Summer Fun across the Land and on the Islands: Tropical Beaches, Scenic Mountains and Historic Sites Are Just a Few Hours Away

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Summer Fun Across The Land And On The Islands

Are you frazzled by the corporate ladder-climb and yearning to set foot on an unencumbered mountain trail? Are you at wit's end about where to vacation with your video-obsessed youngsters? Has it reached the point that you and your partner are ready to get away from it all and retreat to a private paradise?

The encouraging news is that whether you are yearning for tropical ports of all, rugged high Sierra terrain or water slides and nature trails, you won't have to pay a fortune and you don't have to go far to fulfill your vacation wish. Right here in America are many vacation spots to satisfy the adventurer as well as the romantic. Those seeking cultural or intellectual enlightenment and those who just want to wile away the hours shopping or basking in the sun also have numerous options. If that's not enough, a number of tropical destinations that specialize in sun, sand and surf are a short plane ride away.

Each state offers its own brand of vacation appeal, from the seafood and sailing of Massachusetts to the casinos and white-water rafting cf Nevada. And while some offer standing attractions, such as the detroit Museum of African-American History and Motown Museum, and the amusement park of Kings Island, Ohio, others entice vacationers with events such as the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, the Chicago music festivals and Philadelphia's Jambalaya Jam.

In addition to the glitter and chimes of casinos in Las Vegas, the state of Nevada offers the beauty of the Grand Canyon in tour packages for couples, families and groups, rafting trips on the Colorado River and spectacular views for visitors to its Hoover Dam. On the opposite coast, Massachusetts invites vacationers to explore the Black Heritage Trail and other spots, including Boston and Harbor and Martha's Vineyard. The historic shipbuilding center of Newburyport is just one of the more quaint locales.

A variety of music is offered in Tennessee, and the state is no lightweight when it comes to providing rustic and scenic spectacles at Smoky Mountains retreats. In Memphis, Beale Street is where blues found a home years ago, and where shopping and dining spots are interspersed between historic and lively night spots. There also is a Black history tour to sites such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the National Civil Rights Museum (Lorraine Motel). Nearby is Henning, Tenn., the boyhood home of Roots author Alex Haley.

Blues and jazz are served up Creole-style on many of the Mississippi River paddlewheeler cruises that depart from New Orleans' Riverwalk. But Louisiana also offers a number of other water activities from fishing on Lake Pontchartrain to swimming at Gulf Coast beaches. …