Where to find fun under the summer sun


Photo courtesy Luke Jordan

Junior Luke Jordan poses in front of the Columbia River in the outskirts of Portland, Oregon.

After a long, arduous year of missing assignments and infrequent class participation, summer has finally arrived… well, almost anyways. With this newfound freedom comes the desire for a long-needed break, and vaccinations have made traveling a possibility once again. Now you’re certainly asking—“where oh where should I go?” It looks like you’ve come to the right place. Allow me to inform the uninformed how to make your summer worth remembering.

My favorite parts about the beach are tanning, boardwalk fries, and seagulls.”

— Shana Gittleson

The Beach

Though this may seem like a broad category given the sheer number of beaches on the East Coast alone, they’re all relatively similar. Not to say they don’t each have their own unique quirks, but at the end of the day, not much separates Rehoboth from the Outer Banks. Nonetheless, the beach is a great place to kick back. The sound of waves crashing down on the shore makes for an all-natural alternative to white noise, and the feeling of sand between your toes is what I imagine an Orbeez Soothing Spa feels like. What’s not to love? “My favorite parts about the beach are tanning, boardwalk fries, and seagulls,” junior Shana Gittleson said. Unfortunately, beaches aren’t typically in secluded areas, so I hope you like company. Especially on the boardwalk, people are everywhere. Have fun waiting 45 minutes for Dippin’ Dots or finding any sandy real estate to set up your chairs. It’s a struggle. The high capacity of beaches isn’t all bad though. “The best part for me is the people I get to see and hang out with,” junior Claire Walker said. The beach is fun, especially in a large group, just don’t expect any privacy.

The Lake

The beach’s less popular but still as wet counterpart, the lake is great for a more peaceful, rustic experience. For starters, given the lack of visible tides, you don’t often see naturally occurring waves on the lakeshore. Sure, the measly ripples from speed boats might frighten a beginner kayaker, but for the most part, you could take a nice nap on a lake-bound raft. However, in direct opposition to the beach, privacy can be an issue. It’s nice not to be bumping shoulders with your fellow tourists, but sometimes you want to eat at a restaurant or do anything not involving the water. Lakes are often in rural areas, meaning the nearest town or settlement could be beyond walking distance. Make sure to pack enough snacks for where you’re staying, because you won’t be seeing much food otherwise. The lake is a great time, just a little off the beaten path.

The City

If you’re not a fan of swimming or getting wet, I have just the place. Yes, putting all cities into one mega-category makes a fair review nearly impossible to do, but I’m going to anyway. A city is great for exploring because you aren’t there to relax. As opposed to a beach or lake where there’s only one sight to see, you can get lost in a city, which is both a blessing and a curse. “I like exploring the new foods of a city I go to visit, since every city is different,” junior Elizabeth Ipe said. Cities all fall on a spectrum, with certain parts filled with beautiful architecture and scenery, and other parts that don’t receive the same kind of treatment. The biggest issue with a city is just how many people there are. It’s important to remember that, unlike a beach or lake, hundreds of people live in the buildings you walk past all the time. Nevertheless, a city provides those who visit with great attractions, fantastic food, and incredible history and culture.