As varied as people are, they usually have common wishes. I mean, who wouldn’t love to win the lottery or have a beach body no matter what they ate, right?

This holds true when it comes to the lifestyle people envision for their retirement.

When it comes to their post-work years. many people plan to use the extra time to visit loved ones, or get elbows-deep in their beloved hobbies. One woman I met recently wants nothing more than to spend her retirement years watching every single Yankees game, for example.

The most common dream that people have for their retirement, though, is travel.

Foreign or domestic, short hops or long hauls, men and women alike want to spend more time seeing the world around them.

This is largely because it’s almost impossible to travel before you retire. Sure. you might get a vacation to Cabo here or a week in the Wisconsin Dells there, but for the most part, your working and child-rearing years keep you pretty well locked in to a certain geographic region.

This happens because people don’t have the money, yes, but also because they don’t have the time. Your working years are spent at your 9 to 5, socking away as much money as you can, while spending your precious free hours running errands at Costco or sitting in the sun on the Little League bleachers (remember those days).

This all adds up to a deficit of money and time. These precious resources are scarce during the middle of your adulthood, and if you’re like most people, you spent years wishing you had more of each.

Ready for the magical, amazing, wonderful part?

Now that you’re retired, you have both.

That’s right, it’s time to finally realize your dreams of seeing the destinations you’ve only imagined visiting in the past. Now that it’s fall, the crowds have died down and the rates have dropped, so there’s no time like the present to get out there.

If you are ready to travel, but you have no idea where to start, you’re in luck! Here are some wonderful trips to stunning US locations you should take advantage of now that you finally can.

Burlington, VT

With wineries, breweries, a burgeoning food scene, and tons of beautiful inns and bed-and-breakfasts to visit, Vermont is a traveler’s paradise. Add in the turning of the leaves and amazing, crisp, weather, and you’ve got a perfect destination for an impromptu trip. Be sure to get some maple syrup while you’re in town – it really is on another level than what you can get anywhere else.

Flagstaff, AZ

The Grand Canyon is a beautiful sight to see, but Arizona in the summer is stiflingly hot and dry. In the fall light, you’ll see the remarkable oranges and reds in the local rock formations, and the tourist crowds will have died down considerably. Love kitsch and history? Williams, AZ, an iconic stop on Route 66 is right close by. If luxury travel is more your thing, you can spend a little time at the Canyon and then drive up the road a bit to Sedona. The accommodations, spas, and restaurants there are world-class, and the nearby vineyards produce jammy reds and fruity whites you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Savannah, GA

If you’ve ever seen the John Cusack flick Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil (or read the book), you’ll already have an idea of the spooky aura that surrounds this old, Southern community. There’s no better time than the present to experience it for yourself. In the fall, the oppressive Southern humidity drops and you can enjoy your time experiencing quirky cuisine, viewing stately architecture, and taking in the mysterious history of this locale.

Oahu, HI

Who says Hawaii is just for summertime? In the fall months. Oahu still has temperatures in the mid-eighties, and the crowds will be almost non-existent. Accommodation prices fall and the beaches are all but deserted in the autumn, and in addition to the normal charming Hawaiian culture, you’ll also see food festivals, film festivals, and a variety of stunning natural attractions without the typical long lines.

Santa Barbara, CA

I may be a little biased, but if you love Spanish style architecture and great food, there’s no better fall destination than my home, Santa Barbara. With stunning missions here and in nearby San Luis Obispo, world class restaurants, and the added allure of whale-watching, this coastal California city has all the charm of a Pacific adventure with none of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Plus the surfing is great.

Nashville, TN

Country music fans already know this city well, but even if you don’t love Willie and Waylon, there’s something here for everyone. Sure, you can visit country music hotspots like the Country Music Hall Of Fame, but you can also enjoy festivals like Nashvember and try local cuisine like Nashville Hot Chicken and farm to table cuisine. With early fall temps ranging from the 60s to the 80s, all you’ll need is a light jacket (and maybe a great pair of boots) and Nashville is yours for the taking.

Hill Country, TX

Texas is a huge state with lots of fun adventures, but let’s be honest – for half the year, it’s so hot it can be downright unenjoyable. Now that cooler temperatures are here, you can camp, hike, and eat tacos to your heart’s content. In addition to the outdoor and culinary adventures, you can take in Austin’s music scene or attend an F1 race without fear of melting in the stands.

The Fingerlakes Region, NY

Upstate New York is a harsh place in the winter, but in the fall? It’s a wonderland. Everything from wine tasting at acclaimed vineyards to long bike rides to apple picking is available for the casual traveler, and if you’re feeling intrepid, the Big Apple is just a scenic half-day’s drive away.

The greatest thing of all about retirement is the freedom to do whatever you choose, whenever you want.

With all of these awesome destinations just a short plane ride away, which will you pick first?

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive



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