As the time comes to break out your sweaters and winter coats, you will probably find yourself wondering how summer could be gone so quickly. Luckily there are plenty of places that summer never leaves which could be your next vacation destination. If you're not quite done with summer yet, you can chase it to these locations for a last hurrah away from the cold.
1.Lake Charles, Louisiana
When you take an autumn vacation to Lake Charles, it will be like summer never left. If you want some sun time, you can go to the I-10 Beach near downtown Lake Charles, which is one of the only white sand beaches on the coast. Or you can go hiking part of the 180-mile Creole Nature Trail All-American Road if you want to spy on some alligators. Floating down the lazy river at the L'Auberge Casino Resort is a good choice if you're not on vacation in time for one of Lake Charles' 75 fairs and festivals. For dinner, try Steamboat Bill's - the restaurant is praised for its crawfish, pistolettes, and boudin balls.
2.Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores hosts a 32-mile stretch of beach, so even if other autumn travelers have the same destination in mind you're practically guaranteed your personal space by the water. You can explore Fort Morgan, where the smell of soldier's gunpowder still hangs in the air. The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier is a great place to relax as you fish and may even see crabs, rays, redfish, and sharks! For lunch you can try the roast beef and homemade chips from the Flying Harpoon. After lunch, nature lovers will enjoy the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. There, visitors can hike on different trails such as the Pine Beach Trail, an easy 4 mile hike with a viewing tower halfway through that offers a view of Little Gator Lake.
Carlsbad is a town with many attractions but a small-town feel, which makes it a perfect low-key vacation destination. Its prime attraction is its 5-mile beach, and visitors note that the beach is always clean and not too crowded. If you're looking for more noise you can visit the Museum of Making Music. The Museum of Making Music uses interactive displays to teach about the history of music through six different eras - although being able to play some of the available interactive instruments helps. West Steak and Seafood is the perfect place to go to for dinner, as their steak is just as good as their vegetarian plate. After eating you can lose yourself in 50 acres of Carlsbad's flower fields, which overlook the Pacific Ocean and feature the award-winning Rose Garden.
4.South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island's34 miles of seashore is the place to go for a Texas beach experience. There are three campgrounds if you want to bring your tent. The camping experience is only as rough as you make it: the campgrounds have laundry rooms, playgrounds, and even swimming pools for you to use. South Padre Island also offers surfing lessons of course, but also sandcastle-sculpting lessons if you think you need them. You can go fishing inshore, offshore, wading or in a kayak. Whatever paradise means to you, you can find it here.
5.Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort is a city with such a rich history, you can take a tour of the town in a horse-drawn carriage or even a kayak! The professionally guided kayak tours take place in the lagoons and marshes of Beaufort, and take you past old forts, historic homes, and ruins. Whatever you're in the mood for you'll find in Beaufort, whether it's watching for dolphins on one of Captain Dick's river tours, or climbing up inside of the Hunting Island Lighthouse. For food the city has a farmer's market, Shrimp Burgers from the Shrimp Shack, or fried pickles from the Moon Doggies Café. You're guaranteed to leave with a full stomach, and maybe a sweet grass basket from St. Helena Island.
6.Cumberland Island, Georgia
Cumberland Island is Georgia's largest barrier isle, and also a car-free place. Visitors get to and from the island from a ferry service operated by The National Park Service and can stay at the Greyfield Inn or at a campsite. You won't need or miss your car with your immersion into nature - you can take advantage of the wildlife viewing at any point as you observe the island's population of turtle nests, horses, armadillos, sting rays, and vultures. Birdwatchers will get to see the island's population of wild turkeys, great horned owls, and white pelicans. The small island tours and ferry spots fill up quickly, so as long as you book everything ahead of time you will be ready to take advantage of the island.
7.Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Lake of the Ozarks is a prime destination for anyone who loves to fish, and its spacious lake is perfect for taking the boat out on. Walleye, bluegill, and large mouth bass are all fish that tend to populate the lake, but if you don't want to catch them for your lunch you can go to Wok and Roll. Try the lumpia and pot stickers, which come highly-recommended by locals and tourists alike. After that, you can explore Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which is home to stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle. As you wind your way to the castle you can take advantage of the park's trails to observe the sinkholes and caves that form up and down the lake.
8.Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Carolina Beach is known for its features, which includes its beach dunes and high number of windsurfing visitors. For surfing and/or yoga lessons, head to Salty Dog Yoga & Surf's studio on the oceanfront. The instructors can teach any level of student, and do all kinds of special events from a post-yoga wine-tasting to beachfront full moon yoga. The beach also supplies the local restaurants, including but not limited to the Surf House's fresh organic fish tacos! Or if you're looking for a less healthy dining experience, The Shuckin' Shack offers steamed oysters, crab legs, beer, and clams to any vacationer who is looking for a quick and easy dining experience. If the weather isn't sunny and beach-perfect, you can stroll down the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, and get a hot donut at Britt's!
9.Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach has an eclectic array of entertainment, from theaters, to museums, to beach attractions. Cirquesa Dreamquest is a theater experience that combines storytelling with comedy, aerial ballet, and acrobatics. The Military Aviation Museum has a collection of colorful plans, from World Wars I and II, both replicas and originals, and it one of Virginia Beach's biggest attractions. While Judy's Sichuan Cuisine sends customers away happily stuffed with scallion pancakes and soup dumplings, the real star of Virginia Beach is, the beach, which is favored by families looking for a quieter and non-commercial beach vacation.