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Treat Mom Any of These 11 Destinations

Don't limit honoring mom to only one day when you can turn it into a weekend by gifting her the gift of travel, suitable for use anytime she's ready for a getaway.

Need some ideas to present to mom? Here are 11 destinations for her (and you) to consider.

Bentonville, Ark.

Describing Bentonville as "interesting" doesn't do the destination justice. It's one of those places that can't be defined with a simple word; it has to be experienced in person. Known best as the home base of Walmart and for its mountain bike trails, Bentonville is also a draw for art lovers and foodies.

Do: No doubt art is a big deal in Bentonville. It's here you'll find the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. From the buildings' architecture to its permanent collection highlighting five centuries of American artworks from early American to the present, everything about it is awe-inspiring. And then there's Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian home, Buckminster Fuller's Fly's Eye Dome, and five miles of walking trails, including the Art Trail with sculptures. Yes, this is a one-of-a-kind place. Then there's the Momentary, a satellite to Crystal Bridges, a space focusing on contemporary visual, performing, and culinary arts with exhibits, festivals, artists-in-residence and more. You can also engage in a self-guided public art tour.

Eat: With Bentonville's growing culinary scene, you will never be at a loss for places to eat. With restaurants like The Preacher's Son in a restored historic church to food trucks and more, the tricky part is deciding where to dine, and honestly, that's motivation to travel back to Bentonville on a later date.

Stay: For a complete Bentonville experience, make your home base at 21c Museum Hotel. The destination also offers a variety of other hotels, bed and breakfasts, and rentals.

Lafayette, La.

Spend a weekend in Lafayette, the "Heart of Louisiana's Cajun Country," immersed in its rich blend of music, culture and food, and it will capture your heart. The destination, located about two hours west of New Orleans, enjoys sharing its culture and spirit with visitors.

Do: Familiarize yourself with the area's history by visiting the Acadian Cultural Center and Vermilionville. The Acadian Cultural Center, part of the National Park Service, tells the story of Acadians through exhibits. Vemilionville is more of a living museum/park highlighting Acadian, Native American and Creole culture from 1765 through 1890. There are 19 attractions, including seven restored original homes to view and explore.

Take a guided tour of Cypress Island/Lake Martin with Cajun Country Swamp Tours. Lake Martin is one of the state's largest nesting colonies for many species of water birds. Oh, and you might also see an alligator (or two).

Even if you don't consider yourself a dancer, still it's worth checking out Lafayette's dance halls and music venues. You never know, someone might offer to teach you a step or two. Catch live, local music at Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse, considered one of the country's premier places for roots music.

Eat: Since you're in Louisiana, it's a given that'll you eat well and often. There are food tours, the Cajun Boudin Trail ( must try a Parrain Special, a boudin ball grilled cheese sandwich, at Johnson's Boucaniere), Plate Lunch Experiences, and so much more to happily eat your way around Lafayette,

Stay: Accommodations vary from hotels to bed and breakfasts to rentals. There are even campgrounds with RV hook-ups, too.

Greenwood, Miss.

As the saying goes, "good things come in small packages," and that sentiment also applies to small towns. Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood is filled with many things to do, see and experience. So if you can't get to everything in one weekend, you have an excellent excuse to return.

Do: Take a self-guided walking tour of downtown and support local shops by popping in places like Turnrow Book Company and Mississippi Gift Company.

Learn new techniques and show off new recipes at home with a class at The Viking Cooking School.

Enjoy the movie, The Help? Around 95 percent of the scenes were shot on location in Greenwood. The self-guided tour introduces you to the different sites used in the film.

Eat: Join the clean plate club while visiting Greenwood. From upscale dining to more casual eateries, there's something for all to enjoy.

Stay: Nestle in for the night at The Alluvian Hotel. If time allows, schedule a spa treatment at their spa. For something quirky, overnight at the Tallahatchie Flats. Offering six authentic tenant houses with tin roofs, each one features different amenities.

Mentone, Ala.

Situated atop Lookout Mountain, Mentone is a prime destination where you recharge. Whether you enjoy exploring the natural surroundings or the quaint town, one thing is for sure; you won't get tired of being in Mentone.

Do: Embrace the outdoors at DeSoto State Park and experience the area's allure through chasing waterfalls, hiking, kayaking and more. Then, grab an early dinner (and check out the fun gifty items and souvenirs) from Mentone Market and head to Brow Park to watch the sunset set.

Explore Mentone's artsy side. Find unique pieces at places like The Mentone Arts Center and Moon Lake Trading Co., to name a few.

Eat: Don't leave Mentone without having a slice of tomato pie or a dessert (or both since it is a trip) at Wildflower Cafe. For something fun, enjoy breakfast or tea time at The Hatter's Cafe, decked out in its Alice in Wonderland splendor.

Stay: Accommodations here range from bed and breakfasts to cabin rentals to RVs/campgrounds.

Knoxville, Tenn.

There's never a dull moment in East Tennessee's destination, Knoxville. Spend a weekend here and discover what makes the city attractive to all ages.

Do: Park your car and wander through downtown. See the Tennessee Theatre and visit the East Tennessee History Museum. Stop in The Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain for a soda or milkshake. Check out the boutiques and eateries in Market Square. This area also hosts the Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, May through November. At noon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, take in a free music performance at WDVX Blue Plate Special at Visit Knoxville. Complete the downtown tour with a visit to the Knoxville Museum of Art and then the 1982 World's Fair Sunsphere's Observation Deck.

Experience the city's outdoors and get more steps in at Ijams Nature Center, with over 12 miles of trails and other ways to stay active. If you rather enjoy the outdoors at a more leisurely pace, visit the Knoxville Botanical Gardens.

Eat: Knoxville's culinary range is ever-evolving. So you won't have any problems finding local places to dine at that satisfy the pickiest or most demanding palate, whether downtown or in another part of the city.

Stay: Knoxville has many places to rest your head after a whirlwind day or days of exploring. There are boutique hotels like The Oliver Hotel, steps away from Market Square, chain hotels and more.

Marietta, Ga.

Only 18 miles northwest of Atlanta, but a world away from the hustle, Marietta, especially the downtown, is a delightful destination for you to visit.

Do: Do the "Square" by meandering in and out of the different shops, and if you both get thirsty or hungry, grab a drink, snack or lunch from one of the many restaurants, or the Marietta Square Market, a food hall with 19 eateries. Bring a cooler when visiting on a Saturday because you find plenty at the Marietta Square Farmers Market to take back home.

Six museums, from the Marietta Museum of History to Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum, are all within walking distance from the Square. Each one provides insight into Marietta's history and culture. Visit one or all with some pre-planning.

Eat: For Sunday brunch, head to Douceur de France for an order of Crème Brûlée French Toast or Baguette Beurre Sandwich. Get some treats for later, too.

Stay: Snuggle in at the Hilton/Atlanta Marietta Hotel and Conference Center, two miles from the historic Square. For more intimate accommodations, consider the Stanley House Bed and Breakfast Inn.

St. Augustine, Fla.

Let the nation's oldest city dazzle you during a getaway. You'll soon realize there is something to discover on nearly every corner of St. Augustine.

Do: The best way to thoroughly enjoy a city is through a tour, and the Old Town Trolley Tour is a great way to learn about the city's history and see the related sites. Of course, food is an essential part of a destination, and City Walks offers a Food & Wine Tasting Tour that introduces you to St. Augustine's rich culinary offerings.

If you want to see as much as possible during the visit and want to save money, consider the Tour Pass, which for one price, includes admission to many top attractions.

Eat: From casual dining to fine dining, ethnic restaurants to places where the seafood is king, you have a wide range of culinary choices in St. Augustine. Since you both are traveling, try something different - something that you would never try at home.

Stay: Much like St. Augustine itself, accommodations here are unique. Consider weekend-ing at one of the five Inns of Elegance, each with a particular story and ambiance. Another option is Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, a restored 1888 hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Columbia, S.C.

South Carolina's capital city Columbia is a hidden gem. There are neighborhoods to explore, places to experience and so much more. It's a struggle to get everything in over a weekend, thus giving you a great reason to revisit as soon as you both can.

Do: For first-timers, head to Main Street. Here, you'll find the South Carolina State House, which offers tours and the Columbia Museum of Art, with permanent and temporary collections. Main Street is also dotted with plenty of eateries for a quick drink and bite. Seasonally on Saturdays, Main Street hosts the Soda City Market. The producer-only market is different from any other market around. Similar to traditional European street markets, it features about 150 vendors, and with one visit, you will be comparing every other market to this one.

Another not-to-be-missed Columbia experience is the Riverbank Zoo and Garden. Consider a backstage experience where you can learn more about and interact with the zoo residents. Of course, remember to check out the botanical garden, too.

Eat: Pimento cheese fans should check out Columbia's Pimento Cheese Passport, encouraging you to try the chefs' unique spin on this southern classic. Alternatively, if you find dining in renovated spaces a way to connect with the city, check out Motor Supply Company Bistro. The restaurant is housed in a renovated engine supply building from the late 1800s. As one can see, the overall dining scene is like the city itself - a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Stay: Regarding accommodations, there's something for every budget and taste, from bed-and-breakfasts to full-service properties.

Winston-Salem, N.C.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina's fifth-largest city prides itself on being a city of arts and innovation. After all, the hyphenated named destination is home to the first Arts Council in the United States, fueling startups such as Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation. Notable, too, it is a place that honors its past as well.

Do: The Moravians established Salem in 1766. Due to their careful note and journal keeping, Old Salem Museum and Gardens is said to be one of America's most well-documented attractions. Period-costumed interpreters highlight 18th to 19th-century Moravian traditions inside historic buildings and gardens. Also, check out the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), showcasing a varied and vast collection of early American South decorative arts from 1660-1860.

Historic Bethabara is the site of the first European settlement in the Piedmont Triad of the state and was once a bustling town. Today, it's open to visitors to explore the ground that features trails, historic buildings, including 1788 Gemeinhaus Church, the oldest standing church with attached residence in the United States, and more.

What once served the country estate of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds and his wife Katharine is now the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Started by the Reynolds' granddaughter in 1967 with only nine paintings, the collection has grown to nearly 200, representing the finest pieces from the Colonial period to present-day artists.

Afterward, stroll through the gardens, check out the shops and restaurants in Reynolda Village, and don't leave without getting a donut and coffee from Dough-Joe's.

Eat: In addition to the various restaurants to choose from in Winston-Salem, there is also the Moravian Culinary Trail and a Craft Draft Crawl worth checking out.

Stay: Accommodations vary from style, like the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, to The Historic Brookstown Inn, and nearly everything in between.

Loudoun County, Va

Turn your getaway into a culinary and winery escape when you visit Loudoun County. Home to over 40 wineries, more than 30 breweries and two artisanal distilleries, you'll find plenty to enjoy.

Do: Get lost in the countryside and explore the wineries by sipping samples at Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg and 8 Chains North in Waterford. While out and about, you must go to Philomont General Store in Philmont for a quick sandwich and a souvenir or two.

Eat: Treat your palate to lunch at The Red Fox Inn and Tavern (be sure to sample their Virginia Peanut Soup) in Middlesburg, followed by dinner at The Restaurant on Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, which serves seasonal fare. Much like the drinks, the restaurants are varied and plentiful.

Stay: Make home base Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne. Schedule enough free time on the itinerary to enjoy a spa treatment at Spa Minérale. You can also opt to stay in one of the quaint towns.

Berea, Ky.

Around 40 miles from Lexington is the town of Berea. Best known as the "Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky" and home to Berea College, it is also home to some of the best hiking in the state. The destination is a well-balance of art and outdoors, with some culinary delights added in.

Do: Start at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, featuring a wide range of products from Kentucky makers. Next, make your way to the Artisan Village, where Berea's Welcome Center and working artists' studios. Finally, check out Berea College's College Square, where you and your mom can discover places like the Log House Craft Gallery showcasing students' works.

If you both want to spend time outdoors in Berea, lace up the hiking shoes and discover why Berea is a certified Kentucky Trail Town. From the Berea Pinnacles to Boone Trace Trail and more, the trails vary in difficulty.

Eat: Culinary experiences range from lunch at The Berea College Farm Store to dinner at the Boone Tavern Dining Room, with other options in between.

Stay: The Historic Boone Tavern offers mom-approved rooms for your weekend getaway. There is also unique lodging, such as cottages or on a ranch, bed and breakfasts, other hotels and camping spots.


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