Day trips and weekend getaways offer respite

Cool Places to Visit as the Weather Heats Up

Well, warm weather has finally arrived and what better time than to head out on the open road for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Maybe a two lane road or a busy Interstate will lead one to a fun-filled destination where relaxation and unplugging are just the ticket.

Speaking of tickets, here are some places to visit for a weekender. They offer the traveler a broad swath of options to pick from.

Dollywood Parks & Resorts
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
800-365-5996
dollywood.com.
If a good ole’ southern experience is what travelers are looking for, then Dollywood is an option. This place is just over the hill in East Tennessee and is LGBTQ ally Dolly Parton’s way of welcoming visitors to the mountain area. The vast part and resort provide an adventure for the whole family. Enjoy time playing in the theme and water parks and kick back in a resort hotel or a rustic cabin. Dinner shows are also part of what’s available. Tickets and reservations can be made online. There are a number of packages available.

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Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Va.
888-965-7254
colonialwilliamsburg.com.
For the history buff, Colonial Williamsburg is simply a perfect place to step back into the 1700s. There are hotels and onsite lodging that will help visitors experience what a day in the life of those who lived a few hundred years ago. There is no modern day traffic to contend with and visitors can walk around on the property, visiting an old print shop, museums and more. For meal time in the evening, restaurants are lit with candlelight. What truly is amazing is the quiet that visitors can enjoy. This experience is a cool way to get the feel of what it was like during colonial times for “Outlander” fans. It’s not Fraser Ridge or Scotland, but it is the next best thing.

Outer Banks
Various North Carolina Coastal Locations
877-629-4386
outerbanks.org.
The Outer Banks sports some of the most varied options for travelers — beaches, lighthouses, Kitty Hawk where flight was born, among others. Visitors to this area are able to put their feet up, bask in the sun and relax completely. Spend time riding a horse on the beach, take in some saltwater fishing and chomp down on seafood fare. There are over a dozen places to explore along the OBX 130-mile stretch of barrier islands, like Hatteras Island, Roanoke Island, Nags Head, Duck and Manteo.

Savannah, Ga.
912-644-6400
visitsavannah.com.
Just over the South Carolina line, Savannah, Ga. is the essence of southern charm, with Spanish moss, historic homes, horse-drawn carriages, antebellum architecture and a plethora of cultural options to choose from. Art galleries are aplenty, as well as sophisticated cuisine. Additionally, nearby beaches at Tybee Island are waiting for sun worshippers and explorers will be able to enjoy both the Savannah and Wassaw National Wildlife Refuges.

LGBTQ Hangouts

For those who want to spend time with “family,” there are a few options from which to choose. They are:

In the Woods
Canon, Ga.
inthewoodscampground.com.
In The Woods is a clothing optional, gay and lesbian members campground. The property features walking trails, a swimming pool, a hot tub, a gym and a clubhouse. RV and tent sites are available, as well as RV rentals and individual room rentals and cabins.

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Metropolis Entertainment Complex
Augusta, Ga.
metropoliscomplex.com.
The complex is comprised of Parliament Resort, Executive Inn & Suites, Capri Lounge and The Edge Nightclub. The resort features 130 guest rooms, a campground, a pool, where nude sun bathing is allowed, and hosts numerous events throughout the year.

River’s Edge
Dewy Rose, Ga.
camptheriversedge.com.
The River’s Edge is a 21-and-over, members only, clothing-optional campground. The campground features cabins, as well as RV and tent sites and is located along Beaverdam Creek. There is also a pool, hot tub, game room and clubhouse.

Starlight Campground
Lenior, N.C.
starlitelodge.com.
RV and tent campers are welcome at Starlite, which also features park models, a type of resort style home similar to a cabin, cottage or bungalow.

Timberfell Lodge
Greeneville, Tenn.
timberfell.com.
An adult men’s resort and campground, Timberfell Lodge has themed weekends and sports a pool, pool house, sauna and steam room and a beer bar.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.