Live like a local

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Let’s face it — the world feels a little weird right now. You can get a $200 ticket to Paris on WOW Airlines out of Detroit, but popular spots like Cancun and Los Cabos are off limits due to State Department travel bans. With rates dropping as much as 40 percent during the fall, it might be a smart time to live like a local in the U.S.

Here are the top fall travel spots located in your own backyard, or within driving distance from Lansing:

Chicago, Ill.

You may think the place to go during fall is the Magnificent Mile, but there’s more to see and do in the Windy City than just shop. Try a romantic getaway at one of Chicago’s newest hotels, The Robey in Wicker Park; the rates are amazingly reasonable considering the excellent amenities. And you can always get into the city quickly by train. Learn more about the premier hotel at therobey.com.

St. Louis, Mo.

If you want to see spectacular fall colors, nothing beats the Gateway Arch as your viewing platform. If that 630-foot view doesn’t take your breath away, then head to the Missouri Botanical Garden where you can wander 79 acres of gorgeous greenery including a peaceful waterfall amidst the Japanese Garden. St. Louis is also famous for its barbeque; stop by Pappy’s Smokehouse for some slow-roasted pulled pork and fried — yes, fried — corn on the cob. Get there early as the lines may be long. Find out more at pappyssmokehouse.com

Cape Hatteras Seashore, NC

Cape Hatteras is worth the 13-hour car ride. You can book a group vacation that includes kayaking, windsurfing or an eco-friendly adventure of your choosing at outerbanks.org, or you can organize a themed meal complete with crab feasts, oyster roasts and fish fry. You can also chill at the quaint waterfront shops of Manteo. There are lighthouses for people who love them and beautiful beaches for all to enjoy, as well as pet-friendly hotels. But make sure you call them directly to double check what you see online. 

You can still plan a fall trip, right now, that is affordable, unforgettable and keeps you firmly planted in the beautiful “US of A.”


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