Whether you had big plans this summer that you had to cancel or you are just looking for something to do, there’s nothing more adrenaline-inducing than a last-minute summer getaway. From quaint seaside towns to natural wonders of the world, here is a round-up of 5 can’t-miss summer getaways you’ll want to embark on ASAP.
There’s no better time than this summer to see America’s first National Park. The 2.2 million-acre land includes geothermal features, geysers, fumaroles, a lake, a canyon, and plenty of roaming wildlife. Because the park is so big, there are a few things you won’t want to miss on your trip.
- Old Faithful – A trip to Yellowstone wouldn’t be complete without visiting this ancient geyser. For the best viewing, head to Upper Geyser Basin in the early morning before the day’s visitors arrive.
- Grand Prismatic Spring – Another feature that feels synonymous with Yellowstone — you won’t want to miss out on this multicolor spring. Give yourself 1-2 hours to fully explore and walk around this natural wonder.
- Scenic Loop Road – To easily take in some of the park’s best attractions, hop in a car. If you drive the lower loop you can take in Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Lexington boasts the title “Horse Capital of the World” thanks to its famed horse breeding. Besides its equestrian-related tourist attractions, Lexington also has other cultural, historical, and natural things to offer in Bluegrass country. Here are a few to try out.
- Tour the World-Famous Horse Park – This was a working horse farm that is now open to the public to explore. Start here to learn the tradition of horses in Kentucky, including the International Museum of the horse and demonstrations of blacksmiths, harness makers, and wagoners.
- Explore Bourbon Country – There are 14 bourbon distilleries within 45 miles of downtown Lexington. Take a day to explore one of these, tour the charred-oak barrels, and of course sample some of the fine bourbon.
- Soak up Racing Culture at Keeneland – Keeneland is a professional racecourse that was founded in 1936 that is now open to the public. Besides checking out the immaculate decorated grounds, you can also tour the facility and see where some of the largest thoroughbred auctions are held.
30-A is more than a scenic highway in Florida. Walton County encompasses residential beachfront communities like Alys Beach, Watersound, and Rosemary Beach. You won’t even know you’re in Florida when you see the white sand and clear emerald-hued waters, but here are a few places to start exploring.
- Bike Timpoochee Trail – To take in this stretch of beautiful Florida in another way, grab a bike and explore the Timpoochee Trail. The 19-mile trail runs parallel to 30-A and provides a way to explore South Walton up close and personal.
- Explore Seaside – Seaside provides a whole day’s worth of exploring. From it’s quaint shops to the town center, you can find plenty to do in this picture-perfect beach community.
- Enjoy the Beach in South Walton – Take advantage of the turquoise waters and enjoy a beach day in South Walton. It was included in Travel + Leisure’s “Best Beaches on Earth” in 2013 and the fine white sand and clear waters won’t disappoint!
A small island off the tip of Michigan full of history, horses, and plenty of fudge, Mackinac Island is the perfect summer escape. Cars are outlawed here so enjoy the stunning views of Lake Huron in an idyllic setting. You’ll also find yourself happy sitting back and enjoying the slower way of life on this 4-mile island, but there are a few things you won’t want to miss out on.
- Bike Around the Island – Take in the views of this beautiful island by biking around the perimeter. M-185 is the only highway in the country that doesn’t allow motor vehicles so you’ll be free to pedal in leisure.
- Sample Fudge – Have you ever wanted to visit 13 fudge shops within walking distance of each other? Because in Mackinac Island you can! Go on a fudge walking tour where you can take in the fudge-making process — and plenty of samples.
- Visit Fort Mackinac – This small island is steep in historic charm. The Fort dates back to 1780 when the British moved it from the mainland where the French had built it. The redcoats still had the fort even 40 years after Americans declared independence. Tour it and see demonstrations on how life looked on Mackinac back then.
If you want to spend your summer vacation enjoying salty air alongside fresh seafood in a charming seaside town, Bar Harbor is the perfect destination for you. Nestled between a mountain landscape and the ocean, it’s the perfect place to enjoy amazing food, hike with endless views, and watch sailboats in the harbor. Here are a few things to check out.
- Ride a Lobster Boat – It’s not a trip to Maine without indulging in lobster, but have you ever wondered how they catch them? Lulu’s Lobster Boat Ride takes you along the journey of the famed crustacean’s history and how they operate to catch them.
- Hike Acadia National Park – Just ten minutes away sits this park of over 100 miles of trails. Enjoy a hike with a panoramic view or see the park with Oli’s Trolley.
- Eat Ice Cream at Mount Desert Ice Cream – Treat yourself after a day in nature with some of the best ice cream in the country. This creamery offers 5 batches at a time made with real ingredients. They have flavors ranging from butterscotch miso to blackstrap banana bread.
Hopefully, that provided ample inspiration for any last-minute trips you can embark on this summer. From National Parks to idyllic communities near the water, there is still plenty to explore around the country. For more travel inspiration, check out my current bucket list travel destinations here.