One of the best things about summer is the sense of freedom the sun brings. For me, summer weekends are for exploring and discovering! I always pack a journal, camera, and make a road trip mix filled with classics (think Steppenwolf) and new music (I love Fun!).

Here are a few of my favorite unexpected weekend getaways across the country to explore. Be carefree and get lost this summer... it's a chance to write a new page in the book of your life.

1. Watch Hill, RI

Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Rhode Island is the best kept secret on the East Coast. Beautiful beaches, friendly people, New England hospitality, amazing seafood and on a clear day you can see straight to Block Island.


Where To Stay
Completely remodeled in 2010 in the grand spirit of the original structure, the Ocean House sits on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic ocean and the tiny village of Watch Hill. Play croquet on the lawn, sun in an oceanside lounge chair with signature yellow and white stripe fabric, or take a short walk into Watch Hill and watch the boats pull into the harbor.


Where To Eat
Breakfast - The Cooked Goose:
Insiders know this is the only place to have breakfast in Watch Hill. Try the truffled eggs with asparagus and fontina cheese or the lobster eggs benedict. There are always trays of fresh-from-the-oven muffins on the counter (the peach ones go fast!) and DO NOT leave without a few double chocolate chip cookies from the big glass mason jars.


Where To Eat
Lunch or Dinner - Olympia Tea Room:
Overlooking the Watch Hill harbor, the Olympia Tea Room is known for "Famous Not Fancy Since 1916." Take a leisurely lunch at a table on the sidewalk and order brick griddled shrimp to start and then the Lobster salad roll or don a sundress for dinner inside and try the roasted scallops with the spicy Asian sauce.


What To Do
From the Ocean House hotel, walk down the hill into Watch Hill and go straight to St. Clair Annex for the creamiest ice cream - try the mint chocolate chip. Take your cone to-go and walk over to the Watch Hill Yacht Club and admire the beautiful old time wood boats that are moored there. Stroll down the breakwall and read all the fun names off the huge boats that are in the harbor.


What To Do
A trip to Watch Hill is not complete without a stop at the Flying Horse Merry-Go-Round. A traveling carnival brought the merry-go-round to Watch Hill in 1883 and just left it there. It's the only continuously operating flying horse merry-go-round in the country. Crowds flock to see the youngsters go round and round on the horses and try their luck at grabbing a ring from the attendants as they ride by.