You’ve heard people talk about Maui before. The second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands is peppered with multi-coloured beaches, unbelievable scenery and five-star resorts, making it a getaway with a lot to love. Those looking for a little R&R can find peace at a tranquil spa or the beach side while adventurers can go whale-watching, hiking through the Haleakala National Park or take a road trip on the winding road to Hana. Regardless, Maui is full of attractions as its stacked with surf spots, volcanoes and enough spiritual experiences to keep vacationers coming back to the same destination for years to come.
Every Hawaiian island offers something different and Maui provides a luxurious tourist-friendly experience designed for families, couples and solo runs. Just don’t fall for the popular (and authentic) Old Lahaina Luau. Tickets for it are nearly $100 per adult and you’re almost better off covering the island by car and taking in the diverse terrain. Take one step off your incoming flight, inhale the smooth ocean breeze and just try say the words “I want to go home”.
With the harsh winter finally over, Montreal blossoms to become a slice of European culture without the extensive flight and multiple transfers and delays. The Quebec city is full of fascinating historic sites, multiple shopping venues, world-class eateries and a pulsating nightlife environment. To be honest, there’s only one term that truly describes Montreal, and it’s multi-faceted.
The city blends the structure of the Old and New Worlds with 18th-century buildings bumping into 21st-century skylines. Retro houses now provide a home to innovative restos and a multitude of flags signal various districts with emblems from Portugal, India and France. If you have a weakness for the arts, then seeking refuge in the natural sanctuary Mont-Royal or the city’s best museums will keep you occupied, but if you’re a foodie, then getting your paws on a Montreal-style bagel or other marketplace goods will probably be your best bet. Most Montrealers would advise to visit the cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montreal as you can hit up a few historic cathedrals and grab a fresh cappuccino from a traditional French cafe from the boulevard of Saint-Laurent. In fact, the Canadian outpost is a very walkable city – and attractions such as St. Joseph’s Oratory and Parc Jean-Drapeau are also worth visiting – but if you ever grow wear, the public transportation is quite cheap and convenient.
Trinidad & Tobago
It sounds odd but it’s true – the Caribbean doesn’t see a lot of traffic during the summer months as travelers prefer to head there in the winter, not when their variation of summer is in full effect with a slight chance of tropical storms. This usually brings about a few great travel deals during the summer and that also applies to islands outside of the hurricane belt. Trinidad & Tobago is one of those destinaitons and it just so happens to be clustered with remarkable beaches that keep islanders and tourists intrigued. Trinidad is the larger of the two and it’s always bustling with commerce and diversity as the oasis of Creole culture just so happens to be the birthplace of the steel drum, the limbo and a variety of Central and South American fruits. Tobago is just northeast of its neighboring island and is rich in natural wonders and numerous activities for hobbyists who enjoy scuba diving and UV rays.
That’s not to say Trinidad doesn’t have its fair share of beaches. They line almost every side of the island and they range from desolate to festive to romantic with the three primary spots being Mayaro Bay, Maracas and Blanchisseuse. Trinidad is also known for its flora and fauna – its national flower is the Chaconia – but in late February, the island brings out the glitter to celebrate one of the best Carnival parties in the Caribbean.
Brimming with culture, Seattle, WA is one of America’s most unique destinations and is surprisingly a prime go-to in the summer. When the sun is out and the temperatures are comfortable, it’s hard not to join the other prevalent tourists to explore the city’s laid-back attitude and its diverse neighborhoods. Weather aside, Seattle’s home to some of the country’s best coffee and a thriving arts and music scene, but its also pungent with an interesting history and exciting outdoor activities.
The city rests between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, and taking advantage of the water bodies is a major feat to check off the check-list. Some of the most popular outdoor pursuits include kayaking, hiking, camping and getting a good look of the nearby Olympic Mountains and the gigantic Mount Rainier. If you find yourself as traveler that’s pretty okay with the weather – Seattle actually sees less annual precipitation than New York or Boston – then dining downtown should keep you occupied. If not, it doesn’t hurt to add a few days to your trip to make a secondary journey to Portland, Spokane or Vancouver.
As travel sites will note, Mykonos is the center of all sailing. The Greek island between Tinos, Syros, Paros and Naxos, benefits from the summer season as the Mediterranean island turns into Greece’s biggest party mecca. It draws travelers from around the world as the bars, clubs and beach parties aren’t sparse and stay alive well into the early hours of the morning. It’s also a great example of the architecture of ancient cities with cube-shaped buildings, winding roads and beautiful churches that give the island a sense of tradition.
Mykonos’ biggest draw is their silky sand beaches as visitors often come to see them and embrace the nude concept. The attitude also par-lays to the Psarou and Paradise beaches which always get an early start and don’t clear out until the last person leaves the following day. Stores cater to wealthy clients but if you’re a fan of daytime sights, there’s the Ccladic-style buildings of Chora, the windmills of Kato Myli and the ornate temples of Delos. These sites help tourists discover the perfect Greek mix of sophistication and relaxation and don’t pressure you to bring back an expensive souvenir to your homeland.
Biloxi, Mississippi is well known for its Southern charm and its an attribute that many can’t compete with. This affordable retreat is a delightful summer getaway and it can be relatively cheap if you don’t gamble away your savings at the Beau Rivage Casino. Biloxi is a perfectly placed playground of the South as the aforementioned is one of the many casinos that line the Beach Boulevard.
It’s not all high stakes though as Ship Island is a family-friendly environment and the historic Beauvoir grounds can pique the interest of the most casual Civil War enthusiast. Although the city is still recovering from the wreck of Hurricane Katrina, the spirit of Biloxi is resilient as local businesses flourish and local artist displays at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Of Art are musts. For some fun in the sun, visitors can take the ferry around and stretch out over the still-elegant Gulf beaches. Mississippi may not be the brightest or most popular spot in the United States but its overflowing with culture, and if you’re in a tight bind for Air Miles, it can easily entertain guests for less in the summer!
With a population count close to 900,000 people, there truly isn’t a bad time to book a vacation to Fiji. However, locals will tell you that summertime is the best season year-round as its full of constant sunshine and 80-degree temperatures which is perfect for building sandcastles and getting your tan on. July and August tend to draw huge crowds but its well worth the trip with its turquoise waters and gorgeous resorts, and the set of 333 islands is perfect for a wide array of lovebirds.
Even the hit television show “The Bachelorette” filmed one of its seasons in the depths of Fiji and likely because its a place for adventurers like surfers and divers, and those who appreciate coral reefs and geographical wonders like archipelagos. Because its more than 1,300 miles from New Zealand’s North Island in the South Pacific Ocean, its a stop that presents a comforting sense of seclusion, letting you sip Fiji Bitter Beer in peace and watch the sun take a nap below the horizon. Local customs are also a must for those going for the first time as watching fire traditions and indulging in traditional food and drink can be addictive. Just make sure to stick to a few islands at a time. Island-hopping can rack up transportation costs and keep you busy and restless.
It may be the most obscure choice on this list but this summer is the perfect time to explore the Vineyard’s way of life. It’s designed for an easy-going crowd with relaxing walks on the beach, quaint fishing expeditions and scrumptious goods at local stops like The Black Dog Bakery. The triangle-shaped island – which sits just eight miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts – has been a secret hideaway for the rich and famous for years and “Hollywood East” has continued to earn quite the reputation. Its most famous visitors? Reese Witherspoon, David Letterman and Bill Murray are just some of the many but the laid-back atmosphere is what really rules the roost.
Martha’s Vineyard is full of expensive summer homes and exquisite dining but low-key towns like Chilmark, Vineyard Haven and Menemesha offer casual experiences and let you swap your stilettos for sandals. If you just want to keep things simple, opting for a bike ride to explore the smaller parts of the island can also help you experience the Vineyard at its best.
Tropical storm threats be gone, Aruba is located outside of the hurricane belt which makes it a great island spot to trek across before fall invades the year. As history shows, the Spanish colonists who settled in Aruba and its sister islands of Bonaire and Curacao nicknamed the trio in 1513 as the “Islas Inutiles”, also known as the “Useless Islands”. Centuries later, they couldn’t have been more wrong. The southern Caribbean cluster experiences minimal rainfall which attracts a large group of beach enthusiasts every year. And with its exceptional underwater visibility, divers also visit in bunches to explore buried shipwrecks and study a large mass of beautiful coral reefs.
Pricey hotels and stingy airfares have made Aruba an exclusive spot but that’s not exactly the case for Palm Beach. It’s attracted everyone from college kids to honeymooners to baby boomers who race and fight each other for their own shady spot underneath a divi-divi tree. The colonists may have disregarded Aruba for its long-term future but its certainly being taken advantage of now. It’s just up to you to join in on the fun!
Sometimes, a summer vacation can be the cure for anything that ails, but if you’re stuck without options outside of Paris, Rome and Sydney, where’s a traveler to go? Fortunately, the world is full of hidden treasures and tiny jewels enclosed in the Caribbean Seas, Europe and even North America. Nice, France is one of them as the gem of the French Riviera beckons beach-goers with its pebble waterfronts, pastel-coloured architecture and a bevy of palm trees that are always caught in a breeze.
If scenery is your thing, Old Town’s full of baroque churches, Place Massena features modern sculptures and Cimiez is highlighted by ancient Roman Ruins which are worth exploring. On a less serious note, Nice also has a reputation for extravagant partying. It has a thing for the Euro-chic and vibrant nightlife along the Riviera which is perched on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. If you do need a come-down from the highs of the destination, then Nice’s museums, shops and sidewalks are worth indulging as they’re only a short train ride away. Just know that a trip over requires your credit card as you’re bound to rack up purchases alongside the celebs that call the southeast coast of France home.