Summer is officially in full swing. Which means you need to start considering how you are going to spend your vacation time.

There are so many destinations out there to consider. I, personally, prefer a tropical vacation because nothing sounds better than basking in the sun on a gorgeous beach under a palm tree.

But if you are going to take the time (and more importantly, money) to travel to some far away locale, you should definitely get more out of your experience than simply sitting on the beach. You should also try to do something adventurous and new. So here is our list of must-see vacation locations that include both relaxation and fun.


Jamaica is a must.

It is a great destination if you are seeking a nice comfy spot on the beach to lay down your towel and tan.

But Jamaica is also an absolutely perfect destination for the vacationer looking for adventurous fun this summer. Jamaica offers plenty of watersport excursions in addition to hiking, wildlife tours, gorgeous scenery and, let us not forget, great food.


Dominican Republic

In addition to visiting the stunning beaches that encircle the island, visit Zona Colonial, the historical center of bustling Santo Domingo. Hike the Dominican Alps. Explore the surrounding towns and countryside. Eat delicious food. You can write your trip off as an educational experience since it houses thousands of years of history and even gives you the perfect opportunity to freshen up on your Spanish.

Photo: Gay Travel


Definitely go to Thailand. If not this summer, then next. The most expensive part of your Thailand trip will be the flight to there. Visit Thailand’s mesmerizing islands, including Phuket and Ko Phi Phi.  Take advantage of the cultural landscape. Visit Wat Arun. Indulge in a Thai massage. Explore the famous floating markets. Gorge out on the deliciousness that is Thai food. You will not run out of things to discover in Thailand and it will definitely serve as one of your most memorable vacations.

Photo: Fleewinter


Next on your vacation bucket list should be the small island of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea. This hidden island of calm relaxation is the perfect destination for the visitor seeking to escape the clamor of a major city. With small white beaches, scuba diving and great locations for scenic strolls, Curacao is a must. Go hiking in Christoffel National Park. Visit the local Kura Hulanda Museum. You are sure to leave Curacao feeling refreshed and merry.

Photo: Carifta


With Cuba currently being more accessible than it has been in years, now is the perfect time to visit if you can.

An artistic hub for music and other types of art, Cuba makes for and beautiful and thrilling vacation. The colorful streets, tropical environment, blended culture and perfectly maintained cars from the 50s make for an unparalleled experience. Brush up on your Cuban history and Spanish and prepare for a vacation unlike any other.

Photo: University of Connecticut


Known for being one of the most luxurious honeymoon destinations, Tahiti is sure to be a relaxing, beautiful escape into paradise. Watch as the Fautaua waterfall glistens in the sunlight. Sit on the beach. Take a stroll through Vaipahi Gardens. Learn to surf along the shore. Be sure to visit famous artist Paul Gauguin’s art museum. Tahiti, though small in size, is great in opportunities to relax and adventure into something new.

Photo: The Boston Globe


Another small island in the Caribbean, Grenada is an absolute must. Walk the incredible and surreal streets of St. George. Indulge yourself at River Antoine Rum Distillery. Go diving to visit Grenada’s one of a kind underwater sculpture garden. Foodgasm at the Grenada Chocolate Factory and the spice plantation tour. Activate your more adventurous side with the many watersports available. Be sure to visit La Sagesse Nature Center for one of the most beautiful scenes nature has to offer.

Photo: Sport Diver

Any of these destinations are sure to trick you into thinking you have reached paradise. Most likely you will end up having to drag yourself onto your plane to go home.

So what are you waiting for? Get on looking at vacation packages and new swimsuits!