(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)

Did COVID 19 can­cel your roman­tic get­away? Believe me, I under­stand. We had to can­cel a trip to cel­e­brate our 5th wed­ding anniver­sary. But, just because you’re stuck in town does­n’t mean you can’t still have some cou­ple’s fun! 

We already had grand­ma lined up to babysit, so we decid­ed to act like tourists in our own city. Since I’m a trav­el agent, I spend a lot of time talk­ing about muse­ums, nation­al parks, and amuse­ment parks that attract peo­ple to vis­it spe­cif­ic cities. And I have a lot of anec­do­tal evi­dence that many peo­ple nev­er make the time to vis­it the attrac­tions in their own back­yard! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is arguably the biggest tourist attrac­tion in Cleve­land, but when I asked my friends if they had ever vis­it­ed, I found that at least 20% of my Cleve­land-area friends had nev­er been. And, if I count the peo­ple who said some­thing like “oh I went in 3rd grade” the per­cent­age would have been much high­er. You don’t have to trav­el far to recon­nect with your spouse or try some­thing new.

 

 

Parks

 

There are 419 Nation­al Park sites through­out the Unit­ed States, so I’m will­ing to bet there is one with­in a rea­son­able dri­ve of your house. Yel­low­stone and the Grand Canyon get all the atten­tion, but there are plen­ty of less­er-known parks to dis­cov­er. The Nation­al Park Ser­vice has a map on its web­site. There are 28 Nation­al Parks in Cal­i­for­nia alone! And that’s before we even talk about State and Local Parks. I think after months of being cooped up, every­one can use a lit­tle fresh air.

If you’re out­doorsy, how about a camp­ing trip? A tent, some gourmet s’mores…what could be more roman­tic? Don’t have a tent, or look­ing for some­thing that comes with a bath­room? Many camp­grounds like the KOA offer cozy cab­ins to rent as well. I’ve also seen RV’s avail­able on AirBNB. A mil­lion stars, a camp­fire, some wine. What could be more roman­tic than that?

 

Cuya­hoga Val­ley Nation­al Park is one of our favorite spots

 

 

Take Out 

 

With indoor din­ing still closed in Cal­i­for­nia and many oth­er states, as much as I love my din­ing room, I was get­ting a lit­tle sick of it. But then it dawned on me: Just because we get take out does­n’t mean we have to take it home! We’ve start­ed doing date nights where we just pick up our food and take it to a local park. Get cre­ative. Any place with a pic­nic table or where you can spread out a blan­ket will work. One of our neigh­bors pic­nics in a ceme­tery, because she enjoys the seclu­sion. We recent­ly used a pic­nic table at a desert­ed col­lege cam­pus after we found our local park packed. It’s just nice to get out of the house and not have any­one ask­ing me for a fruit snack. 

We also used our stay­ca­tion as an excuse to try new food. Our fam­i­ly is def­i­nite­ly in a rut when it comes to food. We find our­selves order­ing the same things from the same restau­rants again and again. Admit­ted­ly, it’s eas­i­er to get some­thing I know my tod­dler will actu­al­ly eat. But, one of my favorite things about trav­el­ing is try­ing new food. Luck­i­ly, I can do that in my own town! How often have you seen a Face­book post that says some­thing like this: “Hey friends in Den­ver, what should I eat while I’m out there next week?” Don’t be shy, there’s no rea­son why you can’t ask your friends to send you to their favorite restau­rant in your home­town. You might just dis­cov­er a new favorite.

 

Don’t Miss! Less­er Known Chica­go Restau­rants for Foodies

 

 

Takeout

As part of our stay­ca­tion we got take­out from our favorite restau­rant in Ohio’s Amish Coun­try and then took it to a local park! Those mashed pota­toes are the best I’ve ever had!

 

 

 

Get a hotel room or an AirBNB

 

Just because you aren’t going far does­n’t mean you can’t splurge on a hotel room. Every­one I know is sick of their house, so why not indulge in a change? Lots of hotels are offer­ing good deals right now, and you can take advan­tage of ameni­ties like a pool or hot tub. Remem­ber what it was like to sleep in before you had kids? Here’s your chance! It does­n’t have to be just a bor­ing old hotel room either. Get crazy. We rent­ed a tree­house for a stay­ca­tion a few years back. I’ve had clients rent hous­es on AirBNB for a local get­away just so they could have access to a hot tub or pool. In June, we rent­ed a house at Nick­le Plate Beach with my in-laws. Even though we only went 45 min­utes away from home, it was so nice to get a change of scenery and have a beach day! 

 

 

Treehouse

Tree­hous­es aren’t just for 10-year-olds!

 

Don’t Miss! A Fun Fam­i­ly Stay­ca­tion at the Hyatt Regency Westlake

 

 

Visit a Museum

 

We are all so busy. It’s my expe­ri­ence that a lot of peo­ple nev­er make time to vis­it the muse­ums in their own city. Now is a great time to do it! Muse­ums have been hit hard finan­cial­ly by COVID, so they could use your sup­port! If you stop and think about it, I bet there are at least a few muse­ums in your city that you have nev­er had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vis­it, or that you haven’t vis­it­ed since your third-grade field trip. If you are feel­ing a lit­tle ner­vous about being around a lot of peo­ple, find a small muse­um. I have found that muse­ums with a unique focus are usu­al­ly pret­ty low on crowds, as are local his­to­ry cen­ters.  How much do you know about your town’s history?

 

Pro tip: city his­to­ry cen­ters are often over­looked and full of real­ly cool artifacts!

 

 

Little Caesar

The Detroit His­tor­i­cal Muse­um was one of my favorite muse­ums I’ve vis­it­ed! I mean who does­n’t want to see a giant Lit­tle Cae­sar statue?

 

Don’t Miss! 7 Tips For A Roman­tic Trip to Lake Nacimiento

 

Golfing

 

Golf­ing is a per­fect social­ly dis­tanced sport! If you’re already an avid golfer, con­sid­er try­ing out a new course. If you would rather not spend hours in the heat, girl I’m with you. Mini-golf def­i­nite­ly counts, as do dri­ving ranges Plus, when is the last time you went mini-golfing? 

 

 

Topgolf

Top­golf is a dri­ving range that offers bar ser­vice while you play. Calo­ries don’t count if you are engag­ing in sports while you eat them, that’s a fact! Pho­to cour­tesy of Anvesh on Unsplash

 

 

A get­away is real­ly good for the soul. Just because you can’t trav­el far this year does­n’t mean you can’t take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to recon­nect with your part­ner and enjoy what your town has to offer! It does­n’t mat­ter where you go, as long as you go togeth­er. I’m sure many of my fel­low par­ents are look­ing for an oppor­tu­ni­ty to get a break from your own tiny snack gob­lins. If you’re strug­gling to find some­thing new to try, I encour­age you to ask around! Every­one’s an expert in their own home­town, and every­one loves to brag about that hometown! 

 

 

 

 

Emi­ly House­hold­er Stacey is a writer, trav­el agent and mom based in sun­ny Cleve­land, Ohio. Emi­ly runs Aida’s Adven­tures trav­el agency while her son takes his after­noon nap. She has trav­eled through­out Aus­tralia, Asia and North Amer­i­ca and the rest of the world is on her buck­et list. Emi­ly and her fam­i­ly love a good theme park. They have annu­al pass­es to 6 of them!