By Michelle Gage

Published on June 7, 2016

Photography by RENTWISCONSINCABINS

by Michelle Gage

Summer is the season of escaping. It’s that glorious three month period where being outside is an everyday occurrence (or should be!). Don’t get us wrong, local fairs and markets are great, but does that really feel like a getaway? Pack your bags, grab your sunnies and go! We’ve wrangled some of the best hidden treasures that don’t require you to travel a great distance. Bonus…they come with plenty of peace and quiet! 

If you’re a Minneapolis native, head to Balsam Lake, Wisconsin. While it’s technically in another state, this lake is just a little over an hour away. Save on an overnight stay by making it a day trip!

Photography by THEAPOSITION

Pack up the kids and the car and take a family trip to Coyote Springs. The trip will take less than an hour for those lucky Las Vegas locals.

Photography by CDN_3_ITSNATURE

Listen up, Miami locals! We’re all about Biscayne National Park. It’s just an hour from Miami’s city center and the best local spot to see offshore barrier reefs.

Photography by TOUREASTALABAMA

The Talladega Forest is just two hours from Atlanta, Georgia. While you might shake your head at the thought of the distance, don’t! Remember, the further the distance the better chance of not knowing a soul around!

Photography by CBSNEWS1/CBSISTATIC

It’s time to take a step outside of Cleveland. Embark on a journey to Middlefield, Ohio. It feels like another place completely, as the fourth largest Amish settlement in the world. Get ready to see some serious horse and buggy action!

Photography by BEDANDBREAKFAST

If you’re in Nashville and looking for a quick weekend escape, may we suggest Clarksville. Spend the night at the historic Lylewood Inn. Built in 1892, this Bed and Breakfast is the perfect couples retreat.

Photography by CDN/CO/MILESPARTNERSHIP

Eldorado Canyon State Park is your new secret hiking spot. Lace up those walking shoes and slather yourself with sunscreen. Make a trek to the top of the mountain. Denver locals, this is the trip for you!

Photography by UTAHBIRDS

While Salt Lake City has some wonderful destinations in its center, we’re hoping to convince you to drive just a bit farther. Less than an hour away, you can visit Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management, with nearly two thousand species of birds living within almost twenty thousand acres of wetlands.

Photography by IBOATRACE/FILES/WORDPRESS

Skip over state lines, people of Portland, and enter Castle Rock, Washington. Just a quick hour there and back is all it takes to get away for a splendid, sunny Saturday.

Photography by WHIDBEYISLAND/CPSLLC/NETDNA/CDN

Whidbey Island is just a quick trip from Seattle. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and escape to the largest island in Island County, Washington. There’s nothing like a summer day spent outdoors.

Photography by CITY_DATA

If you’ve done the impossible and checked everything off of your “things to do in Boston” bucket list, head to New Hampshire. Manchester is just an hour away. While not as well-known and visited as Boston, Manchester is actually a large city itself – New Hampshire’s largest to be exact.

Photography by SPENCERHOUSEINN

May we suggest heading down to the seashore? Cumberland Island National Seashore features beaches, dunes, marshes and freshwater lakes. It’s just a hop and a skip over from Jacksonville, Florida. Wild horses roam the island, creating a magical vibe. Floridians, put this on your summer checklist. 

Photography by NBCNEWS

Just two hours from Charlotte, North Carolina lives the charming town of Ashville. This liberal and free-spirited town makes for the perfect weekend getaway. 

Photography by MOVOTO

Visit the historic town of Greensboro. Take a trip to their downtown area, where there’s plenty of places to shop, dine and drink. Raleigh residents aren’t going to bump into any familiar faces in Greensboro.

Photography by GETTINGOUTSIDE

Another escape from Raleigh is to the lake! Get going to Lake Gaston. Rent a house for the weekend and test your wakeboarding skills. 

Photography by JOHNNYJET

Savannah is stunning in and of itself. We can imagine anyone wanting to be anywhere else. However, if you need to get out of dodge, Hilton head is just forty-five minutes away. There, you can spend a relaxing day on the beach, soaking up the southern sunshine. 

Photography by LIFEHACK

Philadelphians, rejoice! There’s a wonderful world of chocolate living just two hours away from you. One of the country’s greatest chocolate-themed amusements parks is in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

Photography by TRIPADVISOR

Westport, Connecticut is full of wonderful character and charm. Visit The Inn at Longshore, located on the Saugatuck River Inlet.

Photography by NEWBURYPORTRIVERBOATS

Skip out of Boston and down the way to Newbury. Shop, eat and drink your way through the beautiful downtown. What a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

Photography by APARTMENTWIZ

If you’re in Austin, Texas try taking a trip to Pflugerville. There’s a beautiful lake there where you can fish, swim and kayak. 

Photography by WIKIPEDIA

If you’re in D.C., visit the Baltimore Aquarium. It’s a special spot for families who live nearby. You can rent a car and make this a memorable place for yourself, too.

Photography by VISITBUCKSCOUNTY

New Hope is just a quick ride from Philadelphia, but feels so far away from the city. Explore this antique-shop filled town on a Sunday afternoon.

Photography by SHMLIBRARY

Ladies and gentlemen of Chicago – South Haven, Michigan is calling your name. Wonderful waters and beautiful beaches are yours for the taking. Relax at this special destination.

Photography by VILLAGEOFGREENPORT

New Yorkers, get yourself to Greenport! This village, located on Long Island, is known for its restaurants and shopping.

Photography by FLIKR

Here’s another one for those living in New York. Westport, CT is just an hour away. State parks and beaches are the main attraction of your new secret destination.

Photography by CNTRAVELER

People of Providence, Rhode Island, listen up! Less than an hour away lives Newport, where you’ll certainly want to talk a stroll down the cliff walk by the water.

Photography by HUFFINGTONPOST

An hour away from San Francisco is Point Reyes Station. This stunning reserve plays host to waterfalls and redwoods. The best views can be seen from the point’s lighthouse.

Photography by HUFFINGTONPOST

Three hours from Los Angeles is Pismo Beach, a huge foodie hangout. Get yourself some clam chowder and settle in for the sunset.

Photography by HUFFINGTONPOST

Stunning coastal views await you at Fort Bragg. Just three hours north of San Fran, this destination plays host to beautiful botanical gardens.

Photography by REFINERY29

This basement bowling alley is a hidden hot spot in New York. While the alley is currently closed for sport, it’s still worth the trip to the Frick Art Reference Library to get a sneak peek inside at the glorious architecture.