Week-long Vacation with Kids

Jul 29th, 2018, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Week-long Vacation with Kids

Hi there:

I'm hoping someone will be able to help my husband and me decide on a week-long trip with our kids (ages 9, 8, and 2). My husband and I have been racking our brains, trying to determine the best places to take our kids this summer, but we just can't decide. We are hoping for something within a 7 hour drive of northern NJ (preferably with interesting places on the way that can be incorporated into the trip). We are also really hoping for a place with upscale, pretty beaches (lake or ocean) along with other attractions that we could do in the afternoons. Finally, we would prefer something that is not too incredibly crowded. Already been to Boston/Rhode Island areas. Some of our thoughts included a trip to the outerbanks of North Carolina with a day or two in Virginia (maybe Williamsburg, Charlottesville, or the caverns). Alternatively, we were considering a trip to Lake George/Vermont/Maine. If you have any alternative suggestions, that would be great, too.Price is a consideration, but we are willing to stay farther from the attraction/beach to save money on lodging. Thank you in advance!
ts135 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2018, 09:38 PM
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When we lived in the U.S. our annual August summer holiday (7 years in a row) was always a week on Cape Cod; we drove up from D.C. After the first "Where should we go for summer holiday" that found us on the Cape we were hooked. We rented (the same) house in Brewster, for us an ideal base*. Our children were 3 and 8 the first year; 10 and 15 in our final year. The beaches ranged from the calm bay side with its tidal pools to the raucous ocean side--something for all ages. There are numerous indoor activities, as well, for the inevitable rainy days. Our oldest child, now 22, even spent one of his university spring breaks on the Cape, that is how fond his memories of the Cape are.

*We were able to enjoy "our" house in Brewster because we would place our deposit in January. If you're looking now you will probably have fewer options.

Last edited by fourfortravel; Jul 29th, 2018 at 09:54 PM.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 29th, 2018, 10:09 PM
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I had just one day in Maine, so I am no expert. But from what I saw, I loved it. If I lived closer, I would go there on vacation. We visited a college and then spent some time in Portland, which was a charmer. Saw some really pretty coastline. It wasn't crowded when we went in late August. An easy drive from Boston. Hopefully others can tell you more.
5alive is offline  
Jul 30th, 2018, 02:29 AM
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This summer? Meaning in the next four weeks? Finding lodging at the coast will be difficult. The last week of August would be easiest, when some kids have started back to school.

Southern Maine is very nice....York, Old Orchard, Wells, Kennebunkport. Rugosa Lobster Boat tours. Day trips to Portland and Portsmouth (visit Strawberry Bank).

​​​​​​Closer to home would be the Cape May area.

I'm not familiar with beaches south of there.

Hershey Park and Amish Country.

Virginia Beach combined with Williamsburg.
rizzo0904 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2018, 04:33 AM
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Sorry, Rizzo, southern Maine in August and congestion/traffic would not be my choice. Tip about last week of August is good. NH schools generally start back before Labor Day.

The good thing about August in NH is there are some Old Home Day weekends going on. Musterfield Farm in Sutton NH has Old Time Farming Days the weekend of 8/25-26. We used to go and it's a nice family event. Kids can try different activities, tractor parade around 2pm, buy food there or bring a lunch. Wadleigh state park is nearby for swimming but upscale Lake Sunapee isn't too far away. Warner NH has Kearsarge Indian Museum and a natural science museum. If you stayed in the Lake Winnipesaukee area (or Lake Winnisquam) Squam Lake Science Center is outstanding. There might be childrens plays at local summer theater. NH White Mountains' activities are a short drive away. Kids love Funspot but we never went. You might be able to find a cottage for rent at this late date.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jul 30th, 2018, 06:11 AM
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You might consider a cruise. Look at the website, www.vacationstogo.com and look at the August 19 cruise on Celebrity Summit out of Bayonne, NJ. I mention this particular cruise because I am considering it myself in September. It is a five star ship that spends half the cruise in Bermuda, known for beautiful beaches. We have taken our GD, now age 9, on 4 cruises and she loves them, especially snorkeling in beautiful, clear water. She also loves all the stuff for kids on the ships. Summit is not my first choice for kids (some are really super oriented to kids programs), but Bermuda looks gorgeous, and that particular date is reasonably priced.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jul 30th, 2018, 06:56 PM
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Thank you all so much for your responses!

To respond to your points: yes, we plan to go the week of August 19th. Unfortunately, we can't do the last week in August because of my husband's job.

I really appreciate all of the ideas about Maine, the Cape, NH, etc. I'm running them by my husband.

Sassafrass: We love cruises so much (went on one for our honeymoon years ago), but it doesn't end up being very cost-effective with three young kids. If we stay at a hotel, we just pay one fee regardless of the number of occupants, but with a cruise, each kid is extra. We definitely plan to cruise again when the kids are older.
ts135 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2018, 12:57 AM
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At this point, lodging is going to be the deciding factor. See where you can find a place with vacancy in your budget.

Another place to consider is Niagara Falls. We are going there Labor Day weekend. You could combine it with a trip to the finger lakes.
rizzo0904 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2018, 03:37 AM
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Have you considered the CT/RI border area? Nice beaches in RI (Misquamicut, Charlestown, Westerly, Watch Hill, Metunic, etc.) close enough to Mystic CT for the Aquarium and/or Seaport, and for a rainy day the Native American Museum at Foxwoods Casino or the submarine museum in Groton. Day trips from Point Judith, RI to Block Island, rent bikes and explore.
emalloy is offline  
Jul 31st, 2018, 03:39 AM
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Go to Myrtle Beach. Heaven knows I never thought I would say this but it would be a good place.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 31st, 2018, 12:43 PM
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The Finger Lakes region of NYS. Easy. 4-5 hour drive, various accommodations available, rent a house on a lake, hotels, motels, Inns, camping. Corning Museum of Glass, Children's Museum of Play in Rochester, hiking, biking. Great for kids and adults!!
Winegirl99 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2018, 05:38 AM
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Niagara Falls can be fun... Maid of the Mist, Whirlpool JetBoats, Clifton Hill, Fort Niagara, waterparks, Cave of the Winds, small Aquarium, Butterfly Conservatory, fireworks nightly, accommodations in all price ranges ...
garyt22 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2018, 07:32 PM
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Thanks, everyone! For those of you who suggested Niagara Falls- excellent idea! The only problem is that that is exactly what we did last summer, We went on the Canadian side and absolutely loved it. We have been to CT/RI and loved the Cape. We would consider going back there, but I think lodging would be too difficult to find at this point. Your ideas for Maine and NH sound great, but we decided that we may want to save them for next year possibly. At this point, it looks like we may go with the idea of the poster who suggested Virginia Beach combined with Williamsburg. We would like to do something different on the way there and on the way back. Does anyone have any suggestions of places to go in the VA area and/or on the way there or back? We would be willing to deviate somewhat from the path, if necessary.
ts135 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2018, 11:51 PM
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Chincoteague on the way to Virginia Beach. Baltimore Inner Harbor for the williamsburg to NJ route
rizzo0904 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2018, 07:42 AM
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We did Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg on the way to Virginia Beach. Liked all of it.
sf7307 is online now  
Aug 2nd, 2018, 07:42 PM
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I looked into all of your Virginia ideas and love them all. Thank you!
ts135 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2018, 08:06 AM
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Well, as long as you might be staying in Virginia....on a different trip, we wound our way from Washington DC through horse country (Culpeper area) to Charlottesville, where we stayed and visited the U. of Virginia and Monticello, then through part of Shenandoah National Park, Staunton, Lexington, Appomattox Courthouse, etc. and back to DC via other small towns, such as Winchester and Harpers Ferry. We enjoyed that trip very much too (but that one was without kids).
sf7307 is online now  
Aug 4th, 2018, 07:33 PM
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ts135 is offline  
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