Summer's Not Over Yet! Three End-of-Summer Trip Ideas
No, no, no - it can't be the end of summer vacation! It's August and, in the south, that means the kids have already gone back to school. It's the end of summer, the end of fun, the end of lazy days on the beach and swimming; or is it?
Just because the calendar tells us that fall is around the corner, doesn't mean that summer is already over. There are many warm days and balmy nights in late summer. And, an end-of-summer weekend getaway is a perfect way to hold on to summer a bit longer. Find a few spots close to home and you can enjoy that summer vacation feeling right through September.
We love to travel by RV and, if you're one of our subscribers, then we figure you do too! There is nothing like driving away from the city and into the forest or out to the lake or down to the beach knowing that you take along with you your own private sanctuary.
But the RV lifestyle really shows its value when it comes to "extra" vacations and weekend getaways. This is when having an RV is even more wonderful! Camping in the RV costs very little and provides a comfortable place to sleep at the end of a busy day at the lake or beach. If you prepare meals in the RV you save even more over the cost of vacation food. That means you can hop in the RV and enjoy a weekend at the lake or beach to ease your re-entry into the busy fall calendar.
You may have curated your summer vacation as a "collectible experience" - something you will remember for a long time. End-of-summer trips can become the "extra" vacations you talk about for years to come. Their proximity to home makes them more accessible while the activities and format you choose can make them more relaxed and fun.
These "extra" vacations focus on one destination and family-friendly activities. Incorporate star-gazing, stories by the campfire, swimming, and kayaking, as well as short hikes and picnics. Keeping the activities simple and the cost low makes these end-of-summer weekend getaways so appealing.
Take the time to stock up the RV with all the basics. When you already have the pantry staples, toiletries, and clean linens packed it only takes an hour or two to pack clothing, toys, and fresh groceries. Go to work or school Monday through Friday, then head out of town on Friday afternoon. When you choose destinations close to home you can be set up in camp by dinner time - or at least by campfire time!
We've found a few fun places to explore within a three-hour drive of several metropolitan areas in the southeast. So if you live near any of these destinations you can enjoy more weekend fun before summer ends!
1. Blue Ridge, Georgia
Nestled in the north Georgia mountains, Blue Ridge is a surprising destination. With a crystal-clear lake, fun and fascinating downtown shops, as well as excellent hiking trails it offers something for the whole family. The kids can marvel at the Big Foot museum when they're not swimming in beautiful Lake Blue Ridge, or you can all go for a short hike and have a picnic beside a waterfall.
Near downtown, you will also find Mercier Orchards with weekend U-Pick events, tractor-ride tours of the farm and an excellent fresh fruit market. Don't miss the hard cider tasting room!
Camping is rustic at Morganton Point Campground but it sits right on the lake and you can't beat the access to the water. Evening sunsets, morning kayak paddles, and marshmallows around the campfire.
Here's a little "eye-candy" for Blue Ridge, Georgia:
Blue Ridge is close enough for a weekend trip from several large cities:
Atlanta, GA - 92 miles away (about a 1 1/2 hour drive)
Greenville, SC - 147 miles away (about a 3-hour drive)
Chattanooga, TN - 82 miles away (about a 2-hour drive)
Find the rundown on Blue Ridge with our Weekend Getaway Planner here...
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2. Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina
What a surprise we found at Huntington Beach State Park! So close to Myrtle Beach and all its amenities yet so relaxed.
This is a destination the whole family can love. The kids will love the swimming, ranger programs, or the amusements in nearby Myrtle Beach. Adults will love the quiet beach, the amazing birding, excellent fishing, and fabulous Murrell's Inlet restaurants just a few minutes down the road.
Everyone will find historic Atalaya Castle a fascinating peek into the Huntington's private winter retreat. A visit to Brookgreen Gardens located across the highway from the park will introduce you to some of Mrs. Huntington's amazing sculpture created while at Atalaya.
Take your camera to capture the beauty of this park, here's a peek at what we saw:
Huntington Beach State Park is close enough for a weekend trip from several large cities:
Charleston, SC- 78 miles away (about a 1 1/2 hour drive)
Savannah, GA - 191 miles away (about a 3 1/2 hour drive)
Columbia, SC- 164 miles away (about a 3-hour drive)
Find out more about Huntington Beach State Park with our Weekend Getaway Planner here...
3. Beaufort, South Carolina
A small town with a big history, Beaufort is worth more than a weekend visit. But, if that's all the time you've got then be sure to squeeze in a tour of the fabled area. There are so many historic buildings and the town has such a long and storied past, that a trip to the visitors center should be your first stop.
Take a stroll along Henry C. Chambers waterfront park and enjoy the cool respite of harbor breeze and shady trees. Sway on one of the many porch swings suspended from vine-covered arbors facing the bay. Or stop by one of the downtown shops for a bite to eat and a frosty drink.
Kayaking is a quiet and enjoyable paddle along the bay. You can put-in near the harbor or out on Hunting Island from the beach. While you are there, climb the 167 steps to the Hunting lighthouse for a spectacular view of the coastline.
Hunting Island State Park Campground is a short drive from downtown Beaufort, crossing several of the sea islands. It offers campsites along the beach road or in the shaded maritime forest. The beach is broad and lovely with spectacular sunrises and pastel sunsets. Bring your insect repellent or a screen tent - mosquitoes can be plentiful!
A photo can inspire more than words and here are a few images to spark your imagination:
Beaufort and Hunting Island State Park are close enough for a weekend trip from several large cities:
Charleston, SC - 70 miles away (about a 1 1/2 hour drive)
Savannah, GA - 43 miles away (about a 1-hour drive)
Jacksonville, FL - 178 miles away (about a 2 3/4 hour drive)
Find out more about Beaufort and Hunting Island with our Weekend Getaway Planner here...
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