Budget tip: Throughout the summer, La Ronde, the local amusement park (worth a visit), presents massive fireworks displays as part of the annual International Fireworks Festival. Why you’ll love it: The insider secret of southern California locals, Temecula has all the charm, and wine and food, of Napa and Sonoma, without the crowds or high prices. Spacious rooms can accommodate the whole family, plus Sandpearl just launched a Tech-Free Treasure Chest that rewards families with a surprise for going their whole meal without digital devices (a great habit we’re happy to take home from our mini getaway). —Peter Simek, Be sure to pack: My phone is forgotten inside. If you’ve done much road-tripping in Texas, you know Austin has great barbecue and Fredericksburg has great wine. Where to stay: Hotel Alex Johnson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year; it’s right in the middle of Rapid City and offers rates as low as $99 per night. While wandering down a side street to find a sad lunch alternative, gunfire erupts. Budget tip: Visit Saguaro National Park where kids can participate in the free Junior Ranger Program and earn a special badge. It’s easy to write North Carolina off as just another state between the Mid-Atlantic states and the South, but it’s actually a really unique place to visit. This fun and quirky property is home to the Midway, a massive arcade and carnival-themed area, with old classics like ski ball, Whack-a-Mole, and air hockey. The email he’d received said we’d be there the next afternoon, and no one could call and tell him otherwise. Budget tip: Sedona is less than a two-hour drive (100 miles) from the Grand Canyon, making it an easy day trip without the added expense of spending the night at pricey accommodations near the national park. —Shawn Shinneman. So we surprised Richard Jasso when we showed up at the ranch’s game room/kitchen/dining room on a hot Friday afternoon. Where to stay: All the park lodging starts at around $135 per night, including DuPont Lodge, the Cottages, and Woodland Rooms, which have free access to the indoor pool, and also include free meals to kids 5 and under at the restaurant. On my way to Round Top, I take a detour through Brenham, hoping to score some brisket at LJ’s BBQ. Check out these easy-to-get-to destinations and get ready to spring into fun. That’s why I love taking the family to one of Virginia’s most historic and entertaining towns, Williamsburg. The ranch lies along the banks in a bend of the Brazos River, where summertime means kayaks and campfires. Big Bend is as rugged as it is beautiful, which has long meant that its natural wonders were reserved for adventurous sorts who pack a tent or brave the limited, Spartan lodging in the area. It didn’t take long to understand how much he loves the place, still delighted by the (mostly) untamed beauty. The ideal family vacation for me is one that strikes the perfect balance between educational and fun. 130 West St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, 866-722-7356 Short vacation ideas: Artful Miami Package Budget tip: There’s free live music, fireworks, and family entertainment throughout the summer along the Boardwalk and free concerts at Plyler Park. Mini Vacations 12 Best Staycation Spots in Los Angeles By Alyssa Ochs | Sep 17, 2020 View More Close to Home Top 13 Places to Stay for a Dallas Staycation By Karyn Wofford | Aug 26, 2020 Bucket List. It seems silly to have been concerned, pulling into Texas Safari Ranch at dusk on a February Friday, about whether we would get to see many animals. And the location can’t be beat. Kids will enjoy learning about the power of water at the free Niagara Power Vista Center. If you want to look at weekend trips that might be closer to your home, you can skip on over to browse weekend getaways in Northern California or find out what you can do for a weekend in Southern California. We take care of everything so moms can rest, relax, and rejuvenate. The chic guest cabins, steakhouse full of historic cowboy paraphernalia, and horse barn with 24 well-groomed horses are part of a retreat for classic cowboy adventures, all set in former Comanche territory near the origin of the Goodnight-Loving Trail. White’s architectural salvage business, Recycling the Past, is based in New Jersey. And it was there, wading in the park’s central pool, that I realized resorts are a lot like cruises: you have everything you could ever want—entertainment, food, booze, and waterslides—within yards of your room. Have a tasty lunch at the Parkside Diner and then work it off at the Whispering Pines Mini-Golf next door. My favorite destinations are the ones where the kids don’t even realize they’re getting a living history lesson. Why you’ll love it: A dynamic city with Old West charm, Denver has a vast array of kid-friendly attractions here, including an aquarium, zoo, botanical garden, art museum with a fabulous hands-on projects space, and the fascinating History Colorado museum—all perfect for family vacations. Situated just out of the fray, on FM 1291, Flophouze would make a fine home base for hitting the Round Top Antiques Fair. Where to stay: The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino has double rooms starting at $224 and a location that lets you easily explore Old San Juan and gives you front row access to the new Entertainment District, plus there’s a super cool infinity pool with great views over the San Juan lagoon. If you want to take a weekend trip in California, this guide includes more than five dozen places you can go for a quick getaway.. Later, when we went out on our own, I couldn’t get out of my head how alone I was with these wild animals, and how constantly interested they were in my whereabouts. Check out these other affordable cities in the United States. A few years before that, it contained beasts like rhinos and bears, set off by themselves. He bought the ranch in 2001 from the previous owner. The Roberts family planted roots in Driftwood decades ago, creating a symbiotic relationship between the restaurant and the Salt Lick Vineyards surrounding it. Don’t forget to check out the city’s National Corvette Museum where every single Corvette in the world is produced. Where to stay: The kid-pleasing Kimpton Aertson Hotel has a pool that spans the entire rooftop and there’s a great spot for quick eats, Caviar & Bananas, attached to the artsy hotel as well. Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Budget tip: Reno Tahoe is an awesome place to be outside, so take advantage of free entry to the area’s great hiking and biking trails. Budget tip: Don’t forget to bring your National Parks Pass which grants free access to your full car into the gorgeous Rockies. There’s a lot more to Arizona than a ton of sand, cactus, and tumbleweeds, which is why these eight places are the perfect excuse to take a weekend trip within the state. Then taste your way through over 40 specialty food products at the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard, including cider that’s been made for over 150 years in a water-powered mill. For flatbread pizza or seasonal specials, check out Olaf’s (Norwegian immigrants settled the area in the 19th century), found by winding between vintage furniture and knickknacks at the Bosque County Emporium. Must do: Families can enjoy the scenic Inner Harbor or watch a ball game down the block at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This spectacular national park lets you spend your days walking the more than 10 miles of trail and exploring Lake Erie. It’s almost summer time, so when you find yourself with a free day or two, load the car up … Property Location With a stay at Renaissance Lucerne Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Lucerne, within a 5-minute walk of Chapel Bridge and KKL Lucerne. Birds soar on air currents at eye level. You can also introduce the kids to angling for Kentucky bass, or let them run wild at the playground. Because all moms deserve a special weekend with family, Mom stays at NO CHARGE with at least one full-paying guest. It’s also right around the corner from a Whole Foods and one of the city’s most-beloved burger spots, The Cherry Cricket. They brought in Richard. Budget tip: Martin Luther King Jr Birthplace and Memorial is a National Park with free entrance; walking in the footsteps of history here will definitely resonate with your kids. Things to Do in Lucerne, Switzerland: See Tripadvisor's 41,574 traveler reviews and photos of Lucerne attractions. As fuchsia and gold paint the sky, coyotes begin to howl. You may be on a budget, but that doesn't mean you need to stay home this winter. Why you’ll love it: For tweens and teens, this getaway is a perfect fit; it’s 35 miles east of Los Angeles, but without all the traffic and commotion, so they can explore on their own without parents worrying. I flinch at the first pops before spotting a woman in antebellum attire waving me off with her lacy parasol. The theater is now owned by Rich Douglas, who preserved the balcony where black theatergoers were forced to climb through the projection room window to sit during Jim Crow, and who can often be found working the projector for the four showtimes each week. While swimming underneath a waterfall is usually reserved for weeklong trips to Costa Rica, travelers have a family-friendly (and relatively nearby) opportunity to do just that at Turner Falls Park outside Davis, Oklahoma. We all stayed up past midnight, drinking red wine around the restaurant’s handsome stone-covered fireplace, having the kind of instantly intimate conversations a camp environment—and, perhaps, alcohol—encourages. A sibling to the famed Arizona-based Miraval (perhaps best known as home to Oprah’s favorite spa), the Austin retreat sits on 220 acres of Texas Hill Country surrounded by spectacular views of Lake Travis. Colonial Williamsburg is a place to experience life in the early days of America in the world’s largest living history museum.There are hotels nearby, such as the Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg Lodge, and the Griffin Hotel. In Conroe, families love to visit Lake Conroe, which is surrounded by great restaurants, parks, and entertainment venues. It was made clear from the start that Miraval is as much about mindfulness as it is relaxation. Before you go, brush up on these 12 unspoken etiquette rules of RV camping. (He was grateful that his cart was stocked with ice-cold bottled water and an attendant came around with cold towels on the back nine.). Noted for next time. A kid’s camp, great for ages 4 to 12, is available for an extra fee, as is horseback riding, biking, and guided hikes. Budget tip: There’s a free sunset festival with live entertainment every.single.night right at Clearwater’s main beach at Pier 60. Just down the road at Blue Mule Winery, I make a final detour to pet the alpacas and pick up some hand-dyed merino wool yarn and driftwood knitting needles. Finish the day in downtown Clifton at the Cliftex, Texas’ oldest continually running theater. Where to stay: Children will love the Chelsea Hotel’s indoor pool with Toronto’s only indoor waterslide; you’ll love the weekend summer rates that are less than U.S. $200. You can walk around Niagara Falls State Park (the oldest park in the country) for free, but experiencing the views of the thundering falls aboard the famous Maid of the Mist is what will be the most memorable way to take in the falls (including a soaked selfie). If the letter writing rings a bit campy, it’s because Miraval is truly a luxury summer camp for adults—albeit one with the world’s most comfortable bed (the company graciously sells its marshmallowy feather toppers online). For your next weekend getaway or vacation, check out the best tiny mountain houses, mobile home rentals near me, tiny homes near me, and luxury tiny homes for a glamping getaway. Or you don’t, anyway. You’ll still have to pay for gas and food, but these mini-vacations all feature attractions and accommodations that are easy on the wallet. Also, travel over to the neighboring harbor town of Grand Marais to visit shops and eat the World’s Best Donuts. Melissa Klurman is a freelance travel writer and editor with more than 27 years experience who reports on travel trends around the planet for, Courtesy Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, Courtesy Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), 24 summer bucket list ideas off your list. These 10 national parks are so far off the beaten path they are practically secret. And campfires therapy, and culture every three months, but that does mean... 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