Everyone likes a summer weekend getaway, even baby boomers. While we might not have work stress that accumulates during the week, a change of pace is always fun—and travel is good for us.
Cummins originally sponsored this look at summer weekend getaways.
Getting away for the weekend can be tricky. It’s not as easy to avoid the crowds, and, depending on your home base, that weekend diversion could turn into a week-long vacation considering the driving time to and from your chosen destination. But that’s okay because we’re on boomer time!
Before leaving on your getaway, be sure to use the preparing your home for vacation tips that I wrote for Cummins. Things can go wrong at home, even during the shortest getaways. Who wants to return to spoiled food in the refrigerator because you lost power during your getaway?
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Best Summer Weekend Trips for Boomer Travelers
Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, what type of summer weekend getaways do I recommend for boomers? Interest-based trips add a unique dimension to travel. Here are six getaways for you to consider.
Discover beaches and covered bridges on the central Oregon coast
Are you an explorer? This coastal getaway makes one of the BEST summer weekend trips.
From Lincoln City to Yachats, the central Oregon coast showcases a dramatic coastline populated by rocky bluffs and secluded beaches. To avoid congested Highway 101, I recommend exploring during the early morning then hanging out on a beach near your accommodations or RV park for the rest of the day.
Look for colorful starfish while beachcombing during low tide at Seal Rock State Recreation Site or watch for whales from the seawall in Depoe Bay. Hiking the headland trails in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, a few miles south of Yachats, is another active option.
Turn inland to avoid the beach crowds. Drive the Alsea Highway out of Waldport into the coastal mountain range for a covered bridge tour. Hayden Covered Bridge is located close to the highway, while Fisher School Bridge requires a scenic diversion.
Both lodging and camping options are numerous. However it’s best to reserve ahead, especially on a busy summer weekend. For the best value, I recommend a Central Coast vacation rental.
Combine history with wine on a trip to Winston-Salem, NC
Are you a traveler who enjoys early American history with a sip of wine? You’ll discover both in Winston-Salem, NC.
Walk the streets of Old Salem, one of the most well documented Colonial sites in America. The look at Moravian culture includes Miksch Gardens where Moravian gardening practices are on display or watch live demonstrations by craftsmen at the Singles’ Brothers House.
When it’s time for wine tasting, drive into the Yadkin Valley in the Blue Ridge foothills. Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery offers a pretty setting on a hill for tasting Chianti in the Carolinas. Attending a Raffaldini wine blending class is lots of fun!
If you’re driving an RV to this getaway, stay at one of the RV parks in Yadkin Valley for the best of both worlds—wine and proximity to the history of Winston-Salem. Or choose from a number of historical lodging choices in Winston-Salem.
Explore a ghost town at Montana’s Bannack State Park
Looking for a state park weekend filled with ghosts and gold? Bannack State Park is the place to be.
Buy a brochure at the visitor’s center for a self-guided tour of the gold mining town or join a group tour that takes you into restricted areas. Be sure to check what’s on tap for the Saturday Entertainment and Education series.
If you’re looking to relax your weary bones, drive into the Big Hole Valley for a soak in Jackson Hot Springs. Would you rather explore a scenic road? The wild West landscape of the Big Sheep Backcountry Byway is nearby.
The closest lodging is thirty minutes away in Dillon. Jackson Hot Springs Lodge is another possibility. However, if you are traveling by RV, Bannack State Park has a campground (check ahead for reservations).
Rest and relaxation at Hot Springs, AR
Would you like to relax with a hot soak? You can do that in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
I can’t think of a more relaxing way to spend a weekend than soaking in one of the baths and spas lined up along Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Arkansas. But there’s more to this weekend than hot baths.
Hot Springs National Park includes 26 miles of hiking trails and two scenic drives or you could play golf on two world-class courses. On Lake Hamilton, board a National Park Duck Tour or ride the Belle of Hot Springs riverboat.
The city has one festival after another during the summer. The Blues & Jazz Festival in late August sounds fun.
Stay in a charming bed and breakfast in Hot Springs or look for an RV spot at Lake Hamilton.
Find outdoor adventure in Ouray, CO
Are you an adventure traveler? You’ll definitely want to add Ouray to your weekend to-do list.
The former mining town of Ouray, Colorado, sits in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. A short drive in any direction leads to trails that travel high into the San Juans, often leading to ghost towns and abandoned mining camps. Yankee Boy Basin and the Alpine Loop are two of our favorites.
The trails are best explored by four-wheel-drive, ATV or mountain bike. Don’t want to drive yourself? Several outfitters are available to take you exploring.
But don’t ignore the city. With two-thirds of the city’s original Victorian structures in use as galleries, shops and homes, an Ouray walking tour is well worth your time.
You’ll find plenty of places to stay in town, many within walking distance of Main Street. Several RV parks are also close by.
Gaze at the dark sky at Natural Bridges National Monument, UT
Astronomy buffs should head to southern Utah for an off-the-beaten-path weekend with the stars.
View the Milky Way rise over Owachomo Bridge, one of three natural bridges in the park. Return in the daylight to hike beneath Owachomo. Of course you’ll also want to explore Sipapu Bridge and Kachina Bridge.
RV’ers have the advantage in Natural Bridges National Monument as there is no lodging in the park except for a campground. You’ll find accommodations an hour away in Blanding or Bluff, UT (our favorite).
Have my travel suggestions inspired your summer weekend fun? It’s okay with me if you turn it into a week-long vacation. Enjoy!