In these rather difficult economic times, many are looking for family vacations on a budget. For so many years, the emphasis seemed to be on glamorous vacations with no expense denied. Now that it has become fashionable to be thrifty once again, many are searching for unique yet cheaper family vacation ideas. The best option is to take a trip as close to home as possible. Some of the most economical choices include state and national parks. This article will give five suggestions for budget-friendly trips around the United States.
For those living in New England or in the Mid-Atlantic States, a great place to visit is the very historic Gettysburg. Most notably, the great Civil War battlefield is located here. This is the site of many national monuments and memorials and is where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863. There are many roads through the park, which make up an eighteen-mile driving tour, which can be taken after obtaining a self-guiding map at the visitor’s center. While in this area, the famed Lancaster Amish Country can be visited. Cheap window shopping and delicious foods abound.
Somewhat further south is the always fun Lexington. This is the location of the most famous horse park in the United States. Tours can be taken via covered wagon and there are horse parades multiple times during the day. There is also an educational museum on the grounds. There are particularly beautiful displays and parades around the holiday season.
In the southeast is beautiful, sunny Pensacola, a town that boasts three hundred days of sunshine each year. There are about fifty-two miles of beaches along this stretch of the Gulf of Mexico. There are many well-loved places to stay in this general area with a couple of them being Destin, Florida, and Gulf Shores, Alabama. These beaches boast the United States’ whitest sand. There are water activities galore including jet skiing and parasailing. In addition, the National Museum of Naval Aviation is located here with free admission to see scores of Navy planes, both modern and vintage, and other naval related displays.
The Black Hills of South Dakota
In the upper Midwest are the rolling hills and interesting buttes of the Badlands in South Dakota. The badlands also extend into North Dakota, but perhaps the most famous scenery is in the Black Hills where Mount Rushmore is located. This is a beautiful place to visit to get a taste of a place where civilization has not marred the natural beauty of the landscape at all.
In the western United States lies Columbia State Historic Park. This is the scene of an old gold mine town that was hastily built in the 1850s. The town has been preserved that now offers several authentic scenes and activities. A few of the old buildings have been restored and the whole family can enjoy panning for gold, eating in a family-friendly saloon, staying in a restored hotel and riding in a stage coach.
These trips are great for family vacation on a budget and provide a fun and educational experience for children of all ages. The United States offers such a large array of parks and historical places, that no matter where a family lives, they are close to a national or state park. Many times, there are campgrounds in these vicinities, which can certainly cut back on expenses even more.