1. Go to the beach

-A little obvious, I know. Still, letting summer pass by without hitting the beach at least once should be a crime. Get some sun, catch up on your reading with your feet in the sand, and get some fresh seafood. My personal favorite is Wrightsville Beach.

2. Go to a farmers market

-North Carolina’s summer produce is impeccable, and the Triad is awash with farmers markets in which to purchase these goods from the folks who grow them. Head to Winston-Salem’s Dixie Classic Farmers Market or Greensboro’s Farmer Curb Market and pick up some local peaches or tomatoes.

3. Have a cookout

-I don’t have a backyard anymore. The thing that I miss most about my old backyard is being able to grill whenever I please. There’s really nothing better than grilling some burgers and having beers with a good group of friends.

4. Watch Shark Week

-What’s more “summer” that staying inside of your air-conditioned home and watching television programs that make you terrified to go to the beach? I’ve been an avid fan of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week since I was a kid, and I intend on blocking off much of the week of Aug. 10 to binge watch animals twice my size devouring everything in their path.

5. Dine al fresco

– When the hostess asks the question, “Inside our outside?” you may want to escape the heat and take advantage of the AC. This is a mistake. You’ll wish you could enjoy eating on patios like the ones at Café Europa, Willows Bistro or Cast Iron Kitchen when it’s 30 degrees in the dead of December and you haven’t seen the sun in a month.

6. Go to a music festival

-If you pick the right one, going to a music festival can be a great time. I’m not a huge fan of these Bonnaroo-sized camping trips from hell surrounded by drug addled hippies, but spending a weekend in downtown Raleigh for Hopscotch is definitely on my summer list.

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