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 that you didn’t know existed.

If you feel like fishing, East Texas has three of the top bass lakes in the nation with lakes Fork, Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.

Longview is surrounded by lakes too - Fork, Martin Creek, Caddo, and Lake O'Pines - plenty of great space there for sun and splashin'.

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.” Beats driving all the way to the Hill Country.

Summer is half over already, so don’t let it waste away on ya. There are plenty of great places to visit within driving distance, and they won't break the bank!