Dreaming of Summer Vacation(s)

“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” Earl Wilson
It’s only February and I’m already planning my vacations for the year. I’m from Michigan and, while I don’t have nearly enough vacation time to explore my home state as much as I’d like to–most of what I want to see is over 6 hours away– I figured I’d better check out what’s close to me here while I’m living in Pittsburgh.
Clear Creek State Park (author's photo)

Clarion River, Clear Creek State Park (author’s photo)


A co-worker turned me on to Cook Forest, so we have booked a few nights in May (before the Memorial Day crowds descend) at this scenic state park. The cabins are historic–they were built by the CCC in the 1930s–and are situated right on the Clarion River. They are also rustic (and I’m a hotel sort of girl) but I think I can handle it for a few days of hiking, peace, and quiet.


As some blog readers know, I am a big history buff. So of course I have to visit Thomas Jefferson’s magnificent estate in Virginia, especially since I’ve read about him and this place for so many years. We’re staying in historic Charlottesville, which I have heard is quite lovely.

Lake Erie, Presque Isle (author's photo)

Lake Erie, Presque Isle (author’s photo)

As a Michigander, I also have to get my Great Lakes’ fix. And this gem of sandy beaches, salt-free water, and endless vistas is my balm for homesickness (and is a mere 2 hours from downtown Pittsburgh!).

In future, I also hope to visit Mount VernonGettysburg, Old City Philadelphia, Fallingwater, and Washington D.C.

How about you? What not-to0-far destinations might you have in mind?



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9 responses to “Dreaming of Summer Vacation(s)

  1. I’m amazed that more people from Southwest PA don’t visit Lake Erie. Perhaps because of it’s 1970’s reputation as polluted? It really is a beautiful place and just as awe inspiring as the ocean (without the salt in your eyes!). I have a nice cottage in mind on this inland freshwater sea for late summer (early September). Sunsets and the sound of the waves… ahhhh.

  2. Those look amazing. :) Your post just inspired me to start planning my summer vacation too.

  3. Rebekah

    Charlottesville is lovely. There are some wonderful wineries and restaurants. I worked there for one summer at the Ash Lawn-Highand Festival which was on the grounds of Jame’s Monroe summer home, just up the hill from Monticello. The festival (renamed Ash Lawn Opera) now performs in downtown Charlottesville in July-August. Have a great time!

  4. Linda

    Some of the highlights of our vacation when we visited Philadelphia were a ghost tour of Old Philadelphia, a tour of the Battleship New Jersey and we went to Macy’s to hear the Wannamaker organ played (they have a 45 minute concert twice a day Monday through Saturday.)

  5. Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone, and also, thank you for reading!

  6. GrasshopperTeacher

    Sadly, I feel as though I spend so much of my time planning my summer vacations. For my spring break (I’m a teacher), I want to make it to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, neither of which I have been to yet.

    Other trips I’m looking forward too that aren’t too far are the Finger Lakes wine region, and the Poconos, both of which are also new to me.

    Enjoy your trips!

  7. lizzy

    Williamsburg for history; Niagara Falls and/or Niagara on the Lake for fun, theatre, wine country, forts; Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio (have not been but heard it’s as wonderful as many of the national parks)

  8. I went to Gettysburg last fall and I 100% recommend it! It was a blast and everyone was so friendly. We only had two days to spend there though and that was not nearly enough time to explore everything! I’m itching to go back as soon as I can afford it!

  9. Reblogged this on avarra1963 and commented:
    Lucky guy you are, you can already plan your vacation …….. I can only dream it …..

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