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Alps/countryside off the beaten path suggestion - daytrip near Zurich

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I will be in Zurich for 2 nights in mid-March. I will have a full day for a daytrip/overnight on a Sunday (unfortunately - since I know most stores close on that day). It will be my family's first time in Switzerland (I spent a day in Lucerne years ago and absolutely loved it). We love being outdoors and would like to hike for about 2-3 hours at a time. Maybe toboganning. Skiing is not in the budget. We'll be equipped with hiking shoes and warm clothes. As long as it is not pouring rain, I can't see a bit of snow/mud holding us back. We go hiking in the snow in winter in Canada without any real issues and Switzerland in March shouldn't get much below freezing from what I can tell (sounds downright warm).

I've been planning to go to Lucerne and possibly do a trip up either Mt Rigi or Mt Pilatus. and am gulping a little at just how expensive it is - at least 310 SF for roundtrip transportation alone for our family of 4 (with discount passes, etc) from Zurich up to Mt Pilatus (these mountain railways are $$!).

The more I look into it, I'm very tempted to skip Lucerne. While I loved it, right now I'm way more excited about being in the Swiss countryside. I do know it is going to be March so if the weather is bad, we'll switch gears and go to Bern or something. My issue - I don't know what would be pretty, have that quaint Swiss Alps feel and be relatively inexpensive to get to. I've been researching like crazy and everyone seems to default to Lucerne or Interlaken (which is further away). While we like old towns, we would prefer charming villages/countryside. I would love to discover something "off the beaten path" that is not as much of a tourist trap.

Then again, if it is too far/too expensive/not worth it to get to, we might stick to the "usual" Lucerne, which is admittedly beautiful.

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