If your to-do list is longer than the Magna Carta, and your last vacation was during the Clinton administration, you are seriously overdue for a relaxing getaway. Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful places in the United States and Canada that are beckoning you to come visit and unwind.
Escape to Maui, Hawaii
When it comes to getting away from the daily grind, Maui is an outstanding choice. Its scenic beauty, serene beaches and lovely Aloha spirit are salve for tired and stressed souls. As U.S. News and World Report notes, Maui offers a sampling of everything for which Hawaii is well-known — only without the hustle and bustle of Honolulu or the too-small island of Lanai. Maui has beaches, golf resorts, hula dance demonstrations and snorkeling opportunities galore. Popular destinations include Wailea Beach, Kihei Beach and Kaanipali Beach.
In order to pack for your trip, follow the advice of seasoned Hawaii travelers. First, set aside which clothes you plan to bring and decide on how much money you want to spend. Then, put away half the clothing and double your funds. You won’t need much in the way of apparel to enjoy your time on Maui, but there will be ample opportunities to shop and spend.
Explore Kootenay Lake in British Columbia
If your idea of a relaxing getaway involves time on the water, a trip to Kootenay Lake in British Columbia will be right up your alley. The long and thin lake offers views of gorgeous mountain ranges on either side and is ideal for almost any water-related activity you can think of, including swimming, boating and fishing. As a bonus, since the lake is so close to mountain ranges like the Selkirks and Purcell, you can head there for hiking, skiing and mountain biking.
What you pack for your vacation partly depends on what time of year you go. If you head there during the summer, shorts and T-shirts are a must. But, if you visit during the cooler fall and winter season, you need to pack some sweaters and warm hats to cut the chill out of the lake breeze. You also may want to prepare ahead of time and get your boating license so you can make the most out of your adventure.
The Columbia Gorge, Oregon
The Columbia Gorge, which is located just outside of Portland, Oregon, is an ideal place to relax and get away from it all. The gorge is home to the 620-foot high double-decker waterfall, Multnomah Falls. There also are hiking trails of varying distances for outdoor lovers. Just watching the torrential cascade of water will help your stress melt away.
Then, if the city is calling your name, combine your time in the Gorge with a few days in the City of Roses. Be sure to check out Portland’s rose garden, Japanese Garden and shopping and dining opportunities. This part of Oregon tends to get a lot of rain, so pack a jacket with a hood and clothing that is easily layered.