The Epic Bucket List You Need for the Best Summer Ever
BY CHRISTIE BRYDON
It happens every year. Summer finally starts, time flies, and then you realize it’s July…and you haven’t done any of the things you planned to do.
Have no fear. The Summer Bucket List is here.
Behold your 30 must-do #goals for a season to remember, with excitement, nostalgia, discovery, leisure, and more. (Plus puppies. And ice cream.)
You’ve got six themes to cover all the bases. Complete them in order or make it work for your schedule. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see announcements and inspiration—and share your own #ziptrip for a chance to be featured.
Truly satisfy your appetite for summer with fresh bites and foodie tours.
WEEK 1: FOOD
Go on an ice cream crawl. Gelato in Little Italy, artisanal coconut-based hand-churned scoops from the farmers market, and a mountainous sundae delight of unconventional toppings and whacko flavors to polish it off. Followed by a power nap.
Dine al fresco. Raise your hand if a typical Tuesday night dinner is eating cheese and crackers while standing at the kitchen counter. Not this week. Grab a friend, pack a feast, and enjoy an honest-to-goodness picnic, complete with a red-checkered blanket and people-watching at the park.
Take a legit lunch break. C’mon, people, no more crumbs on the keyboard. Gather your coworkers and actually take your lunch hour. Check out that sushirrito place across town or refill your snack stash from the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
Visit a farm. Pick strawberries, pull weeds, or help out in whatever way the farmer’ll let you. Pack a picnic or come home with a box o’ produce to cook a seriously farm-to-table meal.
Take the Golden Ratio Yelp Challenge.The secret to hidden gems? Five stars, one dollar sign. Prepare to be amazed.
Run, don’t walk, to all possibilities of outdoor activities before the sun goes down.
WEEK 2: ACTIVE
Challenge your friends to a field day. Venture to an open field outside the city and bring cornhole, T-ball, Apples to Apples (we all know Bobby’s not an athlete)… anything that keeps score. Split into teams and let the games begin.
Elevate your beach day on a stand-up paddleboard. You can only veg out for so many hours. Get active at the beach, river, or lake by renting a stand-up paddleboard. Work out and peace out.
Run the distance. Mix up your track routine and go somewhere with a new view. Or take advantage of new one-way zipping and end your trip miles away from home. Then leave the Zipcar (at its reserved spot) there and run home.
Go horseback riding. If you think the Kentucky Derby is all about over-the-top hats and drinks in bronze mugs, you’re missing the true fun. Visit the stables for a day on horseback.
Do something that requires a life jacket. Or harness. Or parachute. Go white-water rafting, try rock-climbing, finally persuade your friend to skydive. Woooooo!!
Indoor venues are so October. Strike a chord with summer at an outdoor festival.
WEEK 3: CULTURE
Catch a midnight movie. See a summer blockbuster at 12:01am on opening day, or attend a classic, like Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since public transit isn’t as frequent and it might be too dark to walk, you’ll be better off with a trusty set of wheels.
See art that’s not inside a building. Sculpture parks and public art live all over the U.S. and give a seriously artsy vibe without the dim lighting and no-photography-allowed rules of traditional museums.
Ditch the city for an outdoor festival. There’s nothing like the energy and free spirit of an outdoor festival. Hit one of the big music scenes (Outside Lands, Newport Folk Festival, and the new Panorama Festival all have huge line-ups) or head to Comic-Con, food and wine, or cultural celebrations.
Flee to a flea market. After all that spring cleaning, your space is ready for something new—and totally unique. Might wanna reserve something with a big trunk in case you fall in love with a hand-carved, eighteenth-century wardrobe.
Go retro at a drive-in theater. Yes, these still exist. Find one near you and time travel for the night! Many play classic films, but some have new blockbusters.
Take a breather and appreciate the lights and sounds of long days.
WEEK 4: LEISURE
Play hooky. Okay, don’t tell your boss you heard it from us, but… call out sick tomorrow. Hit a water park, take a day trip to a nearby town, or soak up the sun at the beach. Go big, Bueller.
Strike a (yoga) pose outdoors. When the weather is nice, many studios and city programs offer yoga classes outside in parks and on beaches. Sun salutations are extra peaceful when they’re actually in the sun.
Relive campus life. With most of the students gone for the summer, university campuses are pretty peaceful places. Tap into the slow pace by spreading out on the quad or strolling across blissfully car-free walkways. Art nerd? Many have underrated museums and architecture.
Book a relaxation vacation. Some trips come with itineraries, sightseeing checklists, and a drive for exploration. This one does not. Find a peaceful locale—think a cabin alongside a babbling brook or a beachside villa where the waves will lull you to sleep—and pack a book, comfy clothes, unplug, and just relaaaaax.
Go all out(let) on a shopping spree. Shopping is much easier when you’re not wearing heavy layers of winter coats. Now, stores are clearing out the last of their cold-weather threads (for can’t-beat prices) and filling up racks with the newest picks. (Book wheels with a big trunk so you don’t have to lug it all on a bus home.)
It’s not all about the sunshine—venture out with the crew to pull an all-nighter.
WEEK 5: SOCIAL
Plan a puppy play date.Your dog may be loyal to you and only you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want friends! Invite all your pet parent friends for a day at the park and prepare for so much cuteness. (Remember to put them in a carrier during the Ziptrip.)
Make a weekend escape. If you’re big on wanderlust and short on vacation days, get your fix with a weekend destination. It is possible to feel completely removed from your daily routine even when you’re only an hour away.
Volunteer! Many charities get an overabundance of help and donations during the holidays, only to have it settle down after the new year begins. Check with local food banks, shelters, and organizations for open shifts.
Bring your kid (or niece/neighbor/friend’s kid) to an amusement park. Best babysitter of all time? Uh, yeah. Roller coasters are even more epic when you see the thrill on an 8-year-old’s face.
Visit someone you haven’t seen in forever. Ever since your friend moved to the suburbs, your standing brunch dates have turned into…seasonal occasions. Bring takeout and a bottle of wine (and make it a sleepover—you can keep a Zipcar overnight from 6pm-8:30am for under $35).
Hit the road and hit the trail with wheels as adventurous as you.
WEEK 6: NATURE
Get a bird’s-eye view of your city. Start your weekend right with a morning hike. Find a trail and lace up your sneaks. The endorphins and the views will have you feeling incredible, and a post-hike refuel is brunch at its very finest.
Splash around at a natural spring.Skip the community pool and head out to the nearest natural body of water, stat. Swim in the refreshingly non-chlorinated waters of natural springs, or make a day of it at a lake.
Watch the sunrise. When’s the last time you woke up before dawn? The alarm-clock grumbles are worth it when you roll up to a viewing point and get the life-affirming #feels of a rainbow sky and a new day. Co-pilot brings the coffee.
Sleep under the stars. Pack the trunk with blankets, lanterns, and a thermos of hot chocolate. Drive until the city lights are just a twinkle in the background. Lay out in a (safe and legal) spot and marvel at the night sky until you’re getting real existential.
Adventure on two wheels. Just in time for summer, some outdoor-loving Zipcars now come equipped with Yakima bike racks. Pick a trail, grab a buddy (they hold two sets of wheels), and put the pedal to the metal dirt.