10 Great No-Sand Summer Destinations if You’re Sick of the Beach

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July hits and you glance at your beet red body in the mirror. All of your sandals somehow have sand permanently crusted on them even though you shook them out hundreds of times. You swear you just spotted a small piece of seaweed in your bouncy curls. And why does your mouth always taste like salt now? This is the point when your sandy hometown beach feels more like a level of Dante’s Inferno than actual paradise. You may think you live where other people vacation, but now it’s time for you to flee the sea and find other places to venture this summer.

1. Seattle, Washington


Allison Kridle

Some call it the birthplace of grunge music, or maybe just Death Cab for Cutie, but whatever the case–Seattle is a must visit if you need to give your skin a rest from soaking in all the UV-rays, drink coffee for every meal and love all types of music (only if you were the first one to discover it, of course). Seattle offers countless delights on every corner and quirky locals who relish in the city’s culture. See a flying fish at the Pikes Place Market, let your mouth drop at the sight of the crazy long line at the first ever Starbucks and stick a chunk of your Juicy Fruit gum on the gum wall. “[I’d recommend] Biscuit Bitch for a delicious and cheap biscuit experience located by Pike Place. Also give Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room a try. Starbucks offers exclusive drinks that you can only try at the Roastery,” Walla Walla University senior David Harris said.

2. Fairbanks, Alaska

You said you’re sick of the beach, so here’s the polar opposite. Just don’t expect any Eskimos living in igloos. Instead, visitors come across wildlife adventures, serene sites and bears (sans beets and Battlestar Galactica). The most common activity in Fairbanks is exploring the Denali area. The small city offers ATV tours, whitewater rafting and guided hikes through the Denali National Park. After you exhaust yourself with walking in the wild, curl up in a backwoods lodge, pick up a book and enjoy the sweet sounds of nature.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

Allison Kridle

Allison Kridle

Shots, shots, shots! Drink all you want, but no matter how bad you want those Mardis Gras beads sitting 10 feet away, there’s way more to do in NOLA than drunkenly crawling on the cobblestones of Bourbon Street. You should absolutely experience everything you can [in Nola]. Drink a grenade, eat a muffalotta, catch beads, enjoy (and tip) the street performers, pay a visit to Cafe du Monde, visit the French Quarter and see all the art. Nola has so much to offer. Take advantage of it,” Florida State University senior Taylor Laffey said.

4. Adirondacks, New York

Located in northern New York rests the larger-than-life (and probably prettier than anything you’ve ever seen in your life) Adirondack Mountains. Trade your sandals for hiking boots, sun tan lotion for a handy fanny pack and your bikini for comfy gym shorts because there’s no way you can climb a beautiful, lush mountain wearing a triangle suit. Visitors may find themselves hiking 4,000 miles in the Lake Placid region on Mount Marcy, shopping and dining in the Lake George area or fly fishing in the Whiteface Region. Any Adirondack mountain can be yours with just one adventure.

5. Boston, Massachusetts


Allison Kridle

If you’ve always imagined yourself strolling through streets lined with bricks, glorious brownstones and so much history you get a flashback of reading your high school American History textbook, then Boston is the concrete jungle for you. Step into Quincy Market and you may even spot Benjamin Franklin as actors typically reenact the Boston Tea Party and other revolutionary events in the market. “Some of my favorite memories from growing up are visits to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with my uncles. As members of the museum, they have free admittance so I could go multiple days in a row, taking my sweet time to comb through all of the fantastic art,” FSU sophomore Rebecca Clendinen said. If you’d rather forget about everything you learned in your History or Art class, head over to Harvard Square for some shopping or cross the bridge for a brew in Cambridge or Allston.

6. Toronto, Canada

Who would’ve thought Canada also celebrated their nation on the same week as the U.S? While your friends and family participate in the run of the mill barbecue and fireworks at the beach for the Fourth of July, you could be in Toronto during Canada Day for a weekend celebrating both occasions. On July 3rd, Toronto hosts a Pride Parade that’s part of the month-long Pride Festival. Gay Village becomes a pedestrian-only zone full of sweet drinks and high-energy music. Don’t miss Toronto’s Fringe Festival, where several independent theaters, comedians, musicians and more perform at over 15 different venues. Catch a stand-up show one night, then see an indie rock band the next. Best vacation ever, amIright?

7. Czech Republic

If you drool at the sight of a decadent, beautiful building then you should probably book a flight to the Czech Republic, like, yesterday. Located in Central Europe, the small and charming country holds a vast amount of ornate castles and palaces, vibrant countrysides and many sips of wine and beer in the capital, Prague. “My favorite thing to do in Czech Republic is experience Prague. I don’t mean touristy activities [like] an expensive castle tour. Going on a stroll through quiet, winding streets between historical buildings and having a good chat with a friend in a local cafe or pub is an afternoon well spent,” said UC Davis freshman Veronika Dvorakova, who visits Prague every summer. Visitors can also participate in beer and wine taste-testing and take tours to learn about Prague’s drinking traditions and brewing. Sorry, your watered down fratty Bud Light won’t be needed for this vacay.

8. Dublin, Ireland

Do you consider the 21st birthday pub crawls you’ve attended a piece of cake? Maybe you need to step it up to the big leagues in Ireland. “If you’ve got the tastebuds for sampling all different beers and ales, it’s definitely the place to go,” FSU junior Claire Kelly, said. With a beer in hand (or two), check out the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, where you walk through the narrow maze of streets of Dublin to the various pubs infamous literary figures such as Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett would rev up at before a night of writing. You may have hated Irish literature back in high school, but with a few drinks in you, who knows what kind of inspiration will hit?

9. Liverpool, England

If the Beatles were still jamming today, they would say “Come together”…in Liverpool. That’s right, the legendary foursome originated in Liverpool, and the city wants all its visitors to know. The Magical Mystery Tour hits all the spots around town that played a part in the discovery of The Beatles. Die-hard fans stay at the Hard Days Night Hotel, just right down the street from where The Beatles played most of their gigs. However, Liverpool provides tourists more to see and do for those who prefer The Rolling Stones, such as view a tiger in the comfort of your car at Knowsley Safari Park, explore Birkenhead Park (the model for New York’s Central Park) and sip a gin martini at Liverpool’s contemporary bar called Jenever.

10. New Zealand

You love the outdoors more than you love your own mother, and laugh in the face of an adventure that most people see as too risky. Coined as the “Adventure Capital,” Queenstown, New Zealand, offers explorers and adrenaline junkies alike bungee jumping, paragliding, horseback riding and jet boating. Maybe after your day of extreme excursions, you want to take a beat and find a more tranquil activity like fishing. Grab your rod and dope fishermen’s hat to the Bay of Islands, where catching big game proves to be a popular hobby and sailboats are the main mode of transportation. It’s summer—we had to add at least one measly beach, right?

Allison is a future New Yorker who likes coffee, books and records more than she likes people. She is currently studying Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State.

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