Summer ‘21 Bucket List from the Tartan staff

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Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake is a nearby favorite for summer.


This summer, there are lots of fun things to do that weren’t available last summer. With Covid  cases declining, we don’t have the quarantine to lock us inside. That being said, here are two things that I can recommend for a fun summer.

A great way to have some fun and to get a workout in is riding your bike. Whether you embark on a journey to a new place, or just have a ride around town, riding your bike is always a light and easy way to have a good time, and enjoy the nice weather.

The second activity I recommend, is taking a trip to North Avenue Beach in Chicago. Hopping on a train down to the city for the day is always an adventure, full of great sights and activities. It’s sure not to disappoint. I’d recommend checking the weather before this, because it can get pretty nasty on the lake.

We were all cooped up for too long, and nothing beats fresh air. After the year we all had to endure, I feel we’re all a little uptight, and can finally get some needed relaxation.

  • Alexander Amster

The weather is warming up and people are looking to go outside. With the Covid-19 pandemic happening right before the summer of 2020 many people were robbed of the beautiful weather and summer activities.

Disc golf is an outdoor activity that anybody can participate in regardless of athletic ability. As long as somebody can throw a Frisbee they can play some disc golf. The rules are almost identical to normal golf without the technique or 400-yard holes. The areas in which disc golf courses are built are almost always budding with beautiful nature. There are many disc golf courses in the surrounding area such as Quarry View Disc Golf Course in Algonquin, Disc Golf Course – Lippold Park in Crystal Lake, and Lake In The Hills Disc Golf Course. Most of these courses can be used for free and invite people to come out and play.

  • Riley Brands

As summer approaches and the weather gets nicer, there’s one thing I recommend now more than ever and that’s to read. Figuring out what to read is a tough question, but I have ideas for you.

You should try the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, specifically the first book “Annihilation.” The book is by far one of the best science fiction titles I’ve ever read and only clocks in around 200 pages. It tells the story of an all-women expedition into a “ecological disaster” called Area X. The book is gripping and bizarre right from the get go, and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s got hints of horror thrown into it to provide a suspenseful journey from start to end. If you enjoy the book enough, there’s also two follow-ups which directly correlate, but not in the traditional sense. I can’t say too much as it spoils very easily, but if science fiction is your thing, this is a must read.

  • Ryan Winters

As we’re coming out of lockdown, everybody is eager to get back out and about again. If you, like so many others, have got the travel bug, you should seriously consider Lisbon. Portugal’s capital city is one of Europe’s hottest urban destinations and increasingly popular among Americans looking to move overseas. Most European countries are expected to allow tourists from the U.S. this summer.

Lisbon is the perfect place to visit to get a taste of the European lifestyle. A cultural gem with phenomenal beaches and much less tourist traffic. It’s also far less expensive than your traditional European destinations like Paris or Barcelona.

Experience the city in Alfama, the city’s oldest district, and climb up to São Jorge castle for some spectacular views of the skyline. Relax at any number of locally owned bars or restaurants. You can walk, or take public transportation, safely through any part of the city, so you’ll have easy access to everything Lisbon has to offer.

Summer is here, and it’s time to plan our trips. If you’ve been considering traveling to Europe, keep Lisbon in mind. It’s one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and often overlooked in lieu of more traditional destinations. Don’t miss out on this gem.

  • Daniel Knox

As summer is approaching and more Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted, it’s time to start enjoying some of your favorite summer activities again in a new and safe way, or finding new things to do.

One of my favorite places to go in summer is in Crystal Lake — the Three Oaks Recreation and Quarry Cable Park and Grille. This is an area with two lakes. One lake is for swimming and a beach day, and the other has its own wakeboarding course where you can pay to wakeboard or get lessons. Also, there are volleyball courts, gulf coast imported sand, and a restaurant next to the wakeboarding. In the past, I have always gone to grab a bite to eat and dip my feet in the sand while sitting and watching amazing wakeboarders do their thing for a lower cost experience. Plus, you may be able to watch a volleyball game there as well.

Overall, it’s the closest thing in Illinois that gives me the experience that I’m near the ocean or in a tropical place. If you’re like me and love the outdoors in the summer, make sure to go check it out. If you are adventurous enough, maybe try wakeboarding on the course if you have the money to do so.

  • Hannah LaMotta

Read “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” by Carol Anderson. In the book, Anderson reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America. Whether you know your history or not, I highly recommend reading this book. The way that Anderson lays out American history is important for everyone to become more aware. Obviously we as a country, still face a massive racism problem so if you want to help and don’t know what you can do, this would be a good place to start.

  • Cory Rambuski

Summer is right around the corner with the sun hitting your skin again and the days lasting longer. Summer 2021 should be lived to the fullest, especially with what we have all been through this past year.

Sure, things will never be the same but that’s no excuse to have fun! An activity one could enjoy is the tulip fields in Huntley, Highland Park, and Northbrook. These farms have fields with different colored tulips that are a great way to spend an afternoon. You can walk around and admire the beautiful flowers and take beautiful picture for the memories. Sure, times are still tough and one still has to be safe and make sure to follow all health precautions. Be safe and have a good time.

This activity is suggested because a field of tulips provides a sense of calmness and gives an appreciation for the little things in life. We all deserve to experience nature and appreciate it. Plus, who wouldn’t want to go be surrounded by tulips and admire them?

  • Maribel Santos

It is no secret why Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Its landscape, beautiful beaches, and climate is a testament,  “The Sunshine State” lives up to its name. Drive or book a flight to reach one of America’s traveling hotspots — its cultural, economic, and historical foundations prides itself in American excellence and a lifestyle that feels like a vacation. If you ever get a chance to travel and visit the state, go! Everything in Florida is worth your time.

  • Alec Stone

Something I would suggest to do for the is going to Niagara Falls in New York to see the waterfalls.  I recommend going at night as well to see the lights behind the water, it makes it look really nice and there are also fireworks. Something I recommend that is closer to us, is go to Six Flags with friends and get over your height phobia like I did a couple years back.

  • Joey Tolentino