As our world becomes smaller, few vacations can be labeled “once in a lifetime” trips anymore. It’s especially difficult to make one vacation stand out from another when so many resorts feature similar amenities, dining, and attractions. Consider turning your next trip into a themed adventure. You might find snooping through pirate haunts or rounding up cattle on a dude ranch are just what you’re looking for to add some zing to your next vacation.
Pirates are huge, but not just with kids. The glamour of plunder and booty is just as irresistible to adults. For adventurous travelers, there are a lot of Caribbean destinations overrun with relics from piracy’s heyday. Stay at the intimate Inn at Blackbeard’s Castle in St. Thomas, where famed pirate Blackbeard once scanned the harbor from his lookout tower. Admission to the castle is included and the rum is always flowing. The last week of October marks the annual St. Thomas Pirate Festival, which features the Pirate’s Ball, pirate ship landing, and sandcastle competition. If you’re traveling to Jamaica, rent a car and take the 380-mile road trip around the island. Starting in Port Royal, “the wickedest city in Christendom,” and hitting Kingston, Negril, Round Hill, and Ocho Rios on the way around, you’ll witness Jamaica’s pirate legacy.
Tours on horseback are more than an homage to the pioneers of yesterday. Working one-on-one with horses is even better than therapy for the overburdened soul, although you might not expect it from such a physically challenging vacation. Become immersed in cowboy culture at Tanque Verde Resort in Tucson, Arizona, where you can ride the trails, compete in team penning or participate in one of their many special adventures. If you prefer days or weeks out on the trail, discover one of Equitours’ many riding adventures. Treks are offered on six continents and are rated for different skill levels.
Anyone who has ever fallen in love with a surf movie has fantasized about living in a shack on the beach and surfing all summer. You may not be able to spend a whole season on the shore but there are several surf vacations that cater to adult “grommets.” For one, Wrightsville Beach Surf Camp in North Carolina caters to all ages and abilities and organizes surf camps around the world. They also offer certifications for surf instructors, lifeguards, CPR, first aid, and ocean safety.
Travelers with a thirst for whisky or beer don’t need to look very far. Perhaps no one does beer tourism quite like Thirsty Swagman, an Australian outfit that leads pub crawls all over the world. Their “Euro Hard ‘n’ Fast” tour starts at Munich’s Oktoberfest and then rolls on to Austria, the Czech Republic, and back to Germany. Here in the United States, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail celebrates “America’s only native spirit.” There are six distilleries on the self-guided trail and regardless of which distillery you visit first, you can pick up a collectible passport. Once you receive a stamp from each distillery, you’ll earn a special reward.
There are so many ways to theme a vacation —cooking classes, wine tours, classical music tours, learning all about beer – or even volunteering where help is needed. Which one sounds interesting to you?
Dreaming of your next vacation to Disney or beyond? I would love to help you design the perfect land or sea experience for your family! Click here to schedule a “Let’s Get Acquainted Session” with me so we can start planning your family’s next great adventure.