Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Denver

With winter chills (and closed Mountain roads) fully in the rear-view mirror for the year, it’s a great time to get out and explore. Luckily, for folks based in Denver, a wealth of getaway-worth destinations exist just a few hours drive from the city. Here’s our list of five great small town getaways from Denver.

Pike's Peak in the distance of Colorado Springs
Pike’s Peak in the distance of Colorado Springs
1. Cheyenne, Wyoming

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a true cowboy or cowgirl, there’s no better place than Cheyenne. Brush up on your Western trivia in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, before picking up some supplies to help you dress the part at the many boot, hat, and Western wear located in the Downtown Cheyenne shopping district.

Where To Stay: Tru by Hilton Cheyenne

2. Breckenridge, Colorado

While most folks likely think of Breckenridge as a winter sports destination, you’ll find the mountain is a great spot to visit in summer as well. Here you can find some of the country’s most exquisite hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting destinations for the adventure seeker in all of us.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge

3. Moab, Utah

A change of scenery can be good for the soul, and you’ll find some of the most unusual and breathtaking scenery in Arches National Park, just a five hour drive West of Denver. Hikes to Delicate Arch and the Windows are some of the park’s most popular, or if sightseeing by car is more your thing, download the GyPSy Guide app for GPS-triggered audio navigation and commentary among the area’s highlights.

Where To Stay: Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton

4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Located just a short drive from Pike’s Peak, Colorado Springs is a great home base from which to start all kinds of mountain exploration. Start at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center to take in the area’s many unique rock formations and get a feel for the landscape.  Next, head to the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park for ziplining, cave tours, and other family friendly activities.

Where To Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton Colorado Springs South

5. Durango, Colorado

Re-live the glory days of rail travel with a ride along the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. Train aficionados will delight in experiencing a trip on an authentic coal-powered steam engine that winds through the picturesque San Juan National Forest.

Where To Stay: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Durango

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Portland

Summer is upon us, and while locals love keep it weird in the Rose City, sometimes it’s also nice to getaway. And as any real Portlander will tell you, there are a wealth of great, driveable destinations just a few hours outside the city. Here are our picks for five of the best small-town getaways from Portland.

A waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon
The Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon
1. Bend, Oregon

Beer lovers, rejoice! While the Deschutes Brewery initially made the Bend region famous for its brewskis (and continues to operate the Deschutes Public House in town for tastings), newer craft brewing startups have followed suit. You could spend a full week sampling and touring the 16 brewers in operation here, including Bend Brewing Company, Kobold Brewing, and Monkless Belgian Ales, to name a few.

Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Bend

2. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Outdoor enthusiasts will want to flock to this natural playground where hikers can seek out amazing scenery at spots like the Multnomah Falls and Oneonta Gorge. Between hikes, visit some of the area’s local farms and farmstands, where you can frequently pick your own apples, pears, and berries for a snack.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Hood River

3. Astoria, Oregon

Enjoy the seaside beauty at the mouth of the Columbia River from the Astoria Riverwalk, a popular hike-and-bike trail next to the water. Astoria also marks one of the most popular “departure” points for an Oregon coastal roadtrip, or for the really serious road-trippers out there, an expedition down the entire Pacific Coast Highway.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria

4. Boise, Idaho

For the Gen Xers and elder millennials out there — if you spent a good portion of your childhood attempting to virtually traverse the Oregon Trail without dying of dysentery, here’s your chance to experience the real thing. A 71-acre section of the historic route is now the Oregon Trail Reserve, a popular spot for hiking, picnics, and birdwatching, just 15 minutes outside of downtown Boise.

Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Boise Downtown

5. Grants Pass, Oregon

Considered by many to be one of the best sites for whitewater rafting in the country, you’ll find numerous skilled river guides available in the otherwise sleepy town of Grants Pass each summer, ready to transport you to an epic adventure. After a day on the river, you can unwind at some of the region’s wineries — Schmidt Family Vineyards and Troon Vineyard are two popular options.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Grants Pass

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Phoenix

It’s that time again when the airport tarmac starts melting the wheels of plane, and Phoenicians retreat to their air-conditioned hideaways. But if all that indoor-time has you getting a little stir crazy, we have just the antidote: there are several great getaways just a few hours drive from Phoenix. Check out our picks for the top five small-town getaways from Phoenix.

The Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona
The Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona
1. Palm Desert, California

There’s a reason this oasis has been drawing celebrities and mere mortals alike for decades — indulge yourself in splurge-worth treatments in one of the area’s spas, or hit the links at some of the top rated municipal golf courses in the country.

Where To Stay: Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton

2. Lake Havasu, Arizona

If a family vacation is at the top of your list, you’ll find activities at Lake Havasu that will satisfy everyone’s vacation-style. Rent a boat to sail along the Bridgewater Channel, or hit the Lake Havasu State Park to watch the nautical parade from the sandy shore.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Lake Havasu City

3. Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

No, we’re not talking about the Strip — roughly 30 minutes outside of Sin City proper, you’ll find a calmer, more relaxed choice for a getaway. Explore the giant inflatable aqua park for a day on the water, or tour the modern engineering marvel that makes the lake a possibility at the impressive Hoover Dam.

Where To Stay: Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

An artist’s refuge, no trip to Santa Fe is complete without a stop by the Georgia O’Keefe museum, where you can see several works that capture the surrounding desert landscape. Newer galleries ring the historic city plaza, making an easy path for a DIY art walk. Or for something complete different, plan a visit to Meow Wolf to take in the “immersive-art-gallery-meets-performance-art-meets-escape-room” experience dreamt up by Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin.

Where To Stay: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

5. Sedona, Arizona

Outdoor adventurers will want to flock to Sedona, where nearly the entire local area is bordered by state parks or national forests. Hiking trails abound like the popular trail to the base of Cathedral Rock, and offroading Jeep tours are also popular.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Sedona

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Miami

With beaches re-opened, the tourist crowd has descended, so what’s a Miami local to do? Follow our picks for the five best small-town getaways from the city, of course. You’ll be away from the crowds and ready to enjoy the sun and solitude in no time.

A sailboat cruises past the sunset in Key West, Florida
A sailboat cruises past the sunset in Key West, Florida
1. Key West, Florida

Say goodbye to the city and hello to island life with a trip down to tropical Key West. Explore the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, or pay a visit to the many six-toed cats at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. When you’re ready for nourishment, go on a DIY tour of the many local spots serving up Key Lime Pie.

Where To Stay:  The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton

2. Nassau, Bahamas

Yes, you really can skip the country without ever getting on a plane: hop on the daily 2.5 hour “Fast Ferry” ride from Miami to Grand Bahama Island, and then a second (much quicker) inter-island ferry from Grand Bahama to the island of your choice. You’ll be enjoying frozen cocktails by the turquoise waters in no time!

Where To Stay: British Colonial Hilton Nassau

3. Augustine, Florida

Soak in the colonial Spanish architecture in St. Augustine with a visit to the Castillo de San Marcos and the Colonial Quarter. Then, hop aboard the Old Town Trolley Tours to learn about what makes St. Augustine America’s “oldest” city.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Augustine Historic District

4. Cocoa Beach, Florida

Explore the historic Cocoa Beach Pier for that authentic boardwalk vibe before taking in the surf and sand of Florida’s “Space Coast”. When you’ve tired of the ocean, make a trip to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to see how the region got its nickname and learn the history of the many space launches that have originated in nearby Cape Canaveral.

Where To Stay: Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

5. Marco Island, Florida

Head east on US Route 41 through the Everglades to Marco Island if you’re looking for a foodie adventure. This beachy locale routinely serves up some of the best seafood statewide, with local favorites including The Oyster Society, Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill, and Fin Bistro.

Where To Stay: Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Philadelphia

If the City of Brotherly Love has started to feel more to you like the City of Annoying Little Brothers, then it might be time to pack up your go-bag and take a weekend away. And with so many excellent destinations just a short drive from the Philadelphia area, a no-stress vacation is never more than a few hours away. Here are our picks for the top five small-town getaways from Philadelphia.

A strip of beach houses along Ocean City, Maryland

1. The Poconos, Pennsylvania

Get your waterfall on at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where you can hike to Raymondskill Falls and Dingmans Falls, the two largest waterfalls in the state. After your hike, stop by the Lakota Wolf Preserve to learn more about one of nature’s most elusive predators.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Stroudsburg Bartonsville

2. Ocean City, Maryland

A quintessential East Coast beach town, Ocean City gives you plenty of options to play in the surf and sand, or soak in the sun along the miles of shop-lined wooden boardwalks. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, indulge in local seafood with a water view at restaurants like Hooked, On The Bay, or Longboard Café.

Where To Stay: Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites

3. Hershey, Pennsylvania

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you won’t be able to resist this family-friendly vacation destination. Aside from the eponymous amusement park, visitors can also peruse the well-manicured Hershey Gardens or learn about the history of the chocolate making process at the Hershey Story Museum.

Where To Stay: Tru by Hilton Hershey Chocolate Avenue

4. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

When you tire of the expansive sandy beaches (is that even possible?!), head slightly inland for unbeatable bird watching along the trails at Gordons Pond, then retire to the Revelation Craft Brewing Company for beer samplers on the patio.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Rehoboth Beach

5. Annapolis, Maryland

For a little retail therapy, stroll along the Historic District where you’ll find a wealth of old row houses that have been converted into shops, boutiques, and galleries. Of, for a less commercial endeavor, spend an afternoon exploring the gardens, ponds and natural landscapes at the 300+ acre Quiet Waters Park.

Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis Downtown

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Atlanta

The sun is scorching, humidity blazing, and the traffic is as bad as ever. So what’s an Atlantan to do? Hit the road, of course. And with so many great locales just a half-day’s drive or less from Atlanta proper, there’s a whole summer of adventure waiting for you. Here are our picks for the top five small-town getaways from Atlanta.

A spanish moss draped road in Savannah, Georgia

1. Savannah, Georgia

Take in the many competing architectural styles to be found along the Spanish moss covered streets in Savannah’s Historic District, or hop on a riverboat to see the city from a waterfront perspective. If exploring gets you hungry, you won’t want to miss a meal at Elizabeth on 37th for an authentic Southern Coastal dining experience.

Where To Stay: The Cotton Sail Hotel Savannah, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

2. Augusta, Georgia

Golf fans know that the Augusta is synonymous with the Masters Tournament, and while average Joe’s aren’t likely to snag a tee time at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, visitors can still hit the links at the highly rated Augusta Municipal Golf Course, also known as “The Patch”

Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Augusta

3. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Don’t let the gentle nature of the rolling hills surrounding this Southern gem fool you — they’re jam-packed with adventure! Start your trek at Rock City Gardens to see natural formations with funny names like Fat Man’s Squeeze and Mother Goose Village. Continue the action at Ruby Falls to experience a 145-foot underground waterfall and impressive natural cavern.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

4. Jekyll Island, Georgia

If no place but the beach will do, then look no further than charming Jekyll Island which is often less crowded than its more Northern Golden Isles cousins. This barrier island is also the place to go if aquatic wildlife sparks your interest; book a dolphin tour to wave hi to Flipper, or stop by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn about our hard-shelled friends.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

5. Greenville, South Carolina

Make it a foodie weekend in Greenville, where you’ll find a slew of high end restaurants ready to show you their take on high end, reimagined Southern cuisine. Start you day with a cuppa from Due South Coffee Roasters, then head to for a brunch bagel at Sully’s Steamers. By the afternoon, find yourself a platter of oysters at the raw bar at Jianna before ultimately settling in for dinner at James Beard Award Winner Sean Brock’s Husk.

Where To Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown Riverplace

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Austin

Sure, Austin may be topping all the where-to-visit lists from around the country, but if you’re a local, you need a place to escape sometimes too! Luckily, with plenty of great driving destinations just a few hours from the Capital city, you’ll be able to get your vacation started pronto at any of our top picks.

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas

1. Fredericksburg, Texas

Start your trip by hiking up nearby Enchanted Rock, then reward your efforts with a stop (or several) at the local wineries that comprise the Texas Wine Trail. In the evenings, the walkable downtown district comes alive with restaurants and galleries that highlight the area’s German culture.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Fredericksburg

2. Marble Falls, Texas

Outdoor enthusiasts will rejoice at the many activities in and around Lake Marble Falls, like hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, and playing some of Texas’s best frisbee golf courses. After all that exertion has worked up an appetite, swing by the famed Bluebonnet Café for pie happy hour.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Marble Falls – On The Lake

3. New Braunfels, Texas

After spending your days in a tube drifting peacefully down the spring-fed Comal River, you’ll want to change into cowboy boots for the evening to take in a great meal at the Gristmill Restaurant followed by some 2-stepping at Greuene Hall.

Where To Stay: Homewood Suites by Hilton New Braunfels

4. South Padre Island, Texas

If your vacation needs to be to the beach or bust, look no further than South Padre. Try your hand at kiteboarding or windsurfing along the shore, or head to the lagoon side of the island for unbeatable fishing and birdwatching. When you’re worn out, head to Pier 19 for seafood with a side of scenery.

Where To Stay: Tru by Hilton Corpus Christi South Padre Island Dr

5. San Antonio, Texas

Ok, ok, San Antonio isn’t exactly a small town, but as one of my all-time favorite vacation spots, it just didn’t seem right to leave it off the list. Explore the Mission Trail via bike before settling in for some great margaritas and people watching along the River Walk, or head to the Pearl District to take in the city’s best fine dining.

Where to Stay: Hilton Palacio del Rio

Escape to Your Favorite Hilton Beach via Livestream

If you’re starting to plan for a late summer or fall vacation, why not give your favorite destinations a test-drive? Numerous Hilton properties offer livestreaming webcams so that you can “try on” your vacation before you press “book”.

The beach as seen from the Grand Wailea Webcam

1. Grand Wailea Maui – A Waldorf Astoria Resort

What tops the surf and the sand of Maui? Ummmm…basically nothing, ever. Take in the ocean waves and rainbow sunsets from this webcam overlooking the shores of Wailea before reserving your own time in Paradise.

2. Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Witness the emerald waters off the Florida coast or check out the numerous beachfront pools in Miramar Beach. This webcam also lets you look back at the last 24-hours so that you can plan out your favorite spots for any time of day. Plan your getaway today.

San Diego Beach
3. HOTEL DEL CORONADO,  CURIO COLLECTION BY HILTON

San Diego is all about the sunshine and surf scene, and the Hotel Del Coronado‘s location right along the famous Coronado Beach will have you in a California state of mind in no time.

A view of Diamond Head from the Beach at the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort on Waikiki Beach

4. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

As if one gorgeous view of Hawaii wasn’t enough, the Hilton Hawaiian Village takes webcam viewers to the island of Oahu for more screenshot-worthy sights. Their webcam lets the viewer control the camera; choose from one of seven great viewpoints before booking your next stay.

Sunrise over the ocean as seen from the Hilton Fort Lauderdale
5. Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

We jump from the Pacific Ocean to warm Gulf breezes at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale, where the pink and orange sunrise is sure to tempt you out of bed quite early.  Get your oceanfront room today.

 

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Houston

Summer in Houston is no joke, and when the humidity gets high enough to make you feel like you might explode, it’s best to seek solace from a nearby destination. Here are five of our favorite drivable getaways that are just a few short hours from Houston.

The boardwalk in Galveston
The boardwalk in Galveston
1. Galveston, Texas

It’s all about seaside fun in Galveston where you can unwind on the beach before exploring the boardwalk-like atmosphere of the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier. When you need a break from the sand, head to the Strand Historic District for shopping and dining that can’t be missed.

Where To Stay: Homewood Suites by Hilton Galveston

2. Lake Charles, Louisiana

Need a break from cooking? Let the locals take your taste buds on an experience in Lake Charles where fresh-caught local seafood dots the menus of restaurants like Steamboat Bill’s, the Chart House, and Mama Reta’s Kitchen.

Where To Stay: Tru by Hilton Lake Charles

3. College Station, Texas

The home of Texas A&M University has more than just football on offer, and the quieter summer period is a great time to visit. Explore the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library on the University’s grounds before swinging by student favorite The Dixie Chicken for mouthwatering burgers and a cold beer.

Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn College Station

4. Round Top, Texas

Antique hunters have long known that the sleepy town of Round Top is the place to be for some of the hottest deals and hardest-to-find collectibles in the state. Go on a treasure hunt in the stores along Henkel Square and Bybee Square before celebrating your discoveries with a slice of pie at Royer’s Round Top Café.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Brenham

5. Port Aransas, Texas

Pack up the sandcastle supplies and head for the white sand beaches of Port Aransas for the ultimate in a family beach vacay. This barrier island features access to just about every water sport you can imagine, as well as legendary fishing and bird watching.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Port Aransas

 

Five Best Small Town Getaways from Los Angeles

If the City of Angels has started feeling mighty crowded to you lately, we’ve got you covered! It’s time for a getaway, and luckily there are a number of great options just a short drive from LA proper. Here are our picks for some of the best small town getaways from Los Angeles.

The sunset through the palm trees in Santa Barbara
The sunset through the palm trees in Santa Barbara
1, La Quinta, California

Sure, everyone knows about Palm Springs but if you continue just a bit further into the desert, you’ll reach the slightly swankier suburb of La Quinta. There you’ll find one of the best spas in the country, not to mention five championship golf courses and more than 40 pools to relax away that city stress.

Where To Stay: La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

2. Santa Barbara, California

Ready to act out the movie Sideways? The blockbuster wine movie that made this sleepy coastal city a star is still pumping out some of the best very vinos in the country. Spend your days visiting tasting rooms at the Firestone Vineyard, Sanford Winery, and Fess Parker Winery. We won’t even tell if you order a merlot.

Where To Stay: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

3. San Bernardino, California

A mountain view can help anyone unwind, and that’s what you’ll get at the base of the San Bernardino National Forest. Explore the hundreds of area hiking trails, or continue up the mountain to visit Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, which transform from winter ski resorts to summer adventure parks filled with zip lines, mountain biking, and more.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Bernardino

4. San Juan Capistrano, California

Got a train buff in the family? Hop aboard the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner for a memorable ride to San Juan Capistrano. Once there, the family can explore the historic Spanish mission or indulge in unforgettable cuisine at the Ramos House Café.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach – Dana Point

5. Valencia, California

If you love to take it to the extreme, then look no further than Valencia. A short drive up the 5 and you’ll be equally close to two great attractions: the thrill rides and roller coasters of Six Flags Magic Mountain and the mountain biking, hiking, and bass fishing of the Lake Castaic Recreation Area.

Where to Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton Valencia

Five Best Small Town Getaways from Dallas-Fort Worth

It’s summertime in DFW, and with the kids finished with online school, there’s no time like the present to get exploring. Luckily, a world of adventure lies just a quick drive from the metroplex, with getaway styles for all types of travelers.

Nighttime view of Dallas
Nighttime skyline view of Dallas
1. Dallas OR Fort Worth, Texas

This one’s pretty simple — if you live in Dallas, try a weekend being a tourist in Fort Worth, by spending a whole day exploring the historic Stockyards and downtown core. If you live in Fort Worth, pop over for a stay in Downtown Dallas, chock full of great restaurants, museums, and shopping. And finish off either trip with a DFW classic steakhouse for dinner.

Where To Stay: The Statler Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton OR Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown

2. Glen Rose, Texas

Got a kid that’s obsessed with dinosaurs? Start your visit at the Dinosaur Valley State Park to explore actual dino tracks and fossils, before heading to Dinosaur World to play on hundreds of life-sized dino replicas and playgrounds. You can even swing by the drive-thru Fossil Rim Wildlife Center for views of some of the dinosaurs’ still living descendants.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites, Cleburne

3. Shreveport, Louisiana

If a culinary adventure is on your mind, then look no further than the Creole and Cajun wonderland of Shreveport. Stop by Orlandeaux’s Café for a hearty gumbo, sample the poboys at The Blind Tiger, and finish it off with some red beans and rice plus an order of beignets from Marilynn’s Place.

Where To Stay: Hilton Shreveport

4. Tyler, Texas

Would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? You can find out in the Tyler Rose Garden, home to the annual Texas Rose Festival. Continue the nature theme with a trip to the Tyler State Park for lakeside swimming, hiking, and biking.

Where To Stay: Hilton Garden Inn, Tyler

5. Hot Springs, Arkansas

Rest and relaxation is the name of the game in Hot Springs where the historic Bathhouse Row features a number of spas and baths that draw from the naturally heated springs originating in nearby Hot Springs National Park.

Where To Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton Hot Springs Hotel & Spa

Five Best Small-Town Getaways from Chicago

It seems like this spring was on fast-forward in Chicago, doesn’t it? If you’re suddenly staring down summer and realize you don’t have vacation plans worked out just yet, never fear: there are several great destinations just a car ride away from the Windy City. Here are our top picks for small town getaways that will have you embracing summer in no-time.

A pier over the lake in Madison.
A pier over the lake in Madison, Wisconsin.
1. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Athletic types will love the 26-mile (that’s a marathon!) Lake Geneva Shore Path that winds its way around the entire lake. And when you’re ready to dive in, you’ll have your pick of sandy beachfronts including the Big Foot Beach State Park, Riviera Beach, or Williams Bay Beach.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Elkhorn Lake Geneva

2. GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

Culture and art is the name of the game in Grand Rapids where you can start your exploration at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, followed by a jaunt through the extensive Grand Rapids Public Museum. For dessert, don’t forget a stop in the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Where To Stay: Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton

3. Madison, Wisconsin

If communing with nature is more your thing, set your sights on Madison where you can spend your days exploring the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Henry Villas Zoo, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. Continue your green journey with a stop at any of the city’s fantastic vegetarian restaurants.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Madison Downtown

4. Fox River Valley, Illinois

The Fox River Valley includes a number of picturesque small towns following the path of the mighty river. Spend your days exploring the Buffalo Rock State Park or sipping your way through the area wineries and craft breweries before ending your stay with a drive-in movie at the McHenry Outdoor Theater.

Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Yorkville

5. South Bend, Indiana

It’s no surprise that South Bend is synonymous with Notre Dame University, but a visit to this college town is just as memorable when the students are gone for the summer. Explore the deserted campus to take in the beautiful architecture and landscaping, then in the evenings explore the River Lights Plaza for an interactive light exhibit along the banks of the St. Joseph River.

Where To Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel South Bend