Sure it’s great to jet off to an exotic location in the summertime and sit by a resort swimming pool and sip beverages with umbrellas in them. But since Hawaii is not on everyone’s agenda or in all of our budgets, we’ve come up with some other ideas to have fun closer to home, and maybe discover some cool places in East Texas that you didn’t know existed.

How about checking out some history in Nacogdoches? It truly is the Oldest Town in Texas, getting its roots in the 1700s. You’ve got the nearby Caddo Indian Mounds, plus the Historic Town Center and several museums. And after that, I’m sure you can find a spot to sip a drink with an umbrella.

If you want to spend a day at on the water, Lake Nacogdoches and Lake Sam Rayburn have the fishing and jet ski space. And for fishing, East Texas has three of the top bass lakes in the nation with lakes Fork, Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.

Lots of couple friends of mine like the bed and breakfast weekends, to get away from the routine and find some quality alone time. For that bit of bonding time, there’s always Jefferson, near the Louisiana border. That’s home to Caddo Lake, and Lake O’ the Pines isn’t far away. Jefferson is known as the “Bed and Breakfast Capital of East Texas,” did ya know that? Beats driving all the way to the Hill Country.

Summer is half over already, so don’t let it waste away! Take a long weekend and break the routine without breaking the bank.