Summer vacations shoreside are an annual tradition for millions of Americans. However, beach trips don’t always float everyone’s boat. Thankfully there’s an entire roadmap full of landlocked destinations that will put your travel plans on solid ground. Since we’ve already highlighted our favorite beaches of 2018, this week we’re taking a trip inland to find a few of our favorite alternative vacation destinations.
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley is beautiful year-round, but the sights really peak in the summer with rolling vineyards, incomparable sunsets and mountain ranges. To top it all off, the area’s numerous wineries host plenty of tastings that pair perfectly with the scenery. Trade your beach towel for a picnic blanket and enjoy an afternoon at a local farmers market with some of the freshest fruits of the earth (not just the grapes). Perfect for families and adults alike, Napa is a world-class destination that’s ripe for relaxation.
With its gleaming skyscrapers and glittering lakes, Minneapolis makes for a getaway that’s as fun as it is beautiful. After the weather warms up, the city springs to life outdoors. Known as "The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota has more shoreline than California itself, and Minneapolis is in the heart of it all and perfect for outdoorsy types. For those who’d rather stay inside, the world-famous Mall of America offers shopping, dining and entertainment for every member of the family.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park takes sightseeing to new heights – 9,115 feet to be exact. The canyon offers panoramic views of three states with about 200 miles of visibility, and should be a bucket-list destination for any fan of the outdoors. The intricate limestone rock formations are equal parts weird and wonderful, and make for incredible photo opportunities. Since the area has so little light pollution, we recommend sticking around after the sunset for some incredible stargazing.
The Finger Lakes, New York
The Finger Lakes region of central New York is an outdoor lover's paradise. Home to several expansive state parks, the area boasts excellent hiking trails and spectacular waterfalls. What's more, the region's 11 uniquely shaped glacial lakes offer opportunities for boating, fishing and water sports. Like Napa Valley, the area’s soil and climate are perfect for vineyards – and equally perfect for tourists looking for a tasting. Meanwhile, kids of any age will love the nearby Strong National Museum of Play, home of the world’s most comprehensive toy collection.
Stowe is famous for its amazing winters on the mountainside, but summers are the area’s best-kept secret. The city cherishes its small-town charm outside of the tourist months, and welcomes visitors with mild climates and easy-going vibes. The craft beer scene is among the best in New England, and is only topped by the beautiful, rustic buildings peppered throughout the community. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, look no further.
Whether it’s spent combing beaches or climbing boulders, we could all use a vacation to hit the reset button from time to time. However, accidents don’t take vacations, and if one should strike while you’re taking in the sights, we’ll always be there to restore the rhythm of your life –and your summer.