12 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

See a concert, catch a fish, play bocce, drive fast and more ideas on how to make the most of late season activities

The days are growing shorter, the kids are – well, sort of – back to school, and the temperatures are growing slightly cooler. But there’s still plenty to do in what summer we have left.

Here’s a dozen activities you can experience with your family – socially distant, of course – before summer’s end.

See the Marcus King Trio at Drive-In-Live

Try to pin 24-year-old Marcus King down and you’ll likely fall short. Think Americana, rock, soul and country, and you’ll be in the ballpark. He’s a singer and guitar phenom capable of intimate, soulful compositions and blistering, face-melting anthems. The trio, rounded out by Jack Ryan and Stephen Campbell, go on at 8 p.m., rain or shine on Saturday, September 5. Tickets range from $99 to $200, and are good for one car with up to five people.
Cheshire Fairgrounds
247 Monadnock Highway
Swanzey, NH
drive-in-live.com


Pick your own fruit

BbMany New Hampshire farms allow visitors to enjoy the best of summer’s bounty for a low price. In August, find locally grown blueberries at the excellent Lull Farm (locations in Milford and Hollis), and when the calendar flips to fall, look for apples and pumpkins. Brookdale Fruit Farm, also in Hollis, is a berry lover’s dream with pick-your-own blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries and blackberries.
Lull Farm
65 Broad St.
Hollis, NH
(603) 465-7079
livefreeandfarm.com

615 Route 13
Milford, NH
(603) 673-3119
livefreeandfarm.com

Brookdale Fruit Farm
41 Broad St.
Hollis, NH
brookdalefruitfarm.com


Catch a blue. Or a schoolie. Or a mackerel.

Striped BassHead to the seacoast and try your luck surfasting or hop on a half or full day fishing boat. The days are getting shorter, so night fishing may be limited, but reports say the bite is still on for stripers, and occasionally, a lucky angler will haul in a tough bluefish.

Eastman Docks Fishing Fleet
5 River St.
Seabrook, NH
eastmandocks.com

Al Gauron Deep Sea Fishing
1 Ocean Boulevard
Hampton, NH
algauron.com


Go to Street Night at New England Dragway

Watch your neighbor pit his F-150 against an Accord driven by an accountant from Portsmouth. Every Wednesday and Friday night at New England Dragway, enthusiasts (and the curious) get to see just how fast their daily driver will go – legally – down the Epping quarter-mile. It’s $25 if you want to race your car, or $10 if you want to sit in the stands and guess at who’s going to come out on top. Read all the safety information here.
280 Exeter Rd.
Epping, NH
(603) 679-8001
nedragway.com


Go tubing on the Saco

The Saco is probably the most well-known destination for tubing, and as a result, stretches of the river can be crowded, but if you are up for a more social experience, it can be a good fit. The scenery is beautiful as the Saco winds its way through northeastern New Hampshire and southwestern Maine, eventually emptying into the Atlantic at Saco Bay. There are several outfitters ready to supply your group with tubes and shuttle service. Saco Bound, located in Conway, has shuttles that run nearly every hour and several excursions to meet different needs. One offers a trip from their main base over a 3-mile-per-hour current to family-friendly Weston’s Beach. Trips start at $25.
2561 E. Main St.
Center Conway
(603) 447-2177
sacobound.com


Investigate a B-18 crash site

The site of the B-18 wreckage • Photo by J.W. Ocker

More than 80 years ago, a B-18 bomber crashed into Mount Waternomee in the White Mountains – and it’s still there. A 4.5 mile round-trip hike will bring you to the site, and the wreckage itself. With pieces as small as your fist, and as big as a car, there’s plenty to see and meditate on. The trailhead is on Walker Brook Road, off Route 118/Sawyer Highway, in Woodstock. Before you go, read more about the WWII bomber’s final flight here. 

 


Play bocce at a winery

(Photo by Jacob Lund)

Italian lawn bowling is fun. Italian lawn bowling with wine is funner – even if that’s not a word. Zorvino Vineyard, in Sandown, has side-by-side bocce courts just steps away from its tasting room (currently open for shopping only,) and its Z Patio (open for tastings, dining and enjoying what’s left of the summer). The rules are simple enough: Toss the pallino (a smaller ball) and then players take turns throwing a bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. The inside ball wins, and points are awarded only to the player or team with the most “inside” balls. The first to 13 wins. Reservations are required for a table at Z Patio, but overflow and bocce players can enjoy the grounds without one.
226 Main St.
Sandown, NH
(603) 887-8463
zorvino.com


Take a rail bike tour

Travel along a 6.4-mile section of the Northern Railroad – through woods, farmland and along the Merrimack River – aboard a custom-built, four wheeled, pedal-powered rail bike. Scenic RailRiders is a family-owned company that can set you up for the nearly two-hour adventure embarking from Concord. A tour on a two-seat rail bike is $84, and a four-seat bike tour is $144. The season runs from May 30 through Nov. 1, and runs Saturdays and Sundays only after Aug. 28.
188 Sewalls Falls Road
Concord, NH
(603) 931-1700
scenicrailriders.com


MtwashingtonWatch the sun rise from Mount Washington

The Mt. Washington Auto Road opens early on 2-3 Sundays every summer, allowing guests to drive themselves to the summit of Mt. Washington to view the sunrise from the highest peak in the Northeast. And your last chance for the summer is coming. On Sunday, Aug. 30, the road will open at 4:30 a.m., and the sun will peak over the horizon at 6:02 a.m. Plan on arriving early to avoid any traffic at the toll house.
1 Mount Washington Auto Rd.
Gorham, NH
mt-washington.com


Hit the cheese trail

Stretching from the top of New Hampshire to the bottom, the NH Cheese Trail leads cheese lovers through a variety of working dairies offering some of the finest, and freshest, cheeses available. Next time your cousin from Vermont visits, be sure to show them where the best stuff is produced.
The New Hampshire Cheese Trail


Cool off at the Polar Caves

A family favorite for generations, exploring the boulder gardens and boardwalks of the Polar Caves is a perfect weekend getaway. Formed from granite boulders during the last Ice Age, visitors can delve into passageways and through naturally-cooled spaces, visit the animal park and go climbing.
705 Rumney Route 25
Rumney, NH
(603) 536-1888
polarcaves.com


Have dinner on a train

The Café Lafayette Dinner Train is a two hour ride with a five course gourmet meal. Winding through the White Mountains through the Pemi River Valley, it heads south from North Woodstock through the woods, over three trestle bridges, through a Christmas tree farm and along a golf course before heading back to the station. During the journey, you’ll dine on entrees ranging from flat iron whiskey cream and soy ginger salmon to chicken cordon bleu and eggplant rollatini. Main level dining is $85 and dome level dining is $99.
3 Crossing at Riverplace
North Woodstock, NH
(603) 745-3500
nhdinnertrain.com


Bill’s bonus pick: eat a decadent donut

I said this list contained 12 must-do things, but there’s really one more thing that you must do this summer: eat a donut. And not just any donut will do – venture out for a freshly made, hand-cut donut from The Angry Donut & Cafe in Stratham. In a few weeks, everyone’s attention will turn toward pumpkin spice and apple-flavored everything, so while you’re in a summer state of mind, grab a chocolate sea salt, raspberry filled or Fruity Pebbles donut. Your taste buds will thank you later.
157 Portsmouth Ave.
Stratham, NH
(603) 580-2591
theangrydonut.com

Categories: Guide to Summer