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Thread: Travel Destinations Near You

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Travel Destinations Near You

    As we watch the cost of gasoline skyrocket, the lure of travel destinations that are closer to home sounds a little more "pocketbook friendly". Sure, some folks will still jump on an airplane and jet off to Vegas, Orlando, NYC, etc. But many will finish off 2006's vacation travel with closer-to-home sights. Look for next year's V-plans to include a bundle of closer stuff.

    Where do northwestern Ohio residents head?

    The Amusement Parks.....Cedar Point, the best roller-coaster park in the world, is IN northwestern Ohio. King's Island, another very popular theme park, is in SW Ohio.

    The Day-Trip Destinations.....NW Ohio folks often do a day-trip to places such as Greenfield (Historical) Village in suburban Detroit, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

    Those Historical Towns & Villages.....Grand Rapids, OH is a favorite single-day place for NW Ohioans. Here in Fulton County, Sauder Village is an old farmstead. Some of the smaller towns in southern Michigan sell themselves as "antique experts". A favorite destination is Frankenmuth, MI.....peddling a "Bavarian" sort of image (with big chicken dinners).

    Southeastern Ohio's Hill Country.....It is suprising how many NW Ohio residents head for the hills of southeastern Ohio. Especially popular is the area known as The Hocking Hills. Just a few hours south of my end of the state.

    The Lake Country.....Yeah, the glaciers did a number on SE Michigan and NE Indiana. Hundreds of lakes, many quite large, dot the area from Warsaw, IN to north of Detroit, MI. You would be hard-pressed to not find somebody you know from this area who has not spent time at one of these nice lakes.

    Closest to this Bear? The lakes of the Irish Hills area.....only an hour northwest. This is where I do some bass fishing and some camping. Also, home to Michigan International Speedway (M.I.S.).

    The Big Cities.....When folks in this area talk about going to a big city for a weekend, they usually mean Chicago or Toronto. A good friend just returned from Chicago.....she had a blast.....took the train, loved it.

    Less popular but perhaps no-less fun are Cincinnati (neat town), Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cleveland.

    Notice that the second-largest city in the midwest was NOT mentioned....Detroit? Many places in Detroit are faves.....Tigers, Wings, Lions, Pistons, Greek Town, casinos, museums, Zoo.....but downtown Detroit doesn't get much airplay as a travel destination.....unless it is where you park your car to go to a casino or a game.

    Northern Michigan.....This thread was inspired by a Detroit radio announcer talking about the weather, the traffic, and the shores of the northern Michigan lakes. The entire coast of Lake Michigan is a real favorite.....small fishing towns, great sunsets, huge sand dunes, cherries everywhere, wineries, ski hills, great little lakes, wonderful fishing, etc.

    Many NW Ohio residents head up I-75 and cruise to the tip of the lower peninsula, perhaps stopping at many of the larger resort communities along the way. Houghton Lake, Gaylord, Grayling, Alpena, Burt Lake, Mullet Lake, Hubbard Lake.....they are like The Mafia....once you get pulled-in, you can't leave. At the very tip.....Mackinaw City, the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island.

    The Upper Peninsula.....It is suprising how many NW Ohioans never cross the Mackinac Bridge and enter the upper peninsula of Michigan. Those that do cross usually only explore the eastern end of the great Yooperland, visiting historic and interesting places such as St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, or Drummond Island. Friends of mine just returned Sunday from the Pictured Rocks area (really beautiful).

    Covered Bridges, Waterfalls, Lighthouses.....Many NW Ohio folks focus their travel on a certain type of place.....such as covered bridges (southwestern Indiana), waterfalls (100 waterfalls in Michigan's upper peninsula), lighthouses (many great lighthouses on the shores of the Great Lakes).

    Niagara Falls.....Slowly I turn.....step-by-step.....yes, many NW folks still make the Lake Erie shoreline trip to Niagara Falls.
    _____

    These are some samples of shorter vacation trip destinations that the folks here in NW Ohio have experienced or will experience as the cost of driving continues to spiral.

    What about your area? Good vacation spots close-by? What say you?

    Bearalogue
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Well, it's mostly beach stuff here, but we have some cute towns, too.

    Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna Beach, close by. Orlando, for the theme parks. Little towns like Deland, Mt Dora, and Winter Park that are fun to walk and browse, have great lake views, etc. St Augustine, tons of stuff there, historic, beach, neat gator park and lighthouse. State parks with cabins, that's one I want to try; been to some in tents when the kid was in scouts, now would like to try them out in a cabin with a/c. Inner-tubing down rivers, that would be new for me, up near Gainesville.

    One thing we haven't done that I think my son would like is to visit some of the historical battle re-inactments near here.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Where do southeastern North Carolina residents head?
    1) Wrightsville Beach (not really a vacation, but one of the most beautiful beaches in the USA)

    2) The Gulf Stream on charter fishing boats (tuna, mahi mahi, grouper, etc.)

    3) Camping on Hutaff and Masonboro Islands (uninhabited barrier islands off the coast of Wilmington, accessible by boat only, clams, oysters, shrimp, crab, etc.)

    4) Myrtle Beach, SC (shopping, concerts, events, plus a great beach)

    5) Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (beleive it or not, the place to go for big city amenities, i.e., big name concerts, exotic ethnic food and groceries, Nordstrom, Carolina football games, etc.)

    6) Charleston, SC (when Wilmington is not historic or rich enough)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    For Chicagolanders:

    Lake Geneva, WI...picturesque shops and boating galore
    Wisconsin Dells, WI...a 3 hour trip north to the Midwest's hottest waterpark attractions and resorts
    Door County, WI...a 4-5 hour trip north to experience quaint shops, state parks, and tranquility
    Milwuakee, WI...Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair, Miller Park (when the Cubs play there, it's "Wrigley North"), Milwaukee County Zoo, and all the rest this town has to offer
    Downtown Chicago...concert festivals, food festivals, street festivals, world-class museums, world-class dining, the Shedd Aquarium, shopping on the Magnificient Mile, parades, and so much more
    Navy Pier...a carnival, boat cruises, and shopping
    Lakefront...swimming, boating, tanning, biking, hiking, fishing
    Brookfield Zoo...the major tourist attraction of the western burbs, great place to take the kids
    Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor...another great place to take the kids for all the thrill rides, carnival food, and water attractions
    Woodfield Mall...the suburbs' largest and most inclusive mall
    Starved Rock State Park...a 2 hour drive out to Ottawa to experience hiking, biking, wildlife watching, camping, and the scenic Illinois River
    Fox River...biking and hiking along the trail, boating on the river, gambling on the boats in Aurora and Elgin, and downtown shopping in Geneva, West Dundee, and St. Charles
    Illinois Beach State Park and Indiana Dunes...located at the extreme extents of Chicagoland's lakefront, these large parks offer sandy dunes, hiking, and fun in the sun
    County Fairs and suburban festivals...you can always find cheap food, entertainment, carnival rides, and other attractions all summer long by hitting up all the various county fairs and village festivals throughout Chicagoland
    Naperville...Ribfest and the Naper Settlement
    The Cubs or the White Sox...both are always hot attractions and seats fill up quickly on both the north side and the south side
    Chicago Fire...soccer team growing in popularity, now playing at a new stadium in Bridgeview
    Amphitheater concerts...at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater (Tinley Park, IL), Alpine Valley Music Theater (East Troy, WI), and Charter One Pavilion (Chicago, IL)
    Ravinia Music Festival...in Highland Park, featuring musical entertainment for the older, laid-back crowd
    Chicago Botanic Gardens...in Northbrook/Glencoe, featuring a wide variety of plant species
    Rockford, IL...Magic Waters theme park, downtown museums, and plenty of festivals, 1-2 hours away
    Galena, IL...great place to take the wife or husband for a quick getaway in a resort town in the country, 3 hours away
    Minor League Baseball...when MLB is too expensive and too much of a hassle, you can always count on the Schaumburg Flyers and Kane County Cougars for inexpensive family fun
    The Chain O'Lakes...they don't call it "Lake" County for nothing. Fox Lake, Pistakee Lake, Channel Lake, Round Lake, Bangs Lake, Lake Zurich...all are great for boating and fishing
    Outdoor Malls...whether it's outlet malls in Aurora and Huntley, or lifestyle centers in Algonquin, Geneva, and Deer Park, Chicagoland's outer burbs have the hottest fashions in an open-air mall format
    Last edited by illinoisplanner; 07 Aug 2006 at 10:27 PM.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    For Seattleites its mainly outdoors stuff:

    Mt. Rainier
    Lake Chelan
    Washington Coast (Long Beach, Ocean Shores)
    San Juan Islands
    North Cascades National Park
    Olympic National Park

    But also some super cool urban adventures:

    Vancouver, BC
    Victoria, BC
    Whistler, BC

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    For me (I'm sticking to just things that attract people from outside of the immediate region):

    The Texas Hill Country: attracts people for scenic drives (especially motorcycles) and beautiful state parks. Oh yeah... and wineries.

    Schlitterbahn: Regarded as the best waterpark in North America by several publications.

    The Alamo/historic San Antonio: Anybody that loves Spanish history and the history of western expansion will enjoy the wide variety of historic destinations in San Antonio

    Fiesta Texas Amusement Park: the rollercoasters suck, but the shows are quite excellent and attract a lot of people... I think they got an award or something...

    Sea World San Antonio: I figure this one is self-explanatory

    The Riverwalk: Also self-explanatory

    Fiesta Festival: Weeklong party in downtown San Antonio akin to Mardi Gras Spanish-style (but just a bit more family-friendly). Those of you at the SA Conference got a taste of this.

    Lost Maples State Park: Best place in Texas to see fall color... and everyone in the state knows it. Get there early because the rangers will only let in so many people--its that popular.

    Outlet Shops in San Marcos:
    The largest conglomoration of outlet stores on the planet (this is not a joke). Want a sad indictment of our society? Its the second most popular tourist destination in Texas after the Alamo/Riverwalk.

    Canyon Lake/Guadalupe & Comal Rivers: People from across the state come here for tubing and boating. I happen to live at Canyon Lake. Exceedingly popular as a cheap vacation.

    Museum of Texas History in Austin

    Texas State Capital:
    mine is bigger than yours... haha!

    Austin Festival "you pick 'em": Austin gets a lot of tourism as a result of festivals, particularly South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.

    Highland Lakes of Austin: Kind of like an upper-crust version of Canyon Lake.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Bear forgot about Put In Bay, and Kelly's Island!

    A couple of miles from my home is Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum (thehenryford.org). This is where one can experience 300 years of americana.

    Major exhibits include:
    Important Cars,
    the Rosa Parks Bus,
    the chair Lincoln was shot in,
    Gen George Washington's camp equipment,
    Labs of Thomas Edison,
    Wright Brothers Cycle Shop and home,
    a working roundhouse for steam locomotives.

    Besides the zoo (to see the polar bears) and casinos, this place is the ones most locals are dragged to by their non-local visitors. I can recall going there with my brother in law, who grew up in Chicago. He was furious that the rest of the family blew through the museum. We did not blow through it because we hate it, we acted like we've been there 100's of times (and we have).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    In my area:

    Glacier National Park

    Yellowstone National Park

    The Gates of the Mountains

    The Bob Marshall Wilderness

    Butte (the 3rd of July for an awesome fire works display or St. Paddy's Day for a lively drunk)

    The White Cliffs Area of the Missouri River

    Virginia City, Bannack, Marysville, and Garnet (old mining towns)

    Reservoirs, national forests and BLM lands beaucoup
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    Outlet Shops in San Marcos: The largest conglomoration of outlet stores on the planet (this is not a joke). Want a sad indictment of our society? Its the second most popular tourist destination in Texas after the Alamo/Riverwalk.
    The Concord Mills outlets IS the most popular tourist attraction in North Carolina.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    From Greenville, SC.....

    The Beach.....everywhere from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head

    Carrowinds...Paramount's Amusement park on the border of SC & NC

    Cherokee, NC....casino

    Ashville, NC...artsy, bohemian escape in the mountains

    Lakes Hartwell & Keowee

    Atlanta

    Dillard, GA and Highlands, NC

    Charlotte, NC

    Savannah, GA

    There's a lot to do within a 3-4 hours drive from Greenville.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    For those along the Wasatch Front:

    Zions National Park
    Arches national Park/Moab/Canyonlands
    Park City
    Little & Big Cottonwood Canyons (skiing, camping, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, fishing, Snowbird, etc.)
    Heber/Midway
    the High Uintas (camping, fishing, etc)
    Jackson Hole (4 hours away) & Yellowstone, Grand Teton
    Vegas (6 hours drive 45 min flight at only $49 each way, but can you honestly do Vegas for cheap?)
    St. George (although I think it is a dreadful place to be. All of the spring statewide conferences are in St. george. I have yet to find a good local restaurant)
    Wendover for gambling
    Great Salt Lake (fun place to go sailing)
    Lake Powell
    Bear Lake
    Flaming Gorge/Green River

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Vegas (6 hours drive 45 min flight at only $49 each way, but can you honestly do Vegas for cheap?)
    "Near" is obviously a relative term. In six hours we could be at 1000+ different travel destinations.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus
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    3 hr drive or less -

    Indiana - Indianapolis, Columbus, Hoosier National Forest, State Park Lodges

    Kentucky - Louisville, Mammoth Cave National Park, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, Several State Park Lodges

    Illinois - Shawnee National Forest, Tunnel Hill State Trail

    Tennessee - Nashville

    Missouri - St. Louis, The Arch, The Cards
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  14. #14
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Fifteen steps out my back door: a pool. Within a half-hour drive: the Gulf of Mexico and the most beautiful beaches in the world. Within an hour, the possum capital of the world: (Wausau FL (to the north)), and the Destin Outlet Mall (to the west). Just hit me, I live a boring area.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Sydney is a really good central location to access travel destinations.

    40mins west from my place is the Blue Mountains, travel 1-3 hours south and you have Beaches or Canberra. Travel 1-3 hours north and you have more beaches or Hunter Valley- great wineries, and travel 3-4 hours west and you have farms and wineries.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Well 2 hours from Santiago can get you to a big variety of travel destinations.... Ski resorts, beaches (Viña del Mar, and other smaller sea side towns), historical cities (Valparaiso), vineyards, hotsprings, national parks... And most of these things aren't just for Santiago....

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    "Near" is obviously a relative term. In six hours we could be at 1000+ different travel destinations.
    Of course, but Vegas is still a very quick and cheap flight from SLC.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    Bear and Detroit Planner also left out the Irish Hills. within easy distance from NW Ohio and lower Michigan.

    Kinda cool in a kitschy, touristy way. Where else can you tour Eisenhower's Pullman car? Or wander through a prehistoric forest? Or see water flow uphill?

    Hidden Lake Gardens are great. Also, the Michigan International Speedway for NASCAR freaks.

    Sort of like Wisconsin Dells, but not as steroidal.
    SOME say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Robert Frost (1874–1963) (From Harper’s Magazine, December 1920.)

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DecaturHawk
    Bear and Detroit Planner also left out the Irish Hills. within easy distance from NW Ohio and lower Michigan.
    No, no, no......this Bear did include The Irish Hills in the original post. It is the closest lake country area to my home. I fish the lakes often. We camp at Hayes State Park.

    Did somebody splash beer on your reading glasses, at the last Stan Fest?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    sadly eisnehower's pullman car is now painted over as a haunted house. makes you think that the authenticy of the place is questionable. In addition, the prehistoric forest is for sale, personally, I'd love to own something like that.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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