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Old 11-04-2015, 06:35 PM   #21
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If I remember correctly you recently moved to Florida so why not explore Florida .St. Augustine , Sanibel , Key West , Siesta Key ,Cedar Key, the panhandle . Lots of places to kayak and just enjoy nature or grab a last minute cruise .
I love Corkscrew Swamp and Shark Valley using the Naples area as a base.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:59 AM   #22
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Sedona is beautiful and should fit in your time frame
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:07 AM   #23
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Charleston, SC. Lots of history, great restaurants, the beach is close, in Spring nearby gardens are beautiful. If you like special events, Spoleto in May/June and the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Feb are good. Recommend you don't go in the summer when it is very hot and humid.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:26 AM   #24
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Some trips I am planning on in the next 18+ months or so are as follows:
  • Branson, MO, followed by a trip to Graceland
  • Mackinac island, MI
  • Hike up Telescope Peak in Death Valley
  • Churchill, MB to see polar bears on a tundra buggy
  • Caribbean cruise
  • New England, eating lots of lobster
If going near Branson, a bit further south to Eureka Springs AR, is a great place to visit (going there next week, in fact) or further south to Hot Springs, AR and the Quachita National forest is also an interesting area.

And if in the area of Mackinac island, do go further north up to the UP's Keweenaw Peninsula for a beautiful summertime visit. Driving along the Lake Superior shoreline is a real treat.

Did someone say lobster?
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:31 AM   #25
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If it were me with the 4-6 day once a month, I'd follow the Clark Howard model...go to kayak.com/explore, buy a ticket to the cheapest place on the map, and let the chips fall where they may. If you're out there doing something, you'll have a great time!
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:49 AM   #26
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A couple of places not yet mentioned, and geographically close to fit in your 4-6 day window:

1. St. Martin: Half French/Half Dutch, awesome beaches & restaurants, plenty of nice places to stay. Take a day trip to St. Barts, which is heaven on earth. You can also take a day trip to Anguilla, which is now pretty upscale.
2. The Florida Keys: doubt you need info if you live in S. Florida

PS: I second "Charleston." It's a unique & beautiful place. Stay on the penninsula south of Broad St. or as close as you can. That allows you to walk most places & it's a feast for the senses.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:06 AM   #27
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Greenville, SC has some great restaurants, bike trails and isn't too far.

Asheville is great if you haven't gone there yet.

Washington DC is touristy, but I still enjoy visiting the museums and monuments.

I definitely vote for the western national parks, but it can be nice to combine a couple into a 10 day trip since it can be a long trip for just 4-5 days.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:32 AM   #28
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The Upper Mississippi River Valley is a great area to explore, from Galena, Ill., north through LaCrosse and Red Wing to the Twin Cities. Lots of history, great scenery, and outdoor recreation from hiking and biking to boating and canoeing/kayaking. Don't miss the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:04 PM   #29
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The Upper Mississippi River Valley is a great area to explore, from Galena, Ill., north through LaCrosse and Red Wing to the Twin Cities. Lots of history, great scenery, and outdoor recreation from hiking and biking to boating and canoeing/kayaking. Don't miss the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa.
And don't miss the the National Brewery Museum in Potosi, WI, if you have ever the slightest appreciation for beer and nostalgia.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:15 PM   #30
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And don't miss the the National Brewery Museum in Potosi, WI, if you have ever the slightest appreciation for beer and nostalgia.
The old man used to bring home returnable longneck cases of Good Old Potosi Beer. They probably cost about $2 a case back then ...
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:05 PM   #31
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I've been to Albuquerque several times, and it's perfect for a 3-4 day getaway:

-Memorial Day and Labor Day wine festivals, about 25 wineries with free samples
-Whitewater rafting in Taos, about 90 min drive (very moderate Class II/III over Labor Day, while Memorial Day has trips ranging from Class II all the way up to Class IV+)
-Great hiking (my favorite is Tent Rock State Park, just 1 hr from ABQ Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, but there are several others)
-World's longest suspended tram up Sandia Peak (with hiking/restaurants at the top)
-Good Southwestern/Mexican food
-Santa Fe just 1 hr drive away
-Los Alamos science museum - could easily spend 4+ hours there with all of the rich history and exhibits and free films on the nuclear project! Very fascinating to see what our country did to make this massive undertaking happen. Also, the drive to Los Alamos from ABQ is about 80 mins, and very scenic.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:48 AM   #32
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We have done two Grand Canyon trips, both in September. The first was a 7 day dory trip on the river. We loved it so much we had to go back, for a 3 day hike with 2 nights at Phantom Ranch. We went with a guided tour group both times, which was well worth the additional cost IMO. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and showed us sights we simply could not have found on our own.

If you go to Zion NP, rent the outfit in Springdale and hike the Narrows - it is stunning. Renting the dry pants, grippy shoes and walking stick will enable you to get farther up river than you would be able to go in street clothes. We went in the spring well before monsoon season.

NYC and Chicago during the holiday season.

The area around Monterey Bay from Santa Cruz to Big Sur would fit into your time frame. Each town has a different vibe but the biggest attraction is the coast itself. Don't miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Spring training (March) in Phoenix/Scottsdale if you like baseball. The Cactus League parks are close to each other and 4 to 6 days is perfect.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:03 PM   #33
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I always wondered where Floridians go on vacation. About every third car on the road in NE GA, Western NC and East Tennessee has a Florida license plate. That's my #1 suggestion for budget travel. Rooms around Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge are cheap mid week.

South Florida is fortunate to have Southwest Airlines and others flying for fair prices to some great places. You've also got the ability to get last minute cruise deals throughout the Eastern and Western Caribbean for really cheap prices.

Nashville, TN is an incredibly lively get-a-way with an incredible number of tourist sights. They're getting all kinds of weekend travelers and bachelorette parties from places like New York City.

The travel bargain right now is on Norwegian Air Shuttle out of both Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. You can fly to London or Scandinavia for about $700 round trip--half the price of the big legacy air carriers. You may have to picnic along the way, but it opens up Europe for you.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:43 PM   #34
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Fly to Memphis. Graceland might be a tourist trap, but it was worth it. Kinda an icon my generation should see and experience. Also in town, Sun Studios is a great tour, Beale Street is great, Gibson Guitar Store Mecca.....and more!
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:52 PM   #35
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Ooh, here's another one.

From Wikipedia:
"National Storytelling Festival
The National Storytelling Festival is held the first full weekend of October in Jonesborough, Tennessee at the International Storytelling Center. The National Storytelling Festival was founded by Jimmy Neil Smith, a high school journalism teacher in 1973. It has grown over the years to become a major festival both in the United States and internationally." See more at Wikipedia.

This is a remarkable event. Five or six giant circus tents set up in the quaint Southern town. Something there for everyone. We stayed at Doubletree in nearby Johnson City, Tennessee. They provide bus transport to event, but we had car.
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