Published by Travel + Leisure
Travel might be complicated right now, but these inspirational trip ideas will help you plan for your next bucket list adventure.
Want to spice things up in your relationship? Get out of town.
Nothing keeps the sparks flying quite like traveling together. Navigating new places with your significant other while spending quality one-on-one time is a great way to deepen your bond and create lasting memories.
And every couple deserves a special getaway to enjoy to their hearts’ content — whether your idea of a good time is cozying up in a rustic lodge, lazing on a tropical beach, hitting the slopes, or sipping wine in the countryside. Whether for Valentine’s Day or a long weekend like President’s Day, there’s no better time to book a weekend escape with your partner.
Whatever pace you prefer in an ideal couple's trip, these are some of the best weekend getaways for couples — get ready for starry-eyed bliss. Also, be sure to research current travel restrictions, as some of these destinations are limiting tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re seeking a European-esque destination without the transatlantic flight, head to Montreal. This sophisticated Canadian metropolis is rich with history, centuries-old architecture, and bustling French bistros.
Most tourists shy away from Montreal until spring, so those who enjoy a winter wonderland vibe can delight in a quieter visit full of cold-weather charms: ice skating at Parc La Fontaine, dogsledding through Mont Tremblant, and guided nighttime snowshoeing on Mont Royal complete with breathtaking views of the city lights. Travelers can then warm up with hot chocolate by a roaring fire at one of Old Montreal’s cushy hotels.
After exploring the vibrant downtown scene, couples can treat themselves to an indulgent treatment at the luxurious Spa St. James in the Ritz Carlton Montreal, or to a classic 1940s bar experience at Bartizen in the W Montreal. The sexy, dimly lit space, which specializes in Canadian gin, will set the mood for romance.
Palm Springs, California
Glamorized as Old Hollywood’s vacation destination of choice, Palm Springs is still as hip as it was in Frank Sinatra's day. The desert oasis allures with stylish resorts, world-class restaurants, and majestic desert views.
There’s a little something for everyone. It’s a haven for golfers (with more than 100 area courses), hikers, and adventure seekers. Try a backcountry Jeep tour through San Jacinto Mountain trails, or trek to Joshua Tree National Park (less than an hour away). Looking to unwind? Soak in the natural healing waters at Desert Hot Springs or head to one of the many day spas for a hot stone couples massage. Palm Springs also has a foodie scene and many of the finest establishments offer patio dining under the stars.
For a relaxing staycation, book a suite at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. With everything from clifftop dining to a luxe spa surrounded by the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains, you won’t have to leave the grounds to have an unforgettable weekend. Plus, there’s postcard-worthy scenery in every direction. We recommend taking it all in from a cabana at the pool while sipping an Arnold Palmer. The golf legend debuted the now-famous iced tea-lemonade drink in Palm Springs in the late ’60s.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Just a short drive from many locations in the northeast, Watch Hill is an idyllic place to visit year-round.
For an intimate stay, hightail it to Ocean House — a grand 1868 Victorian oceanfront beauty that’s the crown jewel of the New England town. Couples can enjoy long walks on the private white-sand beach and canoodling in front of the stately stone fireplace, cocktail in hand. There’s a farm-to-table restaurant on site, and a prestigious cooking school offers guests gourmet classes and intimate tastings.
Turks & Caicos
Turks & Caicos is one of the Caribbean’s best destinations for a romantic retreat. These easy-to-access islands — flights are under two hours from Miami and under four from New York — will have couples in paradise in no time.
For a dreamy place to call home for a few days, settle in at the Shore Club. The first resort on beautiful Long Bay Beach — the most private stretch on the island of Providenciales — offers seclusion and modern amenities. Start your day on a paddle board over dazzling turquoise waters, lap up some much-needed R&R at three cabana-lined pools, and cap off your night with fresh seafood at the resort’s Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.
In between lounging, couples can embark on a lovely horseback ride along the white-sand beach or a stress-relieving spa treatment. And don’t miss downtown Grace Bay, a hub for eateries, bars, shopping, and nightlife. There’s so much on offer at Turks and Caicos to refuel the spark in any relationship.
Take your love of adventure to new heights with a luxurious mountain retreat. The award-winning team behind gastronomic powerhouse Blackberry Farm recently unveiled their lavish sister property: Blackberry Mountain, a new Relais & Châteaux resort nestled among 5,200 wondrous Smoky Mountain acres.
This rustic sanctuary balances a peaceful environment with active and wellness-minded offerings. Outdoorsy couples can revel in everything from hiking, mountain biking, and candlelight yoga to relaxing forest baths, treetop meditation, and restorative spa treatments. After nourishing your mind and body, you can feed your soul at two one-of-a-kind restaurants that showcase Blackberry Farm’s celebrated hospitality and culinary program.
Charleston, South Carolina
The Holy City is a beloved destination of many travelers due to its historic landmarks, cobblestoned streets, booming food scene, and southern charm for days.
Foodie couples will be in heaven: the culinary capital of the South boasts a myriad of standout spots and immersive experiences. Don’t miss oysters at Upper King Street’s seafood stunner, The Ordinary, spicy fried chicken at Leon’s Oyster Shop, and Texas-style brisket at Lewis Barbecue (to name a few). For a post-dinner classic cocktail, belly up to The Bar at Husk. Fancy some bubbly? Check out the Champagne bar Camellias at Hotel Bennett.
Opt for a stay at the French Quarter Inn, a boutique gem in the heart of the historic district. At the end of a jam-packed (and no doubt delicious) day, the hotel’s top-notch turndown service with pillow menu — featuring seven different comfy options — will ensure the sweetest dreams.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The largest of the three Cayman Islands is the ultimate sanctuary for couples looking for a Caribbean beach oasis — at any pace. With warm, dry weather and fewer crowds than during the height of winter, early spring is an ideal time to visit Grand Cayman and its world-renowned Seven Mile Beach.
A range of water sports invites epic adventures surrounded by the island’s sparkling turquoise waters. You can kayak through lush, tropical mangroves or charter a catamaran to must-see Rum Point on the north coast. Want to completely shut it down? Sun-drenched afternoons spent lounging on pink-sand beaches or entwined in a hammock will do the trick.
Grand Cayman’s spectacular sunsets are a quintessential backdrop for passionate evenings. Catch magical views of the fiery spectacle at Kimpton Seafire, followed by an exceptional dinner experience at Avecita with a custom chefs’ counter tasting of seasonal, wood-fired fare that’s unique to the Caribbean. Pro tip: snag two of the only ten seats in advance — there’s only one seating per night.
Paso Robles, California
Uncork that lovin’ feeling with a jaunt to California’s third-largest wine region (following more famous territories, Napa and Sonoma). Nestled halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, along the state’s central coast, lies a vast rolling countryside speckled with vineyards, olive groves, farms, and ranches.
With its natural beauty and laid-back vibe, Paso Robles is a perfect stop for a relaxing long weekend. Wine is the main attraction here: sip your way through Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and more at over 200 wineries. Many tastings take place on sun-drenched outdoor spaces with breathtaking vistas, creating a next-level experience. Visitors tend to fall in love with Paso’s chill ambiance, and lodging is typically more affordable than in northern Cali wine regions.
If you get wined out (is that even a thing?), you can switch it up: sample local olive oils, tour a craft brewery, or take a dip in a hot spring. Downtown, you’ll find interesting boutiques and great eateries. Stop by the general store for honey, olive oil, soaps and handmade goods from area producers to bring home.
Park City, Utah
What’s dreamier than cozying up by a fireplace in a snowy mountain lodge? Having local whiskey and chocolates in hand. Park City is a winter wonderland, rich with small town charms, quickly accessible from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Hit the slopes at two world-class resorts — Park City Mountain and Deer Valley — which offer some of the world’s greatest ski conditions. In between runs on fresh powder, savor magnificent snow-capped landscapes and gourmet fare at several on-mountain pit stops. For a stellar après-ski situation, make your way to the ski-in/ski-out St. Regis Deer Valley resort for decadent hot chocolate, fireside s’mores, and craft cocktails.
Beyond mountain sports, Utah’s historic mining town is like a holiday postcard come to life, with a flurry of perfect date activities: sleigh rides, ice skating, hot air balloon rides, dog sledding, and shopping along historic Main Street where the facades of many acclaimed restaurants and saloons are preserved from the 1880s. Get sweet with handmade confections at Ritual Chocolate and unwind with a whiskey fight at Park City’s own High West Distillery. For an excellent candlelit dinner featuring local live music, head to Riverhorse on Main, then saddle up to popular dive bar No Name Saloon for a nightcap. There’s so much for couples to see and do in “Winter’s Favorite Town.”
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Just a short drive south from the Cancun airport, Playa del Carmen is situated along the Yucatán's palm-lined Caribbean coastline. With its unspoiled natural setting and upscale hotels, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is a first-rate vacation destination — and an ideal escape for lovebirds seeking warm weather.
If privacy and luxury is your speed, say ‘hola' to the area’s most secluded resort: the five-star Rosewood Mayakobá. Set along the edges of a freshwater lagoon (a river boat will take you to your private suite!), the property features refined accommodations with over-the-top amenities, heated plunge pools, and in-room mezcal to spice things up. There are also three infinity pools sunken in the sand, an open kitchen for interactive culinary experiences, and a beachfront fire pit to curl up next to in the moonlight.
New Paltz, New York
Looking for someplace that’s a short drive from New York City, but feels worlds away? Reserve a room at Mohonk Mountain House. Family-owned and operated since 1869, this Victorian resort is perched on the banks of crystal blue Lake Mohonk.
The grand, castle-like property offers couples an award-winning spa, farm-to-table cuisine, and a range of daily outdoor activities. In winter, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on groomed trails and ice skating on the private pavilion. Warmer months bring horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking in the surrounding Shawangunk Ridge.
Leisurely, romantic days are also welcomed: sip hot chocolate and snuggle up by one of the stone fireplaces, soak in the outdoor heated mineral pool, or watch the sunset from rocking chairs on the porch. Just being with your sweetheart, surrounded by pristine mountain wilderness, is enough to rekindle the flame.
Source: The Discover Blog/Kellie Cappola, Editor
From the arid Southwest to the rocky coastline of the East Coast, the United States has some of the most stunning natural terrain in the world. Narrowing down the most awe-inspiring destinations in this country is one of the more difficult things we've done. Go ahead and argue with our choices, but here's our list of places that we can't stop drooling over.
Maroon Bells, ColoradO
Whether adorned with golden aspen leaves or shimmering in the red-orange glow of an early morning sunrise, Maroon Bells is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Located just outside Aspen in the Rocky Mountains, this spot is also one of the most photographed destinations in America - and we don't have to guess why.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
It's hard to pick just one gorgeous spot in Arizona to feature (hometown bias is real). But Antelope Canyon has captured the hearts of visitors for decades. It's not the only beautiful slot canyon in the West, but it's by far the most famous. With golden rays of light illuminating walls smoothed by decades of erosion and flash flooding, this delicate location is magical in the extreme.
Kenai Fjords, Alaska
Covering 669,984 acres in Alaska, the Kenai Fjords National Park features jaw-dropping vistas of glaciers and sea. The Harding Icefield is the crowning jewel of this park, featuring mile-thick ice fields punctuated by waterways. Whether you explore via kayak or boat, keep your eyes open for wildlife like seals, otters, moose, and black bears.
Sequoia National Park, California
The second-oldest national park in America features the tallest trees in the world. Dotted with thick-trunked sequoias, this park is a labyrinth for visitors. Golden light fills the thick air, and most of the park is only accessible by foot, meaning the intrepid traveler can find themselves almost completely alone, surrounded only by these ancient trees.
Na Pali Coast, Hawaii
Jurassic Park references aside (yes, the original was filmed here) the Na Pali Coast is otherworldly. Soaring red cliffs covered in bright green vegetation are licked by the sparkling water of the Pacific. This coastal view is one of the most beautiful in the world, and whether you choose to hike, helicopter, or boat around this natural setting, you're guaranteed more photo opportunities than your camera can hold.
Florida Keys, Florida
This smattering of coral islands off the southern coast of Florida are the closest the U.S. gets to Caribbean bliss. Palm trees and sugary beaches meet mangrove forests framed by some of the clearest water in the U.S., creating plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, boating, and fishing.
Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
There's a reason the Smoky Mountains is the most-visited U.S. National Park. The hazy hills turn impossible hues of red and orange in the fall, and you'll find some of the best hiking east of the Rocky Mountains here. Every drive is a scenic drive in this park, with waterfalls, trees, and wildlife offering better entertainment than a smartphone.
Joshua Tree, California
While these spiky trees in the arid desert may not strike some as beautiful, all we can say is beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And if that beholder finds themselves in this national park on a clear night with the Milky Way above, they'll go gaga for this landscape.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
The Pacific Northwest is home to more than its fair share of stunning spots, and while there are a number we could have picked, one of the best is Cannon Beach. With the famous Haystack rock fixture jutting out from a wide sandy beach, and pools of water reflecting a misty sunrise, there's no better place in America to be when morning hits.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
This stretch of shoreline along Lake Superior definitely earns its spot on the list. These scattered islands, sea caves and uniquely-shaped cliffs are home to some impressive wildlife, not to mention the occasional old-fashioned lighthouse. And when winter hits and the lake freezes over, these caves become fringed with sparkling icicles straight from your favorite Christmas movie.
Grand Tetons, Wyoming
Home on the range gets a new meaning in this national park. Despite the myriad mountain ranges in the U.S., Grand Tetons has been known to overshadow the rest. Snowcapped peaks peer out over a thriving valley that is just as majestic in the summer as it is in the icy winters.
Acadia National Park, Maine
The rocky coastline of this national park features stunning views of the ocean, glacier-carved peaks, and rich forest. Ruggedly beautiful with quaint and cozy towns nestled here and there, this coastal journey is one for the books.
If rural life is more your style, then you need to see the bluebonnets of Texas. Flowering between March and April, these wildflowers cover rolling green hills dotted with docile cows and farmhouses to create the picture of tranquility.
Glacier Point, Yosemite California
Yosemite is no stranger to having its picture taken, and iconic viewpoints and stunning hidden gems abound in this national park. Glacier Point at sunset is one of the most recognizable shots, with a view of the valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls packed into one stunning frame.
Angel Oak, South Carolina
The South wouldn't be complete without its stunning oaks, and this one takes the prize. The 500-year-old tree can be found just outside Charleston. Its knobby arms draped with moss make it a wonder to behold, and you'll feel like you just stepped out of a southern romance novel.
NOTE FROM TERIE: Dan and I are hoping to make a cross-country road trip at the end of this summer and are looking forward to stopping at some of these amazing locations! Where have you been? Do you have a favorite spot that I haven't listed? We'd love to hear your comments and see photos! That's my challenge for this week: share the most beautiful location in the US that you've visited!
Published by The Discoverer
Julia Hammond | Travel Writer
Photos courtesy of The Discoverer
Next time you’re planning to take a vacation, why not invest a bit more time and make the journey part of the adventure? Ditch the airport in favor of traveling by rail and you’ll be surprised at just how much more you’ll see. Here are five train routes in the U.S. you just can’t ignore.
If you don’t relish overnighting on the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle, how about boarding the 8½ hour, 350-mile Pacific Surfliner instead? Hop on in San Luis Obispo in the morning, and you could be in San Diego by mid-afternoon. But far better to stop off a little on the way. The tracks hug the shoreline for a significant part of the train’s route, so think about whether you want to enjoy ocean views or cityscapes before reserving your seat. Highlights along the way include Santa Barbara, San Juan Capistrano and of course, the City of Angels itself. Whether you alight to surf the Pacific rollers or wander through the gardens of the old Spanish missions is up to you.
White Pass and Yukon Route
In the 21st century, would we attempt something as costly and time-consuming as to build a railway through an environment as harsh as that found in Alaska and the Yukon? Fortunately for today’s rail enthusiasts, the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s spurred engineers on through impossibly challenging terrain and the harshest of winters. Embark on a short seasonal jaunt through wild Alaska from the port town of Skagway. As the train retraces the original route to White Pass Summit, passengers enjoy the sight of glaciers, gorges and waterfalls with evocative names like Dead Horse Gulch and Inspiration Point from their vintage carriages. You won’t need a passport, but don’t forget your head for heights.
Grand Canyon Railway
This round trip departs from Williams, Arizona, around 65 miles south of the Grand Canyon. At first, it’s hard to marry the dense pine forests that surround the train with the desert colors of the landscape that awaits. Eyes peeled for mountain lions, elk, condors and bald eagles, you’ll reach the popular South Rim a little over two hours later. If you choose to return the same day, you’ll have about four hours to marvel at its beauty; it’s understandably tempting to spend at least a night to more fully appreciate this wondrous natural phenomenon.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Where do you start when there’s so much to see in the Great Smoky Mountains? A couple of rail trips on offer from Bryson City might just provide the answer. Its most popular departures utilize steam locomotive #1702 and you’ll want a souvenir selfie of this historic engine before climbing aboard. The Tuckasegee River excursion opens up the countryside en route to charming Dillsboro while the Nantahala Gorge excursion follows the Tennessee and Nantahala river valleys across Fontana Lake and through the gorge. These scenic routes take around four hours apiece, making the perfect day trip whichever you choose.
It’s a nine-hour ride from New York’s Penn station to the tumbling cascades of Niagara but the Maple Leaf's route is one of the most scenic in the country. Winding its way along the pretty Hudson Valley, you’ll appreciate why so many people choose to commute to Manhattan rather than live in the city. Passing through the state capital Albany and the delightfully named Schenectady, the train turns west to pass through the gorges of the Finger Lakes region. It hugs the border from Buffalo to drop its passengers at Niagara Falls, New York, leaving the train to cross into Canada and on to Toronto, as its name suggests.
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Published April 17, 2020 by GoGo Vacations
(All photographs courtesy of GoGoVacations)
NOTE FROM TERIE: We're continuing with our series on "Post COVID-19: Exploring North America as we explore America's Best Beaches. Have you visited one of these amazing spots? Or did we miss one that you found especially memorable? We'd love to hear about your experiences. Just leave your comment below!
You love getting away with the entire family, but you can only hear those universal words, “Are we there yet?” We’ve got a few suggestions on the home-front for a family vacation that will have your kids asking a whole new question – “We love it here. Why do we ever have to leave?”
You thought Las Vegas was just for grown-ups, but this shimmering city actually offers a family scene that is nothing short of legendary. Soar 550 feet above the famous strip in the High Roller Observation Wheel with 360-degree views. Take in one of the Cirque du Soleil shows which are sure to delight and mystify the kids and teenagers alike. The Shark Reef at Mandalay Beach Hotel wows with two underwater tunnels and more than 100 sharks, with 30 alone in one of the largest tanks in the US. For your teens, Circus Circus has the Adventuredome, featuring El Loco, a rollercoaster with an angle drop of 90-degrees for an experience at 1.5 vertical-G. If you’re visiting Las Vegas in the winter, make sure to try the ice skating rink at the Cosmopolitan. Adventures off the strip include excursions to the Hoover Dam, the Valley of Fire, and the Grand Canyon.
NOTE FROM TERIE: Can you believe it? I have NEVER been to Las Vegas!! I know, it's hard to believe! But guess what? Dan and I will be spending several days there in August to attend a Travel Conference! I am super excited!! We'll be staying at Ceasar's Palace -- and we'll have lots of opportunities to check out shows and sites before, after and evenings during the conference! Stay tuned for some cool photos!
Mild all year round, San Diego is the perfect blend of sunshine and family fun. Start off your vacation with a thrill – stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado, famous for its movie lore and infamous for its haunted hallways and beach. (Hint – rooms 3327 and 3519 are the best known for their paranormal activity.) Then take to the waters for annual whale watching excursions, or stay on land with an adventure to LEGOLAND California (watch where you step!) with both a water park and aquarium. Add SeaWorld to your itinerary with its all-new multi-launch coaster EELectrified, opening in Summer 2018. Of course, no vacation to San Diego is complete without a visit to the world-famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park. For an adrenaline rush, check out the Flightline Safari, complete with zipline experience. So close to the border, you’ll want to introduce your kids to authentic burritos and tacos, complete with lime and cilantro.
NOTE FROM TERIE: I was stationed in San Diego for several years and one of my favorite spots -- just to relax and enjoy -- was the ocean front near the Convention Center. It's a really beautiful area -- you can watch the boats come in and go out.
Chances are, if you’re looking for a family vacation, you researched Orlando. Here, you’ll find world-class theme parks, including the stomping grounds of the Mouse, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, and SeaWorld – all within a half an hour driving distance of one another. Not to mention, you also have LEGOLAND Florida in the area. The truly awesome part of an Orlando family vacation is the “resorts.” Each Orlando theme area – Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World – offer complete vacation experiences. Theme parks, shopping districts, and on-site hotels offer day, evening, and nighttime activities. And you can mix and match your experiences – spend a day exploring Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida before heading for dinner and a movie at Disney Springs.
Out of the immediate Orlando area, you can dine with an astronaut at Kennedy Space Center, ride an airboat into the Everglades, or even take a day trip to Miami for a hop-on/hop-off tour.
Give your kids an All-American vacation they’ll never forget in their nation’s capital. Hit the Mall – the National Mall, that is – to see the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Air and Space Museum. These spots are sure to wow with stories of our nation’s past and hope for its exciting future. Then make sure to show your young ones the important ideals our nation was founded on with a visit to the National Archives, which houses The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and The Bill of Rights. Washington, DC is also home to the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, for hours of exploring. Show your young ones memorable American artifacts, including the new portraits of Former President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama, plus exhibits on immigration, new media, and even Sesame Street. Part of the Smithsonian is the National Zoo, which is free to the public, and if you didn’t see the pandas in San Diego, here you can stop by to see Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and their cub, Bei Bei, who was born in 2015.
NOTE FROM TERIE: I was stationed in the DC area for 12 years (multiple duty stations!), so this is an area I am well-versed on! If you're a history buff like me, and willing to travel a little south, there's are a number of amazing "Living Farms" in Southern Maryland -- about 24 miles from downtown DC. The kids will have a chance to pick cotton and spin it, see what's it like to live during colonial times and play games from that era. It's well worth the trip!
Load up the iPad for the flight and then head to America’s very own paradise. Great for families who crave relaxation and excitement alike, Honolulu is the perfect destination to stretch out on the world-famous Waikiki Beach and then hike up Leahi, also known as Diamond Head, for panoramic views of the islands. Leahi is a great stop for families with tweens and teens with underground tunnels and military bunkers to explore. Get your hula on at Paradise Cove Luau for an evening of unforgettable family fun, including arts & craft demonstrations, delicious island buffet, a lei greeting, and Mai Tai punch, and the Hawaiian revenue. Delve into our nation’s past at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, including the USS Arizona that was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. The site also offers an exploration of an actual submarine used in World War II.
From sea to shining sea, from our nation’s capital to our very own island paradise, the United States has a destination perfect for your family’s next vacation. Start planning now with by giving me a call, so you can you answer the most important question of them all: “When do we leave?”
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Published April 20, 2020 by GoGo Vacations
(All photographs courtesy of GoGoVacations)
NOTE FROM TERIE: We're continuing with our series on "Post COVID-19: Exploring North America as we explore America's Best Beaches. Have you visited one of these amazing spots? Or did we miss one that you found especially memorable? We'd love to hear about your experiences. Just leave your comment below!
From the shores of Hawaii to Florida, the U.S. boasts some of the best beaches in the world. From sea to shining sea (literally), discover what America’s beaches have to offer.
California is so big, so varied, so enduringly symbolic, you could create literally thousands of vacations up and down the coast and barely scrape the surface of what the Golden State has to offer, from San Francisco to Long Beach, to Los Angeles and Anaheim, to San Diego.
California has almost 1,000 miles of coastline and some of the most popular beaches in the world. In San Diego, visit Coronado, Ocean Beach, and La Jolla. LA is home to El Matador, Malibu’s Zuma, and Surfrider. If in Santa Barbara, check out Rincon and El Capitan State Beach. Carmel has Point Lobos State Reserve. You’ll find Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo. And, the Anaheim area is known for popular Laguna Beach.
The state’s relaxed vibe lends itself to beach bumming and the big West Coast waves are ideal for surfing.
From hip South Beach to the lush and relaxing Keys, from 5-star restaurants to beach-side bars, whether you’re traveling with the kids or looking for family fun, or traveling with your significant other looking for a romantic escape, The Sunshine State beckons and stands ready to provide the beach vacation you’re yearning for.
On the Atlantic Coast you’ll find glittering Miami – known for its blend of Latin American and Caribbean cultural influences, with cuisine to match. South Beach is one of the area’s most popular beaches, thanks to its turquoise waters and soft, white sands. North of Miami is Ft. Lauderdale, which has a calmer seaside vibe. Those looking for a more laid-back vibe will find it in the Keys. Key West is quirky, charismatic, and unique, with some of the best fishing in the world.
Head to the Gulf Coast for romantic beaches and mesmerizing sunsets. Naples has high-end shopping, swanky eateries, and a historic downtown area. Families love Clearwater for its numerous activities and the serene and pristine beaches.
Hawaii is cherished for its legendary beaches, active volcanoes, regional delicacies, dramatic waves, cultural experiences, and inspirational activities. The 50th state is imbued with “Aloha Spirit” – the warm welcome and genuine kindness that blends with the lush, luxurious tropical landscape. And, with several islands to visit, there’s a beach for everyone.
The small island of Oahu is known for its perfect surfing conditions and beautiful beaches. You can get a taste for both on Waikiki as well as the North Shore, the surfing capital of the USA.
On gorgeous Maui, water sports, luaus on the sands, and brilliant tropical scenery create a serenely appealing way of life that’s perfect for sun worshipers and outdoor enthusiasts. Hit golden Ka’anapali Beach for body-boarding, kayaking, and sailing.
Nicknamed the “Garden Island,” Kauai is green and flourishing with lush fora from the mountains to the ocean. There are more than 50 miles of beaches – more beach per mile than any other island in Hawaii. The gorgeous Napali Coast spans 17 miles along Kauai’s North Shore and has some of the best views Hawaii has to offer.
The Island of Hawaii, popularly known as “The Big Island,” is arguably the most diverse island in the chain. The beaches here come in a variety of colors and textures, including fine, black sands, crystal green sands, and newly formed lava rocks.
On Molokai, you’ll find the longest white-sand beaches in Hawaii and ultimate relaxation. The people here prefer a simpler way of life, so vacationing here really defines getting away from it all.
Lanai is the smallest of the inhabited islands. A popular vacation spot for celebrities, the beaches here are secluded and uncrowded, with soft, white sands and rolling blue waves.
America is multicultural, vibrant, and home to beautiful and varied beach experiences from coast to coast. Give us a call today to start planning your next USA beach getaway.
Published May 20, 2020 by GoGo Vacations
(All photographs, Courtesy of GoGo Vacations)
NOTE FROM TERIE: I wanted to begin this blog series with one of the simplest vacation trips ever: Road Trips! What I love about this article is that there’s a wonderful Road Trip relatively close to everyone in the country! If you decide this is YOUR next vacation, I am here to design a Road Trip Vacation, specifically for YOU!
There’s a reason why road trips are immortalized in songs, books, and movies. Between the expected sights straight from your itinerary to the unexpected moments along the way, road trips create memories that last a lifetime. From “The Mother Road” of Route 66 to driving through canyon country, America is full of open roads to explore. We’ve captured three unique and iconic road trips that are must-sees for every traveler.
Sunshine State Road Trip - Everglades to Key West
Day 1-2: Everglades
If you’re starting toward Miami, head south for Everglades National Park and walk the Anhinga Trail, a half-mile boardwalk over a mush abundant with wildlife. Check out some alligators, birds, and exotic fish, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the rare black panther. Enjoy the Biscayne Bay Boat Tour which reveals nature’s secretly preserved wilderness from aboard a comfortable airboat. The next morning finish your Everglades experience with a dolphin eco-tour before heading to a local fishery for fresh grouper sandwiches. Continue to Islamorada and spend the night at this halfway point between Miami and Key West.
Day 3: Islamorada
Islamorada is composed of six tiny islands, so give yourself plenty of time to explore. Take a fishing trip, or head to the History of Diving Museum, which houses diving items from more than 30 countries. Enjoy the catch of the day at one of the beachfront restaurants with your toes warm in the powder-soft sands. Then hit the road and cross the renowned Seven Mile Bridge, one of the longest in the world. Finish the drive into Key West or a night out on the town.
NOTE FROM TERIE: Islamorada is my favorite Florida vacation! Dan and I are avid snorkelers and we have a good friend who is a Boat Captain who runs tours for divers and snorkelers. We visit Islamorada and Key West as often as we can and know the area VERY well! I have tons of brochures and information, as well as contacts, to help make a perfect vacation!
Days 4-7 Key West
Wake up in beautiful Key West, the southernmost town in the United States. Spend some time exploring the island, visiting the Key West Aquarium, and enjoying the Old Town Trolley tour. This fully narrated tour of Key West covers more than 100 points of interest, and offers hop-on/hop-off convenience. Leave time to snorkel the coral reefs and admire Key West’s stunning 19th-centure buildings, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. For a melting pot of tastes and nightlife, Duval Street delivers unique experiences, from stylish bars and eclectic boutiques to cabaret shows and famous restaurants. On the final day, wake up and enjoy your coffee in the quiet solitude of this seaside paradise.
Western Adventure Road Trip
NOTE FROM TERIE: Dan and I will be taking an abbreviated Western Adventure Road Trip in August. We’re attending a travel convention in Las Vegas and, as most of you know Dan hates flying! Plus, my dad and brother live in Prescott, Arizona – so we figured a cross country drive to Las Vegas for the convention, followed by a leisurely ride home – starting in Arizona – would tick off one more Bucket List item! We’ll be sure to post lots of photographs and thoughts about our adventure!
Days 1-2: Scottsdale
From award-winning museums and wine tasting rooms to its exceptional hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, you’ll want plenty of time to truly discover this Arizona desert town. Both art-driven and outdoor-laden, Scottsdale has plenty of public art installations and performing arts, as well as more than 200 golf courses in the area (which is why it’s known as The World’s Finest Golf Destination). To unwind after all the adventure, try a head-to-toe spa treatment inspired by ancient Native American healing techniques.
Day 3: Sedona
Take the short drive from Scottsdale to enjoy a full day in Sedona. Full of breathtaking views made famous in many classic Western films, you’ll want to hike one of the state parks. Alternatively, head to the Verde Valley Wine Trail, where you’ll find seven wineries to experience. At dusk, gaze up at the incredible red rocks and buttes as they shine against the falling sun before enjoying a beautiful dinner along the creek.
Days 4-6: Grand Canyon
Hit the road for an hour-long trip to the Grand Canyon. This will be undoubtably your most epic stop along your trek out west. Drive to the South Rim, winding through the single-lane roads leading to the quaint town by the National Park’s opening. Check into your lodge and get acclimated to the high altitude. Then it’s time to explore. Most visitors stop by Mather Point, the first look at the canyon, but continue onward for the more spectacular sights like Desert View. Take a helicopter ride over the canyon and spend a day hiking and rafting down below.
Route 66 Road Trip
St. Louis to Flagstaff
Drive at your own speed… this road trip can take anywhere from a week to fourteen days.
St. Louis, MO
Start your iconic Route 66 road trip near the iconic Gateway Arch. Take a free tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and pick up a treat at the original Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on Chippewa Street (originally Route 66) on your way out of town.
As you enter Oklahoma—the state with the longest stretch of Route 66—you’ll pass several vintage gas stations, now restored to their original designs. Upon reaching Tulsa you’ll get acquainted with Oklahoma barbeque at mainstays like Rib Crib, Elmer’s BBQ, and Albert G’s.
Oklahoma City, OK
Furgher along Route 66, Oklahoma’s state capital brings surprises such as the city’s “Little Saigon,” where you can stop for some superb pho. Or wait until you reach Tucker’s Onion Burgers for classic American fare. Also, check out the Gold Dome, a 1958 geodesic dome originally housing a bank… you can’t miss it!
In New Mexico’s largest city, you’ll find multiculturalism, natural beauty, and ancient attractions. Plus, the usual museums, galleries, and shopping. You don’t need to leave the route to explore the Barelas-South Fourth Street Historic District near downtown, as well as the Moderne-style Nob Hill Shopping Center, New Mexico’s first drive-in shopping center.
Stroll through the city’s Railroad Addition Historic District, cited on the National Register of Historic Places, which runs parallel to both Route 66 and the railroad tracks. Take a tour of Lowell Observatory, where astronomers discovered Pluto, and peer through the 24-inch Clark telescope. If you feel like the adventure isn’t over yet, leave Route 66 behind and head north approximately 80 miles to Grand Canyon National Park.
So, there you have it! Three great road trips to dazzle you, right in our own backyard! Again, if you decide this is just what you’ve been looking for, I can help plan every aspect of a vacation that will take your breath away! Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who ever thought we’d be watching all travel cancelled – and the entire world basically in a travel-restricted lockdown? While it’s ALWAYS a wise decision to purchase Travel Protection before you take off on your next adventure (land or sea), with today’s uncertainties, selecting the right protection becomes more important than ever. You need to know whether your trip cancellation and interruption insurance covers the non-refundable portion of your travel fees, in the event you decide to cancel your booking. My best advice: read the fine print carefully! If it isn’t listed in the description of coverage, don’t assume!
Please note: I am NOT an insurance agent. I do NOT sell travel insurance. I DO, however, strongly encourage my clients to purchase a Travel Protection Policy and will recommend several suppliers so you can make the best choice for your circumstances. The information provided in this blog is generic, basic information. Before making any decision, please contact me and I will direct you to an agent who is licensed to discuss in detail and sell insurance.
We sure have found ourselves in uncharted territory lately, haven’t we? Through hurricanes, tsunami’s, fires and more, the travel industry has continued to provide our clients with exciting adventures and FUNtastic experiences. The Coronovirus, unfortunately, has stopped us dead in our tracks and has – and is – playing havoc on the entire country.
The question on everyone’s mind is: should we cancel our travel plans? I wish I could give you all a well-informed, definitive answer but the truth is, if the travel supplier isn’t canceling your package/cruise, etc., then the decision as to whether or not to cancel is highly personal.
If you or any of your travel companions have medical conditions that could be compromised by the threat of contact then, of course, you’ll want to reschedule your plans. Dan is having a series of heart procedures next month that will put him in the 60-day window of hospitalization, so we’re having to cancel our amazing 16-day Transatlantic Cruise the first of June. We are heart-broken! We’d both looked so forward to visiting Ireland and Scotland – locations very high on our bucket list! But I know God has a reason for not wanting us to make that trip right now, so I have complete faith it’s all good. We’re now looking for a new adventure for later on so we can use our Future Cruise Credit.
If your employer is mandating a 14-day self-quarantine if you travel out of the country, then you may well want to reconsider traveling right now. I’m sure there are other reasons that may prompt you to reschedule – like I said, it’s highly personal and only you can make that decision.
It’s normal to feel a little jittery before taking off on your big adventure: your first-time cruise! But with just a little bit of pre-planning and these tips, you’ll know what to expect and will be sure to have that perfect dream vacation!
Let’s Talk Budget! You’re probably thinking, “Hey wait! I already paid for the cruise! What do I need MORE money for?” The rule of thumb for a 7-day cruise is to budget at least an addition $200 for onboard spending – not including the gratuity (remember, you can either prepay the gratuity for the ship’s crew BEFORE you sail or the cruise line will add that amount to your onboard account). Unless you’re sailing on an all-inclusive cruise line, you’re going to need money for extra expenses like alcohol, sodas and specialty coffees, spa treatments, shopping in the ship’s store, and specialty restaurants. You’ll also need to budget for off-the-ship activities such as shopping, excursions (if not pre-paid), tips for your cab/shuttle drivers, etc.
It must be said: getting sick before, during, or immediately after traveling is on everyone’s mind right now. Even before the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, we all worried about contacting some weird, exotic, unknown (and possibly incurable?!?!) disease the minute we left the safety of our homes! Okay, we know not to drink the water … but should we use that strange stuff coming out of the faucet to brush our teeth? Wash our face? Shower in (don’t open your mouth!). Perhaps we should pack a gallon of hand sanitizer? It’s easy to begin to look, sound and act like Adrian Monk – and that can really put a damper on enjoying your next vacation.
So, let’s break it down and look at what you should (and should not) do while traveling – as well as a few preventative tips to take before you leave home!