Talk to the modest traveler as to where in the United States they would most likely want to visit and you are likely to hear Orlando, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Big cities with big attractions have always been the staple of good, exciting vacations. For the lesser known vacation spots such as Arkansas, Texas and Illinois; is it possible to find as exciting a vacation? I ventured to find out the answer to this question; and what I found was a pleasant surprise to me.
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida is probably not the first, (or a last stop for most) when you venture to the sunshine state. Places like Daytona, Miami, even Key West take the bill here. Known as the ‘Greatest Little City in Florida”, Indian Harbour Beach is in Brevard County, Florida along the coastline, offering everything that a relaxing vacation epitomizes. Close to Orlando and to Kennedy Space Center it is a liaison between a quiet escape and excitement. Just minutes from the Melbourne International Airport, this spot is perfect for getting away from the everyday. I also have found the best hotel deal anywhere around Indian Harbour. The Lexington Hotel is offering a 3 day/2 night package for $97/nt. Including deluxe accommodations for 4 and a $20 credit to Doubles, their on-site restaurant, this is the classic definition of a “diamond in the rough”.
Another not so well known vacation spot is located in Illinois and has some of the most beautiful settings on the bluffs, high above the Rock River. “The Forest City” as it is beloved known; Rockford is an integral park of the Rockford metro area. Experience any of the 50 excellent national golf courses or stay in touch with nature with a tour of the Anderson Japanese Gardens, which has been ranked the top Japanese garden in North America. I was lucky enough to stay at the Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort which was located inside of 12 miles from loads of attractions, right on the Bluff overlooking the river. With prices starting at $129/nt, this is an affordable way to catch the wonderful sites of Illinois.
Of course, Illinois and Florida could be two places that vacationers might rank high on their list, but Arkansas? At first glance, I couldn’t believe that this was going to make my list of out of the ordinary places to visit, but then I found Hot Springs I started to change the way that I viewed this state. Hot Springs is the 10th most populated city in Arkansas and as the name inclines is known for national spring water. The city hosts a number of art shows such as the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and the Hot Springs Music Festival. Other events include the Hot Springs Jazz Festival held in September and the downtown Bathtub Races in the Spring. It holds the number 4 position of the “America’s Top 100 Small Arts Town.” They also have a Racetrack and Casino which, lucky for me, was located just one block from my hotel. Americas Best Value Inn has all the necessities that is needed in this town.
They say that everything is bigger and better in Texas; and I’m not one to argue with that line of thinking. My next stop brought me to the Lone Star State and into San Antonio. This live and vibrant city was like no other that I have visited and with its serene valleys and rolling, cedar-studded hills, it was no wonder why I fell in love with it as quickly as I did. I stayed right on the Salado Creek and enjoyed the feeling of history that this place took me too. With 300 days without rain, there is never a short list of outdoor activities. The Alamo is nearly impossible to forget as it is Texas’ top tourist attraction. The San Antonio Zoo, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas are just a few of the other activities that this wonderful city has to offer. Shell Vacations Hospitality has all the information that you need to make a real life cowboy out of anyone!
My only stop in the great Northeast was in Newport, RI. You may be thinking if this should really go on this list of ‘unique destinations’ but I thought that it doesn’t get as much attention as some of its other counterparts; mainly because of the price associated with the mere mention of its name. With presidents being married there and others making Newport their “Summer White Houses” not only does it seem unattainable, there almost seems like nothing more to do then to tour the streets and look at some insanely expensive houses. But Newport has something for even the frugalist of travelers. Along with being filled with culture, the city of Newport has Cliff Walk, which is considered one of the most popular attractions. A 3 mile walkway that borders the shoreline and has been designated a National Recreation Trail; and for lovers of folk, country, blues music, the Newport Folk Festival is also hosted in Newport. If all this sounds like a big budget breaker, don’t fret. I found a great deal on a place to stay right in Newport just in time for summer. The Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina is everything that name implies. Close to all the activities and some of the best restaurants anywhere, this resort is one not to be missed. Use the Exclusive Corporate Number: DUN, and stay at this breathtaking resort for only $235.
Heading out west, another little known escape is Gunnison/Crested Butte, Colorado. With so much to do in this quaint Colorado town, Gunnison will keep you wanting more. Enjoy mountain biking and hiking up the peak of Mt. Crested Butte for one of the most spectacular 360 degree views you will ever see. My stay was complete when I located this wonderful deal of $160 for 2nights. It included ½ day of one of my favorite activities, rafting. For all its worth, this vacation certainly will inspire your passion for the Colorado Rockies.