You know the feeling. The door opens onto a white expanse. The light is overwhelming; you can feel it in your head and instinctively raise a hand to cover your eyes. Then the white fades out to the edges. You might see green on the trees, or the blue of water, or the gray of a motel parking lot. It’s summer. There’s a breeze. And you have a whole day and night ahead of you.

This is how we at Atlas Obscura think of the beginning of summer—blinding, then full of opportunity and the potential for adventure. To celebrate that feeling and the potential it carries, this year we’re presenting our first-ever season-long special section: Summer of Wonder.

For the next three months, we’re going to be exploring three themes that capture some of the magic of being outside in the summertime:

  • On the Road: Road tripping and roadside attractions, modern and historical
  • Summer Nights: Starry skies, fireflies, and nostalgia
  • Go Wild: Encounters with the natural world (with a preview of one of Atlas Obscura’s big new projects)

Summer of Wonder will include stories that explore overlooked corners of history, food, and the natural world, as well as recommendations that can help you make the most of your escapades—from itineraries and roadside geology, to stargazing and recognizing some of the creatures you might meet (or dream of) along the way.

Charge your battery or fill up your tank. We’ve got miles ahead of us.