7 ways to make the most out of late summer and early fall

Last week as I kayaked with my daughter on a beautiful local lake, I realized that I was not ready for summer to be over. The kayaking felt wonderful. Warm sunlight filtering through the clouds, amazingly blue water gently rocking my drifting kayak, and the zen-like movements of paddling all worked to soothe my soul.

So far the highlight of my summer was a camping trip to Mount Rainier with family. There is nothing comparable to tent camping on a mountain in the lush surroundings of an old growth forest and hiking through meadows, wildflowers and snow! 

But back in my kayak, the day reminded me that late summer was still a beautiful time to enjoy the warm sunny days and I vowed to plan a few more. 

Now, a week later, Labor Day has come and gone, and knowing that dwindling crowds will make outdoor outings even more attractive, I've created a list of seven more things to do that are great for late summer. Hope you can make time to indulge in at least one!

  1. Visit a wetland. Frogs, birds, fish and tall grasses are all part of the experience. These thriving areas are teaming with wildlife just waiting to be discovered. Here's a link to an article I wrote about Jetty and Spencer Islands, published in Parent Map. Although it's specific to these two areas, many of their characteristics are common to most wetlands.
  2. Plant a pot of oriental greens. Visit a nursery to buy the seeds and you might be inspired to put a few more plants in the garden. These mildly spicy greens make a great addition to any salad and are good for juicing or green blasts. Plus, their deep red adds pretty color to your deck or patio.
  3. Hit the beach at low tide. Low tide always reveals an amazing array of intertidal creatures. From scurrying hermit crabs to giant sun sea stars to brightly colored sea anemones, tide pools are like a treasure box of jewels. One priceless gem after another that will keep you hunting for hours.
  4. Visit a cider mill. Tasting all natural artisan cider is always a great treat. Cider mills are found around the country and many mills make a variety of small custom batches spiced with everything from strawberries to lavender. To find one near you, just Google cider mill + your state name. And, for those who like it spiked, hard cider is a fast growing craft with tasting rooms popping up everywhere. 
  5. Take a scenic drive. I grew up taking Sunday drives and I still love a good road trip--especially if it's scenic. Along the way, plan to stop for a late summer picnic, swim or hike. Byways.org is a good place to start your search for one near you. 
  6. Start an early morning daily walking habit. Now that the busy days of summer have passed, this is the perfect time to start a daily walk routine. Gorgeous sunrises, warm mornings, active birds, and fragrant air will entice you out from your covers. And experts say, it takes only 21 days to build a habit. Let's get going! 
  7. Shop at a farmer's market or fruit stand. I know I've mentioned this one before, but I love summer fruit, never getting enough. Most famer's markets and fruit stands are open through September so don't stop now. It's a lovely outing and great way to get your weekly produce. Think organic and wholesome.

What does your late summer look like? Do you have any suggestions for us? Share your stories! If you like this post, please click the share article below.

For more summer activities read 10 summer lovin' fun ideas for you