Let’s start with a blatantly obvious statement: summer is really hot. The word itself evokes images of men and women in bathing suits, lounging on a sandy beach or poolside, while children run around and playfully shout in the shallow waters. Aquatic-based activities – whether they are beach trips, days spent at the pool, water-park excursions, etc. – go as hand-in-hand with summer as the changing of the leaves do to fall. To help you maximize your summer vacation, we have listed the five best water-themed vacations and trip ideas around the United States and Canada.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is one of the most popular tourist beaches in the country, providing an endless supply of summer fun: in addition to the vast amount of activities on the beach, which include swimming and surfing, there are opportunities for kayaking, golfing, and biking. The beach itself is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest stretch of pleasure beach in the world. Stroll down to the three-mile boardwalk, which is constantly packed with entertainment from live music to cafes, as well as being lined with hotels and resorts, so that you will never be without a place to stay.
Disney World Water Parks (Typhoon Lagoon/Blizzard Beach), Orlando, Florida
The Disney World Parks and Resorts in Orlando are already extremely popular destinations for families, but the summer months are an especially great time to visit what has become one of the most beloved tourist destinations in the world. Disney World has two themed water-parks on its grounds: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Each park has its own background story: the first is designed like a bay that has just been hit by a tropical storm; the second is modeled after a ski resort, with the added twist that all the snow is melting. Plummet down one of the parks’ steep, exhilarating slides, or merely sit back, relax, and float away down the lazy river.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
A go-to shooting location for any film or television show that needs a shot of a Los Angeles beach, the beach at Venice has a mile-long boardwalk that serves as a cross-section of local culture. Street artists and performers dot the boardwalk, ready to amaze. Murals stretch across the facades of buildings. The public, outdoor basketball courts are where many professional players honed their skills before they entered the NBA. Then, when you’ve had your fill of the beach, you can explore the interior streets of Venice to find even more entertainment and shopping opportunities.
Whale Watching, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Okay – the summer tends to be all about the beaches. Just about everyone wants to kick back on the sand and in the sun, taking some time to cool off in the water. But the beach is not for everyone; some people find sand annoying, don’t like the crowds, etc. If you’re one of these types, but still desire a perfect vacation (and who doesn’t need that?) centered on aquatic activities, book a trip to Vancouver, BC, and hop on a whale watching tour, which will sail you out onto the cool waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean, where you can relax while you look out across the sea to try to spot one of these massive, beautiful creatures.
Mississippi River Cruise, Memphis, Tennessee
The Mighty Mississippi – the largest river in the United States and a region brought to life by Mark Twain, one of America’s greatest men of letters, in his classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, this immense body of water stretches from northern Minnesota all the way south through the American heartland before draining into the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. Memphis, TN, sits right on the banks of this iconic river, and visitors during the summer should consider taking a cruise in a classic-style riverboat, much like the one that Twain himself worked on. From Memphis, you can cruise to many of the other cities located on the Mississippi, such as St. Louis and New Orleans.
Buses to any of these cities, and more, are available for low prices at GotoBus.com. Don’t forget, there are also further discounts available if you decide to book you bus tickets and hotel stay together – but book soon or else the summer will fly by you.