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What's on your bucket list? Staci has some local travel ideas for you!

Reflections on Updating the Bucket List!

Live Local/Travel Local

This cold and damp weather has me down and depressed. This time last year I was basking in the sun on the beaches of Belize with my husband and 16 college friends. Three years ago, I took my two children for a 10-day tour of Germany to visit UNESCO world heritage sites and extended family in the city of Magdeburg. Two years ago, we did 11 amusement parks in Florida over ten days. 

Children learn a lot on family travel trips.  The night hike at First Landing State Park was lots of fun for my daughter and her best friend.

Children learn a lot of family adventures!  he night hike at First Landing State Park was an  eye-opening adventure for my daughter and her best friend.

So last night, in the hopes of lifting my spirits, I decided to do a little bit of armchair traveling with a few issues of Nat Geo Traveler magazine. Unfortunately, looking at the glossy pictures of mountains and cave paintings in France, of an archeological dig in Peru, and deep sea fishing off the coast of Australia served to remind me of my personal realities--continued recovery from surgery, a tight family budget, and a busy high school age daughter. International travel is off the books for the next two years. But...after a few moments of sitting on my pity pot, I had a revelation.

I don't need to visit an archeological dig in Peru when I can go shark teeth and fossil hunting on the shores of the Potomac River at Westmoreland State Park, the shores of the James River at Chippokes Plantation State Park, and along the shore of the York River at York River State Park.

 George Lewis, Chippokes Plantation State Park's Office Manager, is a fossil finding guru.  Stop by the office and ask him how he does it!

George Lewis, Office Manager at Chippokes, is a fossil finding guru. Stop by the office and ask him how he does it!

I don't need to see the cave paintings in the mountains of France when I can explore the tunnel at Natural Tunnel State Park and climb the rock formations at Grayson Highlands State Park.

The ski lift ride to the tunnel entrance is an adventure all by itself!

The chair lift ride to the tunnel entrance is an adventure all by itself!

I don't need to go deep sea fishing off the coast of Australia when I can go ocean fishing off the shores of the Atlantic at False Cape State Park or crabbing off the fishing pier that juts into the Chesapeake Bay at Kiptopeke State Park (which will be our featured Park of the Month for March!)

Aerial view of the fishing pier at Kiptopeke State Park.  It is great for crabbing and fishing!

Aerial view of the fishing pier at Kiptopeke, it is great for crabbing and fishing

I don't need to go on exotic vacation to have meaningful adventures. It is all right here in my home state of Virginia. It is all right here in the wonderful diversity of nature, culture, and history at Virginia State Parks.

I'm doing to update my bucket list this weekend and make a goal to visit every single one of our beautiful Virginia State Parks in the next three years. With the convenience of full-service cabins, low cost camping, and day trips, it won't break the budget and my children will learn something about America.

Re-enactments, special historic-themed events, and first person interpretive programs are on the schedule for 2014. Click here for the calendar!

Re-reenactments, history-themed special events, and first person interpretive programs are on the schedule for 2014. Click here for the calendar. Check back often as programs are added!

The newest trend with the food is Grow Local/Buy Local so I say we start a new trend Live Local/Travel Local.

There is a Virginia State Park within about 90 minutes of every single Virginia resident. Add a unique Virginia State Park outing to your bucket list today! 


Published: 02/22/2014


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