With the economy in a slump, international vacations aren't on the summer agenda for most folks. But don't cancel those dreams of exotic travel just yet. There are some places you can head to in this country that will leave you feeling as if you jetted across the Atlantic without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas:
MOTIF: OLD WORLD SPAIN
U.S. LOCATION: ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA.
CASA MONICA HOTEL, $319 PER NIGHT
For a Spanish vacation without buying a plane ticket to Madrid, try St. Augustine, Fla. It's the nation's oldest city and is filled with Spanish-colonial architecture. It feels like Old World Spain complete with cobblestone streets, courtyards and an old colonial quarter. While visiting, stay at Casa Monica hotel, a Moorish revival castle. It's located in the heart of St. Augustine, and is a majestic 1888 landmark. It looks and feels so much like the real thing, the king and queen of Spain stayed there on their most recent visit.
MOTIF: ITALIAN WINE COUNTRY
U.S. LOCATION: BARBOURSVILLE, VA.
1804 INN, $225 PER NIGHT
To feel like your wine tasting in an Italian vineyard, stop by the Barboursville Vineyard, in Barboursville, Va. The vineyard was built in 1976 by an Italian winemaker who wanted to bring a bit of Italy to Virginia. Barboursville produces 30,000 cases of wine a year from authentic Italian grapes. While there, stay right on the vineyard at the 1804 Inn.
MOTIF: AFRICAN SAFARI
U.S. LOCATION: SANTA ROSA, CALIF.
SAFARI WEST, $225 PER NIGHT
If you've always dreamed of an African Safari, head west to Safari West in Santa Rosa, Calif. Safari West has 4,000 acres of wildlife preserve filled with zebras, wildebeasts, cheetahs and giraffes. Established in 1989, it's the only lodge in North America that has authentic African canvas safari tents, which let you sleep under the stars with the wildlife.
MOTIF: GERMAN BEER FESTIVAL
U.S. LOCATION: MILWAUKEE
PFISTER HOTEL, $309 PER NIGHT
Milwaukee has a giant German population, and every year it plays host to the largest Germanfest in North America. It boasts tons of authentic German food and traditional German bands. While chowing down on sauerkraut, stay at the Pfister Hotel. It's located in the heart of Milwaukee and has a Victorian, ornate Old World charm.
MOTIF: PRIVATE ISLAND
U.S. LOCATION: REPUBLIC ISLAND, MICH.
REPUBLIC ISLAND, $100 PER NIGHT
If you've always dreamed of vacationing on a private island, look no farther than Republic Island, Mich. Located on the Michigamme River, Republic Island is the ideal location to escape from the modern world. You'll stay in a historic cedar log cabin complete with a cobblestone fireplace and high beam ceilings. Republic Island is surrounded by rich wildlife, including bald eagles, and is famous for its fishing. Explore the waters around the island in the pontoon, canoe, aluminum boat or paddle boat -- all included as part of your stay.
Travel & Leisure magazine has more details on trips like these. Click here to visit the Web site.