How to Spend a Day Outdoors Without a Car

How to Spend a Day Outdoors Without a Car

You don’t need a car to enjoy fun outdoor activities. There are plenty of ways to experience nature right in your own neighborhood or local community. All you need is a bit of creativity and comfortable walking shoes.

Parks and Trails

A great first step is locating any parks, trails, or green spaces within walking distance of your home. Parks provide open grassy areas perfect for picnics, games like frisbee or catch, or just relaxing in the sunshine.

Many parks have hiking trails looping through the woods, allowing you to escape into nature for a few hours without having to drive anywhere. Just be sure to stay on marked trails.

If you have kids, parks with playgrounds turn into an all-day adventure of running, climbing and making new friends. Pack a picnic lunch to refuel before heading home.

Urban Explorations

Spending the day exploring the local area on foot is the ultimate adventure. Grab a friend and set out to discover new neighborhoods, public art installations, community gardens, or historical sites right in your own city.

You’ll be amazed at the hidden gems you notice when you slow down to appreciate your surroundings at a walking pace. Just be sure to obey traffic signals and be aware of your personal safety.

Look for a self-guided walking tour map online to plan your urban hiking route and learn about points of interest along the way. 


If your town or city has a beach, lake, river, or canal nearby, make that your outdoor destination for the day. Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks, sunscreen, towels, and anything else needed for waterfront fun. 

Fishing from the shore is a relaxing pastime if you have a license and gear. Kids can spend hours hunting for interesting rocks, shells, or wildlife. Bringing buckets and shovels allows you to build sandcastles on the beach.

Many places, like Canyon Sports in Salt Lake City, offer kayak, canoe or paddle board rentals that can turn into a full-day paddle adventure with no need for a car. 

Urban Trails

Major cities around the country are increasingly creating paved trails and greenways to encourage outdoor recreation for residents and visitors alike. These multi-use pathways are perfect for walking, running, rollerblading, or biking.

They often wind through city parks, but also connect interesting neighborhoods. Bring a backpack with water and snacks and plan to spend several hours exploring one of these local trails on foot or wheels.

Some of the longer, more scenic urban trails even have bike rental stations set up along the route so you can rent bikes, cruise around for a while, then return them before walking back home.

Do not underestimate just how enjoyable it can be to get outside and experience your hometown from a new perspective beyond just driving around. Clear your mind by breathing in some fresh air.

Prepping Your Pack  

To stay fueled up for a full day of self-powered outdoor adventuring, you’ll want to bring some supplies in a lightweight backpack or fanny pack:

  • Reusable water bottles. 
  • Snacks like trail mix, energy bars, dried fruit, etc.
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, hat, sunscreen.
  • Small personal first aid kit.
  • Pocket tools like pocketknife, duct tape, whistle.
  • Phone charger or portable power bank.
  • Cash or cards in case you pass places to eat. 
  • Local trail maps or area guides.


You’ll be amazed at just how much fun you can have exploring the great outdoors right in your local area, all without needing a car. Do not be afraid to get a bit creative and go on some neighborhood adventures.