10 Cheap Summer Activities

Boating cheap summer activities

Summer is my favorite time of the year. Long, sunny days just give me a feeling of pure joy that I just don’t have in winter. Sitting at the water (beach, lake, pool) eating fresh fruit makes my heart sing. BUT summer is going, because believe it or not it is September! Man, time sure does fly. So, here are some 10 cheap summer activities to fit in before the jackets need to be broken out!

Also if you LOVE summer like me and want the chance to go to a tropical destination in the dead of winter, check out this Bahamas trip giveaway!!!

10 CHEAP Summer Activities

Costs of the activities will differ based on location.

1. Boating Trip on the Lake

Boating cheap summer activities

Hanging at the lake is one of my favorite things. So for this, all you need to do is find some friends, rent a boat, bring some food and you can hang out on the lake all day.

Cost: This cost me approximately $30 after splitting the cost of the boat between everyone, plus the cost of food*! Bring this awesome to go meal, and you are set! (Plus it’s zero waste!)

2. Kayaking

Cheap Summer Activities Kayaking

Kayaking is a great way to spend time in the sun, while also getting some exercise. Find a local shop to rent some kayaks. In Roanoke, we have Roanoke Mountain Adventures, where you can actually rent pretty much all your outdoor equipment.

Cost: We got a group of 8 of us to kayak down the river…even in the pouring rain it was fun, and this was only about $30.

3. Road Trip

A road trip doesn’t have to be far and can just be for a day even! Drive to a nearby city and explore the area! Check out the restaurants and activities that might not normally be available to you. Maybe even take a road trip to a music festival or concert!

Cost: Depending on what you do and how many people you bring this can be just the cost of food and gas! While festivals and concerts aren’t always the cheapest, sometimes cities have FREE music. Keep your eye out for those!

4. Camping

This is the BEST activity for the summer time in my opinion because otherwise it can get pretty chilly in the mountains at night (god bless those Appalachian Trail thru-hikers soles (HA, get it?)). Anyway…I went camping in March and it got below 30 and I about thought I was going to freeze to death. Summers are still warm at night so you don’t need as many layers.

Cost: Borrow a pack or rent one and make sure you pack all the stuff you need! You can borrow a tent too, or depending on the trail you are on there may be a free lean to. So really this could just be the cost of food!

5. Beach Day

I wish I lived near a beach (maybe I should combine this with the road trip!?), because the beach is one of my favorite places. You can bring your own food, and games, hang out in the water, lay on the beach. It’s so easy to spend a whole day there (heck, a whole WEEK there) with spending virtually no extra money!

Cost: Food

6. Picnic/Barbeque

This can be combined with a lot of the other activities (2 for 1!) but this is a fun one especially sitting out in the sun. Gather your friends for a day at the park, beach, river, backyard, WHEREVER and bring some tasty foods. You can also bring games to play like cornhole, volleyball, soccer, or whatever your favorite sport or outdoor activity is! Lauren Singer has a great post about hosting a zero waste picnic.

Cost: Food

7. Tubing

There is tubing that you can do on a boat day. But you can also do lazy river tubing. I have a post dedicated to it, that you can check out HERE!

Cost: The rentals were $10 for the tube, and $2 for parking (split between people), plus we rented tubes for the coolers ($5/$6). Overall it was less than $15 for a day on the river. If you have your own tube, even better!

8. Wine/Beer Tasting

Microbreweries are popping up all over the U.S. I’m seriously in love with it as beer tasting is my favorite. (Just check out my Untappd.) Take some friends to a brewery and get some food (the ones near me always have a food truck!). A lot of them play music, and have games. This is one of my favorite ways to hang with friends and enjoy a beautiful summer day.

Additionally, summer is an awesome time for wine tasting as well. The weather is beautiful and the wine is fresh! Many of these places also do guided tours to help you get to know wine better too.

Don’t forget to have a designated driver!

Cost: BEEEER (and probably food).

9. Biking Trip/Mountain Biking

I went mountain biking for my first time in Asheville. While I was already super tired from racing a 10k, I still had a blast! It was fun to spend time with friends and it definitely put me a bit out of my comfort zone! And sometimes it’s good to push yourself and try new things, ya feel me?

Cost: This cost me about $50 to rent the bike and helmet*!

10. Hiking

And of course, I will always suggest a good hike. While I prefer fall weather for hiking, it’s still a great thing to do in the summer to work up a good sweat. Plus it’s generally free. Bring LOTS of water and some snacks and expect some spectacular views! (I have some awesome hike in southwest VA here with some gorgeous views!)

Cost: Food (and possibly a fee if it’s a national park).

So get out there, play, and enjoy the sun, before it is forever gone in the dark of winter.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the summer?

Are you sad to see summer go like me??? 🙁

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