Technically speaking, I've been utterly single for the better part of the last four years save the occasional short-lived fling, and if it's taught me anything, it's that you don't need a significant other to try new things. While summer is often associated with romance and activities best suited for two (see "Summer Nights" from the Grease soundtrack), there are just as many wonderful things to do by yourself during summer.
Even if you are in a relationship or have a fabulous group of ride-or-die friends, nothing quite compares to truly enjoying a bit of well-deserved me time. Whether that means relaxing poolside with a captivating book, exploring nature solo, or trying a new activity outside of your comfort zone, summer is the perfect time to do things by yourself. The days are long, the nights are warm, and the world is begging you to go outside and experience it all. Be inspired to venture out (or stay in) sans significant other or troop of friends with these 21 things to do by yourself during summer.
1. Pack up a picnic and enjoy an afternoon at the park. Bring your favorite snacks, a good book, and a comfy blanket.
2. Go to a museum. Wander the halls and attempt to understand modern art with no one else around to impress.
3. Pick out a new recipe, buy all the ingredients, and do your best to replicate the dish at home.
4. Take a walk around your neighborhood. You can put on a fun playlist or simply listen to the sounds of the street.
5. Go shopping. Browse your favorite shops and take home something that tempts you to wear it right out of the store.
6. Put your green thumb to the test and invest in houseplants to brighten up your home or try your hand at actual gardening.
7. Put on a swimsuit and head to the pool, the beach, or the lake (any nearby body of water will do). Flip through a magazine and let your skin soak up the sun (but don't forget the sunscreen).
8. Enroll in a class. Whether you're interested in photography, ceramics, painting, writing, cooking, graphic design, or anything in between, there's likely a local class you can take to hone your craft and meet like-minded people.
9. Head to the farmers market to change up your grocery shopping routine.
10. Stay home and indulge in a few guilty pleasures. Walk around in your underwear, eat your favorite foods, read a book, catch up on your current TV obsession, write in your journal—do all the things you forget to do when you're too busy spending time with other people.
11. Rent a bike a see your neighborhood from a new perspective while getting in a fun workout.
12. Organize your closet. Donate anything you haven't worn in the last six months and find a place for any forgotten jewelry, shoes, and miscellaneous objects.
13. Try out a new sport. You can join an adult league for just about anything from beach volleyball and tennis to kickball and soccer.
14. Take yourself out to lunch. Do your best to forget about your phone and simply enjoy eating a good meal alone.
15. Head to the theater and see a movie you've been dying to watch. Find a matinee and take pleasure in not having to share the popcorn with anyone else.
16. Make a list of things you want to accomplish. Just because it's not January doesn't mean you can't reflect on your goals.
17. Have a staycation. Book a stay at a luxe hotel in your city and enjoy fluffy white robes, room service, and blackout shades.
18. Try out a new workout class. Most yoga, Pilates, and Spin studios offer a free trial to new members, so take advantage. Who knows, you might just stumble upon your new favorite hobby.
19. Go thrifting. Head to a flea market, thrift store, or swap meet and see what hidden treasures you come home with.
20. Volunteer for a cause that means something to you. It can be as simple as visiting dogs at an animal shelter or spending time with the elderly.
21. Indulge in a spa treatment. Book a massage or a facial and spend the whole day being pampered. (If that's not in the budget, take a bath, give yourself an at-home facial, and call it a day.)