“Summer” Local

June 03, 2024 | Written by: Campbell Wheby

Summer swing

Summer is here, and the kids are out of school! As vacation season begins, beach and warm weather destinations are set to experience a boost in their local economies from an influx of tourists. Estimates from Visit North Carolina show that 67% of visitors plan to spend more on travel this year. A survey by Bankrate found that one in three prospective travelers intend to use loans or credit to finance their vacations, indicating that many are willing to enter debt to secure their travel plans. Whether you’ll be home intermittently this summer or opting for a staycation to save money, Lee County businesses and organizations have plenty to keep you and the kids busy.

Members of the Sanford Area Growth Alliance are here to enhance your summer fun. The Lee County Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of activities for both youth and adults. With new upgrades to many local parks and pools, there are numerous opportunities to get outdoors and try new activities. For more information, visit their website or stop by their office to pick up a summer guide.

The Lee County Cooperative Extension Center still has openings for a wide array of classes. Interested in learning about gardening, pollinators, sewing, nutritious cooking, landscaping, or livestock? They offer activities for adults and youth alike. 4-H programs have provided positive experiences for children and teens for decades and the Lee County Extension Center is the place to find them. Many of the center’s classes are very affordable, and some are even free. Visit the Extension Center at 2420 Tramway Rd or go to their website to learn more about all the programs offered. Another great way to spend the day is by visiting the Sanford Farmer’s Market and the wonderful shops in Downtown Sanford.

Many area schools are offering summer programs this year. Southern Lee High School’s CTE Explorer Camps provide a variety of opportunities for all ages, from babysitting to culinary skills and STEM. If you missed registration, be sure to set a reminder for next year. Central Carolina Community College offers fun learning experiences for children with ten camps for various ages. Have a future dentist or hygienist in the house? The “Dental Health Summer Camp” encourages kids to learn and practice good dental hygiene techniques. Grace Christian School also offers enrichment summer camps. Sports and art experiences are just some of the activities available to keep your kids engaged.

As summer vacations may take you away from home, remember to plan for the days you are not traveling. Local non-tourist hotspots often see a dip in business during the summer months. Supporting local businesses is a year-round event, and we encourage you to “Summer Local” this year by shopping in Downtown Sanford, Jonesboro, Broadway and beyond!

Crystal Gaddy, Business Retention and Expansion Manager