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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

The past 12 months have been the year of FOMO. We’ve all been stuck inside thinking about what we wish we could have done when we had the chance. Well, it’s time to stop fixating on what you should have done and start planning what you will do this summer. Everyone has a list of things they want to try, and we say there’s no time like the present to take back summer. Ready… set… go!

RELATED: 9 fantastic events that are definitely happening this summer

Take up surfing

A young Black surfer walks along a scenic rocky coastline looking for surf. He is carrying his surfboard on his way to go surfing

You know this has been on your bucket list for a while. You keep fantasizing and making halfhearted plans, but it’s just never the right time. This summer, get to it. As you consider beach towns, this is also the opportunity to browse their local surf shops.

DO IT While waves can be found on each coast (and even the Great Lakes!), Santa Cruz (the name you’ve seen on a trillion sweatshirts) is a great place to try the sport in California. Cowells on the west side offers long, smooth cruises that are ideal for beginner surfers. Additionally, there are plenty of options for surf lessons offered around town where they will take you to less competitive locations.

Find a great deal on a Santa Cruz hotel right here.

Take an epic road trip

Aerial shot of a car with a roof box on a road on a ridge above Calf Creek in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah at sunrise.

After being stuck inside, glued to a laptop screen for a whole year, a change of scenery is overdue. If you’re one of the many sitting in stale sweatpants on Zoom calls shoulder to shoulder with your roommate or significant other, it’s time to take a summer escape.

DO IT In whichever region of the country you may reside, there are plentiful options for an epic road trip. That said, there is something otherworldly about Utah’s Scenic Byway 12, which takes in a diverse range of geography beginning with Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument’s deep canyons as you pass along the “Hogs Back.” You will then be presented with pine groves and meadows of Boulder Mountain before returning to the deserts of Capitol Reef.

Find a great place to stay near Utah’s natural wonders here.

Go skinny dipping

Photo courtesy of Travis County Parks

Suns out, buns out! This is something you’ve flirted with for years and, let’s be honest, you know you want to do it. Plus, imagine all your new followers you’d get, should you be daring enough to post on Instagram. All you really need is a lake or some form of water.

DO IT If you’re a free spirit visiting Austin, Texas, go au naturel at Lake Travis just 30 minutes from downtown. The lake, nicknamed “Hippie Hollow,” has a long history of being a nudist hot spot. Pick your swimming buddies of choice, and leave the bathing suits at home!

Find the perfect place to stay in Austin here.

Take an overnight hike

Atmospheric mountain landscape with vivid orange tent on hill under night starry sky. Tent glow by orange light with view of snowy mountains in starry night. Overnight in nature in great mountains. (Atmospheric mountain landscape with vivid orange ten

It’s time to ditch your Zoom cardio classes. It is also time to cross an amazing hiking experience off your bucket list. Hiking during daylight is good and all, but an overnight hike is the perfect way to get all the baggage of the last 12 months out of your system.

DO IT Luckily, you can do a hike no matter where you live. But if you are fortunate enough to live near the Rockies, the options are limitless. The 11-mile hike to Kings Lake is the perfect backpacking adventure to satisfy your outdoor craving and offers the perfect mountain scenery along with wild flours and alpine lakes. Picture the moon bouncing off the cool mountain lakes or the sun rising over snow-capped peaks. It almost makes us want to throw our computer across the room right now and give in to the freedom of nature.

 Find your ideal Rocky Mountain abode right here.

Watch the sunrise

Photo Courtesy of Acadia National Park

Sunsets are played out. Yes, they’re pretty, but all you need to do to see one is stay up past 7pm, which is an easy feat so long as you’re not 105. Instead, add watching the sunrise to your bucket list.

DO IT Quite literally the proclaimed first place to see the sun each day is Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine which is accompanied by deservedly panoramic ocean views that can be taken in from its peak. Let the first rays of light in the United States shine down upon you while knocking back a beer or wine.

Book your Acadia National Park hotel right here. 

Take a craft beer crawl

Female bartender pouring craft beer on tap in a glass

We could all use a drink. That said, many city bars are tentatively beginning to open their doors. To make up for lost time, a bar crawl is long overdue.

DO IT In Chicago, bar crawlers have an abundance of options to suit their beer preferences, plus great public transit. For those looking to take in local flavors, breweries and craft beer bars worth visiting include Marz Brewing, Pipeworks Brewery, Goose Island, Revolution Brewing, Map Room, Hopleaf, Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar, and Half Acre. If you  want to walk from one tap room to the next, hit up “Malt Row” in the Ravenswood neighborhood, where you’ll find about 10 different breweries and distilleries within blocks.

Get a good deal on a Chicago hotel here.

Book a cabin in the woods

Vietnamese woman in her late 20's reading a magazine on her blue leather couch in a cabin with a fire

You know how you and your friends have always been talking about getting out of the city? What better way to make up for lost time socializing than booking a place with your crew away from work, stress and civilization. Maybe this place even has iffy phone service, perfect for cancelling out all distractions and being in the moment.

DO IT Woodsy cabins are everywhere, but CheapTickets offer tons of great options at great prices. Picture your crew taking a hike through rolling hills, riding ATVs, or jumping in a cold lake. At night, kick back on the front porch after having a few too many, while looking at the stars. All the trauma of the past year will feel like a distant memory.

Right this way to your fantastic cabin getaway!

Bungee jump—in tandem

A man jumps from a cliff into the abyss.

Afraid of heights and maybe a committed relationship, as well? It’s almost a cliché to face a fear of heights by literally diving head on into them with nothing but a bungee cord between you and the chasm below. There is also no way to feel closer to someone than experiencing sheer terror together (just kidding!) But seriously, try it; it’s fun.

DO IT In Arizona, Navajo Bridge Highway 89A between Bitter Springs and Jacob Lake, offers an excellent example, almost cliché, of an ideal bridge to take a nosedive off. Picture the sun beaming off your face as you take in the magnificent desert landscapes while you plummet into the gorge 450 feet below. Prices at this particular location range from $250- $350 per jumper. More info can be found here.

Find a cool place to stay in Arizona here.

Tagged: Beach, California, Chicago, City, COVID-19, Destinations, Food & drink, Romance & honeymoon, Seasonal, Texas, Texas

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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