Affordable Weekend Escapes for Spring

Steamtown National Historic Site, ScrantonSteamtown National Historic Site, Scranton
Courtesy Steamtown National Historic Site

If you’ve been looking forward to warm and sunny weekends in April and May, then you know it’s road trip season. Here, we share some unique weekend getaways you probably haven’t taken yet.

EXPLORE HISTORY IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA

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An easy escape from the New York and Philadelphia metro areas, Lackawanna County, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, combines the natural beauty of lakes and mountains with unique museums celebrating American history: Kids of all ages will love Steamtown National Historic Site (above), where you can see steam-powered trains going back to the 19th century and even take a guided train tour; the Anthracite Heritage Museum traces the history of coal mining in the area - my kids discovered that it’s way more fun than that might sound, with “living history” exhibits you can walk right into. Coney Island Lunch in downtown Scranton is a friendly old-timey lunch counter with superb comfort food. We loved our stay at the friendly and affordable Holiday Inn Express in Dickson City, PA. Learn more about Lackawanna County at visitnepa.org.

HAVE A MUSICAL WEEKEND ON THE MISSISSIPPI BLUES TRAIL

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The Mississippi Blues Trail attracts visitors from all over the world, but it’s especially accessible for road trippers in the Deep South. Stops along the trail include historic Clarksdale, the BB King Museum, the Mississippi Grammy Museum, and restored juke joints, such as Club Ebony (above), where blues music is still king. Musical Mississippi also boasts the grave of the great bluesman Robert Johnson and the birthplace of Elvis Presley, in Tupelo. Learn more about Mississippi at visitmississippi.org.

GET WILD ON THE VENTURA COUNTY COAST, CALIFORNIA

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When Los Angelenos need a break from their big, beautiful city, they head just a few miles up the coast to the Ventura County Coast. The star here is Channel Islands National Park (above) for ferry tours and kayaking the gentle inlets - plus bragging rights when you get back home! The whole Ventura County coastal region is buzzing with up-and-coming wineries, innovative restaurants, beautiful missions, and of course miles of sunny California beaches. Learn more about the Ventura County Coast at venturacountycoast.com.

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