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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and it’s time to get outside! Here’s five experiences you should aim to have this summer, and the snacks to enjoy with them.
Attend an outdoor concert
Culture is all around us — tune into what’s happening in your community. Local bands often play on town greens, in parks or even outside libraries. Find an outdoor concert to attend. Bring chairs, snacks and drinks and enjoy the melodies. Also fun: outdoor movies. See if any group in your community is hosting them.
Snack idea: Cheese and crackers, along with some fruit, is a fantastic outdoor concert snack. Also bring something to sip on. Starbucks® Bottled Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Coffee Drink is a great option.
Bring a book with you wherever you go. Walking through the park? Stop on a bench to read. Spending the day at the beach? Pull out that favorite volume. Having coffee at the corner cafe? Read from your book while you’re there. Reading is great anytime, but reading outside is so refreshing — the fresh air, the sun, the warmth. It’s a level of enjoyment that can’t be duplicated inside.
Snack idea: Finger foods are best. Perhaps some homemade popcorn and a tasty coffee drink like Starbucks® Bottle Mocha Frappuccino®?
Visit the beach
Lakes and oceans and rivers, oh my! Whether you prefer fresh water or salt water, inland beaches or coastal ones, digging your toes in the sand is a wonderful and restorative thing. Find one near you and go! go! go!
Snack idea: Pack a cooler with drinks (like waters and Starbucks® Bottled Vanilla Frappuccino®). Ready to eat fruit (like melon wedges, frozen grapes or sliced berries) are so refreshing.
Hike a local trail
From land preserves to local trail networks, national parks to state parks, summer hiking can be so rewarding. On warm, sunny days, hiking a mountain can net some brilliant views like these from atop Flying Mountain at Acadia National Park. But any day is good for hiking — even cloudy or rainy ones. And hikes don’t have to be mountain ones — there’s so much beauty just outside the routes we travel often. In our little city, trails circle bogs, follow an old rail bed and wind their way through forests. Filled with wildlife, fauna and so much more, it’s an amazing thing to step onto the trail. I once even saw a porcupine on a hike!
Snack idea: When hiking, you want something to fortify you. Pack some trail mix — the combination of nuts and dried fruit is perfect for munching on the go. And don’t forget your water bottle. Staying hydrated is super important.
Forget the indoor pool at your local spot. Instead, head outside to whatever swimming pool, swimming hole, pond, lake, stream or ocean you can, and get your swim on. There’s nothing quite like taking a dip in cool water on a warm day — ahhhh! So refreshing.
Snack idea: You shouldn’t eat while swimming. But, once swimming is over, an ice cream is the perfect treat.
I am a huge Starbucks® fan. I even visited the company headquarters in Seattle years ago. So when the opportunity arose to write this post, I was all over it. Have you tried the new Starbucks® Bottled Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Coffee Drink yet? It comes in a 13.7 oz single serve bottle (not available in 4-pack), and is a sweet, rich drink with hints of a caramelized flavor. Love it.
The Starbucks® Bottled coffee drinks are best served chilled. Buy them that way, or stick them in the fridge at home. If you’re heading out on an outdoors adventure, bring a cooler with ice and stick them in there to keep them just right for sipping.
It’s available at Walmart. I found it near the register in the coolers.
You can also find other Starbucks® Bottled Frappuccino Coffee Drinks in the drink aisles.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.