How to Summer Local
How to Summer Local
Ahhh, sweet summertime, when we have a chance to slow down, relax a little, and make memories with our friends and family. Whether you’re ready to travel again or you’re more the staycation type, we want to encourage you to Summer Local.
When we live in a place as beautiful as the Shenandoah Valley that offers something for everyone, it’s easy to take it for granted. But let’s take a close look this summer at our own backyard and take advantage of all the wonderful amenities right here in our own little corner of heaven.
How can you Summer Local?
- Get outdoors! With hiking, biking, swimming, off-roading, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, flying and more, there really is an outdoor adventure (or way to relax!) for everyone. With scenic meandering trails through meadows and beside rivers to challenging hikes that reward you with amazing waterfalls and valley views, lace up those sneakers or hiking boots and try a new trail. Whether you prefer the Appalachian Trail, the Waynesboro Greenway or Gypsy Hill Park, options abound.
- Shop local! (Duh!) With so many holidays and occasions falling during the summer months, make a point to shop local when you need gifts- birthdays, weddings, hostess gifts… take a stroll in downtown Staunton or Waynesboro and check out some of the beautiful retail shops. Check out local crafters and artisans for one of a kind gifts. Need the perfect summer outfit? Look no further than local boutiques and thrift stores! (Pro tip: buy secondhand kids’ clothes for summertime so that they can get dirty without worrying about the hit to your wallet!) Plus, this supports local business owners so they have a great summer season too!
- Eat local! Whether you prefer to grill on your deck or go out, look for local dining options. Check out a local farmers’ market for fresh produce or baked goods. Visit a local farm that butchers and sells their own meat. Many restaurants offer outdoor dining and special summer menus or happy hours. Some of them even have “kids eat free” options during the week.
- Look for free family activities! While going on beach vacations or to theme parks is great, there are PLENTY of family friendly activities around the area with fun for all ages. Our local libraries have special storytimes and activities for kids of all ages, plus summer reading challenges to keep those brains engaged. With a number of parks all around the area, there’s one close by with trails, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, tennis courts, rivers and ponds, pools and more. Visit a local park you’ve never been to. Find a pick your own flower field for beautiful bouquets all summer long. Many churches are back to hosting Vacation Bible Schools this summer- these are great ways for kids to have something fun to do and meet some new friends. Get creative- does your neighborhood have a lot of kids? Pick a day for water fun or Nerf wars in someone’s backyard or host an outdoor movie night!
- Be a tourist in your own town! Have you ever stopped to think just how many amazing and interesting attractions are right here in our own community? From a Presidential library to a frontier museum to America’s largest antique mall to local theater and more, there are attractions for every age and interest. Not only are these easy to get to, some of them offer summer programs or local discounts. (You can also check the library for passes to some of these!)
- Volunteer! Summertime gives us a little more free time which means an opportunity to volunteer and get involved in your community. It’s a great way to meet new people, find out what amazing organizations are serving the needs of our community, and introduce our kids to how rewarding it feels to give back.
The key to summering local is keeping it simple and keeping it fun! Enjoy trips to the beach or around the country (or world!) but remember to appreciate what we have right here!
Tell us in the comments how you plan to Summer Local this year. Here are some helpful websites, plus we’ve provided a fun bucket list to help you out! Tag us on social media and use #SummerLocalSAW.
- Augusta County Parks & Recreation
- Destination Downtown Waynesboro
- Fields of Gold
- Shenandoah Valley Living
- Staunton Downtown Development Association
- Visit Augusta County