You deserve a customized summer vacation, so start planning! Where you currently live will obviously have an impact on your chance to climb mountains or swim with the dolphins, but there are still many ways to enjoy the natural world and the wonders that humans have created.
Visit Great Gardens
If you get the chance to take your family camping in Louisiana, consider staying in Lake Chicot State Park. This park offers terrific opportunities for fishing, hiking, and cycling. While staying in this lovely park, you can easily visit the Louisiana State Arboretum and enjoy the glorious greenery found among the magnolia trees.
For those in the north, consider a visit to the Munsinger Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud, Minnesota. This lovely park follows the Mississippi River and opens up at 7 a.m. so you can enjoy time among the birds and other early risers. Camping near here is quite easy to find; consider a stay at the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park Campground for some interesting history.
Find Places to Surf
Travelers heading east can find wonderful spots to surf in the Atlantic. Make sure you rent a wetsuit and head north to Cisco Beach on Nantucket for some advanced surfing. Beginners can find fun waves here as well and there’s a surfing school that meets regularly on this side of the island!
For those on the west coast, remember that beaches on the southern California coast will be warmer but more crowded; you can find great surf waves to the north but you will want a wetsuit to keep from getting too cold. However, if you love southern California, you can go ahead and camp at Dockweiler Beach, right on the sand, and get on the water early.
Stop in San Antonio and visit the Alamo. Head to Louisiana and visit the New Orleans Jazz Museum, or travel west to New Mexico and visit the Petroglyph National Monument. If you have the time, consider investing in a New Mexico State Parks pass; once purchased, you’ll find free or cheap camping all over the state.
Students of American history may enjoy heading out east to Gettysburg. Be aware that early July is reenactment season. If you are interested in watching the reenactors, book early. If you would rather enjoy the peace of camping in the outdoors, arrange your visit at another time.
Those interested in a visit to a major city can easily dig into the history of New York City. Take the Staten Island Ferry for free and enjoy a look at Lady Liberty, or take a tour boat out to her island. Tours from the southern end of Long Island can also be taken to Ellis Island. Finally, if you get the chance to take a walk through Central Park, make time to head to the upper west side and check out the Natural History Museum.
Check Out Some Art
If you love art museums and are already in NYC, make sure you check out The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is just straight across the park from the Natural History Museum. While you are there, head just a bit further east to visit the Neue Galerie and Woman in Gold by Klimt.
If you are in the Midwest, stop at the Chicago Art Institute for a view of A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. A bit south, you can stop at the Nelson Atkins in Kansas City and enjoy Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness by Caravaggio.
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Do Some Star-Gazing
Not everyone enjoys a vacation in the city, so if you need a break, check out the Dark Skies Maps of
- New Mexico
to name just a few states. Dark skies camping is generally rough. You may need to hike in. If you have an RV, be ready to boondock and be sure that your fuel tanks and propane tanks are full before you head out there.
Everyone deserves a break. Thankfully, we do not all like the same activities. Figure out what you really want to do and find a way to budget both the time and the money for your trip. Enjoy!