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First-Year Associates Home > Associate Lifestyle > Travel & Leisure
Associate Lifestyle
Travel & Leisure

Give Yourself a Break

You’ve been working hard all year and summer is suddenly right around the corner. If you’re lucky, you had Christmas day off, so it’s time to think about taking a serious vacation—maybe even a week off. As much as you might like to follow the malt whiskey trail in Scotland, go biking in Tuscany or trek in the Himalayas, those trips might have to wait until you have a little more time. Here are some suggestions of ways you can get away for a while and recharge your batteries in a week’s time or less.

1. Surf and sand—For many people, summer vacation means heading for the beach. And for some, that means going back to the same spot year after year to kid-friendly family places like Cape Cod, Cape May, Myrtle Beach, Siesta Key, Panama City or Coronado Beach. Now’s your chance to break away from family tradition and select a beach based on something other than being “kid friendly.”

A lot depends on what you like to do at a beach—
  • If you want lots of sun and an active night life, you might head for South Beach in Miami.
  • If you want to a truly laid-back atmosphere, keep going south from Miami to Key West.
  • If you want to combine some golf or tennis, it’s hard to beat Hilton Head or one of the many barrier islands running from North Carolina to Georgia, such as Kiawah or Jekyll Island.
  • If you like rugged scenery and want to take long peaceful walks along the shore, try the coast of Maine or central California from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.
  • California also offers the best surfing in the country at beaches Like Santa Cruz and Huntington Beach.
  • State and national parks are always a good bet, especially if you like to camp. And don’t feel left out if you live in the heartland. The shores of Michigan and Indiana along Lake Michigan feature miles of dunes and picturesque towns with charming little restaurants, shops and galleries along with miles and miles of magnificent sand dunes.
2. Commune with nature—If you’ve been cooped up in a downtown office 12 hours a day or more for the last year, you might just want to spend some time walking in the woods, paddling a canoe down a scenic river or riding a bike through country roads. The key here is to honestly match your conditioning and skills to specific trips or tours.
  • If you’re adventurous and like water, you might try a kayak trip that brings you up close and personal with whales. Packages are available for the San Juan Islands of Washington or along the coast of Maine.
  • If you’d like to hit some back roads on a bicycle, try http://www.breakingaway.com or http://www.bikeride.com. They offer a variety of packages in both the U.S. and Europe that are supported by experienced tour leaders.
  • National parks offer a great way to get away … to camp or to simply take in some magnificent scenery. But the major parks are often so crowded that you may feel like you never left the city. There are many smaller, lesser-know parks that offer great scenery and recreational opportunities without the crowds. Many have lodges and most provide excellent campgrounds. Look at the National Park Service Web site at http://www.nps.gov/archive/parks.html for more information on these “hidden treasures.”
  • If your interest in birds goes beyond pigeons and starlings, you might try one of the many trips organized by the Autubon Nature Odyssey.  
3. Push it to the limit—If you enjoy testing yourself, you might want to go for an extreme sport vacation. Be prepared; some of these trips require some prior experience or specific certification, but many are available to anyone who is willing to take on an extreme challenge.
4. Go back in time—Are you a history buff? From civil war reenactments to restored colonial villages there are loads of short trips you can take related to historical themes.
5. Fantasies fulfilled—For those who never made it to the major leagues or got to sing on a stage in front of 10,000 screaming people, there’s bound to be a fantasy camp that will allow you to experience at least part of your dream.
5. Pamper yourself—What better way to get away from the office than by indulging yourself with massages, body wraps, facials, manicures and the many other services offered by a spa? Whether you’re looking for day, hotel, resort or “destination” spas, all are guaranteed to refresh and rejuvenate you.

Here are some Web sites that list top-rated spas in the U.S.: http://www.concierge.com/bestof/spa/resorts, http://www.gayot.com/lifestyle/spa/top10destinationspas.html, http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Renewal/story?id=2211716, http://spas.about.com/library/weekly/aa072901b.htmhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16827358/from/ET/.



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