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Old 07-07-2008, 08:23 PM   #1
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hOPEN for ideas....

Once again I turn to the forum for my vacation planning. You all have helped me to plan some really great vacations and helped us find places we would have never found on our own. I thank all in advance who take the time to read this.

We will be vacationing with friends. Our group consists of 4 adults and 6 children under age 8.

Departure: mid-August for 10 days. Our budget is next to nothing but we're not letting that stop us. We live in Chicago southside and would like to stay within 200 miles from home to keep fuel consumption under control. I know that's not much to work with, but I'm confident you guys will help us come up with something grand. We're pretty simple - not looking for a whole lot of bells and whistles - hoping for ideas/suggestions of where to travel: a lake, a cave, great hiking, a festival, a unique campground - something unusual to make our destination. Any ideas?

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Old 07-07-2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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Sault Ste. Marie Ontario is a nice trip - Mackinac bridge, the Valley Camp ore boat/museum, float plane museum, boat tour of the locks area, Agawa canyon train ride and a CASINO! There's a pretty nice KOA there.

Wisconsin Dells is not too far from you, but it is a little touristy and from what I've heard, they had a bit of bad luck with the weather a few weeks back. Nice KOA there too.

Have a GREAT vacation!

Steve & Susan
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2005 28' CCD, 2011 Sierra 5.3L, Equal-I-Zer
Empty Nesters - spending our money on OURSELVES for a change!
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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I realize it is a little more than 200 miles (more like 400) but South Central KY is a wonderful place to vacation and live!!! Mammoth Cave National Park, The National Corvette Museum and Factory, Beech Bend Park, Barren River Lake State Park, The KY Bourbon Trail..... If you are interested let me know....

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Old 07-07-2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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200 Mile Vacation Idea

Greetings HotLava!

My suggestion would be to make Giant City State Park in Makanda your homebase -- it would be just a bit more than 200 miles (closer to 300), but Giant City State Park is a wonderful facility. Some nearby attractions includ:
  • Lamberts Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri -- 60 miles South -- home of Throwed Rolls and excellent Southern home cooking.
  • Jonesboro City Park, Jonesboro, IL -- 25 miles South -- home of one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates -- The park has undergone some serious refurbishment in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the debate.
  • Bald Knob Cross of Peace, Alto Pass, IL -- 25 miles West -- a local landmark with a long history dating back to the later years of the Great Depression.
  • Metropolis, Illinois -- Superman's Hometown -- 45 miles Southeast -- This small community celebrates Superman year-round with many sites of interest.
  • Chester, Illinois -- Popeye's Hometown -- 55 miles Northwest -- This small community celebrates Popeye year-round with many sites of interst.
  • Cairo, Illinois -- Magnolia Manor -- a victorian mansion operated as a local museum -- Customs House Museum -- the only customs house not located at a seaport, this imposing building is operated as a museum.
  • Golconda, Illinois -- Shawnee Queen River Taxi Service -- 40 miles East -- Offers tours along the Ohio River throughout the Summer.
  • Great River Road -- Wolf Lake, IL to Cairo, IL -- 40 miles West -- a tour of some of Southern Illinois' more historic River towns.
  • Ohio River Scenic Byway -- 70 mile East -- Wabash Memorial Bridge in Gallatin County, IL to Fort Defiance in Cairo, IL (total travel distance 188 miles) -- tours many towns of historic interest along the Ohio River.
  • The Tunnell Hill State Trail -- Harrisburg, IL to Karnak, IL -- 40 miles East -- this is a scenic 45-mile bicycle trail through picturesque Southernmost Illinois -- much of the trail is improved and paved.
  • Southernmost Illinois Wine Trail -- Alto Pass, IL to Cobden, IL, to Vienna, IL -- 40 miles West -- allows the tourist to experience some of Southern Illinois' homegrown wines many of which have won awards.
  • Horseback Tours of Southernmost Illinois -- the following stables offer guided tours -- some within Giant City State Park and others within the Shawnee National Forest:
  • Fort Massac State Park -- Metropolis, Illinois -- 45 miles Southeast -- a state park that offers active children a number of activities.
  • King Neptune Memorial, Mount Pleasant, Illinois -- 35 miles Southeast -- a memorial garden for the pig that was repeatedly sold by auction during World War II to raise 19 million dollars in war bonds.
There are numerous hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding trails within a 30-mile drive of Giant City State Park as well as within the park itself. Giant City State Park also has one of the finest restaurants in Southern Illinois.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
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