Fall is in the air, with clear blue skies and cooler temperatures throughout most of the U.S. If you are like me, schedules get busy and traveling slows down a bit. Spending a day or weekend at a state park is the perfect way to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather. While America’s state parks may not get as much media attention as their national park counterparts, their popularity has soared in recent years, recording over twice as many visitors in 2014 versus national parks. This is due largely to the accessibility of many parks, especially for day trips. For inspiration, I’ve reached out to fellow travel bloggers from around the country who have weighed in with some their favorites, each with a link to a blog post with more details. Check out these 8 gems and start planning a day or weekend fall family outing.
Virginia may not rank as one of the largest in square miles, but the geographic diversity across the state always surprises me. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself spending more time in Southwestern Virginia, a part of the state which I had explored sporadically over the years. What had I been waiting for? The mountain views are spectacular, and the opportunities for outdoor adventures plentiful. Last spring, I was lucky to discover a small slice of the New River Trail, not far off Interstate 81 in Hiwassee. It’s part of New River Trail State Park, which is a unique linear park running parallel to the New River for almost 40 miles. Fall is the perfect time to head to southwestern Virginia and checkout New River Trail State Park for yourself, and here are 3 fun things to do when you get there.
Just a few short hours from Miami lies a place where palm trees sway in the breeze, restaurants and tiki bars line the water's edge, boats bob up and down in the blue-green water, and colorful signs are found at many of the local shops. It’s the Florida Keys, a chain of islands 120 miles long, that truly has something for everyone, with no passport required. Various family members had spent some time in the Keys over the years, but I had not, so we decided it was the perfect place for a tropical summer vacation. I’m excited to say that there were so many cool things to do, especially with teens, that we can’t wait to go back! Here are 10 things you should put on your list for a Florida Keys vacation.