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Feel-Good Tunes for a Long Drive or an Outdoor Adventure

Tunes for that windows down, volume up feeling

By: Jessica Cho + Save to a List

Close your eyes and imagine the sun shining down and warming your skin. There’s a nice breeze flowing through your hair, saving you from the heat of the sun’s rays. You’re on your way to a surf session with your buddies or just taking a drive around the neighborhood because you feel like it. As the weather begins to get warmer in the Northeast and the days longer, opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure proliferate. 

Photo: Pascual Dutton

Music has always been a way for me to reflect how I’m feeling and express what can’t necessarily be said with just words. From my days playing classical piano to recently learning the ukulele, it’s become clear to me that song and rhythm have the power to raise the energy in any room or be a direct route to a major serotonin release. 

Each of life’s occasions has its own distinct soundtrack. You might have that one song you play when you feel like having a good cry and another to break out in dance to. While different moods require different tunes, I’m excited to share a soundtrack I think accompanies a day of outdoor fun and adventure. I’ve put together a playlist of songs that never fails to lift my spirits and get me excited for a road trip to a fun destination or an outdoor hike or bike ride with friends. These are the songs I roll the windows completely down for while turning the volume way up. 

Photo: Shaun Montero

The full playlist goes for an hour and 42 minutes. The perfect length to sit around in the backyard while catching up and enjoying some cold drinks with friends. And from the Westchester, NY area, where the weather only seems to be getting better, I’m also looking forward to playing this music on my way to do more local outdoor adventuring (something I’ve begun appreciating a lot more as of late). Some of the close to home adventures I’m excited to get going on include hiking in Ward Pound Ridge, returning to the top of Anthony’s Nose, kayaking on the Hudson River, and taking a first time trip to the Indian Brooks Falls

The songs featured in this playlist are upbeat with a summertime feel. Song titles and artists are listed below, but you can also click the link to access this playlist on spotify. So hop in the car and press play or lace up your sneakers and get your speaker out. Adventure awaits.

Link to spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playl...


Should I Stay or Should I go -The Clash

Sound of Sunshine -Michael Franti and Spearhead

I Got You -Michael Franti and Spearhead

Nothing to Lose -The Floozies, Gibbz, Eric Benny Bloom

Rock & Roll -Eric Hutchinson

Pale Blue Dot -Big Wild

California Stars -Billy Bragg, Wilco

Officer of Love -Caamp

Take a Walk -Passion Pit

Rodeo -Futurebirds

Summertime -Becca VanDerbeck, Matt Heath, Noel Goff

Send Me on My Way -Rusted Root

Sit Next to Me -Foster the People

IRIS -Ashes to Amber

I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now -Ooh La La Music Band

Wildfire -John Mayer

Sunday -Matty Wood$

Guilty Pleasure -Bryce Vine

Sweet Talk -Saint Motel

Rollin -Calvin Harris, Future, Khalid

All Summer Long -Kid Rock

I’m Good -The Mowgli’s

Surefire -Wilderado

Safe -Bay Ledges

Left Hand Free -alt-J

Stay Next to Me -QuinnXCII, Chelsea Cutler

Watermelon Sugar -Harry Styles

Paris -Magic Man

Cover photo: Dino Reichmuth

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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