I can still remember the giddy feeling that would grab me when my parents told me and my siblings that we were going on summer vacation.
These family events were fun and exhilarating – filled with light and laughter that always left me wanting more.
Pete MacArthur, a professional hockey player, summed my feelings perfectly when he said, “I need a six-month vacation twice a year.”
While his idea is improbable, now is a good time to think about this summer’s vacation destination.
20 Vacation Destinations to Consider
20. Branson, Missouri: A top family vacation destination, visitors can enjoy the themed Silver Dollar City complete with rides, theaters and musical entertainment. Nearby Table Rock Lake adds to the fun.
19. Mackinac Island, Michigan: Between the two peninsulas of Michigan is an island full of fudge and no cars. Once there, The Grand Hotel’s 1/8-mile porch offers amazing views of Lake Huron.
18. The Outer Banks, North Carolina: The Banks are gorgeous, uncrowded and overlooked. The nearby towns are attractive; the beaches are great, with plenty of lighthouses to see.
17. The Apostle Islands, Wisconsin: Visitors can hike, paddle, sail or cruise to experience the unique 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland situated on Lake Superior.
16. Atlanta, Georgia: Whether soul food, iconic filming locations or rollerblading along the BeltLine – a multi-use trail connecting 45 neighborhoods – visitors leave happy.
15. Boise, Idaho: An arts community, wineries and craft breweries grace the city’s interior, while its exterior offers mountains and foothills for hiking, mountain biking, skiing and river rafting.
14. Chicago, Illinois: Home to beaches on Lake Michigan, the Windy City hosts a number of world-class museums and the Chicago Cubs and White Sox.
13. Kentucky Bourbon Country: Besides thoroughbred horses, Kentucky is known for its bourbon. This “country” forms the golden triangle between Louisville, Lexington and Elizabethtown with its distilleries and top-notch restaurants.
12. Wells, Maine: Known for what some say is “the prefect New England beach,” Wells features moderate summer temperatures, great surf and mouth-watering seafood restaurants where the clam chowder is to die for.
11. Falmouth, Massachusetts: A quaint New England town, the beaches offer surfing, kitesurfing, sailing, swimming and paddle-boarding. In nearby Woods Hole is the world’s first aquarium.
10. Sedona, Arizona: South of the Grand Canyon, the city is surrounded by red sandstone rock formations, hiking, biking and mountain climbing opportunities.
9. Gulf Shores, Alabama: If you are looking for an escape from the crowds, the Alabama Gulf Coast offers spacious beaches – and some of the best seafood in the world.
8. Anaheim, California: While Disneyland is the main attraction, vacationers can enjoy a game at Angel Stadium, partake of the cuisine in the Packing District, or take fun rides in Adventure City.
7. Ocean City, New Jersey: After walking the Boardwalk, experience the rides on Gillian’s Wonderland Pier. The city has the reputation of being “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Independence Hall and the First Bank of the United States are just some of the historic sites to visit. And then there are those Philly cheesesteaks to enjoy!
5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: A top vacation destination, visitors can ride the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, compete in mini golf at one of 40 different courses, or check out the restaurants and shops.
4. Delray Beach, Florida: The city’s Atlantic Avenue offers great dining, eccentric cafes, live music, two dozen art galleries and leads to nearly two miles of beautiful beaches.
3. Richmond, Virginia: The city on the James River pulsates with microbreweries, cideries and restaurants, while the river invites visitors to run the whitewater rapids or bike a new 52-mile trail along its banks.
2. Leavenworth, Washington: This Bavarian themed city has a packed calendar of festivals and performances. Other activities include hiking, birding, horseback riding and fishing. And there is plenty of brat and beer to be enjoyed!
1. San Antonio, Texas: With its rich and vibrant Mexican influence, it is a perfect place to vacation. Visit the Alamo, or enjoy the bars, restaurants and shops on the RiverWalk.
E.S. Woods, author of The Vacationer’s Handbook, put it this way: “A vacation helps to relieve stress and boredom, gives us a change of scenery, provides us with adventure, and helps to bring us closer to the people in our lives.”
It’s time to enjoy summer.