summer travel ideas

Top Four Summer Secret Destinations And Cool Tips From Lure Agency

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Distant islands, southern charm, magnificent national parks, and a jaunt across the Atlantic. These are some of the destinations our Lure Agency team is recommending this summer travel season. We’ve been all over the U.S. and around the globe. We’ve experienced everything from the most luxurious hotels and destinations to rafting down the Colorado river for a week straight.

Travel is our passion, and we love sharing it with you! To kick start summer 2017, we interviewed the Lure Agency team to find out which destination they recommend visiting this summer. We’re not talking the usual suspects such as Yosemite, Hawaii, or Martha’s Vineyard. The Lure Agency team recommendations are surprising, refreshing, and exciting. Enjoy!

Here Are Our Summer Travel Ideas

From Cory Falter, Lure Agency Chief Creative Director

Recommended Summer Destination: Charleston, South Carolina

summer travel ideasBest known for its southern charm, hospitality, and early American history, Charleston is a hidden gem for those seeking something “off the beaten path.” I’ve always been interested in war history and this city doesn’t disappoint. A 30-minute ferry trip to Fort Sumter is a must; you’ll get to experience where the Civil War began up close and personal.

The small but quaint downtown area is bustling with markets, lively eateries, and entertainment. This city is saturated with historic and legendary buildings, many of which date back to the American Revolution.

Native citizens of Charleston, “Charlestonians,” are some of the most hospitable and helpful people I have ever met. And that Southern “drawl” just adds to the experience!

Three Insider Tips to Utilize While Planning or Visiting

  • Traffic is extremely heavy most times of the day, especially in and out of the downtown district, mainly due to ongoing construction. I’d recommend renting bikes if you plan on spending a lot of time in that area.
  • Visit Magnolia Plantation. There are many options to choose from, but if you’re looking for more of a diverse experience, look no further. Here you’ll find romantic gardens, swamp tours, and plantation history.
  • Take a quick trip over the Ravenel Bridge to the quaint little town of Mount Pleasant. It has a funky, laid back beachy vibe. Be sure to visit The Pickled Palate for an intimate lunch experience in their garden.

Recommend Accommodation:  

Holiday Inn Charleston-Riverview

I know what you must be thinking, but this is really a great option! It’s just across the bridge from downtown and has unobstructed views of the entire city and bay. Rates are low and the top floor lounge and dining room are surprisingly superb. Rooms are a bit small, but they are clean and comfy. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful offering key insider tips and recommendations.

From Michael Duffy, Lure Agency’s Brand + Creative Strategist

Recommended Summer Destination: Catalina Island, California.

summer travel ideasAfter just a one-hour high-speed (and pretty smooth) ferry boat ride from the Los Angeles area, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

Most of the 22-mile long island is a protected preserve, but the main town of Avalon is a quaint seaside village of shops, restaurants, and bars. There are also numerous activities and attractions, including glass bottom boats that give an incredible view of the crystal clear kelp forests, boat tours that give you a view of the flying fish, dolphins, whales and sea lions above the waterline, and even a zip line.

Venture a little farther and there’s a golf course, interior island bus trips with sights of American Bison “referred to as Buffalo,” and even an “Airport in the Sky.”

Three Insider Tips to Utilize While Planning or Visiting

  • If you can get away during the week, you’ll get more of the fun and less of the crowds.
  • For a great side-trip and even more of an escape, take one of the island ferries from Avalon to Isthmus/Two Harbors, where the island is only 1 mile wide. Just one bar/restaurant and a great getaway vibe.
  • Go to “The Marlin Club” bar, and try the “cue ball roll.” If you make it around the whole bar, you score a free cocktail!

Recommended Accommodation:

Summer weekend accommodations can get pricey, but mid-week stays are more affordable. There are also numerous multiple-room homes so you can split the cost between several couples. My favorite: Find a friend with a boat and “buoy hop” between the island’s numerous coves.

From Susan Tucker, Lure Agency’s Director of Digital Strategy

Recommended Summer Destination: Mount Rushmore, and the Entire Black Hills region

summer travel ideas - mount rushmoreDid you know the United States has 29 National Memorials spanning 14 states? Since 1884 when the Washington Monument was designated, monuments have popped up around the country. They range in structure from statue’s to buildings to natural settings. All are spectacular in their own right, but few are as breathtaking as Mount Rushmore, which is why I think this summer destination is a MUST, especially if you have kids!

I’d been dreaming about a trip to Mount Rushmore for longer than I can remember. Then, in 2015, my family packed up the car and headed north to explore this iconic landmark of the United States. Little did I know the Black Hills area around the monument was so packed full of wonderful family activities. We explored for just a few days but could have easily spent a couple of weeks. This trip was seriously one of our faves!

Three Insider Tips to Utilize While Planning or Visiting

  • Have kids? Do the Junior Ranger program. This program is offered at all National Parks and National Monuments, and is free! Mt. Rushmore’s program offered up the rich history of the area, and the structure, along with some great fun facts about our American presidents. My kids received a badge and can rattle off presidential facts like no others.
  • Don’t miss The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. The Mammoth site is a live paleontological dig! Watch as real-life mammoth bones are being unearthed. This was seriously one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen.
  • Wildlife watching at Custer State Park. Take a ride on Wildlife Loop Road, an 18 mile stretch of open grasslands. Depending on the day, you might see bison, pronghorn, whitetail and mule deer, elk, birds and so many more wonderful species. Colorful wildflowers are everywhere, making for a picturesque drive. If you ever wanted to envision what our country looked like before settlers came, this is your closest bet!

Recommended Accommodation:

If you plan a Mount Rushmore vacation, you’re going to camp, right? If there is no camping in your future, you may consider checking out this site for a long list of hotel-ish lodging options in nearby Rapid City. For a camping family like ours, I cannot recommend highly enough Custer State Park. There are more than a dozen campgrounds to choose from: from group to waterside to wooded sites, there are a variety of campsite choices for every style family. Our campground was nestled in the woods. The kids enjoyed running through the trees with other kids at the campground.

Another great campground, which is a bit further from Mount Rushmore (about 1.5 hours), is at Angostura State Recreation Area. We loved our waterfront campsite and the kids thoroughly enjoyed riding bikes on paths next to the reservoir.

If you like the idea of camping, don’t have the equipment or are flying in from elsewhere, guess what? You’re in luck! There are companies that will rent out equipment and actually set up camp FOR YOU. Say WHAT? Check out Homma Camp Company.

From Zoë Freedman, Lure Agency’s Content Strategist

Recommended Summer Destination: Southern Iceland

Despite its name, Iceland is actually much less icy and much more green and sunshine-filled during the summer months! Few places on Earth exude such a from the Earth’s core vibe as Iceland.

While in Southern Iceland, you’ll be able to see miles of volcanic sand wastelands, towering mountains with cascading waterfalls, sinister looking black sand beaches, puffins (maybe!), rushing rivers, quaint lighthouses, and much more! You can even hike a glacier, take a boat tour through a glacier lagoon, and see an out-of-this-world diamond beach!

The only time of year when the days are long and the weather is nice-ish, southern Iceland in the summer is spectacular!

Three Insider Tips to Utilize While Planning or Visiting

  • Rent a car! There is little to no public transportation in Iceland, yet there are many beautiful sights to see along the southern portion of Iceland’s Ring Road. Renting a car will allow you to explore at your own pace and ensure you see every desired attraction.
  • Pack Layers – Iceland is known for having volatile weather. It is not uncommon to experience rain, fog, strong winds, and hail over the course of a single day! Having layers to add or shed when the weather changes will enable you to embrace the elements and enjoy your trip no matter what.
  • Do a little extra sight research – Iceland has become quite popular over the past five years, and as such, the most well-known attractions tend to be thick with tourists. Luckily, Iceland has an abundance of beautiful nature, and it isn’t difficult to find spots that are less well-known and free of the crowds. Take some time to peruse Pinterest and travel blogs to find out what “secret” spots may be waiting for you to explore!

Recommend Accommodation:

Hotel Laki

Hotel Laki is centrally located to many of Southern Iceland’s most beautiful natural landscapes and attractions. Yet it also lies tucked away in the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur overlooking rolling plains. The hotel features a delicious restaurant, trendy bar, and its own boutique filled with handmade Icelandic goods! The customer service was second to none!

We hope you find these destinations as exciting, refreshing, and inspiring as we do! Have a fantastic summer and happy planning!

Want to learn more about Team Lure? Get to know us here!

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