Recently, scrolling through Instagram has made me feel like everyone but me is lounging poolside in Mexico. With no exotic getaway on my summer itinerary, I have had to get creative with ways to have fun in my hometown. Through this, I’ve found that some of the best adventures are right in my own backyard, especially if I get friends in on the action. Planning activities like these in your own city is an amazing way to make summer memories while supporting local business owners!
1. Coffee Tasting Tour
Gather some friends and pick four or five coffee shops to visit on a “tasting tour.” Ask the barista to make the house’s special and split it into smaller cups between your group. My boyfriend and I did this for his birthday, and we made scorecards to rate the shops on aesthetic, atmosphere, menu, and flavor of the coffee. Not a coffee fan? Try it with ice cream shops or bakeries!
2. Take a Class
There’s nothing that can brighten your mood quite like picking up a new skill, whether it’s candle making, floral arranging, cooking, or yoga. The class I chose to take was an all-women computer coding course. It was awesome to meet new people from my community and learn something new that I could practice at home. Breaking out of your comfort zone can be both exciting and fulfilling, and you may even discover a new passion!
3. Boutique Crawl
You and your friends can shop and enjoy yourselves while supporting small businesses by planning a boutique crawl. Spend a day hopping from one boutique to the next, finding unique pieces to mix up your summer wardrobe. It’s like Etsy in real life.
4. Recharge Your Art Heart
Especially if you haven’t experienced one since a high school field trip, challenge your creative side by spending time in an art museum. Be intentional about analyzing each piece and take photos of your favorites (if the museum allows it). A day at the museum always leaves me recharged and inspired.
5. Put Away Your Phone and Enjoy the Outdoors
Taking a trip to a greenhouse or botanical garden is a way to step out of the day-to-day bustle of life and re-familiarize yourself with the beauty that surrounds you.
6. Head to a Farmer’s Market
Chances are, your city has tons of amazing farmers, bakers, and artisans who are eager to share their products with you! Walking around a farmer’s market in your area is a surefire way to meet interesting people, try delicious foods, and pick up a beautiful bouquet of blooms. Take this to the next level and pick up enough ingredients to make a meal with your friends or significant other.
7. Cheer on Your Local Team
Ask anyone who knows me, I’m the least sporty person ever. However, when my friends wanted to go to a local baseball game, I said yes (maybe I went for the soft pretzels…sue me) and had a really great time! Even if you’re like me in respect to sports, going to some sort of game is an experience that’s not all about the players on the field. Get some classic ballpark food, enjoy the weather, and relax with good company.
8. Take the Path Less Traveled
Use a website like TrailLink to find a hiking or bike trail near you. Ditch your usual gym routine for a day and try a path with great scenery. My friends and I took a bike path all the way into a nearby town, got dinner on an outdoor patio, and biked back.
9. Go Behind The Scenes
Is there something cool that is made in your hometown? Maybe a local brewery or art studio? Reach out and see if you can schedule a tour of their facilities. In my town, we have a beloved donut shop that will let you come into the kitchen and make your own donuts. Don’t be afraid to ask, most businesses are proud of their production and want you see behind the scenes.
10. Visit Your Library
Pick up a new read and enjoy the quiet coziness of your city’s library. Many libraries also host events and reading programs for you to participate in. Need book recs? Check out our list of self-help books to change your life.