Want to go on a vacation, but nurture your creative side at the same time? Want to unwind and relax, but still be productive during a getaway? This summer, skip the touristy beach towns and crowded adventure parks. Instead, use your vacation to your advantage and fuel your creativity with some of these unique travel destinations, perfect for a long weekend or working vacation.

1. Go on a road trip and rent out a yurt for a few nights.

Few things are more relaxing (or more inspiring) than enjoying a clear night sky and listening to the sounds of nature while you share stories with friends.

If you want to enjoy a couple of nights in the great outdoors, but don’t want to deal with a tent or camper, try renting out a yurt. These structures, which often look like the love child of a teepee and an igloo, typically have wooden floors and bunks for sleeping, making them a bit more luxurious than a typical tent. To book a yurt, check out state parks and local campgrounds at your destination.

2. Take in the natural beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

This national park on the shore of Lake Superior is home to stunning natural formations and caters to several outdoor activities. There are numerous things to enjoy, whether you want to take a guided tour of the shoreline’s cliffs, or prefer to plan a solo itinerary of camping, hiking, and kayaking. Some rock formations–like Miners Castle and Indianhead Point—appear lifelike, while others look like they’ve been painted with a watercolor paintbrush.

Check out the National Park Service website to plan your visit.

3. Attend a music festival, writers’ retreat, or conference.

Festivals, conferences, and retreats all aim to bring together like-minded individuals with similar interests. Whatever your creative interests are, there’s certain to be an event that appeals to you. Plan a road trip to see your favorite artists at a music festival, fly somewhere new to attend a lakeside writers’ retreat, or go to a professional conference for your current (or aspired) field. Events like the Pygmalion Festival have a music, literary, craft, and tech element all wrapped into one stellar event.

4. Visit one of Japan’s cat cafes.

No doubt, artists and other creatives often favor felines. So why not relax in one of Japan’s cat cafes with a cup of coffee and a cuddly companion? Cat cafes are exactly what they sound like; a place to grab a beverage and spend time with the resident kitties. Establishments typically charge an hourly fee, and some visitors stay for hours to play with the cats and relax.

5. Dip your toes in Pamukkale, Turkey’s beautiful hot springs.

Full disclosure, this is definitely a tourist hotspot, and is reportedly busy during the summer months, but the incredible photos circulating on Pinterest and Instagram are just too stunning to ignore. The tiered hot springs look like crystalline structures of ice and snow right out of a fairytale, but don’t be surprised to find photos of tourists in their bikinis whilst sitting in the baths. Although the crowds may be a deterrent, the landscape is sure to heighten your creative spirit. For some up-close photos and a slew of travel trips check out this blog post by The Barefoot Nomad.

Whether you’re looking for fodder for your next novel or simply a creative place to work on your art, choose a vacation destination that will foster your creative spirit. A weekend at an indie music festival, an afternoon in a cool café, or a week abroad exploring earth’s natural wonders are all great ways to get away from the daily grind and stoke the creative fire.

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