Summer is such a short but glorious season, and I always want to pack as much as possible into those few precious months! However there’s just something about summer where it tends to be overbooked with events. So this year we decided to make a summer bucket list of simple things we want to do before summer is over, and not overbook ourselves as usual.
Some of these are tailored around what we personally want to do, but there’s plenty of room to customize and make this list your own for the best summer yet! The one theme they all have is they’re all pretty much free or very little cost, so it’s actually achievable. So without further ado, here’s the list.
20 Simple Summer Bucket List Ideas
1. Campfire(s) – I’m hoping that this one will be plural, as in as many as I can squish into a summer, barring another wildfire season.
2. 3-day camping weekend – this goes hand in hand with the campfires, and I definitely want to get out for at least one long weekend.
3. Patio dining (see photo below) – there’s just something so summer about dining on a patio. Last year we had a couple great experiences in Tofino, B.C., one was on the patio below where we shared an iced coffee and felt the sea breeze on our faces. The other patio we dined on on that particular trip was Wolf in the Fog, and you can see a picture of my burger in my Traveling Guide to Tofino. This year I have 2 places in mind, the first is a patio at the Curry Bowl in Fernie, B.C. that’s on a roof top overlooking the stunning mountains that surround the quaint ski town. And the second is the patio of the Prince of Whales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park. We’ve driven by it for years, and never stopped because we were always chasing another adventure. This year, the adventure is the patio dining!
4. Climb 1 mountain that’s been on my list for a while – there’s just certain mountains that I just can’t wait to climb. And I’m hoping if all goes well with my neck injuries, this might be the year to finally climb Mount Siyeh in Glacier National Park.
5. Hike an overnight traverse hike – We’ve been wanting to do a long hike with an overnight halfway through for a while now, but haven’t been set up right. We’re still working on the gear, but hopefully we’ll be able to do this one because I’ve been wanting to do the Floral Park through Sperry Glacier, over a few passes into Lake Ellen Wilson, and out via Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park. This isn’t the usual route for this traverse, but it takes the best views of 2 different traverses and combines them together, so in other words pretty awesome!
6. Have a grill party – a grill party of any type, just something simple with friends and family. For grilling ideas, check out my 40 Recipes for Inspired Grilling.
7. Spend a whole day at the beach – I’m definitely wanting to spend at least 1 whole day at the beach without any other distractions – just plain relaxation. We often stop for a quick swim or to take sunset photos, but almost never just to hang out and do nothing, (which is just so appealing in the summer).
8. Make homemade ice cream – at least once anyways, but probably a lot more than that! I don’t even have to think twice about what flavor it will be because we both love my Coconut Lime Ice Cream in the summer months especially. I have tons more ice cream, toppings, and add on recipes like waffle cones in my Inspired Ice Creams e-book if you’re a fellow ice cream fanatic!
9. Eat watermelon all summer long – we’re both huge watermelon fans, so I want to make sure and take the time to cut some up before we leave the house for any adventure, especially of the beach sitting kind!
10. Enjoy live music at our local Farmer’s Market – we have an awesome Farmer’s Market all summer long with lots of produce, fun places to eat, and live music every week. Yet somehow I never stopped to just enjoy myself last year, instead buying my produce and heading straight home. But this year I definitely want to spend at least one evening enjoying some of those yummy eats and listening to local performers play.
11. Tailgating – we recently switched from camping in our car to outfitting a truck for our future adventures. And one of the best things about trucks is the tailgate, you can sit on it in front of a campfire, make your morning coffee, and more easily cook in the woods – all from your trusty tailgate. So now that I’m a truck girl again, tailgating is going to be the theme of the summer.
12. Watch a full sunset with a picnic dinner – we do this several times every summer, and it’s so much fun I could put it on every bucket list. However there are a few things to consider, early and late summer is usually better to avoid bugs. Last year we had my Best Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad on the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park and watched the sunset. Sounds perfect right? Well… sort of, the bugs really started to get to us, and it’s really hard to enjoy your food when there’s flies trying to land in it constantly. So definitely don’t try to do this during the height of bug season.
13. Watch a sunrise with coffee – this is definitely one of my favorite things to do! We usually set up the camera to take a time lapse video so we can just relax. Then I make coffee and we watch the sunrise. It’s so peaceful and gives you this sense of luxurious time because how often do you spend a couple hours just sitting in one place and doing next to nothing!?! You can see a video of one such coffee sunrise from Many Glacier in Glacier National Park, and another photo from St. Mary’s Lake in Glacier National Park.
14. Go Rollerblading – or insert here any activity you haven’t done in a while! I grew up on skates. And since my parents owned a roller rink when I was young, I literally was skating before I could walk. My mom always talks about how they would tow me around in skates before I took my first steps on solid ground. So skating is sort of in my blood and I really miss getting out my roller blades for outdoor exercise. I don’t skate much since it’s really gone out of fashion and there’s no place much to go, but roller blades work great outside, and I really want to get back into it!
15. Stargazing – while we’re pretty good about getting out stargazing since we started taking photos, I still want to make it a priority this season! You can see the latest example of our night time wanderings over on Instagram.
16. Grill pizza – because pizza is delicious, and grilling it is always a good idea in the summer time!
17. Eat from a food truck at least once – this might be easy in your area but food trucks aren’t exactly abundant here in Montana. However you can always find them at Farmer’s Market, so I might need to make it a 2 for 1 and do my Farmer’s Market live music night along with something from a food truck. There also happens to be a taco truck not far out of Glacier National Park that we’ve been dying to visit for 2 years now. Somehow we’re never out of the mountains early enough to make the food truck hours, so this year we’ll have to make sure we get there at least once!
18. Make huckleberry pie – it’s more years than I can remember since I made huckleberry pie, and that’s going to change this year! Huckleberries are native to Montana and they’re similar in flavor to wild blueberries, so obviously they make amazing pie that is unstoppable when paired with The Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!
(There’s nothing like a view from the mountain top!)
19. Sunbathe and read a book – this used to be my favorite activity, but somehow life has gotten so busy, I never make time for it anymore. To get even more relaxed, I just sunbathe and don’t even bother to hold up a book and read. Instead I just plug in my ear buds and listen to an audio book for the ultimate laze around!
20. Go night swimming – this used to be more appealing, but as I’ve gotten older swimming in glacial water at night always seems a little cold. But not this year, I’m taking the plunge because nothing is as exhilarating as coming out of the fridgid water in the dark – don’t know why… but you should try it sometime!
So there you have it, I definitely have a full summer ahead of me with this list! I’m also going to try and get a photo of each activity and do a post this fall with the bucket list (hopefully) 100% complete (Tyler’s awesome idea).