It's safe to say most of us associate summer vacations with time spent amongst family and friends near a body of water, whether that be the sea or a lake. We always look forward to soaking up the sun with a good book, barbecues and late night bonfires. However, some years leave us craving new adventures and a different way to unwind and recharge. If you're feeling like us this year or just want some inspiration for your next holiday, you may be interested in these alternative (summer) vacation ideas!
1. A cycling excursion
Whether you want to stay close to home or explore a new state (or country!), there are no shortage of bike trails with plenty of things to see and do along the way. Set at the base of the Blue Mountains in South Carolina, legendary cyclist George Hincapie opened Hotel Domestique as a countryside escape for cycling newbies and enthusiasts alike to enjoy customized rides through the surrounding hills.
If you prefer to take things at a more steady pace and maybe enjoy a glass of wine or two along the way, check out America's Wine Trails. Not to be missed is the Fruit and Wine Byway, which runs through Palisade, Colorado, the Grand Valley and along the Colorado river.
Hot on our list is a biking tour through Tuscany, Italy. Spend the week riding through the rolling hills of the Italian countryside, exploring medieval villages and of course eating and drinking some of the best food and wine in the world. What's not to love about that!
2. A yoga retreat
You don't have to be a full-fledged yogi to enjoy a few days away from technology and the pressures of everyday life at one of these affordable yoga retreats. Set throughout the world, the retreats range in length from a long weekend to a month. Still craving time spent on the water? You may be interested in this yoga and wellness sailing cruise out of Camden, Maine.
Admittedly, we cannot stop talking about the first wine and yoga certified retreat in Tuscany, Italy. The week combines wine tastings by Emily O'Hare, founder of the retreat and famed sommelier, vinyasa yoga, cooking classes run by Michelin-starred chef Roberto Rossi as well as time to enjoy the nearby thermal baths for the ultimate summer escape!
3. Stay on a working farm
Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy time in the countryside. Although not highly advertised, there are hundreds of farm stays throughout the United States. In Europe, specifically Italy, staying on a working farm or agriturismo is one of the most inexpensive ways to travel. Relax amongst nature, learn how some of your favorite foods are produced, meet locals and mingle with fellow travelers over farm to table meals.
On a trip to Sicily last year, we stayed with extended family on their working farm, Pianogrillo. We spent 3 glorious days exploring the grounds, playing with baby animals and of course eating as much fresh olive oil and drinking as much wine as humanely possible ;)