Check out these relaxing vacation destinations!
by Rick Seaney | Contributor
Let’s be honest. No region (or country) has a lock on “most relaxing” cities, but I think these vacation destinations fit the bill nicely. Take a look.
Sunny skies, pretty beaches, happy people. Gosh, that makes San Diego sound like Pleasantville right before the zombies arrive, but it’s the real deal. And if you can’t relax amidst fun stuff like Balboa Park, Old Town San Diego, nearby Legoland, golfing, surfing, gorgeous spas and terrific restaurants, you need to quit checking for texts and emails. See more on the San Diego visitor site.
How to get there: Fly to San Diego or even Los Angeles (LAX is about 120 miles north but Angelenos do this drive all the time). You can also fly to Santa Ana in Orange County (about 85 miles away) then head south (in a convertible, of course). Compare prices to see which airport offers the best deal.
I’ll quote a friend: “I hate beach crowds and touristy stuff, but luckily you can’t find that here if you try. All the county beaches are free and pristine. You park on the sand and take the boardwalk to the beach. Maybe grab a hotdog or rent a fishing pole at the fish shack. Sit on the rocks and watch the dolphins come down the canal. Then watch the sun set in that beautiful gulf.” Any questions? If so, see the Sarasota visitors site.
How to get there: Fly to Sarasota, but also compare prices to Tampa (60 miles away).
If you like horses – either racing or just standing around and looking pretty – you’ll like Saratoga Springs. There are also quaint shops, art galleries, live music, nearby farms and orchards, hot air ballooning and golf. And lots and lots of horses. See more info at the Saratoga Springs visitors site.
How to get there: Fly into Albany which is just 35 miles to the south. If you’d like to get in a little New England sightseeing, try flying into Burlington, Vermont (115 miles away).
Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
This is a two-fer because you can spend time in two great destinations just 40 miles apart. See Savannah for its Old World beauty and charm (not to mention exquisite food and architecture). Then go to Hilton Head for all kinds of boating fun, water sports, tennis and leisure. See Savannah’s visitor site and Hilton Head’s visitor site for more.
How to get there: Fly to the Savannah/Hilton Head airport. Yes, they share the same facility.
If you want nightlife in Dublin or Galway (and many points in between), don’t worry, there’s plenty. But if you want to experience some of the greenest, most beautiful vistas on earth complete with castles and history, then rent a car and ramble. See more at the Irish visitor site.
How to get there: Fly to Dublin or fly to Shannon.
WILD CARD: Los Angeles, California
Yes, this is the home of Hollywood, but once you get off the packed freeways, there are incredible museums (including two Gettys, the Norton Simon and many more) and nearby wilderness areas for hiking and outdoor fun. Or take in the scene from a sidewalk cafe to watch would-be actors and screenwriters talk deals. See more at the LA visitor site.
How to get there: When booking flights, take your pick from Los Angeles International, Burbank, Long Beach, or Santa Ana in Orange County.
Rick Seaney is co-founder of FareCompare, an airfare search site devoted to helping shoppers find the cheapest flights possible. FareCompare also offers easy-to-use, practical information to help travelers save on every step of their journey.