5 Secluded Vacation Spots in North America

By on June 1, 2015
summer escapes

By Kyla Stelling –

Many times the most popular vacation destinations get overrun with tourists, and the cost of activities are astronomical. To save some money and break free from the typical summer tourist crowds, there are several alternative destinations to explore. If you’re looking for an escape into the wilderness, a secluded tropical beach, or a desert adventure, here are some spots where you won’t have to deal with the crowds.

Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Vancouver Island is a quaint and picturesque island off the coast of British Columbia. The main city, Victoria, is small yet rich in history and culture. It boasts lush gardens, amazing architecture, darling boutiques and many great restaurants. Have high tea at the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel or venture out to do some whale watching in Puget Sound in your very own boat rental — just make sure to get a boating license first.

Joshua Tree, California

Venture out an hour and a half east of Los Angeles, and you’ll find yourself in Joshua Tree. It’s an easily accessible weekend destination, and is great for long camping trips as well. The beautiful desert terrain is scattered with the distinct-looking Joshua Trees, and the park offers many wonderful hikes and activities.

Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden, located in the south end of Wilson Canyon, for a leisurely quarter-mile nature hike among the “jumping cacti.” Close to the park is an art installation—a colorful display of clay, 50 feet in height, 150 feet in breadth—called Salvation Mountain. Leonard Knight’s artwork was declared a folk art site, which many take care to protect and preserve.

Tulum, Mexico

Skip the crowds in Cancun and avoid the spring breakers in Puerto Vallarta—instead, head for the serene coastal region of Tulum, Mexico on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Tulum is an ancient port city from the pre-Columbian, Mayan era. The historical architecture here is one characteristic that sets this area apart, and the white-sanded Caribbean beaches are breathtaking. A variety of water activities, like kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling, are at your disposal. Accommodation options are endless, as you can choose from all-inclusive resorts, vacation cabanas, or secluded vacation rentals.

Fire Island, New York

An Atlantic Coast getaway that oftentimes goes unnoticed is Fire Island, New York. It’s a quick getaway from the big city, free of cars and chaos. Outdoor activity options include tennis, volleyball, hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, and kayaking.

Ever dreamed of having your very own summer clambake? This is the perfect place to do just that. Clams are abundant on the island and very easy to dig up. Fishing is also a fun activity, as you can fish from shore and surf cast into the ocean breaks to catch your next meal.

Ojai, California

Located an hour east of Santa Barbara, Ojai is a charming town nestled among the rolling hills and mountains of Southern California. Chain stores are prohibited in Ojai to keep local businesses flourishing and to encourage community development. This is a great place to visit if you’re interested in health and wellness, as Ojai hosts many tranquil spas and meditation retreats. It is also an artists’ haven, with a number of local art galleries and events—the majority of which are located in the downtown area. Ojai also offers countless recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, biking, and horseback riding.

Kyla Stelling is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied literature. She is the curator of the blog Seattle Street Style which focuses on fashion and design in Seattle, where she lives. She has worked in L.A. doing costume design but has recently shifted her career focus to public relations. When she isn’t working as a freelance writer, she is preparing herself delicious food or working on a DIY home decor project.

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5 Secluded Vacation Spots in North America