What's your summer vacation plan?
According to AAA, 4 in 10 adults will take a family vacation in 2019. That leaves more than half of the population who are staying at home.
There are of all kinds of fun activities with short breaks and day trips that are perfect for sharing with family and friends. You just might be surprised to find that the most popular summertime vacation destination is right where you live!
Time to play tourist! Take advantage of local stuff you can plan out for easy day trips and more, including freebies, two-for-one prices on some hotels, spa treatments, restaurant dine outs and other attractions.
Here are 14 ideas to get you ready for summertime bliss.
It's the kind of Sunday brunch where the menu, cocktails and live jazz will keep you lingering for hours. Do your research on what the top brunch hotspots are in your area.
Look for brunches at hotels that offer day passes so you can make a mini vacation of it. Lounge poolside or use other hotel facilities without requiring an overnight stay.
Oh, and bottomless mimosas. Need we say more?
When was the last time you visited a park? There are nearly 60 national parks around the country, so it's likely you have one close to where you live. These parks are made for day excursions and more (think lodges and camping).
Many offer beaches, nature trails, backcountry hiking, crystal clear springs, vistas to gaze from, picnic areas, birding, kayaking and more.
Find a local hotel you always thought would be amazing to stay at and ask about summer specials. Making a reservation for the middle of the week might even get you the best deal.
Rent a cabana or beach umbrella for shade. Swim, walk the shoreline, collect shells and watch the sunset. Frozen piña colada, anyone?
Shopping is a great vacation pastime and it's the perfect escape. Do some research and find a shopping district you've wanted to see, or a mall you've never been to before.
Make a day of it with shopping, lunch and what else? More shopping! Buy something as a memento of your staycation to wear at the pool or out to dinner.
A good option for when it's scorching hot out or raining nonstop is hitting the movies. There's just something about going to see a movie in a theater that simply does not compare to watching it on Netflix.
If you feel like splurging, some theaters offer premiere level seating, valet parking and popcorn with the price of the ticket.
Check out your local scene for all kinds of free events, from cover band concerts on the esplanade to movies on the lawn. Search for free fun stuff online that's nearby for a vacation-y win-win for everyone in the family!
Museums of every kind, from art to science, often offer discounts and free days (especially for kids), so take advantage of the schedule over the summer.
Be sure to check out special exhibits. Some museums have cafes, so consider extending your day by having lunch or an afternoon tea.
There's a chance you're living near a body of water. If so, take a two-hour or more narrated sightseeing tour that cruises past some of the area's most beautiful mansions or historical sites.
Or, hop in a tube or kayak and just enjoy a relaxing day on a river!
Seeing a baseball game in the stadium with a hot dog and beer in hand has all the trappings of an all-American summertime must do. Be sure to pick up a staycation souvenir to root for your team at home.
Create a fabulous foodie dine around for you and your significant other or a gaggle of friends. On your staycation week, go to a different hotspot for lunch or dinner daily.
Designed by you, this food tour of local fixtures or best-kept secrets will be satisfying and delectable!
Experience summer's big three: fresh air, exercise and the unexpected! Turn a mundane bike ride into a daytime adventure.
Ride a local bike trail or drive to a waterfront park or another postcard-perfect locale that's great for spinning your wheels.
There's likely going to be a summer fair or festival of some kind where you live, from music and culture to art and food and drink. Get out and experience walking about while people watching, enjoying tasty bites, and taking in all the sights and sounds.
You know the best seller you've got sitting on the nightstand? Well, here's your chance to crease the pages. Whether it's fluffy fiction or the latest thriller, a staycation lets you do what you love: read. Turn off the technology (unless you're using the latest version of Kindle) and enjoy.
Ready to expand your horizons? Take a class and learn something new or enhance a current skill. Learn a language, paint your pet on canvas, make pottery, try cooking or get moving with salsa dance lessons. Check the community center calendar for group guitar lessons and more.
No matter how you choose to spend your summer staycation, enjoy the time off. Change your usual getaway routine from jetting off somewhere far away and instead experience all the musts right where you're at.
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