Forget those annual trips to Panama City Beach, Destin and Savannah in 2016. It’s the perfect time think out of the box a little and go somewhere your neighbors and friends aren’t heading in 2016.
We live in a big country, and even though our state of Georgia is within a day’s driving distance from some great attractions, beaches and parks, maybe it’s time to see something and someplace a little different. Airline fares are super competitive to most parts of the country, and now is the perfect time to plan that spring, summer or fall escape to one of these great spots.
In a year where we are electing a new President, it’s only appropriate that one should head to The Omni Homestead Resort in Historic Hot Springs, VA. In fact, 22 U.S. President have stayed at The Homestead. The likes of Dwight Eisenhower, James McKinley, William Taft, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have roamed the halls of the property and the Kennedy’s, including JFK, used to holiday at The Homestead. A rich history is awaiting Georgians who make the easy drive up east to Hot Springs as are championship golf courses and a luxurious spa.
Come and visit The Homestead’s 2,300 acres and 483 guest rooms, numerous dining outlets and more than 30 recreational activities.
The Omni Homestead Resort & Spa is located at 7696 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, VA 24445. Visit on the web at OmniHotels.com or TheHomestead.com.
Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, MO
Big Cedar Lodge is a luxurious, but rustic resort in the Ozark Mountains. Founded by Johnny Morris, who also happens to be founder of Bass Pro Shops, this is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts. From bass fishing to horseback riding to golf and a world class spa, Big Cedar Lodge offers accommodations and activities for anyone.
Big Cedar Lodge has really upped the ante when it comes to golf. With two great courses and more on the way, golfers have some great options as guests at Big Cedar Lodge.
The Jack Nicklaus-designed Top of the Rock is the only par-3 course included in an official PGA professional tour event. Player, who is widely regarded as the most-traveled global golfer ever, calls Top of the Rock the world’s best par-3 course. Buffalo Ridge Springs was designed by Tom Fazio and earned distinction in Golfweek’s 2016 “America’s Best Courses You Can Play” by state listing, determined by a panel of experts who canvass courses throughout the U.S.
The capital city of Texas is a can’t miss for a fun weekend or a relaxing getaway. Everyone who visits Austin leaves with a different tale to tell and with something great to say. From live music to BBQ and experiencing Austin’s “weird” and unique culture. There are any number of things that you just have to experience to truly understand. Learn about Austin’s and Texas’ rich history by taking a tour of the Texas State Capitol. Walk the streets of Downtown Austin and work up an appetite to try Franklin or Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ.
For accommodations, two Hyatt properties give totally different experiences to visitor. The Driskill is a 130-year old hotel located in downtown Austin, the iconic and historic hotel is convenient to the best of Austin – including the Capitol, the Austin Convention Center, Lady Bird Lake, The Long Center for the Arts, Austin City Limits at the Moody Theater, opera, symphony, casual and fine dining, shopping, and Austin’s world famous 6th Street music scene.
The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is located just minutes from Austin’s airport, but it puts you miles away from the demands of society and allows for golf, pool time and relaxation. Lost Pines Resort offers large comfortable rooms, luxurious amenities, and on-site recreation and entertainment adjacent to McKinney Roughs Nature Park, an 1,100 acre wilderness area. Experience horseback riding and kayaking in the Texas Wilderness, archery or trap shooting and one of the toughest resort-style golf courses in the country, Wolfdancer Golf Club.
Georgians may be more familiar with Dallas and Houston when it comes to Texas, but Austin never disappoints.
It’s hard to beat Milwaukee in the summer. With festivals happening every weekend, Milwaukee Brewers baseball, Lake Michigan and food/brewery tours, Milwaukee boasts many of the same traits is it’s neighbor to the south, Chicago, without all the traffic and people pushing and shoving. Milwaukee residents are proud of their city and if you ask someone for help, they will point you in the right direction.
Make sure you visit the Harley Davidson Museum and learn about American-made Harley Davidson motorcycles and their rich history in Milwaukee. Other great points of interest are the Milwaukee Art Museum, Lakefront Brewery and the Milwaukee Public Market. Cheese and sausage lovers will want to visit Usinger’s. No trip to Milwaukee is complete without trying frozen custard from either Leon’s or Kopp’s.
While it does get hot in Wisconsin, Georgians will appreciate a break from the oppressive heat in the South while along Lake Michigan. A stroll down the Milwaukee RiverWalk is the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening. Stay at the new and modern Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, where the action never stops.
The Island of Lanai, HI
Visits to Honolulu and the island of Maui are great, but if you want to visit the Hawaii most people don’t get a chance to see, hop on over to Lanai.
You won’t find a single traffic light on Lanai, but what you will find are welcoming people and one of the best resorts in the world. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is your base to explore the sights and sounds of the 90,000 acre island. Experience modern luxury at its most sophisticated, discover diverse dining and drink options while your explore an astonishing range of landscapes with activities to match. That would include a new pool, a beautiful beach, golf, tennis and cultural activities.
Lanai is Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island, but there are endless things to do. Take 4-wheel drive Jeep off the main roads and explore. Vehicles are available for daily rental at the Dollar Rent A Car on the island. Don’t miss Garden of the Gods or Shipwreck Beach. Come into Lanai City to shop or try the restaurants.
The Island of Lanai is just nine miles from Maui yet a world away, Lanai can be the luxury of the renovated Four Seasons Lanai or the Hawaii of the past at various stops around the island. Lanai is also a hiking paradise with grasslands, rain forests and remote beaches. This all makes Lanai, quite possibly the most beautiful spot on earth. To sum up, visit Lanai.
I would have to think most Georgia residents have never visited or thought of visiting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Well, it’s time. As the snow melts, the rivers come to life for incredible kayaking and canoeing. This is also the premier season for seeing waterfalls. With more than 150 named falls (and many still unnamed), visitors to the UP are never far from hearing them thunder and seeing them explode. Escape the Georgia heat- think perfect summer weather and a cool evening.
Michigan’s UP presents attractions unmatched anywhere in the world. Explore the depths of a mine, a shipwreck, climb to the top of a historic lighthouse, explore a colonial fort and see the Pictured Rocks in Alger County at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Visit modern, but the quaint cities of Escanaba, Marquette and Iron Mountain.
Casinos offer another good excuse to visit the UP and they provide the best gaming north of Reno. The Island Resort and Casino in Harris boasts 300 beautiful guest rooms, a convention center, a world-class showroom and seven restaurants. In the spring, summer and fall, the onsite Sweetgrass Golf Club will test your skills and is rated as one of the “Best Courses You Can Play in Michigan.” For history buffs, it’s hard to beat The Landmark Inn in Marquette.
From Atlanta, it easy to get to Marquette, Escanaba and Iron Mountain on Delta.