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Mini-Vacations Let You Get Away Without Going Away
Many people see themselves as too busy to take a full-fledged vacation. 1 That doesn’t mean they don’t need a vacation, just that they don’t feel they can break away for an extended period of time. However, as an alternative to taking a week or two off in a chunk, there are mini-vacation destinations in every state of the union that can offer the vacationer an enjoyable two- or three-day getaway; the time to catch your breath without feeling you’ve abandoned your work life. Here are just a few samples of the kinds of mini-vacations we’re talking about.
Napa Valley, California
Spend two or three days in the legendary Napa Valley. Discover world-acclaimed wineries, Michelin-star restaurants, healing spas, cultural arts, outdoor recreation, and special offers at Napa Valley hotels, resorts, and bed and breakfast inns. From cooking classes to shopping sprees and nature hikes to late night shows, there are endless things to do in Napa Valley. Information: www.visitnapavalley.com/things_to_do.htm
What makes Sedona a perfect mini-vacation is that there’s too much to do, so the choices are almost unlimited. Enjoy Sunday brunch at one of many fine restaurants. Explore the Sedona Arts Center. Go fishing in Oak Creek Canyon. Sun bathe at Slide Rock State Park. Go for a pedicure and manicure at a local day spa. Shop and stroll the streets of Uptown. Golf at one of Sedona’s 18-hole courses. Enjoy live entertainment at local businesses. Indulge in a glass of wine made in the Verde Valley. And much more.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Enjoy miles of shore, sights and attractions. Conveniently located hotels and condos are minutes away from the action ensuring you don’t waste a moment while enjoying the natural gifts of coastal living. Explore sparkling expanses of windswept beaches, feast on the freshest seafood and relax under the warm Texas sky. If you enjoy night life, there’s lots of live music, microbreweries, and nightclubs of all genres. You’ll be spoiled for choice when you set out to explore the restaurants and nightclubs of Corpus Christi.
The scenic mountain community of Cascade, named for its many nearby waterfalls, is nestled among the Pikes Peak foothills just minutes from Colorado Springs. The area offers plenty of things to do including hiking and horseback riding; visiting local historic sites such as Manitou Springs, home to cliff dwellings; the Cave of the Winds; and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest train in the nation. Cascade is also an amazing place for food and drink, with craft breweries, wineries, distilleries and award-winning restaurants. Day and night, indoor and outdoor, Cascade is a mini-vacation paradise.
Sun Valley (Ketchum), Idaho
One of America’s original ski destinations, now a destination for snowboarders too, Sun Valley also offers fishing, hiking, trail riding, tennis, shopping, art galleries, and more. Restaurants are within easy walking distance of your accommodations and feature a diverse mix of cuisines including saloon style rib-eyes with pride-of-Idaho potatoes, Italian and Asian dining, contemporary comfort food or the mountain town staple beer and burger combo.
Dodge City, Kansas
It would be hard to think of a more storied part of Western history than Dodge City. Today, the visitor will still witness gun fights in the street, although they’re reenactments so no one gets hurt. You can still end up in Boot Hill, but only as part of a tour. And you can step inside the famous Long Branch Saloon for some refreshment. Modern Dodge City retains all of the quaintness and historic flavor of bygone days, but with the addition of modern amenities. Today the city offers a plethora of restaurants, night spots including several casinos, a comedy club, daily stage shows, concerts, sports events, historic tours and more.
Starved Rock State Park, Illinois
This historic park offers fishing (ice fishing, too), boating, extraordinary vistas and lots of activities for the family. The Lodge features the largest two-sided fireplace in Illinois, relaxing rooms and cabins, an in-house restaurant with amazing food, a full-service lounge with live entertainment, an outdoor veranda with a great view, a gift shop, a café and trolley tours. Close by, you’ll find wineries, horseback riding, water sports, seasonal eagle watching, hunting and fishing and more.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Experience the dazzling art and culture, amazing dining and nightlife, and inspiringnatural beauty of Grand Rapids. Explore the city’s easily accessible downtown area and find more than 100 restaurants, numerous night spots, comedy clubs, theaters and shopping. There’s plenty of hiking and camping in the area, and beautiful nearby beaches for lazy summertime fun. Family attractions include the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, several world-class museums and the John Ball Zoo. One thing more: with its 40-plus craft breweries, Grand Rapids has been voted Beer City USA in national polls and named Best Beer Town by USA TODAY readers.
Site of the first major U.S. gold rush and the Heart of Georgia Wine Country, Dahlonega offers visitors a goldmine of live music, arts and theater, local shopping, casual-to-fine dining, heritage museums and tours, and seasonal festivals. You can trek the beautiful trails, float or cruise the scenic rivers, unwind in the vineyards and relax in your lodging accommodations. Explore national forestland, enjoy family excursions to petting zoos and preserves or take up the challenge of hunting geode-cached treasures.
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven boasts dozens of art galleries and amazing historical tours. If shopping is your thing, you’ll find a plethora of unique small and national shops downtown waiting for you. When it’s time to eat, there are hundreds of award-winning restaurants offering a wide variety of local and global cuisines. After dark, New Haven has a vibrant night life scene for adults of all ages, with nearly 250 bars ranging from small local establishments, to Irish pubs, to martini bars, to jazz clubs, to romantic hideaways. There are nightclubs for dancing, listening to live music, singing karaoke or just relaxing and enjoying the ambiance.
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