Other countries are not in minivan-full-of-little-hungry-crying-kids-with-poopy-diaper range.
Originally Posted by bluemonday
A good idea, but too far to drive for now. Although it would be fun to drive there and on to Alaska... someday.
Originally Posted by Jae Rae
I don't understand one thing - you like oceans, mountains and wilderness but you're thinking of going to Disneyworld? Does not compute.
What Jeffster said, plus we'd incorporate a visit to one of the Gulf beaches. I was nearly born in Sarasota, FL, but my parents moved back to Ohio. :steam:
Originally Posted by kyuuei
I'd say take a cruise instead of driving anywhere.. but if you WERE to drive, I haven't much to tell for you! I know when I went to Turner Falls in OK they were beautiful. It was a biiit cold to swim but people still were, and castle-like things along the hills.. I have fond memories of running around there one summer day. But coming from Ohio >.o going all the way to OK isn't much of a vacation.
Sounds nice, but yeah, too far for that.
Originally Posted by ygolo
There are all sort of Six Flags parks around the U.S. that may be even closer.
You could easily fly to Puerto Rico, and it's still in the U.S. so you won't need passports and all that junk. Jamaica, Bermuda, Virgin Islands are all a short plane ride away.
Your kids are probably too young to appreciate an overseas trip to Europe or Asia, but I think it's a pretty cool thing to do when they are older. Let them see different cultures, language, food, etc. It's the one thing I wish my parents had done with us.
The outer banks of NC are great. Very few tourists, beautiful beaches, and when the kids get bored you can take them up to Kitty Hawk and fly kites all day long. There can be some decent waves in the Atlantic, which are a blast for kids.
The gulf is also gorgeous. Depending on the time of year and weather, you can have crystal-clear blue water that's perfect for snorkeling or sea kayaking. Around the panhandle of FL, there's also pristine white sand. A lot of places are heavily developed, though, and you'll be dodging tourists, but there are still plenty of campgrounds and hotels off the beaten path.
The smoky mountains also come to mind. You could drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway while the leaves still have the fall colors. There are lots of waterfalls and short easy hikes that are good for kids. This time of year is actually prime time to see the leaves in their full splendor. I'm betting around late october / early november will be the peak.
The cumberland mountains are similarly gorgeous. You could hike around Fiery Gizzard state park in a day, then hop over to Nashville for some culture.
This is also a fine time of year to go whitewater rafting. It's not that cold yet, and a lot of rivers are running. The downside is that a lot of outfitters will have already closed for the season, so your options may be limited.