I’ve been having some serious wanderlust recently, fueled by some amazingly dreamy destinations. Just a few weeks ago it was barely 40 degrees in Chicago, so obviously I am so incredibly ready for Summer. We had a few April showers, but at this rate the May flowers are going to take their sweet time. I’m hoping the warm weather will finally stick, but after constant teases of gorgeous weather and warm golden sun, I can’t help but think that Mother Nature must be pissed about something (maybe the Blackhawks not making it further in the playoffs?). This week’s forecast is rain rain rain, and it sucks. Until I can head to the lake and soak up some rays, here are a a few dreamy warm destinations that have me looking forward to beaches and bikinis.
Isles of Scilly, England
Their website says “a place like nowhere else in England” and that’s exactly why I find it so interesting. This collection of five (main) islands is located off the southwestern coast of Great Britain, part of the county Cornwall, and only home to a little more than 2,000 people. It’s easily accessible by plane and boat, and it’s possible to make a quick day trip.
Being decently far north it’s not always warm, and thus there are so many more things to do than lay on a beach. The island of St. Martin has a vineyard. There are boat tours to check out the shipwrecks and marine wildlife. Buy fresh produce at a local farmer’s market. Walk miles and miles of trails throughout the various islands (St. Mary has 30+ miles of trails alone!). Ride a horse along the beach. Pick up your clubs and go golfing. Snorkel, fish, row, do pretty much whatever you want in the ocean! You can even rent a cart (kind of like a golf cart) and use it to get around and explore an island. How fun does that sound??
Musandam Peninsula, Oman
If you love to be in the water admiring all the life below, Musandam is for you. This little peninsula is part of Oman but separated by the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. It juts out into the Straight of Hormuz which is a narrow entry into the Persian Gulf and is lined by jagged coastline offering gorgeous views. A destination that used to be difficult to access (think 10 hour drive), you can now take the Shinas ferry, reportedly the fastest diesel ferry in the world.
Once you make it into Musandam enjoy the mountains and staggering rocks along the coast, but most of all hop in the water. Watch dolphins. Snorkel. Scuba dive. Relax.
The Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA
Probably not expecting to see the Midwest on this list, eh? Well Michigan is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the states. They call it Pure Michigan for a very good reason. Northern Michigan is lush with trees and hilly dunes, surrounded by the Great Lakes, and it’s seclusive enough that you can take a break from your life and submerge yourself in the small town ways surrounding you. There are gorgeous cottages and cabins to stay in, or you can rough it and camp out of a tent. Even in the winter I think it’s beautiful with a very cozy feel, perfect for the holidays and a cup of hot chocolate.
I haven’t been to the upper peninsula (UP) yet, but there are some stunning areas. Top of my list is Pictured Rocks, along the northern border, where you can kayak or paddle board and take in all of the gorgeous sights. Admire the sand dunes and rock formations, which are made of 500-million-year-old sandstone (revealing awesome patterns along the cliffs)!
There’s also Grand Island, where no vehicles are allowed (a campers dream) and you have to make way by foot or bike. There’s even bears, so watch out! My hope it so go up north for a weekend with some friends and my trusty pup, take in the fresh air, and enjoy this midwestern paradise. I’m my dog would love nothing more than to chew on the UP’s sticks while I kick back with a burger and beer. Perfection.