By Diane Turner
Farm families find it hard to plan vacations, especially May through September, because of demands on the farm. Sometimes a small window opens in July, or between November and February, for a quick getaway and some much needed family time.
Florida is about an eight-hour drive from Kentucky and makes for a great trip on an extended weekend. If you don’t want to drive, you can always catch a non-stop flight from Nashville to Panama City Beach. Fares are usually less expensive during farm families’ traveling months, better known as the off season.
Some airlines have sales, allowing you to fly one-way for as low as $81 and back for another $83 during the month of December. Of course, if you do choose to fly, there are limitations on baggage, and travel dates for the less expensive rate are not as flexible.
There are some great places in the Destin/Panama City Beach area to stay. Checking out websites, such as www.vrbo.com which allows you to look for condos or house rentals and contact the property manager to arrange a place to stay.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel, check with sites like www.trivago.com or use the Name Your Own Price tool at www.priceline.com. Using sites like this allows you to access extra discounts that may not be featured on the hotel websites themselves. If you use sites like this, remember that you cannot use travel points from clubs offered by the different chains, such as Marriott Rewards.
So, you’ve looked at your schedule and have decided you just do not have the time for a long weekend. There are many great places to visit here in our own state that make a great day or overnight trip.
Bowling Green makes a great day trip for families. The National Corvette Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year while renovating an area of the museum where a large sinkhole to opened up in February. The sinkhole devoured eight classic Corvettes, three of which will be restored. The other five will be on display to remember the disaster.
Prices for the museum range from $5 to $10, with a family rate of $25. You can also schedule a tour of the assembly plant for $7 at
If you get hungry while you’re there, travel over to Chaney’s Dairy Barn where they offer a full lunch and dinner menu as well as their popular ice cream. Let the kids run off their meal at the Corn Maze, which is $7 and includes a scoop of ice cream, or the Jumbo Jumping Pillow, which is $5. They can also play at the Barnyard Playground for free. For more information, visit www.chaneysdairybarn.com.
For the men in the family, plan a visit to Gander Mountain or the brand new Cabela’s store. Both are free of charge, if you can get him out the door without making a purchase.
You could also travel up the road to Cave City and visit Big Mike’s Rock and Gift Shop. There is a mystery house that only charges $1 admission, and you will feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Willy Wonka.
Maybe you want to spend a weekend somewhere instead of just a day trip. Why not stay at one of Kentucky’s state parks. Cumberland Falls is a great getaway for couples and families. You can stay at the DuPont Lodge, surrounding cabins, or if you are adventurous, at one of the campsites. Some of the rooms are pet friendly with rates starting at $114.95 a night.
The park offers many great walking trails and outdoor entertainment. For those who are participating in the Family Adventure Quest, this is a way to mark a few stops off your list. For more information about this program, visit http://parks.ky.gov/family-adventure-quest/default.aspx. Completed quests must be turned in before Dec. 1.
Just a few miles up the road is the first KFC in Corbin and the Big South Fork Scenic Railway. The train offers several daytime rides with prices from $8 to $60. On Nov. 8, veterans and active-duty military ride for half price. Visit www.bsfry.com for more information.
Remember, it doesn’t matter where you go but who you travel with that makes the memories. Take some time out of your busy schedules to plan a trip that will create memories to last a lifetime.
By Diane Turner