I don’t even need to tell you why you should visit Hawaii. The very name conjures up images of bikini babes dancing with flower garlands in their necks and coconut water in their hands. Singing Kingfisher’s promotional refrain “Ooo lala la lo le o, ooh lala la le o”. (Hawaiians might kill me for a stereotyping of this sort).
Anyway, Maui is the second largest island of Hawaii, and is known as the “Magic Isle”. It has everything—beaches, waterfalls, spectacular slopes. Ride along the Hana Highway on the east coast of Maui that passes through breathtaking sites. Lots to do again—whale watching, snorkelling, windsurfing. Lahaina is your land—peppered with shops, restaurants, and sunset cruises off the coast.
Maui was where Mark Zuckerberg chose to marry. The person who created Facebook trusted the place with his wedding, you can surely trust it with your vacation.
Cloud Gate: people often lose themselves for hours gazing into it
Go to Chicago for the bubbling enthusiasm of the city. Come summers and its lakeshore beaches begin to bustle with activity. You’ll see lots of volleyball, chilled summer drinks, cafes and outdoor eateries throbbing with people out in the sun to catch some Vitamin D. It’s pleasant, breezy and cosmopolitan. That combined with cheap flights to Chicago from a wide range of destinations makes this a great city.
Chicago is as American as it can get. An impressive skyline, contemporary art and architecture, a shopper’s hub, a lively coastline. There’s a lot to see and do. Go see Anish Kapoor’s jaw-dropping installation Cloud Gate at Millennium Park. Spend a balmy evening at the Broadway theatre. Walk down among the glittering neon lights and stop by at any of its glitzy restaurants.
Sleepless in Seattle, the coffee city
A cloudy rainy city, Seattle is usually dry and mild during summers. The misty city is a microcosm of the melting pot that is America in its varied contours and places of interest. Take a mountain hike up Mt. Rainier or the Cascades mountain range, or spend a peaceful day on Lake Union and Washington. Spare a day for island adventures on Anacortes.
So, you like to roam around window shopping, buying kitschy stuff off the streets, trying local produce in roadside cafes? The Pike Place Market is your haven, buddy. Go there on a bright morning, and take in the aroma of freshly-baked cakes, coffee, and farm-fresh fruit. Did ya know that the original Starbucks is right here? Feels smug thinking of how your Indian countrymen went crazy waiting outside the first Starbucks Café at Connaught Place?
Don’t forget the Space Needle, your 520-foot high ticket to heaven! Oh and then there are the cruises. And the many award-winning wines to try too. Sorry, you will have to buy a ticket to Seattle to read more about it. This is all I can tell you for free.
Appy Happy City, O San Diego
This summer go to ‘Happy Happens’, dude! Yes, that’s what San Diego is fondly called by its people. There is only one problem: there is too much to the city. Let us start with nightlife: Nightowls, go frequent Gaslamp District for its glittering restaurants and bars. Next in turn are the kids: Dump them at Seaport Village, or at the children’s beach at La Jolla. Now for the arty types and the nature-lovers: no dearth of museums here. Visit Old Town, a living museum for the history of San Diego.
In all that glam-bam talk, I forgot to appreciate the city’s natural beauty. Yes, it has pleasant weather, stunning beaches, bloody picturesque and exciting countryside locales. The best thing about the city is that the ‘happy’ which happens here is also happy on the pocket. Some people and some places just have it all.
There are tens of other American cities you can visit this summer. For lack of space, time, and intention, I cannot list out all of them. But, here are some of them equally worth visiting in the summers:
- Glitzy San Francisco and Los Angeles (can be clubbed together)
- Summery Portland
- Countryside Denver
- Pastoral charm of Wisconsin and Minnesota
- Chilly Boston