Written by: Chelsea Li
As the weather is getting warmer and the days longer, it’s time to kick back and unplug from our busy lives for a bit! With summer here, why not take advantage of a particularly warm weekend and get away from the city? Whether you’re traveling alone or with loved ones, there’s somewhere for everyone to find peace before heading back into the week refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are a couple of our favorite weekend getaway spots that are just the right distance from the city for the next long weekend!
SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
- Find Your Zen: This coastal California county is home to a host of dazzling natural sights, from serene beaches to majestic redwood forests. For some scenic views, hike down to Natural Bridges State Beach for sweeping views of rock formations and tidepools teeming with sea creatures.
- Fun for the Family: If you’re traveling with kids, the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a great place for them to enjoy amusement attractions while you lounge on the beach. The boardwalk is California’s oldest surviving amusement park and one of the few right by the beach!
- Stay Active: You can also switch up your workout at the gym for a hike instead, as Santa Cruz is surrounded by nature preserves and miles of trails. What better way to release stress and anxiety than spend a day surrounded by ancient trees, trickling streams, and birdsong?
- Find Your Zen: Sanibel Island, the ideal tropical getaway, is just a couple hours away from Orlando and Miami. This little barrier reef island boasts quiet beaches with pretty seashells, gentle waves, and lots of sunlight that’s sure to please all your senses.
- Fun for the Family: If you’re feeling adventurous, Captiva Island, just six miles long and a quarter mile wide, is 20 minutes away. Stop by the Bubble Room, a colorful restaurant filled with antique toys that are sure to intrigue the kids.
- Stay Active: Going on a bike ride along scenic trails is an ideal way to soak in that sunlight you’ve been missing in the city while getting your workout on at the same time. If you’ve got a fishing license and score a catch, one restaurant, the Lazy Flamingo, is willing to cook your fish for you!
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASSACHUSETTS
- Find Your Zen: Martha’s Vineyard is another quaint island getaway only accessible by boat or air, off the coast of Massachusetts. With its breathtaking natural sights, small fisheries, and homely restaurants, the small island is a breath of fresh air away from the smells and sights of the concrete jungle. Enjoy a relaxing walk along the coast, where there’s always something to see, from lighthouses to towering cliffs.
- Fun for the Family: Spread across 19 acres, Island Alpaca is an ideal attraction for your entire family; after all, who can object to petting these gentle, fluffy creatures? You can even try some special activities, such as yoga with the alpacas, while you’re there!
- Stay Active: If you’re down for a half-day trip, pack a picnic basket and head to the small peninsula of Chappaquiddick via ferry. Enjoy a quiet walk by the waterside of the little retreat, untouched by stores or restaurants.
LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA
- Find Your Zen: Located along the state line separating Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is best known for its ski resorts and clearwater beaches. Lake Tahoe’s many pristine beaches possess an entirely different feeling than any coastal beaches, with water so clear you can count the pebbles on the lake bottom. What else can you ask for to soothe your mind?
- Fun for the Family: There are quite a few state parks along the lake’s shores, so you’re sure to find a suitable hiking trail for everyone. There are natural sights to see all around the lake, from massive boulders framing the Balancing Rock Trail to giant sequoias and fields of wildflowers all along the coast.
- Stay Active: Emerald Bay State Park is a popular destination for hiking, snorkeling, and boating. Hike up a short trail for a stunning panoramic view of the entire lake. Here, you’ll definitely get to spend a lot of time outside and get in your dose of Vitamin D for the week.
IOWA GREAT LAKES
- Find Your Zen: For those living in the Midwest, the Okoboji area is home to naturally formed, glacier lakes, right along the Iowa-Minnesota border. With villas and cabins right by the water, it’s bound to be a relaxing filled weekend of stunning lakeside views.
- Fun for the Family: With amusement parks, wineries, museums, and of course, sunny shores along the lakes, the Okoboji region is filled with activities for the whole family.
- Stay Active: There is no end your choices in water sports: from parasailing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more, we recommend Okoboji Water Sports for all of your water adventure needs!