People who live within a few hours of the coast often spend every bit of their vacation time enjoying what the ocean, beaches, and boardwalks have to offer. For some, this is a dream vacation; toes in the sand, sun on your face, salt in your hair. However, for others, it may be nothing more than a family tradition you’re desperate to shake; a place you’ve seen so many times that it’s actually boring now. No matter your reasons, there’s nothing wrong with spending one summer’s vacation somewhere other than where you’ve been going every year since the day you were born. Here are a few interesting vacation destinations that will take you somewhere that isn’t the beach!
1. The Mountains
There are plenty of beautiful mountain ranges scattered around the U.S., and each has something special to offer its visitors. The fun thing about mountains is that they can be equally enjoyed in both the summertime and the wintertime, as many mountains double as ski slopes once the first snow comes. There’s the Rocky Mountains of the Northwest, which are absolutely gorgeous. Bright blue bodies of water meet acres of perfectly straight and tall pine trees, amidst a background of soaring snow-capped jagged mountains. There’s the Appalachian Mountains to the Northeast which have various ski resorts perfect for that quiet winter getaway. No matter your mountain vacation plans, there’s an ideal mountain for you!
2. National Parks
National parks are areas of the country that are either historically or environmentally valued and are thus protected by the government. They are conserved so that they may be enjoyed and appreciated by the public, and that’s you! Places like Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park are areas of distinct natural beauty, and so they are wonderful places to take a vacation! Relax in the quiet preservation of nature and reconnect with both yourself and the world you live in. There are national parks all over the country, but some of the notable ones are the Badlands in South Dakota, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and the Sequoia trees in California. These are all world-famous places to visit, and you could be one of their next tourists!
These vacation destinations are perfect for you nature lovers, as most of these sights are nature-based. There are a few that might interest you city-goers if you’re willing to have an open mind! In St. Louis, Missouri, there’s a national park called the Gateway Arch, which is a huge 630 foot tall arch in the middle of the city to commemorate Lewis and Clark’s westward expedition. There’s a national park to interest anyone, so go check them out!
3. Big Cities
The previous set of vacation destinations was more for those readers who love all things nature. This option is for those of you who thrive on action, noise, and crowds. New York City is an obvious choice for vacationing because it has everything. Want to go shopping? There are too many districts to list. Want to eat? You can find all types of different worldly foods, as well as your everyday food places like McDonald’s. Want to see historical places? There’s the Statue of Liberty, Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and so many more. There’s art and music and history and even a touch of nature here, and it makes for a wonderful vacation destination
There are other cities with special things to offer as well. Looking for more history? Check out Philly, or Boston. Want more of the arts and entertainment? Check out Portland, Oregon, and LA. Want to see some culture? Head down to New Orleans or west to San Francisco. There’s a U.S. city that is sure to keep anybody interested, so be sure to put a city trip on your list of future vacation destinations!
4. The Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are like freshwater oceans. They are so large that they have their own waves, which attract those who love beach-like settings and activities, such as surfing. The main difference? You’re surrounded by nature, in many cases, close to forests and unpopulated nature. Beaches are overpopulated because the government allows them to be. Because seven areas in the Great Lakes region are considered national parks, much of the area is protected by the United States government, which means businesses and homeowners can’t touch the land. This reserves much of the beautiful scenery to be explored and enjoyed without the hassles of privacy laws and so on. You can visit the five Great Lakes, Michigan, Erie, Huron, Superior, and Ontario, from nine different states, and Canada’s Ontario!
5. Theme Parks
The final entry on our list of vacation destinations that totally aren’t the beach is probably the most exciting, especially for young people and people who just love an innocent and fun time. It’s time to stop trying to kid yourself that theme parks are only for children. Theme parks are geared towards visitors of all ages, and I think it’s safe to say that sometimes the parents enjoy the fun just as much (if not more!) than the kids do. There’s a few well-known theme parks in America, such as Disney World, Disneyland, Universal, and Hershey.
If you’re planning a long vacation and you’re heading to Florida, you could enjoy both Disney World and Universal Studios, or you could simply spend your entire stay in the Disney Parks. The millions who go year after year know that there’s plenty of things to do there, and you’ll never get bored. Disney World features four distinct parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is all about the classic Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella (and her castle!), and Peter Pan. Epcot features interesting and cultural buildings from cultures all around the world, such as Japan, Italy, Mexico, and Norway. Hollywood Studios features Toy Story Land and a Star Wars-themed land Galaxy’s Edge. Finally, for you nature and animal lovers, there’s Animal Kingdom!
California has both Disneyland and a Universal park, as well, so you could plan a similar trip. However, Disneyland is not even a fraction of the size of Disney World’s whopping 43 square miles of theme park, so keep that in mind while booking!
Which of these non-coastal vacation destinations will you visit this year? Tell us in the comments below!
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My name is Casey, and I'm an ambitious 22 year old senior English major with a minor in Creative Writing. I love all kinds of writing, so I plan to get a Master's degree in Creative Writing after graduation. My goal here at Society19 is to share my writing with the world in a way that is meaningful and relevant to my readers' lives. I am thrilled to share my ideas and creativity with you all, and I thank you for reading! Humbly Yours, Casey Erin