The city closes four downtown blocks to traffic, so festival-goers are free to enjoy cafes, an art gallery and street performers. The festival boasts more than 650 concerts — including 450 free outdoor performances — with names like Chris Botti, Buddy Guy and Jackson Browne.

Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival: This event in Portland, Oregon, bills itself as the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi, and it's got a serious feel-good factor: The festival is operated by and proceeds benefit the Oregon Food Bank. (Daily admission is $10 plus two cans of food.) The four-day event, July 2-5, takes place in downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River. Children's programming and music workshops are part of the lineup, as are blues cruises along the river. Headliners include Etta James, Johnny Winter and Magic Slim and the Teardrops.

Lollapalooza: Chicago is a popular summer vacation destination anyway, but for a certain set, more so August 7-9 when Depeche Mode, The Killers, Jane's Addiction and the Beastie Boys and more than 80 bands take over the city's Grant Park. But this fest isn't for rockers only. Kidzapalooza is an entire area with artists and activities for the younger set. And kids 10 and under get in free with a paying adult. Environmentalists can check out Lolla's Art Market, featuring earth-friendly goods, and even buy a BeGreen Fan Tag to offset their carbon footprint for travel to the festival.

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Tagged: California, Midwest

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