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Discover the Great Outdoors

The official start of summer is still a few weeks away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about how you’re going to spend your vacation in the upcoming months.

Summertime often conjures up images of swimming, catching some rays or enjoying any activity that takes you outside. And there’s no better time to enjoy the natural outdoor beauty than during your summer vacation stay at any Starwood Vacation Network villa resort.

According to the April Owner’s poll, 32 percent of you agreed that playing on the beach is the number one outdoor activity for a summer trip, while swimming in the resort pool came in close second with 31 percent of the vote. We took your favorite activities, added a few more to the mix, and put together seven great ideas for your summer vacation.

So pack your sunscreen and get ready to head out to the great outdoors.

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Play on the beach

“This is our 15-month-old daughter enjoying her first walk on the beach and the feel of the ocean water on her feet. She loved it!”
—Owner Mark S.

Once named “America’s #1 Best Beach”, Ka‘anapali Beach on Maui offers three miles of white sand and crystal clear water directly off The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas (pictured) and The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas North. The Westin St. John Resort & Villas sits on the scenic white-sand Great Cruz Bay. Or soak in Florida’s natural beauty along Hutchinson Island’s four miles of shorelines from Vistana’s Beach Club.

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Splish Splash in the Pools

“Enjoying the pool with my newest addition to our ever growing family and happy we have the room for him everywhere we go.”
— Owner David O.

When you’re looking for some of the best swimming spots on vacation, you don’t have to look further than Starwood Vacation Network villa resorts. In Orlando, Florida, Sheraton Vistana Resort has seven outdoor pools, while Sheraton Vistana Villages features three including one with a zero-entry side and an interactive water ship. When staying at Harborside Resort in the Bahamas (pictured), take on the nine water slides at Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Resort, plus a mile-long tubing journey and 11 pools. Sheraton Broadway Plantation’s Splash Cove in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers tunnels, slides and lookouts off a towering three-masted sailing ship. At The Westin Kierland Villas, the Relaxation pool is a serene sanctuary of cabanas, while the Recreation pool features a children’s slide.

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Take a Hike

“On a hike through the lush area of Steamboat Springs the landscape dramatically changed. The air became drier and the environment felt more plains like, even though we were in the Rocky Mountains. Hopefully, this picture captures the magnificence awaiting you on a trip to Steamboat in the summer.”
— Owner Zachary L.

Reenergize with an exhilarating hiking excursion along some of America’s most magnificent mountain and desert landscapes. Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas connects you to miles of scenic trails and rivers in Steamboat Springs. Nearby Avon/Vail, is home to several breathtaking trails along the Eagle River and Beaver Lake (pictured). The Scottsdale region has guided hikes through the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Palm Desert, California offers peaks where you can see the valley’s sunrise at a 1,000-foot elevation. And feel like you’re on top of the world, hiking the dormant Haleakala volcano in west Maui.

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Go On a Sightseeing Adventure

“My husband and I spent a week in Arizona. We had a wonderful time all around the resort and decided to take a drive to the Grand Canyon. It was the most amazing thing we have both ever seen.”
— Owner Crystal N.

When you’re traveling to or from Scottsdale, Arizona you may want to take in the state’s most famous natural wonder, the majestic Grand Canyon (pictured), which is within a half-day’s drive. To see the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” you can visit Mount Wai‘ale‘ale on Kaua‘i, which was sculpted over thousands of years by rivers, floods and volcanic flows. For a look at some of the most well-preserved Mayan treasures visit the Chichén Itzá archeological monument in Cancún, Mexico.

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Set Sail

“One of our favorite activities at The Westin St. John Resort & Villas is the sunset sail on a catamaran.”
— Owner Terry L.

When you’re in the mood for an easy going day trip where you can sit back while you drift away, boating and sailing excursions make a great way to relax and enjoy being on the water. Step aboard a fully equipped vessel in Maui to enjoy an informative eco-tour, a sunset sail, a whale watching excursion, or a lunch or dinner cruise. Or enjoy a champagne sunset sailing cruise (pictured) to Jost Van Dyke or a half-day snorkel sail from the dock at Great Cruz Bay at The Westin St. John Resort & Villas.

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Go Off Road

“While in Scottsdale took a day trip to Sedona and rented jeeps for the day which was absolutely gorgeous and we were all in agreeance we had the best time of our trip being surrounded with such beauty.”
— Owner Susan W.

Set out on a sporty expedition through Scottsdale’s wondrous Sonoran Desert in an open-air Jeep®, Hummer® or even TomCar®. Soar over the Palm Desert, California, valley in a hot air balloon through the clear desert sky, or journey 8,500 feet up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon in the world’s largest rotating tramcar at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to take in gorgeous panoramic views.

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Immerse Yourself with Water Sports

“My two children together in St. John, USVI. They had tons of fun together while enjoying the true beauty of the island.”
— Owner John E.

At The Westin St. John Resort & Villas you many excursions depart from the resort’s dock throughout each day—from windsurfing and kayaking to snorkeling and scuba. Atlantis Resort offers endless underwater adventures just off the coast. Snuba diving is a great option for those who want an underwater experience. In Avon/Vail, you can partake in kayaking and whitewater rafting in the Eagle River. And in Maui you can paddle a surf board, kayak or traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe and try sailing, snorkeling, and scuba.