We've all had an overrated travel destination ruin some of our precious vacation time. Dust off your luggage and get the flip-flops in your carry-on, because everything's going to be different this year.
The Amusement Park Vacation
It's supposedly the happiest place on Earth, if happy means crowded, expensive and exhausting. You want them to have fun, but wouldn't it be nice if you could actually enjoy it with them without the endless crowds and retirement-wrecking expense? With 65 rides that include both vintage classics and modern roller coasters, the largest park in the Northwest is Idaho's Silverwood Amusement Park. You'll get a classic theme park experience without the classic long lines or high-dollar fees. Regular admission fees even include passes to Boulder Beach, the adjoining water park.
The Beach Vacation
Overrated: Cancun. Playa'd Out .
The alternative: Tulum, Mexico. Pass the Bronzer.
When Cancun's beaches are packed tight with tourists, your much-needed vacation can feel like you're relaxing shoulder-to-shoulder at an Arizona State kegger. Only 80 miles southeast of Cancun on the Mayan Riviera is a wide, white sand beach situated on a stretch of sparsely-populated Mexican coastline. It's usually far less crowded than Cancun and has accommodations and restaurants for all budgets. Tulum is also located next to a complex of Mayan ruins, while Cancun only has ruined Americans.
The Golf Vacation
Overrated: Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Trump LA, etc. Take a mulligan.
The alternative: Par-King - Lincolnshire, Illinois . Get a mini-tee time
Even the famous public courses are open to anyone, but tee times at famous courses can be notoriously hard to get, and while the view is spectacular, many of us non-pros leave the course, and our vacation, with memories made mostly of frustration. This year, take on a true challenge when you attempt 36 of the most original and entertaining holes in all of miniature golf, just 30 miles from Chicago. Among mini-golf classics like the Dutch Windmill or the Carousel, holes featuring the Sears Tower, the Statue of Liberty or a replica Mount Rushmore will satisfy any vacation's sightseeing quota.
The Historic Vacation
Overrated: Colonial Williamsburg. Welcome to historic Snoozeville.
The alternative: San Francisco. A blast from the past.
While Williamsburg has a rich history, the subject matter can be a bit dry and one-dimensional. San Francisco, however, has a vibrant history that covers all aspects of American culture from early Spanish settlers to the sights and smells of Chinatown, or from the gold rush to Alcatraz or Haight-Ashbury. You can be a sightseer, a culinary tourist, a museum patron or an art lover and you'll always find something in historic San Francisco. The subject matter is always different, but the subject is always America.