Monday, October 09, 2006

One Tank Trip to Branson, Missouri

From log cabins to first-rate entertainment, Branson should be on your list of one-tank trips if you live in the St. Lous or Kansas City areas. Only 250 miles from St. Louis and 220 miles from Kansas City, Branson offers 49 live performance theaters, three lakes, 10 championship golf courses, a theme park and dozens of attractions and museums. Where do you stay once you're in Branson? How about a vacation cabin?

Branson Vacation Rentals

Author: Caitlin Moore

If you tend to follow the mode of thinking that millions of people can't be wrong, then you might want to plan a trip to Branson, Missouri sometime soon. That's right, this Ozark Mountain town at the foot of the state is a magnet for people from all over the place who have a mind to relax and explore the country sensibilities and old-fashioned fun that make Branson a little bit different.

To really squeeze all that you can from this experience, rent a vacation property that will keep you and your companions feeling well taken care of in terms of breathing room, amenities, and proximity to all the diversions you plan to engage in during this much-anticipated trip. You're all looking forward to letting loose and leaving your cares behind, and generations before you have proven that the best way to do this is to settle down by the water.

Branson may be well-known for its flashy shows and constant stream of country music that floats through the bustling streets, and these are things you should definitely check out while you're here, but to have the best of both worlds you might want to consider making the shores of Table Rock Lake your home away from home for the time being. A fifteen minute drive from the city means you'll never be too far away to enjoy the sights and sounds of civilization, but being able to retreat to the solitude of a lakeside dwelling will prove to be one of the smartest decisions you'll ever make.

Picture a log cabin with an open floor plan and plenty of natural light. Two master bedrooms plus plenty more sleeping space for the kids might work well for a multiple family vacation, and a big kitchen and dining table will allow money to be saved by preparing meals at "home" instead of dining out every few hours. Not that you won't want to venture out to one of Branson's many restaurants every once in a while, but options are always better than no choice at all.

Continuing on the tour of your humble abode, don't miss the washer and dryer, the video library, the selection of board games, or the internet access. This isn't your average square-room-with-no-closet-in-sight situation, either, as plenty of space exists to unpack your bags and store them away, out of sight for the duration of your vacation. Non-wrinkled clothes will be a special treat, not that anyone really cares about things like that when your days are filled with lounging around the lake.

Outside, your patio (with gas grill, of course) will invite lots of conversation and sky-watching, and just beyond that you'll have a path that takes you straight to the lovely lake. Early morning swims will start your days on the right note, and being able to run back and forth from the water to the house will turn out to be a valuable asset. Keep your car parked in the garage and your mind off the price of gas for once as you swim and float your way to an altered state of mind.

Depending on the time of your visit, you'll be privy to a variety of sights and sounds around the lake area. Summer is green and warm, making a dip in the water or a spin on the pontoon the perfect accompaniment to your glass of lemonade and the feeling of warmth on your bare skin. In the fall, watch the foliage change before your eyes from your picture window, and if it gets chilly at night be sure to build a fire in the fireplace and snuggle up to your beloved. Winter will make for the ultimate peaceful retreat, as you'll feel far, far away from everything, and spring will ignite your senses as the Ozark wilds come back to life.

For a little exercise, hiking, golfing, and bird watching will let you stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery at the same time. Pets are allowed at many vacation rentals, so if you have a well-behaved pooch that enjoys nature as much as the rest of the family there's a good chance you can bring her along. Be sure to check it out first, but don't be surprised if you end up staying in an open, friendly place that will allow and encourage fun for everyone.

So in your privileged location you'll be able to head to the city when the mood strikes or stick close to the lake if your laid-back side gets the best of you. Your vacation rental will support whatever decision you make, and your traveling companions will certainly thank you for keeping every one's comfort level in mind for your Branson vacation. Go online to pick out a place from among the many Branson Vacation Rentals that exist in this hotspot, and enjoy your first foray into the upper echelon of vacationing.

About the author:

HomeAway.com is an extensive marketplace for vacation rentals located all over the world.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One Tank Trip from Minneapolis

Just a quick post here about an interesting little one-tank trip a little over 50 miles from Minneapolis. The trip is to a quaint little town called Taylors Falls, which you get to by driving north of Minneapolis on Interstate 35, taking the U.S. 8 exit for about 27 miles.

What's so great about Taylors Falls? There you'll find Interstate State Park, which is the oldest state park in the country. What interested me were the 200 glacial potholes. There's a ton to do there, like climbing the cliffs, kayaking the rapids, hiking, or, depending on the season, photographing the wildflowers.

Worth a visit.

Monday, July 17, 2006

One Tank Trips: Indiana

Welcome to One Tank Trips! We love to travel and find new road trips across America. But, with the cost of gas so high it's good to know of destinations that are one-tank trips, that is, trips you can make on just one tank of gas. When we discover cool one tank trips we'll share them with you. Like this one-tank trips in Indiana. If you're from Indianapolis, check it out!

One-Tank Trip Indiana: from Indianapolis

Today’s one-tank trip travel begins at Indianapolis, Indiana and journeys northward for about 76 miles, visiting Lafayette and nearby attractions, including Fort Ouiatenon, the Tippecanoe Battlefield and Wolf Park. Roundtrip this one-tank getaway is just over 150 miles.

From Indianapolis, take the I-65 north 76 miles to the city of Lafayette, located along the Wabash River and named for a French general, Marquis de Lafayette, who was a help to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Lafayette is probably best known for the Battle of Tippecanoe, where territorial governor William Henry Harrison U.S. forces against a Federation organized by Tecumseh. You can learn more about the Battle of Tippecanoe by visiting the Tippecanoe Battlefield, an interpretive center which features a collection of battle artifacts. The Tippecanoe Battlefield is located north of Lafayette, in Battle Ground, off I-65 at the Indiana 43 exit.

While in the city of Lafayette be sure to visit the Ninth Street Hill Historical District, a collection of magnificent homes and mansions of the late 1800s, which, over the past decades, have gone through states of grandeur, disrepair, and renovation. Be sure to see the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art, 101 S. 9th St., which displays regional art.

If you like Farmer’s Markets, then you absolutely have to visit the Lafayette Farmer’s Market, Indiana’s oldest farmer’s market (165 years old to be exact!) The Farmer’s Market is open Tuesday and Saturday, 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and Thursday nights, 4 to 7PM.


If you’re planning your one-tank trip in late September or early October, you might wish to attend the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon, an annual re-creation of a fall festival started by French settlers and Native Americans. This event takes place at Fort Ouiatenon, which is a replica of an 18th century French military and trading post. If you can’t make it for the festival, do at least visit Fort Ouiatenon, which is approximately 3 -5 miles west of Lafayette on S. River Rd.

Want to hear the Wolves howl? You’re in luck. Wolf Park, located two miles north of Battle Ground, 12 miles north of Lafayette, is an educational facility and home to several packs of gray wolves, in addition to foxes and bison. Friday night is their special “Howl Night” where you can attend and howl along with the wolves. Gates open at 7:30, where you will hear a brief talk about wolf behavior, then be invited to howl as a group, which invite the wolves to howl back.

If you wish to stay overnight during your one-tank trip to Lafayette, be sure to check out a couple bed and breakfast establishments located in historic buildings: Loeb House Bed & Breakfast, 708 Cincinnati Street, downtown and Perrin House Bed & Breakfast, 1219 Main Street, also downtown.

Perrin House Bed & Breakfast, 1219 Main Street, downtown Lafayette, 765-420-7628 is a 140-year-old historic home decorated in Art Nouveau. There are 4 rooms, each with a private bath. Full gourmet breakfast and 4:00 tea service is included.

Loeb House Bed & Breakfast, 708 Cincinnati Street, downtown Lafayette, 765-420-7737, is a restored historic home with 5 rooms, all with private baths and whirlpool tubs. A complete breakfast is included.