Travel has never been more complicated than right now, but here are some of the places we're most looking forward to visiting, if not this summer, then sometime soon.
Connecticut Magazine asked local celebrities to tell us what vacations they're taking — or wish they were taking — this summer.
Dennis House and Kara Sundlun
WFSB news anchor, moderator of Face the State • @DennishouseTV
WFSB news anchor, co-host of Better Connecticut, author ofFinding Dad • @karasundlun
The House family will be staying local for a while, or at least right here in New England. There is really no better place to spend the summer, right? We had planned a spring-break trip to Spain because our children Helena and Julian are both learning Spanish and Kara studied abroad there in Seville and we also had Barcelona and Madrid on our itinerary. It would have been our first trip to Europe since we visited Dennis’ family in Abruzzo, Italy. We look forward to a time when it is safe to travel overseas without worry.
Co-host of The Anna & Raven Show weekday mornings on Star 99.9 • @annazapo on Instagram, @AnnaZapOnAir on Twitter
There’s a sense of relief when visiting one of your favorite childhood travel spots. That’s how I’ve always felt about Ocean City, Maryland. The smell of the ocean air mixed with funnel cake, people-watching as they stroll on the boardwalk at all hours of the day, toddlers giggling while they ride the carousel that I once rode as a child myself — all of this brings a sense of normalcy and calm. I’ve been visiting OC since I was a little kid so it felt right that my husband and I made it a point that once we had children, we would take our kids too. We’ve brought our girls around the world on many adventures, but that familiar feeling of waking up early to watch the dolphins dance in the waves outside our balcony is one I never take for granted. From the hidden five-star restaurants to grabbing an indulgent bucket of Thrashers fries on the boardwalk, Ocean City has always been part of my wanderlust. I hope that one day my daughters will bring their kids too … and not mind when I tag along.
Social media influencer, Newtown native • @kevindroniak
It felt as though my plane had taken off at JFK and landed on a different planet when I arrived in Iceland. The country has the most unworldly terrain out of anywhere else I’ve ever been. As soon as I left the Reykjavik Airport in my rental car I was greeted by mossed lava rock that surrounded the roadway. The landscape in Iceland is so vast and untouched, sometimes it feels like you’re the only person exploring it. Amazing waterfalls and active volcanoes are so common that you start to take them for granted just after a few days on the island. I can compare it to my other favorite place on the planet, Hawaii, but Iceland is the colder version without palm trees. I cannot wait to visit Iceland again one day because there are still so many sights that I want to be blown away by.
On-air personality at WFSB and The River 105.9 • @reneedinino on Instagram, @MyCTcommunity on Twitter
Oh, where will I go?
Four health experts tell us if they are planning to travel this summer, and offer advice for those who do.
I returned from a trip to London Feb. 25, and prior to that, a three-week whirlwind trip to Dublin, Italy and London in October.
Are you thinking I’m a seasoned traveler? Nope — in fact, I’m a homebody. My husband Sal wants to see the world, travel, visit family … while I’m admittedly a “scaredy cat.” He waited and saved for 12 years for our October trip, and it was spectacular. I got the bug; what am I waiting for, I thought? We work hard, are modest people, rarely splurge. I started planning our next trip before coming home! I can’t wait to see more of this world.
London, Lower Sunbury on the Thames, is where my sister Jessica, brother-in-law James and niece Maeve live. I went back to London in February for Maeve’s 10th birthday. (Had to be there, double digits!) We walked along the Thames River, ate at pubs, drank a proper tea, enjoyed an egg and cress sandwich, and were surrounded by people.
The Walled Garden Museum is where we’d walk. It’s the most magical place on Earth. We decided then to meet this summer in Dublin. Maeve was in charge of the itinerary!
Now, we wait. Until we feel safe, until I can wrap my brain around everything that has and continues to happen. However, the fear of not seeing my niece again is greater than my fear of traveling.
So, where will I go? A very long way to tell you: London, the last place I went.
Host and producer of WNPR’s Audacious with Chion Wolf and Us in the Time of Coronavirus • @ChionWolf
The plan for our honeymoon was to take a train from Chicago to Los Angeles to visit my brother and his wife. Then onto Japan to see my brother and his husband. From there, a long-distance bike tour in the Netherlands, and then to Madrid to visit my brother’s family, where we’d laugh at the peacocks in El Retiro. Alas, the pandemic confines this trip to our vivid imaginations.
Play-by-play voice of the Miami Marlins and Bristol native • @severinomlb
Here’s a look at some places to explore right on or just across the Connecticut border.
One of the many cities I’ll miss visiting in 2020 is Los Angeles. The city is filled with landmarks that are always fun to see in person. In terms of the ballpark, few places compete with Dodger Stadium. First, the weather is great. But you think of the historic baseball moments and legendary people who have walked through those doors, and it’s very humbling. The team bus drops us off just outside the right-field bullpen and that’s where you get your first peek of the emerald-green grass. Getting from there to the clubhouse is like a maze, but the walls are filled with old logos and history. Once you’ve passed through the labyrinth, you see the many awards that former Dodgers have earned from Cy Youngs to Gold Gloves to MVPs to Rookies of the Year. Then it’s up the escalator to the broadcast level. The first booth belongs to Dodgers Home TV, and it’s named after perhaps the greatest to ever call a baseball game — Vin Scully. The visiting TV booth is right next door. There are only 30 Major League stadiums, yet this one feels even more big league than the rest. See you in 2021!
Host of CT Style on WTNH • @teresadu4
You’ve spent hours while in quarantine perusing the tropical locations posted on Instagram, daydreaming of a trip anywhere past your driveway. I did too. Right before the pandemic landed in the States, we conquered Disney World … with two toddlers. Which means we went from Disney World to quarantine. Let that sink in for a minute.
So, now I’m desperately craving an adults-only vacation. I dream of someplace warm with stunning tropical views improved only by the stunning tropical cocktails. Santorini, Greece, is calling me. I want to be sunning and sipping at Cavo Tagoo like I’m an Instagram model whose biggest concern is which hashtag to include on the sunset post. #NoPawPatrolinGreece
Co-host of The Anna & Raven Show weekday mornings on Star 99.9
We tapped local experts for their go-to elements to create the perfect picnic, even if it’s in your own backyard.
I’m currently putting together an early-spring trip for my wife’s 40th next year and our needs are usually pretty straightforward — beach, shopping, and nightlife. Cancun was the very first vacation we took together when we started dating 13 years ago, it was our honeymoon spot, and we’ve returned another five or six times since then with family and friends. Consistent heat, white-sand beaches, and customer service that rules over any other tropical location we’ve visited make it a great choice for us! Having gone many times, there’s a certain satisfaction to knowing the best street taco stand, snorkeling spots, and shopping without having to ask, we even know the bus schedules! The nightlife is also right up there with Las Vegas, another of our faves! Whenever we check into the Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas, they remember our chosen dining options, prized cabana by the statue-decorated pool, and exactly how I like my mojito! As long as the sun rises, we know it’ll be 85 the first week of March. Now I just have to count the days.