Summer is almost over. The kids are headed back to school, and we will all soon be back to the daily routines of early fall. Although this might be a saddening thought, don't start planning your holiday getaway yet. Use what's left of summer for some real rest and relaxation so that you can face the coming months with positivity and vigor. Below you will find suggestions for rejuvenating and relaxing vacations to ease out of summer for all budgets and travel interests. You'll also find ideal locations for families, solo travelers, and couples. After all, each person's idea of relaxations is a little bit different.
Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S.A.
A trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, invokes all the visions of the perfect seaside getaway. Located on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor remains famous for its close proximity to the postcard-perfect landscapes of Acadia National Park. Outdoor enthusiasts can camp at the park, but there is no shortage of bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels in the area if tents or RVs aren't your thing. After a long day exploring the rocky cliffs and visiting lighthouses along the coast, don't forget to enjoy some of the freshest seafood you can find, especially the famed Maine lobster. You can also find a variety of craft breweries in the area. Atlantic Brewing Company offers tours and tastings of some of their unique brews, and they also provide kid-friendly homemade sodas.
If you are looking for a tropical getaway to relax as fall approaches, consider heading to Bali, Indonesia, also known as paradise. June, July, and August are the best months to travel to the island because it's the driest time of year. Bali's varied landscapes offer many types of activities ideal for relaxation. You can head inland to Ubud, the cultural and creative heart of the island, where you can visit temples and ancient monuments among the rice paddies scattered in the area. If you prefer a lively resort area, spend your time on the island in Kuta. You can sunbathe, surf, and dive all day. When the sun goes down, you will find some of the best nightlife on the island. Also, consider experiencing one of the many yoga and meditation retreats found on the island.
Ely, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Head to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to ease out of summer. You can find a clean freshwater lake for fishing, boating, water sports, and swimming anywhere you look in Northern Minnesota, but Ely is one of the many great jumping-off points in the area. Visitors can find resorts and cabins on one of the many nearby lakes such as Shagawa Lake, Burntside Lake, and Lake Vermilion. Ely also serves as a gateway for exploring the Boundary Waters between the U.S. and Canada, one million acres of wilderness with more than 1,500 water trails to go canoeing or kayaking. If your idea of relaxation includes "going off the grid," look no further than Ely. Finding reliable internet and phone service is challenging in this remote area.
Those who visit Italy always want to return. The country's rich history, world-famous food, large urban centers, charming rural areas, and access to some of the most exquisite art make it a favorite vacation destination. With so much to offer, it's difficult to see everything in one trip. If you're looking for pure relaxation, skip the tourists in Rome and head for Italy's Tuscany region. Enjoy a culinary escape and sample food and wine, and immerse yourself in nature while hiking mountain paths in the Apennines, or biking among the area's famed Chianti vineyards. Tuscany is also coastal, so if you visit near the end of summer, you can enjoy time at the beach or visit the largest of the area's islands, Elba.
Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.
Napa Valley has long been the leading destination in the United States for wine lovers, but the area has so much more to offer than vineyards. Calistoga, a charming town in the valley, offers a range of outdoor activities and wellness options. You can find a wide variety of spas and fitness centers in the area, but don't miss the mineral pools and hot springs scattered throughout the region. Some examples include The Baths at Roman Spa, which offer hot springs as well as mud baths, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs offers four mineral water pools, and Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort offers access to natural hot springs.
The Land of Fire and Ice offers adventure travelers the opportunity to trek among volcanoes and glaciers, but a trip to Iceland doesn't have to involve grueling expeditions. The island's geothermal activity draws visitors from around the world who want to soak away their stress in natural hot springs, especially the famous Blue Lagoon. Located near Iceland's capital and principal city, Reykjavík, in the village of Grindavik, the Blue Lagoon offers day visits, or you can book a stay at their Retreat or Silica Hotels. During your stay in Iceland, you can also enjoy a vibrant music and art scene. History buffs can learn about the island's rich Viking history.
Nestled in the foothills of Spain's Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is the perfect end-of-summer vacation for those who like to eat, drink, and be merry to relax. Although travelers are surrounded by stunning Moorish architecture, panoramic views of the city and Alhambra Palace, and friendly locals, food, spirits, and music contribute to the soothing environment of this laid-back Andalusian city. Granada is the birthplace of tapas and flamenco music. Wander the streets of the city and visit restaurants and pubs where you can enjoy a local beer, a glass of sangria, or another cocktail with several different kinds of tapas. Afterward, head to the historic Albaicín to view Alhambra lit up in its nighttime glory and attend a flamenco show at one of the nearby establishments.