You might already know that I love vacations… and love saving money. Remember my big birthday mini-vacation for only $103? I jump at any chance to get away from the house – aka laundry, dirty dishes, etc. So this weekend when my husband suggested we go to a botanical garden that is a Louisiana state park, I hopped in the car. Then I got out of the car and grabbed my shoes, some snacks, oh, and those cute short people that live in our house… aka my kiddos.
We are on a very tight budget around here. All the Abe Lincoln’s in our pockets are crying rivers for how hard we’ve been pinching those pennies. Even though you might be on a strict budget, there are still fun ways to get out and explore wherever you live. That’s exactly how we started spring break this past Saturday.
Hodges Botanical Gardens State Park is only about an hour and a half from our town. The land has a rich history from the hideout for outlaws up to when in the 1950s A.J. Hodges decided to turn 4700 acres into a botanical garden of his original 107,000 acres he purchased in the 1930s. He was known as the father of forestry conservation of North West Louisiana because of his efforts of conservation and restoration that had been left barren by the massive clear cutting philosophy known as “cut out – get out” in the late 1800’s. I gathered this information from the Friends of Hodges Garden State Park website.
To spend time hiking through the paths at Hodges was a win-win day for our family. My family loves being out in nature and I love gardening. There were several different gardens to meander through… the Natural Garden, Bogg Garden, Butterfly Garden, Traditional Garden(filled with roses), and more. It also includes camp sites, a 225 acre lake, kayak and boat rental. While we were there, there was a painting class being offered. Someday, I’d like to have a weekend vacation there and with campsites being only $14 a night it’s definitely in budget!
Visiting local state parks are a great way to have a mini vacation or a daycation. There are so many state parks in the United States to explore with lots of different types of ammenities, attractions, and educational experiences. You can learn about the Oregon Trail at Idaho’s Three Island Crossing State Park. Wind over, under, and around waterfalls in New York’s Watkins Glenn State Park. In Arkansas, there is Crater of Diamonds State Park where you can hunt for diamonds and if you find one you can keep it. Last year, we had a great daycation at the Crater of Diamonds State park and it was so much fun!
Are you looking for an inexpensive way to have a daycation? State parks are a great answer. Pack a picnic, put on some hiking shoes, and explore the great outdoors! Visit StateParks.com to find a state park, national wildlife refuge, national park, and more near you.