I've been doing some thinking about vacationing, and what makes an area worth the trip. Seeing as I've passed through four states and two countries in the last month, I think I'm qualified to make judgments about the qualities that turn a "place" into a "destination."

The end of last month I spent seaside in Historic Lewes/Rehobeth Beach. Last weekend I traveled throughout New York, visiting Niagara Falls, participating in one of the several wine trails, accidentally crossing into Canada and finishing off the trip with a stroll through the Corning Museum of Glass.

Reliving the trips in my mind I pondered what about those trips I would remember 20 years from now. For that matter, what will I remember this time next year? The answer was the character of the destination - the atmosphere, the experience and most of all, the people.

For example, think about your favorite beach. What about that destination makes it so different than the rest? I mean, they all have the same key ingredients - sun, sand, water and tourists. More than likely it's a positive feeling about the atmosphere of the destination, an experience you had while there and/or the people you encountered that elevates the location to a special place in your heart.

What will I remember from my trips? I think I'll remember winning mini golf, getting silly tan lines, trying to explain to the Canadian toll booth operator just how I ended up in his country, standing underneath the mighty Niagara Falls and the awesome winery owner who gave me and my friend a private tasting.

Most importantly, how does this relate to Cumberland Valley? Well, if you don't already know, we've got character. Our outdoor beauty creates a peaceful atmosphere, our unique attractions will surprise you and it would be hard to find a friendlier group of partners. If you haven't experienced Cumberland Valley character, I encourage you to. It will be a vacation you won't forget.