It may not be easy to let your kids fly the coup, but being an Empty Nester has its advantages — especially when it comes to travel. Forget breaking up sibling rivalries in the backseat or searching for one affordable restaurant that pleases everyone’s palate. Empty Nesters not only have a renewed sense of freedom, but also extra time and money that can afford them unique vacation opportunities. For mature travelers who are still young at heart and looking for adventure, we’ve found some of the best international destinations that get you back to the outdoors while offering a little something extra for your mature sensibilities.
As one of the most lush (and underrated) places in the world, Sweden’s capital city boasts its eco-friendly atmosphere throughout its 14 interconnected waterways. And because of its far north locale in Scandinavia, daytime can last more than 19 hours during the summer season. With a strong focus on the outdoors, Stockholm makes for a great active getaway. The nautical-themed waterfront J Hotel is a secluded boutique property, perfect for couples looking for tranquility and activity. Guests of the J can rent bikes, hop aboard the hotel’s private sailboat, or get a tai-chi lesson. The hotel also offers wine tastings and culinary classes for travelers to indulge in when (and if) the sun goes down.
2. Lima, Peru
Hawaii is one of the most well-known surfing destinations, but Lima, also on the Pacific Ocean, actually offers some of the best waves in the world, should you want to discover a hidden talent. (It’s never too late!) And the South American city has plenty of culture both on and off the beach, known just as much as a gastronomical and shopping mecca as it is for its gnarly waves. Because of its central location, the Runcu Hotel in the Miraflores District of Lima makes for a great lodging option in between channeling your younger self hanging ten. The hotel is a five minute walk from the beach and from the noted artifact museum Museo Amano, and is surrounded by restaurants, shops, and ancient ruins on all sides. The City of Kings, as its known, may not be the best getaway for those on a tight budget, but those with extra cash to spend should take full advantage of everything Lima has to offer.
Known for both extreme winter and summer sports, Whistler, British Columbia, is a full-scale ski resort village with plenty of scenic experiences for all seasons. For mind and body, lakeside yoga is a popular activity throughout the city, and mountain biking, four-wheeling, and hiking are favorites outside of ski season. And the Nita Lake Lodge is a premier hotel for adrenaline-junkies looking to kick back in between jaunts on the mountain or on the water. The hotel offers complimentary bike loans, fishing rods, and ski lockers, and has a yoga studio and plunge pool, all amenities that would excite any adventurous traveler, but especially ones who have earned the downtime.
With its dense rainforest, stunning lakes, mostly volcanoes, and countless other natural beauties, Guatemala is packed with adventure. Lake Peten Itza in the northern city of Flores is about 40-minutes away from Tikal National Park, and the hundreds of indigenous species it houses. Tikal was also the site of one of the most symbolic kingdoms of ancient Maya, and its ruins are still interwoven within the jungles of the historic land. After exploring some of the 222 square miles of remains, more distinguished guests can unwind at La Lancha right on the banks of Lake Peten Itza. The exclusive resort has hammocks, a split-level pool, and in-room balconies for leisure, and can arrange boating, horseback riding, and tons of other excursions for your heart-pumping getaway.