Trips to Disney World and cruises to Mexico are often the kinds of vacations families dream of for that one week off in the middle of the semester.
However, if you’re looking for something closer to home, but far enough to feel like you’re getting away from it all, here’s a list of places you might consider.
Lake of the Ozarks
Located in Central Missouri, this destination is comprised of several small lake towns that are very accommodating. Lakeside resorts offer guests many amenities, including boat rentals and water activities. When away from the water, visitors can go to Miner Mike’s Family Fun Center in Osage Beach, take a helicopter tour, enjoy Tan-Tar-A’s indoor water park, or see the castle ruins of Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton.
For more ideas on how to have fun at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit www.lakeareachamber.com.
The second-largest Missouri city, St. Louis is the prime tourist destination of the state. With the free Saint Louis Zoo boasting more than 18,000 exotic animals, tours of the Gateway Arch, Six Flags and Meramac Caverns, this home of Major League Baseball’s Cardinals is a great place to stay for a week. Some other activities you may want to partake in include a tour at the Third Degree Glass Factory, strolling the U.S.’s oldest botanical garden at Missouri Botanical Gardens, taking in a Broadway show at Fabulous Fox’s, and/or exploring the six-block entertainment hub of Delmar Loop.
For more information on St. Louis’ exciting offerings, visit http://explorestlouis.com.
Located in the heart of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville has a large city’s amenities while retaining a small-town charm. Terra Studios offers a variety of unique artistry. Nearby War Eagle Mill has beautiful scenery to view, delicious treats to buy, and expansive arts and crafts fair to peruse. For other entertainment, check out what live theater event is going on at the Walton Arts Center or visit the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.
To plan your trip, visit www.fayettevillear.com.
This quaint, Victorian resort village offers unique shopping, dining and lodging experiences and was selected as one of America’s Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Because no two roads intersect throughout this winding, mountainous terrain, there aren’t any stop lights. There are, however, plenty of eclectic shops, art galleries and restaurants that are easily accessible in the town’s historic section. And with more than 2,500 rooms to choose from, you can have your pick of bed and breakfast inns, rustic cottages, historic hotels, or fun tree houses in which to stay. Other family activities might include a tour of the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, horse trail rides with Red Bud Riding Stables, renting a canoe at the RiverLake Outdoor Center, or taking a train excursion on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway.
To find out more about Eureka Springs, visit www.eurekasprings.org.
This booming city is only a little more than three hours from home with many new attractions you won’t want to miss. In 2012, Kansas City unveiled its first aquarium, SEA LIFE Kansas City, complete with 30 marine life displays. LEGOLAND Discovery Center also opened up in May. For family-friendly factory tours, you can check out the Harley Davidson plant or Chips Chocolate Factory. Lastly, for cultural exposure and fun, purchase your ballet, symphony or opera tickets at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts or take the kids to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
For more adventures in Kansas City, visit www.visitkc.com.