What makes for an exceptional empty nest getaway?
We think a
combination of interesting –maybe even bucket list worthy– attractions with
an ease of getting around. It is so nice not to spend too much time in taxis,
or worse yet, driving around searching for a parking spot.
Here are eight less-crowded, easy to walk around
destinations that we have loved discovering:
Florida. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine holds the title of oldest city in
The United States. The historic old town has been closed to vehicle traffic, so
it is a pleasant stroll along cobblestoned streets to the old Spanish Fort on
the water. Ponce de León may not have found The Fountain of Youth there, but
that shouldn't keep us from continuing the search.
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Spanish explorers established Santa Fe in
1607, making it America's second oldest city. Filled with iconic adobe
architecture, the Plaza is the center of activity, surrounded by phenomenal
galleries, restaurants, and churches. One of which, the San Miguel Mission
circa 1610, is the oldest standing church in the U.S.
Plenty of parking nearby makes for an easy walk through the old town, Salzburg
is heralded as one of the best-preserved city centers in Europe. Once inside
the walls the baroque architecture and ornate signs are mesmerizing, and The
Sound of Music is all around… in more ways than one. Be sure to ride the
cable car up to Hohensalzburg Castle for the best possible view overlooking
National Parks. Maybe it's time to revisit some of our
national treasures without the kids in tow. And we aren't talking about
sleeping on the ground in a pup tent this time. A number of bucket list parks
like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and The Grand Canyon have incredible historic
hotels set right in the heart of their breathtaking scenery. Here's a hint, go
after school has reopened in the fall, they're far less crowded and the weather
can be gorgeous.
Mexico. An hour south of the border
and a million mental miles away. No
wonder this quaint fishing village has become so popular with snow birds. Relax
on the shores of the Sea of Cortez for a fraction of the cost of most Mexican
Georgia's original capital has a wonderfully restored historic waterfront and
numerous colonial mansions in the Savannah Historic District. The city was
built around a series of tree lined squares, including Chippewa Square where
Forrest Gump famously waited for a bus. If a hankering for some of that Gump
shrimp hits, make sure to get it with grits, a Lowcountry classic.
Republic . This former capital of the Holy Roman Empire is one of the
world's great cities, yet the old center is small enough to easily navigate on
foot. Rounding every corner is like stepping into a new page of a classic story
book. We almost expected a damsel in distress or a knight in shining armor at
every turn. To ensure a return visit (and you’ll want one), rub the statue of
St. John on the Charles Bridge.
Newfoundland. We thought we might just spend a few days in
Newfoundland. Good thing we asked around before we went, because everyone who
had been there said it takes at least two weeks to even scratch the surface.
Luckily we are empty nesters and had the time truly explore the natural beauty
and fantastic people of the island. Don't forget to ask a local about getting
"Screeched In" to become an honorary Newfoundlander.
Photo credits: GypsyNester