End of Summer Vacation Ideas

It is almost fall!

My favorite season of all!

Though that does not mean I cannot day dream of a few end of summer vacation ideas.

It is the middle of September, and October is just around the corner. School is starting. Cold weather will be coming. So, why not have a last hurrah? Here is a list of ten of my favorite places I have visited. Both big and small. Perhaps one will spark an inspiration in you to have one final summer adventure.

  • Blue Bicycle Book Shop- A lovely bookshop I went to in Charleston, SC. It had a variety of new, used, rare, and signed books. Located in the Historic District around the King Street area there is also a lot of other local and chain shopping. Plus, many fantastic dining options. I go slightly more into detail here on my post about Charleston.
  • Middleton Place- Also on my visit to Charleston, SC. A historic plantation that not only offers a house tour, but also a stable tour, roaming sheep, restaurant, two gift shops, other historical buildings, Eliza’s story and the plantation’s history of slavery, and multiple gardens with wildlife. Again, check out the Charleston blog post here for more information.
  • Jaliscos- The best Mexican restaurant in Hays, Kansas. Perhaps your end of the summer vacation is all about food. Hit up Jaliscos. I highly recommend the queso and pollo bandido.
  • The Market Shop- One of the best small business home stores I know. Located in downtown Salina, Kansas, so one can shop many other great local stores in the area. They have a cottage vibe to their home decor goods. Also, many other fun items such as hilarious tea towels, baby gifts, and clothing. I write about them for having great puzzles in my post here.
  • Wonders of Wildlife- Located in Springfield Missouri; this is actually an amazing museum/aquarium/zoo/wildlife center by a Bass Pro Shop. Being a public historian geek; I was amazed with how well they set up the museum flow. Plus, you see so many animals and fish. Truly feel like you are on an actual adventure. Did I mention you can feed manta rays?
  • Windsor Castle- Here is a big adventure, and may be hard to visit in COVID times, but oh well! Windsor Castle in England is one of the most amazing places I have seen in my life. Honestly, I could go into detail about it for paragraphs, but ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING PLACES I HAVE SEEN IN MY LIFE… pretty much sums it up.
  • National World War I Museum- Located in downtown Kansas City (which is just an amazing area in itself to visit) It does not look like much from the outside, but when you step inside you see why it is the leading authority in the country on World War I. Not only is the museum exquisite and beautifully set up for visitors; it also houses a gift shop, cafes, archives and libraries, a full on no man’s land trench, a poppy field inside the building, and also a monument tower which you can ride an elevator to the top to have one of the best views of Kansas City.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art- Art. So much art. You will not get through this museum in a day there is that much amazing art. I have been twice, and I do not think I have seen the entire museum. Not only paintings and sculptures though. You could see pieces of furniture, knight’s in shining armor, or fabulous gowns. Plus, a wonderful representation of different ethnicities and cultures. Located in NYC.
  • The Wizard’s Thatch- Yet again, we visit overseas. Unless you do not live in North America…then never mind. Located in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birth and resting place of Williams Shakespeare. It is essentially a knock off Harry Potter store. But, its a damn good time. Not only will they send your letters by owls, but they also offer spells, wands, brooms, and many other magical items for sale. I absolutely bought a butter beer from their cafe inside. And again, there is great shopping surrounding the area. Just honestly visit Stratford-upon-Avon all together. Great town.
  • The Majestic Theatre- Finally, my favorite theatre in the world. The home of the best musical in the world. Phantom of the Opera. At the moment… it is very closed due to the pandemic. However, I would feel unfaithful if I did not put it on the list. Hosting the longest running broadway musical; you get the epitome of New York Broadway style in this place. When the show is open I highly suggest going to visit. Hey, visit the outside of theatre even if it is not open.

Though I love the places I have been… I thought I would still offer a list of places I want to go. Perhaps you can get there before me and let me know how amazing they are.

  • Arizona… literally anywhere in Arizona
  • The Grand Canyon
  • A portion of Route 66
  • Derry, Northern Ireland
  • The Pyramids of Giza
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
  • The Evil Knievel Museum
  • Tuscany
  • The giant Van Gogh Painting in Goodland, Kansas.

Hotel Phillips

The Hotel Phillips by Hilton is a hotel that allows one to step back in time when visiting Kansas City, Missouri. I recently experienced this time traveling hotel myself. Located on 12th street the hotel was built in 1931. The hotel still has its Art Deco architecture style throughout the building with a more modern room setting. Hotel Phillips is even on the list of National Register of Historic Places. The lobby contains an eleven-foot sculpture of the Goddess of Dawn created in 1931. Before the Hotel Phillips was built another hotel was built on the spot, the Glennon Hotel. This hotel had a haberdashery shop opened by President Harry S. Truman. The Hotel Phillips is surrounded by theaters, restaurants, convention centers, and the Power and Light District.

My favorite part of The Hotel Phillips is that it homes a contemporary reincarnation of a 1930s speakeasy. The P.S. Speakeasy is only accessible by an unmarked door in an old mail room of the hotel. It serves its own handcrafted cocktails and an assortment of wine, bourbons, and whiskies. Remember though, this place is secret so shhhh 😉

Charleston Day Three

Middleton Place

Day three in Charleston began with us journeying to the plantation, the Middleton Place. Owned by the Middleton family throughout important moments of history, such as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Arthur Middleton even signed the Declaration of Independence. One can visit the museum, gardens, stables, and Eliza’s home on the plantation. This location was my favorite adventure in Charleston. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.

Once we got back into Charleston we yet again hit King Street. However, we stopped at the City Market first. The market is a collection of various booths of different vendors. You can purchase anything from hats to candy at the market. Other King Street shops that I stopped at that I particularly enjoyed was the Savannah Bee Company, Anthropologie, Earthbound, and Madewell.

Charleston Day Two

Day Two

On our second day in Charleston we visited the South Carolina Aquarium. We purchased the tickets as a combo package with our Harbor Tour we took later in the afternoon. The aquarium specializes in saving sick or injured sea turtles, and then rehabilitating them in effort to return the turtles back to the ocean. At the aquarium you can even see the turtles they are caring for at the moment.

Later in the afternoon we went on a harbor tour where you could see and learn about specific history and locations of Charleston around the harbor. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of dolphins.

Finally, we ended the day with some more shopping on King Street, dinner, and catching a musical at the 34 West Theatre Company. Let me tell you… this was one of the most amazing productions I have seen. The musical Stayin Alive is set in the 70s on a soap opera set with different characters played by three actors. Being a jukebox musical it utilized disco songs for its score. Placed not in an auditorium, but more a small jazz club setting with vintage drinks at the bar. I HIGHLY suggest visiting this if in Charleston. The show was hilarious.

Charlestown Day One

Recently I visited Charleston, South Carolina. If you need a relaxing time, but also want the opportunity to see historical sites, culture, entertainment, or have a shopping spree… this is the place to visit. I went on this trip with some friends, and our first day in Charlestown began with a walking tour in the downtown historic district. In my opinion a great place to start in a new city you are visiting is some type of overall tour. There are a variety of walking tours in Charlestown; we went on Lowcountry Walking Tours. The company has a variety of different walking tours in Charleston to choose from. I not only got to see most of the downtown historic district, but also learned the history surrounding the area, as well. If you are history nerd like me I highly suggest Charlestown to visit. It is one of the older cities in America such as Boston and New York. If you are interested in the history of the creation of America… add Charlestown to your list. I learned about where George Washington went and about people who signed the Declaration of Independence. History buffs, you can also learn a lot about the Civil War, Fort Sumter, a rice economy, pirates, slavery, and many of the rich and famous of Charleston’s past. Highlights from my walking tour included Rainbow Row, the Battery, St. Micheal’s Church, the four corners of law, and so many beautiful house.

After we finished our walking tour we had lunch at Toast. A restaurant which serves breakfast all day, so my kind of restaurant. Then we visited the Gibbes Museum of Art. I love art museums, and have visited some of the best in the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the National Gallery in London. I rather enjoyed the Gibbes Museum of Art which focused on Charlestown art.

Next we stopped at the Nathanial Russell Home. One of the historic homes you can tour in Charlestown. We ended the day with dinner and some shopping on King Street before heading back to the hotel pool. A few of our favorite finds from King Street were Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and Blue Bicycle Books. Jeni’s is an ice cream shop that has a variety of flavors and that you can buy by the scoop. They also have dairy free ice cream and deliver certain flavors by the pint nationwide. I have already had a delivery of Jeni’s come to my home since leaving Charlestown. Blue Bicycle Books was a personal favorite of mine. I picked up three books. They have a great selection of used, new, rare, and signed books.