Ever feel like changing up the usual holiday routine and hitting the road for an adventure? Whether you decide to stay close to home or take a drive up Scenic Highway 61, these five vacation spots will leave you happy while being easy on your wallet. Don’t forget to pack the presents.
Minnesota DNR Camper Cabins
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
Take a break from the grind and experience the great outdoors in a Minnesota State Park camper cabin. Many are available year round and offer all of the joys of cabin ownership without the upkeep. Camper Cabins are both fun and affordable and with the great number available, there’s sure to be one for all tastes. A perennial favorite near the Twin Cities is Jay Cooke State Park.
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Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts
Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior
7192 W. Highway 61
Tofte, MN 55615
Take a slow drive up a long shore and spend the day meandering the beautiful coast of Lake Superior on Scenic Highway 61. Stop often and enjoy the views, hiking and quaint shops that make Minnesota’s North Coast something to behold. The fun doesn’t stop with the road trip. Stay at Bluefin Bay, a scenic luxury resort that offers affordable rooms with an unbeatable view. Bluefin Bay offers year-round discounts/deals for longer stays. All summer and fall long, enjoy 20 percent off for seven-day stays, 15-percent off for six days and 10-percent off for five days. During the spring and fall, Bluefin offers three nights for the price of two and a range range of affordable guest rooms. The most economical are the Hillside guest rooms where rates during offseason start at $75 per night and $85 on weekends and the Lakeside guest rooms (two-bedroom guest room lakeside) for $115 quiet time midweek and $155 weekend rate per night. As if this isn’t a superb deal, Bluefin Bay offers a vast network of trail systems, outdoor excursions and equipment all free for guests.
Visit Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth City Hall
411 W. 1st St.
Duluth, MN 55802
Take a day trip and spend the day on Park Point or exploring the beautiful Lake Superior Zoo. With an abundance of inexpensive lodging, restaurants and hip nightlife, Duluth makes a great inexpensive vacation getaway. This holiday vacation has plenty of adventure for the outdoors enthusiast with year-round hiking, biking and an array of winter sports. If you visit for Independence Day, you’ll be treated to one of the area’s most spectacular fireworks shows launched over Lake Superior.
Overnight At The Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd.
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Take the family to an overnight trip at the Minnesota Zoo. An evening snack and breakfast will be provided. A membership family of three could go out for dinner and attend a night at the zoo for about $200 and save time and gas money by staying near the metro. Not from the metro? This still makes a great adventure and a unique experience that would be not only affordable, but hard – if not impossible – to duplicate. The cost is $47 per person for Zoo members and $55 per person for non-members.
Phipps Inn Bed and Breakfast
1005 3rd St.
Hudson, WI 54016
Take a drive though the scenic St.Croix River Valley and soak in the natural beauty along windy roads, river bluffs and rolling hills. When you’ve had enough of the open road, pull over in Hudson, Wisconsin and stay at the lovely Queen Ann Victorian mansion. Unwind with the three Rs: romance, relaxation and refreshment. All of the rooms have fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, bathrobes and comfortable beds. With both luxurious suites and intimate rooms, there is a price point and luxury for all budgets.
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David DeCoded is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.