Vacation local this summer

Thermometers around the county began creeping upwards of 90 degrees this week, and with the calendar reading June, everyone&8217;s minds turned toward vacations.

Now, you could very well satisfy your summer fever with a road trip &8212; windows down, icee and chips in hand, music blaring as you cross the country &8212; or you could save your wallet and do the same across the county.

Shelby County offers up a wealth of recreation and relaxation. The added bonus being that by staying near home you don&8217;t have to shell out $200 in gas, and yet you still boost our local economy.

We know, we know … summer is supposed to be about adventure and seeing new sights. There are plenty of things to catch your attention right here:

-The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum: For Father&8217;s Day you can even catch a dinner train.

-American Village: In July, fireworks will light up the sky as you explore the beautiful Montevallo scenery.

-Great outdoors: boating, fishing, relaxing, what more could you want? How about hiking trails and horseback riding at Oak Mountain State Park?

-Golf courses: We have more than a dozen beautiful greens in places like Pelham, Calera and North Shelby to putt a few balls.

-Restaurants: The area boasts some of the best restaurants to lounge on a patio and take in the scenery with a cool drink and scrumptious bites of local cuisine. Try Vizzini Winery in Calera, Area 41 Pizza in Mt Laurel or Incahoots in Helena.

-Shopping: Talk about boosting the economy. There&8217;s the Village at Lee Branch, Old Town Helena and the Colonial Promonade.

-Community: If nothing else, this abounds in Shelby County with Liberty Day in Columbiana and a weekly farmers market in Mt Laurel.