How to bring out the bossy side of BDH: tell them you are planning a vacation. You guys kill me. It’s humid! There are bugs. There are cars. Y’all have never seen Canyon Lake exit during summer, when it’s backed up for 5 miles down I-35. Hehe.
Sadly it is quite humid where we are as well.
Our mosquitos are ferocious. There is a quarry park by our house which we were so excited about when we first moved in. We don’t go. Swarms of mosquitos. You can see them coming. Let me tell you, I had an open container with water inside the house where I’m growing some lucky bamboo and I have to keep an eye on it, because I get mosquito larva in there. Every summer. We do the mosquito check after every rain. Are there are any accidental containers filled with rainwater, no matter how small?
But Texas is dry heat.
Texas is the size of France and Switzerland stuffed together. We have a variety of climate, from arid in the west to swamps in the east. We are midway in the hilly part. We have lots of rocks. All the rocks. It kind of looks like areas of Spain. Big trees don’t grow, except for the evergreen oaks, cedars, which we all hate because they are allergy-factories, and an occasional pecan. In summer everything burns. Dogs cannot be walked because the asphalt is too hot by 10:00 am. We wake up to the 90 F and above. Average humidity for us in summer hovers around 50-60%, meaning that some days are 30% and others are 80%.
But there is mud, traffic, and bears at Lake Norman. We really, really want to ruin this for you. We know it’s your vacation, but we have opinions.
Our favorite vacation spot is Emerald Coast, specifically Santa Rosa, Florida, crystal clear water and very high heat. We’d like to branch out since we go there most summers.
We tried South Padre, which was not quite that cool.
This is your chance to give in to your inner travel agent and suggest a vacation spot. Must be near a body of water, which needs to be swimmable and preferably not algae soup. We are water people. Must have trees of some sort. Must have high speed internet access. Must stay in US, since we’ve decided not to fly out and also we are looking for possible relocation potential.
Why not Canyon Lake?
Technically Canyon Lake fits the bill. It is crystal clear and pretty.
But it’s very rocky, very crowded, and we don’t want to live there. Everyone we ever talked to warned that community isn’t good there, specifically a lot of drugs, and the other big thing – you can’t put a dock there. US Corps of Army Engineers runs it, so even if you buy waterfront there, which costs an arm and a leg, you can’t do that, in the image below.
I’m not even sure if you are allowed to enter the lake from your property or if you must access it via a public beach.
What about Lake Travis?
Well, the houses are in the millions and it dried up that one time, turning into a lake of mud for about 18 months. Also they keep getting poisonous algae blooms in there.
Okay, vacation spots. Go for it.
Karma Calling says
Hi Ilona, I know this is a bit off-topic but perhaps still of interest. I saw an article on BBC about a 90 year old lady that knit a large replica of Buckingham Palace. This is not her first rodeo as she has also knit Sandringham Palace which was exhibited in the ballroom of that estate a few years ago. It’s her homage to the late queen.
As you are an avid knitter, I thought that you might enjoy the article and photos.
That is dedication. Wow!
That’s amazing! 🤩
To add to this of cute British knitting stories. There a group of knitters locally who have been making hats for our Royal Mail post boxes. They’re super cute
My local yarnbombers are always busy making these for our local post boxes.
Patricia Schlorke says
I saw that article. My first thought was “her poor hands”. Then my eyebrows went up after looking at the pictures.
Heaven is a rental condo near Lahaina, Maui. The snorkeling is to die for.
Kat Marvel says
Heather is right. Hawaii is the closest you’ll ever get to earthly paradise. The weather depends on which side of the island you’re on, so if you desire rain, you just drive north. Otherwise, you get a daily 2pm shower that waters your lawn and your orchard and flowers, and you eat your sun-warmed mango and sauteed shrimp and let the heat soak into your bones.
Moderator R says
What she said. Word.
Yep, and the rain showers on the Northeast coast of Maui last for approximately 20 minutes, are the temperature of a tepid shower and
after they stop the ocean breeze gently blow dries you off.
When we landed at the airport I was amazed that while still disembarking I could smell (next to the jet fuel) tropical flowers, caramel from the sugar cane stubble being burnt away, smell of the Pacific ocean and underneath all that? Clean air. There was a species of bird that lived in the forests that sang the first bar of Beethoven’s 5th symphony, then added it’s own jazz improvisation, a few seconds later another bird would whistle the first bar then add It’s variation… omg that place is pure magic! Food is good too.
Unfortunately, you can’t drive to Hawaii, which was one of their requirements because they didn’t want to fly. Well, I guess you could rent a barge and drive your car in circles around the barge…
Completely fair, but Hawaii is really amazing. I’m a serious partisan for the big island (also known as “Hawaii” :-}); it’s minimally touristy, has a *lotlotlot* of different stuff you can do, all of it is beautiful, and the people there are very welcoming and friendly.
But yeah, can’t drive there.
+1, +1, +1!
Not being a beach person (sunburn in 10 minutes, even w/ sunscreen), I love the big island. Heritage sites, fabulous gardens, and mountains right there! Volcanos National Park has some of the *best* photo ops ever and a killer “gift shop” with high end crafts as well as a better class of souvenirs.
Food is more than tasty – it’s mostly locally sourced. The folks are very friendly and willing to help crazy tourists out.
So there’s the occasional lava alert… It moves pretty slowly – you can dodge it!
Technically, you don’t have to fly to get to Hawaii. They could take a ship, which also meets the water requirement. Although, I read Ilona’s comment as they didn’t want to deal with international travel.
Except for the Dengue Fever and the tourists!
I’m heading to Hawaii for vacation this June, we’ll be in the Honolulu area, you have any suggestions for things I shouldn’t miss?
I was in Honolulu last year and everything was awesome except Waikiki beach is super rocky (too many people take the sand faster than the ocean can replenish it) and the waves on the East Shore did a great job at exfoliating my legs.
Kaanapali by Lahaina is one of my very favorite places. IMHO it IS heaven adjacent. It is unfortunate that to get there I have to spend 12 to 16 hours on planes and in airports (IMHO that’s hell adjacent).
This is true. I stayed in a rental condo at Lahaina once, and snorkeled at Kaanapali. If you want different weather, you drive a few miles and you’re in a different ecosystem. Arid at sea level, tropical forest higher up, damned cold as you get up the volcano. 15 minute thunderstorm and rainbow daily. The philodendron leaves are big enough to use as sun hats. Seriously, it took me a while to figure out what they were because they were so huge. And you can just reach out and grab a guava if you get hungry.
However, it’s way too far to go for a normal vacation, and everything costs way too much because it’s an island and so many things have to be shipped in.
Jennifer Chun says
Aloha from Hawaii! I don’t go away for vacation much, but when we do, we go to non-beach trips like Japan, Portland OR. Going to Alaska in June.
I came here to say what Heather already said, in spite of the no fly restriction… MAUI is US territory and looks, smells and feels like Heaven. Added bonus: The number of times people hit on you while you’re sitting on Gordon’s lap and the number of times people hit on Gordon while you’re standing there with your mouth open in shock! A Dutch bartender at my favorite bar had his own stories he concluded with an amazed “They have no shame”, the Dutch are much less prudish than Americans…
Waikiki Beach at dawn, the sun rises from the Pacific with a silent thunder that feels like a shout of joy from all creation, every cell in my body vibrated along…
The colors of the morning sky melt on the water, ladies with their skirts tucked up wade in the surf collecting seaweed, the air, the water are so crystalline… It’s the closest thing to the garden of Paradise I’ve every seen. Paia is a Gun Smoke western frontier style village that has enormously strong Yin energy, women want to move there upon setting foot in the town, men, can’t wait to leave. Hawaii also has a lot of Yang energy spots that men adore, it brings out their inner child. Hawaii, but especially MAUI, inspiration centrale.
As a child in the 1960’s we visited Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. My Grandparents lived there and there were a number of state parks and other outdoor things we could access with a car From Oakland, MD. I remember going to see a subarctic tundra one time. Dad collected the AAA motor club books that had directions to all kinds of fun stuff. Ah, the 50’s and 60’s. Cheap gas, big cars and no seat belts or AC! National Lampoon’s Vacation movie actually brings back childhood memories! When I was 13 we went west! Here’s the Grand Canyon. Visit the visitor’s center, look at the view, visit the rest rooms and gift shop and get in the car and go. Fun Times!
Cranesville Swamp Natural Area is in Garrett Co., Md. It has a website. We visited it before 1965 and you could view it from the highway. Mainly I remember Swallow Falls State Park and swimming at another state park. The forested areas were nice for hiking and I’ve heard it is really pretty in the fall.
We have lots of trees, but also bugs, and humidity in Maryland. However, ignoring the horrible winds we had the last two days, we have moderate weather. This year was a snowless year – I’m not counting the three dustings (barely) we had on this grass this winter. My first thought was Deep Creek lake. I haven’t been there myself, but I know people who love it there.
Susan B says
I was going to mention Deep Creek Lake – I’ve never been there during the summer but it’s in the ski area so the elevation is higher and probably a lot cooler than Texas in the summer. Haven’t heard anything about any algae blooms there either.
Maryland resident since 1961. I stayed a week on a houseboat on Deep Creek Lake as a kid in the early 70s. It had a little Sunfish sailboat that we mainly used as a kayak of sorts to explore islands and shorelines. It was really fun. Camped there one weekend as a college student in the late 70s, also fun. One of my neighbors has a house there where she spends the hot months the year, because the summer weather is better up there.
Aaagh, just remembered the houseboat was at Smith Mountain Lake, not Deep Creek. The camping and neighbor were both Deep Creek though. And that neighbor is from Canada, so if she thinks Deep Creek is nice in summer, it probably is. She did have to shoo a young bear off her deck there once.
Anna L says
Hammonsport, NY or Ithaca, NY. Both are on the finger lakes, and both Cayuga Lake and Keuka Lake are swimmable and kayable. As someone who lives in the area, I can always throw more local recommendations.
I love Beaufort,NC as well. That is my vacation spot, It is on the inlet, there are wild horses nearby and if you want to go to the actual outerbanks there are ferries that you will take you there. There is a lot of really cool wrecks if you like scuba diving. I like the food, a lot of farm to table movement there. Also the marine time museum is free and really cool. Has a lot of Queen Anne Revenge stuff, since Blackbeard ship sank nearby. Also a lot of really cool places to get shells.
You guys seem happy in Texas. What about looking for a summer home in the north? Vermont has nice lakes. I’m just thinking if you could do a summer condo or lake home then you have a lot more choices geographically.
Western Montana (north of Missoula) and Northern Idaho (e.g. Couer D’Alene) also have beautiful lakes, big and small. If you split your time between TX and somewhere farther north you could really enjoy lake-side summers (and in VT or MT, summer nights last forever).
Alas, I fear all truly lovely beachfront ocean property in the US is either built up and too expensive/too risky, or eroding away from rising sea levels & therefore unreliable.
I spent 3 months at Keesler AFB recently, and the communities around Biloxi are lovely and laid-back with very reasonable property values. Ocean Springs and Gulf Shore come to mind. However you have to drive to Florida or take a boat past the barrier islands because that area is on a bayou.
Good luck in your search! Hawaii is amazing as all others have commented but just too hard to get to, moving is a huge commitment and life-style shift.
Beaufort is a very cool place some friends from Texas just relocated there a few years ago.
My go to lake destinations are on Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. They are cold lakes for swimming but lovely to visit in the summer. Presque Isle in Erie PA and Mackinac Island in MI are wonderful. Not so much for year round unless you like snow. Western Pennsylvania has some terrific lakes like Morraine state park that are lovely in the summer and moderate winters with lots of neat stuff in driving distance.
Traverse City is absolutely gorgeous in the summer. The bay is great for anything water related and the Dunes aren’t very far either.
Bad traffic and crowds in the summer though. It’s hard to find a spot on Lake Michigan that isn’t way crowded in the summer. Having said that, it’s one of my favorite places ever.
sam E says
I was Born in Erie Pa and we had a house right on the edge of Presque Isle, next to Waldameer Park overlooking Lake Erie. We moved to Texas when I was 10 and I’ve only been back for occasional visits, the most recent 4 years ago. Presque Isle is very beautiful and if you like history you can check out Perry’s monument and the lighthouse. There are several spots on Presque Isle that pertain to the War of 1812 such as Misery Bay. It’s always fun to take the lady of the lake boat tour. Waldameer is an old school amusement park that has several historically significant rides like the Whacky Shack or Pirates Cove. It started out as a trolley park right before the turn of the last century. The lake is very cold but swimmable for the hardy. The first time I took my Houston native ex to visit Erie it was June we decided to go to the beach. As a native I knew the best way to enter the lake was to run and jump off the end of the pier and get the shock of the cold water over at once. Well my ex had never swam anyplace but Galveston so he was not expecting the water to be 58 degrees. After he hit the cold water and sunk because he froze up from the shock, I had to haul him up and back to shore. He refused to get anywhere near the water after that and thought we were all crazy for swimming. If you go to Erie’s bayfront you can view the Niagara which was Admiral Perry’s flag ship in the War of 1812. The fishing in the lake and surrounding creeks is amazing and there is great Italian, Greek, German, Russian, and Polish food. (Don’t ever get Chinese or Indian food there. Worst mistake I ever made) Erie is a fairly small town and it still reflects the people that settled there. The area around Erie is extremely scenic with mature woods, and creeks running through gorges. I highly recommend it as a summer vacation spot.
I’m about 20 minutes away from Moraine State Park in western PA. It’s an awesome state park. I need to be near water too. There’s also Lake Pymatuning that sits on the border of PA and OH that is wonderful.
Camped up by the Finger Lakes while at Cornell. It’s beautiful up there, love the gorges during the summer months😍
My upvote goes to the western Finger Lakes, too. Good swimming, boating, water sports. Lots of other cool things to do when you get out of the water… like Corning Glass Museum, hiking Watkins Glen, Keuka Wine Trail 😀
I’m heading to Lake Seneca in August. It is simply beautiful, great lake activities, super hiking, wineries and breweries and my husband gets his race car fix at Watkins Glen.
+1 I grew up in the finger lakes. And further north are the great lakes and the thousand island region.
Also, I always like vacationing on the Jersey shore. There are some great beaches on the Atlantic between Long Island and … well, Florida.
I agree. It is a little bit of heaven. Snow? Too far inland to get most of the up-the-coast storms, and too far east to get much lake effect. I live a couple of hours north of there, on the Mohawk river and by a LOT of lakes. Love it.
Oh, and a huge Victorian in Fort Plain just sold for $139,000, with all the designed inlaid wood floors, the woodwork, the pocket doors, and the updated wiring, the huge kitchen that a catering business ran out of……
My huge 1830 Dutch Gable brick house, with a separate apartment? valued at about $80,000, with the new kitchen and bathrooms, etc.
Love this area, with all the Amish raised food available.
Ana Rain says
I really don’t commit but there are 2 absolutely breathtaking places I can think of. Lamoille Canyon in Nevada (Elko NV) and Grandby Colorado. They both have their highs and lows and are stunning.
Door County, WI.
Maybe not to relocate but in the summer it’s heaven! the water isn’t super warm but it’s clean and cool with white sandy beaches. Plus the little towns are super cute and there is tons of fresh pitted fruit trees and local food markets. in days of yore 😂😂 the only way to get there was by boat so there a bunch of little port towns.
My 90 year old grandma lives there (still) and when my cousin and I visit we have fun turning every “scene” into a lifetime movie. 😂😂
It’s green, lush, clean, safe, charming, quiet, and (to me) feels like I’m visiting another universe.
Sarah Heile says
I love Door County! My uncle and aunt have a seasonal place in Sturgeon Bay that I’ve been to several times. What a gorgeous area.
Oh I love Santa Rosa beach. I grew up in Alabama and my folks are retired in Gulf Shores – Santa Rosa has much better water than three hours west. Its literally my favorite beach in the US.
Depends on the time of year, I’d say. I’ve lived all over and can appreciate your desire to GET OUT OF THIS NONSENSE CALLED SUMMER. Even Vegas (dry heat >105 is still heat. Barf) sucks in summer.
Lake Tahoe is LOVELY in the summer. Might be cool for you for swimming. but lots of options for lodging.
The oregon coast (I currently live in Portland) is marvelous. But I think you guys have experience out here already. Also, may be too chilly for swimming – though our summers have gotten gross and hot and the coast is perfect.
In a pinch, we love to do the lakes in central oregon. Alpine cool in the evenings but high desert heat during the day makes the cool lake water a lot more tolerable.
I do love Ocracoke and the outer banks. The beach is not as nice as the florida panhandle, but it is cooler.
There are various lakes all over the south east I have enjoyed – you always run the risk of mosquitos and snakes and the endless humidity though. The way out of that is head west and do Colorado or Utah.
I will absolutely second the Lake Tahoe recommendation. After the snowfall this year, though, there might well still be snow on the ground in June or July; I guess it’s up to you whether or not that’s a good thing. (I still have fond memories of skiing in shorts in early July 1976, heh.)
I also thought Lake Tahoe. A bit cold for swimming but so lovely outdoors.
Karen Prentice says
We’re going to Toccoa Falls Georgia this spring and are staying at ‘The Cove’. It’s an Airbnb.
It looks wonderful!
I suggest Washington Island in Wisconsin during the summer. it is perfect temperatures in the summer and has several beaches including a unique stone one. it is good for swimming. There are two lavender farms and numerous touristy things to do and it is absolutely beautiful. We go every year with out kids.
William B says
I live in my vacation spot. Lake Keowee, Salem SC. My view of the lake.
Jess M says
My husband and I recently attended a wedding in Winona, MN and were *gobsmacked* at how lovely it was. It ticks all of the boxes for us in terms of water, trees, nature, food, etc. They had the best little weekend Farmers Market, a brewery doing trivia outside under string lights right next to the river, and friggin eagles flying around. There is also an incredible Maritime Art Museum there and a used bookshop with a snoozy cat. A snoozy cat!
St. George Island in the northern “armpit” part of Florida is a delight. It’s a small island and not over-crowded. When I was in graduate school at FSU in Tallahassee, we were broke but desperate for some downtime. Half the island is public park land and the beach is great. We ate fresh soft shell crab sandwiches at the Blue Pear restaurant and that is maybe the most relaxed I recall being as an adult.
Hit up the northern area of Mn.
Duluth is interesting, and right on Lake Superior. Anything from Alexandria MN north is going to be prime lake country with little resorts all over. A very popular resort is Breezy Point in Pequot Lakes, MN area.
We live in the middle of Otter Tail County, MN and literally any direction we drive there will be a lake within ten to fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, the trade off is that it is very rural. And you still have to deal with mosquitoes, and some humidity, although probably not 80% plus more than a handful of days in summer/fall.
I live in Duluth and it’s beautiful in the summer. Gorgeous lakes, lots of trees and hiking and beautiful scenery. Downside are the mosquitos, which come out in May and stick around till July.
Don’t come in the winter unless you like snow. Right now we’re at 126 inches and counting. The local mall’s roof recently caved in because of all the snow on top – they estimated the load at 160,000 lbs of snow.
I thought a Minnesota lake too. The best part, compared to Texas, is the lovely cool mornings which warm up nicely in the afternoons in summer. In Texas if it’s 83 degrees at 5 pm it’s 82 degrees at 3 am. Not nice at all.
How about Minneapolis / St. Paul?
Rorie Solberg says
Humid, bugs, humid, bug, humid, bugs….
Hey, unfair, we also have snow! So. Much. Snow.
Jenn K says
I grew up in Houston, TX and moved to Minneapolis 25 years ago. I remember when I first moved to MN I was completely shocked and baffled that slapping at a mosquito didn’t kill it. They wear armor here, they are much larger, and there are constantly swarms of them once it starts to warm in spring. While it’s not nearly as humid as Houston, it’s still humid in summer. Now if you want to visit in the fall, fall color is gorgeous, it’s crisp out, farmer’s markets are bountiful and the many lakes are very pretty. We’ve also got many great restaurants. 🙂
Grew-up there. Great food, Great night life, ethnically varied, lots do places to hike, fish, water ski, museums, theater, concerts, 10,000 or more lakes.
Then there are the bugs (they drop pesticide over the city from airplanes to kill mosquitoes), 90% humidity all summer, 20 below zero (before wind chill).
I only visit during September and October.
Minnesota, St. Paul
Nice lakes in the city, cool mornings, mosquitoes can be dealt with.
Rorie Solberg says
I cannot possibly name a place that you haven’t already thought of or have visited. I do not and would not begrudge your vacation. After all, a rested and recouped author means a creative and productive author. C’mon BDH, think about the long term here and wish them well!!!
Patricia Davis says
Vacation spots that might potentially be home spot with lake/river/ocean and internet access:
Guntersville Lake near Arab, Alabama
Lake City, Florida (multiple lakes nearby)
Toledo Bend reservoir near Huxley, TX
Watauga Lake near Butler, TN
I live near Guntersville, can confirm. Beautiful lake, eagles and every other kind of water-adjacent bird you can think of. Excellent fishing if you’re into that. Guntersville is a lovely little town and the restaurant scene is good and improving. Huntsville is an hour away, with amazing food, the US Space and Rocket center, and so many cool attractions. It’ll be hot the way Texas is used to it in June, and beautifully pleasant until then.
We spent 20 years in Florida exploring the whole damn place. The Keys are vastly overrated. St. Augustine and environs are a swamp, much like Savannah. The Gulf routinely tries to kill people. Sanibel Island is the exception. Not so much now, maybe, after that last hurricane, but definitely worth adding to your list.
You have listened to Ilona’s request!!!
Our favorite lake spot is Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border. The lake is very deep, so not in danger of drying up, even with the megadrought, and this past winter’s huge amounts of snow should have helped bring back up the water level. Beachfront properties with marinas there ran at about $1,000,000, give or take, last year. Not sure what costs are this year with all of the economy stuff.
You’re talking about the summer, which is an ideal time to head further north. Michigan has a LOT of big beaches on the lake (which yes, looks like the ocean because it’s so big). Look at Grand Haven (my hometown), Saugatuck, Traverse City or my favorite place to visit, which is the Petoskey/Charlevoix area. We stay at the Inn at Bay Harbor there. Fly in to Grand Rapids and rent a car!
I second this!! I grew up in Saugatuck and the summers in West Michigan are fabulous. Lots of water, beautiful sand dunes, and plenty of trees.
If you stay in Traverse City you can day-trip up to Mackinac Island or stretch it into two days and stay a night in the Grand Hotel. It’s more expensive than I usually spend did it one night for the experience. Whole hotel is cool, and no cars allowed on the island, and lots of cool shops.
We ended up at Bear Lake last year during our (bucket list) road trip! So pretty. it was end of September, so no crowds and winding down end of season. We ate at that wonderful crepe place with outdoor tables every morning. I grew up in California (SF Bay Area), spent a lot of time in Tahoe, and live in Central Florida. Wish we could get out of Florida for many reasons, but it’s cheap to live here. And we won’t freeze to death.
While I grew up on Lake Michigan, I also have to throw in the ring Oscoda on Lake Huron. Small town, beautiful beaches, sunrises and much cheaper than Lake Michigan.
Kayeri aka Darth Mom says
I’ve been to Saugatuck, my Father-in-law’s family is from just outside South Haven and we usually visit every year! It has lovely beaches, great restaurants, loads of farms for produce and lots of wineries/breweries in the area, even locally produced maple syrup that’s awesome! South Haven is lovely, but I don’t know that you two want to deal with winter. Also, while people do swim in the summer, Lake Michigan never really gets warm.
I wish I had a recommendation that met your requirements, but I don’t. I’d highly recommend South Haven for a getaway, though.
Jumping in to also recommend Michigan! Particularly West Michigan or the Traverse City area.
In West Michigan you’ve got Saugatuck, which is right on the lake and has an amazing art vibe. A little farther north in Muskegon (also on the lake) they’ve got killer restaurants, a shockingly good little art museum, and a ton of cultural stuff to do year round. Buster Keaton created an artist colony there in early 1900s and parts of it still have a funky vibe. It’s about 45 minutes from Grand Rapids (not on the lake, but lots of water if you know where to look), which has a kick ass botanical/sculpture garden, Schuler books, and the whole city turns into a walking art gallery each year for the annual Art Prize festival/contest.
You want trees? You want water? You want sandy beaches? You want great stuff to do? And yes, even decent internet speeds? West Michigan has you covered.
I’m in Chicago and I used to roll my eyes at this “Pure Michigan” ad campaign that they had here, because the photos and videos were gobsmackingly beautiful. Too pretty to be real. Then I learned I was totally wrong. One of the best places to be on earth is Michigan in the summer!
I recommend West Michigan, too! Not only is it spectacular in the Spring and Summer, Fall with the intense cerulean skies and all of the gorgeous trees in red, orange, gold, are stunning. My family lives in Lansing, MI. Summer is all about going to a cabin on the weekends …in any season really. We are called the Great Lakes state for a reason. Also, MI does not get snow like it did when I was a kid, in the 70s and 80s. I think Houston might get more snow than most of MI 😀
I’m over here laughing at the Michigan bandwagon over here. And also jumping on it! There’s bugs and humidity but also it’s so awesome on the west side during the summer. Lake Michigan real is a jewel, when you’re on the West side. Beaches are naturally sandy because of all the dunes which is super fun as a kid. It’s like a fresh water ocean!
Absolutely Traverse City. Thinking about going there for some vacay this year. Water, wine, cherries, food that isn’t cherries, lighthouses, Sleeping Bear, beer, distilleries, and yarn. But that is one looooong road trip from TX.
Looking forward to hearing what HA eventually decides.
Grew up in Holland, MI by Lake Michigan. Can recommend many Lake Michigan and Upper Peninsula areas. Don’t know if you would consider too cold to swim as grew up here. Lake Superior is gorgeous but likely would be too cold. Love Sleeping Bear LakeShore. Can be as busy or lazy as you want. There are many small beaches so people are can be spread out. We found a couple of places were we were the only people on the beach for several hours late morning to early afternoon. We split beach time w hiking and tubing. Come in July and August, more people but less flies (will eat you alive) and alewives (little fishes who sometimes die off of on the beach). We eat in Traverse city and stay at a little motel on Grand Traverse Bay so get water time there also. enjoy wherever you go.
I agree with the Petoskey/Charlevoix area. Have a family cabin there. Great place for the summer. Ton of stuff to do.
Mary Healey says
Absolutely agree! I had family in that area and still visit often!
Yes to Michigan — people who haven’t been to Lake Michigan (or the other Great Lakes) don’t realize how stunning they are. Grew up in Saint Joseph Michigan, so right on Lake Michigan down in the southwestern corner. There are many beautiful beaches in western Michigan and the sunsets are amazing And I also love the Little Traverse/Petoskey area — lots of beautiful little lakes up in that area.
And if you don’t like the crowds of Traverse City, you can always explore Suttons Bay, Lake Leland even Interlochen and take in some concerts at the Music Camp.
Charleston, South Carolina. Beaches are beautiful and it has lovely history, it does get crowded at the beach in the summer though but I always feel like it’s worth it. You can always stay out by Kiawah which has more of a resort feel.
Maria Schneider says
Let me know when you want mountains! We have those in NM. We have lakes but the two near me (Bear Canyon and Lake Roberts) you can’t really swim in them due to fishing hooks and lines that are in there. Many swim in Elephant Butte, which is an hour plus a little from here and we have gone jet skiing there so it’s definitely swimable and jet skiing is GREAT fun. But you’d want to live in the mountains where it is cooler and prettier. If you do decide to visit Elephant Butte, stay in the mountains because it’s definitely prettier!
Hmm. My favorite beach that I’ve ever visited was in Hawaii, the Big Island. If you end up relocating there, can you please invite me for a visit???
Haha, I live in Charlotte and I have never heard of bears at Lake Norman! 😆 it is a pretty nice lake, but I do agree traffic can be terrible up that way.
The finger lakes in upstate NY are lovely in the summer. They were glacially formed so they are deep, long clear lakes. And plenty of lakes to go around so you can find some quiet spots, if that is what you like. Lots of shale cliffs, canyons and waterfalls due to the glaciation as well so it’s got some lovely hikes and views. It’s pretty far north though so you’ll want to visit in summer to be able to really enjoy the water.
Moderator R says
I‘m just here for the beach photos 😍.
I remember last summer we were both on respective beaches at some point and I very proudly sent Ilona a photo from Brighton of a lovely sunny English day.
Until she sent me one from Florida and I understood we live in greyscale over here 😂
Jan B says
We had a lovely sunny day in Brighton today and crazy people were swimming!
Having been to Brighton and FL, I totally understand. My mother lives near the FL Gulf Coast, and in December the Brits and the Canadians are playing on the beach in shorts, while we are all in sweatshirts.
Donna A says
I’ve swum at Brighton in the rain in November. My policy is if I’m at the seaside I have to swim unless it’s actually snowing or I’ve got no swimwear. This has involved a confused looking gentleman trying to verify if I was OK because I was swimming in February in Malta. It was awkward as heck and left neither of us happy with the exchange.
If you‘re not used to it or cover yourself in sunscreen, the Florida sun on a beach in March can turn you to the same color as a cooked lobster (this happened to me when I was 16, though I‘m fair skinned).
The photos are just gorgeous though and the sand is just great.
I‘m going to 2nd the Wisconsin Washington Island/Door County peninsula. It‘s just gorgeous & you get breezes from both Lake Michigan & the Bay of Green Bay.
Ah but Brighton coast on a windy, winters day is beautiful! We do film noir very well!
Maybe next time a photo of the North Norfolk coast? The broads are beautiful
May be too far north. There is nothing like the Adirondacks in the fall. Seriously so beautiful.
The Adirondacks at any time! I’m a Raquette Lake girl.
Blue Mountain Lake the primest lake in all of the Daks IMHO. Beautiful old style lodges as well. Bugs.. be warned some bugs …
Cocoa Beach, FL! It has the ocean on one side and the Banana River on the other. You will be able to get your water fix and see the wildlife. Dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, etc. You can also hop over to Orlando to do the theme parks or visit Kennedy Space Center. There are so many launches going off lately if you want to watch a rocket go up. Where ever you go have fun on your vacation,
Moderator R says
Probably talking about the invasive pythons in Florida. They even have a bounty program for them: https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/python-program
I’ve lived here most of my life and have never seen one. I have seen pythons, but never the ones that grow that large. They seem to really grow in the Everglades.
Oh, I love Cocoa Beach! It is so pretty and was so relaxed (5 years ago) My husband did a historical gaming convention there. I found a nice old mall and a great very casual Italian place, took several books to read on the beach by the beautiful beautiful water and relaxed!
Jim huffman says
Washington state coast. Willapa bay is nice, but not for swimming.
Being from Michigan, I’m biased, but the eastern shore of Lake Michigan is lovely. Warm summer days, cool nights and the mosquitoes are smaller than in Texas and the lake breeze helps keep them at bay.
My spot is Manitoulin Island, which is in Canada, but Drummond Island is VERY close on the Michigan side of the border. The water is GORGEOUS (the beaches look like the ones above) and clean. There are still mosquitos, but in my experience a lot fewer than areas further south.
Half Moon Bay in California?
Leigh Ann Parente says
Half Moon Bay has a nice yarn store, and Pacifica (just a few miles up the road) has an AMAZING yarn store, with a lovely back yard and their own line of US wool.
Bc that’s how I judge a vacation spot: access to good yarn.
Quick go on vacation and leave the cranky pants No Vacation people behind. Also get some gold fish drop them in the water containers and cover with screen so that cats and raccoons don’t eat the goldfish. The goldfish will eat the mosquito larvae.
Have a great vacation. Maybe check out the Missouri lakes region.
Goldfish eat plants, minnows eat mozzies 🙂
Source- Waterscaping by Judy Glattstein.
Tammy Frietsch says
On the subject of mosquitoes, after searching in vain for the source everywhere in the yard, I discovered that there were larva in the cats’ automatic waterer.
No vacation spot to recommend, but RE mosquitoes and other small bugs I can highly recommend hummingbirds.
They need protein as well as sugar, especially when they are raising chicks. A single hummingbird will eat hundreds of mosquitoes, fruit flies, ants, spiders, etc every day. They can be a major mosquito control method and apparently Texas has 19 different species of hummingbirds.
I have had hummingbird feeders around my house for more than 20 years and almost never see mosquitoes here, but my hummingbirds have become residents.
We are island/water people as well. I grew up in the Caribbean and when the USMC gave us an option we spent 9 yrs on Okinawa JP. Then they sent us back to the states and hubby chose NC because it was close to the coast and he knew I needed the water. However, I was a beach snob and really didnt care for NC until I left it last year. I still took the kids to the beach but we didnt venture into the water for long because I couldnt see my feet. We did do a lot of boat tours in the Morehead area to SandDollar island and Shackleford the see the wild horses, dolphins and have picnics.
Like I said in the post yesterday we drove through Lake Norman area when we took our oldest to school. It does have a lot of water but its very touristy. But its about 5 hrs from the coast and maybe 2 hrs into the mountains. One of my neighbors visited said mountains for waterfall hikes and snowy events in the winter. Its very close to Charlotte and not far from Raleigh either. So its the ideal NC area. Plus Myrtle beach SC isnt far either.
I never looked up housing prices but apartments for my oldest were expensive. While at school he has 3 roommates and they each paid $600 a month with utilities, and internet included for a 2 bedroom, two bathroom apt. I believe the school covered utilities however.
I liked the NC heat, it wasnt as thick and soupy as Okinawa or as blistering as my home in Trinidad so we could still go out at 11am and not boil in our clothes.
Enjoy your vacation this summer. We are in New Jersey now where I have to pay for parking for non clear water. I am hoping I like it, trying to keep a positive attitude.
Navarre Beach yesterday! Just a little west of Santa Rosa and not as crowded!
Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. It has a lot of attractions, but you can still find quiet areas, if you’d rather. Both reasonable and expensive places to purchase, with what I believe is good resale value. Clear lake water and you can have a private or a shared dock. Many of the homes and condos on the lake already have docks. It’s large, but mostly long with different coves, so you can find an area with the level of privacy or action that suits you.
Here’s the average temperature for the Lake of the Ozarks. Not a really cold winter, but cooler than Texas.
As an example, I picked a nice condo with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a dock. I think a lot of them allow you to rent it out (but you’d want to check specifically) which could help offset the cost, if you only wanted to be there part-time.
Here’s a lovely private house with a dock.
And my last one, since I feel like I’m spamming you. A cheaper, but still nice condo with a dock, but only 1 bedroom.
$200,000 seems to be average price for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo with a dock, but a little more and you can have 3 bedrooms. There are also lots for sale where you can build, but I wouldn’t think you’d want that unless you knew for sure you liked it.
Patricia Schlorke says
Just a little note about Missouri in general: be prepared to pay for tax on everything including food. Yep, you go grocery shopping and there’s a tax for food you cook.
I guess it’s all relative. My local tax rate is 7%, so Missouri’s 4.225% doesn’t seem too bad to me. Especially since food is only taxed 1.225%. If you aren’t used to a tax though, I’m sure it could be surprising. 😊
Kathy P. says
I went to Girl Scout camp at the Lake of the Ozarks! Black widow spiders in the cabins, scorpions in the bathrooms and copperheads in the woodpiles. And that’s not including the ticks, tarantulas, bears, bobcats, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and the occasional piranha. Then there’s the poison ivy. . . The Girl Scouts are all about educational opportunities. 🙂
Have you checked out Lake Champlain in Vermont? It probably wouldn’t be exciting for a full relocation, but what about becoming snow birds? A seasonal relocation could help keep the muse interested?
We also live in Texas and when the gates of hell are open in August, we travel to Lake Wenatchee in Washington state. We VRBO a cabin on the lake and visit the nearby town of Leavenworth. The lake is an alpine lake so it’s chilly but it’s perfect after a day of hiking.
Sara B. says
Ah – I remember swimming in Lake Wenatchee as a kid, when we didn’t mind the cooler water so much. I should go back and visit again, see what’s different 50+ years later 🙂
Robyn A. says
Lake Chelan in Eastern Washington, North of Lake Wenatchee is also really nice. Both are close to the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains which are gorgeous and we are known for our trees out here. But like so many places in the warmer Western US, there is the risk of wildfires. In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, “It’s always something!”
Also, a seasonal or summer place could be substantially cheaper.
Janna Ridenour says
How about Deep Creek Lake in Western Md? Gorgeous mountains, good boating, docks! And lots of cabins both rustic and high end to rent.
Dunedin Florida and Honeymoon Island. It is not crowded, the water is great, the temperature right now is decent and the humidity is lower here than later in the summer. There are tons of cute shops and restaurants, it is very clean and is adorable with some spunk. There are a number of nice hotels to stay in nearby, my favorite is the Fenway by Marriot. If you want to go to Clearwater Beach you are less than 20 minutes away but you also have Honeymoon Island which has its own beaches and just as nice. Also a very safe and friendly area
My family loves St George Island, FL! We have also been to nearby Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, and Port St Joe – all are wonderful but SGI is our favorite.
Tressa Harvey says
Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs, Arkansas.
As an Atlantan, I will say there are many lovely lakes in Georgia, but I love the coast, so recommend Savannah and the Golden Isles.
I love Hilton Head, Island and San Diego, CA.
Living in the Bay Area in California, I’d say we have no mosquitoes, no allergies, and sunshine all year round.
Whoa, I too live in the Bay area and can personally attest to a mosquito or 2, allergies and, this year at least, serious rain 🙃! Still, mostly we love it and don’t plan to ever leave.
The ocean on this stretch of the CA coast is not warm. Decidedly very not warm unless one is accustomed to polar plunges.
But I can recommend a low key vacation to tour all our Asian grocery store variants! There are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Philippine, and Vietnamese specific versions of Asian groceries in SF Bay Area. If they took a road trip towards San Diego and stopped in LA, they’d also have a lot of good Korean food options.
Leigh Ann Parente says
No allergies (lololololol)
But – again – lots of great yarn stores, and really, isn’t that what’s MOST important?
Lake Tomahawk, WI
it’s close to Minocqua, and Rhinelander, so you can go do tourist town stuff, eat good food, shopping, various local events (harvesting wild rice by boat, the hodag country music festival, the lumberjack show, etc), and a lovely local bookstore, but you’re out in the woods, hopefully near the water, so you can enjoy relaxation, peace, and quiet in nature. plus the proximity to a small airport and the aforementioned touristy towns means that the internet is really good for being up in the Northwoods. and it’s way cooler, temp wise, though there is still some humidity
There are lots of lakes near Minoqua. Fawn Lake and Trout Lake are also great choices. It can get just as hot and humid as Maryland though not as much as the Carolinas on down. The mosquitoes are big but them’s the breaks.
Oh dear, I have no suggestions for you. I’m mountain people. I hate the summer heat with the burning passion of ten thousand suns. Or whatever the quote is. Why do I stay in TX? I own my house and would probably not be able to buy the equivalent anywhere in the mountains or pretty much anywhere I’d actually like to move. Sigh
NC is a pretty state. I lived in VA for 8 years and did most of my hiking in NC. I say go check it out. I did find the Atlantic rather cold for swimming and the FL beaches are hard to beat. But you have to put up with FL. Humidity mosquitos hurricanes and toxic government are among the disadvantages. No thanks.
I must be stupid, can’t suss out the BDH acronym.
Moderator R says
No worries ☺️, it stands for Book Devouring Horde. It’s a name the fandom picked for ourselves based on the Hope Crushing Horde in the Innkeeper series.
Roxanne Wynne Davenport says
Some friends of ours had a place on Lake Gaston, which straddles the NC/VA state line, and it was lovely, albeit a bit remote. Not touristy at all. Downstream from Lake Gaston is Roanoke Rapids Lake, which is near the town of the same name and thus proximity to I-95. As to the NC beaches, the great majority have both an “ocean” side and a “sound” side, which gives you a choice of the type of water recreation you want. The “Inner Banks” is the marketing name for the areas surrounding the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, and there are wide varieties of communities to choose from, ranging from mid-size cities down to wide places in the road. The Intracoastal Waterway meanders through most of them, including Edenton and “little” Washington, the latter of which has put a lot of work into their waterfront appeal. The Outer Banks (Nags Head, Hatteras, Ocracoke, etc.) are VERY touristy in the season, even given their remoteness relative to the Southern beaches. Elsewhere, I can recommend Bath and Beaufort, which play up their pirate and colonial connections. BTW, the word is “Bow-fort” in NC and “Byou-fort” in SC. Go figure. I have relatives in Topsail/Surf City and in Oak Island, all of whom are convinced that their area is heaven on earth. Then you have the “Crystal Coast” which is basically the Carteret and Craven County areas: Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores. The Wilmington-area beaches have the advantage of being close to I-40, which gets you to Raleigh and Charlotte in fairly short order. I like the Brunswick County beaches the best but they’re starting to get overbuilt. There’s a reason they call NC “Variety Vacationland.”
Big Mike says
I’ve also heard Grest things about Lake Gaston. A former neighbor retired there. IIRC, he had to be careful about which state he bought in because one taxes military pensions and the other doesn’t. I live in Virginia (Shenandoah Valley) and love this state but we have never had a bad vacation in North Carolina. Whether you’re up for driving that far is another question.
Also, have you considered the Florida Panhandle? More driveable for Texans but might still be a bit far.
Enjoy your vacation! Closer to home check out Possum Kingdom Lake. If you two do move out of Texas just know we will always consider y’all part of our Texas family. Do what makes you happy, change can be good. But we really want y’all to stay. Lol.
Wendy Taylor-Overway says
Michigan is a beautiful state, we have the Great Lakes, tons of hiking, lots of smaller lakes, great food, tons of distilleries, wineries, lots of artists and frankly the people are very chill. I live in Holland which is by Lake Michigan. There are tons of vacation rentals right on the water. It’s a gorgeous state with lots to see and do.
Colleen C. says
I came here to say this as I am moving back to MI from TX. It’s lovely and green and I can always leave when it gets too cold. Lots of pretty lake communities and the political climate is more to my liking.
BDH = Book Devouring Horde
Kelleys Island, Lake Erie, Ohio. Lovely spot for a summer vacation, with a nice beach in the state park that is on the island, and you can always take the ferry to Cedar Point if you want to ride the roller coasters.
I just read a book that takes place on Kelleys Island called Suite Spot. It seemed to be a magical place.
A Russo says
If you like the ocean, then southern Delaware… probably Rehoboth Beach or Bethany Beach (my favorite). They are ocean beaches with boardwalks, hotels and good/great restaurants, and you can rent beach umbrellas (and chairs) by the day or week. Bethany is more low key. Each town has a small independent bookstore.
If you like gorgeous lakes in the middle of nowhere that are *not* really far north, then Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. It’s marvelous. Wonderful views, hiking, water sports, park-run recently renovated resort-type hotel on the lake. Had low expectations on my first visit and was blown away.
Have you tried Florida’s east coast? South of the space coast area? The Vero beach and Port St. Lucie areas are nice. There is water but it’s less crowded and less busy than other parts of Florida.
Byron Matthews says
I lived in Panama City Fl most of my life. The beaches on the Emerald Coast are the best.
Katie R says
What about Gulf Shores in Alabama? My grandparents lived not too far from there and we used to like it a lot. Nice dunes and a strip that isn’t overbearing (unlike Panama City which always seems noisy and brash to me — great when I was a teen, but not so nice as a grown up).
Also, we had a cabin on Lake Gaston in North Carolina when I was growing up. It was a beautiful area, and we loved it, but that was so long ago (bell bottoms were the fashion and Sonny and Cher were married when we spent most of our time there), it might not be so nice now. Part of the lake is also in Virginia.
Speaking of VA, Smith Mountain Lake and, even better, Lake Anna are excellent spots.
Sarah T. says
I second Lake Anna. While it is a man-made lake, and certain parts get red algae, my husband and I love it more than Virginia Beach. Our friend owns a property there where he used to have a huge festival-like party every year –it was always the highlight of the year for us.
the cabins are a little rustic, but charming. it’s right on the lake – the scenery is stunning. it’s in one of the only temperate rain forests in the world. and it’s a nice spot for day trips – Seattle is nearby, Portland isnt too far, nor is the pacific ocean. there are approximately one billion charming small towns nearby. the pacific northwest has minimal bugs, and mild temperatures.
Dawn Page says
Canandaigua lake or skaneateles lake. You can see to the bottom of the lake it is so clear. Definitely snow birds, beacause fall is so lovely, it will make you cry. So will the real estate prices.
Arkansas has several lakes that are swimmable: Lake Katherine, Lake DeGray (my parents liked the Red Apple Inn but I think it was mainly their food), Lake Ouachita, and others. There are state parks, B&Bs, and cabins where you can stay. I loved St. Augustine, FL but it’s been a few years since I’ve been there.
David Moreland says
I enjoyed my time at Lake havashu(sp) in AZ.
Christine Stephenson says
I would recommend the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Great lakes on either side and tons of lakes/rivers between.
Mwahaha … BDH is a Village of Opinions 😀 Ideas for your vacation, eh?
I have 2 Northern California recommendations: Alameda, which is technically an island. You have access to walking beaches (you can wade too), windsurfing, ferries and busses to SF and other areas. Lots of good eating, a restored movie theatre, several shopping districts, and gorgeous, old, hinky neighborhoods and parks. Lived there several years and loved it.
Russian River area in Sonoma County – from Bodega or Tomales Bay along the River up to Santa Rosa. Lots of redwoods, beaches (cold for swimming, but hey, try surfing!), hikes in gorgeous parks. Wineries, if you are into that. Paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and fishing expeditions – they are all here. You are also close to hot springs, Buddhist retreats, and spas. It is foodie heaven, but that extends to the food trucks and fast food (Amy’s).
Both sadly do have mosquitoes, but they are small potatoes compared to other areas. Lots of music venues, art, and museums in both places as well. Some great people-watching too. Also, BBQ – oh yes, the pit gauntlet is down!
Margaret K says
I, too, live in the Bay Area and I consider it a very pleasant place despite my preference for San Diego and Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, a couple of caveats related to what they are looking for. The ocean water is too cold to swim in for most people. There are swimmable lakes – some with algae issues at times, but you cannot have a house on the “lake” – they are all really reservoirs. Mosquitos, but not horrendous. Do have West Nile virus though – who doesn’t? And the most serious caveat = EXPENSIVE!!!! Super expensive if you are currently living in a place where housing is inexpensive. I can live here because we moved here 30 years ago. Was so happy when we finally paid off our mortgage.
Leigh Ann Parente says
Only *technically* Santa Barbara, but we love the Santa Ynez valley.
Literally nothing on their list, but I would love to have a vacation home there.
Until then – I’m collecting rooms at The Madonna Inn.
Melisa M. says
No suggestions just want to say your first paragraph made me L O L!
From your last post I thought oh no she is going to get lots of feedback on vacations! And so your post had me cracking up.
My (and my family’s) favorite vacation spot will always be OBX (the outer banks of NC), specifically Duck, NC. it’s beautiful, beachfront and sound side. Not as commercial as the Kitty Hawk area, but drivable for all the tourist stuff. Wild horses, lighthouses, and the beach!!!!
South Haven, Michigan.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST VACATION SPOT EVER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!
Is The One Place YOU Dream Of Going.
If that means your bedroom closet, or the top of Mt Shasta, or your fave spot in Florida?
GO FOR IT!
All of those weird suggestions from the BDH are just because we fantasize (in a totally non-creepy way, I swear) about having you closer.
Which is only one reason I won’t be recommending Lake Wallowa in Oregon
Lee Prager Groman says
tampa/st Pete’s beach/clearwater FL on the gulf coast. it’s the closest to carribean in the continental US.
There is Lake Arrowhead California. It beautiful, has forest surrounding it, hiking trails, and an adorable village. I graduated high school while living there. Also there is big bear Lake just around the corner. The high desert a hop skip and a jump away. And if you really need the ocean it’s only a 2 hour drive. I was told on a really clear day you could look to the west from the high school parking lot and see Catalina Island. Being a sulky teenager I never really looked, so I can’t verify. The water is not super clear though.
For just a vacation spot there is White Pine Lake, Utah. You do have to pack in but is an easy hike. The water is amazingly clear though.
I grew up on the southern border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I loved summer because everything was within driving distance. You want mountains? Drive an hour (ish) north (or west) and you have all the mountains you want. You want the ocean? It’s right on the border (or 30-45 minutes from where I lived). You want a lake, the lakes region is just south of the mountains with all kinds of lakes. You want to do something different? Salem and Boston are just to the south. The Cape is a bit further, but it’s great for a couple of days’ getaway. Same with Rhode Island with all those old money mansions you can walk past on the cliff walk. Go north into Maine, and you have beautiful, old rocky coast line with “hidden beaches” (that are very well marked). I love York. I miss the area since I’ve moved away, but it’s always home in my heart.
Paulette M Smith says
Same! I’ve lived in many tropical locales for many year and finally moved back because in addition to being so close to mountains, lakes, and beach, it has four distinct seasons and major reduction of insects and pythons. 🙂 Plus if it’s too hot, you can go North and South if it’s too cold.
Sarah Heile says
I live about 40 miles west of Boston and we have a summer place in RI. I completely agree with the awesome-ness of being able to get mountains, beach, city, farms, whatever with no more than 3 hours tops (had to up the traditional 1 hr drive to get Tanglewood and some a particular AMC lodge in there).
I used to live in Navarre, FL. You get the same beaches and closeness to water, without nearly as many crowds as Santa Rosa. It’s also cheaper. I bought a house there on E-5 pay. Wasn’t huge (1500 sq ft), but I was single so it was perfect. If you’re close enough to the water, you stop having mosquitos or fire ants. Very large military and retired military community in the area due to 2 AF bases and NAS Pensacola. The one downside is it gets hit by a hurricane about once every 10 years.
Left off humidity as a downside.
Mary Healey says
Well we have winter up here in the Great Lakes region, but there are lots of winter sports too! I’m outside Chicago but for vacation and near water living I would suggest Michigan or Wisconsin. Really, fewer mosquitos, no killer bees, beautiful scenery summer or winter. Try it!
Cynthia E Spiller says
Santa Rosa Florida beaches are usually sugar sand paradise but we are waiting for killer seaweed to sneak onto the beaches and roam, like green slimy sharks, across the countryside devouring tourists by the busload. I hope you find a really great location-minus the seaweed. North Carolina is gorgeous too.
Sara B. says
Thank you for the post — I kept checking to see if there was something new to read that was not work related — been a tough week.
Vacation spots: ok, it sounds like you are Atlantic seaboard people, stretching to gulf coast as well. Here is something out of the box. How about the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State? Longest (sand) beach in the US, I believe.
Lots of accommodation options – hotels, B&B, condos, rentals, etc. 4-5 little towns on the peninsula, from touristy-kitsch to quiet and charming. Since it is a peninsula, there is water on both sides – Pacific Ocean to the west, and Willapa Bay on the east. Cranberry museum. Kite museum. Lewis & Clark Center. 3-4 state parks and several hiking/biking trails. Mix of old (historic) or old (rickety) or new/modern construction. Eclectic communities. Short hop down to fishing village of Ilwaco, or across the Columbia River to Astoria Oregon.
Yes, trees. Tends to be cool even in summer, as there is often a “marine layer” that does not burn off until the afternoon and a breeze most days. But there is plenty of sunshine in the summer. Odd rule: the beach is actually considered an official State highway. Google and have a gander …
About 2+ hour drive from Portland OR airport, about 3 hours from Seattle airport.
On the East Coast, we love Ocean Isle, NC. Barrier island near the border with SC, wide open quiet gorgeous beaches, houses on stilts, hood seafood. Humid of course but breezy and never felt too hot. On the West Coast, we visited Sandpoint ID in the Panhandle – a little town that punches above its weight in coffee shops, restaurants, and one of the best ice cream joints I’ve ever been to. On the spectacular lake Pend Oreille (say: ponderay). Sunny and dry in the summer.
Lisa Smith says
Hmmmm I’d say Hawaii or the Virgin Islands but no flying. Maybe not warm enough but the San Juan Islands, WA, Bend, OR, Coeur D’Alene ID or Lake Granby, CO all come to mind.
Stacey S says
I remember drum corp in the summer over 100* and 80percent humidity. awful
I live in a very humid area which mosquitoes love (Brisbane, Australia – 92% humidity today), but I love to have vases of cut flowers in the house. To prevent the mozzies from breeding I put a couple of drops of vegetable oil in the water. They can’t land on the water, because it breaks the miniscus (no idea if I spelled that right) and it suffocates any wrigglers anyway. Does no harm to the flowers at all. That might help keep your lucky bamboo mozzie free.
Lynda Manning-Schwartz says
The US News in their “15 Best Places to Visit in Texas” lists Galveston, South Padre Island, Mustang Island, Port Aransas, and The Woodlands. I agree with most of those (I have never been to The Woodlands), but we have chosen a cruise to the Western Caribbean, sailing from Galveston. Nearer to Austin are Brushy Creek Lake Park, Lake Marble Falls, Inks Lake, and Horseshoe Bay (Lake LBJ).
Almost all the reasons we ended up in TN Mountains between Chattanooga and Nashville. Not to hot, gets cold but doesn’t STAY cold, not too humid. Lakes and rivers are nearby if that’s your thing and high speed internet in some pretty rural locations (including ours) provided by the local Electric Coops. It’s not EVERYWHERE, but in more places than you might think.
Politics\social discourse is about the same as Texas (love it or hate it).
We bought 12 acres with a pond and we’re turning it into our paradise. I grew up on the coast of SC and learned to HATE the beach – so here we are LOL. Beaches are lovely to look at, but loathe the sand.
Evie Rankin says
Port Townsend, Washington. It’s a beautiful old sailing town. You can walk downtown through towering old brick buildings right next to the ocean. There’s lovely used bookstores, tea stores, and the cutest little bistro called the Owl’s Sprit. I highly recommend going to the olive oil shop and taste testing all they have to offer. There is also an incredible park up the hill that overlooks the ocean. You can sit under the gazebo or on a swing and read for hours. If you want to escape for a bit, you can also take the ferry to Whidbey Island just a hop away. Bonus, there’s also a yarn shop on the main road!
We own a small house on a lake in Maine called Lake Balch (aka Balch pond, Balch lake). We have clear water, a dock, floating dock and a tiny beach. We are surrounded by trees. It is not a place for winter, but the rest of the year, it is beautiful. Mosquitoes are just an evening problem, but the black fly season in June can be horrible. However, the black fly are what pollinate the blueberries, and they die off in July. There are a ton of lakes around here, and none of them are terribly expensive areas to live. It’s about a 40 minute drive to the Maine ocean beaches (Wells, Kennebunk, etc.) where you can eat and shop and play tourist. Near the lake itself, there isn’t much to do except swim, walk, boat and rest. I’m not advocating for you to spend a vacation here, but wanted to at least present a different option.
And this is what it looks like:
and now with sunshine:
I’m with you about the mosquitoes. Hawaii can be thick with them if you hike inland. My kids went to a camp in Minnesota and wanted to come home after three days of being swarmed by giant mosquitoes. I was once bitten up so badly on the Big Island and my hairy boyfriend hadn’t a bite. I also hate black flies which ruined my one and only New England summer vacation. California has some amazing swimming beaches like Seabright and 26th Ave in Santa Cruz, but there are waves, not flat like the Gulf. And there is so much beauty in the Monterey Bay Area, especially Big Sur. Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades have abundant rental possibilities and Huntington Beach is endless, but hard to get beachfront at an affordable rate. I think I might stick with your old faithful in Fla. or maybe rent a beach house in Wrightsville Beach NC area. My uncle is a beach bum there and loves the laid back lifestyle. I love beach getaways living in my bathing suit and shift dresses eating and drinking and swimming for hours. My favorite ones have been in Australia. The sun is hot, the beaches vast and the Indian Ocean feels and smells so good, so different from the Pacific. My husband and I have talked and dreamed about moving to Spain when we retire to live cheap on a beach….
Have fun wherever you land.
Crystal Smith says
I’ll always promote tennessee. there’s so many places to go. if you don’t want the busy gatlinburg but still want to visit the smokey mountains stay in Townsend. of you don’t want the people go to south fork national recreation. Streams instead of seas for both but ehh. if your looking for history try a fort. We love forts and go to as many as possible. we went to St. Simon’s and Savannah GA one year beautiful places steeped in history. my sister and her husband just did a week in California hitting up alot of the parks down there I’m jealous but I’d never get my husband on a plane.
I can’t say anything fitting your criteria from personal experience, but I’ve heard that the lakes of Minnesota are very pretty.
Ms. Kim says
Back to Florida. My family lives all over the and has for over 60 years. I am the only one that has ever had to evacuate, because I live in a mobile home. Jax area sort of they go to St. Augustine beach. The Ocala folks weant to Weekee watchi. When we were all in Miami area we went to Ft. Lauderdale Beach. As mentioned, in the Tampa Bay area I go to the hidden beach of Gandy Bridge. In Pensacola my relatives there just go to Pensacola beach. My parents moved to Florida in 1956, we’ve all lived here ever since (except me for awhile). No one but me has ever had to evacuate.
Naples, Florida is a great place to visit with relocation potential. If you’d rather go to the west coast instead of Florida then Pismo Beach, CA is the best! It’s 2 hours north of Santa Barbara and just south of the wine country of Paso Robles. Ocean can get cooler in the winter but it’s great in the summer. There are mountains, trees, beach, and it’s always beautiful…especially when you watch the fog roll in. You can travel up the 101 to Monterey or San Francisco which is a fun drive. We lived in San Luis Obispo (Home of Cal Poly) and it’s a fun area close to lots of things to do and more inland than Pismo. Best of luck filtering through the bossy BDH suggestions! https://www.experiencepismobeach.com/
My favorite is Pismo Beach in California, but it can get touristy. Next favorite would be Lake Tahoe.
The Ozarks. The mountains are beautiful in the spring. Lots of lakes, Greers Ferry, Norfork, Bull Shoals etc. plus smaller lakes like Mirror Lake near Blanchard Springs Caverns. Many of the lakes are government controlled but have docks thanks to permits. Even the rivers and creeks are normally crystal clear water and lots of docks available.
Maria Dee Austin says
That is a lovely part of Arkansas!
Mirror lake waterfall photo – hopefully I attached this correctly.
Moderator R says
There is a 1MB limit to photo attachments sadly- sometimes it works to take a snapshot of the photo and attach that 😊.
Or a link, if that’s available- probably the simplest way!
Whoo Hoo! Another vote for the Ozarks! 😁
Maria Dee Austin says
There is Lake Belton north of you. I hope you have a lovely vacation. My hubby and I will be in Salado next week visiting friends. I am just hoping it does not rain every day.
Is the West Coast out? I adore the West Coast of the USA. Not as much as I adore living in Canada on the West Coast 😁 but close!
I definitely recommend Lake George: https://www.visitlakegeorge.com/
Beauty and outdoor activities year round. Plus, you can do dual book signings with Anne Bishop, who lives somewhere to the west, but comes into the Albany area regularly.
I think it depends on if you want 4 seasons or warmer weather year round. The Keys are gorgeous with many to choose from. The Georgia Barrier Islands are beautiful. If you want the beauty of the Blue Ridge and water and seasons, Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. And there are still beautiful places along the Chesapeake Bay.
New York Adirondack Park. There are some lakes without great internet/cell service, but a lot of them have joined the 21st century.
I like the ones that haven’t, though.
When we lived in Orlando, FL, we went to Blowing Rock, NC to get out of the heat. Beautiful little town with great restaurants, and Asheville and the college town of Boone are easy getaways. You probably already know it after living in that part of the US, but when Houston (current town) heats up that’s where I wish to escape to.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
An ENORMOUS LAKE on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee
When I was in the U.S. Army — with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) — LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES was our absolute favorite spot for weekends having fun with friends, or even for camping out and playing for a week of leave.
Now all that was some 45 years ago in the late 1970s, but the lake is still there, and people look like they still have a blast. Lots of camp sites, plus plenty of little shoreline coves you can swim in, boat in, camp next to, cook out at, and have an amazing, awesome time.
Obviously it does gets warm (and hot) later in the spring than does Florida and Texas. So check their weather profile first. Also, yes, they do have mosquitoes when it is mosquito time. Biggest damn mosquitoes I’ve ever seen…
Now this ain’t no shit: Once we had four wounded soldiers from a back-of-post artillery and napalm range accident, so we called for a Dustoff to do a Medivac. What looked just like a Huey landed. We loaded in two litter patients, two ambulatory, a medic and a full paramedic, plus we gave that sucker 1200 pounds of JP4 jet fuel. And they buzzed away, never to be seen again.
The actual Dustoff helicopter got there ten minutes later. So yeah… Truly BIG mosquitos. HUGE. Truth, I swear.
Good luck with your vacation! 🙂
Moderator R says
AM Scott says
Flathead Lake in NW Montana; specifically Bigfork or Lakeside areas. Gorgeous, crystal clear water, lots of cool little towns, and Glacier Nat’l Park is nearby. If you’d like someplace slightly more rural, Seeley Lake just west of Flathead.
There’s still lots of snow right now, so late Jun to August is best. Unless the forest fires are bad.
I second this. If you want beautiful swimmable water and temperate summers without too many mosquitos then the Rockies is your best bet. The smaller shallower lakes get quite warm and alpine lakes generally escape the mosquito issues. Montana is truly a beautiful place in summer!
Jenny Trainor says
if you want very, very beautiful- Lake Tahoe, Nevada
if you want clean, pretty ocean- Orange Beach, Alabama
if you want Temps that hardly go above 80ish, Minnesota by any lake. North Shore recommended, but the water is always, always cold.
if you want to swim with wild creatures, La Jolla Beach, CA
I recognize that my idea of a great vacation is vastly different from most people’s, so for people who like heat and beaches and other humans, I just smile and nod.
Unless you’re looking international. Even I have a few tropical beach vacations on my list.
Have you looked at Lake Lanier or Lake Blue Ridge, in Georgia? Not sure how far away from an airport you want to be (Lake Blue Ridge being 1.5 hours from Chattanooga airport or 2.25 hours from Atlanta airport). I love all the beaches down that side of Florida, it’s just incredible there.
Saint Simons Island in GA. About 30 minutes from Jeckyl Isl and an hour from Jacksonville. The food is amazing. It replaced Tybee as our favorite because it’s less crowded and has a more laid-back feel. Also Tybee is not dog friendly and we always take our dog with us on vacation.
Santa Monica, CA
Kevin in Albuquerque says
“This is your chance to give in to your inner travel agent and suggest a vacation spot.”
Okay, this will be fun …
“Must be near a body of water, which needs to be swimmable and preferably not algae soup. We are water people.”
Wait a minute, there’s water out there? Really? Not just pretty photoshopped tease pictures. I live a mile high and get about 9 inches, total, of precipitation per year. Of course most of the state is made of beach material, aside from the mountains. And the Rio Grande? Last year it disappeared and one could walk across it at Albuquerque. Not very grand and definitely not much of a river. However, bugs? Yeah, not many. See amount of precipitation above.
“Must have trees of some sort.”
We have trees. Of some sort hits it right on the nose. Pinon pine and juniper max out at about 20 feet tall. Nice cottonwoods down by the rio. they get tall and turn a lovely yellow in the fall.
“Must have high speed internet access.”
Yeah about that. NM is a third world country burdened by being within the continental boundaries of the US. The cities in the Rio Grande corridor, high speed broadband, sure. The rest of the state, which is about 80% of the rest, nope. Take a look at cell phone coverage maps. See that big blank spot? NM and AZ.
“Must stay in US, since we’ve decided not to fly out and also we are looking for possible relocation potential.”
Well, see above. We are in the US, but talk to some minimally educated desk clerk or phone attendant, and they will ask you for your passport. Or say that they don’t ship outside the US. Not joking, it’s happened multiple times.
So why am I here for almost 50 years? 2.1 million people in the 5th largest state in the union. There is a LOT of space here. Amazing food. Roadrunners in my front yard. Native American [edit Mod R] culture, Spanish colonial culture, NW european cowboy culture is a really crazy mix. 14,000 foot mountains with some of the driest powder to ski on anywhere. Just no water. And very few bugs. Looks like you will be looking elsewhere.
Donna A says
Well I don’t know anywhere in the US as I’m firmly situated in Europe for my travel history, so I can’t really offer practical help on these suggestions.
But getting into the spirit of things, if I were going to visit mainland USA, my choices would be between Redwood National Forest, Yellowstone National Park, Everglades National Park, Anchorage (I grant you that’s a bit outside the main mainland but presumably drivable since there’s no seas in the way), Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns (I just checked because I always thought these two were close together but turns out nope, 300 miles from each other!).
I don’t think any of these are by the water per se but I’d guess there are watery parts within some of them. And lots of flora and fauna. Climate I’ve got no clue about any except probably snow in Anchorage?
But the scenery and history would keep you warm.
Especially if a bear was chasing you. . .
No one has mentioned New England-beautiful coast line all the way up to Maine. Many lakes to choose from. A little humid, a few bugs-not like Minnesota!
Second this. Many beautiful beaches and great restaurants all up and down the coast. From Portland down through Gloucester / Rockport. The Cape is more touristy but still nice. You can fly into Boston and they are all with driving distance.
And if your up this way please stop at the end for book signing😁
Martha Parsons says
St. Augustine Florida for vacation.
For living, I would probably live inland from the beach. Hurricane Ian hit that area, and with the sea levels rising….
I live in Colorado and was raised here. I love love love Colorado, but we have water issues right now. Everyone wants water from our rivers. (Colorado, to the South Platte to the Arkansas just a few of the rivers that feed other states).
There are some amazing lakes here. None I would swim in (okay, unless we are talking Grand Junction area). Too cold (though jumping in a mountain stream after a long hike is fun).
I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and in the summers, we used to spend weekends at Lake Powell. I have a friend that has a boat that she stores at Lake Powell and on weekends puts it in the water. That is what a lot of people do, they either rent or own a houseboat there. She even takes her dog on the boat. Sadly, the lake level there is at a historically low level.
But… come end of June it is an amazing place. It is a dry heat. Very hot. When you get hot, you get in the water. Water skiing is a lot of fun.
Oh, and I love astronomy. The Bortle classification on the lake is 1. You can clearly see the Milky Way and just about every other visible star from Earth.
I personally love the 4 corners area (to visit). The buttes in the distance at night are super cool.
If you make a road trip out of it, Grand Canyon is a hop, skip and a jump (if you do Arizona side of Lake Powell – Utah side is about 5 hours from Grand Canyon).
Valerie in CA says
Virginia Beach VA
Havre de Grace MD
Third recommendation would be Santa Cruz, California. Pajaro Dunes nearby. But, you know, rain right now. And floods. And mudslides. You also have Monterey and Carmel close by. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is incredible. But you know, rain. And mudslides . And floods. Parts of Santa Cruz are tourist-y and some areas are quite nice. But rain. And mudslides. And floods.
Watsonville is also a quaint farming community nearby.
Maybe next year.
I moved to Dallas in 1979, it was booming and the midwest was not. One of my first jobs, I was a drunk at the time and went through many, which is why we needed “booming”, was 3rd shift running a large printing press. I still smoked at the time, and you had to go out a side door to the parking lot to take a smoke break. At 3:30 in the morning it was 85 degrees outside. Texas is difficult.
I live on Catalina Island in California. Rarely hotter than 80 or cooler than mid 60s. Gorgeous water, marine preserves. Palm trees and eucalyptus. Rent a house with a golf cart for a week.
Luv the picture of the chairs on the deck on the lake. That is heaven.
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!
Come to Oregon- LOTS of water everywhere except the desert. Rivers, streams, lakes. Too cold to swim at the beach but warm enough in Central Oregon to swim in lakes etc. Lots & lots of trees, birds, etc.
I’ve lived here since 1986, it’s still paradise for me.
Colorado Karen says
For summer vacation, anywhere in the Colorado Rockies is great! For a lake with swimming, I recommend Grand Lake.
I have no recommendations for HA (you two are pretty good with research😘) but thank you BDH for all the ideas!
We’re deciding where to take a vacation next month (love living on the Front Range of Colorado 75% of the year but am so over winter right now) and am leaning towards the Florida gulf coast.
HA, may you enjoy wherever you decide to go (all places have their pluses and minuses)! 😊
My husband and I visit Hilton Head, SC several times a year. We love it. It would be hot in June, July, and August.
We live in the mountains of southwest Virginia, there are two lakes near us. The larger is Smith Mountain Lake which is east of Roanoke VA. Also near us is Claytor Lake. Our climate is temperate. Winters are not terribly cold and it is less humid in the summer. We live in Blacksburg home to a large university. Great schools, and good medical centers.
You have been writing about Wilmington, NC that is a lovely place. Great university setting. Great beaches. Southport is a lovely area.
M.L. Humphrey says
My favorite lake in the world is in Taupo, New Zealand. Also kind of ideal temperatures and humidity for me.
But since you’re not looking for non-US locations…
I’ve also loved visiting Lake Tahoe. Drove through in September and it was lovely.
When I went on a road trip to try to find somewhere in the U.S. that was similar to what I liked about Taupo (smaller town but with amenities and big lake with mountains) the one that came closest for me was Steamboat Springs, CO. I also used to live near Granby/Grand Lake and loved Frasier when I drove through a few years back. And Silverthorne, CO was really nice, too.
BUT, snow in the winter for all of the CO locations and Tahoe. And prices were pretty much out of my reach for all of the above, sadly.
Suzann Schmid says
Navarre, Florida. Love our condo on the island.
Tybee Island, Georgia. It’s gorgeous and has the benefit of being close to Savannah, which is a very very fun city to visit.
If you like the beach, I recommend visiting White Sands National Park. But if you want to be near the water, you’ll need to find somewhere else.
First I think you should do you. North Carolina is beautiful. Love its combo of beach and mountains just a few hours in each direction and its winters are mild.
I would only vacation in these places but I loved the San Juan Islands. Beautiful and removed. Nantucket was also cool because of how preserved it is. San Diego and Torrey State Park. Santa Barbara too and the Channel Islands for a day trip.
Also there is a joke that everyone in Cincy vacations in Hilton Head. I finally caved and went and I get it- water is warm and beach isn’t lined with hotels. I loved being able to bike everywhere including on the beach. Can day trip to Savannah too. Tip- stay in North Forest beach near Dune Lane- there is no public or street parking so basically only the people living or renting there are on the beach so not crowded. It’s also the first beach I’ve been to where I didn’t feel self conscious. Too pricy to live but fun to visit and chill. Go late spring or early summer because it will get hot!
From a living lens, I grew up in NKY and I have family here so I’ve moved back and just traveled lots instead. However, I appreciate this area’s lakes, hills, trees, and greenery which come at an affordable cost of living. There is easy access to five cities (the distance to things killed me when I lived west). And there is basically no dangerous wildlife. I feel like it’s Snow White’s woods in my yard with deer, rabbits and birds frolicking in summer.
Chris Neko says
lol when i read this i must Thing of the little ghost towns in US and when now one Post a ” great wonderful place ” i have the picure of a Desprate mayor in need of are New attraktion , for his Town then who dont want to life in the community who have great whriter living in the naborhood .
sorry my Pool whriting english is Not my native linguare… bye and good luck
Maine- just make sure you go in late August. Clear, clean water. Definitely swimmable. Lots of trees. High speed internet availability variable.
Crater Lake near Klamath Falls, Oregon was gorgeous. The Pacific North West smells like pine in the mountains.
Jeannie Kesterson says
AnnaMaria Island, Florida. I have only been off season in January, February. The beaches are nice, the water is beautiful and food is great. There are some beautiful houses for vacation rentals. Prices have really gone up, though. The place can be a little touristy, but we enjoyed it. It was very relaxing.
Our extended family has spent our annual beach week at the southern end of Corolla in the Outer Banks for the past decade plus. It’s the northernmost town – we actually stay in the southern end of the Whalehead neighborhood or Crown Point. (There’s a neighborhood in between the two, Buck Island, but it’s a gated community.) The island is narrow there and there’s no housing on the sound side at that particular point, so the beaches are not as crowded as elsewhere.
You can walk to Food Lion, the farmers’ market (their seaside pie is what I dream about all winter) and plenty of shopping and restaurants from the neighborhoods. Also a movie theatre. Of course if you’re going to be carrying much home with you, driving is advisable. Drive three miles north and you’re in Corolla Historic Village, which has a nice museum, excellent juice bar, very decent BBQ joint where you can eat at picnic tables under the trees, *bookstore* and various little antique stores etc.
Up the road past the historic part, and just before the 4WD beaches where the wild horses live, is the maritime forest trailhead. There are a handful of wild horses in there, but you have to get up early to see them, because once the deer flies wake up, the ponies head out of the forest and away from the trail. You can get in about two miles if you do both the boardwalk and the side loop.
There are some fun kayaking excursions available, including a nice day trip to the Alligator River. There are red wolves in there and sometimes you can hear them (though I wasn’t that lucky). Sea turtles nest on the beaches around Corolla and Whalehead. Depending on the currents, you can see porpoises at times. We really love it there.
And the internet access is excellent.
Can’t really recommend any barrier island for relocation though. They’re all one hurricane away from being underwater. The northern end of the OBX hasn’t been hit like the southern end. Rodanthe is falling into the Atlantic.
tiberon north california marin
If you can handle the winter, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan. Amazing in the summer and fall. Winter is just rough, although if you are right on the water the lake effect does tone it down a bit. Still, after Texas and looking at Fl I’m not sure that you guys are interested in the cold lol
Well, I wasn’t among the original commenters😏, but since you asked 😄, how about Lake Jocassee in upstate South Carolina? Also created by Duke Energy, also famous for its beautiful waters and great boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities. Can’t be hotter than the Charlotte area, has more mountains and even waterfalls along its shores, and if this makes a difference, is 3 hours closer to Texas by car and only about 2.5 hours away of you’re flying into Charlotte Airport, less if you fly into Greenville-Spartanburg airport. Greenville and Clemson are both nearby and offer plenty of other attractions. . . . 🤔 Yup, that’s all I’ve got.
Wait, strike that, one more thing. if you’re fine with the coast, I hear Beaufort, SC is turning into a great alternative to Charleston and Savannah. Quieter, great beaches, historic sites, nice town. (Heh, can you tell which state I am from?)
I live near Lake Norman, I assumed you knew it was in NC and would therefore have humidity and mosquitoes 😂. TBH I grew up in TN surrounded by lakes and don’t like them. If I were going on vacay I’d love to do pacific NW and see the pretty trees. If I was going to move near a body of water I’d do NC/SC border beach (not dirty myrtle) or Charleston islands. I like some of the small town FL options but I just can’t w FL right now.
Smith mountain lake virginia
Well I just hope all this nasty weather is done by the 1st as we will be a Canyon Lake and then Boerne to visit family.
How about Lake Glenville in Cashiers NC? Very close to your(and my) old stomping grounds in Cullowhee USA and it is blissfully cool up there in the summer when it’s hot down the mountain.
So here is my 2 cents: Maine. If you wish a cottage by a lake, there are so many pristine choices. Or you want the ocean, unlike Cape Cod, there are many low key, uncrowded beaches. BUT, my thought is that it would be be too cold. This choice would be a total change of pace for you. The ultimate vacation is Ireland, wherever you go enjoy. Vacations get us out of our comfort zone, so when we get home we realize how much we love our home.
I know you wanted to stay in the US, but if the only reason is cuz you don’t want to fly, have you considered Ontario, Canada? it’s beautiful here! There’s 100,000 lakes in this province and 4 of the 5 great lakes can be found in Ontario! great communities abound and the food scene in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is unreal.
Laurie Francis says
Bull Shoals Lake or Norfolk Lake in NW Arkansas. The water is clear and there are several rivers nearby too.
Jackie H says
You might want to avoid Florida this Summer https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/seaweed-sargassum-florida-caribbean-scn/index.html
Not at all what you want but Thousand Islands, NY region is stunning and no it’s not just the name of a salad dressing. It’s a real place which always stuns peoples. There are actually closer to 2000 islands in the St. Lawrence River but Thousand Islands is the name that stuck. NY state and Ontario share “custody” of the islands as the river acts as a natural border between the USA and Canada. Even most New Yorkers don’t know it exists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_Islands.
My mom’s cousin has a summer house on Wellesley Island (every single island has a name) in Thousand Island Parks, it’s one of the few islands connected to the mainland by bridge. I spent a week up there during the pandemic (about a 6-7 hour drive from where I live in the NYC metro area) and omg, it’s so beautiful. The sunsets on the St. Lawrence River were some of the best I’ve seen. And you get to see all the fun container ships go by as they make their way from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence into Lake Ontario. The rest of the islands that have houses you can only get to by boat, not sure how electricity/water works on them and some of the houses have been in the same families for generations. It’s really only a summer destination since the houses up there aren’t winterized so my mom’s cousin closes it up for the season around October and opens it back up in May. I remember doing a boat tour of the river while I was there, it was on a gray foggy day and all I could think of was “This would be the perfect setting for a murder mystery.” (There is actually an author who has set a murder mystery series in the Thousand Islands but I don’t think her books are the best so I will not mention her name but I did meet her once and she is super, super nice! I read the books for the setting lol). You can swim in the river, I didn’t think it was that cold but I’m from the Northeast and grew up swimming in the murky Long Island Sound.
RJ Blain says
I am going to Australia in June, and the gems of our trip are the two following locations: Southwest National Park in Tasmania and Uluru.
If Australia ends up on your list, hit me up for a ridiculous list of really amazing things to see.
I want to do a cruise to Hawaii, but my spouse is not all that keen on cruising…
I know you said it must be in the US, but if I exclude that, your best shot a good Vacation for the summer with all your features mentioned, your best bet would be Ireland. Literally nearly everywhere here (yes, I’m severely biased because I live here) you have access to some water (Atlantic on the one side, Irish sea on the other), hills everywhere. And: no snakes, as far as I know no mosquitos and almost no poisonous creatures.
Whitney Morrical says
Charleston, South Carolina. a great spot that’s not too touristy, with folly Beach, nice places to eat, and great history.
Neil chase says
Take a gander at Echo Lake in Maine. It is near Acadia National Park but far enough away to not be overrun by tourists. And there is high speed internet.
I like visiting state parks/resorts. You can grab a hotel nearby if you don’t want to camp, but still have the lake experience. Some have kiyaks or bikes you can rent, so I don’t have to haul equipment across the state. I live in the Northern Midwest, though, so I don’t know what it’s like farther South.
West Michigan! Plenty of water, if it’s too cold to swim in Lake Michigan there are plenty of inland lakes. The beaches are sugar sand and the scenery is beautiful. If I remember correctly you came to Grand Rapids for a book signing a while back and liked what you saw. We live northwest of there by Muskegon. Come visit again and this time relax and enjoy!!
Lizz D. says
And I’m out… we’re mountain people. We go to Gatlinburg/The Smokies once a year, and we even got married down there. We’re planning on buying a condo down there as a retirement home someday. There are bodies of water to swim in the Smokies, but not like you’re talking about. I wish you all the luck in finding a vacation spot!
(P.s. My husband and I at our wedding, 5/28/11)
Emerald Isle, NC.
Dog friendly and not too crowded. Residents are nice and helpful.
Great food and things to do not far away.
only drawback is it took 30 minutes to go over the bridge when we came down, but if we had come an hour earlier or later, would have been fine.
Puerto Rico. I prefer the west side of the island, but it’s all amazing.
Please note following in sarcasm font:
Stay away from the Lakes Region in Kentucky, specifically Dale Hollow Lake. The peace and calm, beautiful woodlands, secluded coves, and clear water are horrible.
Oh and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to the BDH! (not in sarcasm font)
vacation spots outside the USA – Mauritius (it’s an island you will find water)
vacation spots inside the USA – I haven’t seen Surfside Beach SC mentioned or St Augustine FL.
Roxanne Wynne Davenport says
Surfside Beach is a great area. We have a timeshare there that we’re currently trying to deed back – because timeshare- but we love the area. Close enough to “do” Myrtle Beach but far enough away to not be too overcome with tourists, except for Bike Week, which kind of shuts everything down due to traffic. Ideally I’d go for Garden City, which is between Surfside and Murrells Inlet.
Our go to spot is Fernandina Beach, Florida – My parents have a house there and the girls love the beach. Plenty of dog friendly places and the best fudge shop ever in the little historic downtown area. Actually got married there too.
Lots of state parks along the little island chain- excellent shark tooth hunting by Fort Clinch. Excellent food most places.
Having said that…….
Go Where Ever You Want! Its your vacation!
Tasha A says
So are you a no on flying in general or just flying out of the USA? For example would Puerto Rico work? Still in the USA and there are some amazing beaches and the food is awesome!
Second that. Amazing beaches. Warm water. Tropical forest.
Lake Tahoe although it does snow there. High desert area so it is dry heat when it warms up. Do you like to ski?
I always have to put in a plug when I see these questions about where should I go on vacation. I am lucky enough to live in an area that I consider to be pretty much Paradise. I live in San Diego County in California and there are miles of beaches, gorgeous weather, almost year round, depending, unless you like super hotter super cold. We don’t get snow near the water at all.
Try pictured rocks on lake superior. Gorgeous and not too crowded in the summer. Crystal clear water, waterfalls, etc.
Here’s a picture.
Anna Lynn Sandfield says
Great Lakes are wonderful to visit. Probably don’t want to live there though…
Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.
Mountains, water, a little but rural, close to Roanoke.
Fernandina Beach, Fl. Very pretty not too hot, water great food. It’s gotten busier these last few years but it’s lovely. Destin Fl as well I have heard is nice.
Rene O says
S. Carolina – Lake Moultrie or Lake Marion, there are many towns around them.
N. Carolina – the greater Wilmington area along the coast.
Ogunquit, Maine is the best summer vacation spot!
Lake Keowee in the western part of South Carolina is amazing. We’re there in summer. Everyone has a dock, everyone has a boat, and the water is so warm you can just float for hours if you want. There are country club properties, but there are also some that are out side of that. Its close to Greenville for an airport and amenities, but the little towns around are really coming alive again. You can be on the main lake, but there are lots of inlets too.
Patricia Schlorke says
No travel consulting from me. It looks like there are a lot of suggestions from the BDH.
One of my eventual places to visit is the southern coast of Maine. My maternal grandmother would vacation there every summer and took my mom with her. I think if she could she would have moved there that’s how much she loved it there. 🥰
Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye. Belize. 14 miles from the mainland. Right on the reef. Second largest reef in the world. Simple. Quiet. Palm trees. No mosquitoes. You can snorkel right off the beach. Short flight from Houston to Belize City. 10 minutes on Tropic Air to Dangriga, then a 45 minute boat ride to paradise.
It’s 14 acre island and in the Marine Reserve with half the key being the resort. so there aren’t a lot of guests,
There are several nice lakes in the southern Appalachians – the confluence of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Beautiful scenery, including trees.
I still think you should go to Lake Norman. Never listen to us, we are too excitable. If you want an opinion, before we moved to NC, we lived in MI. We went to South Haven several different times and had a great time every time. It’s an artist community and they have an art festival there that is lovely. https://www.southhaven.org . Still, I think you should go wherever you like!
I’d like to help, but I’m a northern gal. We open the doors to let in the warm humid 35 degree (Fahrenheit) air on that odd February day. My beaches are best described as refreshing and brisk.
Outer Banks, NC or Fripp Island, SC
You asked for it:
1. Lake Lure NC
2. Osceola NC
3. Ellajay GA
All near water all beautiful. They do get hot but the mosquitos aren’t as bad as TX, MS, or LA
Leslie Hudson says
We really enjoyed Belize. There are several islands and they were quiet. You just have to miss the rainy season. My in-laws enjoy Turks & Caicos (sp?). I really enjoy your blog and your books, all your books. Thanks for all you do.
jacqueline nielson says
Any of the coastal areas in Connecticut:) all of CT is lovely and house prices are reasonable. Short drives to the coast if you purchase a bit inland. Close to all the good stuff in Maine, quick and cheap train to New York. Love it here!
Leo Kerr says
recently (pre-pandemic,) I took ‘driving vacations’ around work-related trips. Summer in Wisconsin was lovely; I’d hate to be in the upper-mid-west in Winter. Early spring in Utah/New Mexico/Arizona was also quite nice. Fire season in Oklahoma was NOT nice!
When I was much younger, we used to do family vacations – alternating between camping in New England/Maratime Canada and visiting family in SW Colorado. I have very fond memories of coastal Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and especially west-coast Newfoundland (Gros Morne Natl. Park.) Nova Scotia does have mosquitos the size of small birds, and, well, fortunately I was never one for swimming, because in August, the Gulf of St. Lawrence was about 32°F (measured!). Cow’s Head and Shallow Bay had a beautiful, shallow, white-sand cove. Again, a bit on the cold side for sunbathing, but… the nearby mountains and fjords were wonderful for hiking. (Parcs Canada used to do marvelous trails and trail-maintenance. Haven’t been up there in probably 30 years, though.)
Seabrook or Kiawah Island, SC
Melissa B says
This is on my bucket- The Montreux Jazz Festival. I am sure its crowded then, but so beautiful and on Lake Geneva.
The other bucket list is the International Arts Festival, or the Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. I think to see both we would need to spend a month but I could visit Ireland too. Lots of water.
I’ve worked in both places but was not present during for these events. Thanks for your post and love the BDH. Happy Friday everyone!!
Shlomi Harif says
Lake Buchanan is pretty, and there’s room for development. Check out Canyon of the Eagles for a camping or nice hotel retreat to get a sense of the place. And no, I don’t get a commission… 🙂
you could try a renting a cabin on a lake in Minnesota but not until July to beginning of August. lots of trees it does get humid and there are mosquitoes but it is beautiful in Minnesota.
I’m from East Alabama and we vacationed in Dallas last summer. I thought I was gonna pass out from the heat. It was worse than Las Vegas! So, we’re aiming for California this summer. Specifically, Pomona. Our daughter is there for the whole summer (travel nurse), so we are going to visit and get in as many sights as we can. I’m sure the hotel pool will be our paradise because I’m not sure about the beaches there.
Consider beautiful Lake Gaston, NC-swimmable lake and lots of water sports, lots of trees, friendly but non -intrusive people. And good food-Littleton, which is the gateway to Lake Gaston, has Casa Mia’s Pizza and Italian Family Restaurant (best pizza outside of NY), Grandpa’s Kitchen (BBQ), the Blue Jay Bistro (fine dining with a 3 starred chef), a good Chinese restaurant and Littleton Food and Spirits. It also has Lakeland Arts Center, which is a dinner theater. It has a Veterans Museum and a Bigfoot Museum. I know there is an active Air BnB presence. It is located about an hour and 15-minute drive from Raleigh and 1 hr30 min from Richmond and about 2 (ish)hours to Kitty Hawk. If you want ocean, Myrtle Beach or Emerald Isle.
I have family in Port St Joe Fl. It’s near where you already vacation but off the beaten path and not as popular with tourists yet. If you don’t mind rural areas, it’s still somewhat affordable, though housing prices have doubled in the past few years and hurricanes are a concern. Nothing is perfect!
Pat Krum says
Lake Anna in VA. Rent a boat, enjoy. It’s between Richmond and Fredericksburg so far enough from the D.C. craziness but close enough if you want to be a tourist there for the day.
I agree that Lake Anna is amazing!
Jennifer Mason says
The Outer Banks in North Carolina. While it gets crowded in the summer, from the moment school goes back in session, you have the beach to yourself. It’s gorgeous, has seasons and the water is super warm to swim in! https://www.outerbanks.org/
Love OBX too!
I really like Bald Head Island, NC. It has a nice beach, an area of Marintine Forrest and no cars!! You tool around in a golf cart. It’s not for everyone, but it suits me. We park the car at Deepoint Marina, step on the ferry and leave the world behind. Play with the grandkids, cook some good food, , some nice wine, look for seashells and just chill.
Our son lives in Oceanside, California and we love visiting him and staying in Carlsbad right on the beach. Great sunsets, excellent dining options and best of all it’s in California.
Sharli Bias says
My family has done a group trip to the River Bluff Cabins on the Frio River for the past 2 years. We rent out the Twin Cypress Cabin and have a beautiful view of the river. Water is crystal clear and cool. It is now the go to location for a relaxing weekend on the water.
Have you considered Hilton Head South Carolina? Coligny Beach Park is exceptional. Pawley’s Island is nice too.
Cindy white says
lake Chelan WA,Moses lake WA. any where a along south hood canal,
San Luis Obispo is a nice college town, with beaches/ocean views 10 miles away. Lots of hiking, wine tasting, beautiful scenery. My daughter goes to school there and the school (part of the ag college) sells their own ice cream, wine, cheese, jams, &c. Not as expensive as LA or Santa Barbara, a bit hard to get to (nice friendly small airport, or Amtrak). But a good area to look into!
PS with nary a mosquito!
Our vote is for Hawaii. We try to go every year or two.
Erin Ramos says
This breaks the flight rule, but the absolute best snorkeling we’ve ever had was in St. John. USVI. Easy to walk off of any beach and suddenly see underwater paradise. The whole island is forested as well so right behind you are trees. It’s incredible!
Debbie B says
May I suggest Bti products such as Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits?If necessary, you can spray to kill adult mosquitoes with plant oil pesticides such as EcoSMART. Pest control operators can use EcoEXEMPT Essentria. Garlic sprays work well to repel the insects for up to 20 days. Even better, broadcast dry minced garlic to the site at 1lb. per 1000 square feet. Bonide Mosquito Beater Granules is another good commercial dry product.-from Dirt Doctor site. There are several Library entries on people & other animal(not mosquitoes) safe treatment programs.
Alicia Shotwell says
Lake Norris or Dale Hollow lake in Tennessee. Beautiful, relaxing, fresh air, clear water. on Norris the houses have docks!
I grew up in Spokane WA and there’s something like 100+ lakes within a 2 hour driving radius. My parents now live on Pend Oreille Lake in Idaho (largest lake in ID, 38th largest in US) and we vacation there every year. I absolutely love it, very few bugs, no humidity, and gorgeous mountain views. It’s swimmable, although it’s so cold that you can’t stay in for too long, even in August (we actually just buy wetsuits for the kids because it makes it more fun for them)😂. But all the other lakes are warmer, since they’re smaller and there’s also tons of rivers that you can live on.
Faith Freewoman says
Along the Northern California coastal area, my perfect spot is 15-20 minutes north of Eureka and about 1.5 hours south of the Oregon border, in the small town of Trinidad.
There’s lots of classy and/or funky rental housing available at various times of year. Sometimes you see whales playing in the harbor (down the street from the tiny post office), and you can get the ingredients for your dinner from the catch of the day (mostly crab and salmon) on the dock next to a cute little cafe, or from a small-town grocery next to the highway.
There’s also a casino on the precipitous drive along the cliffs between Trinidad south to Westhaven (I lived in Westhaven).
Lovely beaches, about 10 minutes south of Trinidad and a little farther north of Eureka, are often virtually empty, most people amble along with their dogs off leash, and some people (the ones to watch out for) like to race their cars on the hard-packed sand.
And of course there are at least two stupendous redwood forests nearby, though I’m not sure what kind of shape they’re in after the fires.
If you like camping, when I left there was a campsite right on the southern end of the usually-almost-completely-deserted Moonstone beach.
I really miss being there!!
I spent summers in Trinidad with my great Grandmother, a truly idyllic and lovely small town vibe.
Vicki from Flat Rock says
Look at Lake Lure in the NC Mountains – fewer mosquitos, cooler and less humid than Lake Norman
I have been to Sanibel Island, FL (seashell capitol of the world) several times. It was lovely and quite laid back.
Come to the Great Lakes States; Northern Ohio, all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, (Illinois and Indiana have a small slice of Lake Michigan) or New York. The Great Lakes are actually inland seas; You cannot see across them. Late Spring, Summer and early Autumn is absolutely gorgeous and the weather is spectacular. You can stay in any type of lodging. Rent a cottage on one of the Great Lakes or on one of the inland lakes. Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota have thousands of lakes. Look into it – you will be very pleasantly surprised.
My favorite USA vacation spots thus far:
Maine Coast – especially around Cape Elizabeth – mid to late summer
Sanibel Island, FL – crowded but gorgeous, I went in the off-season with a friend and we loved it
Venice Beach, FL – less-known beach that’s amazing (but I haven’t been in 20 years, so who knows now); when I was there it was popular with a younger crowd of skimboarders and surfers AND retirees, adorable downtown area.
Outer Banks, NC – I live near here and have been going most of my life, so I may be biased, but I think these are the best sand beaches in the US. Temps can be high, but if you’re sitting on the beach with shade (bring or buy an umbrella or beach tent), the wind is wonderful. Even better in the fall. The further south you go on the island chain, the better it gets.
Oregon Coast near Brookings (right above CA border) – stay at an ocean-front B&B if possible. My grandparents lived here on the ocean. Feels and looks very much like Ireland, with the Redwood Forest less than 30 minutes away.
Tybee Island, GA. Near Savannah. Do go to Bonaventure Cemetery.
St. Augustine, FL. Trees and a beach side and a cool downtown, it is touristy, but fun.
Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri is very nice. Lots of resorts and places to stay, docks, boating, amenities, etc. Branson isn’t far and there’s Silver Dollar City amusement park. Head south towards Arkansas you’ll find Tablerock Lake. Very nice, not as built up as Lake of the Ozarks. Lots of boating, swimming and fishing.
Moving west, the Colorado River reservoirs/lakes have recovered nicely from the fabulous amount of rain and snow we received during our seemingly endless winter. Lake Powell, Lake Shasta, Lake Mead, etc. should be ready for business by summer. I’ve always thought a houseboat vacation might be fun.
California beaches and beach towns are beautiful (and spendy $$) but the water is always cold. At least it is to me 🥶.
Wishing you a wonderful time wherever you go!
Lake Chelan in Washington State. In the summer it is warm, no humidity, good swimming and boating. You could also do a bit of sightseeing in the Puget Sound. The beaches in Washington and Oregon are wonderful but a bit cold for swimming. Good Luck!
😍 putting in my plugs for either Watauga Lake, TN, or Deep Creek, MD, cause then Brad & I would come say hi! ❤️
Moderator R says
I am going to highly suggest Sunset Beach NC. It’s the last barrier island in NC before South Carolina. The beach is beautiful, sand like powder and the water clean is warm and clear in the summer. You can walk out far at low tide and it has tidal pools. It is relatively quiet and relaxing. The island itself has very little commercial space which is nice yet you can drive off island for restaurants and grocery shopping. It really is a special place.
There is a castle for rent in Burnet, Tx. Not too far away. Sounds like a perfect getaway for writers!
Holden Beach, NC is the best. Quiet, family beach, nothing over three stories ,fabulous beach. Plenty of ocean side rentals; plenty of sound side rentals. 2 hours from Raleigh or 45 minutes from Wilmington airport. great pizza, fresh seafood. otherwise plan to cook.
We had a family vacation (large fam, 30+ people) on Lake Norman a few years back. Loved it. Enjoy.
Try Michigan. Sand dunes. Rivers. Forests. Big city. Small city. No city.
– 11,000+ inland lakes, from ‘are you kidding’ small to OMG huge, & fresh water, all.
– 3,200 miles of shoreline, not counting islands or rivers.
– no point is Mich is more than 85 miles from one of the great lakes
– Tons and tons and tons of trees.
Lots of homes or cabins to rent; lots of hotels; lots of camping; lots of water access and sports.
Right now – there’s a snowstorm in the Upper Pennisula, and snow still in the upper half of the Lower Pennisula (where the trolls, like me, live .. you know, ‘under the bridge’ that connect the two halves). By May, spring will have sprung all over, but the mosquitos won’t quite be active. And, for as much water as we have, they’re most active only during dusk, or deep in the woods, cuz there’s also generally a breeze or wind blowing them away. Humidity is late summer issue, but only when there’s no breeze.
Deep Creek Lake, MD – beautiful lake with lots of houses with docks to rent. Good hiking and ropes course as well as other fun things to do – horseback riding, kayaking, watch glass blowing, etc. Over the past 20 years, we have held many extended family vacations there.
Have you thought about Minnesota? Hear me out, please.
Land of 10,000 Lakes (actually an under count).
Lake culture is a thing. Find the lake that fits you and your style of relaxing.
Fantastic Department of Natural Resources (DNR) keeps the lakes healthy and citizens updated.
Summers tend to be around 80 degrees with low humidity. Lots of sunshine. Green vegetation. Outdoor culture. Laid back vibe.
I love it here. You might too.
A. G. Boggs says
I’m not sure of anything except it’s a great place for space lovers. Huntsville Alabama. it’s pretty, has a diverse population and has Spacecamp and other space related things. Did I mention SPACE??? Best non-vacation vacation I ever had.
Haven’t been there in 20 odd years, but I really enjoyed the cottage I rented for 2 weeks at Emerald Isle in North Carolina. It’s on the beach. Just walk down the stairs and there you are. We were there over the Fourth of July and watched the fireworks from the beach.
The cottage is still available for rental year round and allows pets (deposits required), but won’t post it here.
Canandaigua Lake in upstate NY – I never been but my cousins have a holiday home there, and it’s glorious.
Siesta Key, FL – one of the best beaches to relax and enjoy the sun!
Other Barbara says
https://masthope.org/amenities/. Lackawaxen, PA 18435
A different idea. A resort community. but I always hoped to visit back when I was active. This is a community that allows rentals year round with amenities for renters. Free lake, free horseback riding (!) small mountain ski resort in winter and mountain lake year round.
All kinds of sports, kid stuff. In Pennsylvania Poconos mountains.
People I know who bought summer place here just sold big family home in NJ, where we are, and moved here permanently.
My favorite place in the world is Lake Tahoe. Mountains surrounding a beautiful lake nestled between California and Nevada. Not many mosquitos. There are tall redwood pine tress that make pinecones as big as footballs. The lake can be cold as it is snow fed but it is clear and beautiful. The temperature rarely gets above 85 even in the summer. There are many beaches on all sides. There are dog friendly beaches where I take my pup. It can get crowded but there are areas that are not busy. The houses can be expensive but you could rent or get a time share up there easily. There are lots of things to do such as hiking/ walking, biking, theatre, water sports, historical sights ( Viking house in Emerald Bay,) and you are only 3 hours away from the back entrance to Yosemite Park.
David in Fremont says
And if you go now, there’s 52 feet of snow! ;^)
For vacation- Kiawah Island, SC.
I live in Rhode Island, and think it’s an awesome place to live and vacation. There is no better place to be in the summer. My town has “Main Street Strolls” each month and free live music in the park each week. Other seasons are great as well. We have the most coast-line of any state, we have water skiing and snow skiing, farms, cute New England towns, a great “down city” in Providence, and best of all, you can get anywhere in the state in under an hour! It might be a fun thing to move from the biggest state (in the continental US) to the smallest!
Don N says
Amelia Island FL. It has miles of uncrowded beaches and still feels “undiscovered.” It has rich wildlife and walking trails with a state park boasting a pre-Civil War fort. There is a very quaint small town with great restaurants and shops. It is also host to the annual Amelia Island Book Festival, a clear attraction for famous authors such as yourselves, and the annual Shrimp Festival. It’s only 40 minutes to downtown Jacksonville for all the big city type attractions such as sporting events, concerts and the theater.
David in Fremont says
#1 on my list: must be somewhere that does not have N. fowleri, aka ‘the brain-eating amoeba’.
George Bailey says
Don’t vacation in the Smokies … because if you do, you will never want to leave!
If I were younger, I’d move back in a heartbeat to my mountains.
Suttons Bay, MI! Right next to Traverse City but less busy. The weather is beautiful during the summer with some rain here and there but I personally like rain 🙂
And wineries as far as the eye can see.
There are mosquitos in every state, good luck avoiding them.
Don’t want to do it now, cause snow, but you could always try Michigan. After June, most lakes are even warm enough to swim in (not Superior though. It’s icewater all year round). We have a lot of inland lakes, and the state parks (103!) are only $34 for a year pass for out of state visitors.
The further north you go, the less people there are, and less services like hospitals, something to consider if you have health concerns.
Plus the Detroit Institute of Arts was recently named one of the top art museums in the country.
It takes roughly four hours to go from Detroit to the Mackinac bridge, or three hours to go from Detroit to South Haven (another nice state park) on the other side of the state. There is a nice big airport to fly into, and there should be direct flights available from Texas.
Wherever you go, I hope you have a great time.
Felicia Huard says
I grew up enjoying summers on a respectably sized lake in Mass. However, I was a kid and Mom and Dad did all the work,soooo. As an adult I really like ocean vacations and really like the Carolinas (except in hurricane season,Sept. usually) But I’ll go there any chance I get otherwise. Its beautiful….You should check it out.
David B says
Well, there are a lot of lakes… if you like that sort of thing.
* Lake George, in Upstate New York.
* Lake Champlain, NY / Vermont boundary (but, mostly Vermont!)
* Minnesota Boundary Waters
* Bear Lake (Utah / Idaho border)
As long as you’re traveling to get to your lake, maybe consider some a little farther afield?
Santa rosa looks lovely. I live in Leesburg, central FL. 4 big lakes in the area and it’s beautiful. But all lakes here have alligators, and in the summer there are deadly amoebas. So the only safe swimming is in a pool. Since Santa rosa is a lot closer to Texas than the lower west coast of Fl. and it’s all the same sun and sand and gulf,
I wouldn’t see any difference except for a particular shopping or accommodations
experience, unless someone especially wanted to drop a boatload of cash and go to
the attractions (Disney, etc.). So if you like the accommodations, etc. at Santa Rosa and maybe want to take an hour’s drive along the coast for sightseeing and shopping, maybe stick with what you know.
Can’t help. Vacay spots for me are Florida (Pensacola & Navarre) and rarely the east coast (Amelia Island, Outer Banks, Saint Augustine). Living as I do in swampy, buggy, humidity filled SE La (the state, literally have an alligator in my 1 acre pond), I need sea or gulf breezes and water.
Lake Tahoe was the most magnificent place I’ve ever been, for a water vacation. The water was so clear, you could be in up to your neck and still see your feet. It was so beautiful there. I haven’t been back in many years, so I can’t say what it is like today, but it can’t hurt to check it out.
Susan Tipton says
Somewhere in North Central Florida. There are rivers that flow from springs, lakes, and you are not far from either coast. Also it is not a tourist spot so generally it is not as crowded as some of the other places on the coast or near Orlando.
Rainbow and Silver rivers. Ichetucknee springs. Santa Fe River. Suwannee River. Cedar Key. Crescent Beach. Micanopy.
Sarah P says
Probably wouldn’t tick the box for a future home based on what you’ve said, but Colorado is beautiful and not hot in the summer. Lake Dillon is pretty. Grand Lake is popular. Have fun!
Check out 1 (the Sisters area in Oregon ) Smith Rocks area, its high mountain Desert, yes there are lakes , not heavily populated )
2 South West Washington has so lovely lake areas , great vacation area view Mt St Helens, Mossy Rick Area…nice lake areas warm summers , rain snow sun in winter….
Eastern Washington, lake areas , warner dryer weather , short colder winters
Yakama , Leavenworth, very scenic yes swimming in cryst clear water…
Saugatuck Michigan. One of the best beaches in the world. Fishing. Sailing. Canoeing. Swimming. Dunes. Hikes. Art. Friendly bars and other eating places.
Dalia Arlaki says
I would like to find a place like that too.
SF water -too cold, where I’m @ now.
I go to Hawaii, which I like, but I would not like to live there & it’s too remote.
So I’m sorry I can’t help.
Lake Santeetlah, or Lake Lure (more commercialized spot) in NC!
Australia. Charming Scoundrels, bugs and animals galore that actively try to kill you. Also Quokas, beautiful country, and upside down weather. I loved it. Highly recommend a visit to anyone that asks. Perth was my stop, but they have a big patch of dirt down there.
Trish who swims in the SF bay sometimes. says
Rivers are nice, and there are a lot in Texas, so not as much driving for a mid-week getaway.
You could come up here to Canada. You can drive up and across the border so no flying involved. If you come to British Columbia, I would say that you should consider the Okanagan Valley because of the lovely lakes (and hey, maybe you’d see our own lake monster Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan). It gets nice and warm in the summer and there are lots of local activities (winery tours, hiking, swimming, etc). Or, come to Vancouver Island and stay in a couple of places here. Tons of stuff to do, lake and ocean swimming. Some mosquitos but not like what you talked about!! That is crazy. And here we have no scorpions. I live in Victoria and even now I am able to just leave my front door open to get the lovely spring breeze flowing through my house (however it would be cold down by the water with the wind and while there are folks who would swim in it, I would not be getting in the ocean – way to cold for me).
Oh and don’t forget how much further your dollar will go here with the exchange rate.
Sandra "Sky" Carpenter says
Chapin, SC – Capital of Lake Murray – the clearest lake I’ve ever fished. I lived there for a year before my transfer to Anniston Army Depot in Alabama. I would go back to Chapin in a heartbeat, but family keeps me here. If you like fishing, skiing, or just boatin’, then you need to visit Lake Murray, the Jewel of South Carolina. You won’t regret it.
Personally I would recommend Lake Lure. Right outside of Asheville NC if you’re still wanting an NC experience. Also further into the mountains of the Appalachia so you don’t get the mosquitos and oppressive humidity though it’s still plenty warm. Also Asheville is amazing with plenty of delicious restaurants.
I would suggest you look at Door County WI. It is a peninsula with a Great Lake on either side. Lovely weather. Beautiful views. Trees. Boating, swimming, hiking, etc. I used to go with my in-laws who loved to go all seasons. Relatives just purchased a beach front house there. Art haven. Wonderful places to eat and just veg out. Fly into Milwaukee or Green Bay. Rent a car and have a great time. Good luck😁
Just wanted to chime in on mosquitos. There are pills called Dunks that are wonderful. They keep them developing, and they are ok with animals.
Love you guys.
No help with vacations. I think it would be a little chilly for you up here. WA state. Grays Harbor beaches are beautiful. Ocean Shores.
Pensacola Beach, Florida is our favorite beach to visit. It’s beautiful. Plus, the Blue Angels practice there.
I actually know a good place- we go there often. Pauley’s Island South Carolina. Its gorgeous and the beach is awesome. There is good food and the hotels and bed and breakfasts are reasonable and clean. People are polite. My brother got married there, and takes his family every year- his wife grew up there and he fell in love with it. He’s got high standards even by my travel loving family’s standards. His work regularly gives him free trips to places like the bahamas, Paris, Italy, Florida and Mexico- he has travel points to fly just about anywhere they want for pretty much free. He goes to Pauley’s island. Every year- as often as he can. He has a beach- he lives about an hr from the beach in North Carolina. He still goes to Pauley’s Island.
Elaine Morton says
Algonquin Park. You can drive there. Lots of trees. Lakes. Cabin rentals. https://www.ontarioparks.com/fees/roofed/2023
i always enjoy summering at NC’s outer banks.
Judy B says
I know you don’t want to leave the USA, but try Canada. Either the east or west coast, west is warmer, but a lot more expensive. East is gorgeous.
Topsail Beach in NC. It’s actually very near Wilmington. It’s far enough away from most tourist traps (such as Myrtle and Charleston beaches in SC or Outer Banks in NC) that it’s not too crazy crowded, and the beaches were usually crystal clear unless it was hurricane season. We usually tried for June rather than July or August heat because it was usually a few degrees cooler. The beach houses are usually reasonably priced, and Wilmington is 30-ish minutes away if you have “real” grocery store needs beyond the mom and pop shops offered nearby
If you’re looking for a beautiful, relaxing vacation, maybe try the central coast of California? My family and I vacationed there for over 20 years and later moved there for 15. The ocean is colder than Florida, but that area is less crowded than places like Los Angeles or San Francisco and is located in-between the two. San Luis Obispo is a college town about 10 miles from the beach and would be the area to fly into. I worked in Pismo Beach and it has many hotels and restaurants. San Luis Obispo (or SLO as the locals call it), has plenty of restaurants as well. They have a very nice farmers market on Thursday nights. Lots of fresh produce, food and live music.
Both towns are very walkable and there are lots of great trails and places to explore.
Driving about 20-30 miles up Highway is some of the prettiest views and other great little towns to explore. If you’re into wine, there are over 200 wineries in the Paso Robles area (located about 20 minutes north of SLO).
Best of all, if you stay in a beach town, the average temperature is usually between 75 and 50, June through August.
Wherever you choose, hoping you have a great time!
Oops, that’s Highway One
Please consider Vermont. We have lots of lakes (including Lake Champlain), ponds, rivers. Lots of gorgeous trees, excellent food (a James Beard award winning Thai chef cooks in the town next to mine), places to sightsee or quiet places where you can just kick back and chill. It gets plenty hot on the beaches, though you don’t need asbestos bathing suits. We also have mountains (that’s why people love skiing here). It’s magical. I can send you lots of free information paid for with some of my tax dollars! I love my state. Can’t live anywhere else. I’ve never met anyone who visited and didn’t want to come back. Don’t get me started on how gorgeous the foliage is in Fall!
How about Lake Champlain between New York & Vermont? Not crazy busy lots of small town on either side of the lake. . . Lake is lovely. Plattsburgh has a sand beach. I grew up at the Jersey Shore, Ocean City. Nice off season but crazy during June, July, and August. September and October are beautiful and not busy mid week.
Kat in NJ says
Diane, I was posting my “don’t visit NJ” advice the same time you were posting your comment. I definitely agree: NJ (Ocean City, Cape May, etc) are awesome in September and October, once the crowds leave! 😁
Kat in NJ says
Well, you probably won’t want to visit NJ: good beaches, but too many people and the mosquito is our state bird. 😉
I personally love Cape Cod….I haven’t been in years, but it was gorgeous, had beautiful beaches (maybe a bit cold for swimming though?) and lots of yummy seafood! We rented a little cottage a block from the beach and had probably the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever had. 🥰
If you’re trying to stay in Texas, good luck. After 18 years, I left last year for the Pacific North West.
Vacation spots you may like:
Outer Banks in the Carolinas
Lake Michigan – there are several spots around the great lakes that are gorgeous in the summer.
Oregon / Washington coast. The beaches are not as hot, but they also aren’t as crowded. And beautiful.
Cathy R says
We have lived in Miami, FL for 44 years. Anywhere in Florida: mosquitos and hurricanes. But we have grandkids here so…..
Bar Harbor, Maine Gorgeous for vacation,has mountains AND waterfront, national park but no place for winter! Except a few more years of climate change and could be great year-round!
Colleen Thorsen says
Recommendation – St John’s American Virgin Islands. The beach is amazing. 1/2 of the Island is a national park. Community is small. I grew up in Florida, and thanks to my husbands service of 20 years in the Air Force we have lived in all parts of the country. No matter where you live you will spend one season indoors. (Too hot, or too cold) Nature is always a challenge- bugs, bears, snakes, gators. There is no perfect place.
Tybee island, st Simon’s, little st Simon’s, Cumberland Island and Jekyll Island in Georgia are all supposed to be beautiful. it’s the Atlantic so the after is colder than the Gulf. Its called to the Golden Isle. Destin and Panama City Beach FL are beautiful. the beaches are really nice. probably don’t want to move to FL in the current political climate ( and I live here so I can say that). Hilton Head South Carolina is nice
Come to Maine!!!
Lake Memphremagog, Vermont. there’s even a monster there
We had a wonderful time at Ft Morgan AL last year….not the Gulf Shores side, but the Ft. Morgan side. went in June…rented a house….not too crowded….white sands, beautiful water, seashells to collect….rented a tent for the beach for when it got too hot. Loved it.
PS….lots of fish and such too.
Western Australia !!!
No alternative motive here 😁😁😁😁
Pollyanna Hopson says
I’ve recently moved to Galveston, TX (from the Austin area) Last summer it was 5-10 degrees cooler than Austin on average and the Wind never stops for long. It does have internet, but it is usually weak so it might not work for you. But I love it here.
Michelle Perrin says
Ok, we don’t have a lot of water, unless you hike up to the alpine lakes, but there are no mosquitos in Santa Fe. The weather is fantastic most of the year, there are trees and water in the mountains and dessert at at the base. The town is historic…and we do have bears :). Come visit anytime! Especially in August when the weather tops out at 80 degrees.
I have a library card for West Palm Beach FL. I want to go there because I am so impressed with the newsletter content I get from the City of WPB. It has an update from the mayor, activities happening in the area and a really good library system. Seriously, get a card from WPB and see all of the online offerings.
I have no idea what the difference is climate wise. They are on the SE side of FL. Across the channel is Palm Beach where all of the ocean beaches are. It looks pretty busy. You might not like it.
I am a library nerd and I do like to visit libraries when I travel. I have cities on my travel dream list specifically because of libraries and bookstores.
I have a friend on the gulf side but she says discouraging things about the medical system near her so I don’t want to recommend it. Maybe a bit further north, closer to the larger city. Pretty beaches though.
If you guys haven’t been…..I highly suggest the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I’ve vacationed there several times over the years and beach wise it’s probably tied for my number 1 pick in the US. I personally prefer the area around Duck or Corolla. Corolla’s added bonus imo is getting to see the wild horses! The people i know that live there full time love it. Something to think about; you could rent your house out for part of the year via one of the company’s until you move there full time. A second option is the Delmarva Peninsula; mainly the part that is in Virginia. The housing and land is cheap, the beaches are nice (i can’t vouch as I haven’t been in person but it was my mom’s pick to retire too…she got outvoted lol), plus again the bonus of wild horses though this time in the famous “Misty of Chincoteague“.
Destin is close to Santa Rosa but it has a different vibe and I really like it there.
Midwest Woman says
Jekyll Island SC might be worth investigating. Never made it down from Wisconsin myself, but family members favored it as getaway from New England chills. Ocean is water, right? Driving just a teensy bit out of Florida, where you already motor from Texas. Active arts community. Vacation rentals — and believe those who winter-over should be heading north for home. Hope BDH and your own preferences find you all a nice spot!
Midwest Woman says
Jekyll Island GA. Oops.
We have had a timeshare in Canyon Lake for years. Admittedly, these days we usually just swap the week for options elsewhere. It is very pretty there and traveling around in the Hill country is always interesting. I have always been amused by the local traffic sign there in Canyon Lake….”Slow down, see our dam. Speed up, see our dam judge.”
We always enjoy visiting Honeymoon Island out by Tarpon Springs, Florida. Stayed in some nice BnB facilities near there the last couple times.
Beth L says
Chocowinity, NC. My sister just moved there. She loves it, very boat friendly and peaceful. No scorpions.
“Chocowinity is a town in Beaufort County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 820 at the 2010 Census. The town is a part of the Washington Area located in North Carolina’s Coastal Plains region.”
Roxanne Wynne Davenport says
I live about 20 miles from Chocowinity. It is a great little town but a bit limited as to restaurant and shopping – however, that’s getting better! It’s just across the Pamlico River from “Little” Washington, which has a great waterfront, and about 20 miles from Greenville, NC, Home to East Carolina University.
Well, since you asked for silly BDH suggestion mine would be the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. It is still in the US, though close to my home country of Canada, it has trees, it has Lake Michigan ( which is swimmable). Plus it also has lots of rocks and mosquitoes to make it feel homey. Bonus, if you show up in August you can pick peaches and you a oid the blackflies.
Blue Ridge GA. Large lake for swimming and fishing, near lots of rivers for tubing and swimming and fishing. Bugs are not bad, it’s in the Blue Ridge mountains so not as high as Western mountains but the elevation keeps it a little cooler. Three absolutely stunningly beautiful seasons, but we have lost winter. It used to regularly break freezing and snow enough once or twice a year for a day of sledding before it melted, but past few years we only break freezing a few times and barley a dusting of snow that doesn’t stick at all. Hour and a half from Atlanta, a little less to Chattanooga, two and a half from Asheville, NC. Small but hopping little downtown.
What about Hawaii? Tropical, beautiful, water is swimmable. The islands are interesting because depending on where you go you can get totally different climates. It is expensive to live there though.
Our family always loved Myrtle Beach, SC. Love the beach. Long open stretches. Captain Benjamin’s Seafood all you can eat buffet. Mini golf on every corner. Medieval Times. Dixieland Stampede. Planet Hollywood. Shopping.
My favorite as a kid was Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Think waves crashing on rocks, sparkling ocean. Lobster, nice people, artsy town, the week of July 4 they have Tall ships week where sailing ships from all over sail into the harbor. Rocky shore though, more of an outdoor adventure place than a sit by the beach place.
Lately we’ve been vacationing at home, sitting out on our deck in the summer soaking up the sun, snugging up on the sofa and reading and watching snow fall in the winter. Upstate New York is most beautiful in the fall though when all the trees turn orange and yellow and red.
Jean C says
High Springs, Florida is in the midst of the largest collection of first magnitude springs in the world. Approximately midway between the east and west coasts of north central Florida and close to major healthcare centers in Gainesville & Jacksonville, yet far enough inland to be buffered from the worst of storms. Great for hiking, biking, water sports. Hope you check it out!
Duffi McDermott says
St Pete Beach or really anywhere near — up the coast a bit. St Petersburg has great food. Plenty of trees, WiFi is fine. I wish I could go back.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Beautiful, generally not very crowded, you can walk out very far before it gets deep which is nice! More crowded in summertime but also water temps better in summer time.
Navarre Beach, Fl – just a little to the West of Santa Rosa. Much more low key with the same beautiful beaches as 30A. A little less crowded and more family oriented.
I don’t have any good suggestions on relocating as we are not really water people. But if you want just a vacation I would suggest Yellowstone. We have gone several times and it was different each time. One time we rented an RV and stayed inside the park. Last time we stayed in a cabin in Gardiner MT. Besides park stuff, some did water rafting and horse riding.
One thing I would keep in mind is wherever you end up is how easy it is to access things. If you have to climb up and down stairs are you going to want to that in ten years? That is one argument my husband and I have because I don’t want to have stairs in our retirement home.
I vote for Mid Atlantic off the coast up into the mountains…. Maryland lakes though I’m not sure when you plan to go…. Best lakes: (Deep Creek Lake, Lake Habeeb… LOL). Also a good lake if you can get a place there, Lake Anna in Virginia…(there is a nuke reactor at Lake Anna and the lake water on one arm stays warmer year round soo. …. swimming and boating in the fall are pleasant long into the end of fall in the ‘heated’ end, LOL. Also fishing excellent in the warmer end..Close to Fredricksburg, Richmond. West Virginia Tygart Lake near Grafton (state park), with Lodge accommodations is an excellent out door adventure.. lake, and many other activities to choose from…. weather in summer quite nice really. Yes, West Virginia *really is* Almost Heaven Country and great get away from hustle and bustle. And bonus if you like rivers, hiking, falls, covered bridges, paw paws and natural scenery! Oh, and you can honestly sit around a campfire making smores and sing Country Roads while drinking fine beers. You might even get lucky and get a passing German tourist to join in!! 🙂 There are also many other gorgeous places to be in WVa. Berkley Springs, Harper’s Ferry, Shepardstown, the Monongahela, because yes… Don’t forget tubing on hot lazy afternoons and rafting trips! Cool and pleasant nights with lots of stars at night and lower light pollution. Soo many good places to go… and if you get tired of it take a day or two hop on over to Virginia, straight through to Maryland and hit Rehoboth and Cape May…
I highly recommend Wolfeboro, NH, on Lake Winnipesaukee. The lake and beaches are very beautiful. It’s also an artist town with lots of artwork studios filled with paintings and ceramics, glass, etc. Plus lots of fun places to eat in the traditional New England town center.
In August, it’s in the 90s and humidity A LOT lower than FL and TX. The breeze off the lake really cools off the night so it’s not sweltering at all. The Lake is warmer than our Cape Cod beaches. There’s some wonderful Bed and Breakfasts there, one wonderful restored old Victorian.
It’s a great place if you’re hankering for something different and a real slice of small town New England life.
Sandy R says
San Diego is lovely in the summer! The beaches are beautiful, the water is cooler than the Gulf waters, and there is a lot of wonderful seafood.
I used to live there and haven’t been back in a while, but I don’t think it has changed too much.
Just don’t go in June… there is a phenomenon known as June gloom… where it’s overcast on the coast.
I always recommend my town Charleston SC, whether Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Seabrook. But if it’s too humid here for you (on the water it is better), I’d say Fontana Lake, NC. it’s a small mountain town with beautiful water, friendly people, and lots of farmers markets and festivals around. Close enough to visit Asheville and Lake Norman. Of course, these are all quite a drive from Texas.
Now Ashville NC is stunning. Plus there’s tons of crystal clear mountain lakes & waterfalls in the surrounding countryside.
Heidi Cothard says
Western Shores of Kentucky Lake – lake property with permitted docks / or permitted community dock; small pool; hiking paths; eastern shore is ‘Land Between the Lakes’ Federal park with camping, atv, planetarium, historic farm; couple hours from Nashville; Paduca Airport connects via United and a few other airlines to more places than I imagined. Kentucky Lake is a dammed river, you can use just about any boat and still swim/shallows let you chase frogs/fish. Beaches …well, some of the resorts have nice beaches … Kenlake Resort is a great place to visit. I don’t know if the shore properties have beachy space?
Went to the Asheville, NC area a little more west than where you are going to be a few years ago with family in August a few years back and the mountain streams were cold and refreshing and the mountains provided a lovely breeze. The nights were definitely cooler than the days. I believe it was Pisgah National forest that has a pool under a waterfall where you can swim and a sliding waterfall called Sliding Rock (pay to enter that area). There is also tubing available down some of the rivers. There are other National Forest areas nearby one that has an incredible number of waterfalls. If you or your family like adventurous things there is also The Gorge Zipline in Polk County. A tour of nature over 10 ziplines.
I am a mosquito magnet and I only received a few bites the week I was there. Coming from North East Florida it was definitely more comfortable weatherwise. Enjoy your trip. I’m sure for the people that live there or the people coming from drier areas they will feel it is very muggy. Coming from Florida it was amazing
Australia! Tasmania is beautiful, safe and you will find empty beaches everywhere. South Australia is gorgeous too, sandy endless beaches, and no crowds. No one will bother you.
We live just north of Charlotte, NC and there is a lot to recommend this area, especially the “suburbs” of Charlotte. That includes areas around Lake Norman and Lake Wylie. We have the two lakes, and if you drive a few hours mountains or beaches.
I also love vacationing at Hilton Head Island, SC. I wouldn’t want to live there (but would live in areas around it) but to vacation is awesome. Good beaches, lots of outdoor activities (golf, tennis, swimming, biking, boating, kayaking, hiking, etc.) and can learn some really interesting history and culture (Gullah). I’d suggest avoiding the middle of summer but spring and fall are great.
Carpenteria California – south of Santa Barbara. In August, water is mid-60’s, air is high 70’s and it doesn’t rain at all. It is a low key vacation spot but close enough to Santa Barbara if you want to visit high end restaurants, museums and botanical gardens.
If you don’t mind colder water, anywhere from Cambria (south end of Big Sur) down to Santa Maria. There are five beach towns around San Luis Obispo. Santa Maria’s BBQ is famous.
If you want warmer, go south – warmest is San Diego with lots to do. It is subtropical more than Mediterranean but rarely rains in the summer. If you want a vacation out of a city, just go north a bit.
Humidity – what is that? The news doesn’t even bother to report it in California. I didn’t know about real humidity until I lived in Austin for almost 5 years. Nice city but dreadful weather. We ran our A/C from February to November.
Only downside is you have to fly to California.
Bald Head Island, NC
Quiet, near civilization but not lots of people (except July 4th), only 155 permanent residents
10,000 of the 12,000 acres is either federal forest preserve or state marsh/beach preserve, not very commercialized
Beach access is frequent and free, with lots of room to spread out, you can also boat, fish, kayak or paddle board in the marsh
very pet friendly, lots of nature and you can go for bird walks, watch loggerhead turtles nest and more with programs from the BHI Conservancy
Internet depends on where you stay though and on the occasional hurricane
One of my favorite places to go is the Keys, but since Gordon is from there, you probably have been etc. I like to fly to Miami, rent a car, then drive to Everglades State Park (rent a bike, ride around gawking at all the alligators lying around everywhere of all sizes throughout the park). Then I drive down to Key Largo. I like to spend time at the state park in Largo, as you can swim off the beach and see mightly large fish. I usually stay someplace on Islamorada. Once, I make sure to drive to Key West, see Hemingway’s house and the extra-digit descendants of his cats, and watch that amazing sunset. Cheers! Wishing you a good vacation wherever you end up.
My family’s 2 favorites: Destin, and Perdido Key.
Falls Lake in NC is state owned, but there’s a lot of smaller lakes around too. Falls Lake has sandy beaches available. High speed internet is near by especially with 3 universities and hospitals.
Roxanne Wynne Davenport says
Falls Lake is a great area! Close to everything in the Triangle area, but still some room and privacy available.
Gwynn’s Island, VA. It’s incredible. And it’s a mix of salt and fresh water, so your eyes don’t get burned out of your head if it gets in them. The island itself is pretty isolated, but there’s a small town with groceries, etc. 10-15 min away, and a bigger city within 40. I go there every independence day for a week with my family.
Not exactly close but if you are after beautiful beaches and sand nothing beats Fraser Island in central Queensland, Australia. bring sunscreen and bug repellent. oh, and a camera with LOTS of memory.
Tapoco Lodge in North Carolina. We haven’t been there yet, it has been highly recommend and has the slow, quiet vibe from the setting of the movie Dirty Dancing.
well, maybe not a potential home place but Key West (not in the summer) is beautiful, historic, and quirky. It’s also very bikeable if you ride and walkable if you don’t. Try staying in the historic district.
And the water is clear turquoise blue. we went in early December and accidentally caught the annual Christmas bike parade.
I like the Carolinas. I got married on Folly Beach last year. Granted early enough I. the year to be outside hurricane season. I’ve thought of moving there but jnot to the coast.
We’re on a lake, shaded by 150 year old oaks, swans and ducks, swimming and boating, fishing, regular size mosquitos ( not Texas size), 85′-95′ for a week in July, 7′-45′ in the winter…Humidity rises, yes, but it drops… smaller speed boats, pontoons, kids being towed on inflatables, Lake Michigan is an hour away for bigger boats…
Snow comes in 2″-4″downfalls but it melts in a day or two because Lake Michigan is a buffer protecting us from the icy cold in the plains states. We have less blue sky than Texas. Michigan is beautiful.
We had a tornado… 40 years ago, no monsoons or earthquakes.
I’ll never forget the week on Lake Powell with my high school show choir. We rented a houseboat and two motor boats for waterskiing. Idyllic. That was over 40 years ago and I’m reading that it is drying up, but it looks like two marinas are operational. There’s nothing like soaking up the sun on the rocks and then slipping into the lake to cool off. https://www.houseboating.org/Lake-Powell-Houseboat-Rentals
I live in South Florida, on the East side. The Atlantic is magnificent and I love my pool. But Lake Powell is pure magic.
My favorite vacation spot is lake winneapaseke in New Hampshire for the summer
But you have to stay in wolfesboro which can be pricey but has a quaint small town feel without all the tourist traps
All my vacation go-tos are cold weather places, where there is water and swimming but you don’t want to do it unless you’re looking at 100 degree day and are willing to hit a 60 degree ocean. On top of that I try to hit them in the fall when swimming is really a huge no. (When miniature ice bergs start coming in on the waves, it’s probably too cold to swim)
Still, Bar Harbor ME has trees for days, and the place can make you rage with how pretty it is. Just don’t go in the spring, the black flies will strip your flesh from your bones in an instant.
Sherry Behun says
Highly suggest Longboat Key and/or Anna Maria Island in Florida. Have had many wonderful vacations to that area. They are only a few minutes apart and you can visit one if you stay at the other. Very close to Bradenton/Sarasota area and only a little over an hour from Tampa.
Red tide this year has taken a huge toll, so if you can wait to go do, as it isn’t any fun to be outside with the rotting fish.
Actually, really like lake Norman… or rather, love and miss Charlotte, where I used to live… and consider lake normal close enough. Good restaurants, annoying traffic, generally nice southern people… with all the pluses and minuses that come with that, ma’am and sir.
Couldn’t imaging going to HI as vacation, although I enjoyed the short term contracts I worked on the Big Island… just so expensive 😱.
Some very nice summer lakefront in upstate NY that I remember from childhood, but winter is a curse and lasts 8 months and the black flies will leave welts if you don’t take care.
Lake Table Rock and Lake Tanycomo in the Branson, MO area. ☺
Megan Ann says
I like to travel to do stuff. Bear Lake Raspberry Days in Utah is so much fun. It’s the end of July or beginning of August. The berries are delicious and they have such a unique flavor. We also did the Olympic Park stuff while in Utah and had a blast. Bear Lake was crystal clear too.
My other fun at lake spot is Lake Geneva Wisconsin. It is a really cute town, and you can take a boat tour around the lake and watch as mail boat jumpers jump from the boat to the docks to deliver the mail. They also have a super fun Venetian Glass festival in August.
Megan Ann says
Oh ya and Daufuskie Island, SC. There are very few roads and a whole lot of beaches. There are amazing restaurants in Hilton Head which is a boat ride away. Also there is usually some kind of food festival there. It was very private.