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Thread: Suggestions for family vacation this summer? Considering Smokey's vs the beach

  1. #16
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    ^RE Jersey shore - Wildwood is fun and exciting at the boardwalk for kids, and Cape May is wonderful! LOL (That's where my house is) But, I loved our trip to the Smokies. My sister and I took our families together and the kids ranged from 5-13 at the time. They all loved it and still talk about it. We stayed in a large cabin in the Smokies close to Pigeon Forge. Dollywood was fun. The Dixie Stampede was well done and the food was much better than we had expected. We drove to Ashville one day (about 2 hour drive) and did the Biltmore Estate tour. I wished we had booked a room in Ashville and stayed for a night so we could have seen more of the town. I'm a big fan of sneaking in a history lesson on vacation, and visiting the National Park helped. The kids loved the Junior Ranger Programs. August is the Centennial for the National Park Service and I have been getting notices of special events planned nationwide.

    Smoky Mountain Vacation Planning for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville TN
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
    Smoky Mountain Timeline - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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  2. #17
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    Cade's Cove in the park is really neat, but crowded. If you're hitting that, definitely aim for midweek or you'll be in a traffic jam.

  3. #18
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    ^RE Jersey shore - Wildwood is fun and exciting at the boardwalk for kids, and Cape May is wonderful! LOL (That's where my house is) But, I loved our trip to the Smokies. My sister and I took our families together and the kids ranged from 5-13 at the time. They all loved it and still talk about it. We stayed in a large cabin in the Smokies close to Pigeon Forge. Dollywood was fun. The Dixie Stampede was well done and the food was much better than we had expected. We drove to Ashville one day (about 2 hour drive) and did the Biltmore Estate tour. I wished we had booked a room in Ashville and stayed for a night so we could have seen more of the town. I'm a big fan of sneaking in a history lesson on vacation, and visiting the National Park helped. The kids loved the Junior Ranger Programs. August is the Centennial for the National Park Service and I have been getting notices of special events planned nationwide.

    Smoky Mountain Vacation Planning for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville TN
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
    Smoky Mountain Timeline - Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
    Cape May? I think we used to take the ferry from Delaware to Cape May. I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly.
    sluce likes this.

  4. #19
    Elite Member InigoMontoya's Avatar
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    Destin is beautiful! Sea grove also is nice, and next to a cool development called Seaside. We used to go to Seagrove every year when I was growing up, before Seaside was built. Anywhere on 30A would be great, and there is a 30A smart phone app.

    Official Site for Seaside, Florida News, Events, Real Estate, Vacation Rentals

    The Smokies are great, too; took a trip there years ago and we went to Asheville to tour Biltmore.

  5. #20
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    So we sat down tonight and went through some of the options. While a cabin in the Smokeys was a close second, the kids were really jazzed about Sanibel island. We talked about the shells, going on a kayak tour, fishing, and maybe driving to a few other beaches. They were sold. We wound up booking at Casa YBel which is all condos with kitchens/living rooms and are right on the beach facing south. The only thing that makes me nervous is the water quality. I've heard mixed reviews about how clear/nice it is and have read that you can't really walk barefoot on the beaches because of the shells.

    We've talked about driving to Sarasota for a day to see those beaches. The other option is to drive to Key Largo but I can't get a great feel for it on an internet search. Are there cool things to do for kids/families? Does anyone know how the water/beaches are?

  6. #21
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    I found this tour which has amazing reviews on Trip Adviser. It sounds thrilling and terrifying (especially with three kids) but there were so many comments about it being very safe. I don't suppose anyone has been?

    Garl's Coastal Kayaking Everglades

  7. #22
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    I love the Smokey's and there is lots to do but most of it costs money to do and a lot of it.

    I love Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. I go every year. There is plenty to do and of course you always have the free pool and beach!
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  8. #23
    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    Bella, that sounds fun! You'll have to update us.

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