As summer comes to a close, the mad dash begins to bring out the fall decorations and seek out the best places for apple picking and corn mazes. The interim between these two seasons often gets neglected as August becomes a steep transition rather than the final last dog days of summer, which is the perfect time to tackle some brand new and exciting end-of-summer activities. Just because summer is ending doesn't mean the fun needs to and this is usually the best time to close out summer memories with a bang.
From water sports to summit-seeking, there's no one activity that's perfect for the end of summer. Therefore, a definitive ranking of the best ways to end the summer season is in order!
Before a true chill hits the air, a cool way to celebrate the turn of the seasons is water tubing. It's great to know someone with a boat, especially if they're willing to take it out one more time before the water feels like an ice bath, but river tubing is just as fun - and super relaxing. Heading down a lazy river is the perfect way to find a bit of rest and relaxation at the end of the summer without heading to a spa. After all, nature practically is the best healer, and there's nothing like a lazy float down a picturesque river.
Make sure to pack a lunch so that when the river-floating trip is over, there's something to do at the end of it! Set up shop on a side bank or sandy spot and enjoy the last few legs of summer sunlight.
Canoes can be rented pretty easily in most lakeside and riverside towns and this is also a great way to explore the unseen territory. Many canals and channels are only accessible via watercraft and renting a canoe with some friends makes for the perfect end-of-summer day. It's relaxing and does take a bit of work to get the hang of, but most people figure out a rhythm in no time at all. It's easy to go at a slow and steady pace and there's plenty of room on a canoe to pack some snacks and just chill.
Dock anywhere canoes are allowed and take a dip or sit back and relax on an embankment - you've earned it!
More of a solo or duo-activity, kayaking is the perfect way to become one with nature while on the water. All it takes is a bit of balance in order to get the feel for how to maneuver a kayak, but it's not difficult by any means - it does double as a great workout, though! Tackle this one with a best friend, family, or significant other for a bit of end-of-summer romance along with vistas, as anywhere a kayak can fit is pretty much fair game.
Kayaks can also be taken out onto bays and lakes and are the perfect way to see a sunrise or sunset - just make sure to paddle back with plenty of sunlight. These are often cheaper to rent than canoes as well.
Camping is everyone's favorite outdoor activity and for those who truly want to bond with nature, this is the way to go to close out the summer. As the weather gets cooler, the humidity is zapped and the bugs lighten up, so the transition into fall is the perfect time to plan a trip. Closeout sales for the end of the season are also ongoing during this time, so this is the perfect chance to pick up some gear and head out to the Great Outdoors. If nothing else, campers will also be prepared for the following season!
Choose a picturesque spot and check out some camping hacks in order to make the trip feel even more glamorous. It might get a little chilly at night though, so be sure to keep the seasonal shift in mind if camping is on the itinerary.
Perhaps the best end-of-summer activity is none other than hiking. It's the most versatile outdoor activity in terms of where it happens and what the experience can be like, and there are even some excellent trails for leaf-peeping season. Hiking can be carried on through the winter, but the best time to head out is arguably at the end of the summer. As the leaves start changing and the temperatures begin cooling, hiking is a pleasant and fun experience.
All hikers need is a pair of comfortable sneakers or hiking boots, depending on the trail, and a backpack with water, first aid, and some snacks.