Strategies for getting the most out of summer vacation time

The sun is shining and the flowers are in full bloom. It’s time to break out the flip flops and tanks, pull up your hair, grab your sunglasses and swimsuit on your way to…

…well during those dreary cold winter days you were sure you had big plans for summer, but what were they and where has all the time gone.

That is me every year, whining and complaining about the winter and begging for summer then it arrives and I don’t fully embrace it. Well I decided to kick off this summer the right way. Let me take this opportunity to share some fun filled weekend activities for everyone here in Virginia that I have taken the time to experience.

1. Living in Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a definite advantage, so why not take advantage of it? I highly recommend hiking Old Rag Mountain; it is more of an advanced hikers trail and can be quite strenuous so pack light and hydrate well in advance. If you would rather do a little more of a relaxed scenic trail definitely check out White Oak Canyon. Upon hiking this trail you will observe cascades, natural slides and swimming holes throughout the mountain so bring your suit and picnic basket and why not make it a family affair. For a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive why not buy an annual pass to Skyline drive. After cruising down just once you’ll be sure to come back for more!

2. Next stop, the Shenandoah Valley. Make it a weekend retreat. Get lost in the mountains; camp out in a clearing on the ridge and wake up to the beautiful views of the winding Shenandoah River. Be sure to bring a canoe, kayak, or even some inner tubes so you can venture out into the water as well. Don’t forget your binoculars because this is bird country so look out for those bald eagles.

3. So you say you’re not a mountaineer, well then let’s head a little more southeast to the Chesapeake Bay for a complete change of scenery. This is perfect for a couples rendezvous but also very accommodative to the kids. It’s like a mini beach vacation without all the crowds, costs and commute. Discover some of the local diners and fruit stands, go crab picking and listen to some live music to fully incorporate yourself in your surroundings.

4. Not in the mood for the outdoors at all, or has something “rained on your parade”? There’s a solution for that too. What better to do then be inside on a rainy day but off the couch at the same time? Check out our nation’s capital. There are plenty of museums, restaurants and sites to be seen while also being educational. This is a must do for the young ones.

5. There is of course the timeless pleasure in ice cream and a walk in your local park. But why not put a twist on things, and host an ice cream social in your local park? Of course every good host of hostess has to have a theme, so go with it. Let your creativity really shine!

That should keep you busy for a while. In the mean time you can find me hiking, kayaking, soaking up the sun, or enjoying some ice cream. I’ll keep you posted on some new adventures.

Summer hiking with friends near Vail
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