With the stock market in free-fall and budgets growing tighter around the country, many people are trading in their exotic vacation plans for leisure activities a little closer to home.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a "staycation" is a vacation that is spent at one's home enjoying all that home and one's home environs have to offer.
Every town has something special to offer, something that sets it apart from its neighbors. Historical sites, museums, parks, restaurants, art galleries, and breweries all help to tell a community's story, but they're often are taken for granted by the people that live right next door. And it's time to stop letting tourists have all the fun!
Planning an adventure that's close to home not only saves money on lodging and fuel costs, it also gives you a chance to reconnect with the people and businesses that make your community great. Why settle for the stress of airport security or monotony of a long road trip when you can skip right to having fun and relaxing with the special people in your life?
This post is the first in a new series in which Shareable writers will share the best staycation experiences available in their hometowns. Be sure to watch for each new post to appear in the weeks ahead, and share your own ideas for planning an unforgettable staycation!
Biking and Whitewater Rafting in Fort Collins, Colorado
Colorado is blessed with some of the most beautiful and diverse geography in the country. While it may seem like an average bustling college town by day, Fort Collins is actually within just a few miles of some of the best outdoor adventure opportunities in the world.
The Cache la Poudre River, one of the only waterways in the country to be designated a national heritgate area, runs down from the Rocky Mountains and right through the middle of Fort Collins.
If you're just planning a day or weekend staycation adventure, it's fun to find some inner tubes (available at the local tire shop or thrift store), ride your bike to the north side of town, and drop in the water for a leisurely ride through town. On the hottest days of the summer, there's nothing better than the icy cold river water to cool you down, and it doesn't cost a thing.
Image Credit: Flickr - charkesw
When more time is available, it's fun to take the Poudre River bike trail (above) northward out of town. Park your bikes at one of the several rafting companies that call the Poudre home, and then hop on a bus to go even further up the river, through the beautiful trees and rocks of the Poudre Canyon. Once you're on the river with your trusty rafting guide, rapids like Pinball, Roller Coaster, Red House Chute and Headless Bridge keep the excitement level high, while, surfing the raft, swimming a small rapid, water fighting and learning some local history all add up to a wonderful trip!
Image Credit: awanderlustadventure.com
Once you're done being a river rat, everyone's stomach is always growling, so before heading back up the Poudre Trail to Fort Collins, we often grab a slice or two at the legendary Laporte Pizza.
After that, it's only right to grab a delicious local brew from the Bar Double S located just on the other side of Laporte's only stoplight. Home of the 1st Annual Northern Colorado Bluegrass Music Festival, this little honky-tonk hosts some of the finest bluegrass, roots, country and americana musicians from Colorado and around the globe. With a giant patio, ourdoor firepit, horseshoes and ring toss games, we make a new friend every time we visit.
What adventures are waiting in your hometown? Share your staycation ideas in a comment!