I’ve got to lose some weight. Seriously. It’s getting ridiculous. I’m going to be that one dude in the water this summer still wearing a t-shirt. You know the one. I’m him and I’m sorry for ruining your afternoon.
To make up for my physically damaging love affair with scrapple, egg and cheese sandwiches, I’ve put together a list of some awesome summer break destinations where you won’t see a wet black Allman Brothers t-shirt desperately cling to my swinging gut.
Miami & South Beach, Florida
As you’ll soon realize, this is basically a list of places that I either can’t stand and/or have no right being a part of. South Beach, FL is a perfect example of this. Every year millions of college students make their pilgrimage to this Mecca of the tan, the beautiful and the over-hair-gelled. While the city is admittedly not my cup of tea, it’s a town with a pulse. In South Beach you’ll find a buzzing club scene, incredible local live music and a bunch of hotel packages that’ll fit almost any student budget (depending on how much you plan to spend on mixed drinks and cover charges). And although the city is packed all summer long with college kids, it’s not nearly as nuts as Daytona Beach and allows you to get away from the craziness if you want. Renowned Italian and Spanish restaurants pepper the town and give the city an extra boost of worldliness (check out the ‘world-famous’ sweet pecorino cheese ravioli at Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante).
As long as you avoid the bacteria and STD-laden ‘pool parties’ that South Beach has become famous for (see Wet Grooves where a shot of penicillin should be your ticket in), you’re bound to have an awesome time even if by mistake.
As images of The Ruins & Turistas flood my head, I give my full endorsement to Cancun as the summer break destination for ‘of-age’ college students (not that it really matters once you get down there). Most people associate Cancun with Spring Break instead of summer, but it’s less crowded during the summer months and you’re able to take advantage of majorly discounted travel packages. Even if you’re not into that whole, ’27 dudes standing around 1 girl at a bar’ thing, there are amazing world-class tours and Cancun’s Mayan & Yucatan archaeological sites are an absolute experience to see. So whether you fall victim to the cliché of drunken college kid or enthusiastic culture vulture, Cancun has a little something for everyone.
Where else can you find go-karts, jungle tours, bullfights, pro-golf courses, world-famous sport fishing and first class dining and accommodations all within a mile radius of each other? Now that I’ve reread that question, Neverland Ranch is first to come to mind. But the answer I was hinting at was Acapulco. It’s infinitely more fun than Neverland Ranch and you don’t have to deal with Michael Jackson constantly trying to give you ‘Jesus Juice’. But I digress. When it comes to activities, accommodations and price, Acapulco is essentially Cancun 2.0, but it doesn’t have as much of a draw as Cancun does. Therefore, you don’t have to put up with as many shirtless meatheads screaming, “Yeah, Brah!” at each other. Be sure to take the Coyuca Lagoon Tour (which, for an all-day excursion, is surprisingly cheap), try the bacon-wrapped quail at El Olvido and jet ski the length of Revolcadero Beach.
Las Lenas, Argentina (skiing)
Skiing in the summer. It is possible and it is good. This is for all those who, like me, turn a flamingo pink when Caribbean sun exposure lasts more than 14 minutes. The Las Lenas resort in Argentina offers a ski season of June to mid-October, a fully-stocked casino at the neighboring Piscis Hotel and a series of nearby 5-Star bars and restaurants offering the best of Argentinean food and nightlife. The ‘discos’ located in the Escorpio and Piscis Hotels are appropriately dated and cheesy, but tremendously fun for the un-jaded (UFO Point & JB Zone should be of particular interest).
Trust me; I’m doing you a favor by pointing you towards summer destination hot spots that are relatively inexpensive, fun and miles away from my pale bulbous form. Do some research and remember that the state of the economy dictates the pricing you’re able to access. If you spend the time looking for an excellent deal, you’re bound to find one.