To most people, the ideal vacation is one on an exotic beach, far from home, where people speaking another language smile happily. But a distant vacation is expensive, takes time to plan, and can often be nearly as stressful to execute as to prepare for. So why not stay closer to home, save some money and actually relax on your next vacation?

Here are three such vacation hot spots in the United States that offer comfortable, even exotic relaxation for those who want the best but don’t want to fly halfway around the world to get it.

Cape Code, Massachusetts

Cape Cod

Okay, so Cape Code isn’t exactly exotic, but it is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the eastern seaboard for good reason. To start, it’s exceptionally comfortable.

While most people on the East Coast think of Florida in the summer, the summer heat and humidity to the south can be strong, where Cape Cod is often at or below 80 degrees most days of the summer, the water is crisp yet comfortable, and there are thousands of resort-style cabins located along both the bay and the ocean side of the peninsula.

Better yet, because Cape Code is so close to New England and most of the Mid-Atlantic, you can drive there in a single day from multiple major cities, and most hot spots on the Cape are within a two-hour drive, making it a perfect driving holiday.



It’s easy to forget way up there at Canada’s side, but Alaska is one of the most unique ecological wonders in the United States. From hiking, camping and boating, to and adventure opportunities, Alaska is a popular vacation hot spot on the west coast.

While you certainly have to enjoy the ecological wonders that Alaska offers to consider this a truly exotic location, it doesn’t get much better on US soil. From outdoor activities to trips including glacier hikes, kayaking by said glaciers, and dog sledding, Alaska offers so much, plus plenty of open roads for summer driving.

Puerto Rico

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

While Hawaii gets most of the credit for exotic island getaways in the US, you can travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico without a visa or passport.

As a US territory, Puerto Rico is a prime hot spot for travel for many East Coast residents. Less humid than the nearby Florida Keys and with miles of road and outdoor activities to keep even the most active vacationers active, Puerto Rico is one of the most popular and yet under-looked vacation spots in the United States.

Wherever you live in the United States, there are plenty of incredible vacation destinations in close range, sometimes even driving range of your home that you can take your family to this summer.

Instead of going the traditional Disney/Hawaii route, consider where you’d like to be, what activities you’d like to perform when you get there and how you’d like to enjoy yourself – the US is a big country and there are many resort locales that can accommodate.

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons

image source

License: Creative Commons image source

License: Creative Commons image source

Susan Petracco loves to travel, but with young children it’s hard to plan extensive, overseas vacations. She’s always on the lookout for interesting places to visit that are closer to home, and a second trip to Alaska is on her itenerary for this summer. She enjoys blogging at Travel Guideline.