ICYMI: your friends at Kelty have officially declared Friday, April 27 “Ditch Day.” So start brewing up some epic excuses (colonoscopy? hostage situation? shark attack?), because your boss ain’t gonna see your pretty face for a single minute on that fateful Friday—you’ll be anywhere but inside, doing anything but sitting around. Here are 5 ways to turn this unexpected bonus day into a bona fide three-day weekend.
- Learn to Surf in Sayulita
About 45 minutes north of the cosmopolitan Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta—at the end of a discrete dirt road peeling off the precipitous two-lane butt-clencher that passes for “highway” in the largely agricultural province of Nayarit—you’ll find a legit spring surfing paradise. As of this minute, Sayulita is precariously balanced between its fishing-village past and its white-pensioners future; go now, and you’ll still get to enjoy a passable reef break, $2 fish tacos and all the Mexican cultural charm you can handle.
HOT TIP: if you’re an absolute beginner, we’d recommend taking a lesson at the busy main beach—then having your instructor book a private half-day panga trip to a more secluded break up the coast.
- Get Your Eat On in Austin
Attention all y’all gourmands and oenophiles: April 27–29 is Austin Food + Wine Festival, one of the most civilized gatherings you’ll find in all of the Lone Star State. It’s also the best time of the year to be outside in Austin, when al fresco events like Grillin’ + Chillin’, Feast Under the Stars and Gospel Brunch won’t automatically be a ticket to Heat Rash City. If you do get overheated, though, not to worry—you’re just a short walk from canoeing at Lady Bird Lake, or a short drive from swimming in 3-acre Barton Springs.
HOT TIP: ALWAYS make time for music in Austin. That weekend, the hot ticket is probably Eric Church, Elle King and Steve Earle at the Austin360 Amphitheater—but our pick is Fishbone in Buck’s Backyard.
- *DO* Go Back to Rockville
Speaking of music, you can combine four of our favorite things that weekend in Florida: killer tunes, balmy weather, skimpy clothing and beach access. April 27–29, Jacksonville transforms into Rockville, with tens of thousands of party people descending upon Metropolitan Park to catch headliners like Foo Fighters and Billy Idol as well as up-and-comers like Greta Van Fleet and Wolf Alice. Come to think of it, all of those acts happen to be on Sunday’s lineup—which leaves you two full days to work on your tan.
HOT TIP: If you want to secure your stumble-back rights, we’d recommend picking up a Car Camping Pass—just $135 for four peeps, for the whole weekend…with access to showers and even a bar/grill.
- Get Starry-Eyed at Arches
You already know (at least we hope you do) that Arches National Park is home to some of the most spectacular geology in the world, with April daytime temperatures hovering around an ideal 68 degrees, and an extra-long camping season that runs from March 1–October 31. But Arches is also fortunate enough to enjoy some of the darkest night skies in the contiguous 48—making it an excellent place for stargazing from Balanced Rock Picnic Area, The Windows, Garden of Eden Viewpoint or Panorama Point.
- Wing it With Your Wingman
Whether your go-to wingman is your college roommate or your extremely tolerant wife, we hope you’re fortunate enough to have someone in your life who’s willing to drop everything, at any time, for a moment’s-notice camping adventure. Might we suggest that late-April is the PERFECT time for such a trip? And might we also suggest that you check out this amazing and fairly exhaustive article from Sunset magazine, helpfully rounding up the best no-reservations-needed campsites all over the country?
HOT TIP: The article is also peppered with great videos, from leave-no-trace dish management to craveable camping snacks we’d never even considered—like pretzel bites made with store-bought pizza dough. WIN.