3 great ideas for a last-minute summer trip

Marquette, Michigan
Marquette, Michigan |

With the first week of July in the books it is fair to say summer is going by quick.

Perhaps it has moved along so quickly that you haven’t had a chance to plan your summer getaway. If that’s you then this column has you covered with my recommendations for the perfect last-minute trip.

Jamestown, New York

National Comedy Center
The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, is partially housed in an Art Deco train station. |

The National Comedy Center opened last year not in the nation’s capital, but in actress and comedian Lucile Ball’s hometown.

As I recently wrote, the $50 million fully interactive museum has put Jamestown, a classic Rust Belt city, back on the map after decades of decline by punching well above its weight.

It offers something for everyone, including an uncensored exhibit in the basement that highlights George Carlin’s seven dirty words. Admittedly, most readers will be turned off by the vulgarity, but it is an important lesson in artistic expression and free speech at a time when political correctness and censorship are way out of control.

Marquette, Michigan

The unofficial capital of Michigan’s vast Upper Peninsula is “where Michigan meets Portland and Seattle.”

It makes the perfect base for outdoor adventures. You could also do what I did over the Independence Day holiday week and spend a couple days on the Lake Superior beach between McCarty’s Cove and Picnic Rocks Park. Yes, the largest of the Great Lakes is cold — locals call it “refreshing” — but swimming can be tolerable by late July or early August.

Unfortunately, Marquette’s hotels are a little expensive for what you get. Consider staying at the Nestledown Bed & Breakfast, a Scandinavian-inspired inn located directly across from the beach. I recommend dinner at Elizabeth’s Chop House, the town’s best restaurant. Just be sure to reserve a table on the enclosed porch overlooking Marquette’s picture-perfect Lower Harbor and cathedralesque old iron ore dock.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Visiting the Aloha State is always a good idea.

Yes, it is a long flight from the East Coast, but going for three nights and four days has never been easier or more affordable, thanks to the incredibly record low airfare of late. Just remember taking the red-eye flight home gives you a full day without the expense of another night’s hotel room.

Honolulu is on Oahu, the state’s most populated island.

Most visitors stay in Waikiki Beach — my favorite is the luxurious Halekulani Hotel — but for a different experience try the Courtyard by Marriott North Shore. Located on Kamehameha Highway in Laie, near the Polynesian Cultural Center, everything along Oahu’s North Shore is within 30 minutes by car.

Plan on stopping at the Sunrise Shack, which serves delicious smoothies, wraps and salads. Be sure to also stop for a picture of the quaint Liliʻuokalani Protestant Church in Haleiwa.

Spires and Crosses, a weekly travel column exclusive to The Christian Post, covers old churches, history and heritage, architecture, culture and art. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter and Instagram.

Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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