Alas, summer is nearing its end. But that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in a little more fun. Even if you don't have the time to fly to Hawaii or the cash to get to Europe, you can still have a fun and memorable family getaway. Try one of these weekend adventures before the colder climes roll in.
For an adventurous weekend, head to Mystic, Connecticut's re-created 19th-century seafaring village, where all activities are marine-themed and geared toward children. Climb on a whaling ship at the popular Mystic Seaport and grab a slice at the famed Mystic Pizza.
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For a classic Vermont getaway, head to one of Manchester's cozy country inns tucked in the heart of the Green Mountains. Take in the breathtaking landscape as you learn how to fly-fish - this town's favorite pastime.
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Just two hours north of Phoenix, Prescott has maintained both its small-town charm and Old West authenticity. Stroll through Whiskey Row's iconic saloons and take the kiddies horse-back riding in pine-studded Prescott National Park.
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Los Padres National Forest, California
Looking for a scenic trip on a small budget? Explore land and sea at Kirk Creek Campground in California's Los Padres National Forest, where you can pitch a tent atop a bluff overlooking the ocean. The moist coastal air creates a perfect environment for hiking, and with a winding trail that leads down to the beach, you can cool off as soon as you reach the bottom.
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The arrival of summer in the Windy City is synonymous with concerts in Highland Park, Chicago Dogs at Wrigley Field, and lazy afternoons on Oak Street Beach. This getaway is tailor-made for the assorted interests of your group.
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Home to legendary sites like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the recently renamed baseball stadium, Progressive Field (formerly Jacobs Field), Cleveland will keep your itinerary jam-packed with things to see. For a fun and educational outing, stop by the Money Museum at the Cleveland Federal Reserve, where the kids can explore the history of money and its role in societies.
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New Orleans, Louisiana
Old-fashioned southern hospitality, soulful rhythm, and the best in Louisiana cuisine are just some of the things you'll find down on the Bayou. New Orleans offers all the features of a theme park, including aquariums, jazz festivals, and jumping entertainers, right in the streets of the French Quarter.
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Whether you're touring Elvis's Graceland Estate, the historic Sun Studios (where Johnny Cash recorded), or one of the secret tunnels along the Underground Railroad, Memphis is an intriguing southern town drenched in American history. Memphis is known as the pork barbecue capital of the world, so no trip to this city would be complete without a visit to one of its barbecue restaurants, which serve up world-famous, melt-in-your-mouth ribs.
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