(If Only We Had 500!) Days of Summer

If we’ve talked face-to-face these past few weeks I may have asked you to describe your Perfect Summer Day (in State College or within day-trip driving distance).  If you are looking at a summer high in productivity and employment but low in adventure and vacationing we are in the same boat.  It’s easy to let the feeling of entrapment and “cabin fever” sink ya low when it looks like you’ll be sticking around one place all summer and while all your friends are in Africa (or just one friend but still, Africa! You are in the PA suburbia..)  The conclusion?  We must create adventure right where we are at!  It’s here for sure, but like true adventurers we must go out there and get it.  Which is why I’m asking you this question!  After some preliminary research through friends and co-workers on what a perfect summer day includes (if you find yourself in Central PA this summer!)


These are the go-to projects:

hiking (everyone listed this! Some great spots are:

If you have less than a day…

Shingletown Gap

Rothrock State Forest

Mount Nittany

Scotia Barrens (AKA State Game Lands 176…my backyard!)

If you are a lucky duck and outdoor enthusiast with a day or more to adventure…(take me with you!)…

Ricketts Glen State Park (this is either an overnighter kind of camp out trip or a ‘get up at the crack of dawn and drive 2+ hours’ trip.  If you are going with me we are camping.  I don’t hike the glen without ending it smelling like campfire and marshmallows.)

Rocky Ridge Natural Area (Hunter’s Rock) in Huntingdon County  (about a 45 min drive)

Bilger’s Rocks (Grampian, PA around an hour and a few minutes away from SC)

*none of these are that far away so technically you could pull them off in a day.  Honestly the only one I’d whine about making a day trip would be Ricketts Glen.  The rest are just a bit of a drive but totally do-able in a day)

Not into the hiking thing?  (move to Florida.)

strawberry picking at Way Fruit Farm

Concerts on the Village Green in Lemont (FREE.  and you can bring a picnic!)

Creekwalking in Spring Creek Park

Memorial Day in The 2-7 (code for Boalsburg)

Memorial Day is basically the pre-party to 4th of July.  I love it and it gets me all psyched and patriotically warmed up!  Boalsburg Memorial day includes the ever classy carnival.  I do not ride rides, an ammusment park of any level is truly my personalized misery (yes, I’m a fun-killer-but really–do you know me?) The only redeeming quality of circus-y spectacles are the lemonade (must have all that gritty sugar still at the bottom!) and funnel cake.  An added bonus if you can consume both in the evening with the smell of freshly disturbed parking lot gravel in the air.  Mhmmm THAT is the deal.

4th of July

IS my favorite holiday minus Christmas. In fact I think it is more romantic than all the rest of the holidays combined (minus Christmas).  February 14th ain’t got nothin’ on some patriotism graced with music-accompanied explosives.  I LOVE the 4th of July, I could write a lot more about it but if you care to hear I’d say it’s a better entertainment deal for you if we talk face-to-face.  I get excited and we’ll leave it at that.  BUT it should be noted that we have choice fireworks here and the viewing places are many.

creekwalking in Spring Creek–this is a great last-minute nice hot day activity.  I’ve been told the trout are gigantic but I have never actually seen them while in the creek (so I need to spend more time in the creek).

Camp CAMP CaMp! Some places: Black Moshannon State Park, Rickett’s Glen, OR do you have a TON of time?? If so I can’t stress enough that you should use said time to drive WAY up north (it’s a 12 hr drive) to Acadia National Park in Maine.  I went there last summer with some friends and it was amazing.  I’m itching to go this summer but it may not be on the real-life happening agenda 😦 if you go bring back some rocks for me (please).  But it truly is one of the most beautiful magical places I’ve ever stepped foot into.


Stargazing...ahh the ever classic summer night.  I’ve heard Cherry Springs State Park is were it’s at though have never been there myself.  So that is probably going to be added to The To-Do List this summer.  Not enough time for that drive?  Drive anywhere outside of SC (Rothrock is great too!) and soak up the ceiling.  Again, I have not done this but am loving the idea:


Swim at Whipple’s Dam!  It’s basically the Bahamas anyways….without the warm, soft sand, sun, crystal waters and dolphins.  BUT you get course rocky sand-like gravel (which is a greeaat foot exfoliant!), mystery water (its dark and green so you never know what’s swimming around you!) partial sunshine with surprise attacks of frigid temperature when the sun ducks out on you without warning–aka it’s an adrenaline rush and if you bring the right friends with you there’s an added element of danger and fun when they sneak up and try to drown you.  This is the best kind of friend because they want to make sure you’ll be able to fend for yourself when a real bad-guy tries to drown you.  They care! 🙂


Go to Ithaca/Trumansburg NY!! Spectacular camping, and the Finger Lakes are BEAUTIFUL.  It’s about a 3.5 hour drive but definitely a do-able and worth it weekend trip.  They have great breakfast, a spectacular waterfall, hiking, outdoor concerts all summer, and best of all..July 18-21….the Grassroots Festival!! Hippie-TASTIC. Magic free-love fairy dust and the whole sha-bang! Let’s GO.


Worn out from all the tie-dye?  Head over to the Rongovian Embassy!  It is a recovery center bar.


Camp in your yard if nothing else works! Make your friends set up the tent.


Just need a QuickFix of Summer Delight? Grab a sleeping bag, a beverage of choice, some speakers and this summer’s eve music:

Light Year–Gregory Alan Isakov (most of his songs would apply here)

Always On My Mind–Willie Nelson

Mightiest of Guns–A.A. Bondy (anything by him really)

Shoot The Moon–Norah Jones

2 thoughts on “(If Only We Had 500!) Days of Summer

    1. theblueberrydays

      you’ll have to find out how to DIY adventure around virginia! But also come back to SC to get a taste of a real PA summer too 😉

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