Travel and Leisure — March 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

Beach Envy: Spring Break-ing State Side

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Spring Break, the somewhere-in-March week that’s become synonymous with under-age drinking, parent-paid getaways to Cancun, and regrettable decisions that (hopefully) weren’t solidified by a “coupon-rated” tattoo artist. Despite the cultural connotation that’s become Spring break, there’s still plenty of Paradises State-side that can offer a relaxing, responsible seven-day vacation.

“Greetings from paradise near you!”
Countless families and nomadic loners get caught-up in the notion that a favorable, “Instagramable” vacation has to be abroad. But, if you take some time to look around you, there’s plenty of amazing vacation locations near your backyard. In fact, filling-up your tank with the family in tow won’t only build memories, it’ll keep your savings intact. Plane tickets in the high-travel seasons are normally grossly inflated. Not to mention that the idea of booking group seating arrangements is nearly impossible. But, lucky for you and whoever you decide to travel with, you’ll be spared the monotonous inflight safety video in the backseat of your rented-out interstate travel machine.

East of the Mississippi
Obvious vacation areas include the Jersey Shore, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the list goes on-and-on. But, there are plenty of atypical choices that slipped through the commoner’s travel guide. Duck, North Carolina is just such a place. It’s a quaint, up-scale community that hugs the 130-mile stretch of barrier islands. Once you’ve settled into your lavish rental house, you and your company can enjoy a fantastic seafood dish looking over the sand dunes that seem to apparate from the beachside.

West Coast Living—Well, Traveling
Stepping away from the blinding camera flashes of Hollywood, you’ll find a world of naturally lit sandy vacation scripts—and they’re not fictional. One such venue is Oregon’s Cannon beach, home to a three-hundred-foot tall haystack rock just yard from the shore; “haystack rocks” are, essentially, vertically-daunting miniaturized islands. Trust me when I say that receiving a Snapchat of this natural wonder would make any outdoors man’s—or woman’s—day, if not week.

Teeing-up The Gulf of Mexico
Aside from the Atlantic and Pacific getaways, the more southern-hugging states have this oceanic outlet to nestle our toes in the sand with. Florida’s Destin beach is, by far, my favorite beach-side-getaway in the orchard state. Destin manages to fill a notoriously hard niche amongst the state-side paradises; it’s accessible, affordable, and appealing to both adults and kids. For example, while the twenty-on-and-ups are nursing the glasses of tart red, the younger audiences can watch the dolphins breaching on the boat’s harbor-side.

By all means, nurse that six-ounce glass of pinot noir—you deserved it. But, please, do so responsibly.

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