Five Last-Minute Weekend Road Trips
If you haven’t taken a summer vacation, there is still time to seize the stay! We have gathered from Whimstay, the industry leader in last-minute vacation rental property deals, five inspirational ideas for three-day road trips around the country. Now’s the perfect season for spontaneous adventure. Pack the car with snacks and load your new favorite playlist, so you are ready to enjoy all the awesome stops on these three-day road trip ideas.
San Francisco to San Simeon, California
Approximate driving time: 4 hours 15 minutes
- Four Sisters Ranch Vineyards and Brewery - San Miguel, California: Munch on local salami and cheese with gourmet pickles as you sip award-winning wines such as cabernet, petite Syrah, and grenache rosé. Buy a bottle to enjoy when you’re done driving for the day!
- Tacos La Potranca de Jalisco - King City, California: Order the vegetarian burrito and wash it down with your favorite flavor of Jarritos.
- San Juan Bautista State Historical Park - San Juan Bautista, California: Stretch your legs wandering among a jail, blacksmith shop, and a historic cabin built in the 1800s.
Austin to Fredericksburg, Texas
Approximate driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Texas Honey Bee Farm - Austin, Texas: Are you bee-curious? Tour this honeybee farm with an expert who will tell you about bee families, hives, and how to make honey! Buy a jar or two on your way out to pair with oatmeal, tea, and tasty cocktails later!
- Texas Hill Country Olive Company - Dripping Springs, Texas: Take an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tour at this stunning orchard! You’ll learn about pressing and fermenting while trying flavors paired with small bites.
- Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site - Stonewall, Texas: Picnic in the grass or swim in the river! You might even spot bison or longhorns along the 1.2 miles of trails. Stop by the Sauer-Beckmann living history farm to see how people lived without electricity.
Boston to Portland, Maine
Approximate driving time: 2 hours
- Witch House - Salem, Massachusetts: Learn all about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 as you tour the only remaining building connected to the famous fervor. Buy tickets online ahead of time, or you might not be able to get in - especially in October!
- The Music Hall - Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Take in a concert, musical, or movie at this once-Vaudeville theater built in 1878.
- Kennebunk Dog Park - Kennebunk, Maine: Is your pup ready to run? Visit this large sandy and forested area where your canine pal can make friends off-leash. It’ll be easy to grab dinner or go out later when you know your pup is ready to snooze after a big day!
Seattle to San Juan Islands, Washington
Approximate driving time: 2 hours + 1-hour ferry
- Lynnwood Ice Center - Lynnwood, Washington: Visit this sports complex during public ice hours to lace up some skates and try your turn on the rink! Rent figure or hockey skates and jam to the surround sound.
- Hibulb Cultural Center - Marysville, Washington: Learn about local Tulalip Tribes while perusing this large museum and natural history preserve. Exhibits include interactive displays in English and Lushootseed, the language of area Salish Tribes, and cover, artwork, canoe building, archaeological finds, and life before colonization.
- Chuckanut Brewery and Tap Room - Burlington, Washington: Enjoy a beer on tap at one of the first craft breweries in the region. Check out their award-winning lagers, bock, and German-style pilsners before heading to the ferry to cross to the islands!
Whimstay has exclusive partnerships with most of the largest property management companies in North America and offers the best deals on last-minute, vacation rental properties that might otherwise go unrented. Whimstay even offers a best-price guarantee; if a traveler can find a lower advertised price on any major vacation rental site, Whimstay pays for their trip.
Join Budget Travel as we continue our new series Discover USA. Discover USA explores states, counties, cities, and everything in between. Each week we will explore a new US destination to help you find things to do, itinerary ideas, and plan where to go next. This week, we invite you to Discover what Natchez, Mississippi has to offer. Natchez may be most famous today for its annual pilgrimage. In 1932, the tour of grand antebellum homes and their gardens became an annual event. Thousands of visitors tour Rosalie Mansion, Longwood, Stanton Hall, Melrose and other former estates in spring and fall. Culinary Many come to the South with one thing on their mind: FOOD. It’s a fact; no place on earth loves its food quite as sincerely or as indulgently as the South. Even if you’ve never enjoyed a meal below the Mason-Dixon Line, you’ve probably got a good idea of what one looks like, because in the South, each meal is an event and is cooked and served with pride. From casual to elegant, Natchez culinary offerings will offer you a dining experience you won't soon forget. Little Easy The Little Easy café, located just a block from Bluff Park on High Street in an area known as the "Gateway of the Mississippi Blues Trail," serves up signature Boozy Brunch items, delicious sandwiches and salads, signature cocktails and more, all in a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Fat Mama’s Tamales Courtesy of Fat Mama's Tamales Fat Mama's Tamales is a local favorite with an atmosphere that is as festive as the food. Fat Mama's offers an exciting selection of signature dishes, including tamales, links of boudin, fire and ice pickles, and more eclectic, flavor-packed dishes. The restaurant has a large interior dining room, but guests can dine on the outdoor deck if the weather is nice. Magnolia Grill Overlooking the mighty Mississippi at Natchez Under-the-Hill, Magnolia Grill not only has one of the best views of the river, but also a wide array of entrées to satisfy every palate from succulent steaks and seafood to highly acclaimed burgers and more. Guests can enjoy both lunch and dinner on the sun porch that offers spectacular views of the sun setting over the Mississippi. Pearl Street Pasta Pearl Street Pasta is a local favorite downtown that serves up an incredible variety of traditional and regionally inspired Italian dishes, as well as classics like the filet of beef with a rich wine sauce and sauteed mushrooms. Pearl Street Pasta also boasts a talented team of mixologists shaking up signature house specials and smooth bar favorites. Rolling River Reloaded Rolling River Reloaded offers a variety of simply southern classic dishes with a creative twist to give guests a truly "Soulful Southern Experience." Packed with flavor, each dish is prepared with care and inspired by rich, generational history. The Camp Courtesy of The Camp Like sports? Love good food? The Camp Restaurant is the best place to share a cocktail with friends and family while enjoying the best of view of the Mississippi River. The Camp makes homemade bread in-house, hand-forms burger patties and fries up French fried potatoes to deliver fresh, quality food for every plate. The Camp Restaurant also boasts the best selection of draft beer in the city. The Carriage House Located on the grounds of Stanton Hall, this elegant dining establishment specializes in southern food with famous staples including fried chicken, fresh Gulf seafood specials and buttery silver dollar-sized biscuits. The Carriage House is owned and operated by the Pilgrimage Garden Club. The Castle Restaurant and Pub The Castle Restaurant & Pub is in Dunleith's 18th-century carriage house and stable. This architectural gem, built to resemble a castle, provides an incredible dining experience. The Castle serves a range of delectable southern cuisines prepared by acclaimed chefs while also boasting the most extensive wine list of any restaurant in the state. Natchez Brewing Company The Natchez Brewing Company, the first brewery in this historic city, is run by husband-and-wife duo Lisa and Patrick Miller. England-native Lisa is the owner and founder, while Natchez-native Patrick creates the recipes for their unique, southern-inspired craft beers including the Bluff City Blonde Ale, the Natchez Light Lager and more. Their taproom also serves freshly made brick oven pizzas. The Donut Shop Courtesy of The Donut Shop The Donut Shop is a city staple serving up sugary sensations, including the Maple Bacon Donut, the Triple Chocolate Donut, cinnamon rolls and many more sweet creations that are sure to please donut lovers of all ages. Missed breakfast? Indulge in an order of succulent tamales. The Donut Shop makes their tamale shucks from scratch and is one of Natchez's best-kept secrets. The Malt Shop When asked where to find the best B.B.Q. beef sandwich, catfish plate or chili cheeseburger, many locals will cite the Malt Shop. For more than 60 years, Natchez locals and visitors alike have sat at the old picnic tables in front of this local favorite and indulged in the hearty southern food served up at the Malt Shop. With an extensive menu full of generous helpings and traditional favorites, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Malt Shop Steampunk Coffee Steampunk Coffee is a traditional espresso bar, specialty coffee retailer and micro-coffee roaster. This beloved coffee shop also sells Papi y Papi's premium cigars and fine chocolates for an eclectic, small-town coffee shop experience like no other. Arts and Culture Kate Lee Laird art After one visit to Natchez, it is easy to see why artists such as John James Audubon were influenced by the natural beauty of the rolling Mississippi landscape. Today, you can still see the influence of the city on local artists in our downtown art galleries. You can even take a piece of art home to remember your trip to one of America’s oldest towns. Conde Contemporary Conde Contemporary is a fine art gallery established in 2013 and located in Natchez, MS. They specialize in representational works, with a concentration on narrative realism, photorealistic portraiture, and surrealism. ArtsNatchez ArtsNatchez is appropriately named as the broker for several works by various Natchez artists and craftsmen. The art gallery is situated in the heart of downtown Natchez on Main Street. If you spend a few minutes browsing through the local artwork, you'll know why each artist has a deep love for Natchez and expresses it in their work. They offer jewelry, paintings, sculptures, pottery, and more.Kate Lee Laird Art Studio + Gallery Kate Lee, a Natchez native, has been painting since she could hold a brush. She thrives off of the happiness her artwork brings her clients. Her bold and creative approach to life can be seen through the colorful artworks she creates. When she isn't live painting weddings and events, she is painting pet portraits, murals and large commission artwork. Magnolia Hall - Courtesy of natchezgardenclub.org Few American cities offer an in-depth look at the lives of southerners like Natchez. Walk in the footsteps of Southern belles, cotton barons, enslaved people, Civil War soldiers, and Civil Rights pioneers. Explore fascinating homes and historical landmarks for a glimpse at American history. Delve into modern museums for surprising historical tidbits about the Natchez Indians, the slave market at Forks of the Road, or daily life in pre-Civil War Natchez. Forks of the Road Slave Market Prior to the Civil War, Natchez was the most active slave trading city in Mississippi and the Forks of the Road site eclipsed all other markets in the number of slave sales. This historic site features slave chains and shackles laid in concrete and information panels discussing the slave trade in Natchez and the history of slavery in the South.Grand Village of the Natchez Indians The Grand Village is a 128-acre site featuring three prehistoric Native American mounds, a reconstructed Natchez Indian house and an on-site museum to tell the story of the Natchez Indians who inhabited these lands centuries ago. Two of these hallowed mounds, the Great Sun's Mound and the Temple Mound, have been excavated and rebuilt to their original sizes and shapes. A third mound, called the Abandoned Mound, has been only partially excavated and the remaining unexcavated areas of the site will be preserved intact, representing a "time capsule" of sorts from the Natchez Indians' past. This historic site also includes a nature trail, child-friendly activities, a visitor center and gift shop featuring Native American crafts.Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture African American related historic sites, important citizens and events are all recognized within the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum contains an exhibit on the Rhythm Nightclub fire, where over 200 African American Natchez citizens were killed as well as additional information on the Forks of the Road monument. It also features literary works from Natchez native and critically acclaimed author Richard Nathaniel Wright.The Dr. John Banks House Dr John's house - Courtesy of natchez.org The Dr. John Banks House, which is technically known as The Dr. John Bowman Banks Museum, was built around 1892 and belonged to Dr. John Banks, Natchez's first African American doctor. He graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and received his Mississippi medical license in 1885 before relocating in 1889 to practice medicine in Natchez. Dr. Banks recruited the city's second African American doctor, Albert Woods Dumas. Dr. Banks and Dr. Dumas founded the Bluff City Savings Bank, the only African American-owned bank in the city. Booker T. Washington often stayed with Dr. Banks' family during his trips to Natchez. During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Banks House served as the headquarters for the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Tours of Longwood – Circa 1860 - Construction of this grand, octagonal edifice began in 1860 but was halted in 1861 due to rising tensions over the Civil War. While the exterior of the Villa was largely complete, the home's interior was left unfinished except for the lowest level until the twentieth century. Colloquially known as "Nutt's Folly," the property was deeded to the Pilgrimage Garden Club in 1970 by the McAdams Foundation and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. Longwood remains the largest octagonal house in the U.S and was featured in HBO's True Blood. Tours of Magnolia Hall – Circa 1858 - Construction on Magnolia Hall is believed to have begun in 1858 and is the last great mansion built downtown before the Civil War. The name of the house was inspired by the plaster magnolia blossoms incorporated into the design of the parlor ceiling centerpieces. It was restored by the Natchez Garden Club as a house museum and is operated by the club today. Stanton Hall - Courtesy of Natchez Pilgrimage Tours Tours of Stanton Hall – Circa 1857 - This opulent Greek Revival-style mansion occupies an entire city block. The house is noted for its scale, outstanding marble mantles and large pier mirrors that give the double parlors infinite appeal. For a brief time, the house was home to Stanton College for young ladies and the name was then changed to Stanton Hall. Today the house is owned and maintained by the Pilgrimage Garden Club. Tours of Monmouth – Circa 1818 - Set on 26 acres of manicured gardens, this National Historic Landmark reflects all that is charming about the South. Rooms located in the main house or any of the seven outbuildings have period furnishings dating back to the Quitman family, the original owners of Monmouth. Outdoors The namesake for the Natchez Trace, the centuries-old, 444-mile path from Natchez to Nashville, long used by American Indians before becoming a U.S. thoroughfare. Today the Natchez Trace Parkway provides beautiful picnic areas, the rare Emerald Mound ceremonial mound, and the historic Mount Locust Inn, all just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Natchez. The Natchez Trace Parkway Natchez Trace Parkway - Courtesy of nps.gov The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway begins in Natchez and extends through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, ending in Nashville. Once used by Native Americans, European settlers and soldiers, the trace is now maintained by the National Park Service and used by many for outdoor recreational use. The route is lined with historical lookouts and trails, which are great for biking, hiking or even a scenic drive. Natchez State Park Natchez State Park is located at 40 Wickcliff Road on Hwy. 61 North, which is 10 miles north of downtown Natchez. Its amenities include cabins, boat launching, fishing, hiking/nature trail, picnic area/shelter, playground and RV and tent campgrounds with restroom/shower facilities. Whether visitors consider themselves outdoorsy or “indoorsy,” Natchez State Park is a great experience for anyone in the camping caravan.Potkopinu Trail Potkopinu trail - Courtesy of nps.gov Potkopinu (Pot-cop-i-new), the southernmost section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, is only three miles long, but it is the longest stretch of "sunken" historic Trace remaining. It is no wonder it was named for the Natchez word meaning "little valley." This trail has some embankments over 20 feet high.Bluff Park The greatest natural attraction that Natchez has to offer is the Mississippi River, and the best vantage point from which to take in her beauty and splendor is the bluff. The best time to be on the bluff overlooking the river is at sunset and is a spectacular sight to behold.Homochitto National Forest The Homochitto National Forest was named for the Homochitto River, a Native American name for the "Big Red River." Natchez derived its name from this Native American tribe formerly located on the lower Mississippi River. There are numerous recreational activities available to pursue on the Homochitto National Forest like hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and biking. Camping facilities are also available to rent. CARD WIDGET HERE
But what are the best states to visit on a camping trip with kids? To find out, The Family Vacation Guide researched and revealed a list of all the states in the country and ranked them based on family activities, family campsites, Instagramability, and safety, to find the perfect states for a family camping adventure. With safety a top concern when traveling with kids, New Jersey has the highest safety score out of 100, of all the states in the US, at 72. California is the ideal state for families who love outdoor hiking. The state is home to 4,383 family-friendly trails, more than any other state. Florida has the most family-friendly things to do out of all states we looked at, at 4,622, providing endless opportunities to make memories as a family. Hawaii has the highest percentage of family-friendly campgrounds, with 44.4% of all campsites in the state providing the perfect time away for those with kids. TOP 5#5 Massachusetts Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground - Courtesy of campmv.com Most people know Massachusetts for its important role in American history, its sports teams, universities, delicious seafood, and, of course, Boston, dubbed the “Hub of the Universe.” But the most populous state in New England is also home to prime camping opportunities for outdoor lovers. From seaside campgrounds on Cape Cod to the scenic woodlands of the Berkshires to bustling RV parks just outside of Boston to the unique experience of camping on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts has a little something for everyone. Sleep under forest canopies in the Berkshires, or near the beach on Cape Cod. Campgrounds vary in what they offer, from showers and flush toilets to R.V. sites offering electric and water hook-ups. You can also try island camping, yurts, cabins, or a hike-in area. Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground - Littleton - Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground is a peaceful campground located in a piney forest grove in historic Littleton, Massachusetts, set between two National Historic Parks and famed Walden Pond, and just a short drive or ride on public transit into Boston. Relax by the heated pool, hang in the rec hall, send the kids to the playground, or play fetch at one of the dog runs. The camp store carries many convenience items and treats, and nearby restaurants offer both takeout and delivery. (Starting at $64 a night) Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground - Martha’s Vineyard - Camping on Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t get much better than Martha Vineyard’s Family Campground. Although the campground is geared towards RV campers with a wide range of full-hookup RV sites suitable for RVs up to 40’, tent camping and even cabin rentals are both also offered. All these campsites are located in a quiet, wooded setting with each site receiving plenty of shade during the day. This top-rated Massachusetts campground is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from everything that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer, including its world-class dining, beautiful beaches, and pocketful of adorable small towns. (Starting at $63 a night) #4 VirginiaWalnut Hills Campground and RV Park - Courtesy of Campspot There are many campgrounds in the state of VA that have all sorts of activities aimed to keep the whole family enjoying their vacation and experiencing quality family time together. From waterfront to mountaintop camping Virginia offers it all. It has one of the most varied and beautiful landscapes of any state in the U.S. Whether you’ve got your own RV camper or plan to rough it in a tent, making sure your family has a safe, clean, and comfortable place to call home-base is of utmost importance. Harpers Ferry Adventure Center - Purcellville - is all about non-stop activities, exciting challenges, and family fun. Camping options include cabins, riverside tent sites, mountaintop tent sites, and mountaintop platform camping (raised wooden platforms to put your tent on to keep it level and off the wet ground). The most difficult part of staying at Harpers Ferry will be choosing which activities to do as a family – there are so many choices. From whitewater tubing to zip lines and ropes courses – there is something for every age, ability, and daring level in your group. There is also an adventure day camp for kids ages 9-14 that includes activities specifically tailored to that age group. (Starting at $48 a night) Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park - Staunton - Pitch a tent, have a fire, and create a memory with your family. Camp in the shadows of 250-year-old locust and walnut trees in Virginia's beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Kids can fish in the pond, play in the game room or swim in the pool. Visit nearby attractions, such as Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, Monticello, Natural Bridge, Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, Frontier Culture Museum and countless antique shops and flea markets. (Starting at $30 a night) #3 New YorkTriple R Camping Resort - Franklinville - Courtesy of Campspot The ‘Big Apple’ state is more famous for its bustling cities and tall skyscrapers than its natural areas and camping reservations, however, it is one of the best states for families planning a camping trip in the US. New York comes in third place for family-suited activities, with 1,733 family-friendly things to do throughout the state. Only 16.2% of all campgrounds in New York are family-friendly, which is fewer than in most states we looked at, however, New York has more tagged Instagram posts than any other state. New York has 1,997 family-friendly hikes, and the highest safety score out of our top three, at 61.7/100. North Pole Resorts - Wilmington - If you like to do your camping in the Adirondacks, then North Pole Resorts are for you! This family ran resort is a camper’s paradise located right on the edges of the Ausable River in the Adirondacks and also located near Lake Placid. Bring your tents, and RVs, or rent a cabin at this awesome resort. For the kids you will find two swimming pools, two playgrounds, mining experiences (both gemstones and fossils), biking, an arcade, mini golf, boat rentals, and more! (Starting at $40 a night) Triple R Camping Resort - Franklinville - Triple R sets a new standard for camping. They take pride in being the cleanest park with many amenities, beautiful views, and pet-friendly accommodations. Come have dinner on their new patio with a hot tub, tiki tables, palm trees, and splash ground called LeeKee Lagoon. Other fun activities include gem mining, corn hole, guest DJs, live music, ceramics, fireworks, and bubble ball. This is a great campground for kids. (Starting at $30 a night) #2 California Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort - Courtesy of Campspot One of the US’ most-visited states, famous for its beaches, sunshine, and for being the home of Hollywood. The coastal state is one of the US’ best locations for family camping fun, coming in second place out of all states we looked at. California is home to more family-friendly things to do than any other state we looked at except Florida, at 3,210. California is in the top five states for family-friendly campgrounds, with 34.2% of all campgrounds in the state listed as family-friendly on Tripadvisor. The second most-Instagrammed state, there are 97.8 million posts with #california on Instagram. For families who love keeping active, California has the most family-friendly hiking trails of all states, at 4,383. Lake Siskiyou Resort & Camp - Mt Shasta - This family campsite is has a true gem of a lake, a jewel set at the foot of Mount Shasta at 3,181 feet, the prettiest lake on the I-5 corridor in California. The lake level is almost always full (because it was built for recreation, not water storage) and offers a variety of quality recreation options, with great swimming, low-speed boating, and fishing. The campground complexes are huge, yet they are tucked into the forest so visitors don’t get their styles cramped. (Starting at $36 a night) Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort - Felton - 2022 Campspot Awards Winner: Top Campground in USA, Most Popular in USA. Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort is nestled in the California Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Situated on the beautiful San Lorenzo River and backed by Henry Cowell State Park, this clean and well maintained RV Park and campground offers guests a year-round, family-oriented place to relax or explore the great outdoors. (Starting at $60 a night) #1 Florida The state, popular among vacationers, retirees and spring breakers is also the best location in the country for families looking for a camping adventure. Florida has the most family-friendly things to do out of all states. 40.9% of all campgrounds in Florida are family-friendly style sites, which is a higher percentage than any other state on our list except Hawaii. Florida is the third most-Instagrammed state on our list, with 65.8 million posts including the hashtag #florida, and Florida comes in third for the most family-friendly hiking trails, at 1,662.Camp N Water Campground - Homosassa - Camp N Water is hidden away on a tree shaded bank of the Homosassa River, its a quaint RV Campground for those who prefer the relaxed and congenial atmosphere of a natural setting. This fully equipped campground is a short drive from major and local attractions in Citrus County, Florida. (Starting at $60 a night) The St Augustine Beach KOA Holiday - St. Augustine is placed in Anastasia Island within a walk of the beach and offers a large selection of tent pitches, RV sites and deluxe cabins. All year round your child can enjoy the site’s outdoor pool and games area and there’s even a dog park available! (Starting at $60 a night) To read more about their study and see the rest of the list visit The Family Vacation Guide.
After approximately 18 months of full-time RV life, Kristi Stevens from the Adventurtunity Family says Utah is one of the family’s favorite destinations. In fact, the family of three spent a full four months in the western state and report they still have a long list of things to discover and do. In 2020, Kristi and her husband, Spencer, quit their corporate jobs, sold their home and most of their possessions, and purchased a Class A, 2017 Holiday Rambler® Vacationer® 36H. Together with their now five-year-old son, Kade, the Stevens hit the open road. Along the way, they added another family member—Roku Blu, a golden retriever. The Adventurtunity Family - Courtesy of Holiday Rambler Our Top 10 Experiences in Utah We often get asked about our favorite place to travel. And, while we have a few, Utah tops our list. So much so that out of twelve months of full-time travel we spent four of them in Utah. We learned quickly that our decisions would come down to what we were going to have to regretfully skip. Even after four months in Utah, we still have a long list of places to visit. If you are heading to Utah in the near future, we’re going to help you. First, know there is not a bad season to visit. Winter months are packed with fun. If you love snow and cooler temps, the northern part of the state is where it’s at. In the southern part of the state, you’ll find the mild temps you’re searching for if you don’t like the heat. Summer is pleasant in the north, and yes, a bit warmer in the south, but perfect for swimming, paddling, kayaking, and any other water sport you’re into. With that said, we have rounded up our top 10 favorite experiences and places to visit throughout Utah. We’ve also included a few tips and tricks along the way. 1. Midway Homestead Crater - Photo: @fernwehlifestyles Our Christmas goal was to have snow, so we set out for Park City. We stayed just south of Park City in a town called Heber City where we fell in love with the neighboring town of Midway. Full of small-town charm, small businesses line the main street with their Swiss motif. Our favorite restaurant there, Café Galleria, has heated snow globes on the patio that you can reserve to enjoy your meal. Not too far from there are two attractions that are hidden gems in this tiny town. One is the Ice Castle, one of the largest man-made ice sculptures in the country. The other is the Crater Swim where you can swim in geothermally heated water inside of a crater. On the opposite side of town, you’ll find cross country skiing and snow tubing. Oh, and there is a famous creamery, too. If you are in the Park City area, take a short break from the slopes and shops to visit Midway. You won’t be sorry. 2. Lone Rock Beach After spending part of the winter in Park City, we headed south to thaw out and happened to visit Lone Rock Beach on a whim. Located on Lake Powell at the southern Utah/northern Arizona border, Lone Rock Beach is one of the coolest spots to camp. It’s a large sandy beach with crystal blue water and the namesake rock reaching to the sky from the depths of the water. Once you get set up, you can take ATVs and Jeeps off-road, have bonfires, enjoy the water, and meet new people. Our first time there we just had our Wrangler, but we loved it so much we went back several more times and even boondocked with our Vacationer for seven nights! Whether camping or visiting for the day, it’s a beautiful place so don’t miss it. 3. Zion National Park Angel's landing One of our favorite national parks to date is Zion. We stayed on the east side of the park for one month and highly recommend staying there for a few reasons. It’s much more peaceful, less touristy, and closer to other must-see locations like Bryce Canyon and Kanab, Utah. Within the park, we recommend driving the entire road, pulling off at the turnouts, and exploring the sandstone scenery. If you’re up for it, Angels Landing is an incredible hike and a great workout. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hike the Narrows, but it’s high on our must-try list and one we recommend checking out. 4. Bryce Canyon National Park We made the mistake of waiting to explore Bryce Canyon until the end of our month stay. And on top of that, we thought we could do it in a day. Don’t make our mistakes and plan accordingly. Bryce Canyon National Park absolutely deserves several dedicated days to visit. There are so many hikes to explore, and its terrain is so captivating you need an hour or two just to take it all in. One thing to note is that dogs are not allowed on hiking trails in most national parks in Utah. We made that mistake and brought our pup. Needless to say, we will be returning to properly visit Bryce Canyon and all the beauty it has to offer. 5. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park - IStock/sdbower We could write a few blog posts on our favorite hidden gem, Kanab, Utah. Instead, we’re simply going to highlight a few of the most unique places within Kanab that you should visit at some point. One is Coral Pink Sand Dunes. We saw the signs driving down the road and decided to check it out, and we’re so glad we did. Up until that visit, we hadn’t really seen rolling hills of sand. What surprised us the most was that there were trees and vegetation growing in and around the dunes. Not only was it a beautiful sight, it was fun, too. We rented a wooden sled from the state park station and went sledding down the dunes. Be prepared for a wicked good time and don’t forget to close your mouth on your way down. 6. The Wave There are only seven wonders in the world, but from where I stand, The Wave could easily be the eighth. Out of all of the places we have been to and seen in the past year, The Wave is one of the most visually stunning and yet surprisingly unknown to many. It’s a sandstone formation created by slow wind and rain erosion, resulting in a flowing rock phenomenon that seems to defy physics. It is technically in Arizona but is only accessible through Utah. There is a lottery system to hike to The Wave with only 64 permits awarded each day. You can apply online months in advance or show up in person to enter the drawing for the next day. The in-person allotment is up to 16 permits and as many as 300 people could be applying in person each day. It’s not the easiest place to adventure to, but it is absolutely worth it to see this spectacular wonder of nature. 7. White Pocket White Pocket - IStock/Bobbushphoto Many locals told us, if we weren’t able to obtain a permit for The Wave, we should explore White Pocket. Thankfully we won The Wave lottery and still went to White Pocket. Our advice is to try for The Wave but do White Pocket regardless. To reach either site, you start out driving along a long wash-boarded dirt and gravel road outside of Kanab. The drive to White Pocket is much longer and more difficult. It’s about a 20-mile drive, which takes almost two hours. After the washboard road, you’ll travel on narrow trails and deep sand paths to reach the parking lot. A high clearance 4×4 is a must. But, once there, you’ll experience another physics-defying sight of tan, pink, and peach hued sandstone that looks as if it was poured across the landscape and shaped with an ice cream scoop. Peppered throughout the area are little water pools, hoodoos created by wind, peaks to climb, and beauty as far as your eyes can see. Make sure you bring plenty of water, food, and tell someone where you are going because you won’t have cell service for most of the drive and time you spend there. 8. Thanksgiving Point We have to mention Thanksgiving Point because it was such a wonderful and educational experience for Kade. It’s located on the outskirts of Salt Lake City and is a collection of five experiential places. As a visitor, you are able to purchase tickets to just one or a few of the experiences or buy a hopper pass and visit all five. We went with the hopper pass and made a full day of it. If heading to Thanksgiving Point, we highly recommend doing the experiences in this order: the Museum of Ancient Life; Butterfly Biosphere; Ashton Gardens; Museum of Natural Curiosity; and Farm Country. It’s a blast for kids and adults alike. 9. Moab Arches - Moab We must, of course, mention Moab because it’s 100% a must see. Moab is an absolute gold mine of adventure—from floating the Colorado River to rock climbing, hiking, jeeping, and so much more. It’s also home to Arches and Canyonland National Parks but make sure you take time to explore other areas like Fisher Towers and Corona Arch. Of course, if you have an off-road vehicle and like to see what it can do, there’s no better place to challenge yourself than on the endless trails of Moab. The Poison Spider and Top of the World trails were among our favorites. If you happen to travel in-season, the national parks tend to fill up quickly so plan on getting to the gate early. You can also go later in the afternoon when people start to leave. Sunset in Arches is amazing and so are the nighttime stars. 10. Moab Skydive I’m ending with this one because it isn’t for the faint of heart, but it was a thrilling experience. We decided to skydive in Moab on our ninth wedding anniversary and happened to meet up with the husband of another full-time travel couple. If skydiving has ever been a consideration for you, Moab is the place to do it. The price was reasonable, and the views are epic. You could see both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as the La Sal Mountains all while freefalling from 17,000 feet. From start to finish, the experience is about 45 minutes. Be sure to upgrade to the photo/video package so you can relive and share the experience with your friends and family for years to come. We could go on and on about all the wonders of Utah—from the amazing places we experienced to the many that still occupy our to-do list. Ultimately, if you’re a lover of the outdoor lifestyle, we feel you can’t go wrong in Utah. No matter where you visit, you’re bound to have a wonderful and adventurous time! Holiday Rambler is an award-winning RV brand that is part of REV Recreation Group, Inc., a subsidiary of REV Group, Inc. The Holiday Rambler 2022 line features four diesel and three gas motorhomes. Holiday Rambler has partnered with the Adventurtunity Family to chronicle their experiences as they travel the United States and share their stories on the Holiday Rambler blog.To learn more about the Adventurtunity Family’s life on the road, visit the Holiday Rambler blog or Instagram page. If you are not looking to buy an RV - you can have these same adventures by renting an RV with our partners RVshare!
With 2022 lining up to be the busiest travel season ever, those who haven’t booked a summer vacation yet may already feel they are missing out. For those still undecided on where to go this summer (or hesitant to travel too far from home) we have compiled a list of biking tour destinations that explore the natural wonders and culture of America.Intrepid ToursTeddy Bear Cove Fairhaven Bellingham Bay Washington Overlooking San Juan Islands - IStock / Seastock Cycle Washington's San Juan Islands - Combine cycling, stunning coastline, relaxed island life and the best that western Washington has to offer. Ride quiet roads from delightful fishing villages to the pristine waters separating the USA from Canada. With great weather and scenery and marine wildlife second to none, the San Juan Islands are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike you’ll find fascinating history, friendly locals and amazing cuisine – this cycling adventure takes in the best of it all at a pace everyone can enjoy. If you're looking for an unforgettable cycling vacation away from the stresses of everyday life, then this is it. Cycle Sonoma & the Napa Valley - Combine wine, rugged coastline and the best Northern California has to offer as you cycle from stunning wine country to epic redwood forests and on to the rugged Pacific Ocean coast. With great weather, breathtaking scenery and over 500 vineyards, the valleys of Napa and Sonoma are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike, you’ll find wine tastings, amazing cuisine and a wealth of history to experience, and this cycling adventure takes in the best of it at a pace set to enjoy rather than race, making it a trip for every rider. If you're looking for an unforgettable vacation for all five of your senses, look no further. Cycle Utah: Bryce & Zion National Parks - Combine cycling, stunning rugged landscapes and laidback Southwestern life and you get some of the best that Southern Utah has to offer. Ride winding roads through iconic Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, past red rock canyons, sandstone cliffs and through sprawling forests, or escape the crowds and enjoy the endless vistas of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Snow Canyon State Park. With great weather and scenery, the cycling here is second to none. Off the bike you’ll find some of the country’s best hiking as well as fascinating history, friendly locals and authentic cuisine – this cycling adventure takes in the best of it all at a pace everyone can enjoy.Budget Travel readers get 15% OFF Use Intrepid coupon code: 691016 Family Tours Adventure Cycling Association is offering its Family Adventure tours in summer 2022, with two departures of the new Cape Cod Family Adventure and one departure of the Idaho Trails Family Adventure. Family Adventure tours are designed to help introduce parents and their children to the transformative power of bike travel with the support of tour leaders, catered meals, accommodations, luggage transport, and more. Departures are available in July, starting at $699 per adult and $499 per child. On Adventure Cycling’s Family Adventure tours, children must be accompanied by adults, and adults must be accompanied by children – parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and groups of friends with their children are all welcome. Children must be between the ages of 8 and 17 years old at the time of the tour. Tour highlights include: Cape Cod Family Adventure (new), July 9-12 and July 14-17: Experience four action-packed days while exploring beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from Provincetown, at its northern tip, to Upper Mill Pond, near Brewster. At the core of the trip is nearly 100 miles of great cycling, including traffic-free paved trails such as the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Head of the Meadow Trail. Participants can even take some time off the bike to go swimming and hiking, and try stand-up paddleboarding. Starts at $699 per adult and $499 per child. Idaho Trails Family Adventure, July 17-22: On this six-day tour, ride through the gentle terrain and gorgeous scenery of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes as it follows an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way past lakes between the Silver Valley, near the Montana border, and Plummer, not far from the Washington border. Also spend a day on the Route of the Hiawatha, which originates in Montana and then crosses the state line into Idaho in the middle of the 1.7-mile-long Taft Tunnel. Starts at $1,099 per adult and $799 per child. To find out more about Adventure Cycling’s Family Adventure tours, read their full descriptions and register, visit their site. Courtesy of VBT Bicycling Vacations Tour operator VBT Bicycling Vacations has compiled a list of their legendary biking destinations in the US. Some of these destinations have been driven by and flown over for decades, which means fewer crowds exploring the road less traveled. If biking isn't your thing check out their sister company Country Walkers which offers walking tours. E-bikes are available on all VBT itineraries, and an added bonus: since VBT take care of all the logistics, there’s less stress involved when it comes to planning (in case the past two years have left one a little rusty in that department!). Mississippi: The Natchez Trace (VBT, Guided) – ponder the legacy of the Civil War at the ruins of the Windsor Plantation, relive the Siege of Vicksburg with a local historian on a guided tour of Vicksbury National Military Park, visit one of the largest Native American ceremonial sites Emerald Mound, and marvel at stately antebellum homes. Maine: Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park (VBT, Self-Guided) – explore Acadia National Park, browse Bar Harbor’s shops and art galleries, ride through unspoiled landscape of rugged coastline, forested coves and idyllic fishing harbors, and sample mouth-watering dishes infused with Maine blueberries. California: Wine Country & the Pacific Coast (VBT, Guided) – enjoy private tastings at some of the most renowned wineries in the region, bike along the Pacific coastline and into the rolling countryside blanketed with grapevines, explore Healdsburg and some of the most charming Spanish Colonial towns in the West, cycle the Napa Valley Trail, and more. Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonora Desert (VBT, Guided) – soak in sprawling desert landscapes and ride across vast, versatile ranges. Enjoy picnics and tastings in winery row, bike among the cacti of Saguaro National Park and Tumacácori National Historical Park, and savor local cuisine infused with Native American, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo-American influences