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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

Guest Blog: My Top 5 Summer Escapes, by Jake Krolick

Filed under: Travel

So my buddy “Bell” asked me to guest blog for her while she is out of the office this week. We tend to think on the same page, get into the same type of shenanigans, and share a mutual respect for each other’s ability to incite a crowd to riot – or at least lead a gaggle of folks on an evening of unadulterated fun. Since it’s the last day of August, it seemed fitting that I send out the industry’s favorite vacation month by paying homage to my top 5 favorite summer escapes. Bell asked that I tie the post into the promo industry, and so I’ve included a promotional product that one would find most useful on each of these escapes. Please share your favorite vacation escapes in the comments, and let me know which promotional product you found useful to have along for the ride.

Jake Krolick

5. Chicago

I love getting away from people, but I can recognize a good city when I see one.  I would have placed Philly here, but most readers wouldn’t get why. Chicago in the summer is another story, and one that won’t spark as much question. Plain and simple during the months of June, July, and August, it’s just gorgeous. It’s all about being lazy between the Zoo and the Conservatory in Lincoln Park, or playing volleyball until dusk on the lake. Stumbling around wrigglyville or the Viagra Triangle or snagging music at Free Festivals in Wicker Park or hanging out with Perry Ferrell at Lollapalooza in Grant Park – Chicago in the summer is on like Donkey Kong!

For information about Chicago’s Park District, click here.

Promo Product that you will find useful: Frisbee (175 grams, people – none of those wimpy disks) – yep, simple and still fun.

4. High Sierra Music Festival

Ever since I stopped attending and working at summer camps, I missed them. The closest thing I’ve found to summer camp for adults is the summer music festival. No festival in the country is as pro as the intimate offering in Quincy, CA known as High Sierra. Do you love live music? Want to smell the California pines, and sample some of the bay area’s finest wines? Want to catch music from 2- 5 am and then play kickball at 6:00 am with a few hundred others? Cool – me too!

For information on the High Sierra Music Festival, click here.

Promo Product that you will find useful: Double-wide Collapsible Chair w/ Beverage Holders in the center – because your legs will be tired, and it’s always nice to have room for friends.

3. Zion National Park

It’s not as off the beaten path as it once was, but thru-hike the narrows in Zion on a couple hot days in July or August – you’ll thank me for changing your life later.

For information on Zion National Park, click here.

Promo Product that you will find useful: Nalgene Water Bottles – rehydration is key, even though you’re wet most of the hike.

2. Summit County, Colorado

Get in 18 holes at the Ranch course at Keystone, drop the clubs at the pad, jump on the bike and ride around Lake Dillon, stop for a light lunch and rum runners at the Tiki Bar at the Lake Dillon Marina while you watch the J-class boats race.   Then ride your bike back to Frisco in time to catch the tail end of the Frisco BBQ challenge. Then snooze until dusk and jump back on the mountain bike to snag a 5- to 10-mile ride. Finish the night at the Moose Jaw or the Backcountry Brewery, but call it at midnight because tomorrow you’re going kayaking on a run from Pumphouse to Radium on the Colorado River. I could go on, but the list of outdoor activities, arts, and fun would just make your head spin, and yes, the winter has even more.

For information on Keystone, click here.
For information on Frisco, click here.
For information on Moose Jaw, click here.
For information on the Pumphouse Run, click here.

Promo Product that you will find useful: an extra sleeve of golf balls – because you’re going to need them for holes 5 and 16.

1. Maine

I have an unfair advantage, because I grew up in the state of Maine and almost always feel the need to escape to the foothills of the White Mountains or do dawn patrol surfing the 3- to 4-foot slabs of glass on Higgins Beach. Maine’s license plate motto says it best: “Vacationland,” and it’s called that for good reason. Send the kiddos up to summer camp in the lakes region and stay on Sebago Lake for a week. Then sample the 20+ microbrews in Portland (Gritty McDuff’s is a sure bet). Personally, I recommend a good hang in southern Maine. Take the Casco Bay Ferry lines to Peaks Island for reggae Sundays, or head up to Backcountry Bike Excursions for some of the east’s sickest mountain bike trails. Maine is one of the best family vacation spots in the world, so do yourself a favor and visit soon.

For information on Higgins Beach, click here.
For information on Backcountry Bike Excursions, click here.
For information on Gritty McDuff’s, click here.
For information on Jones Landing, click here.

Promo Product that you will find useful: Lobster Bibs – because you’re going to eat more than a few of these tasty crustaceans.

Again, please comment and share your favorite vacation escapes, and let me know which promotional product you found useful to have along for the ride.

Jake Krolick, online marketing manager at ASI, also writes freelance for the music industry, specializing in live show reviews, photo journalism and video mash-ups.  He has been known to enjoy long walks on the beach, skiing, biking, surfing, cooking, and travel.


  1. Michele Bell Says:

    Thanks for filling in for me, Jakey! Though I’m not really an “outdoorsy” kind of girl (unless we’re defining “outdoorsy” as “drinking in public”), I love your choices for great escapes… Zion National Park, in particular, looks stunning. — M

    Tuesday September 1, 2009
  2. Joe Says:

    Hatteras Island, OBX NC. Nothing is better, not even your beloved Avalon, NJ, Michele. Promotional product you willl find useful – Bottle opener.

    Tuesday September 1, 2009
  3. Lisa B. Says:

    A nice Ash City jacket wouldn’t be a bad idea for the cool Chicago nights!

    Wednesday September 2, 2009
  4. vik Says:

    Good idea. Thanks

    Wednesday October 21, 2009
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