Summer is just around the corner and we all know that there is no time like the present to fulfill your sense of wanderlust. There are many places in America and all around the world that will be a great experience for you to enjoy with some friends or family this summer. Whether you are trying to just take a step back and relax for a bit or if you are trying to get out there and meet new people, all you have to do is look and there will be a place that will fit just what you have in mind.
1. Alameda, CA
Alameda is a little town placed perfectly in between San Francisco and Oakland. Here you will find many things to do from enjoying all kinds of food, to seeing a bit of history. There are lots of opportunities to shop and catch a movie at the Alameda Theater just off Park Street. Before you shop, stop by Ole’s or Jim’s for breakfast. You can check out Crab Cove, the USS Hornet, the Alameda Museum. After you can enjoy some lunch ranging from amazing seafood at Hang Ten Boiler to German dishes at Speiskammer. After, stop by for some ice cream at Tucker’s or swing by Tapioca Express for some delicious desserts.
2. Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic city is like the Vegas of the East Coast. You can enjoy the boardwalk shops and salt water taffy or you can step into a casino and try your luck at the slots. It is also the home of the Miss America Pageant. There is a Ripley’s Museum you can visit if you don’t like the rides on the dock. If you are looking for something more relaxing or calm, there is the Atlantic City Museum as well as several spas in the area.
3. Chincoteague Island, VA
This is an interesting beach town. Whether it be the wild ponies that inhabit the beach or the nature tours on bicycle, there is always something to do. The food is great and ranges from pizza to steak. There are boat tours visitors can go on as well to see the neighboring island of Assateague, which is a wild life reserve.
4. Gearhart, OR
With the golfing, its seaside aquarium, and the seals that need to be fed, there is a lot to do in this town. There is also a chance to see gray whales migrating in the winter and spring. Volunteers help visitors spot whales and share fun facts about these unique animals. The Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Young River Falls aren’t too far either.
5. Gulf Shores, AL
Gulf Shores is a nice little beach town with lots of fun activities at places like the Zipline and Arial Adventure Park or the Alabama Golf Coast Zoo. There is also shopping and scuba diving. If you’re looking for a place to relax with just a splash of adventure, you’ve found it here.
6. Long Beach, NY
Long Beach is a more crowded than your average beach town but for good reason. With so many great waves to surf, the John F. Kennedy Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Long Beach Historical Museum, it’s not hard to overlook the amount of people. Of course, there are many little shops and great food as well.
7. Monterrey, CA
This is a place to sit back and relax with plenty of spas to unwind at, whales to watch, and cool trinkets to buy. The Mission Basilica and the Monterrey Bay Aquarium are must-sees.
8. Polson, MT
Polson is a little town located near Flathead Lake. It is a place to go to when you want to get away from your busy life. Things are a little slower paced than in the city but that doesn’t mean Polson’s not a place to check out. Even though this is not a beach town with an ocean, Flathead Lake is a large body of water that it has it’s own lake monster! Many people go here to jet ski, swim, and fish despite the local myth. If you drive a little bit further, you can check out Kerr Dam and Glacier Brewing Co. Try your luck at the Kwtaknuk casino and pay a visit to the Flathead Ford Museum as well.
9. Rehoboth, DE
Between Jungle Jim’s FunLand and the boardwalk, there isn’t a dull moment in Rehoboth. If you do want to relax, there are spas and bike tours you can take to enjoy the scenery and weather.
10. Rockport, TX
Rockport is a wonderful and beautiful place to visit on vacation. The locals are warm and welcoming and can point you to some fun things to do around the area. There is a large population of whooping cranes that attracts birdwatchers. You can go on boat tours and check out the Texas Maritime Museum.
11. Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Rugen is a large island just off the coast of the Baltic Sea. It is a little far to travel, but the popular German destination is worth it. You might want to book in advance however, just to avoid situations like not having a room in a different country. Travel websites like Trip4Real offer tours from island locals. You can see many historical spots on the island on a steam train tour and enjoy some authentic German food at one of the bed and breakfast places around the island. And don’t forget to try some German beer at the Globetrotter Bar! This is a perfect little island to soak up the sun.
12. Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz has many interesting things to do all year. You can visit the Mystery Spot and defy some gravity and the laws of physics on a walking tour or you can walk through the Redwoods and enjoy a slice of what nature has to offer. There is a boardwalk that you can shop for specialty items and rides for you to try out. If boardwalks aren’t your thing, give Capitola Village or Ano Nuevo State Park a shot.
13. St. Petersburg, FL
To start off your beach adventure, explore the walking mural before you go on a sea life safari. If you are wanting to spend a day inside, there is the Armed Forces museum located in the area as well.
14. Tybee Island, GA
Tybee Island has a Lighthouse Museum that will fascinate you with beautiful photographs and fun facts about lighthouses. There is also fishing, jet skiing, and the Gallery by the Sea if museums aren’t your thing.
15. Wilmington, NC
If you have seen the movie “Safe Haven,” then you probably have seen Wilmington. What you didn’t see is that you can visit the USS North Carolina or the Arlie Gardens. The boardwalk and shoreline are amazing to see at sunset and is a very romantic place to get away to. For those that aren’t there to enjoy long walks on the beach, there are also ghost and vampire tours to check out. After enjoying a bit of a adrenaline rush, you can take a step back and go to the railroad museum and the cotton exchange to add to your vault of knowledge. In addition, Wilmington boasts a sea turtle camp. Need I say more?
Featured photo credit: Jump!- Daniel Oh via flickr.com