Tri-Staters focus on being tourists in their own backyard

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) -- With gas prices averaging at or over $4 a gallon, FOX19 has found that local parks are cashing in on people who are being a tourist in their own backyard.

Travelers are planning shorter vacations closer to home like day and weekend trips at places like Museum Center and Kings Island.

Destination vacations are out. Rebecca Force of Cincinnati feels her family is getting "the most bang for their buck" by staying home.

"I mean there are so many places I'd want to go, but even to go to Gatlinburg, that's four hours away. That's going to cost a lot," Force said.

About 1.2 million Ohioans plan to hit the road this 4th of July weekend, but we're learning others plan to stay and play around the Tri-state.

The force family are among many reeling in Hamilton County's Winton Woods as a part of their "staycation."

"They're staying in our campgrounds. We have great harbor facilities, we have we playgrounds, fishing, kayaking. You could spend an entire day at our parks easily," said Joy Landry with Hamilton County Parks.

Cincinnati resident Robin Van Scoyk agrees, and appreciates vacations at a deep discount.

"We figured we'd usually enjoy the place around here for a change," he said.

"The highest percentage of Americans traveling this 4th of July holiday will be spending $600 or less," said Elaine Zeinner with AAA.

Now here's a few quick tips to make your summer staycation paddle through any expensive waters.

* Check out local parks.

* Join your local museum to get lists of when to hit the best cultural opportunities and consult guidebooks.

* There are new destinations and restaurants in the Tri-state right under your nose.

* Many kids say vacation is vacation, wherever you are.

Roughly 64 percent of travelers this holiday weekend will stay within 250 miles from home.