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Summer is a Great Time for a Road Trip

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Vacation Closer to Home

Alabama has wonderful state parks that provide everything you need to have a terrific family vacation closer to home, or an enjoyable day trip. 

If roughing it in a tent is not your thing, most parks have a variety of options, from rustic cabins and chalets to hotels with all the standard amenities.

One of the Alabama state parks closest to Huntsville is Lake Guntersville State Park located on the banks of the Tennessee River and overlooking the beautiful 69,000 acre Lake Guntersville.  The park offers a beach, golf course, hiking, boating, fishing, and nature programs.

About forty minutes away from Lake Guntersville State Park is Cathedral Caverns, a great opportunity to take a tour and explore the amazing underground beauty of Mother Nature.  Summer is a great time to go spelunking, because the caves remain a comfortable (or chilly depending upon your perspective) sixty degrees Fahrenheit.

Another nearby favorite is DeSoto State Park a 3,502 acre park at the top of Lookout Mountain, which features enchanting waterfalls, hiking and mountain biking trails, an Olympic swimming pool, playground, fishing, golf, and canoe and kayak rentals.  DeSoto offers a resort lodge, rustic and log cabins, motel rooms, chalets and camping.

Although the high gas prices may keep some families at home this summer, many will still find taking a family road trip too appealing to resist.  Most of us probably have fond memories of the trips we took when we were kids, and idealize the adventure of hitting the open road and exploring this beautiful country with our loved ones.

What can you do to make your car trip more enjoyable?  If you have small children, it is important to plan ahead with activities that will keep them occupied and happy.  So many kids today have portable video games, iPads and other gadgets, but technology doesn't always promote interaction and family unity the way more traditional car games do.  You probably remember playing games with your siblings such as seeing who can spot the most of a certain car, license plate, animal etc., or various guessing or memory games in which everyone participates.  If you have a Kindle or a device with a Kindle App, check out this inexpensive eBook - "Are We There Yet?" with over 140 games, riddles and tongue twisters that require nothing more than a pencil and paper.

Buying fast food for the family can be expensive.  Consider packing healthy snacks like carrot sticks and cucumber wedges, and take along some fresh fruit, pumpkin and sunflower seeds to munch on.  One big benefit of fruits and vegetables is that they will help keep you hydrated.  Don't forget to also take along enough filtered water in a BPA-free container.

If you can, take a cooler and pack a simple lunch for everyone, then stop at a rest area for lunch and have a nice outdoor picnic.  It's much more fun than sitting in a fast food restaurant, and a nice way to create fond memories for your family.   It also gives kids the chance to run around and burn off some off their pent-up energy, and an opportunity for mom and dad to get some exercise too.

Speaking of which, make a point to stop at as many rest areas as you can, so you can move around and minimize the stiffness and achiness that tends to result from extended driving.

Many of our patients like to schedule a chiropractic visit before a big trip to ensure they are in tip-top shape for their vacation, and then right afterward to work out any of the "kinks" that develop from physical strain of driving and riding in a car for many hours, and sleeping on uncomfortable mattresses while traveling.

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