June 18, 2019 | 65° F

As summer break approaches, ideal destinations await

Photo by Wikimedia |
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA at sunset.

“What time is it?” If you were a "High School Musical" fanatic way back when, you probably sang those few words and know what comes after: “Summertime!” And although we are not watching the clock tick until the last bell like Troy and Gabriella, most of us are counting down the days until finals. After being teased with a glimpse of freedom during spring break, you’ve been daydreaming about where to travel next. You don’t want to spend all your savings, but you do want to treat yourself to a mini-vacation. So, if you still don’t have plans or are in the middle of researching online, look no further than the list below. Invite your family or some of your closest friends and prepare to live like a local. 

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming 

Travel should not be limited to just sand and palm trees. Located in the Northwest corner of Wyoming stands one of the most renowned national parks in the country. When some people hear about national parks, they wonder: what else is there to do besides look at rocks? Fortunately, most national parks are surrounded by diverse wildlife so if you are not interested in observing, why not take a hike off the beaten path. Also, many only know about the legendary Old Faithful geyser, but there is actually so much more to do. Yellowstone is home to more than 500 hot springs, some of which are accessible to the public. 

San Francisco, California 

Next up on the West Coast — also known to some as the “best coast” — is San Francisco. It is one of the most frequented places in California that also happened to host the family-friendly TV show "Full House," which could be another incentive to come explore. Undoubtedly, the Golden Gate Bridge is the city’s main attraction, but instead of walking, you can also bike across to admire and photograph the amazing views. In addition, San Francisco is home to the famous Lombard Street, known for its tight curves, as well as Pier 39. If you are interested in a little history, definitely take a boat ride to see Alcatraz Island (beware of any ghosts!)   

New Orleans, Louisiana 

Many don’t think New Orleans is the place to be this summer, but just because Mardi Gras has ended, does not mean the party has ended as well. There are so many things to do in this beautiful city, especially taking a visit to Royal Street. Situated right next to Bourbon Street, it is home to New Orleans’ local art hub. Some of the most historic artworks are located here and make excellent photo-ops for those who enjoy Instagram and Facebook. If you are looking for food, the restaurants Toast and Raw Republic are worth checking out. 

Willemstad, Curaçao

Interested in something more tropical, but don’t want to break the bank? The historic, rugged island of Curaçao is the place to be. Willemstad is similar to an Old World European city because of its beautiful architecture and art. The famous picture that everyone sees when you google the island is of the brightly painted Dutch buildings, which reflect colors of pink, yellow and blue. If you want something tropical, the marine life is extremely active here and the island provides excellent water activities, such as scuba diving and snorkeling. So why not try to take a dip here and start researching the beaches of this island. 

Rome, Italy  

You might be wondering how a European city known for its many landmarks and historic sights could be affordable, especially if you are on a budget. Fear no more, Rome is the place to be this summer and if you have learned anything during Art History, you would understand how amazing it would be to visit the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. And after a full day of activities, it is almost imperative for you to try out classic, homemade pasta and pizza. When you're done sight-seeing the Trevi Fountain, we hope you wished for some gelato. 

Elizabeth Leoce

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