It’s summer time! And while the past summers as of late, I’ve spent in a college classroom, for the majority of both young and old, summer is undoubtably a time for travel. Not just any travel, summer vacations mean exotic trips to the ruins and cities of Europe or the paradises of the tropics. So break open your Google Maps and pina coladas. As someone who has traveled extensively here are some of my top picks for summer travel and, in distinguished ruffian style, their complementary beverage choices.
1. The Greek Islands. Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. On my visit I was able to swim in hot springs, hike a volcano, take a boat in the sea, and relax on their seaside city. (Much of the coastline city has been carved out of the side of the sea rock) Recommended drink is Ouzo, its the traditional alcoholic beverage of the region. It is an anise flavored aperitif that is clear in color and strong in flavor, and a little water to it and it will turn cloudy white and also help reduce the potency if its flavor.
2. The New England Coast. Growing up I spent the majority of my summers on the sands if George’s Beach and fishing off of Block Island. New England states, such as Connecticut and Rhode Island may be small, but they are everything summer is meant to be! The weather is perfect which makes the array of activities feel endless and the people are great (although I’ll admit that last point is biased considering my long list of relatives who live there, whom I’m quite fond of). Newport, Narragansett and Block Island are my favorites for summer variety and seafood. For a drink try a beer from Shipyard Brewing Company in, Portland Maine, which is just north of my choice cites. They have a wide variety of beers that will go nicely with whatever you happen to do that day.
3. Canada. While I have yet to explore the majority of Canada, I can personally say that Quebec and British Columbia make great summer spots. Quebec feels like its own little country. It’s just lovely really. For those Ruffians out there looking to take your lady for a unique romantic trip without going abroad Quebec is perfect. Theres lots of history, quaint cobblestone streets, and old town appeal. On the west coast British Columbia is a thriving city with a lot of pride. The tourist area is very fun although a few blocks away there appeared to be a lot less pride, loads of trash and lots of homeless that approach you quickly. I wouldn’t make British Columbia my destination for a weeks long vacation, but it makes a great day trip. Caribou is the drink of Quebec. If you enjoy the flavor of wine, a little whiskey and the sweetness of maple syrup then it’s for you.
Photo credit Destination360 Victoria
4. The Amalfi Coast. Portofino, Capri , And Sorrento are a few of the many areas on and around the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It’s no wonder that celebrities vacation there, it’s aesthetically beautiful and all around peaceful! It’s one of my favorite vacation spots. In the summer it can be a little crowded with tourists so stick to the outskirts during this time. There’s plenty of activities along the coast. You can hire a boat for the day or take the ferries from Ravello to Positano and see what the small towns have to offer. Drink of choice undoubtedly is Limoncello
5. Alaska (The Inside Passage). Even in summer it can be a bit brisk, cold, and at times rainy, but it’s Worth it! I’ve been to 75% of the states in the U.S.A. and Alaska is one of my favorites. I love the way nature and man cohabit ate in this amazing place. If you’re a big city lover, Alaska is not for you. But, if you appreciate the great outdoors, Alaska is wilderness untouched. In Alaska the wilderness is everywhere and it’s breath taking. While I’ve read that the signature drink of Alaska is a smoked salmon bloody mary, I think that sounds bloody disgusting. I’d stick with one of the beers from Alaska’s long list of great breweries. My husband and I personally enjoyed the beers from Skagway Brewing Company.
6. Jamaica. I live in Florida so tropical places like the Bahamas and the Caribbean aren’t too extraordinary for me, but for those who do want somewhere tropical to visit this summer, try Jamaica. Once you get past the rows of Bob Marley beach towel sellers and “mon ja -macan me crazy” t-shirts, it’s a pretty place. the people are indeed quite relaxed, and theres a great mix of natural beauty like waterfalls and water sport activities which are necessary in the summer because it is HOT, VERY HOT! Drinking a rum punch or a red stripe will help cool you off and both are delicious.