June is National Camping Month, and it’s a no-brainer as to why. Schools are out for the summer, and families are ready to hit the road to explore and experience new adventures. The weather is finer and more consistent, with long daylight hours that make it ideal for plenty of outdoor activities. It’s the season of play, a season we looked forward to as children and continue to look forward to as adults.

So, what’s on your National Camping Month Bucket List? We offer a few suggestions to get you started, or if you already have some plans, to perhaps incorporate these ideas for even more fun.

Eat food that was cooked over a campfire. There’s something about food that’s been cooked over an open flame. And we don’t limit it just to s’mores (although, is it even summer without eating at least one s’more?). You can cook on a grill or in a Dutch oven, or simply use the classic skewer or stick. From simple to gourmet, from breakfast to dinner, you can make pretty much anything over a campfire. Give these recipes a try.

Visit a waterfall. Springtime is when waterfalls are typically at their peak flow because of snow run-off, but summer can offer the best views. Cascade Falls in Ontonagon in the Upper Peninsula is one to add to your list, as well as Bond Falls, Hungarian Falls, and of course, Tahquamenon Falls (all in the Upper Peninsula). There are dozens more. In the Lower Peninsula, head to the Sunrise Side to see Ocqueoc Falls and Iargo Springs. Choose one based on your travel and camping plans as well as the hike it’ll take to reach a viewing spot. Many Michigan waterfalls are within an easy walk – and accessible – from a dedicated parking lot. This article can help you decide which waterfalls best fit your plans.

Walk a covered bridge. Covered bridges are now historic landmarks and remnants of the way people used to travel and build. Originally, bridges were covered to help protect vital infrastructure as bridges were made of wood. Our modern-day metal bridges don’t need that much protection, plus they can be made wider (instead of single lane) and be open to the air (so there’s no height clearance, which is good news for us). Five covered bridges worth visiting in Michigan include: Augusta Covered Bridge (Kalamazoo County), Fallsburg Covered Bridge (Lowell), Pierce Stocking Covered Bridge (Sleeping Bear Dunes), Whites Bridge (Ionia), and White Pine Trail Covered Bridge (Reed City).

Canoe or kayak down a river.

Water in Michigan isn’t found exclusively with the Great Lakes. There is a network of rivers and streams in every region of the state. Kayaking or canoeing can be a pleasant way to spend part or all of a day. It’s a bit adventurous as well as relaxing. Choose a river based on your comfort level and expertise. Liveries exist if you don’t want to bring your vessel along, or you don’t own one. Popular rivers are the Turnip River, Lansing River, Platte River, Huron River, and Au Sable River.

Watch the sunset from a beach. Take a breath. Literally. Find a beach along one of the Great Lakes coastlines, or on an inland lake. Get there with plenty of time before sunset. Bring a chair if you wish and a beverage of your choice. Watch the sun make its way to the horizon. Smell the sweet summer air, relish the feeling of the hot sun on your arms, and allow yourself to be immersed in the beauty of the natural world. It’s a good way to cap off a day. It’s tempting to take photos, but leave the phone in your pocket. Don’t worry about capturing this particular sunset. Right now it’s all about the experience, of feeling happy and free and grateful for the majestic view before you.

June is a month of promise, of a seemingly endless summer. At the campsite and around the state, take the time to relish the sights and experiences. That’s how memories are made.