At Capital Investment Advisors, we work hard to help our clients achieve the happy lives they desire and deserve. When finding a passion to dive into after the commitments of a full-time job are no longer there, traveling frequently tops the list. We not only help plan the financial aspect of life-changing, bucket list trips for our happy retirees, we practically pack their suitcases. That’s how important we think travel can be.
Because summer is here, we decided to put our money where our mouth is and share some of our own favorite travel and vacation destinations.
Alex Flemings: Client Service Associate, Tampa Office
One of my favorite vacation spots has to be Alaska, and for a good reason: I got engaged there! We visited in September, and the weather was absolutely amazing. The Denali National Park and Preserve is not to be missed! Make sure to book a viewing spot to see the northern lights illuminate the sky with fantastical colors. Another cute spot to hit is the North Pole. No, not THAT one. This community of approximately 2,700 residents “keeps the Christmas spirit alive all year long.” It’s a short fifteen-minute drive south of Fairbanks along the Richardson Highway. You, your kids, and your grandkids can visit Santa’s workshop and watch the reindeer roam as they gather the strength to deliver gifts to children worldwide.
Adria DeMeo, CRPC®: Investment Advisor, Tampa Office
I have two favorite vacation spots. The first is an all-inclusive resort in Key Largo called Bungalows. My husband and I took a long weekend there a few weeks ago, and it did not disappoint! The second is Indian Rocks Beach, located about forty-five minutes west of Tampa. Every summer, we rent a beach condo for the week! Technically this might count as a staycation, but it feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
James Lewis, CFP®, MBA: Senior Investment Advisor, Atlanta Office
We recently took the kids down to the Florida Keys. After a short flight to Miami, we jumped in a rental car and cruised down U.S. Highway 1 all the way to Mile Marker 0 in Key West. If you’ve packed the kids or you’re traveling lite, the keys provide a little taste of the salt life for everyone.
Whether you’re fishing, boating, snorkeling, diving, or searching for your long-lost shaker of salt, Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key has an interactive dolphin experience, a full-service marina, and waterfront cottages. Make sure to catch the street performers at sunset on Mallory Square in Key West. And if you are kid-free, Duval Street is basically Bourbon Street meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
Kellie Carter: Client Service Manager, Atlanta Office
Traveling is consistently one of the top core pursuits among happy retirees, and I fully endorse that notion! With summer in full force, I think fondly of my family’s travels to St. John, the smallest of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands. There are incredible sunrises and sunsets, snorkeling, day trips to the British Virgin Islands for cocktails at the Soggy Dollar, great hiking, delicious food, nice people, and more than thirty beautiful beaches. We’ve island-hopped all over the Caribbean but always seem to get pulled back to STJ. After all, it’s called Love City for a reason!
Jason Gove, CRPC®, CWS®: Investment Advisor, Phoenix Office
The pictures display three of our most stunning recent trips.
The sailboat picture shows us in Santa Barbara, California, cruising on a nice calm Pacific ocean for the day. Two hours north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is a sailor’s paradise.
We snapped that Venice photo on a lovely stroll that ended with us clinking glasses at a newly discovered wine bar near the waterfront. Venice, Italy, famous for its canal waterways, is located on more than one hundred small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It’s one of our favorite Italian destinations.
We took the Glacier National Park photo on a mesmerizing hike through a small portion of the park’s million acres. It was our first time setting foot in Montana, and a total joy to experience the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.” The great outdoors!
Maureen Barnett: Operations Assistant, Atlanta Office
My favorite vacation is our annual trip to Colorado to visit my best friends from high school. In my opinion, the Centennial State is the most beautiful of the fifty and has so much to offer! Whether visiting Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre to see our favorite band, exploring for hours to find and hike the best trails, or cheering for the Nuggets and Avalanche, each visit brings something new and exciting!
Banner Clark, CFP®: Investment Advisor, Tampa Office
I head to Seagrove Beach, Florida, a couple of times yearly with family and friends. Located between Destin and Panama City, it’s not only beautiful but also where I proposed to my wife. Her eyes might be the only thing prettier than a Seagrove sunset.
Frank Gine: Director of Integrated Business Services, Atlanta Office
One of my family’s favorite summer travel locations is the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. A couple of fun facts, Nova Scotia, is located almost halfway between the equator and the North Pole, and its name is Latin for “New Scotland.”
It’s a great place to escape metro Atlanta’s summer heat and humidity. St Margaret’s Bay and Peggy’s Cove are alluring and picturesque, with warm days, cool nights, and friendly people. A bay or oceanside vacation rental is a fantastic way to watch countless sailboats and enjoy terrific seafood.
Boston is the best waypoint for a direct flight to the capital city of Halifax, and there is plenty to see and do in both towns on the way there and back.
Brynne Simms: Client Service Manager, Atlanta Office
Any tropical beach is my happy place. My family loves St. Augustine, as we’ve been visiting for years. In addition to great beaches, we love the Spanish flair. Another favorite destination is Marathon, Florida, down in the Keys. Though the beaches are lacking, the fishing and snorkeling make up for it. You can snorkel off any beach or take a quick boat ride to witness reefs and marine life far exceeding other Caribbean locations.
If you and yours find yourselves free from parental responsibilities, I’d recommend an adults-only, couples-only resort in Jamaica — a place to truly escape. When I was there, I stopped knowing or caring what time it was. When was the last time you had that feeling? The relaxing, no-rush vibes of the Caribbean are always just what the doctor ordered.
Thomas Collins, CFP®: Investment Advisor, Tampa Office
My favorite vacation was my honeymoon to Ireland. My wife, Michelle, and I flew to Dublin, then drove to Galway and continued all along the northwest coast of the Republic of Ireland. We hiked through national parks, visited historical monuments and landmarks, and enjoyed the traditional music while imbibing a Guinness or two in the many local pubs. It was a bucket list trip, and we can’t wait to return someday.
Ricky Yang, CFP®, ChFC®: Investment Associate, Atlanta Office
On this trip, Annie and I explored San Diego, CA, and its surrounding areas, including La Jolla, Coronado, and SeaWorld. We enjoyed riding bikes around Coronado and went on a kayaking tour in La Jolla. We lucked out with great weather for the entire week and spent quality time with friends and family, too. Learning to work together on a tandem kayak was more of a bonding experience than expected. The guides were great storytellers, and they even managed to steer us away from a floating, dead Sea Lion! Despite the navigation struggles, we managed to enjoy the entire experience without tipping over!
Chelsey Braswell: Client Service Manager, Denver Office
I went on a girl’s trip to New York City at the end of February 2020. I didn’t know it then, but it would be my last trip for a long while because COVID lockdowns were right around the corner! I’m so thankful I could squeeze it in because it was such a fun trip! We ate delicious food, explored the vibrant city, and enjoyed every minute!
Brett Noggle, CFP®, CFA®: Investment Advisor, Atlanta Office
My most memorable trip was down under, to Australia. My wife and I traveled to Cairns in 2017. We got our open-water certification and did a liveaboard diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef. After scuba diving in the most beautiful place in the world, we spent the rest of the trip in Sydney, where we explored Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House, and rang in the New Year with a bang!
Mitch Reiner, CFP®, CIMA®: Managing Partner, Senior Investment Advisor, Atlanta Office
Our favorite vacation spot is Lake Blue Ridge, so we repeatedly make the trek. A short two-hour drive from our house and we’re high up in the wilderness, enjoying cooler weather, a break from the city noise, birds chirping, fish splashing in the morning, friendly locals, and captive family time.
Danielle Goff, Client Service Associate: Tampa Office
My favorite place to travel is Ogunquit, Maine. I was lucky enough to grow up going there every summer with my family. We hit the beach, walk along the spectacular cliffside Marginal Way, and feast at the best lobster shacks downtown. Having a big Fourth of July cookout in the backyard with my family has always been a highlight of the summers in Maine. It’s also where my husband proposed!
Harris Lowe, CFP®: Investment Advisor, Atlanta Office
I have always had a passion for experiencing other cultures around the world. Growing up, I was fortunate to travel often with my parents and then study abroad in Europe during college. That semester abroad greatly impacted my life. It led me to pursue an International MBA, where I studied in Mexico for a summer.
Since then, I have always sought to explore cultures and cuisine worldwide. A huge Anthony Bourdain fan, I was enthralled by his trips to Vietnam and Thailand. So, I spent ten days traveling through Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok last Thanksgiving with two of my best friends. It was the trip of a lifetime!
Nicole Kloenne: Client Service Associate, Phoenix Office
Despite living in Arizona since 1982, this past Memorial Day was my first trip to Lake Havasu. The middle photo shows the London Bridge crossing over the Bridgewater Channel in Lake Havasu City. Originally a bridge over London’s River Thames, it was painstakingly disassembled, shipped to the United States, and rebuilt in 1971. Fun fact, lining the bridge are ornate lamp posts made from the melted-down cannons captured by the British after defeating Napoleon’s army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Cary Anne Beavers, Client Service Associate: Atlanta Office
Growing up, I was always told how lucky I was to live where others vacationed. Now that I call Atlanta home, I couldn’t agree more. My favorite vacation spot is where I grew up, Destin, FL. Nothing beats the emerald green water and sugar-white beaches on a warm, sunny day. During one of our last trips, we experienced the most beautiful sunrises and spent our days on the water. My fiancée is convinced that we must make that our permanent home.
The second place I love is Colorado. The scenery is the complete opposite but equally as beautiful. Two of my brothers live there, and after my trip in May, it now holds extra special memories. I flew out with my mom to meet up with family and was completely surprised by my now fiancée, Greg. He pulled off the biggest surprise proposal and showed up when I thought he was at home watching our dogs. Colorado is now a part of our story and a place we will visit often. The photo of the snow is me, my sister-in-law, brother, and mom enjoying Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park before the surprise proposal.
Whether it’s sailing around the world, seeing lions on a mountain safari, or just a short forty-five-minute drive to a beach house, traveling and vacations are so important to happiness. At CIA, we practice what we preach. If you haven’t planned your next trip, maybe it’s time to start.