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Trip a month
Old 11-04-2015, 07:39 AM   #1
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Trip a month

DW are doing a 4-6 day trip per month somewhere. We would love some suggestions from people who have a cant miss place they loved. We live in S. Florida but the trip can be a driving trip or require a flight to get to.

We love active vacations, beach type vacations, all inclusives, cruises, hiking in the mountains, white water rafting, bed and breakfasts in the mountains, big cities....all of it. The only thing we wouldn't be crazy about is something consisted only of museums.

Please give me some of your favs. My back is a little jacked up so we wont be able to go too crazy right now, but I will keep this list so feel free to say "rappel down into famous waterfall" or whatever you've done that you loved.

Edit: If there is a certain time of year to avoid a certain place, please let me know.
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:24 AM   #2
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I would suggest the major Nat'l parks in the Western US.
- Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches in the south

- Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton

- Yosemite and Sequoia

There are "museums" at the visitor centers - but it's more about the truly awesome natural beauty.

Depending on your budget you can spend as much or as little as you want. All of the parks (except Arches) have in park lodges. It's worth it to stay in the park because otherwise you spend part of the time in lines getting in/out of the park. And these parks are huge - better to start closer to the middle of the park.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:05 AM   #3
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Do "active vacations" include scuba diving? And how wed are you to only 4-6 days? (Most of our list for early years of retirement involves diving and/or more than a week to do right.)

And add to rodi's list the Great Smoky Mountain national park, which is a bit closer to you and is beautiful if you can time it to avoid the crowds. And, as a bonus, time it to raft the Ocoee, especially the section that was modified for the '96 Olympics whitewater slalom course.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:19 AM   #4
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We have a 16 year old at home and we feel guilty leaving him for longer than that even though we have lots of family within 20 mins driving time. For the next year or 3, our long trips will be limited to the summer.

Neither of us is scuba certified but we do like snorkling. I may be doing something wrong, but I have a problem with my ears when I go too deep so we've never pursued scuba.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:23 AM   #5
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We love Sherpa Walking Holidays for walking treks all over Europe in a variety of lengths/days. They provide incredibly detailed maps, schedule your nightly lodging, and arrange for luggage movement to your next destination each morning. All you need to do is show up and walk!

We did the Swiss Alpine Pass with them a few years back, and it was something we will never forget.

Typical hiking path & scenery:
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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If a week is too long for you currently, we've also enjoyed shorter 5-6 day stints in NYC, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco and Chicago. All are great walking cities, with walks upwards of 10 miles a day easily achieved in going from site to site should one choose.

We've also spent similar time in many National Parks, hiking and boating, the larger, more varied being Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite, Acadia, Everglades and Olympic.

Love cruises to the Caribbean, many of which are offered in 5 day stints. Water sports galore, plus very nice on board fitness centers and places to dance in the evening.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:44 AM   #7
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I would suggest the Great Walks (kepler, milford and other tracks) of New Zealand... wonderful places.
Ben Nevis - Ft. William and Gencoe , Snowden and Isle of Skye in the UK.
Dordogne region of France.
White Mountains -NH
Shenandoah HP
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:56 AM   #8
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This is a hard because of your time constraints. I think instead of looking for specific locations, I'd concentrate on things like only do areas you can get to with a non-stop flight. Decide how much driving you want to do timewise and work around that number. National Geo used to have a wonderful set of regional guide books that would do trips like this broken up into 4-6 day trips and minimizing the driving. I don't know if they are still in print.

Another idea is to sign for all the airlines last minutes deals which involve greatly discounted flight for upcoming weekends..they usually go from Thursday to Tuesday.
And of course signup for last minute special trips and discounts. Doing this kind of travel makes it really hard to get much bang for your buck mainly because of transportation costs...everything from VRBO to car rentals cost more when it's less then a week. Airfare pro rated to a 4 to 6 day trip can really run your daily cost.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #9
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Some Ideas For Western Canada:

-Victoria BC ( + alaska cruise)
-Vancouver BC
-Whistler BC (Skiiing)
-Okanagan BC (Lakes plus Wine)
-Whitehorse Yukon + Drive to Skagway Alaska (Nature, History)
-Waterton, Banff, Jasper (Parks in the Rocky Mountains)
-Calgary Alberta (+ Drumheller dinosaur park)
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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For short, city-oriented getaways, the wall street journal used to run a periodic "take monday off" column focused on various cities; thus, three-day, fly-in, weekend getaways. You should be able to access those articles with this search: "www.wsj.com take monday off" We never did the precise three days (or suggested itineraries), but the ideas compared well with the cities that we were familiar with.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful city. It's not too far from FL so that would be a nice trip for 4-6 days IMO.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:33 AM   #12
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If you like winter sports, definitely check out places like Park City, UT and Aspen, CO, among others in that general area out west. A lot of these towns have very interesting things to see, do, and experience beyond just skiing or snowboarding, so there's usually something for everyone. All easily doable over 6 days. Others that I'm sure you're already aware of are big cities with lots of culture like San Francisco, Seattle, New York, DC, New Orleans, etc. You'd have no trouble getting a lot out of 6 day visits to each of these. Oh, and also a big +1 for some of the national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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Cruises for sure if you're in south Florida. This time of year in the fall and winter are typically the best deals. I'm sure you could find plenty of 4-5 night cruises for under $1000 total include taxes and tip.

If Latin America suits you, it's not far from Miami (a big international air hub). I love Mexico City (knowing some Spanish helps). There's a huge city park (central park on steriods) and a big metro system to get around. Lots to explore in the city and plenty of day trips from there too. Teotihuacan pyramids for example.

Here's a cool tool if you haven't seen it: KAYAK Explore - see where you can go for how much Kayak Explorer. Put in your home airport (I set it to Miami here) and it shows you the cheapest flights to everywhere in the world. Lots of $200-300 flights to Latin America on there, for example. That might be a way to get some ideas on places that are relative bargains to fly to today if budget travel is of any concern to you.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:33 PM   #14
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Oh my goodness, please consider Hawaii if you love active, beach type vacations!
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:33 PM   #15
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Im loving the suggestions so far. Keep them coming. Some of them, like Hawaii or New Zealand will have to wait for when we can get away for 7-10 days or more though.

DW is 1/2 Puerto Rican and 1/2 Dominican so she speaks Spanish fluently. We've really been wanting to go to Costa Rica. Flights from here are much cheaper than they were from Dallas. We hadnt really even thought about Mexico City, but I'll start doing some research.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
Im loving the suggestions so far. Keep them coming. Some of them, like Hawaii or New Zealand will have to wait for when we can get away for 7-10 days or more though.

DW is 1/2 Puerto Rican and 1/2 Dominican so she speaks Spanish fluently. We've really been wanting to go to Costa Rica. Flights from here are much cheaper than they were from Dallas. We hadnt really even thought about Mexico City, but I'll start doing some research.
Oh man, that whole region is wide open for you then. Though I'd caution that it's a little rough in some spots. From your thread on the NYC VRBO I gather you guys are looking to avoid sketchy areas, and those are more common down that way. And mixed in with the awesome cool touristy areas too in my experience.
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:07 PM   #17
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We prefer somewhat active vacations too, DW & I never could sit still for too long. Everyone has their own preferences, but FWIW

Natural Wonders (pictures can't begin to do them justice, awe inspiring in person)
  • Yosemite
  • Grand Canyon
  • Acadia National Park (stay in Bar Harbor, but really probably May thru Oct)
  • Niagara Falls (horribly touristy, though the Canadian side is much nicer than the US. I wouldn't spend more than a day there, but worth one day if anything else around there is of interest)
  • Whale watches, we love them. Been on whale watches in San Diego, Boston & Bar Harbor.
Places (most of these are May thru Oct destinations, but we usually go right after Labor Day or whenever the season ends - fewer crowds, better prices, etc.
  • Nantucket - far and away our favorite place, best time to go is Labor Day weekend. It's a madhouse before then, in season. The Summer crowd leaves, but most stores/restaurants/inn still open. I'd never want to go there too much off-season.
  • Vermont Bike Tour - we did a week long ride in Fall during foliage, stayed at a different Inn each night. There were 4 ride distances each day (like 10 to 50 miles, big spread), so you can be as active (or not) as you like. A wonderful experience. Book WAY in advance if you want Fall foliage, but still a great trip/scenery before.
  • Narragansett Bay - Newport RI, Providence RI, and all around the bay
  • San Francisco & Napa Valley - if you like wine & restaurants. San Francisco is a fascinating city if you don't mind exploring, but it's not a place to go otherwise. We bought passes and took streetcars & buses everywhere. We also did a 4 day bike tour in Napa, loved it. Great place for a hot air balloon ride too, pricey but worth it once IMO
  • Door County WI
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:51 PM   #18
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I also recommend Mexico City - so much to do: museums, markets, neighborhoods, food, archaeological sites, architecture. The Museum of Anthropology is one of the best displayed museums I have seen. We stayed a week, and still have a list. Of things to do the next time we go. Read up on safety precautions, of course, but we had no problems.
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:31 PM   #19
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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 .
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:11 PM   #20
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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
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