It is mid-August and we are at the tail end of summer 2013. I’m sure you have soaked up the sun, hosted BBQ parties on the 4th of July, maybe even escaped the dreadful heat wave as you whisked away on an Alaskan cruise, and then called it a day with summer travel for this year. Well there is still time to nudge-in that last summer getaway before you slip on layers and enjoy the fall foliage. Here are our seven picks for you to enjoy the summer sun—while it lasts!
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Take a deep breath, forget the stresses of your work life, slip into your swimsuits and take your spot along the seven mile halcyon banks of Geneva Lake. Picturesque lakes, tons of fishing spots, a wide array of wildlife, abundance of natural beauty, and water sports for the entire family, make this the perfect getaway. Once a haven for Victorian-era millionaires, its myriad activities, including fishing, swimming, biking, horseback riding, fairs, festivals and flea markets, make it ideal for a recreational weekend. Apart from its splendid natural beauty, Lake Geneva has museums, a water park for kids to enjoy, the largest refracting telescope at the Yerkes Observatory, palatial homes from an era gone by and leisure cruises on restored historic yachts. Before you bid adieu to Lake Geneva, don’t forget to visit Old World Wisconsin, America’s largest rural outdoor living history museum.
Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
Welcome to the land of 10,000 lakes! The shimmering waters of the Rainy River and the Lake of the Woods are a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Popularly known as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” anglers flock to Lake of Woods, for that elusive catch—be it walleye or muskie, smallmouth bass or northern pike. With over 65,000 miles of undulating shore lines, dotted with 14,000 islands, hire your boat at Ballard’s, which offers stay and fishing packages. Then set sail on the very waters that form a natural border between the U.S. and Canada.
Located in the pristine peninsula of Casco Bay, on the Southern coast of Maine, Portland is a beautiful seaside town. With a population of just over 65,000 people, this little town is bustling with activity in the summer. Vacationers flock to this town by the water for its picturesque Bug Lighthouse, historic homes along the Western Promenade, scenic views of the Casco Bay on the Eastern Promenade, the pre-civil war Victorian Mansion, the spectacular Portland Observatory and the Main Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Your holiday in Portland is incomplete without savoring its sumptuous and super-fresh lobsters at one of its most popular restaurants, Fore Street Restaurant, taking a visit to the Old Port area lined with 19th century streets and the thriving Art District.
Hop aboard the scenic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train ride, and begin your journey as the train chugs through the countryside. Once you arrive in Silverton, you are faced with many fun choices: Fishing, hiking, biking, river rafting, horseback riding, hunting and camping. Take a tour through its historic Old Hundred Gold Mine, where gold was discovered in 1860. Visit the County Historical Society’s Heritage Museum, for a slice of history, in the only town still standing in the San Juan County. A town brimming with natural beauty and Victorian charm, Silverton is your perfect summer cocktail in a nutshell!
Are you ready for that big step? To transport you and your sweetie to a whole new level? Then Lover’s Leap, located in California’s Eldorado National Forest, near the town of Strawberry, is the perfect pick for you. Strewn with several easy and moderate hiking paths, the 500-foot granite outcropping is ideal for newbies too. A glimpse into Yosemite-style climbing—without the scraped knees—you can choose to stay at the Strawberry Lodge, just five minutes away from the trailhead, and get a room on the river to enjoy the surrounding wilderness. Take a Lover’s Leap hike lesson and once you’re ready, choose from the three-pitch, 5.6 Deception or the three-pitch, 5.7 Corrugation Corner. Wrap up your getaway with a swim at the sandy Lester Beach, a cove in D.L Bliss State Park on the western shore of Lake Tahoe.
Methow Valley, Washington
Are you ready for your slice of the Old West, without all that dry heat? Then, head to Methow Valley, a cascade loop highway that follows the Columbia River to Pateros, and swings you northwestward along the adventurous ascent to your summer destination. Your first picnic pit stop is at Pateros. With its waterfront RV spaces and an 18-hole golf-course, Alta Lake State Park is perfect for trout fishing and calling-it-a-night at your campsites. Driving up to the Methow Valley you will see fields of baled hay, weathered old barns, horses and rugged cascades. A whole range of activities such as river rafting, forest trails, biking, scenic river walks, and an evening stroll at the foothills of Okanogan make it a perfect holiday destination for the entire family.
Tybee Island, Georgia
While lip-smacking seafood and forts from the Civil War are common along Georgia’s coast, its wealth of wilderness and waterfronts are unknown to some. One such place tucked away 18 miles south of the historic city of Savannah, Georgia is Tybee Island. Offering the perfect combination of tranquil waters, diverse cuisine, a plethora of recreational activities, and history steeped deep in its roots, Tybee Island, also known as Savannah Beach, is truly a vacationers paradise. Enjoy three miles of uninterrupted sandy beaches; salty marshlands with an eclectic mix of bird and wildlife; offshore and deep sea charters for your fishing trips; a selection of over 25 restaurants serving up the “catch of the day;” a happening night-life; a vibrant local flavor; and stores selling trinkets, paintings, souvenirs and more. Tybee Island is a perfect place to savor your last summer days.