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2 week beach holiday with kids in NorthEast - Need suggestions, please!

2 week beach holiday with kids in NorthEast - Need suggestions, please!

Feb 10th, 2013, 11:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 108
2 week beach holiday with kids in NorthEast - Need suggestions, please!

We are planning a two week family vacation with our two kids (7, 3 yo) for the first two weeks of August. We are based in Nothern NJ. We've been going to the outer Hamptons (Hampton Bays) for the past several years but we are looking for a new (and possibly less expensive) alternative destination. We can either be based in one place or switch places a couple of times this time to make it more of a sightseeing trip but we'd like to stay at least part of it on/near the ocean. We like proximity to good restaurants, cute towns/villages and of course, kids activities. Any suggestions will be much appreciated!
Thank you!
anuta_n is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 100
Hi! I live around Boston, and have done a few beachy trips around this area. Last year, my husband and I (no kids, so I'm not of help there) went to Booth Bay Harbor, which we loved. Very cute, typical New England town. Hotels that are right on the water, walking trails, relatively inexpensive (we had a groupon for our hotel, which was definitely in need of a facelift, but in a nice location, with the bay right in front of our room.)

The Cape is also beautiful, of course, but pricey in the summer. Personally, I am also in love with Martha's Vineyard, but again it can be pricey.

Have fun!!
bride_2004 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,040
Have you been to the Southern Jersey shore? There are cute towns in Avalon and Stone Harbor and proximity to fun at Ocean City, Wildwoods, and Cape May. There aren't a lot of places you can sightsee from there with young kids but there is a great zoo nearby, a train you can ride, and lots to do in Cape May.
Birdie is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,528
Ogunquit, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, York Harbor - all small towns in southern Maine that may fit the bill. Or Plum Island, Mass - though it is primarily cottages not hotels.
bennnie is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,438
One consideration with kids and beach in New England is water temperatures. Maine has some wonderful beaches and quaint beach towns, but the water is pretty chilly. True you will see kids romping in the surf at places like York Beach and Ogunquit, but if your used to Long Island water, there's a big difference in the water temp. If you are ok with that, there are tons of motels, b&b's etc along and just off route 1 from York up to Kennebunkport, which is the 'swimming beach' stretch of Maine. There are lots of restaurants and mini golf for the kids, along with some scenic lighthouses and fishing village coves. Further north, the towns and coast are very picturesque, but the water is even colder and sandy beaches are scarce.
As for the Cape, there are beaches and beach towns of every description, and you can certainly find an inexpensive motel or inn. Again, except for the southern coast of the Cape, the water temps are chilly. The south shore of the Cape is the busiest and most commercialized, but there are still lots of quiet warm water beaches and places to stay. The Eastern coast of the Cape is mostly national seashore with spectacular beaches, surf, and cool water. Cape Cod Bay is fairly quiet with lots of kid friendly (but cool water) beaches and small villages.
There are also some great beaches in Rhode Island.
With two weeks, a week on the Cape and a week in Maine would be a good choice.
zootsi is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,138
I like the half on Cape Cod and part in Maine - not sure how you feel about a stop for a day or 2 in Boston between. With kids that age I might look for a house rental near the end of the Cape - we used to love Wellfleet but Dennis is perhaps a little less expensive. When one rents a house on the Cape you usually are allowed to then purchase a beach parking sticker for the week (some beaches are sticker only, others you have to pay to park) - and Dennis was a good choice for us since there are both beaches with waves and calm bay-side beaches.

House rental prices vary a great deal by proximity to beach - and while it is nice to be able to walk to the beach, sometimes a little longer walk or even drive is worth it in price. Cape Cod National Seashore (Eastham entry) has no parking at the beach - everyone parks in a large lot and takes a shuttle - this helps protect the dunes.

I might start in the Portland, ME area - even staying at a hotel in the city. It is a nice little city with lots to do within a short drive. Then head south and stop for a day or 2 in Boston. Follow the city part with a week rental on Cape Cod (almost all rent Sat afternoon - Sat AM). If your kids are reasonably OK in the car, it should be an OK drive NJ-Portland.

And depending on where in Norther NJ - take the Tappan Zee Bridge, not GW Bridge, even if your mapping program sends you up I95.
gail is offline  

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