The end of those long days of summer arrives quickly every year. You know those days – the ones where the warmth of the sun washes over your face and you want to soak up every ounce of the light rays streaming from the sky to make these warm-weather adventures last as long as possible. But, alas, the end is near and the next season is around the corner.
So how does one maximize these last long light-filled days? By creating an end-of-summer bucket list and making sure to squeeze in every last adventure possible in your RV, that’s how!
Creating your end-of-summer RV bucket list doesn’t have to be overly complicated or even costly. Sometimes the best memories are simple and cheap, or even free! By setting a few parameters in place for your list, you’ll be able to create a finale to summer that you won’t soon forget.
Establish a Travel Radius
How far are you willing to drive? Once you determine your travel radius, you’ll be able to begin narrowing down your focus on what type of activities — waterfront or landlocked — you’d like to add to the list. If you like getting even more specific, you can divide your travel radius into sections and spend time focusing on activities or adventures in each area. Don’t feel like you have to travel far to have fun. Road trips within an hour or two from your home base can be full of surprises.
Next, what about a theme for your end-of-summer bucket list? Like food you’ve been hungry to try, or hikes you’ve bookmarked to take. Or would you rather keep it general and include random things that seem to pique your interest? If you opt to theme your list, here are a few ideas for some inspiration.
Wine and Water(falls) or Whiskey and Water(falls)
For this theme, seek out all the wineries or distilleries in your travel radius and narrow them down to the ones you’d most like to visit. Then, search out any water or waterfalls that you can enjoy in that same area. Spend a day on a waterfall hike and end the night with a visit to a nearby winery or distillery. This is a fun way to check off some places you may have always wanted to visit but have never made the time to do so yet.
Choose the Best, Skip the Rest
Make a list of random places like hikes, breweries, food trucks, ice cream shops, coffee cafes, tourist attractions, and museums. Make it a point to hit a certain number of each to discover The Best in each category. This is a great one for playing tourist in your own area by motivating you to get out and discover new places you may have never felt the nudge to visit before. Who knows? You might just find a new favorite place to frequent.
History and Hamburger
I know this one is a little cheesy (see what I did there?) but it’s this theme is the inspiration for expanding your own education, and hunting down the best burger along the way. Most of us are surrounded by important locations in American history but, unless you have kids who are interested in or are studying history, you most likely haven’t taken the time to actually visit those places.
Make it a goal to visit these significant spots in history within your travel radius. Broaden your own personal learning while also getting to know a place better. From understanding the stories of Indigenous Peoples to discovering landmarks with international significance, these stops will inspire you to expand your worldview. Learning about history enriches the mind, encouraging thought, conversation, and critical thinking.
And, what better way to end a day than with a juicy burger? Make it a point to seek out the burger with the highest review to end each day.
Non-Themed End-of-Summer Bucket List
Maybe a themed end-of-summer bucket list doesn’t really feel like your thing. That’s okay. Maybe you like to wake up and decide where to go on a whim. That’s totally fair. However, a little direction might be helpful because, for most of us, not having any direction or guidance can feel chaotic.
So balance your spontaneous instincts by creating a big list with 5-10 “must-do” things or locations. This list could include some of the ideas mentioned already like the best coffee shop, tastiest burger, food truck, or ice cream stop but without the unification of a theme. Tackling the most beautiful hike, the most strenuous hike, the longest hike, or the most recommended hike are all great hiking goals to wrap up the end of summer.
Don’t forget to include interpersonal items in this list. Life can get busy and it’s important to carve out time to spend with those we love. Quality time together is just as important as the destinations. Add things like a cozy night around the campfire, a morning coffee date, or a dinner party with friends under the stars to the list.
End of Summer Doesn’t Mean End of Fun
Wrapping up your summer with an end-of-summer bucket list will help ease your way back into the shorter and cooler days that lie ahead. You’ll be finishing off another summer filled with memories because you ended it with intention and purpose. And, you’ll be inspired to set some new Bucket List Goals for the autumn and winter camping seasons that are quickly approaching!
What’s on your end-of-summer bucket list?
Lindsay McKenzie travels full-time in her Winnebago Navion with her husband Dan and their 2 dogs. Originally from Colorado, they have been seeking adventure together for 10 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including living in Costa Rica. They took the leap into full time RVing after experiencing life-altering news. They viewed the news as a life “detour” and started a travel and inspirational blog called Follow Your Detour. Lindsay has grown more passionate about pursuing her dreams and a leading a fulfilling life, while inspiring others to do the same. She loves that RVing allows her to be in nature and do more of what she loves. You can usually find her on the river fly fishing, hiking to sunset spots, or at a local brewery. (All photos by Lindsay McKenzie, except where noted.)