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hudson valley autumn leaves windowIn 5 Signs You’re Not a True Traveler, I declared that you should travel to experience new things, and that you shouldn’t always take the same vacations again and again. While I stand behind the notion that resort vacations alone aren’t traveling in the truest sense of the word, everyone should have one of those special places that take us away but make us feel at home, all at once.

Call it a weekend getaway, or call it the Griswold Family Summer Vacation — a good ol’ stand-by vacation spot, by any other name, is just as sweet.

When I was a child, my parents would wake me up in the pitch-darkness before dawn to jump into the car (in full pajama regalia, clutching stuffed compatriots) and head to Montauk, Long Island. We did this every summer, which was a tradition that I later found out my father had started in his mid-20’s. With a sense of legacy, and miles of beaches, village shopping centers, farmer’s markets, winding roads and harborside restaurants, there wasn’t any element that “got old.”

Photos: The 8 Best U.S. Road Trips

In college I moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, and within a short time I was initiated into the cult of leaf-praising, harvest-loving, pumpkin latte-drinking and apple-picking worshippers of fall. The Hudson Valley came alive during the autumn months, and I was intoxicated by the bucolic rolling hills, small-town festivals and flavors that marked the season.

It’s because of four years spent roaming the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion and strolling the streets of Rhinebeck that I became a fan of New York’s Hudson Valley for life. In that time I learned important distinctions of the area — most notably, do not confuse Dutchess County for “upstate” … it’s not the same thing!

Vote: Do You Enjoy Revisiting Familiar Places?

Every October, like clockwork, some inner leaves rustle and I’m drawn back to the familiar world of my old stomping grounds. What some people remember most about their time away at college is the parties or the sorority pals. But for me, that period of my life offered a lifelong gift: the opportunity to know a place and to revisit it with new eyes every time the autumn wind blows and the Valley comes calling.

Where’s your home-away hideaway? Is there a place that you visit continually and couldn’t imagine never seeing again? Post yours in the comments.

— written by Brittany Chrusciel

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10 Responses to “Go-To Getaways: What’s Yours?”

  1. soliteyah says:

    Ocean City, New Jersey! Been going there with my family since I was born, and can’t imagine summer without it.

  2. Jenn says:

    Alexandria VA. Only 60 minutes from home, so not a lot to pack when I go. Easy to get around on public transport–both in DC and VA. Lots of history, shopping, great restaurants. Never boring, great for a long weekend away!.

  3. I feel in love with St. Lucia years ago, and have been able to go back there twice, so far. Would love to go again.

  4. Jodie says:

    Outside of Myrtle Beach, like Sunset Beach, we rent a house on the ocean off season in Sept, usually with a private pool and pay half the usual rate. Our kids love the traditions of going to the old mansion in the state park, Brookgreen gardens, playing in the ocean and swimming in the pool.
    This is a restful place.

  5. Tommie Imbernino says:

    Sicily. I love all of Italy, but Sicily has a special place in my heart. Have only visited 4 times, but I am a travel agent and I always book this as a destination. And I even revisit the same things each time. The cells that hang in the museum in Palermo. There were 16 cells that housed many prisoners during the Spanish Inquisition held in Palermo as well as in Spain. When they ran out of Jews and Protestants to torture and murder, they rounded up all the artists and intellectuals. They drew and painted on the walls of the cells, the doors and ceilings. They were found in the begging of the 1900s and donated to the University of Palermo. They opened to the public in 2005. But this is just the tip of this delicious iceberg.

  6. Let'sflyaway says:

    Sawtell, NSW, Australia. Beautiful beaches, surf, sun, sea, snorkeling, canoeing, walks, tennis, golf, and more. Great places to eat, terrific fresh seafood. Friendly locals.

  7. Roberta says:

    Alaska!! Anywhere in Alaska! It’s such an incredible place that is not overrun with tourists. As long as you don’t go on a cruise you will see the most wonderful scenery and wildlife and experience such an overwhelming love for nature and the land. We found a small small town
    just north of British Columbia and at the tip of the Portland Canal which connects it to mainland Alaska. This tiny town is a gem (I’m not telling the name of the place b/c it’s already being ruined by tourists! of course we were tourists when we first found the place but now feel more like
    summer residents since we know most of the town now – not hard since there’s only about 100 people there)

    Alaska – my place to connect spiritually and with my heart.

  8. Genie says:

    Our go-to weekend escapes include gem mining/waterfalls in NC mountains, Charleston in the spring or fall when it’s cooler, touring wineries in NC (our favorite is Morgan Ridge in Gold Hill). If we have a week in late April or mid September we usually opt for a week at Oak Island.

  9. Tammy says:

    Ireland. Anywhere in Ireland. Love the country, love the people. Did i mention that i love it?

  10. Carolyn says:

    Westerly, Rhode Island. I’ve been going there every Summer for the past 26 years, and recently started going throughout the year. It’s nice going in the off-season when it’s quieter. I never get tired of it! My parents and sister come, and now my husband and his parents have discovered what a fun place it is, too.

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