'National Lampoon's Vacation," 1983. Warner Bros.

Summer destinations that are worth the drive

In many ways, COVID-19 has given us the chance to return to a simpler time when a family dinner was the height of the day, afternoons were spent running in the backyard, and puzzles were the height of entertainment–that one might be a stretch. One more way we’re going back to the good old days is with summer vacations. Since airports are all but out of the question, road trips are once again the definition of family fun, and we think Clark Griswold would be delighted to hear this news. Luckily, we don’t have to make the journey in an overpacked station wagon. Thanks to Bluetooth, iPads and advanced navigation, trips in the 21st century are all the fun with significantly less headaches.

We caught up with travel advisor Kristin Diehl in our June issue to discuss road trips with a little imagination. From farms to country cottages to luxury resorts, her recommendations focus on all the hidden beauty that is just waiting to be uncovered in our own backyard–AKA within driving distance of Baton Rouge.

Click here to see the story from the issue and read on for even more of Diehl’s recommended vacation destinations for this summer.

3 1/2 hours away:

Photo courtesy Marriott.

Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Point Clear, Alabama

A short drive, this resort offer Gulf Coast views, onsite restaurants, as well as golf, tennis and–most importantly–a spa.

6 1/2 hours away:

Photo courtesy Hyatt.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa

Cedar Creek, Texas

Not only does this family-friendly resort along the Colorado River have a lazy river, but it also offers horseback riding, kayaking and more.

7 hours away:

Photo courtesy Miraval Austin.

Miraval Austin

Austin, Texas

This hotel classifies itself as a “wellness resort,” featuring experiences aimed at personal and physical health and growth. From beekeeping to meditation to challenge courses, the goal is fun, learning and relaxation.

Book these destinations, or discover more, by contacting Kristin Diehl at kdtravel.org.