Do you have recommendations for a family vacation including grandparents and young children? I know about Disney and cruises. Any others of the nice but won’t break the bank variety?
Estes Park Colorado - just beautiful
Yellowstone and Glacier - beautiful and freaky weird all at the same time.
Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico (waaay more to do than just visiting the caverns as there is White Sands and a Space museum and…)
Grand Canyon, Petrified National Forest … Arizona
Mount Rushmore in SD and I think it is Sitting Bull but I am not sure. If you go here, stay in Hot Springs SD and visit the Hot Springs pool for a day of just relaxation and enjoying a good swim in a naturally warm pool. It is only 30 mins. from Rapid City and not that far from Mt. Rushmore.
Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon or Canyon de Chelly (CO, NM & AZ respectively - all ruins of the same time period) or Bandelier (NM). Of course there are small cliff dwellings dotted through out Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona (and possibly Utah) of this time period of Southwest America.
What exactly kind of vacation are you looking for?
I second this one.
Lots to do in South Dakota… drive through the Badlands … visit Mt. Rushmore… visit Custer State Park… drive Needles Highway. We camped in a resort campground … Rafter J Bar Ranch in the Black Hills rafterj.com/ - BEAUTIFUL!!!
Horseback riding, rodeos, wildlife…
Do they still do the Passion Play? I googled it and sure enough, the still do. Check here: theblackhillspassionplay.com/
My parents did a road trip with my Grandparents the year before my Grandpa died and they did this one.
If you stay in that same general vicinity, just go north and into North Dakota (still in the Badlands) you can go to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and check out the historic city of Medora.
Check out State Tourism web-sites to get a better idea of what each State has. You can then choose the States closer to you and explore those first as an extended family. Trust me, there is so much to do and see in every State that you will think going to Disney Land was a lame idea in the end! (At least that is the way I think, Disney Land and Disney World and other theme parks are fun but, exploring a State for it’s Historical and Geographical features can be so utterly awesome.)
The Finger Lakes region in upstate NY
Not sure where you live, but as a kid, Ireallllly enjoyed our camping trip driving down the Oregon coast.
Our best family vacation was driving from Oklahoma to the Grand Canyon, we camped all along the way (18 days).
We saw everything we possibly could along the way or just slightly out of the way. Canyon de Chelly (pronounced ‘de shay’-I learned the hard way), painted dessert, Hubble trading post, petrified forest, Toozigoot, Montezuma’s castle and Well, Sedona (there is a Catholic Church up there that is built in the shape of a cross), the famous Tee Pee shop on RT 66, I could go on.
We are tenters but most KOA’s also have cabins (for those who aren’t) that are cheaper than a hotel, some even have onsite campers/trailers you can rent. We had a blast (even the teenagers who kept saying “do we have to go see another rock?”) AND spent less than any other vacation we have ever taken (even the ones where we were visiting family). We purchased a National Parks family pass for 50 bucks- it covered entrance fees to all the national park sites (for a year).
It is really hard to see these sights and not feel the presence of our Awesome God.
We used the national parks website and the koa website to plan the trip, they really helped as far as mapping/planning. But some of the times were a little misleading (we spent entire days at some places to really see all it had-I am one of those nerds who likes to read every little sign, desription, and hit all the musuems & gift shops, etc).
I recommend these as well from experience.
Want to get a feel for God’s environmental gifts on this planet? Must experience the Grand Canyon at least once in your life.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, & Pigeon Forge area. Lots and lots of family friendly attractions like Dollywood (they even have a church…Protestant, of course…inside the park that has gospel singings and Sunday services). There is also a nice Catholic Church there in pigeon forge as well as one in Gatlinburg. And one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been is Cades Cove, which is through Gatlinburg and up into the park. It was one of the first settlements in the Smokies. Its absolutely gorgeous and virtually unchanged since it was settled. You may even see a bear or two!!
To me its one of the prettiest places God created (the mountains, that is) and it is so peaceful there!
There are plenty of things to do where each person in the family can find something.
If you are in Florida, Cedar Key is a great town! cedarkey.org/
I have family there, and there is great nature stuff to do, great fishing, and great shopping, Also, it is close to the Ichetucknee Springs, ( floridastateparks.org/ichetuckneesprings/ )
Which I think is one of the greatest parks in the US.
I second this one! We LOVE Carlsbad Caverns. We go every.single.year. It doesn’t ever get old and we always see something new. Plus there is a shop in White’s City just outside the Park gate that sells the absolute best home-made fudge.
And don’t forget the Roswell Alien Museum!!!
How funny… we just booked our family vacation here for two weeks in July - cabin in the mountains one week, camping the second. We hadn’t heard much about this area… I’m waiting on vacation info but now you’ve gotten me excited!
We’ve gone here before, stayed in the really nice cabins they have there (sleep 8 people or more) with a two year old. We even hosted Thanksgiving there!
Thank you all for the continuing ideas! I’m forwarding them on and haven’t heard anything yet.
While the state historic and geographic places are right up my alley and I would like to hear more of them, I’d also appreciate any more places like DC, San Antonio, Dollywood, and Familyland you’ve heard of. The extended family is anti-Catholic, so Catholic destinations aren’t a possibility.
I have a question about DC. Is it a lot of walking and being quiet? Would it be hard on younger children? What about the Grand Canyon? Is it hard for seniors? Especially ones who prefer comfort?
DC - How young are the kids? Would they enjoy museums? Like the Air & Space or Natural History? DC has a great metro system too… so while there is walking, there’s also great public transportation. Contact your US Representative for tour information… they can get you on Capitol tours and such!
Grand Canyon - while hiking down into the Canyon is GREAT fun, you don’t HAVE to do that in order to enjoy the fantastic views. Just BEAUTIFUL there!!! There are bus tours around the rim that may be easier for seniors…
St. Augustine, Florida is a great place to visit. Here are some of the attractions:
Castillo De San Marcos (fort)
The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum
The Fountain of Youth
The Alligator Farm
Marineland (www.marineland.net )
Did I mention the BEACH?! Whatever age,most kids love to go!
St. Augustine is the site of the first Catholic Mass in the U.S., there is a beautiful, peaceful shrine on the site with a Chapel & gift shop. You could break away for a bit from the anti-Catholic family members you mentioned & visit. Of course, it’s historical so they may want to come along too;) . The website is: www.themissionandshrine.org . St. Augustine is only about an hour and a half from Orlando.
For the past several summers we’ve rented a condo at North Myrtle Beach, SC, for a week. It’s not as crowded or commercialized as Myrtle Beach. It’s nice since you have a kitchen and can cook some of your meals (saving big $$).
Its a really fun and beautiful place. I hope you enjoy it!!