Quick Weekend Getaways

Looking for an easy escape before summer ends? Here are a few ideas.

By FamilyTime


Summer's nearly over - and you still haven't gotten away! It's not too late to have plenty of fun and keep your bank account in check.

Into the Country
Bed-and-breakfasts (B&B's) and small inns offer charming accommodations at reasonable rates. Very often the innkeeper will point you in the direction of local sights, restaurants, hikes, and drives.

Check out Web sites or books devoted to B&B's to find one in a small village or historic region you have always wanted to visit. This does not need to be far from home.

If you have kids or are of a more adventurous bent, consider camping. If you live near a state park, reserve a campsite, pack up the tent and sleeping bags, and head out. These facilities are generally well run, clean, and efficient, and fees are low.

Whether camping or staying at a small motel or B&B, you can get back to nature and flex your muscles at the same time by biking, hiking, or canoeing. Plan to spend one day of the weekend exercising and the second day relaxing, reading, and poking about in antique shops.

Into the City
Big cities are great weekend destinations. Head for the bright lights and a stimulating couple of days packed with museums, restaurants, theaters, and live music performances. Take advantage of shopping or historical sightseeing.

Many urban hotels that cater to business travelers during the week offer discount weekend packages. These may not always be available, but a few minutes surfing the Web will enlighten you.

Large cities also have their share of small hotels and B&B's, which often are the most economical and homey accommodations in town. Plus, chatty proprietors are usually helpful.

Off to the Beach
Everyone loves a day at the beach - particularly youngsters. Whether you live near an ocean or lake, a trip to the water is always a good one.

Surprise the kids: pack the car after they are in bed and then wake them in the morning with the good news: "We're going to the beach today!" Be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, hats for everyone, and big plans for big fun.

If you can, try visiting two different beaches on two different days. Stay at a motel for a night, eat at a local fish joint, and absorb the holiday atmosphere. This will add interest to the trip.

On the Road
Plan a scenic drive and discover where the road takes you. You can count on finding a motel or B&B when you need it, or plan ahead and make reservations.

This country is filled with scenic drives, many along national highways. Choose a sunny day and drink in the glory that is America. When you find a particularly appealing local, get off the highway and explore back roads.

Following are a few of the most popular scenic drives in the nation:

  • Kancamagus Highway runs through White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.
  • The National Road, the first federally funded highway, runs from Maryland to Mississippi.
  • The Great River Road runs the length of the Mississippi River.
  • San Juan Skyway loops from Durango to Telluride, Colorado.
  • The Pacific Coast Highway (California's Route 1) follows the cliffs along the Pacific Ocean between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Skyline Drive winds through the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia.