By Carlie Rice
For a lot of people, summer just means, “hot”. For me, living on the Jersey Shore, it is the time of year that I look forward to eagerly from Labor Day on. Summer on the Jersey Shore is so special to me. All of the forests turn green and full, the river and the ocean get warm and inviting, the beach fills with dripping ice cream cones and speakers playing radio hits, and the streets are lined with bike riders and surfers. I ‘ve grown up my entire life in a small beach town with the ocean on one side and the river on the other. As I grew up, I always took full advantage of the many activities available at my disposal each summer. Now, I patiently wait for a day off from work so I can pack a day filled with fun. Below are some amazing (and fairly attainable) activities to fit into your final summer days before they run out.
- Kayaking: Not only is kayaking a great upper-body workout, it is such a fun way to explore a river or a lake nearby. Packing up some snacks and kayaking to a secret island for lunch is one of my favorite ways to spend a free afternoon. Some beach towns even offer sunset and nightly kayak trips!
- White Water Rafting: My family and I recently took a trip to Pennsylvania to go rafting. We left early in the morning and made reservations beforehand (there is a bunch of tours to choose from) and had the best day on the lake. It was scary, challenging, but overall a fun bonding experience for everyone.
- Paddle Boarding: This is an amazing way to get in a good workout and relax at the same time. When the river is smooth in the early morning, I can always spot paddle boarders floating seamlessly along the river. Like yoga, it leaves you feeling peaceful and strong: the perfect wake-up routine.
- Crabbing or Fishing: One of my favorite traditions every summer is crabbing with my dad off of our dock. We will spend the day scooping up crabs and then later- my mom makes a delicious pasta and crab sauce dinner. It sounds old fashioned, but there is something rewarding about knowing you caught the food that you are eating.
- Hiking: Odds are, no matter where you live, you can find a hiking trail not too far away. I like to research mountains beforehand and plan a full day of hiking whenever I can. Driving a few hours for that perfect mountain is definitely worth it. I recently ventured to Old Rag Mountain in Virginia (a two hour drive from DC) for one of the most strenuous and dangerous hikes in the area. If you want to test yourself, definitely try out this 9-mile hike.
- Camping: At the end of the summer, I always remember these little trips the most. There is nothing more soothing than packing a car full of sleeping bags, smores, and camping gear and setting off for a weekend in the woods. Exploring the trails, not to mention shutting of your phone for a day or two, is like a breath of fresh air. Enjoy it!