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6 Unconventional Summer Vacation Ideas

Are you starting to plan your summer vacations? With the pandemic slowing down and places starting to open back up, people are planning their summer vacations with more enthusiasm than ever before.

According to a recent survey, 60% of Americans plan to travel more in 2021. While it’s great that people are getting excited to travel, the downside is that typical tourist destinations will likely be overcrowded.

If you are wondering over things to do in pigeon forge tn, we suggest considering some unconventional summer vacation ideas. Where should you head this summer that no one else is heading? Read this travel guide to learn about some of the most unusual and unconventional (but still exciting and beautiful!) summer vacation spots.

1. Go Off-Road Camping

With the world re-opening at a rapid rate, there’s no doubt that accommodation in the coming months will be expensive and hard to find. If you’re looking to skip the hassle and expense of booking hotel rooms, consider planning an off-road camping trip for the summer.

Not only is off-road camping more affordable, but it allows you to see the country in a new way and explore nature more intimately. Some of the best off-road camping destinations in the US include:

  • Death Valley National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Inyo National Forest
  • Zion National Park
  • Dalton Highway, Alaska
  • El Camino Del Diablo, Arizona

However, just because off-road camping doesn’t require you to book a hotel room, doesn’t mean it doesn’t take some planning. You can check out this guide to learn more about off road camping.

2. Think Small

When planning summer vacations, most of us tend to think of big cities and popular national parks. However, there are plenty of small towns and state parks worth checking out this summer that won’t be as crowded.

Some of the best small towns to consider visiting in the US include:

  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • St. Augustine, Florida
  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Sonoma, California
  • Taos, New Mexico
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  • Williamsburg, Virginia

Some of the best state parks in the country to visit include:

  • Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay, Minnesota
  • Iao Valley State Park, Hawaii
  • Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado
  • Baxter State Park, Maine
  • Niagara Falls State Park, New York
  • Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska
  • Ecola State Park, Oregon

While these state parks may not be as vast as some of the national parks in the US, many of them are just as beautiful, if not more.

3. Consider Outside the Country

While there’s a lot to see and do inside the US, if you have the time and money, you may want to consider an international summer vacation. Most countries are opening up to US-vaccinated tourists this summer, and while certain spots like Italy and France may be extra busy, there are some under-the-radar countries that you may want to consider checking out.

Here are some of the most underrated countries you may want to visit this summer:

  • Estonia
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Bolivia
  • Dominica
  • Zimbabwe
  • El Salvador
  • Nepal
  • Botswana
  • South Korea
  • Malta
  • Georgia

While some of these destinations are expensive to fly to, you’ll find that once you get there, prices are very affordable. Plus, with things just opening back up, many hotels, restaurants, and sightseeing spots are offering discounted rates to attract more tourists.

4. Explore the Water

This summer is a great time to plan a water-based vacation. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of planning a full two-week cruise, consider taking a short cruise instead.

Short cruises are a nice way to ease into this type of vacation before deciding if it’s for you. Some companies that offer short cruises include:

  • Royal Princess
  • Carnival Valor
  • Norwegian Sky
  • Celebrity Infinity
  • Mariner of the Seas

If you like the idea of spending your vacation on the water but don’t want to take a cruise, consider planning a scuba diving or snorkeling vacation. Some of the best US destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving include Florida, Hawaii, and California. Or, if you’re looking to travel somewhere internationally but nearby, consider Aruba, Mexico, or the Bahamas.

The great thing about spending time on the sea is that it gives you the chance to enjoy a relaxing, tropical vacation away from the crowds.

5. Go On a Wellness Retreat

If you’re looking to use Summer 2021 to get back in shape and get healthier, then consider going on a wellness retreat. The great thing about wellness retreats is that they cap the number of participants. Therefore, you never have to worry about it being overcrowded.

Some of the best places for wellness retreats in the US include:

  • Golden Door, California
  • Castle Hot Springs, Arizona
  • Hilton Head Health, South Carolina
  • Crestone Mountain Zen Center, Colorado
  • The Barns at Troutbeck, New York
  • The Ranch, Malibu

If you’re looking to travel internationally for a wellness retreat, consider heading to Glenorchy, New Zealand, Koh Samui, Thailand, Bali, Indonesia, or Douro Valley, Portugal.

6. Vacation in a Lighthouse

If you’re really looking for a unique summer vacation, consider booking a stay in a lighthouse. There are lighthouses dotted throughout the US that offer hostel stays, bed and breakfast stays, and long-term vacation rentals.

Some of the best lighthouse vacation destinations in the US include Washington, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, and Alaska. You can check out the US Lighthouse Society to learn more about these types of vacations.

Summer Vacation Ideas: Time to Plan Your Summer Trip

Now that you have these summer vacation ideas, it’s time to start planning. As you can see, there are many unconventional routes that you can take for your summer vacation.

Check back in with our blog for more vacation and travel ideas!