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5 unexpected summer vacation spots that are better than the beach

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So over the beach? Are you tired of visiting the same spot in Florida every summer and looking for a change of pace? Every year, Americans flock to popular beach towns like Destin, Myrtle Beach, and Wilmington as soon as the weather warms up.

If you’re a dedicated sun bum or one of the many who had to cancel vacation plans in 2020, you might be looking for something new and exciting this summer.

Whether you are looking for something a little different this year or just trying to avoid that annual sunburn, here is a list of some unexpected vacation spots to change your perspective and get a taste of something new in 2021.

1. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is a vibrant city that will guarantee to show you a good time. Allow yourself to be dazzled by the history that this over 300-year-old city has to offer in the form of arts, food, culture, and architecture. Let New Orleans prove it’s more than just Mardi Gras by visiting the National World War Two Museum, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, or the New Orleans Museum of Art. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the French Quarter, where you can stroll through the city’s oldest neighborhood with your favorite adult beverage in a to-go cup.

2. New York City, NY

Now while #2 isn’t “unexpected,” New York City makes the list because it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for a reason. NYC boasts the best arts and culture, parks, architecture, shopping, and much more.

Take a trip to the Chelsea Market to shop and have a unique lunch before heading out for a stroll on the High Line, a park converted from a former railroad track. Explore Little Italy and taste the best pastries and cakes, or pay a visit to the Museum of Modern art and see Van Gogh’s famous work The Starry Night. The sky is truly the limit to what you can do and explore in “The Big Apple.”

3. Vale, CO

While most people view a trip to beautiful Colorado as a winter activity, Vale is so much more than a haven for skiers and snowboarders. Try ziplining at Epic Discovery, or take a beautiful hike at the Vail Nature Center. Get closer to the water’s edge with an exciting whitewater rafting trip, or find the best fishing lures and try a relaxing afternoon of fishing.

Whether you prefer a chill vacation or a high-octane outdoor experience, Vale can give you a taste of the outdoors without going to the beach.

4. Charleston, SC

Charleston is the best of both worlds when it comes to choosing a vacation spot, as you can choose to go to the beach nearby or just explore what the city has to offer. Charleston is a beautiful city that is steeped in hundreds of years of American history.

Take a walk down to Battery Park and see the famous Rainbow Row, a strip of unique and historic pastel-colored mansions right by the water. Stroll down King Street, where there is an abundance of shopping and five-star dining, or explore the beauty of the Architecture by booking a historical walking tour. Plus, if you are truly missing the beach, it’s only a 30-minute drive to some of the best in the country.

5. Toronto

While you have to renew your passport for this one, Toronto is well worth it. In August, Toronto is a mild 75 degrees and home to a variety of cultural and historical activities. If you love the outdoors, consider taking in the luscious views of Niagara Falls. If you prefer to take in the beauty of the city from indoors, the CN Tower is a must-see attraction that gives you a birds-eye view of Toronto and Lake Ontario. Pay a visit to The Royal Ontario Museum or Ripley’s Aquarium if you’re looking for a first-class indoor cultural activity for you or your family.


Whether you are planning an exciting new vacation while you wait for the vaccine, hoping to check a new city off your bucket list, or you’re just tired of coming home with a suitcase full of sand, there are many unexpected vacation spots you can explore in 2021 that are better than taking that same old beach trip.

Keep your options open this summer and see where it lands you. Happy travels.

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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