Variety in the vacations we offer is one of the top reasons we have so many customers at Festiva. So let’s talk about variety for a minute. I was recently chatting with a co-worker, talking about the the various Festiva destinations I’ve been to, and we were loosely categorizing them.
This place is great to just get away from it all, I said. Another place was great for families, and so on, and so on. It made us think about loosely categorizing destinations, and, well, here we are. In this post, I’ll talk about Festiva destinations, as well as destinations available through timeshare exchange through our partner, Resort Travel and Xchange.
Vacationer #1: You just want to relax and get some fresh air
You’re the type of traveler who just wants to get away from it all. No fancy dinners, no shows or amusement rides. You might just make dinner for your party on a grill or at a nice fish fry joint. Very little extravagance. You do want to take in nature’s wonders, get some fresh air and exercise, and reflect on life.
Festiva’s Rangeley Lake Resort checks all the boxes for this type of vacation. If you’re there in the summer, enjoy watching the kids launch themselves off the pier into the lake, cuddling up around a bonfire at night, watching the mind-bogglingly large array of stars overhead, strolling the quaint and accessible downtown, or just going for a walk in the woods. There are also waterfalls and overlooks to ponder. In the winter, enjoy snowmobiling, ice fishing, ice skating, downhill and cross country skiing, and relaxing at the indoor pool.
Banff Gate Mountain Resort lies right in the middle of a wildlife corridor, with staggering mountain views all around it. It’s unreal. Every view is a postcard-worthy shot. At the resort, there’s plenty of fresh Canadian mountain air, a challenging hiking trail, lodge with indoor pool and sauna, and outdoor grills. Just down the road is Banff National Park. Head into nearby Canmore or the town of Banff for a small town tourist experience.Honorable mention: Lake Tahoe, California. This is a classic vacation spot with plenty of relaxing, but they also have casinos and some nicer shopping areas.
Vacationer #2: You’re looking for your toes in the sand, a cold beer and some live music
You want to feel the summer heat, the ocean waves, the hot sand, and a cold beer in your hand. Some live music at a beach bar and a basket of fried shrimp would top it all off. You’re only bringing flip flops on this vacation.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
There are many destinations that sell the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle quite convincingly, and Myrtle Beach is a prime example, as well as the other destination listed below. Sixty miles of sand, waterfront dining, and live music up and down the Grand Strand make this place a southern staple for the laid back lifestyle.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
Again, it’s a great recipe: warm weather, white sand beaches, and southern hospitality. There are just little changes that make Alabama’s Gulf Coast stand out: the classic beach bar destination of the Flora-Bama and its Hangout Music Festival, the serenity of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and the fresh seafood hauled straight from the Gulf everyday. If you’ve tried all the beach vacations on the east coast, I encourage you to give Alabama a shot.
Honorable mention: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.
Vacationer #3: You’re looking for Americana and re-creating vacations of days past
Gaze upon the endless miles of go kart tracks. The garish upside down house and Ripley’s attractions. The classic Main Street. Branson is all about family. There are thousands of theater seats in this town, all hosting family friendly live acts. There are amusement rides and arcade games galore. You get the picture, now get packing and show your family a good time!
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
This place mirrors Branson- it’s built around an interesting wonder in the form of the Dells around the Wisconsin River, a glacially-formed gorge that has sandstone features surrounding the river. Head to downtown, and it’s a raging strip of airbrushed tee shirts, Ripley’s museums, water slides, and the famous Tommy Bartlett Water Ski Show. Feel like a kid again!Honorable mention: Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Vacationer #4: You’re looking to blow it all out
You’re looking for a vacation with the finer things in life- a great steak, an even nicer glass of Pinot, you know, the works. Maybe a spa day or an afternoon of hitting the slopes. You’ve worked hard for this vacation and shouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt for indulging.
Park City, Utah
This 2002 Winter Olympics host city is a place of contrasts: cozy yet expansive, glamorous yet down-to-Earth, and friendly yet solitary. You’ll definitely put more miles on your skis than on your car during this vacation- Park City is only 30 minutes up the looming Wasatch Mountain range from Salt Lake City International Airport, and the compact downtown reflects its silver mining past, maintaining the authentic 1870s layout full of local boutiques, bars, night spots, and contemporary restaurants. Rub elbows with celebrities during Sundance Film Festival in January, then lose yourself in the legendary Utah powder of Park City Mountain Resort, the largest ski area in the United States.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is punctuated by fine dining and cocktails, and southern charm and history in its cobblestone streets, gaslights and horse drawn carriages. Stroll the streets by day and take in a ghost tour at night. There’s also high end shopping and spa treatments at the ready.
Honorable mention: New Orleans, Louisiana and Palm Springs, California.