I’m surprised at the amount of folks that travel the world and never enjoy the beauties of the area around where they live. The economy has people tightening their wallet and looking for other options to relax. They aren’t eager to pay for airplane, hotel, and gas expenses. A term is beginning to be popular, “Staycation” is a new industry term that means that families are staying closer to home, within a 3 hour radius, for vacations. There is no need to buy airplane tickets or rent hotels, thus lowering the cost.
Melissa Woody, Vice President at Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce provided a wonderful list of places to enjoy “Staycations” in and around the Chattanooga greater area.
Red Clay State Park- A place where history is told. If your children haven’t heard of the Cherokee Indian’s Trail of Tears, then a visit to the Red Clay State Park, the last eastern counceil ground, will allow them to experience the history of the Cherokee Indians. If we don’t remember history, it may be destined to be repeated. Hear stories told by professional rangers about the tragedy that occurred. While there, enjoy over 100 places to grill or enjoy a picnic lunch.
Ocoee River- The beauty of this river as it winds through the mountains and pine trees is magnificent. Stop by the dam for pictures or enjoy kayaking and hiking along trails that snake around it. It’s an amazing sight to see tubers and boaters float past as they enjoy a lazy day on the river. The claim to fame for the Ocoee river is the 1996 Olympics Canoe and Kayak Competition.
Farmer’s Market- Every Thursday afternoon from 4:00-7:00pm enjoy the Farmer’s Market. Enjoy local produce at a modest price. Learn how to can, freeze, or dry fruits and vegetables to help your grocery bill this winter. Consider buying in bulk with a friend and working together to preserve food. It’s always more fun when there are many hands.
Mayfield Dairy- City kids seem to not understand where milk comes from. Well, that’s just the experience of one country girl meeting city kids. So, why not take a tour of the Mayfield Dairy. Experience milking a life sized Jersey cow. Consider taking a few dollars to cool off with some ice cream. What a treat!
Morris Vineyard and Winery- Pick blackberries and blueberries right now for $2 a pound. Enjoy summer treats like freezer jam, shakes, fresh berries and cream, or pie. Enjoy it just that much more because you picked it and made it yourself. Coupons for 10% off entire purchase can be found in the newspaper.
Livingsocial- A new Website, similar to Groupon, that provides discounts to local attractions such as a ride on a Double-decker bus in Chattanooga or museum tickets at a discount. Sign up to receive daily email discounts and start planning your day trip.
Chilhowee Campground- In Polk county, just off of 64 highway and the ranger station, after winding your way to the top of the mountain, is a lake for swimming. Parking is $3 for the best fun in the sun. Enjoy the public restrooms complete with flushing toilets and showers. You can enjoy picnic areas with grills or just swim in the lake. Consider taking the hike up to the water falls behind the beach front. The drive up and down is magnificent with views overlooking Georgia, North Carolina, and Polk County. Be sure to bring a camera to catch the sights.
Hiwassee river- Melissa mentioned that tubes can be rented for under $20 from Hiwassee Outfitters and Web Brothers Store.
Hunter Museum of American Art- The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Summer camps are available for kids to appreciate art and let their creative juices flow. Teach your children to appreciate American art by visiting the museum this summer. There are other museums in the area, but the ticket price would be over $25 for one adult and 2 kids. Let me know if you have found a way to obtain entrance to a local museum for a discount.
Local parks- It’s amazing how seldom local parks are used. Discover your local park and enjoy mind spinning merry-go-rounds, slides, and tunnels. Bring a picnic lunch to complete the adventure away from home.
For up to date activities contact Melissa Woody, 800-472-6588 [email protected]
Let me know what other activities you’ve found for under $25. Let us know how you were creative with your money to make it stretch a little more this summer. Share the knowledge, so that the rest of us can enjoy as well. Leave comments below.
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