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My Top 5 Destinations This Summer

TIME TO STEP OUT OF YOUR FRONT DOOR

Article by Nish Verma

Photography by Nish Verma

There’s nothing we all want more than a brighter tomorrow. And nothing shines a light at the end of the tunnel quite like a grand vacation does! But until then, you can surely have some fun this summer at—and near—your home.

I strongly believe that people are ready. Are you?

A few things to keep in mind:

If Driving The best option this summer is to drive—just you and your loved ones (or solo, if you prefer!). Pack light; load up your cooler; carry water; and bring face coverings/masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Don’t forget treats and toys if your dog is traveling with you, and wear a cap or a hat. Consider a shorter drive, up to three hours tops. Be mindful of your packing list, safety measures and travel time if you have kids. And if your drive is interstate, check on measures in place for that state.

If Flying – Airlines are establishing strict measures, from empty middle-row seats to requiring face masks at all times (except, maybe, when snacking on …well, peanuts!). Airports too require masks, so please be sure to check with your local airport and airlines as policies are getting updated frequently. Consider shorter duration flights—no more than two to three hours tops. Pack light, and carry your mask and hand sanitizer in a TSA-approved container.

Also, refer to CDC guidelines for traveling within the U.S.

I live in New Jersey, so I guess I am allowed to be biased with some of my favorite places within NJ to visit this summer.

1. Delaware Water Gap

While it’s a National Park nestled between NJ and PA, it’s more than just hiking and trailing. If you’ve never checked it out before, now is the time. Certain facilities like camping may be closed, but there is still a lot to experience, including boating and fishing on the Delaware River. Click here for more info

2. The Famous Jersey Shore

My personal favorites have been Asbury Park, Stone Harbor and Cape May, with each having its own distinct vibe. Drive by over the weekend this summer, or rent a beach house. In either case, there is something for everyone. While social distancing measures are in place, you cannot miss being at the beach. 

There is no better way to spend those warm summer days and breezy evenings than being at the Jersey Shore!

3. National and State Parks 

There are many (including the Delaware Water Gap), but some of my personal recommendations cover a vast area:

  • Liberty State Park in New Jersey – Overlooking the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty (don’t miss the New Year's fireworks view across the Hudson)
  • Niagara Falls National Heritage Area in New York – A natural wonder that you just can’t stop from visiting again and again. While travel to Canada may be restricted, the view from New York isn’t that bad.
  • Chesapeake Bay – Across states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, it’s the largest estuary in North America. Plan a visit to colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages.
  • Grand Canyon in Arizona – While a long flight from NJ/NY metro area (but you can plan for future!), those who visit will swear by the magnificent and breathtaking rock formations. Don’t miss Horseshoe Bend for an overwhelming experience of the Colorado River.

4. Theme Parks and Safaris

For the young and young-at-heart (me included!). Theme parks are opening up slowly but surely. While attendance will be limited for now, with safety measures in place, there is no town like mouse-town.

Disney Springs is already open. Walt Disney World theme parks will open beginning July 11 for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. Advanced ticket reservations will be needed for now, but that’s alright. Things will improve, and we will once again get to experience Mickey, Goofy and Donald. And don’t forget the waterparks; they will be opening soon as well.

For Universal fans—that’s open too, with similar safety precautions.

Closer to home, while the Six Flags theme park is closed, Wildlife Safari is worth checking out in the comfort of your own car.

And lastly,

5. Make Your Home Your Own Private Sanctuary

If you don’t want to go anywhere, you don’t have to. 

Your home is your resort, your own campground, your own sanctuary. If you have a backyard, invest in a small tent and settle in for a night (or two). Otherwise, make your living room a place of adventure (it’s fun for kids!). Play board games, cook delicious meals and bake those mouthwatering cookies (or simply order in from your favorite restaurant). If you have a plain wall, get a projector and connect it to your tablet or device, turn down the lights and watch your favorite movies and shows on a huge screen.

Did you know you can also take a virtual tour of world-famous museums?

For more travel inspirations, email me at Nish.Verma@cruiseplanners.com. You can also visit my website, LetsGlobetrot.com, and follow me on social media (@letsglobetrotcp).

–Nish V.

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