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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Guelph chapter.

Summer is slowly creeping upon us. Although it is exciting to start planning summer outfits and ways to go out during that time, unfortunately, these never-ending lockdowns could prevent us from a great outdoorsy summer. There are so many different staycation ideas or home-friendly ideas that one can take upon during the summer days and have a fantastic summer day at home. I personally love going to the beach all summer, but unfortunately, the beautiful beaches are a long drive away, so it isn’t always ideal. I recently came across different ideas that are better locally for the summer. Farmer’s markets, thrifting, local vintage stores, and cute ice cream shops were all on the list, and then I realized that pretty much sums up a day at downtown in the small town.  

I live in a relatively small town, and walking around downtown and visiting the river in the middle of the town was pretty much the highlight of quarantine. It was lovely to get out and walk in a cute Parisian-like town that people are always dying to visit. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have it so close to me, and it allowed me to stay sane during COVID. Exploring small towns are such a great way to have a one-day road trip. It will enable you to dive into their own personalized culture and be a local for a day, and you get so much out of it. Aside from cute photos and walking around, you get to support so many local businesses in the heart of the town and get to learn about them. COVID-19 was the downfall to so many small businesses and to have others come and support them provides the business owners with a ray of hope and the ability to broaden their customer list beyond the scope of the city.   

It would end up being quite hard to make legitimate travel plans this upcoming summer, and to have backup ideas and places to visit that you can resort to near you is ideal. There are so many small towns around big cities or in the outskirts of big cities. Visiting any of them will give a similar vibe, but a select few in Ontario give major European town vibes like Cambridge, ON or Paris, ON. They are known to have amazing views and could give you that perfect out-of-city experience and transport you to Europe.  

Mehak is a fourth-year biomedical science major at the University of Guelph.
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