From Santa Barbara, California to Williamsburg, Virginia, Better discusses a few options for vacations in small towns across the United States.
Host: You’re thinking about heading out of town, why not try small town America. Gabe Saglie is with travelzoo and he talked to me earlier about some great places for you to check out. You’re really the online guy to the world’s best travel resources right? Gabe: And sometimes the best travel values are in these small towns. Small town USA, it’s nostalgic and the idea here is really to target the big city folks and not a huge commitment in time, we’re talking one, two, three hour drive. Also the idea of driving versus flying for family of four could be more affordable and then getting to a small town really is a literal getaway from the rigmarole of being in the big city. Host: People are finding out, you don’t necessarily have to fly to another country for example to have a vacation, you just got to get away. We’re going to hit up a few cities here. Some towns that you guys picked out. The first one is Sta. Barbara, California. This is one of the five great small towns that you guys highlighted. Gabe: It is a beautiful town. They are known as the American Riviera. Topographically, it’s beautiful, it’s where the mountains meet the sea there, you’re about 90 miles north of L.A. so it’s accessible from southern California, about a five hour drive south from San Francisco. Great cuisine, in fact, October this month is the first ever Epicure SB, where they will be doing wine festivals, beer festivals, great culinary events. So a great culinary Mecca, great beaches as well. Whale watching year-round. Very kid friendly. Host: But it is tough usually to find an inexpensive hotel in Sta. Barbara but you guys spotted one, a great hotel. Gabe: This is the Montecito Inn, actually historic, built by Charlie Chaplin back in 1928 as a getaway from his L.A. celebrity types. We could stay there as celebrity types for as little as $139 a night, free breakfast, free valet parking and you could take their beach cruisers down to Butterfly beach and watch celebrities toss the ball to the dog. Host: The next city is in Michigan and I want to make sure I pronounce this correctly, is it Mackinac islands? Gabe: It is Mackinac Island about 500 population. It is a very small town but they can get up to 15,000 tourists daily during peak season. Great getaway for people in Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay, Toledo. Northern Michigan then you take a ferry and then no cars allowed on Mackinac Island. Host: I like that. Gabe: So you’re getting around by bike, horse-drawn carriage. Great fudge shops there, people sometimes go there just for the fudge and very pet friendly as well. So for people who want to do their regional getaway and they don’t want to leave their furry friend at home, they can bring them to Mackinac Island, there’s some great beach front resorts here as well. Host: Next, we’re going to go to the fourth most popular vacation destination in the US which I didn’t know is Williamsburg, Virginia. Gabe: Williamsburg, very accessible from anywhere on the east coast and three words, history, history, history. This is where the revolutionary war in that area is still alive. You will see Ben Franklin walking down the street. So it’s great for the kids, great educational component to being in Williamsburg. If you’re tired of history of awhile, you’ve got Bush Gardens and Waterpark USA right down the street as well. So very family friendly getaway. There’s a place there called the Patrick Henry Square, great sundry located in one block from colonial Williamsburg. They’ve got a $199 two night package that includes a pair of adult tickets to Bush Gardens so you can do the history, you can do the park action and $199 for a three day, two night stay. Good deal. Host: Great deal, I like that one. Last but not least, we can’t leave out Key Largo. Gabe: Key Largo, Florida, you’re an hour south of Miami but it’s probably as tropical as you can get without leaving the mainland US. You’ve got all the other Keys right there. Key Largo known to many as the diving capital of the world. Great coral reefs. Great water activities, beautiful beaches, ecofriendly touring, kid friendly as well. Host: Gabe, I think you’re going to need a vacation after rattling all that off. Gabe: It’s spattering, it’s actually telling of the diversity of small town America. Really at its finest. Host: It’s true, thanks so much for coming. Good to see you again.