Five Places to Explore this Summer

Five Places to Explore this Summer

| No Raisins Trail Mix

May is here which means things are heating up and, if you’re like us, you’re anxious to get outside and make your summer plans. Look no further because we’ve got the perfect list for you – there’s something for everyone to enjoy, now matter what you like. 

So check out these five places to explore and start booking flights ASAP!

A photo of trees and cactuses in Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree

Where hipsters go to stargaze

Where it is: California

Why you should go:

  • It has some of the best stargazing you’ll ever see. The closest major city is 300 miles away, so it gets dark – real dark. 😎
  • With hiking that overlooks the Coachella valley, you get to imagine yourself at Coachella without having to actually go to Coachella. What could be better?
  • Where else can you go to an outdoor art museum? The answer is “nowhere.” Just google “Integatron” and thank us later.

Learn more about Joshua Tree and get your hiking shoes ready.

A harbor in the Florida Keys with streets and shops on the left with docking and boats in the center.

Florida Keys

Live your best Pirate Life

Where it is: Florida (obviously)

Why you should go:

  • Wikipedia claims Ponce de Leon caught 160 Sea Turtles in the Dry Tortugas. (And you can believe everything you read on Wikipedia.) Take a day trip and see how many you can find yourself.
  • The Florida Keys have some of the best diving in the world. Here you can find reef and wreck diving, both teeming with aquatic life, in waters that average 80 degrees in the summer. 🤌
  • Like sunsets? Sipping drinks? Southern points? Anything else that starts with S? Look no further than Duvall Street and Mallory Square in Key West. The most southern point in the US has a little something for everyone, no matter what your scene is.
Get your sunscreen ready and start planning your trip!
People playing in a stream running through the middle of a canyon in Zion National Park.

Zion National Park

The “City of God” (AKA our backyard)

Where it is: Utah

Why you should go:

  • Ever ridden a subway in the desert? Yeah, us neither, but we have been to one of the coolest slot canyons you’ll ever see (btw, it’s called “The Subway”). It’s an intense hike but totally worth it.
  • Zion is so big, the only way to get around it is driving, which provides scenic views galore. It’s a great way to see TONS of wildlife and take note of all the spots you want to visit next time.
  • It’s popular but so totally worth it. Make sure you plan for it – that way you spend more time IN nature than in line to get to nature.

See how you can get flyin' to Zion (sorry about the Dad joke).

An overhead drone shot of downtown Chattanooga, TN. You can see the aquarium, downtown streets and a river in the background running through the middle of the photo.

Chattanooga, TN

obscure fish and an underground waterfall

Where it is: Tennessee

Why you should go:

  • Is the underground waterfall actually real? Can you really see seven states? Are the hiking trails as good as they say? Yes, yes and yes! Chattanooga is a town for outdoor adventurers but also has plenty of activities for families or those who want to take it just a little slower.
  • With the Tennessee River cutting through the middle of downtown, it’s the perfect leisurely afternoon kayak or swim. Or if you have a greater need for speed, take a trip down the Ocoee River and hit the whitewater rapids engineered for the 1996 Olympics.
  • Want to see as many parts of the earth as possible? Check out the Tennessee Aquarium, which boasts species from the river which it sits on as well as some of the most remote waters on the earth.

Go see the Scenic City for all it's worth!

The sun sets over the water in Bar Harbor Maine with a lighthouse in the upper right corner.

Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor

Hike, eat, repeat

Where it is: Maine

Why you should go:

  • Wake up to a gorgeous sunrise at Cadillac Mountain – one of the most eastern parts of the US – and then watch the sunset at Bass Harbor Lighthouse. It’s what we like to call “the perfect day” in Acadia National Park.
  • What if someone in your group wants to go hiking and another wants to lay on the beach while another wants to go paddleboarding? Not to worry because you actually CAN hike, lay on the beach and go kayaking all in the same day. It’s called “having your cake and eating it too” in Maine terms.
  • Hello, Lobster 🦞 (need we say more?!)! From fresh seafood to blueberry pie, the food scene in Bar Harbor is UNREAL. It’s the perfect place to wind down and relax after a day filled with activities.

Better pack your eating pants and your hiking pants and your beach pants – Maine's got it all.