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Where Can You Go This Summer?

When the sun rises earlier and sets later, students start getting restless waiting for summer break. As we sit in class, the sun is getting brighter outside and the temperature is getting warmer. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been dying to get outside and live a little instead of falling asleep in a cold, quiet classroom. With so little free time as full-time students and part-time workers, we all need a long break.

Four school days left for seniors, and 12 for juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.

Most students already have this summer’s vacations all booked, planned, and ready to go. However, if you’re nearing freedom and are starting to panic with no plans this summer, I have five summer vacation spots that I can personally review.


Florida

If you don’t mind the heat and the lizards, Florida can be for you. An ideal stay in Florida can be anything from staying with your grandparents who most likely have a house down there, to spending a few nights at a beachfront hotel that will cost you all of your graduation money. Another option to consider inviting your parents to come and pay is renting a vacation house for the week that will most definitely come with a pool. Florida is an amazing vacation destination if you don’t mind hanging out with your family and burning on the beach. With many amazing restaurants and adventurous experiences, this state can feel like it’s made for summer break.


North Carolina

Another popular vacation destination that just may cost you an arm and a leg. Everyone knows the coastal states are the places to be every summer. There’s nothing Americans love more when it gets hot out than to migrate to the ocean. In North Carolina, you can rent another house for a week with an even bigger pool in the backyard (the Atlantic). There are many fun summer activities to do in North Carolina such as explore Raliegh, browse the summer-themed shops, or a little kid’s personal favorite: crab collecting. Despite the misleading name, this activity actually includes grabbing a sand castle bucket and scanning the sand for little crabs. Surprisingly enough, there are enough crabs to catch a good few (please release them back if you are brave enough to catch them. In all seriousness, however, this is an amazing, relaxing vacation idea for spending time with the family or the friends you bring and letting go of your stress to the sound of the waves.


Georgia

When you think about heading to the south for a nice vacation, you might not think of Georgia. Even though it doesn’t get much hype, the countryside of Georgia is quite beautiful and worth the visit. Do you remember the blizzards from last winter? If you hate freezing weather and annoying snow, Georgia is the perfect getaway for you. Real words from a Georgia local to back this statement up are, “every morning you wake up and go outside, you get a steaming facial because of the 100% humidity and 100° weather, great for your pores.” Not the best picture but it sure paints one. The further south you go, Georgia has gorgeous beaches and vibrant foliage. If the tropical vacation right here in the US doesn’t convince you, maybe the biggest Aquarium in North America will. Home to the only Whale shark in the continent, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is one of the most famous aquariums in the world and 100% worth the visit.


Tennessee

When you think of Southern vacations this time, you might just be thinking of Tennessee. If you visited Georgia as I told you to and thought it was beautiful, you haven’t seen anything yet. Tennessee is home to some of the greatest mountains in the US, the Great Smoky Mountains—it's in the name. Not only can you hike these gorgeous mountains, stand under their beautiful waterfalls, and see them from miles away, but you can also visit the theme park that resides on them. Right in Gatlinburg, TN, there's a theme park called Anakeesta where you can ride a ski lift all the way to the top for a mountain coaster, a mountain-top restaurant, and a tree-top walk through the forest. However, before you spend your evening at the park, there’s one attraction across the street that could be even better. You probably guessed it, another Aquarium. The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg includes a stingray and pup sharks touch tank, a glass boat ride over the shark tank, a live stingray feeding show, a large play structure for the kids, and a walk-through shark tube. If hiking for waterfalls, dining in the mountains, and another aquarium aren’t enough for you, then nothing is. 


Michigan

Now, when you think “baller summer vacation” what state do you think of? It’s not Michigan, is it? I mean, what does Michigan have to offer? All of the cool resorts are in Wisconsin, all the mountains are in Colorado, the beaches are in California, and the city life is in New York. So, you ask yourself, what makes Michigan special? Well, what if I told you that my favorite place on Earth was right in the middle of Michigan, my personal all-time favorite vacation spot. You may doubt Michigan but nothing feels like summer like the breeze from the lake that stretches so far it looks like the cleanest beach you've ever stepped on. Driving around the small, busy towns feels like its own car show where everyone pulls up in something loud and unique. Staying in a lakefront cabin with your friends and family playing board games at night after the fire you had because there’s no internet connection to distract you. Waking up earlier than you ever thought you would just because you’ve never seen a sunrise like the one peaking over the hills of sand beyond the lake and spending the whole day just living is what summer should feel like. You’d never imagine that a small Michigan town would make you forget the glamor of the coastal states. 

In the wise words of Kid Rock, who got every line of “All Summer Song” spot-on, It was summertime in Northern Michigan

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