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North Sea Area Questions (Aurich, Friesland, Wittmund, Leer, etc)

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For this year’s family vacation/visit the in-laws we will be meeting up on the North Sea, probably staying somewhere near Aurich. This is the area that my wife and her family used to spend many of their summer vacations when she was a child. Actually, they always stayed on Langeoog, but I do not want to spend 12 days on an island when I am sure there is so much more to see in the area. While she is relaxing on the beach (I will spend a few days doing that as well), I plan to get out and see the countryside and some of the larger cities as well, including Bremen.

I am seeking any advice on other not-to-miss sights or sites in the area.

Here are the specifics of our trip:
- Flying into Amsterdam via Iceland (we will be in Iceland three days!)
- Driving to the Aurich area and spending 12 nights in vacation rental house (TBD)
- Travelling with wife and two girls (6 and 3 years old) so kid friendly ideas are appreciated but I will also have opportunities to spend days to myself as well.
- Rental car to get from point A to B
- Willing to drive 2 hours each way or perhaps a bit more for something really good
- I am interested in anything with historical significance especially medieval. I saw that they have some Viking museums near the Danish border but probably too far to drive unless I get enough glowing reviews on how they should not be missed.
- Also interested in good restaurants.

I look forward to your advice!

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