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Please help me brainstorm - family trip

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Our family is hatching a travel plan, and I need some help brainstorming.

We are 3 adults in our 40s (my husband and I and my uncle, who is closer to my age and more like a brother) plus his 2 kids (my cousins) a girl and a boy, both young teenagers. We might end up with a couple more teenagers too, depending on the trip, if the kids each bring a friend.

We are all Californians and the kids have been all over California, Oregon, Washington so they have the West Coast pretty well covered, but have never visited any other part of the US. Their mom took them to Europe last summer, which was great for them, and they have been to Canada, but my uncle wants them to see some more of our own country. So we are hatching a plan to go see stuff.

We'll probably take 10-15 days in the summertime and are really open to anything. We aren't thinking theme parks, like Disney or anything like that though. We want the kids to see regional differences, try new foods, learn about history and culture, see different landscapes, etc. rather than visit a pre-packaged thing. We all like big cities, museums, monuments, the outdoors, small towns, poky little places, and everything in between. We like active stuff like bike riding, kayaking, hiking, cultural things like festivals, museums, live music, etc. as well as silly tourist stuff like riding those HOHO convertible buses around a city :)

My husband and I have been to quite a few places in the US for work and personal travel, but we want to focus on places that will be of interest to teenagers and expand their horizons. My uncle hasn't travelled too much in the US except on the west coast, but has travelled internationally. We are pretty easy-going, laid-back travellers, everybody in good shape, no one particularly needy or picky - so basically perfect ;)

Our initial thoughts were the east coast cities - Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia - the center of early American/US history. Maybe do a trip through a few cities, or pick one city and then explore it and the countryside around it. Boston and then some more rural areas in New England or something like that - drive up the coast into Maine maybe. But I don't want to limit our possibilities. Also, this could be the first of a series of trips, so a nice list of possibilities would be great to have.

So what ideas do you guys have? Where have you taken your kids that was of particular interest to them?

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