Fun Staycation Ideas to Spice Up Your Summer

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way

Napoleon Hill

I feel like that quote is such a good way to approach a staycation. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time and funds to travel, especially to far-flung places around the world for weeks. A lot of travelers explore outside of their home so much that they’ve barely scratched the surface of possibilities of their own backyard or town.

Yeah, yeah. We’ve been stuck at home for so long. Why would we want a staycation? Well, not everyone can travel right now and there are so many amazing things to do, see, and experience in or around where you live. This post is all about helping you find fun ideas to get you out of the house (while on a budget) for a summer adventure of your choosing.

Do one or all of my suggestions! The possibilities are pretty much endless. To get the most out of your staycation, combine your favorites from the list below or choose several different activities to try over a few days!

Glamping or Camping in the Woods

Last Halloween we did a mini glamping vacation an hour from our house. It was SO much fun and a quick getaway in the woods. Whether you like roughing it or camping with more comfort in mind, this kind of getaway is so refreshing.

Pro Tip: Find a place with lots of hiking trails, water activities, or restaurants nearby so you can camp and adventure all in the same trip based on what you love to do.

Discover a Local Boutique Hotel or AirBnb

Sometimes just getting out of the house for the night is the perfect mini vacation. Search for small, local hotels near you that offer something unique and book a night there. In Lancaster, we have a super unique hotel called Lancaster Arts Hotel and it’s super small, but is decked out in different art styles and located near a few unique restaurants as well. It doesn’t have to be crazy, but find one that will give you a fun getaway experience for the night.

Drive to the Opposite Side of Town and Explore on Foot

After talking to quite a few friends about this, we all realized that we generally stick to one part of town we’ve explored to the point we could probably give a tour of it with our eyes closed. Spice things up a bit by walking/biking/driving to another part of town you don’t normally visit. Spend the day exploring all of the fun shops, restaurants, murals, etc that it has to offer!

Eat Every Meal of the Day at a New Restaurant You’ve Never Tried

Calling all of my fellow food lovers! This is one of my favorite staycation ideas I came up with for this. What better way to explore locally than to eat every meal at a new restaurant you’ve never dined at before? You just might discover a new favorite. Bonus points if you also discover a market and pick up some groceries or fresh veggies/fruit for making future meals with.

Go to a Local Event

One of my favorite things about where I live is going to tons of events. We have First Friday where shops stay open late and have snacks in stores. There’s music Friday where local artists set up across the city to play music. Then there are the bigger celebrations like Pride, Water Week, Restaurant Week, and even an Anime Festival. Regardless of where you live, there’s bound to be events, large and small, you can explore!

Plan an Adventure Day

High ropes courses, zip lines, scooters, bike tours, sip and bike trolleys, walking tours, river floats, backyard game day, scavenger hunts, or hiking. Think of any number of adventures near you and spend the day channeling your inner adventurer. There’s no reason you have to travel far and wide just to have an adventure. Make or discover one right in your town!

Have Your Partner/Friend Plan the Day for You

Get together with your partner or a close friend. Have them plan an entire day geared towards what you love. Then, return the favor and spend the next day doing the same thing. Not only do you get to plan something meaningful and fun for a friend and have them do the same for you, you can experience things that you might not normally do yourself.

Drive to a Nearby Town for a Mini Day Trip

You really don’t have to go far to have a day trip that feels like a mini vacation. Pick a town or even pick a direction and drive if you want a truly spontaneous day. Or spend a few days researching nearby towns to find one that suits you best then hit the road for an adventure.

Pamper Yourself with a Spa Day

Vacation from stress? Yes, please. If life is overwhelming at the moment choose a relaxing staycation option by getting pampered all day. Whether you treat yourself to a massage or a full day at the spa complete with a relaxing meal, you’ll have experienced something new while getting rid of the stresses of daily life.

Outdoor Dinner and a Movie

Your backyard absolutely counts as a staycation destination. Borrow or break out your projector or computer and put on your favorite movie or rent one you haven’t seen. Either way, make it special. Gather your favorite snacks, cook a meal, break out the cozy cushions and blankets, mix up drinks, etc. Wait until the sun sets and you’ve got the makings of a fantastic night in the backyard.

Take a Cooking Class or Host a Cooking Night

Not many things can bring people together and make you feel like you’re traveling quite like food can. Try taking a local cooking class with friends for the night to learn new techniques and dishes. Another option is hosting a cooking night. Have the basic ingredients for a fun meal and invite everyone to participate in cooking something together for a food night!

Go On a Picnic

Apparently I was hungry when I made this list. This is another good idea to pair with an adventure. I love the idea of packing up a picnic with meals and snacks, hiking to a super amazing overlook, and then chowing down before hiking back. You can always pack up a picnic to enjoy in the park, on the beach, or at your favorite spot in your town.

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

3 thoughts on “Fun Staycation Ideas to Spice Up Your Summer

  1. Great ideas, Emma. My son and girlfriend did a cooking class and loved it! i would also add visit a local museum or gallery you’ve never been to!

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