Planning a Staycation?Posted by Whole Earth | 05.30.2021
Planning a Staycation?
Need to get away but you're not ready to jump on board a plane or train just yet? Consider a daytrip or a whole week's worth of adventures close to home. It's time to revisit some of your favorite local getaways and make a list of new places that you'd like to experience. We have a few suggestions for finding fun daytrip destinations and gear that will be useful no matter how far you travel from home. All sorts of places and spaces are opening up so let's get exploring once again!
Wondering what there is to see and do in a 60 mile or so radius from where you live? Consider what you and the family are looking for, then fire up the internet and do some searches and see what you find. Looking for hiking trails, kayaks and canoes for rent, gardens, historical sites, museums? Try a search like _________ within 60 miles of ________. Or alternatively, ________ within an hour of _________. You may be surprised at the number of destinations close by just waiting for you to visit, and you can expand or decrease your search as your time allows.
And don’t forget to include state and local parks in your search for new trails, water sports rentals, and playgrounds. How about a day trip to one of your favorite Texas State Parks or exploring a park that’s new to you? Or pay a visit to Recreation.gov to find National Parks, National Forests and other public sites near you maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management. Many of these sites are not well known but definitely worthy of a visit.
Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites
Get inspired to visit one of our Texas State Parks with this updated edition of the Official Guide. You'll find history, geology, natural history and highlights of individual parks plus spectacular photographs by Laurence Parent. This book provides an overview of Texas State Parks from the Gulf Coast to the mountains and deserts, to the high plains, Hill Country and the Piney Woods, and the book includes historical sites as well. For the details on activities currently available, directions to the parks, a calendar of upcoming events and more visit the Texas State Parks website, and visit one of our Whole Earth stores where you'll find copies of the free guide to the Parks. The official and the free guides work well together, so with both you'll get all the information you'll need to be inspired and to plan a great daytrip or camping trip.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 55L
So you've chosen a destination for your daytrip and gotten your gear together for the day. What will you use to keep it all neatly in one place and not strewn all over the car? We suggest a duffel! The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel is midsized and can carry oddly shaped objects and gear of all kinds. It's made of durable, water resistant materials, has multiple handles and shoulder straps as carrying options, plus thoughtfully designed interior and exterior pockets to keep smaller items close at hand. This duffel is also a winner for long distance travel or trips to the gym. And it won't take up a lot of room in the closet. It stuffs into its own pocket for storage.
YETI Hopper M30 Soft Cooler
If you're planning a picnic lunch or dinner on your daytrip, the YETI Hopper will keep your food fresh and safe on the way. Load it up with some ice to keep meat and veggies, drinks, dips and salads ready for the big meal. The Hopper has been a favorite with grocery shoppers and outdoorsmen for years. This new version uses strong magnets to keep the cooler tightly sealed. If you have difficulty wrangling it, YETI has a video with some suggestions for keeping the cooler open that include the Lean-to, the Elbow-drop, the YETI Squeeze and the Two Drink Minimum. And then there's the new color - Aquifer Blue says summer is here!
Hydro Flask 40oz Wide Mouth - Flex Cap
Another essential item for your daytrip list is an insulated water bottle that will keep your drink icy cold for hours. Hydro Flask makes bottles in a variety of sizes with both narrow and wide-mouths that have handles built into the lid. And if you want to keep your hands free, try a bottle sling that you can carry over your shoulder when walking. With an insulated water bottle, the money you would’ve spent on bottled water can stay in your pocket. And even if you're regularly putting plastic bottles in the recycling, many of those bottles are still dumped rather than recycled. There are just too many of them despite some of the ingenious ways people have developed to reuse them. So let's kick the plastic bottle habit altogether and use a refillable insulated bottle to benefit our planet.
There's more to a staycation than taking daytrips. Make your time at home special too! Have some fun with new backyard toys, games and puzzles for the whole family. Master the art of making margaritas and queso for some laidback porch time or a great first act for a home barbecue. And spend some time in deep relaxation in a Yucatan hammock.
As a part of your staycation, get a hammock for your yard or porch that the family can enjoy almost all year long. There are few things as relaxing as stretching out for a restful read and snooze in a cool breezy hammock. We’ve been selling handmade Yucatan hammocks for almost 50 years. They’re colorful, strong and made for sleeping in a very hot and humid climate, so they can keep you cool here in Texas and anywhere you want to kick back and take a load off. And Hamacas Rada can be hung indoors as well as outside. Think of it as an extra guest bed should the need arise.
Here's a new twist on a traditional backyard favorite - the HearthSong Strike Zone Bowling Water Slide. Now the kids can take a watery slide on the lawn, and be human bowling balls all at once. The slide is 18 feet long, has bumpers and four inflatable bowling pins to aim for. There's also one "spare" pin that can be filled with water for an extra challenge. To add to the excitement, there are two inflatable speed boards that are made for kids under 110 pounds. Help the kids burn off some of that excess energy, have fun, and keep cool.
New York Puzzle Company Birds of Eastern/Central North America 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
When the fun moves indoors, consider a puzzle that the whole family can work on together. One of our favorites is the Birds of Eastern/Central North America. We can brush up on bird identification while hunting for the right pieces to fill in the gaps. From a Pileated Woodpecker to a Peregrine Falcon to a Painted Bunting, you'll find them all on this 1000 piece puzzle. Plus, there's a poster size version of the puzzle in the box with a QR code by each bird. Download the free app and scan the QR codes next to a bird to hear its song. You can practice your birding by ear as you learn to recognize the birds by eye.
If there's a crowd or only two of you, you can play Mexican Train. It's a game played with a set of 91 double twelve dominoes. The game is easy to learn and has a strategic element that makes it challenging and fun for all ages. This set comes in an aluminum carrying case for easy transport and storage. It also includes nine colorful trains, a station and instructions for playing the game. Whether you're in a group that meets weekly for a game or two along with some tasty drinks and good conversation or you suddenly have a crowd on hand and need a good group activity, this Mexican Train set will serve you well.
Margaritas by Mamie Fennimore
Celebrate your staycation with margaritas and queso! You don't have to go out to find a creamy comforting Queso or a delicious refreshing margarita. Mamie Fennimore's Margaritas: Frozen, Spicy, and Bubbly - Over 100 Drinks for Everyone! is a compendium of classic and not-so-classic recipes. There are recipes for on-the-rocks, frozen, and mocktails, and for some more unusual flavor combinations like Pomegranate, Maple, Pineapple Jalapeño, Watermelon Basil and a Pear Cinnamon to mention only a few.
Queso!: Regional Recipes for the World's Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip by Lisa Fain
If you've enjoyed Lisa Fain's Homesick Texan cookbooks, then you'll be confident that she knows all about good queso. She starts Queso!: Regional Recipes for the World's Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip with a survey of chile con queso the "early years", visits Tex-Mex classics, moves on to some modern quesos from the Border, and adds quirky quesos and a good selection of recipes that use queso as an added ingredient. Among the treasures you'll find are Queso Blanco with Green Chile Pulled Pork, Shrimp Queso Flameado with Jalapeño, Salsa and Chicken Fried Steak with Queso Gravy. So make a batch of your favorite queso, raise your delicious margarita and make a toast to a staycation well-spent.