"The Soviet government's passion for mass-organizing is on display in Sochi, where the tumbling green slopes of the Caucasus Mountains meet the Black Sea in a subtropical climate that allows a May-to-October vacation season."

That's how the Chicago Tribune introduced Sochi to Americans in a 1987 travel article.

Before winning the rights to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi was known as a resort town, if it was known at all.

Over a million people visit the Black Sea city every summer to swim, shop, lay on the beach, and generally relax.

You'll see a lot of cold-looking imagery coming out of Sochi next month. But these photos of Sochi in summer show what the host city typically looks like.

Sochi sits on the Black Sea. It's one of the warmest places in all of Russia.

Kids jump off an old concrete embankment.

Just like any typical Jersey Shore town, there's a water park near the boardwalk.

Tourists play in "water walking balls" at the water park.

Kids and adults alike take turns jumping into the sea off a high dive.

The beaches aren't white sand, but they get the job done.

A girl jumps into the Black Sea off of a beachside high dive.

Even in 1973 (when this picture was taken), it was a bustling tourist town.

It's not all tourists. Around 350,000 people live there full time.

Traffic has become an issue in recent years, according to Russian media, largely because of Olympic construction.

Source: St. Petersburg Times

Dagomys is one of the nicest parts of Sochi.

A typical house, on Leningradskaya Street.

A more expensive home in Dagomys, which was farmland until the 20th century.

The rest of Sochi from Dagomys, during a storm.

The top of Akhun Mountain a lookout over Sochi where you can see Turkey on a clear day.

Source: CitySeeker

A small park on Pushkin Ave.

Palm trees dot the landscape by the coast hardly what you'd expect at the Winter Olympics.

A shopping area just off the beach. More than one million Russians vacation in Sochi every summer.

Source: St. Petersburg Times

The Breeze Hotel, with its retro construction.

The Sochi Arboretum.

The Caucasus Mountains sit just a short drive above Sochi.

A cruise ship steams around the Black Sea.

Construction of the Bolshoy Ice Dome in the middle of August.

The "coastal cluster" of Olympic venues, where most of the games will take place.

The sun falls below the sea.

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