Summer!!! Vacation! Trips! Roadtrips!
You guys–I have the worst case of wanderlust. We are heading on our big trip of the summer at the end of July and it feels like it might as well be in 2016 for how far away it feels. We will be camping in Durango, Colorado (this will be our third year as we love it so much!) and then heading to Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border for a family reunion. We’ve talked about maybe heading up to Pennsylvania again this summer, but I don’t know if it will happen. Last year we traveled quite a bit and I’m dying to add more to our agenda.
One of my favorite things about travel is just imagining the places that we could go. I love coming up with itineraries and seeking out the fun local things to do while we’re there. I’m guessing it’ll come to no surprise that many of the items on my list are national parks or outdoorsy type places. While I personally would love to lie on the beach, a beach isn’t a very relaxing vacation with kids and I was blessed with one of those husbands who doesn’t really know how to just sit and relax.
Where would we go? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Here are 10 of my stateside dream trips.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
I’m pushing heavily for a trip to Tennessee this fall–I’ve only quickly driven through the state and mostly at nighttime, but I’ve heard it’s absolutely gorgeous and I have a feeling that the girls would love Chattanooga. May as well add a State Park to the list. Have you explored Tennessee? I’ve got an open ear for recommendations!!
Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
Minnesota is one of the few states that I have never visited at all. I’ve heard the flies and mosquitoes are vicious, but I would love to canoe or kayak on one of the many thousands of lakes way up north. And you know, if we just happen to venture into Canadian waters, that’s alright with me, eh.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
I’m still bummed that we didn’t get a chance to make it to Bryce Canyon last summer on our roadtrip extravaganza, but in a way I’m glad we didn’t go as our trip would have been too rushed. I think our family could spend weeks exploring all that Utah has to offer!
Hwy 101, Oregon
In a dream world, Highway 101 is a trip I would love to take without kiddos so that I can ride on the back of a motorcycle. Obviously this won’t happen this summer…or possibly the next 15, but one day I’ll cross this trip off the bucket list!
Zion National Park, Utah
Again with the Utah parks, but look! And this is just across the riverbend (by a few hundred miles) from Bryce, which is just down the proverbial road from Moab. Utah truly is amazing. And if you need further convincing that these parks need to be on your list, check out Jillian’s posts (from Random Bookish Ramblings) of her recent trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon.
Yosemite National Park, California
Scott and I drove through Yosemite once. It was pitch dark outside. True story. We were driving from Tahoe down to Las Vegas and messed up our timing. One day I’d love to take the girls and explore this natural wonderland!
Smoky Mountains National Park
Perhaps a bit gentler than the Western mountain ranges, but still beautiful. I also really want to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina and Virginia (preferably on the back of the bike, but I won’t be picky for this one). And while I’m at it, may as well hike a few miles or more on the Appalachian Trail…another bucket list item.
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Every couple of years my uncle hikes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and stays a few nights in Havasupai. I’ve heard this experience is amazing (yes, it’s on the bucket list), but the last time that they went I was due to have Evie the same weekend. One of these days!
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Oh I had to have something beachy on the list! Really you could substitute anything on the Atlantic coast for this one–where are the good beaches? LOL! I’ve heard the Outer Banks are fantastic and we all need some sand in our toes now and then, right?
Somewhere on the coast of Maine
As youngsters living in Toronto, our parents used to take us to Maine to vacation in the summer. My dad tells me that the water was freezing cold but that didn’t stop us from getting in and swimming to our hearts’ content. I’ve only been to Maine once since those summer vacations–and it was in the chilly fall–but I look forward to going back again. Summer at a cottage seems like the epitome of Summer Vacation.
For Lisa’s sake, I’ll add in Strugis, South Dakota to the list because we love riding in the Black Hills, but as I’m pregnant I won’t be getting on a bike anytime this year. Plus she said the little town’s population will swell to over 1 million this year for the 70th anniversary. But if you’re looking for somewhere to put on your travel bucket list, Black Hills is a must! And since it’s “close” I’d throw in Yellowstone, too.
What is on your Summer Wanderlust Wishlist? I’d love to hear where you dream of going.