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Old 03-05-2008, 01:13 PM
 
287 posts, read 250,749 times
Reputation: 59

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I am needing some ideas for a vacation for this summer. I am looking for something very affordable (think 23 year old recent college grad making just over $40k with a wife and 9 month old [the 9 month old won't be joining us]).


I would be flying or driving out of St. Louis, consider air fare/air time vs. driving cost/drive time.

I would like to drive 8 hours or less. In other words, I could drive to Chicago, but I would definitely fly to anywhere not within that driving time (no, I'm not driving to San Diego ). Also, would the gas cost outweigh the cost/time benefit of flying?

We could do quiet time on a beach or mountain resort, or enjoy the nightlife of a big city. I live just outside St. Louis, but I am not very well traveled as far as other cities go.

I would spend extra to be in the middle of, or at least close to all the action of the city or something. I don't want to be in some craptacular suburb and have to drive 20 minutes to get anywhere decent. If I am in a city, I would like to be within walking distance to restaurants, stores, nightlife, if possible.

Take "cheap" as you will. Just give me a rough estimate on what you think it would cost for hotel + rental car (if needed). Air fare would probably hard to estimate.

So, taking all things in to consideration, can you give me some ideas?
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
2,237 posts, read 6,568,774 times
Reputation: 843
This will estimate everything for you:

Expedia.com - Upgrade your browser and see the world (http://www.expedia.com/daily/home/?semcid=13172-1_b&eapid=13172-1&kword=expedia%20com - broken link)
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,439,584 times
Reputation: 10115
You can definitely do Chicago. There is TONS to do and all can be accessed by walking or taking a short bus ride. You can even hit the beaches along Michigan Avenue, but still be able to walk there and back, theyre that close. Some things to do:

Oak Street Beach
Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park Zoo
John Hancock or Sears Tower observation decks
Theatre: Jersey Boys, Wicked, Blue Man Group, etc
Riverboat architectural tour
Museum of Science and Industry
Field Museum of Natural History
Shedd Aquarium
Adler Planetarium
Shop Michigan Avenue (the "Magnificent Mile")
Take in one of the thousands of excellent restaurants in the area
Take in the Chicago Symphony
Take in a baseball game at either US Cellular Field (White Sox) or Wrigley Field (Cubs)
Navy Pier (rides, games, shopping, etc)
SeaDog lakefront cruises (giant speedboats, basically)
Chicago Art Institute
Millenium Park (restaurants, public gardens, architecure/sculptures, etc)
Buckingham Fountain
Shopping along State Street
Shopping along Oak Street
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,394 posts, read 59,890,532 times
Reputation: 54037
What about renting a cabin on Kentucky Lake? It's fairly nearby, and absolutely beautiful. I have friends that go there every summer, and they say it's great and very affordable.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:46 PM
 
287 posts, read 250,749 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
You can definitely do Chicago. There is TONS to do and all can be accessed by walking or taking a short bus ride. You can even hit the beaches along Michigan Avenue, but still be able to walk there and back, theyre that close. Some things to do:

Oak Street Beach
Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park Zoo
John Hancock or Sears Tower observation decks
Theatre: Jersey Boys, Wicked, Blue Man Group, etc
Riverboat architectural tour
Museum of Science and Industry
Field Museum of Natural History
Shedd Aquarium
Adler Planetarium
Shop Michigan Avenue (the "Magnificent Mile")
Take in one of the thousands of excellent restaurants in the area
Take in the Chicago Symphony
Take in a baseball game at either US Cellular Field (White Sox) or Wrigley Field (Cubs)
Navy Pier (rides, games, shopping, etc)
SeaDog lakefront cruises (giant speedboats, basically)
Chicago Art Institute
Millenium Park (restaurants, public gardens, architecure/sculptures, etc)
Buckingham Fountain
Shopping along State Street
Shopping along Oak Street
Steve-O...could you suggest an affordable hotel in this general area? I wouldn't know where to begin to look or what to type in to a search engine. I've lived in Illinois my entire 23 years but only been to Chicago 1 time (I told you I'm not well traveled ) and it was for like 3 days.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,376 posts, read 55,207,132 times
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How about the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Mississippi-possibly a side trip to New Orleans. I hear its gorgeous and serene in the summer...plus lots of activities, but not hectic like Florida.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Suburbs
2,554 posts, read 6,000,780 times
Reputation: 619
What about the Kelly Islands off the Ohio coast? Has some great beaches, nice summer homes, great boating, great fishing, and has some great views and sunsets. You can take ferries out to the islands. There is a lot of entertainment, depending what island you are on, they can be some big party spots. A big form of transportation on some islands are golf carts lol. But they are great spots for vacation, that offer lots of ammenities, and it is quite cheap. You can also get back onto the mainland, and head just 1 hour east towards Cleveland with lots of entertainment, great restaurants and clubs, and beautiful and bustling lakefront, great suburbs, and lots to offer. Also, don't forget Cedar Point, America's Roller Coast. LOL it is actually quite fun. Nice hotels along the beachfront too.

Kelleys Island, Ohio - An Island For All Seasons - Home

Kelleys Island, Ohio - An Island For All Seasons - Highlights and History (http://www.kelleysisland.com/information/highlights_and_history.html - broken link)

Sandusky Cedar Point and the Lake Erie Islands

Kelleys Island-Ohio State Park

Kelley's Island Wine Company - Kelleys Island, Ohio

Kelleys Island Ferry

Cedar Point Amusement Park, The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!

Joyrides - Cedar Point

Kelleys Island, Ohio Chamber of Commerce - An Island For All Seasons (http://www.kelleysislandchamber.com/default1.htm - broken link)


cleveland.com: Everything Cleveland

City of Cleveland

CLEVELAND - THE NEW AMERICAN CITY

Cleveland Ohio Vacation, Attractions, Restaurants, Events, Hotels, Meeting Planner and Cleveland Convention Center Info, Cleveland Hotels
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,439,584 times
Reputation: 10115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojojohnson76 View Post
Steve-O...could you suggest an affordable hotel in this general area? I wouldn't know where to begin to look or what to type in to a search engine. I've lived in Illinois my entire 23 years but only been to Chicago 1 time (I told you I'm not well traveled ) and it was for like 3 days.

Thanks in advance.
Define "affordable". There are dozens of hotels downtown, some of them are extravagant (ie Four Seasons, etc), some are in the middle (ie Hard Rock Hotel), some of them are cheap (ie Holiday Inn).
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:57 AM
 
287 posts, read 250,749 times
Reputation: 59
^^ That works for me, I will just check "Downtown Chicago."

Everyone, thank you for all of your submissions thus far. These are some great ideas!
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