April 15, 2024
These ‘In Your Backyard’ Vacation Destinations Save Time And Money

In order to save time and money, and to free themselves from the hassles of flying, an increasing number of travelers are choosing to explore the beauty and wonder that lie just a short distance from home. Also, the ongoing chants of “Are we there yet?” from youngsters become a lot more tolerable when driving a manageable distance. The following destinations are ideal for travelers looking for the budget-friendly convenience of ‘In Your Backyard’ vacations.

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport was made famous as “America’s Summer Playground.” This coastal destination is home to tons of family-friendly experiences, especially in the spring. Deemed the ‘Sailing Capital of the World,’ a trip to Newport isn’t complete without visiting The Sailing Museum, which officially opened its doors in May 2022. Boasting 8,000 square feet of sailing fun, the interactive exhibits invite guests to learn about the physical and mental makings of a sailor, design their own boat, experience a virtual reality sailing of an iconic America’s Cup race and plenty more. After learning a bit, they can head over to Sail Newport, which offers classes to would-be sailors of all ages. Take a ride with Rail Explorers, a fun way of exploring Newport’s beautiful scenery. Along the southern route, guests will stop at an exclusive waterfront picnic area, where they can even enjoy s’mores by the water with their Fireside Tour. Visitors should consider booking their accommodations at The Brenton, a luxury boutique property that offers panoramic views of the harbor and historic cityscape.

Traverse City, Michigan

Explore the great outdoors and impressive beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore complete with sweeping views, freshwater beaches, forested wilderness islands and miles of hiking trails. The Traverse Area Recreation Trail is a 10.5-mile urban trail that wraps around the lakefront of Traverse City and the surrounding woods. The region’s long maritime history as a waypoint for ships sailing the Great Lakes can be seen through the stunning lighthouses that tower over Lake Michigan. No visit to the Cherry Capital of the World is complete without a visit to Cherry Republic which celebrates all things cherry and offers over 200 cherry products. Book a stay at Crystal Mountain, a four-season family mountain resort featuring a scenic chair lift, biking, archery and golf. Grand Traverse Resort & Spa is complete with an indoor water playground, golf, tennis, spa offerings and the Den, which houses bowling, an escape room, an arcade, virtual reality and ax throwing.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Located along the Gulf of Mexico, families will find plenty of ways to soak up some rays on one of nine white sandy beaches. Together they can catch waves among the Texas surf with lessons from Texas Surf Camps, charter a deep sea fishing boat to reel in a big catch or chase the sunset with a ride along the coast from Horses on the Beach. For those needing a break from the sun, Corpus Christi’s top cultural attractions provide engaging activities for children of all ages, such as the opportunity to swim with sharks at the Texas State Aquarium or race against the clock in an escape room aboard the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, a World War II-era aircraft carrier. Downtown accommodations like the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel and Emerald Beach Hotel are convenient options, while those who prefer to walk from their room onto the sand can reserve rooms at the resort-style condominium property Lively Beach.

SLO CAL, California

Offering a more temperate climate year-round in California, SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County) lines 82 miles of California’s central coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Travelers can book a family-friendly stay at Avila Beach Lighthouse Suites, situated off the Avila Beach Pier, with rooms starting at $221 a night in the spring. For water lovers, take an adventure to Pismo Beach to kayak through the Dinosaur Caves or explore the estuary in Morro Bay. SLO CAL is the perfect place for surfers of all levels. Find a spot along Highway to learn and perfect the waves. Stay at Wayfarer SLO starting at $125 a night in the spring.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Located three hours outside of Denver, Steamboat is a cowboy ranching town known for its genuine friendliness and authentic western heritage, perfect for those who want to soak up the last of ski season in a relaxed setting. In addition to its trademarked Champagne Powder snow that continues to fall well into spring, guests are encouraged to embrace the spirit of the Rockies and enjoy a horseback adventure at Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch. Take a scenic ride via the Wild West Hot Air Balloons, grab a bite from the working snowcat-turned-food truck Taco Beast and enjoy a soak in the historic Old Town Hot Springs, complete with two 230-foot water slides and aquatic rock climbing. For your stay, Steamboat Grand provides a setting where three generations or more can bond, share experiences and weave stories.

Oceanside, California

Located near several large cities, Oceanside offers several free activities, including: Oceanside Pier – Stroll the longest over-water wooden pier on the West Coast; Mission San Luis Rey – Visit the national historic landmark and interpretive museum; “Top Gun” House – Check out the famous landmark from the movie “Top Gun” which has been turned into “The High Pie” shop. Also, for a nominal fee visit the California Surf Museum and learn about the rich history of surfing. See Bethany Hamilton’s infamous shark-bitten surfboard in-person. The Brick Hotel, originally constructed in 1888 as the city’s first hardware store, boasts five food and beverage concepts on its property featuring a coffee shop, rooftop bar, restaurant, bar and brewery.

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