Limited time taunts us all, leaving us with the feeling of always waiting on the edge, as the unknown lurks directly around every corner. It is a familiar feeling known by all living the military lifestyle. It brings you to a firm realization that taking advantage of every second that time gives you together is a must! No matter where you are stationed, there are so many amazing places within driving distance of these installations to help you seize every single moment of summer leave.
Fort Drum/West Point, N.Y.:
Soak up just one or all the historic states that make up New England. You could find yourself hand and hand walking along the beaches of Cape Cod, Mass., or hiking up the summit of Cadillac Mountain breathing in the salty Atlantic air in Acadia National Park, Maine. Enjoy fresh caught Maine lobster, clam chowder, or even Vermont’s famous maple syrup.
Fort Benning/Warner Robins, Ga.:
Cloudland Canyon State Park, a hidden gem off the beaten path and the perfect place to head in hopes of escaping modern life and soaking up nature. Trek deep into this Georgia Canyon and seek the freedom we long for from everyday life.
Fort Campbell, Ky.:
At first thought one would assume Nashville or Gatlinburg would be the best go-to getaways. But if you enjoy summers on the lake, house boats, or camping on the lake shore Dale Hollow is the place to be. Fall Creek Falls State Park takes you further east for hiking, camping out under the stars, and waterfall swimming. That small town charm where time is slow, and you are surrounded by lightning bugs, is inescapable all over Tennessee.
Fort Wainwright, Alaska/Eielson Air Base:
Grab a rental RV from the MWR and take the long scenic drive down to Valdez, Alaska where breathtaking adventure is an understatement. You’ll find yourself kayaking through Columbia Glacier, exploring the Solomon Gulch Hatchery, hiking into Worthington Glacier, and camping on the edge of the mountains covered with waterfalls and the bay full of wildlife.
Fort Leonard Wood/Fort Leavenworth/Tinker Air Base:
Head south where the rivers are spring fed and diamonds are not as rare. Spend the day digging with the family around Crater of Diamonds State Park for gems, grabbing ice cream at Hawkins Variety Store to cool off or bathe in the springs at Hot Springs National Park. Surrounded by the quaint and simple life, you will not want to return home.
Fort Bliss/Fort Hood, Texas:
The best of the West (or at least in Texas) Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, where you can spend everyday relaxing on the river with no regrets. It’s one of the best kept secrets for family fun in Texas. Have two days of old school, water park fun, then head over to explore San Antonio.