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Top Trips | End of Summer + Fall Getaways

Great Destinations for Last Minute Trips


As the end of summer nears and the school year approaches again, it is fun to plan a last minute trip. There are many destinations that the whole family will love as a final summer trip before the end of summer. Here are a few fantastic ideas for vacations throughout the United States.

Glacier Bay National Park, AK

This park in Alaska covers over 3 million acres of beautiful Alaskan land. During a visit to this destination travelers can enjoy the mountains, glaciers, fjords and much more. Visitors can only access this park by boat or sea plane, including cruise boats, tour boats and the ferry. Glacier Bay National Park is a wonderful destination to enjoy some wildlife viewing, including humpback whales, bears, mountain goats and more. There are many activities to enjoy while visiting Glacier Bay National Park, travelers can see the park by cruise, or take guided and unguided tours of , or even experience some backcountry camping. One special experience in this park is the opportunity to see an actual glacier. Glacier Bay National Park has seven active glaciers that visitor can see.

Channel Islands, CA

The Channel Islands are an amazing archipelago off the coast of California. Here visitors can enjoy the Channel Islands National Park, or visit the most populated of the archipelago's islands, Catalina Island. During a visit to the Channel Islands visitors can enjoy a wide variety of land and water destinations. The Channel Islands National Park protects five of the islands. Within the protection of the park there is a wide variety of wildlife, as well as natural and cultural resources. Visitors should keep an eye out for seals, sea lions, dolphins, and many more. Catalina Island is part of the Southern Channel Islands and while staying there visitors can enjoy all types of recreation, including biking, hiking, golfing, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and even a zip line tour. This trip is sure to start out exciting since the only way to access the islands is either by boat, or a helicopter flight from one of two coastal locations.

Bahia Honda Key, FL

One of Florida's beautiful keys, Bahia Honda Key is home to Bahia Honda State Park. Visitors to the park will find several beautiful white sand beaches, with soft fine sand and beautiful clear water. Fun beach activities include snorkeling, beachcombing, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking and more. Bahia Honda State Park has over 500 acres in the park, which includes 2.5 miles of the beautiful beaches. This destination is a wonderful end of summer destination, with warm weather and stunning beaches.

The Big Island, HI

Hawaii's islands are filled with fun family destinations. Visitors will get to explore some very unique destinations and enjoy plenty of fun in the sun. The Big Island is the largest of the islands and offers a wide range of activities, from the beaches to the snowy mountaintop. Travelers can spend time snorkeling, swimming, surfing and many more amazing activities. Each of the island's towns has delicious dining, shopping and a fun atmosphere. The Big Island is also the only island to have an active volcano. Visitors can travel upland on the island to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the impact of the volcano. Sometimes travelers even can walk out to see the flowing lava and other times travelers can take a helicopter tour.

Boundary Waters, MN

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a United States Wilderness Area which protects the southern part of the wilderness region that straddles the United States-Canada border between Ontario and Minnesota. The wilderness area is 1.3 million acres of waterways and land. Visitors can enjoy 1,200 miles of canoe routes and 11 hiking trails. As a protected wilderness area, all recreation is limited to the style used by the French Voyageurs 200 years ago, including canoeing, portages and camping. Visitors are also required to get a permit before enjoying an adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Ocean City, NJ

This East Coast city offers summer vacationers a wonderful fun filled destination. Ocean City is home to a fantastic Boardwalk, which also includes a gigantic Ferris Wheel, which is perfect for an exciting family vacation. Travelers can spend time walking on the boardwalk, enjoying the many rides, experiencing the excitement of the water slide and much more. In addition the boardwalk is filled with fun and delicious dining options. Ocean City is also an amazing surfing destination. The beach has a sandbar, but the jetties give the surfing consistency. The nearby Central Coast has heavier surf for those seeking a more exhilarating experience.

Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe is a great destination for art and culture enthusiasts to take a last minute summer vacation. This city highlights the unique culture of the southwest and features the amazing artwork of the Pueblo Peoples. Santa Fe is the place for visitors wanting to experience art at it's greatest. The city has over 300 galleries and dealers. For those that prefer the environment of the museum above the gallery there are also plenty of attractions of interest. Also, Santa Fe is the home of the annual Indian Market, which is the biggest event in the city each year. Visitors to the Market will find hundreds of booths and artists featuring the unique are of the southwest. Southwestern cuisine is also a great benefit of a visit to Santa Fe.

Pawleys Island, SC

This South Carolina barrier island is filled with beautiful white sand beaches, dunes and a wonderful relaxed summer atmosphere. Here families, especially families with children can relax before the start of the school. Visitors can rent a little beach house for the family and enjoy the warm summer days and the beautiful beach. Children will love playing in the beautiful white sand. Visitors can also enjoy days of bike rides and walks on the beach. There are plenty of nearby destinations to explore as well, including Myrtle Beach, Huntington Beach State Park and more.

Southern Utah

Utah is filled with stunning natural features. The southern part of the state is especially filled with spectacular destinations. Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the stunning Canyon, which extends down 2000 feet and has unique rock formations called "hoodoos" which are spires formed by the freeze and thaw cycle. Zion National Park also has many canyons, which are great for enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Canyonlands National Park is filled with canyons, mesas and buttes formed by the Colorado River. Visitors can choose to visit one or all of the four unique districts, which include sandstone spires, 1000 foot tall mesas, remote destinations and wonderful trail systems. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument covers almost 1.9 million acres, and is home to some of the most spectacular geological features in the western US.  The Grand Staircase is a series of gigantic steps that ascend from the Grand Canyon, extending from the floor of the Grand Canyon to the Paunsaugunt Plateau at Bryce Canyon. Hikers can visit Buckskin Gulch, which has one of the longest canyon hikes in the world. At the Escalante Canyons visitors can learn about the Anasazi culture, hike through the canyons and see the natural bridges. Arches National Park is another one of Utah's beautiful destination. This park preserves many sandstone arches, which provide wonderful scenic views, as well as excellent hiking. One great way to learn about some of the most amazing sights in the park, as well as the formation of the features is to enjoy a Ranger-Led Program in the park.

San Juan Islands, WA

The San Juan Islands are an ideal northwest Washington vacation getaway. They are remote and filled with Washington's natural beauty. Located in the Salish Sea between Vancouver, BC and Seattle, there are over 700 islands, and less than 200 have names. Visitors will find that access to the islands is limited to ferry, private boat or plane, and only four of the islands are accessible by ferry. These four islands are Shaw Island, Lopez Island, Orcas Island and San Juan Island. Each of these four islands has unique character as well as unique geography. On the islands visitors can enjoy the extensive shoreline, wildlife and plenty of recreation. Visitors can enjoy biking, boating, camping and more. Each of these main islands also has a small town with unique shops, museums, local farms and the delightful local farmers markets. Whale watching is also a great activity that visitors to the island can enjoy.



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