Everyone around me seems to be in vacation planning mode. With summer right around the corner, I thought I’d share some of my own favorite vacation ideas. It should be no surprise that I love doing active trips. Even though I’m active most days, nothing compares to the beauty of a new environment and/or a new activity.

I like to earn my relaxation time. I get antsy sitting too long. At the beach, there are so many options to get going. You can walk on the beach, do yoga in the sand, boogie board or wake surf in the water or even rent some wheels like a bike or Segway. And when you’re ready, nothing is better than reading a good book with the sound of waves in the background. The sun and the water just put me in a good mood. Plus, I find the affects last for weeks after the actual vacation.

National Parks
I like to experience my destinations. For me hiking is all about the view. Some of my favorite treks have been in National Parks including Zion in Utah, Acadia in Maine and Muir Woods in California. There are plenty of other natural wonders to hike where ever you go. For example, once on a trip to Branson, Missouri I got to explore Talking Rocks Cavern. The cave was vast and we even saw real love bats hanging from the ceiling.

When I hear that a city is known for something, I set off to find it. I love walking through new cities. Often I am guided by the food! In Chicago it was the deep-dish pizza and the steakhouses; for New Orleans it was the beignets and the creole; in San Juan it was the empanadas; and with San Francisco it was everything!

I also love learning. In every place I travel I look up the museums or historical spots to see. One thing I can’t get enough of is pretending to be in a different time, place or immersing myself in someone else’s life. At museums you can do that and still get in plenty of steps. My favorites include the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Field Museum in Chicago.

Lakes & Other Waterways
As you may notice, many of my go-to destinations are outdoors and water themed. Perhaps it’s because I grew up near the ocean. Sailing, kayaking and other active options on the water are so much fun. Plus, there’s always plenty to do off the water. When the weather is warm, the simple things are my favorites. Crabbing with a net, attending a lakeside festival or just jumping off the dock into the water.

Adventure Destinations
I love going on adventures because you rarely get to in everyday life. You get to escape into a different world. I’ve gone swimming with dolphins, held an alligator and snorkeled. In fact, in one single day travelling through a rainforest I was able to rock climb, zipline and swim under a waterfall. Adventures like these may not happen for a while now that Camden is here. I guess that is why Amusement Park are so popular with families.

Lastly, because I’ve only been once, are cruises. There is so much to do on the ship. Our ship had a rock-climbing wall, mini golf, a water slide and an indoor track. Best of all, you get to do many of my favorite vacation activities as the cruise stops in each port. One day you can explore a new city and the next day you can go on an adventure. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to get in some beach time and watch amazing sunsets. And, someone else takes care of all the planning hassles and travel logistics. So, you get to focus on the fun stuff.