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Stumped where to go this summer? We asked one of our frequent fliers, Sher She Goes, to share some bucket list worthy summer destinations. The result? 5 classic summer getaways everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime! 

Summer Vacation Bucket List Ideas

Ever hear about someone else’s vacation and have the following the reaction?

Oh, that.

Everyone does that.

Well, as much as I enjoy finding off-the-beaten path vacation destinations, I believe there is truth to the notion that, if everyone seems to enjoy a particular destination, that place must have something to offer!

Plus, even the most popular destinations have – if you look hard enough! – lesser-known spots that cater to the more adventurous traveler.

Keep reading for 5 classic destinations that should absolutely top any summer vacation bucket list!

Explore Maine

With small cities and even smaller roads, Maine is definitely not the easiest place to get to, even if you’re already based in the northeast!

Renting a car and driving from a major northeastern city is the simplest way to reach (and get around in) Maine, but, once there, you will immediately see the benefits that natural isolation confers this gorgeous state.

For a beautiful tour through a classic Maine town filled with water, boating, and plenty of lobster roll stands, check out Kennebunkport, a charming southern Maine town just 30 miles northeast of the New Hampshire border.

And, if you’re interested in something more rugged and adventurous, head a few hours north to Rockland, where Maine Windjammer cruises – old-fashioned schooners that take guests on multi-day tours around the coast of Maine – are a dominant summer industry!

Venture to Cape Cod

Further south — yet still in the heart of New England — lies Cape Cod, the Massachusetts vacation destination known for being, in a word, affluent.

While its residents may be particularly well-off, all are welcome to visit and explore Cape Cod, a region known for its very unique and friendly sense of New England hospitality.

Cape Cod’s most popular destination is probably Martha’s Vineyard, a large island in the southwestern section of Cape Cod known for its lighthouses, stunning beaches and cliffs, and rich history as a former whaling hub.

The part of Cape Cod I most enjoyed, however, was Nantucket, a slightly smaller island due east of Martha’s Vineyard.

Accessible only by airplane or ferry, the secluded Nantucket Island is an incredibly private place to unwind and recharge. My favorite part of the island is a region called Siaconset, an old fishing village today known for its gorgeous homes and beaches!

Enjoy a Hamptons Weekend

Living in New York City, the word “Hamptons” is basically synonymous with #FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out”.

It seems that literally every weekend in the City someone on social media or one of your friends is talking about this amazing party “out in the Hamptons” and you’re just sitting there thinking, “Well what in the world am I missing out on!!”

Well, if you no longer want to miss out – or just want to enjoy one of New York State’s most beautiful regions – keep heading east on Long Island until you reach the Hamptons!

For a place very similar to Martha’s Vineyard, check out Sag Harbor, a village straddling Southampton and East Hampton that is known for its whaling history, stately homes, and fixture among vacation destinations for the rich and famous.

And, to fully cure that case of #FOMO, head all the way east to Montauk, a village known for its beaches, great surf, and day-and-night-long party scene!

Feel the Electricity of Miami


PC: Aurora Kreativ via Unsplash

It may be that one of my best friend’s father was born and raised in Miami, but, man, there really is something magic about the Magic City.

A melting pot of cultures, beaches, bays, and water, Miami combines natural beauty and cultural vibrancy to form a city truly unlike any other in the world.

Everyone talks about South Beach when discussing Miami, and for good reason. The electric, eastern end strip of Miami Beach (which includes South Beach) is littered with countless waterfront restaurants, luxury Art Deco-inspired hotels, and nightclubs worthy of an incredible vacation.

For something a bit more off-the-beaten-path, however, check out Wynwood, an up-and-coming neighborhood north of downtown Miami known for its coffee shops, upscale shopping, and abundance of local art!

Unwind on a Caribbean Cruise

We’ve all seen the commercials.

Stunning shots of cruise ships anchored amidst gorgeous islands.

Children laughing and having the time of their lives at the water park.

Adults enjoying a light round at the casino or a drink at the bar.

I’ll add that we usually see these commercials in the dead of winter, just so the cruise companies can twist the knife a little bit!

While Caribbean cruises might be the most classic of summer vacation ideas, this is with great reason, as both families and adults (there are many adults-only sections of most cruise ships, including places like the aforementioned casino and bar!) can have a blast on board.

Cruises to destinations like the Bahamas or Jamaica tend to be most popular for Americans, but, if available, try exploring a cruise to the lesser Antilles (islands including Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Grenada) which feature lush landscapes, great snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, and fewer crowds!

So there you go! Five destinations to add to your summer bucket list, with plenty of off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods and activities to keep you coming back year after year.

Where will you go first?

Sher She Goes is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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