Memorial Day is coming up! If you don’t have plans to skip town, you can pack your weekend full of a mix of relaxing and active day trips. On long weekends like this, I typically tend to try to avoid the rush hour traffic on Friday and Monday night. Instead, use that time prep for your fun weekend with friends and family. Even if you are staying home, you can treat your weekend as if you are on vacation with these eight healthy and fun ideas.
Living in New York City has taught me one thing: If I can bike here, you can bike anywhere. Whether you live in the country, city, or beach town, grab your bike and get outside for a few hours of fresh air. You can choose to go for a leisurely ride to town for lunch or grab a group of friends for a more intense ride. For a great bike tour to join in every state (and other countries), check out this guide.
Volunteer for Veterans
Sometimes we forget why we actually have the day off. Memorial Day is a holiday about celebrating and remembering those who gave their lives to our country in military service. If you want to use your extra time to express your gratitude, try volunteering for your local veterans’ organization.
If you want a beach weekend, and live close enough to drive, avoid high-season hotel rates and pick one day to make a day trip with your significant other or friends. Wake up early, hop in the car, and get an early start on the beach. Pack a picnic lunch and lots of healthy snacks and water, so you don’t have to leave to grab a bite to eat. We love setting up beach games like Can Jam — and don’t forget to pack some sunscreen!
Go on a Really, Really Long Walk
If swimming isn’t an option for you, try a healthy activity that is proven to make you healthier and happier. Going for a walk around your neighborhood, city, or region is a great way to spend quality time alone, or with a walking buddy. Alone, you can meditate and burn up to 100 calories per hour. If kids come along, you can turn your walk into a game of “I Spy.” With your bestie in tow, use your walk as an opportunity to practice your photography skills.
These days you don’t have to be in a true farm town to eat fresh and locally. The farm-to-table movement has driven amazing restaurants to pop up in cities and towns all across the country. Last year, Travel & Leisure released their list of their favorite farm-to-table hot-spots in every state. From brunch to a romantic dinner, there is certainly a farm-to-table meal to make your Memorial Day memorable.
Wineries or Breweries
We have been seeing small craft breweries and wineries pop-up all over the country. If Napa Valley is out of reach (or across the country), look out for a great brewery and winery in your surrounding area. Many local spots offer live music, tasting menus, and outdoor seating so you can spend the afternoon sipping on your favorite beverage. Avoid a hangover and stay hydrated in the heat by drinking a bottle of water between each drink.
I personally love hosting friends for a great dinner party, and what is more fun than hosting and cooking outdoors? Get the outdoor furniture prepped, shop for seasonal ingredients, and get the grill fired up. There’s plenty of ways grill foods and still enjoy a healthy meal. Try these pineapple grilled pork chops.
Try Eating Vegan
On the flip side of BBQing, why not push yourself out of your typical eating routine and make a solid attempt at eating vegan for a day? Giving up meat for one day has a positive impact on the environment and your body. Try swapping out your beef jerky for bananas. Skip the turkey burger and create your own chickpea burger. Here’s a list of easy vegan recipes that even carnivores will love.
An Afternoon at the Spa
Taking a day off means taking time away from work. How do you prefer to unplug? Try spending a bit of time relaxing and pampering yourself. Head to your favorite spa for a morning yoga class, take yourself out to a healthy lunch, or indulge in spa treatments like a massage or facial. Find your Zen while relaxing by the tranquility pool.
Kick Off Your Summer Reading
It’s that time of year, again. Make sure you kick off your summer reads with some addictive goodies. Rain or shine, curl up with a great book this Memorial Day. If you have any must-reads, we would love to know!
Are you planning to do any of the above this Memorial Day?