Entry fees to the park are separate from Lake Mead Mohave Adventures’ fees. For more information, please visit the National Park Service’s fees page.

kid playing in the water

Inexpensive Family Weekend Getaways | Where to Go On Your Next 3 Day Vacation  

Getting away to rejuvenate has become more important than ever. A 3 day vacation can happen just about any weekend with a bit of planning. Not only is this a good way to get away from home, but it may be one of the most inexpensive ways to enjoy a fuller, more rewarding lifestyle.

Where would you go? Here are some recommendations for 3 day vacations across the U.S.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee

If you need a mini vacation and you’re already located in the Midwest, a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be the perfect choice. With a range of both free and low-cost activities, you can make this trip quite affordable. It’s also located about a half of a day’s drive from half of the country’s population! Go camping, whitewater rafting, and check out Gatlinburg for some memorable family-friendly trips. From mini-golf to hiking, it’s a stunning place to visit.

Lake Mead in Arizona and Nevada

Lake Mead is a large reservoir that offers some of the best boating, fishing, and water fun in the Southwest. You can easily spend an extended weekend here hiking, canoeing on the Colorado River, and exploring the impressive desert landscape. If you own an RV, check out the Lake Mead RV Village at Boulder Beach. It is the ideal location when you want to be able to get away for a few hours and still be close to large cities like Las Vegas.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is an oceanfront city with much to offer. It is 100% kid friendly with waterparks, boardwalks, lots of fun museums, and plenty of room to explore the outdoors. It is also the mini-golf capital of the world due to the number of mini golfing locations there. You can also plan a trip just for the golf packages if you are looking for something to do on an adults only getaway. The seafood is as fresh as it can be and the entertainment is always changing. On the other hand, the clean beaches make Myrtle Beach the type of location that is perfectly suited to doing nothing but sunbathing.

Sandusky, Ohio

When you want a family weekend getaway that offers the best of amusement parks, head to Sandusky. Located in the northwestern area of the state on the shores of Lake Erie, Sandusky is home to Cedar Point, one of the most popular and highest rated amusement parks in the world. From skyscraper-style roller coasters to fun water rides, there is always something new and interesting to do here. There are also shows, local restaurants, and many seafood restaurants in the area. It is the type of family getaway that is just right for those families with teens who love adventure and thrills.

Lake Mohave in Arizona and Nevada

Another fantastic reservoir to visit on a family trip is Lake Mohave. It is located on the Colorado River in both Arizona and Nevada. Check out the Cottonwood Cove area for some of the best water fun. You can rent a houseboat to spend the weekend on the water. Fishing, water jet skis, and a few beaches to explore make this an excellent place to call home for a few days. There are lakeside accommodations available, an RV park, and campground options for those who are looking for a trip that’s completely flexible. The outdoors are beautiful with plenty of hiking opportunities available. It’s the kind of lakeside experience anyone can appreciate.

Kansas City, Missouri

For those in the middle of the country, a trip to Kansas City can be a fantastic mini vacation. You need a few days to explore all the city has to offer. That includes the KC Streetcar, which is a free ride. In addition to this, you can explore the downtown area for some highly-rated local restaurants while also heading out for some good all-American fun at a baseball game. There are also numerous museums here including Science City and the Peace Pavilion, which has 25 interactive exhibits to explore (and there’s no charge for doing so). There are parks, zoos, and the City of Fountains to explore with its 200 water fun activities. To say Kansas City is kid-friendly is an understatement.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

On the East Coast, Virginia Beach is an exceptional location to visit for the combination of history and water fun. It is possible to book a last-minute hotel on the beach, depending on the time of year. The oceanfront boardwalks, restaurants, and entertainment are a good way to spend each day.

On the other hand, you can do some deep sea fishing, parasailing or check out the piers for some close to the shore fishing.  In addition to this, there are numerous shows, museums, and the nearby Navy base to explore. Williamsburg is also located nearby with its full-scale Colonial town that is Busch Gardens for those seeking an amusement park.

Washington DC

If your family wants to enjoy a weekend getaway that is also educational, a trip to Washington DC may be in order. Put politics aside to explore the history of the United States in the dozens of museums. There are 17 Smithsonian museums to explore, the National Zoo and the U.S. Capitol. You can also look at the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, visit Arlington Cemetery and shop at the local farmer’s markets. The city itself is quite modern with a wide range of restaurants (with something for most budgets) and beautiful gardens throughout the region.

Pensacola, Florida

If you stay out of Orlando and Miami, you may find Florida to be the perfect destination for a lot of family fun that is also very inexpensive. Pensacola Beach is a good example of this. The area is located on the Pensacola Bay, perhaps one of the best areas for fishing, parasailing and waterskiing. You can also explore the Pensacola Beach Eco-Trail, which is a free experience that includes 29 spots that teach about the surrounding natural habitat. In addition to this, there are some fantastic shops, hiking trails, restaurants and golf courses in the area.

A 3 day weekend is the perfect amount of time to explore a city or go on a long boat ride down the river. Shake off the frustrations from the week, pack a bag (or load up the RV) and head off on an adventure like no other. You are sure to find a city like one of these to explore.