the modern black belle hits the road

10 Mini Vacation Ideas for you next Adult Trip

With all of life's challenges, you have to have balance, and you must practice self care.  Most wouldn’t necessarily consider a road trip or long weekend getaway self care, but catching up with friend -escaping the pulls of kids, work, spouses and letting your hair down- has been shown to lead to longer healthy lives.

Nashville, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, etc., have all been popular for many years and for good reason.  People seek out southern city vacations looking for weekend getaways that are relaxing and laid-back while still offering up many options to have fun. Here are a few places that are still pretty low on the radar, yet are equally as indulgent for your next adult getaway.

1. Jekyll Island, GA

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Jekyll Island has a legacy of entertaining its guests. There is something to do for any member of your large group. With their long stretches of pristine beaches (all of them different), golf courses, a rehab for endangered sea turtles, ect., Jekyll Island has been known to please everyone who’s ever crossed its barrier shores. 

Tip: If your goal is to relax, try a guided kayak excursion where you can watch the dolphins play, or bike ride through the Historic District.

2. Lafayette, LA

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Louisiana is home to beautiful swamps and wetlands, and Lafayette is a great change of pace from New Orleans, yet still allows you to enjoy all that Louisiana has to offer. And it's no secret that Cajuns love to party, so be rest assured that you will be well-fed and entertained. 

Tip: Lafayette's mild climate allows locals and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities without overheating so enjoy spending some time outside.

3. Chattanooga, TN

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Chattanooga offers an incredible combination of breathtaking scenic beauty with a riverfront that has an extended Riverwalk lined with attractions, parks, restaurants and riverboats.  There are so many adventures to enjoy like a thriving arts scene, shopping and many annual events that provide plenty of year-round fun.  With access to some of the nation’s top venues for rock climbing, road and mountain biking, hiking, white-water rafting, hang gliding and more, Chattanooga offers unique opportunities for even the most hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.

Downtown has an eclectic vibe where you can easily get around by way of their electric shuttle or try out the bike share program.  Don't forget to visit the Tennessee Aquarium, known as one of the best in the South.

Tip: The distance from downtown to atop Lookout Mountain – it’s only six miles, so make sure you experience both!

4. St. Petersburg, FL

This beautiful weekend destination on Florida's gulf coast offers a diverse choice of excellent museums, fascinating gardens, tours and restaurants.  St. Petersburg has been a low-key top destination for those wanting to get away from some of the heavier trafficked areas of Florida.  With options like the beach, golfing, boating, fishing, and points of interest like the Dali Museum and the Florida Orchestra, you can't go wrong spending a weekend getaway here.

Tip: St. Petersburg has so many charming boutiques, quaint second hand shops and god eats (and drinks), which makes it a must for your next girl's trip!

5. Seabrook & Kiawah Islands, SC

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Just 30 minutes south of Charleston, these two destinations, that pretty much butt right up next to each other, offer a much more desirable relaxing pace to Folly Beach.  Popular points of interest include Seabrook Island's Equestrian Center, Captain Jack's Kiawah Sailing and Dolphin Watching, Freshfields Village & Bohicket Marina and Market - both of which offer plenty of options to eat, drink and shop.

Tip: Seabrook Island is 100% residential offering private home and condo rentals while Kiawah Island has a few boutique inns and hotels and even some resorts.

6. Wilmington, NC

Sitting smack dab against many of North Carolina's beautiful beaches is the city of Wilmington.  This city not only offers a National Historic District, which includes churches, classic architecture, moss-draped live oaks, you can also enjoy live music, performing arts, and museum exhibitions.

Tip: Visit Airlie Gardens or stroll along the pedestrian-friendly Riverwalk, a main attraction. Then hop aboard a water taxi to the famous World War II Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, one of USA TODAY's Best North Carolina Attractions.

7. Charlottesville, VA

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In today's heightened climate, it's always hard plan a trip to a place that has had so much recent controversy.  However, if you're a local and looking for a quick getaway, Charlottesville may be perfect for you.  There are so many things to do in this historic city such as a scenic drive through Shenandoah National Park, a boozy tour at the vineyards at Monticello, or just embracing past at sites like nearby Ash Lawn-Highland.

Tip:  This destination is only an hour drive west of Richmond!  If you're looking for a more happening scene with a scenic day getaway, stay in Richmond and take a break in Charlottesville.

8. Bowling Green, KY

A city after my own heart, Bowling Green is "Geared for fun" as it’s home to the Corvette Museum and GE assembly plant, both the car and the dedicated work force!  There isn't a person alive who doesn't appreciate some aspect of the corvette, which is why it is deemed the Rolls Royce of the South.  Need to escape the daily hustle?  You can also head to Lost River Cave where you can ride by boat into an underground labyrinth.

Tip: Don't forget to check out the Beech Bend Amusement Park. With raceways, a water park, roller coasters and even campsites, there are plenty of attractions for all ages.  And let's face it, every adult's trip needs a "feel like a kid" moment (or two).

9. Bay St. Louis, MS

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Quaint yet thriving, this gulf coast town is a must see. With its white-sand beaches, golfing, and river tours of the bayou, you won't want to miss out on visiting Bay St. Louis.  And this city is not short on fun when it comes to a great adult weekend!  Options like spa salons, lively casinos and countless authentic restaurants will keep you entertained all weekend long, and have you coming back for more!

Tip: Stop by the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum or take part in the Art Walk-offered every 2nd Saturday- for a more cultured experience.

10. The Bourbon Triangle, KY

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We can't make a list of fun adult trips without mentioning Lexington, Bardstown & Louisville, Kentucky!  Visit popular bourbon distilleries responsible for Jim Beam, Bulleit, Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve (just to name a few) while enjoying some traditional bluegrass music and Southern cuisines. 

Tip: For my outdoorsy travelers, there are many equestrian trails, hiking and biking trails, campsites, and golfing!  Check out https://kybourbontrail.com/ to start planning your getaway today!

Rudy JohnsonComment