Summer is in full swing, which means many of you may be planning trips or getaways to destinations where you can experience something new or sit back and relax!

You’ll want to avoid places like roadside zoos, aquariums, and facilities that allow you to be in close contact with wild animals or pose with them in photos, all of which are cruel and contribute to animal suffering. Luckily there are so many animal-friendly activities that you can do instead that are a blast and don’t cause any animals to suffer! Check out some ideas below.

1. Reputable Animal Sanctuaries

Animal sanctuaries are great places to meet rescued farmed animals and learn more about their stories. Animal sanctuaries exist all over the world, including Farm Sanctuary, Happy Compromise Farm + Sanctuary, and EPIC Outreach.  The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries has a search option to help you find a vetted animal sanctuary near you that’s putting animal welfare first! True sanctuaries never breed animals or use them for “entertainment.”

2. Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

If you love to be in the water, then snorkeling or scuba diving are great activities to try over the summer — you might even see some wildlife! Although you probably will want to save scuba diving for the ocean, snorkeling you can do in a lake or even a pond! It’s important when exploring under the water to make sure you don’t attempt to touch any wildlife you may see, including highly sensitive animals like corals, and also to make sure you’re not wearing a sunscreen with chemicals toxic to marine life that can leach into the water. You can read more about tips to keep marine mammals safe here!

3. Canoeing or Kayaking

Other great water activities are canoeing and kayaking. These activities allow you to see and experience nature and wildlife without harming animals. If you don’t have a kayak or a canoe, there may be a place near you that offers them for rent so you don’t need to worry about purchasing one! You could also check out taking surf lessons or try stand up paddle boarding!

4. Camping

Camping is a great way to experience the outdoors and nature, especially in the summer! There are campsites all over the world and many even allow you to bring your dog. If you don’t have a tent or prefer to stay inside, many campsites also offer cabins for people to rent. When you’re out in the woods, make sure to follow all fire bans or advisories and also to practice Leave No Trace ethics so that you don’t leave any hazards for wildlife behind.

5. Participate in a Beach Clean Up

Beach cleanups are a fantastic way to help protect the planet while also giving back to your community and making an impact. Join a scheduled activity near you, or grab a group of friends or family and pick a place to clean up trash. Make sure to bring gloves, garbage bags, and a trash picker if you have one! If you don’t live near a beach you could always just help clean up your neighborhood instead, as litter on the streets or in yards can wash into storm drains and find their way to streams, rivers, or the ocean.

6. Visit an Animal Shelter and Walk an Adoptable Dog

Animal shelters exist all across the world and many of them allow members of the public to walk dogs who are waiting to be adopted. Check out your local animal shelter and see if you can help! If your local shelter doesn’t allow people to walk the dogs, you could always volunteer to help them in another way that could help dogs and cats in need.

7. Go on a Nature Walk/Hike

Whether you travel to a national park or find a close trail in your neighborhood, going on a nature walk or hike is yet another wonderful way to experience nature and wildlife. Many trails are dog friendly too, so you can bring your dog along for the fun! Many local conservation groups also offer free, guided activities — including bird identification sessions, edible plant adventures, and more!

There are so many activities that we can do that are kind to animals and the planet. We hope you will choose some of these humane activities this summer and spread the word to your friends and family!