5 Favorite Summer Things To Do by Stephanie Queen

Like a lot of us, I find I have more leisure time in the summer. Work slows down, days get longer and energy goes up. Maybe it’s all a mirage, but suddenly there’s more time for the fun stuff in life.

Here are my top 5 fun summer leisure loves:

  1. The Beach. Breathing the salt air. Splashing in the ocean waves. Walking in the warm sand. Any of it. All of it! One of my favorite all time beaches is Gay Head Beach on Martha’s Vineyard (pictured above), a small island off the coast of Massachusetts and top summer vacation mecca. When POTUS vacations there, you know it has to be hot!

Speaking of which, POTUS plans a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in my latest Beachcomber Investigations novel, Beachcomber Danger. The problem is there’s a credible threat to his life. But my hero and heroine, Dane & Shana will do their part to foil the threat. Of course, nothing is that easy and nothing good happens without a cost. Find out the price Dane has to pay when you read the book…

  1. Summer Theater. Maybe I’m a geek, but I love seeing those small productions done in all the vacation spots well off Broadway—mostly in the mountains. Revivals of long ago favorites like South Pacificor My Fair Lady, or my very favorite The Pajama Game. I’m heading up to the mountains in New Hampshire to see whatever they’re showing!
  2. Shopping. I know, I know. This is a great leisure activity any time of year (think Christmas) but it’s extra special when you can cruise the boutiques and shops in a vacation town, especially one that’s on the water, and duck inside for special sales and AC when the sun gets too hot. My favorite spot is in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, closely followed by Wolfeboro, NH on the shores of Lake Winnepesauki. Or any water front harbor town along the coast of Maine, like York or Kennebunkport.
  3. Ice Cream. I know it’s not an activity. Not strictly speaking, but eating ice cream cones, visiting shops or outdoor stands, especially if they’re along a beach or at a carnival, is classifiably a FUN activity! I enjoy the beach side stands at places like Old Orchard Beach in Maine or Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts among many, many others (closely followed by the stands that sell ‘Beach Pizza’!)
  4. Reading a Beach Book. This is the ultimate leisurely activity in the summer. Laying around with nothing to do but read for hours on end. On the beach or in a hammock or poolside. Or maybe in bed late at night, or before you get up in the morning because you have nowhere else to be. The ultimate definition of leisure activity!

If you’re looking for a great Beach Read, check out my romantic detective series, Beachcomber InvestigationsIt’s on sale now for a limited time for $.99!

Top East Coast Summer Vacation Destination: Martha’s Vineyard

GayHeadBeachYou’ve all heard of Martha’s Vineyard, right? After all, Bill Clinton vacationed there while he was president and then President Obama and family followed the tradition more recently. What more could you ask for on a relaxing vacation than the specter of a secret service team and political dignitaries swarming the beaches (read *dripping in sarcasm*).

Luckily, Martha’s Vineyard, located off the coast of Massachusetts and accessible by ferry and air, has a lot more going for it. I should know. I’ve lived in the northeast forever and vacationed there (before the Clintons) for years.

The Top 5 Great Things About Martha’s Vineyard:

  1. Beaches – It’s an island so it’s surrounded by beaches of all kinds, from the infamous State Beach of Jaws fame (filmed here) to my all-time favorite, Gay Head Beach, pictured here, with the giant boulders adding drama to the pristine sand and exciting surf.
  1. Charm – Martha’s Vineyard is relatively unspoiled by cookie-cutter franchises and CarouselOakBluffsinstead sports landmark spots like The Black Dog coffee shop in Vineyard Haven and one of the oldest carousels still in operation in Oak Bluffs.
  1. Location – An island with beaches located a relative stone’s throw from the megalopolis of the northeastern cities? It’s a couple hours drive and a ferry ride from the gargantuan population center of the northeastern U.S. If you live in the Boston-New York-New Jersey area, no need to fly to the Carribean!
  1. Affordability – Our family rented a house within walking distance to Vineyard Haven center with its quaint shops and beach for a family on a modest vacation budget. It has remained affordable—so much so that the last summer we were there, we stayed two weeks! There are Inns, hotels, motels, homes and beach shacks available for every budget.
  1. StateBeachRelaxation – aside from the panache of possible of celebrity sightings from the likes of Carly Simon to national politicians, and aside from the plethora of activities like water sports, boating, fishing and golfing, Martha’s Vineyard offers a true island-like quiet and slow-paced culture. No matter how crowded the towns like Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven might get—especially 4th of July weekend—you can escape within minutes and be surrounded by quiet and nature and hear nothing but the rolling waves. None of the towns would qualify as a city even on their most crowded day.

It’s no wonder I chose Martha’s Vineyard to be the place the soul-weary character, Dane Blaise, in the Beachcomber Investigations series, goes to seek solace and rest from his legendary exploits carrying out special missions world-wide. That’s where he settles and partners with Shana George, ex-Scotland Yard detective. But it’s a shaky partnership and they both wonder if Shana belongs on Martha’s Vineyard with the likes of Dane…

Decide for yourself – start the 6 book romantic detective series (and counting) with Beachcomber Investigations Book 1.

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