The Best Places to Travel in the Summer

While many people are familiar with the beach vacation and the suntan lotion, sunning and occasional dips in the water that come with it, there are many more options for those looking to vacation in the summer than going to Florida or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Appalachian Trail

Going hiking on the Appalachian Trail is an exceptional choice for outdoor enthusiasts on a budget. The Appalachian Trail has varied terrain and sights for hikers of every skill level. Plus, because of the higher elevations, much of the Appalachian Trail is impassable from fall to late spring, making the summer the best time to visit. Because the trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, there are a number of locations to visit. While Great Smoky Mountains National Park is perhaps the most famous, Shenandoah National Park can provide a wonderful experience for those looking to relax. Located a short distance to the southwest of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah contains 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. It features gentle elevation changes and a number of stunning vistas. Other popular Appalachian Trail destinations include the historic hikes around Harper’s Ferry, where Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia converge.

Spanish CountrysideSpanish Countryside

Rent a car and travel the Spanish countryside for an exciting summer trip. Exceptional food, beautiful landscapes and pleasant weather define much of rural Spain. Wonderful places to visit include the hillside town of Toledo, famous for its steel. An easy drive from Madrid, Toledo is a great destination for those looking to stretch their legs on the open road. From there head south to Malaga. Visitors come to see the birthplace of Picasso and enjoy the gorgeous Costa del Sol. From there, follow the coast north and experience the famous Basque cuisine. Stop at Valencia to experience its famous blend of Gothic architecture and the ultramodern displays in the City of Arts and Sciences. Continue up the coast to Barcelona, making sure to drop in on the famous Gaudi parks, the Sagrada Familia and the city’s hill-top fortress.

Brazilian RainforestBrazilian Rainforest

A burgeoning industry, particularly in developing countries, is the ecotourism movement. Designed for sustainability, these vacations will show you a natural world you have never seen before, all without damaging the environment. Brazil has a number of ecotourist opportunities for those interested in exploring the Amazon rain forest. Excellent destinations include Abrolhos, a small seaside town renowned for whale watching. The town is home to the diverse terrain and forested islands of Abrolhos Marine National Park. Or visit Pantanal, the world’s largest jungle wetlands. The nearby city of Bonito hosts a number of tours, with a great deal of its economy based upon ecotourism of the exquisite swamp ecosystem. There are even package deals for multiple destinations provided by the Brazilian airline TAM.

Alaska

You haven’t truly seen American wilderness unless you have visited Alaska. The best time to visit Alaska is in the summer, when the parks are vibrant and it’s possible to get in and out of cities by car. The Glacial Discovery Train is a wonderful way to get an overview of the state. The train runs from Anchorage to Grandview, with numerous stops in between. The train’s route is designed to give you the flexibility to exit the train and visit such sights as Spencer Lake, with its well-preserved glaciers; Chugach National Park, the second-largest national forest in the country; and the port of Whittier, where passengers can charter fishing boats or glacier cruises. The train runs all day from May to September. Rates vary depending on when you intend to exit or board the train, but you can expect to pay around $100 to go to Grandview and return to Anchorage.

‘Tis the Season for Fun Geek Toys

‘Tis the Season for Fun Geek ToysI just love this time of year… the chill in the air, the gleam in the eyes of kids as they walk by department stores filled with lights and bright shiny objects, the smell of cinnamon and pine, and of course… the gifts. But, we all know that it’s not really about the gifts… it’s about being together and just spending time with our loved ones. .. ok ok, so the gifts help a little.

Sharing a few meaningful gifts with each other makes the holiday season a bit more special I think so I have put together a small little list of some very cool geek toys that I am sure any geeky guy or girl would be thrilled to have, play with, or share.

Emoticon CoastersEmoticon Coasters
For that geeky mom that already has everything but deserves something a bit different check out the Eco-friendly emoticon drink coasters.Whether you feel 🙁 or 😀 these coasters are for you. Mix and match and rearrange to your hearts content. They are made with layers of Eco-Felt (100% Recycled plastic bottles), cotton and cork and she will appreciate the humor in these stylishly geek emoticon coasters.

Octopus Robot TeeMens
For the sweet geeky guy you get distracted by at work every day… how about a fun and super soft Robot Octopus tee. Might just be the key to his heart… plus its soft and cuddly… score!! These tees are really cool, completely original design and created using environmentally friendly water based inks. They have a women’s version too.

Robot red_full
For the most amazingly smart and cute geeky kid, try the wooden robot toy. It’s not flashy, it doesn’t beep or screech, but it allows your kids imagination to soar large and is so much fun, plus its super sturdy… seriously, my son has thrown his up/down the stairs, outside… against walls… and yeah, it’s still working just fine 😉 Arms, head, and legs move, made with nice solid wood and quality workmanship.

Robot_flash-drive
For a perfect stocking stuffer idea that is that not only is useful but cool.. try the Robot flash drives… comes in all different colors and the perfect size to keep in a backpack, briefcase, laptop bag, or even in a pocket. 1Gb offers enough storage for tons of necessary documents, music, or just transferring important files. And not only useful but super cute which makes it easy to not lose!

Infinity Earrings
For the new geeky girl in your life jewelry is something you can never go wrong with! Whether she is a designer, artist, gamer, wicked lil’ geek, or just someone special the geek chic jewelry will make her smile.

There is always that one person on your list that seems impossible to shop for… I know I have one. So finding a great charity and donating an amount in their name is really an ideal gift. A few charities I feel are worthwhile include: Heifer International, Charity-water and Soles4Souls.

‘Tis the Season for Fun Geek Toys

Regardless of the gift, we all know if it’s given by someone special, then the gift usually offers more of a special meaning. If we can be of help to you in any way… ever… please ask. Finding something fun, unique, chic, or geeky is what we enjoy and are always willing to offer a hand in finding that perfect gift to put a smile on your geek.

We truly do wish you a wonderful Holiday Season… may it be a beautiful and memorable one!