Considering where to vacation and travel this summer? Several considerations should be made. Do you want to travel abroad or stay within the borders, weekend warrior or two-month getaway, bricks or beaches, site seeing or seeing nothing, family vacation or romantic getaway and of course hot or cold?
The choices are practically limitless even with global events having an impact on the destinations you may choose. However, let’s begin in our own 3.8 million square miles. The U.S. has a lot of ground to cover and can often be overlooked when considering a summer vacation. No one wants to brag about spending their summer in North Carolina or Nebraska when colleagues are showing pictures from their French Riviera trip on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. Or do you? 16 hours, 15 minutes and two stops both ways versus a two hour direct flight to North Carolina. France in the summer can be amazing, and like most, the vision or memory of cruising along the coastal French Riviera, sipping on rose’, frolicking in lavender fields and picnics in Parisian parks sound incredible. And they are but keep in mind more than 85 million people visit France, with the majority during the summer months. The two-hour flight to North Carolina may start to sound a little better.
According to lonleyplanet.com, they compile the best 2017 U.S. destination list. Every year the site’s staff travels from the sweeping mountain ranges to the tropical coastlines to provide their list of America’s unmissables, underrated and off the radar places to visit.
1. Ashville, North Carolina
It may not be the French Riviera but it does have the French Broad River, River Arts District, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area has been emerging with a good amount of James Beard-nominated chefs, craft spirits, and beers along with over 200 artists showcasing their work.
2. Western Washington State
3. Lincoln, Nebraska
4. Coachella Valley in California’s southern desert
5. Montana’s Flathead Valley
6. Atlanta, Georgia
7. The Adirondacks, New York
8. Texas Hill Country’s wine region
9. Denver, Colorado
10. Florida’s Emerald Coast
We went with Travel and Leisure’s (travelandleisure.com) 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017 for abroad. Travel and Leisure survey writers based around the world and work with their A-list travel specialists for several months to develop their list. Here are ten of their best abroad:
1. Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Angra dos Reis means “Bay of the Kings.” Angra dos Reis is a Brazilian municipality in the southwest Rio de Janeiro state. It’s made up of 365 islands and a small port surrounded by steep, forested coastline. The region is known for its many pristine beaches and biodiverse Ilha Grande, the largest island. Vila do Abraão is the island’s main village, with restaurants, bars and the St. Sebastian Church at its heart.
2. Belfast, Northern Ireland
3. Belgrade, Serbia
5. Cambodian Coast
6. Cape Town, South Africa
7. Devon, England
8. Guayaquil, Ecuador
9. Hamburg, Germany
10. Hampi, India
The most important decision you make this summer whether traveling the U.S. or abroad, make the decision to smile, laugh, have fun and share with others. Have a great summer!