Running out of fun activities you can do while social distancing? Why not visit your local state parks! A state park getaway is just what you need as you’re itching to get out of the house but still want to stay safe.

2020 has been the year of ruined vacation plans. Am I right? My family and I had plans to go to Jamaica for a week in April and Japan in November/December and all of that was cancelled. I was so devastated that all of my hard work that went into planning those trips disappeared so quickly. Instead of drinking my sadness away with endless bottles of wine (well, maybe I had a few bottles lol), I decided to focus on mini getaways that my family could take locally. That’s when I came across all of the State Parks in my area. 

The great thing about visiting State and National parks is that many are within driving distance so you won’t have to worry about air travel. To be honest, I didn’t realize we had so many here in Texas. There’s 89! Isn’t that crazy? After doing some research, I decided that Garner State Park was the park we were going to visit first. I went online and was luckily able to snag a day pass that was two weeks away. Garner State Park is one of the most popular parks here in central Texas and they book up pretty fast.

State Park Getaway

When we got to the park, we decided to upgrade our day pass to the Texas State Park Pass for $70. This pass is a great option, especially for families, because you get unlimited free entry to all 89 state parks for the pass holder and your guests. Some parks charge $8 per person 13 years and older so it can get a little pricey especially if you have older children and plan on visiting multiple parks. With the pass you also get discounts on camping, park store purchases (don’t forget to wear your mask), and rental equipment! All of these amazing deals for just $70! 

Garner State Park is located in Concan, Texas and it’s honestly my absolute favorite place to visit! The Frio River runs through the park and words can’t even describe how breathtaking it is. The water is so clear and beautiful that you can literally see all of the fish swimming right in front of you. Taking a dip in the nice cold river is so refreshing, especially on a hot Texas summer day. 

Tip: Get to the park right when they open during the week and you’ll have the river to yourself for a few hours!

The park is filled with so many fun activities to do such as hiking, fishing, camping, tubing, and swimming in the crystal-clear Frio River! My family and I set up our canopy and chairs right on the river and relaxed, barbecued, and swam the entire day! There was plenty of space for everyone to spread out and we didn’t have any issues with feeling overcrowded. Make sure you stay and catch the sun setting at the park! It’s one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen.


So, if you’re trying to figure out some last-minute getaway ideas before your kids start school–or after while you’re homeschooling, check out your local state parks! They are honestly the perfect place to go if you want to getaway while still being able to social distance! 

To Get in Touch with Sophia to plan your staycation or your next big adventure once the world calms down, fill out her Trip Planning Form.

This was a guest post written by Sophia Julias of Cherry Blossom Travels. She is a Certified Leisure Travel Specialist and specializes in Caribbean, Japan, Hawaii, and family travel.

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