hiking in nature

What are Some Alternative Ways to Spend a Long Weekend?

Most of the thousands of gamers who play our online casino games came to us from the world of land based casino gaming.  Casinos have existed for hundreds of years and only in the last twenty years or so have online casinos come aboard.  Intertops Casino was one of the first online casinos but today there are thousands of such casinos. 

One area we like to emphasize is that among the many advantages of playing at our online casino, one of the biggest reasons is that it gives you the chance to spend those long weekends at many great locations rather than at the land based casinos where you used to spend long weekends.

Great State Parks

Intertops Casino has worldwide reach so we can’t talk about places to go for a long weekend in every country in the world!  But make no mistake about it: in every country there are many alternatives to long weekends or even longer vacations other than spending them at land based casinos.

We might turn this discussion into a series but for now we will talk about those unsung United States State Parks.  There are many National Parks in the US and every state has many State Parks.  The National Parks get all the publicity but the State Parks also have great things to offer.  In this article, we will talk about four State Parks that are close to large cities so you can drive there rather than fly as you likely would if you were going to a land based casino.

Keep in mind that there are many great State Parks that are just too far to drive to on a long weekend excursion.  So here are four great parks that are within easy driving distance for tens of millions of people.  Even if you don’t live in the United States but are just visiting, these parks may be a great way to spend a few days close to your base of vacation operations.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

The redwoods and the sequoias are sister massive trees.  There are several places where you can walk among the giant trees and this state park is one of the finest.  It is a short drive north from San Francisco along the coast so you get the coastal experience on your way north.

The park has about 75 miles of trails of varied difficulty.  The key point is that the entire time you’ll be in the presence of these giant trees.  If you have never seen redwood trees before, you will be amazed and the amazement will not wear off even if you spend hours here.  Redwood trees are both massive in girth and much taller than the trees you are familiar with back home!

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has many other interesting flora and fauna.  Perhaps the most intriguing are the protected elk that roam the meadows.  If you bring your bike, there is a long bike trail as well as hiking trails.

Letchworth State Park

Just as the Redwoods State Parks we discussed above is on the west coast of the United States, Letchworth State Park is about halfway between New York City and Niagara Falls near the US east coast.

In this area of the state of New York are a series of long and narrow lakes that taken together are called the Finger Lakes.  Letchworth State Park is but one of several State Parks in the area.

Letchworth is about 17 miles long and much narrower.  The Genesee River flows northward through the length of the park forming great canyons and waterfalls.  Thus the river sometimes flows swiftly and at other locations along the way it slows to a much slower flow.  Every inch of this park, which covers more than 14,000 acres, is a place of exquisite natural beauty!

Many people who visit both Niagara Falls and Letchworth State Park say that while Niagara Falls are awesome in their power and beauty, the landscape and more accessible falls in Letchworth give them thoughts of how life must have transpired here when Native Americans lived in the area.

Even the most creative land based casino can’t replicate the spirituality of a place like Letchworth!

Sketch artists love to come here because the falls never dominate the landscape.  As wonderful as the falls are, surrounding them is the gorge through which the river flows, the bluffs all around, and the wonderful natural vegetation.  Even if you aren’t a sketch artist, you’ll get the same sense of awe by sitting and looking and listening to the river and the falls and the birds overhead.

In the summer, visitors can swim in a pool set aside just for swimming.  This pool is nothing like a hotel pool.  You swim or lounge surrounded by luxurious nature all around!  Summer brings kayaking, hiking the many trails, horseback riding, performing arts shows and much more.  In the winter, the park turns into a natural winter wonderland with cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

Letchworth is a short drive from Niagara Falls and most people go on from Letchworth to see the grandest waterfalls of all. 

Natural Bridge State Park and Fall Creek Falls State Park

These parks are in the sister states of Kentucky and Tennessee.  With a car, you can easily enjoy both State Parks on a long weekend.  Kentucky and Tennessee are not all that close to the biggest cities in the US but they are still within reasonable driving distance of the homes of millions of people!

Both parks are nestled in the vast Appalachian Mountains area.  Fall Creek Falls is at the top of the huge Cumberland Plateau which many homesteaders crossed as they went west and grew with the nation back in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Fall Creek Falls has miles of short and long, easy and hard trails.  Hikers will thrill at the sights of waterfalls, gorges, rivers and streams, and lush mountain trees.

Natural Bridges State Park is even more fully within the Appalachian Mountains area.  It is a large recreational area built around the Red River Gorge.  The Appalachian Mountains stretch hundreds of miles so this park encompasses a small portion of it.  These mountains were known for centuries for their isolation.

The people who lived in the “hollows” as the locals called them lived far from even the modest cities of the emerging American westward movement over a couple of centuries.  The term “hollows” is actually not the exact way the locals used to refer to these gorges.  They called the “hollers” as one brother might live one “holler” away from another brother!

So, as Letchworth State Park gives us a sense of the Native American presence in what they called home and we today consider natural beauty, Natural Bridge State Park gives us a sense of how people lived isolated from the life of cities and other aspects of “modernity” at that time.

Today, all of these wonderful state parks and hundreds more are a great way to spend a long weekend or a longer vacation.  And you can always play a little at Intertops Casino Red to wind down in the evening! 

PLAY NOW