Sometimes a week-long vacation is just too much. Too many obligations and not enough time, but a long weekend? Now you’re talking!
Here are four destinations that you can get to with just one quick flight or a short drive. All are perfect for a family trip or a romantic getaway for two.
Though it’s home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, you need not be sports-minded to become a fan of Cooperstown, N.Y. A short and very scenic two-hour drive from Syracuse, this small town, while teeming with little leaguers in the summer, is unhurried and tranquil in the fall and winter.
There are plenty of unique sites to visit, such as the New York State History Museum, the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum, which features one of the nation’s finest collections of folk, American and American Indian art. The Fly Creek Cider Mill and orchard, just outside of town, is a historic 150-year-old water-powered mill with a fun marketplace and activities for kids. Lastly, while the town offers a wide range of accommodations, you won’t find huge hotels or resorts. Instead, visitors can choose from 43 small hotels, motels, inns and B&Bs, most of which are family-operated.
Click here for a Cooperstown visitor’s guide.
Escape the Chicago chill and head south to a coastal town that takes you back in time. With dozens of historic homes and museum tours to choose from, you can enjoy a walking tour of Museum Mile, a one-mile section downtown just blocks from the water, where you can tour 6 museums, 5 nationally important historic houses, 4 parks as well as numerous other sites including the Market and City Hall.
There is also Broad Street, a pivotal and historic locale which features, among other structures, the Old Exchange, a popular tourist spot which has served as a customhouse, mercantile exchange, military prison and barracks, and post office.
Click here for visitor information.
Winter Park Ski Resort, Winter Park, Colo.
Just 90 miles from the Denver airport, Winter Park is a quick drive into the mountains and a favorite ski destination for families. With 134 trails across 3 interconnected mountain peaks, 25 lifts and an average snowfall of 349 inches, it’s the perfect resort for all skill levels.
Of course, there’s plenty to do for non-skiers, too, such as ice skating, snow cycle excursions, scenic chairlift rides, and snowcat and snowshoe tours. Within the last 5 years, the resort has added new shopping, restaurants, residential units, a skating/fishing pond and an open-air gondola, with a variety of lodging options.
Click here for resort information. Click on DEALS for current discounts.
Spring Green, Wisc.
Drive 3.5 hours to the historic and arts-rich town of Spring Green, Wisc. Most famous for being home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, visitors can actually tour the house and grounds through Taliesin Preservation.
For kids, there is the national natural landmark Cave of the Mounds, with guided tours featuring colorful stalactites, stalagmites, columns and other formations. Of course, a trip to rural Wisconsin would not be complete without cheese, so you’ll want to make a stop at the Cedar Grove Cheese Factory, where you can watch cheese get made the old fashioned way. Click here for lodging and other activities in Spring Green.
A scenic 3-hour drive away, Galena has long been a destination for Chicago weekend warriors who enjoy golf, great food, great wine (seriously!), rolling hills and even downhill skiing. Just outside the town, in the 6,800-acre Galena Territory, lies the Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, which offers championship golf, a full-service spa, a variety of restaurants, an 80-room lodge and 300 resort homes for rent.
There’s also the Chestnut Mountain Resort, which offers lodging, skiing and snowboarding, or choose from dozens of B&Bs in town. Restaurants, shopping and walking tours are plentiful, including visits to the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site and a wine shop featuring a wide selection from local wineries. Click here for visitor information.
Cooperstown: Fly Creek Cider Mill
Charleston: Courtesy of Charleston Area CVB
Galena photos – Courtesy of Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Taliesin Photos – C Pedro E. Guerrero, courtesy of Taliesin Preservation, Inc.