Travel: 5 Brag-worthy U.S. Summer Vacation Trips

Social media has changed the game for how we are living.

With the need to document every moment, there seems to be a new challenge!

Who will have the best summer vacation story in the fall?

Well, we're happy to help you play that game.

Here's a list of picturesque getaways on American soil.

2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist Misty Hyman gives swim lessons at this resort.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.): 
Swimming lessons are anything but standard summer fare when the instructor is 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist Misty Hyman. The former 200-meter butterfly champ is now on the fitness staff at the exclusive Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, where she is available for swimming lessons in the resort pool at a rate of $150 per hour. Along with an improved stroke, guests are sent home with an autograph and photo as proof of their up-close-and-personal Olympian encounter, and young students get to try on her medal to inspire their own Olympic dreams.

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa (Riviera Beach, Fla.): 
With the world’s third largest barrier reef practically at its doorstep, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect base for an underwater adventure. Snorkeling and SCUBA diving opportunities abound for all skill levels through a number of local operators, include shark dives --  both cage and free – that let adrenaline junkies share the water with predators ranging from Florida’s abundant sandbar and lemon sharks to massive tiger sharks. 

CONTEST ALERT: there is a “Discover Scuba” social media sweeps running through July 17. 

Not everyone can say they've went bobsledding.

Whiteface Lodge (Lake Placid, N.Y.): Travelers can also go for the gold at Whiteface Lodge, where dedicated ADK Guides/concierges, some of them Olympians themselves, “coach” guests through year-round Olympic-themed retreats in Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games. Among the options: a visit to the Olympic Village and museum, a chat with Olympic athletes at the Olympic Sports Complex, and the opportunity to test their skills in biathlon shooting (rates start at $35) and bobsledding (rates start at $80). Whiteface Lodge's Adirondack Experience Stay and Play Package is fully customizable and includes a $100 credit for stays of two nights, and a $300 credit for stays of three nights, plus a $100 credit for each additional night. The credits are redeemable on-and off-property for activities and adventures booked through the resort, giving guests the freedom to do the Adirondacks their way.

The perfect chance to see sharks!
Chatham Bars Inn (Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod): 
It’s been 40 years this summer since the blockbuster “Jaws” brought the New England coast and great white sharks together on the big screen, so what better way to celebrate than with a shark-tagging adventure off Cape Cod?  Guests of Chatham Bars Inn can connect with the Atlantic’s most famous predator and help scientists study the Cape’s marine ecosystem through an exclusive partnership with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC). Among the options are a one-hour Receiver Excursion ($50 per person) charter aboard CBI’s private boat, “Bar Tender,” with a researcher from AWSC. Held twice a week starting in July, the morning excursion will include a cruise to the Chatham Lighthouse to view “shark cove” and bring up a shark receiver to analyze white shark activity. For the ultimate bragging rights, a few select adventurers can join scientists and crew on a full-day Research Trip ($2,500 for two). Working with a spotter plane, guests will observe the AWSC research team track, photograph and possibly apply a research tag to a white shark. Excursions are available by special arrangement on Mondays and Thursdays, August through October, with all proceeds donated to AWSC.

Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills (Plymouth, Mass.)
Aspiring shutterbugs will bring home frame-worthy evidence of their newfound artistic talent after a special two-day photography retreatJuly 13-15, under the expert guidance of award-winning fine art photographer Charles Needle. Author of “Impressionistic Photography: A Field Guide to Using Your Camera as a Paintbrush,” Needle, who taught for 10 years at Claude Monet’s Givenchy, will show guests of the Monet-inspired Mirbeau how to capture striking images of the resort’s spectacular flower gardens armed with nothing but a digital camera or smartphone. The workshop, hosted in partnership with locally based Hunt’s Photo & Video, begins with a cocktail reception and includes one-on-one instruction, immersive lectures about macro and impressionistic photography, group image evaluations, and Q&As. Package rates start at $1,355 for single occupancy and $1,870 for double occupancy, and cover two nights’ accommodations; all class activities; a signed copy of Charles Needle’s book; daily breakfast; lunch and dinner on July 13; and taxes, fees and service charges.

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