It’s time to plan that amazing summer vacation, but maybe you don’t want to follow the masses to crowded beaches or hot theme parks? If that’s the case, then here are a few places in the US and around the world to consider for a fun-filled getaway without the normal hassles of crowds and stress.
Located in Southwestern Virginia is some of the country’s most beautiful mountain ranges – the Blue Ridge, Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains. This lush area of the state has long attracted hikers and outdoorspeople, but if you want a laid back vacation then this is also the place for you. The Omni Homestead Resort is one of the country’s oldest getaways; the on-site hot springs have been attracting visitors since the time of Jefferson. Those famous springs are still there, but today this large, family-friendly property offers a lot more to guests of all ages. Dad can enjoy the golf course, Mom can head to the spa and the kids will enjoy special programs designed just for them. Gather the entire family for amazing meals and outdoor adventures, like naturalist-led hikes or learning more about the art of falconry. Whatever you decide to do, you’re guaranteed a fun and relaxing getaway in the mountains.
An easy flight from most areas of the US is one of the great natural playgrounds in the world, Alberta. This is truly an all-season getaway destination, but in the summer you’ll enjoy special adventures impossible to find in the snowy winter months. Head to the southern region of the province and spend some time staying in and exploring Dinosaur Provincial Park. Located in the Badlands region, not only is this a gorgeous part of the state, but it’s an active dig location and rangers offer a variety of fun programming options for all members of the family. If you want a more tradition outdoorsy, but relaxing experience then Jasper National Park is for you. Check into the luxury resort, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and enjoy all of the amenities this classic hotel offers. During the day explore the surrounding areas, including the Icefields Parkway where you’ll discover everything from glaciers to amazing waterfalls.
Not an obvious choice, but if you want to visit Europe while avoiding massive crowds, then Finland might be a good choice. Winters here are tough, but in the summer the country erupts in beautiful colors of green as locals head to the lakes and rivers, enjoying time out in nature. Follow them and rent a secluded lakeside cabin for a week, experiencing the country in the best way possible. Also be sure to spend some time in the capital Helsinki as well, where you can learn more about the country’s history while also enjoying all the amenities of a major European capital city. A great day trip from Helsinki is a short ferry ride over to the beautiful city of Tallinn in Estonia. This easy 1-day adventure will add a different, more traditionally European element to your unique summer vacation.
While everyone you know is heading to Iceland, capture the same natural magic of otherworldly landscapes but in a far less crowded environment. The small Faroe Islands is an easy flight from Reykjavik and offers amazing coastal sights which in many cases are even better than what you’ll find in Iceland. Renting a car here is necessary, but most of the islands are all linked by bridges or tunnels making it easy to explore them. This is a hiker’s paradise, and there are many different trails of varying lengths and levels to help you occupy your time. Also be sure to sample the local cuisine, which is influenced not only by the sea, but also by Denmark, of which the Faroe Islands are a part.
What are some other unusual summer getaway destinations?
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A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.
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