view of the stars and milky way through the trees

10 Awesome Staycation Adventures To Try This Summer

Memorial Day is typically considered the unofficial start of summer here in the United States. 

But this summer, things are shaping up a little differently. While some businesses and National Parks are starting to reopen, the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 still hangs over us, causing uncertainty for our summer travel plans.

Will the trips we have planned be cancelled? If they aren’t, should we still go? Is it safe?

National Geographic recently polled 2,200 Americans to see how this uncertainty about Covid-19 effected their plans for summer travel.

The poll revealed that only 8% of Americans would consider taking a flight for a vacation this summer.

So if you’re one of the many Americans planning to staycation this summer, here are 10 ideas to help you stretch your wings a little closer to home.

#1 – Go Stargazing

When was the last time you properly appreciated the stars in all their glory?

Warm summer nights are perfect for stargazing! Why not grab a loved one and a blanket, and head out of the city for a magical date night?

For an even better view, check out this list of International Dark Sky Parks where light pollution is minimal.

And don’t forget to check out the Perseid Meteor Shower which peaks on August 12th this year.

#2 – Take A Road Trip

Take a road trip, day trip, or even just a scenic drive!

It can be fun to give your trip a theme, for example: waterfalls, hot springs, lighthouses, ancient ruins, national parks, historic sites. 

It can really be whatever you want!

Here are a few cool  themed road trip ideas to inspire you:

Winding road through the desert

#3 – Go Car Camping 

Car camping is a great way to commune with nature (and cure cabin fever)! 

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not plan a backpacking trip? 

Many campsites across the US are opening back up, but be sure to check your local listings for any restrictions. The same thing goes for backpacking, as some National Parks are still limiting backcountry access.

Man camping

#4 – Find A New Trail To Hike

If you’re a regular hiker, you might be getting bored of the same old trails. 

This summer I challenge you to do some research, and explore some new trail systems! A little change of scenery will do you good.

There are some awesome resources out there for discovering new trails. Here are a few of my favorites:

#5 – Go For A Paddle

Paddling, especially stand up paddling, has been gaining popularity in the last few years. 

If you’d like to get out on the water this summer, why not check out stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, or kayaking, in the lake, river or ocean? 

Paddling is great exercise, and a fun way to explore nature!

Plus, paddling is probably an even easier way to recreate and social distance than hiking is, since with paddling you aren’t confined by trails. 

#6 – Go For A Bike Ride

Bikes aren’t just for kids anymore. They are a great form of low impact cardiovascular exercise. If you don’t own a bike, rent one or borrow from a friend.

For local bike trails in your area, check out Rails to Trails. This organization transforms old railroad lines into bike trails all over the country, and is a great option if you aren’t comfortable riding on the road. 

#7 – Visit A Wildlife Refuge

If you’ve been missing mother nature, this is just the adventure for you! Don’t forget to pack your camera and/or binoculars.

Heron landing in a wildlife refuge

#8 – Play The Tourist In Your Home Town

When we’re constantly busy, it’s easy to overlook the attractions we’ve got right in our own backyard. 

I work in tourism and live in a tourist destination, but there are so many things I have never taken the time to do, or avoided altogether because of the crowds.

However, now might be the perfect time to hit up some of your local tourist destinations, since it is likely that many people will be not travelling far from home this summer.

Not to mention, local tourism businesses could really use our help!

#9 – Go For A Float

Grab yourself one of those fashionable tubes shaped like a unicorn, pineapple, or flamingo, and just go with the flow!

Floating the river in a raft

#10 – Have A Picnic

Can you remember the last time you had a picnic?

This summer, find the most scenic spot you can think of. Get one of those sweet, old-school, wicker picnic baskets, and pack yourself a feast! This is a great adventure for the family, or can be a fun date idea. 

White wicker picnic basket in a meadow.

Conclusion

I know that a lot of people are pretty bummed about cancelled events and travels this summer, but I’m here to tell you, not all is lost! 

These types of close-to-home adventures are the most likely to be allowed first as things begin to re-open.

Start planning your next adventure today – it’s good for your mental health!

Your Turn!

Do any of these 10 close-to-home adventures appeal to you? If so, which do you think you’ll try first?

Have I left any important ones off? 

I’d love to know what kind of adventures you have planned for the summer. Be sure to share in the comments!

Share the knowledge!

Author: clarissa.cabbage

Clarissa is a teacher, a coach, and an avid adventurer! Armed with a master's degree in Exercise and Wellness, she is on a mission to teach people how to build healthier habits that support the adventurous lifestyle of their dreams. There is nothing Clarissa is more passionate about than helping people get active and live their lives to the fullest!

36 Replies to “10 Awesome Staycation Adventures To Try This Summer

  1. Love these ideas, especially the road trip and camping ones! At a time where travel isn’t really something we can do, this definitely gives some inspiration to things we can try a little closer to home ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    1. Thanks Em! I’m glad you found some inspiration in these. I’ve been living in Hawaii for a few years now. And it’s beautiful and amazing of course, but I really miss road trips! Thank you for the comment, and happy camping!

  2. These are some great ideas! I think people always feel that a vacation NEEDS to involve a plane or a train, but youโ€™ve just shown thatโ€™s not the case. I love the stargazing idea and planning a day trip with a theme. Iโ€™m definitely going to use these ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You guys are so lucky that you get such a wide variety of climates and scenery within the 50 states, it makes the idea of a staycation sound so much more fun. Stargazing sounds amazing! I was supposed to be taking my mum for her birthday last month but it was canceled x

    Sophie

    1. Thanks for the read Sophie! Yes, I do feel very fortunate to be able to check out so many climates! In my home state of Washington, we have deserts, mountains, rainforest, and ocean! No complaints there. I am sorry about your mum’s birthday, but maybe you can reschedule for the meteor show in August?

  4. Definitely going outdoors, for us here in Cyprus going to the beach or to the mountains. Due to travel restrictions, we will be “tourists” within our own communities. This will lead to thriving of local businesses.

    1. Sounds good Vinn! I live in Hawaii and we are doing pretty much the same thing. Playing tourists at home. It’s actually kind of nice! Lately I have been going to some of the places I used to avoid like the plague because they were too touristy. But it’s nice to get a chance to enjoy them without the crowds now!

  5. I love these tips! We’re coming up to winter in Australia, and it’s always tricky to get out in the colder months – but I’m pretty determined to actually go stargazing this year! We’re one of the only places in the world that you can see an aurora at certain times, and it’s super pretty when you can actually see it with the naked eye!

    We’ve also got some big tourism campaigns going around at the moment for checking out our own states – so I’ll be doing that as well ^_^

    What are you most looking forward to doing over the next few months?

    1. That sounds really amazing Claire! The Aurora has always been on my bucket list. A friend of mine has a cabin in Alaska, and when all this is over I want to go try to see them!

      Winter definitely can be a little trickier to get outside. In the last few years when I’ve gone back to the mainland US in the winter I’ve tried some snowshoeing, which I really enjoyed!

      I am currently waiting for a shoulder surgery (that was cancelled due to covid-19) so I’m most looking forward to low key adventures like day hikes and beach camping (once it opens) here in Hawaii. Thanks so much for the comment!

  6. I can’t wait to do things when the pandemic dies down. Oooh! I love all of these great ideas – like stargazing! I need to be better about car camping. Oooh! I found some love from hiking lately. I can’t wait to go back!! I like the idea of going on a picnic. Thanks for sharing all of these amazing ideas!

    Nancy โ™ฅ exquisitely.me

  7. They all look like some great ideas, I guess one of the benefits of living in a big country is that there’s a lot of available space to do that where you can also avoid other people

    1. Yes, that is definitely a benefit of living in a big country! Right now I live on a pretty small island though (about 550 square miles). But there are still some great ways to get away from the crowds if you want to! Thank you for the read!

    1. I couldn’t agree more Tanya! I love stargazing, but I do it so rarely! Even though this little island of Kauai can be amazing for it. Not a whole lot of light pollution here. It’s something I’d like to prioritize more. Thank you for reading!

  8. You had me at Stargazing. It is almost impossible to see the stars in the city. This idea would make for a perfect date night, I can’t wait to try it.

  9. I love all of these ideas for staycations – I think a lot of us will be doing that this year in preference to going abroad. I love the idea of stargazing, that’s so cool, we can easily do that in our back garden too. Great list of ideas, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Lisa

    1. That’s awesome Lisa! How lucky to have a good view of the stars from your own back yard! I’ve got a pretty amazing view of them here on the little island of Kauai as well, but I’d like to make more of an event out of going to see them. I think once we’re allowed to be on the beaches after sunset again, I’ll pack some snacks and a blanket and lay out under the stars on the beach!

  10. Because of COVID, I played tourist in my city a lot more and really enjoyed it. I also like your suggestions of more outdoor things to do like picnics, camping and paddling. We all definitely need safe and distance things to do out of the house! Thanks for the ideas.

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