You’re itching to get away, but for various reasons, you can’t travel afar this year. The good news is you don’t have to go far from home to have an amazing adventure. If you’re planning a staycation, day trip, or weekend getaway this year, a little creativity during the planning stages will go a long way toward creating a meaningful and memorable experience.
From skiing and snowshoeing to hitting up your local museums, our list of staycation ideas will help you brainstorm your next big getaway, even if it’s just around the corner from home.
If you’re planning a winter getaway, consider a trip someplace snowy close by, like your local ski mountain or county park with snowshoeing trails. You can find a local purveyor to rent you the equipment you and your family need to get active outside this winter. Just remember to bundle up with a waterproof down jacket and women’s snow pants to stay warm and cozy even in freezing temperatures.
You can still grab a little bit of culture and history in your hometown! Just look up your local historical society, museum, or botanical gardens and plan an outing solo, with a few friends, or with your family in tow. You can throw on a cotton sundress and soak up the culture at an art museum or explore new varieties of plants at the gardens.
Maybe there’s a preserved historical site nearby where you can teach the kids about your area’s history, from military battlegrounds to gorgeous ivy-covered mansions. Check ahead to see if the cultural institution you’ve chosen offers guided or audio tours to immerse yourself in all the knowledge their curators and docents have to offer.
If you’re aiming to keep your new explorations outdoors, you can probably find plenty of culture with wide-open spaces. Just search for sculpture parks or botanical gardens in your area.
You can spend a whole day at the aquarium or zoo, making it a great option for a staycation or day trip. Purchase your tickets in advance to minimize wait times when you arrive, and be sure to check on their website for different timed attractions you might want to catch, like the penguin feeding or dolphin show.
This option is especially great if you have young kids in the mix. Keep them busy with a game of I spy and try to spot all the different animals or fish in their enclosures. Pack an extra large canvas tote bag with snacks, water bottles, and sunscreen to keep everyone hydrated and happy while you explore all the different species on display.
Do you live within a stone’s throw of a body of water? It’s time to pack up the car (or check the bus or train schedule) and head to the beach! Slip into your favorite swimsuit and beach cover up and throw on a pair of shades or floppy hat and hit the waves. If you’re not one to lay on the beach and work on your tan, there are so many other options for activities too. You can get adventurous and find a local boat, kayak, surfboard, or beach bike rental company. You can even sign up for a kayak tour or surf lesson to sharpen your skills. Just remember to pack a towel and plenty of sunscreen, and you’re ready for your day of fun in the sun.
One of the easiest and cheapest local getaway options is a day trip to a local hiking trail or an overnight trip to a nearby campground. You’ll want to do some research to find a spot that’s just right for you, and there are plenty of websites, blogs, and apps out there to help you along the way. If you’re hiking, remember to pack at least 2 liters of water and always let someone know where you are before you head into the woods in case of an emergency. A lot of hiking areas are maintained by rangers, and starting at the local ranger station or visitor center can be a helpful first step to get more information on the surrounding hikes, areas of interest, and potential hazards on the trail.
Turn your outdoor adventure into a full weekend by coupling your hiking trip with an overnight stay at a campground. If you decide to camp, make sure to plan your trip with enough advance notice to make a reservation and to take into account any weather variability. Check the campground’s website in advance for first-come, first-serve options, and any rules you’ll have to keep in mind, such as firewood, food storage, and quiet hours. If you want to enjoy all a campground has to offer but you’re not planning to stay the night, you can look into renting a pavilion for a family picnic or party.
If imbibing your favorite beverages sounds like a great staycation, head to your local brewery, winery, or distillery and while away the hours with a tasting, a tour of the facilities, or just a couple of glasses and some bar snacks. A pilgrimage to your favorite brewery, winery, or distillery is the perfect excuse to turn a day trip into a weekend getaway if you want to sip on a little more than the initial tastes. Load up your women's weekender bag with a change of clothes, a baseball cap, and a scarf and start making some memories.
With so many options close to home, you’ll never feel cooped up again. The next time you’re feeling adventurous, just try one of these options and start exploring all your hometown and the surrounding area has to offer.