For most families, the trips to the Florida beaches, the excursions out west, and the big-city sight-seeing adventures are behind them for the summer and for 2014. For most, school begins this week and this year’s vacation season comes to an end.
It’s a sad thing – the close of the season of fun.
Except, consider this… Fall is a beautiful time of the year. And, there is something really nice about a little getaway tucked into the middle of a busy semester of school. Plus, there are often a few three-day weekends for students when teachers gather together for meetings and professional development. Perhaps, a short trip locally would be just the ticket during this season.
With that in mind, I’ve listed five reasonably close destinations for you and your family to visit.
1) The Amana Colonies in Iowa are roughly 4.5 hours from St. Louis. A group of seven villages established by a German religious group, a visit to the Amana Colonies is a lesson in history and culture, where you’ll find interesting shops, artisans and fine restaurants. Tours and activities are offered for guests. Learn more about the Amana Colonies at: http://amanacolonies.com/
2) St. Joseph, Missouri describes itself as the place where the Pony Express began, and the town where Jesse James died. A weekend there will be full if you only visit those two locales, but there is much more to see and do. Kids will love the interactive displays at the Pony Express National Museum; adults will enjoy hearing about the life and death of Jesse James. Find about all there is to see at: http://www.stjomo.com/see-do/museums/pony-express-national-museum/
3) Springfield, Missouri is more often a town we travel through on our way to Branson rather than a destination itself. However, it offers a lot to do as well. Rich in Civil War history, it’s also a great place to enjoy a baseball game. The Springfield Cardinals games are affordable and fun – the baseball experience at a fraction of the price. See lots more to do at: http://springfieldmo.org/
4) Galena, IL is a lovely town where Ulysses S. Grant lived part of his life. In fact, a great many Civil War leaders that were raised in Galena, which was a busy and bustling city at one time. There is architecture and an historic hotel, along with wineries and shopping. It’s a beautiful town. Check it out at: http://galena.org/
5) Carthage, MO, like others above, has history and shopping, bed-and-breakfast lodging and architectural tours. What’s unique to Carthage is the Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens. You don’t have to be a fan of the figurines to find this FREE stop, which may take a few hours, inspirational and restorative. Plan your visit to Carthage at: http://visit-carthage.com/
In the next few weeks, I will suggest more ideas for some fun family travels. In the meantime, please check out my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/hallyfranz/family-friendly-travels/) page for photos of these and other great places to visit. And, if you would, share with us some of your discoveries.
Learning and laughing, seeing and sharing, being with friends and loved ones – these are the things that make life special!
Enjoy the Weekend!