Are you a recent grad? Major congrats! We hope you found time to celebrate your awesome accomplishment with your college besties and can take some time to enjoy the season’s warm weather before jumping into your job search or kicking off your career at a company everyone wants to work for. Whether you’re itching to hit the beach with bae or looking for an adventure to enjoy with your group of gal pals, we rounded up seven easy getaways to take — and none of ‘em require a passport. Scroll on for the top picks from our friends at Natural Retreats to make this summer the best one yet.
1. Cape San Blas, FL: We bet you’ve thought about bringing your BFFs on your post-grad getaway, but what about your dog? The travel experts at Natural Retreats tell us that your other girl’s best friend can come for some R&R too. “Bring your pup along to one of America’s most dog-friendly beaches and enjoy miles of untouched shorelines (or explore on horseback),” they encourage. “This lesser-known part of Florida is the perfect place to lounge on the beach without worrying about fighting for towel space — and it’s canine friendly too!”
2. Great Smoky Mountains, TN: Enjoy a mountain weekend, post-grad style! Natural Retreats’ experts suggest, “Take in the great outdoors in a cabin surrounded by the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains. You can go moonshine tasting, explore world-famous Dollywood, or go horseback riding through the trails of the national park.” The travel pros also swear this kind of trip can be the perfect breath of fresh air before you jump into the working world. Needed? We think so.
3. Palm Springs, CA: Missed out on Coachella? No sweat. There’s tons to do in Palm Springs during the summer. “If you and your friends love adventure, rock climb through Joshua Tree National Park and explore the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons, which are a local favorite. Just wanna relax? Chill by a piano-shaped pool at Frank Sinatra’s former estate or dine on burgers at Kings Highway at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club.” So many Instagrammable activities await.
4. Big Sky, MT: Montana may not be at the top of your summer bucket list yet, but it definitely should be. The Natural Retreats team tells us that this Western escape is full of outdoor adventures and has insane views for days. “Explore Yellowstone National Park and take a customized private tour led by expert guides of all the most breathtaking spots, like Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs. You can even ride the Lone Peak Tram to view three states, two national parks, and breathtaking peaks,” they rave. As if that’s not awesome enough, the sky lights up each night with bright stars. Hello, jacuzzi and a big glass of wine; we’ve been waiting for you.
5. Teton Springs, ID: “From Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park, Teton Springs is home to waterfalls and flower-filled meadows,” the travel team shares. “Need a break from hiking? Stop by the Grand Teton Brewing Company for an upgraded version of your favorite tailgate beer.” Make sure you bring (or buy) some cowgirl boots and hats (or DIY a flower hair comb) for a night out in nearby Jackson, WY before you leave.
6. Taos Valley, NM: We hear that this charming little city is full of culture and adventure. “There are endless opportunities for adventure with white water rafting, hot air ballooning, hiking, horseback riding, and even extreme mountain biking,” the Natural Retreats’ team explains. Sounds like this place is the perfect pick if you love soaking up the sun and trying activities that’ll get your adrenaline pumping. Count us in!
7. Tybee Island, GA: “Throw it back to spring break and head to Tybee, GA with your friends,” say the travel pros. “You can hit the beach all day and will have a blast hanging out at places like Doc’s Bar for drinks and live music at night.” You’ll also love sunset kayaking, scouring the shops at Tybee Oaks, and witnessing the wildlife, which counts tons of birds and dolphins. It may have only been a month since graduation, but this spot certainly calls for a reunion.
Are you squeezing in a summer vacay before you start working full-time? Tag us in your pics on Instagram!
(Photos via Natural Retreats)