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Summer Vacations With A Twist
Summertime means vacation time. Mix up your summer with a last-minute getaway with an added twist: local favorites and hidden gems beyond the popular attractions. It’s a way to dive into the local color of a destination — and check off your bucket list in the process.
Stroll a Botanical Garden In Orlando
Enjoy sunshine, tropical weather, and, of course, theme parks galore in Orlando. To get a real sense of the city’s culture, go beyond the tourist corridors and explore the downtown area.
The Twist: Once a private estate, Harry P. Leu Gardens showcases a couple’s obsession with collecting exotic plants on their travels. Explore the lakefront 50-acre botanical and butterfly oasis with the whole family.
Stroll down The Strip, test your luck, and dine like royalty before the neon lights of Las Vegas hum you to sleep.
The Twist: Neon lights need some sleep, too. Enter the Neon Boneyard — the final resting place for more than 200 flashy Las Vegas signs, including Aladdin’s lamp. Take a tour after dark to see some of the signs lit up. Then stroll the rest of the Neon Museum.
You’ll cross off a bunch of historic bucket-list museums and memorials, but off the beaten path lies untouched nature in the United States’ capital.
The Twist:Rock Creek Park is a beautiful national park just north of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Drive the scenic roads, then park and hike the trails in this urban oasis. Try the popular Boulder Bridge Hike to cross two picturesque bridges and walk along the creek.
Sunny San Diego beaches are all the rage — but hidden sea caves take the spotlight for this vacation twist.
The Twist: The Cave Store sells paintings, snorkel gear, and more. But behind the store is an entrance that leads to the colorful, historic Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave.Walk deeper into the cave to witness one of the mostincredible ocean views in California, hands-down.
Once you’ve had your fill of wineries in Sonoma County, you might be in the mood for something a little nutty.
The Twist: Snoopy wants in on your vacation. The Charles M. Schulz Museum pays homage to the late artist’s most famous creation: Peanuts. It houses nearly 7,000 original cartoons, making it the largest collection in the world.