vacation ideas for country bumpkins???? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

For the first time in many, many years, my husband and I have managed to save enough money to be able to take a vacation with our children [12,10,5,and 18 mos], the problem is, that we have NO IDEA where to go. Neither one of us wants to go to any kind of amusement/water park type of thing, and we know from experience that trying to find a beach near the ocean that is not crowded is nearly impossible unless you wait until mid September.Plus, we both think that can tend to be kind of a bore :( Because of the differences in ages, we're finding it a little more difficult than we did the last time we went which was when the two oldest ones were young and we went to the Catskill Game farm in upstate NY. Also,we both are very uncomfortable around lots of people and driving in cities. So we've pretty much deleted anything fun for our poor children because of our unwillingness to do anything uncomfortable, I know!!!! Now, I know I'll get battered for this, but I don't care for camping too much, plus we have no camping equipment to speak of [wonder why....] I tend to prefer a nice , bugless motel room w/ a hot shower available. I don't miss the TV or anything like that, and I DO like to sit out around the campfire at night to enjoy the stars [we have a firepit ouside our house and do this sometimes during the summer!!] We'd love to go to somewhere like Nova Scotia, but I don't really know what's up there for the children [no, they don't need to be entertained with anything other than God's beauty, but a lot of driving isn't going to thrill them to death either!] Any ideas would be appreciated greatly...... Thanks

-- Nancy (, May 28, 2001


How about tent camping at a small lake that restricts boats to paddle or electric troll motors. We have one here in Alabama like that .

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, May 28, 2001.

Nancy, have you considered renting a motorcoach and seeing the national parks, historical sites,the rest of the country? I know their gas hogs but they have hot showers, cooking areas, sleeping quarters. If you remove the cost for resturants and motels, this might be what your looking for; one day at the beach, another in the mountains, ect.

-- mitch hearn (, May 28, 2001.

Nova Scotia might be perfect for you. It was one of the greatest trips I ever took. It is still off season so you should be able to find affordable accomodation. I loved Fort Louisbourg. (well worth the expense and plan to spend a full day), also touring around Bras D'or Lake (not sure of the spelling) was beautiful. You can see Alexander Graham Bell's home on the lake, and visit the museum. The great thing is that you can stop after travelling only a short time and get out at a beach on the ocean or on the Lake etc. A great trip!

-- Cindy Clarke (, May 28, 2001.

Lots of state parks rent cabins , just a thought.

-- Patty {NY State} (, May 28, 2001.

Ft. Laramie in WY, it's also not too far from Rushmore & Crazy Horse. Historic and too over-crowded. DW

-- DW (, May 28, 2001.

how about,, finding another family,, and "trading places",, for an alloted amout of time. northerns to southerns or whatever.

-- stan (, May 28, 2001.

Oh teen children really enjoyed Grand Marias in the UP of Michigan. They have small rather pleasant motels and it is an easy drive to Tequamenon falls, Pictured Rock National Forest with many sights to see, and various other Lake Superior sights. The SooLocks are there, Machinaw Island is also fun.

-- diane (, May 28, 2001.

Nancy, you mentioned Catskill Game Farm, so I'm assuming you live in the NY area. Your family should really give Lake George in the Adirondacks a try. There are great campgrounds that you can rent a trailer for a week, and all kinds of clean motels. It really is a "family" centered resort town: miniature golf, cheezy wax museums, rodeos on the weekends, boat rentals and of course the beautiful Adirondack mountains. In fact, Lake George is always rated at the top of "Family Fun" magazine East coast section of best family resort area. My husband says to go before 4th of July or after Labor day, but I don't think it gets too crowded thats it uncomfortable. Whatever you do I hope you do something thats exciting for you and your husband as well for your kids.

-- Claudia (NY state) (, May 28, 2001.

Some of the best vacations I, as a farmer take, are visiting other farmers. Visit Ohio's Amish Country. Here's a great place to stay.

-- Rob Shipe (, May 28, 2001.

Thank you for all the ideas~ we live in Southern VT, so unfortunately, the idea of traveling to South Dakota and the like is pretty unlikely for THIS vacation :( We have thought of a motorcoach, but I didn't like the idea of not being able to buckle the children up in thier car seats.... Nova Scotia might still work for us, looks like maybe I should investigate a little more! Claudia, I hadn't realized lake George had all that. The rodeo sounds especially interesting as we have a rootin' tootin' little buckaroo [our 5yr old] that would find that absolutely delightfull. I'll have to take a look at that on the internet. And yes, there's NO WAY that we'd ever take a vacation that would excite my husband and I more than the children-some of my best memories as a child were the vacations that my family went on. We just had no idea where to even start looking, but these are some great ideas. I'd love to visit the Amish too.....there's a lesson in simplicity! Thanks again~

-- Nancy (, May 29, 2001.

How about a dude ranch or one of those "easy level" whitewater trips that take a week to complete. Usually you can find onw where the tents are pretty civilized or even cabins. How about going on one of those archaeology dig/vacation thingies. Hubby and I checked out a book at the library that listed all kinds of outdoorsy type vacations, and they had a whole section on family fun. Try the library and see what you can find!

-- Soni (, May 29, 2001.

My parents choose this, and all 7 of us (me youngest) loved it!! We spent 3 weeks every summer at a fishing camp in Ontario. If you don't go for the fishing (Northern Pike and Walleye), try the crystal clear drinkable lake water, 6 lakes, big private (sandy) swimming beach, floating docks, loons, and Indian (aka Native North American) paintings on rock faces of the natural lakes, and of course cabins available with hot showers, and reasonable slow life amenities (not t.v. or a/c though, but who needs 'em?) We went fishing right off the dock somedays, but otherwise they have boats, motors, bait, life preservers, training, and lots of friendly attitudes.

E-mail me if you want the camp name and clostest city (20 mi)

-- Marty (, May 29, 2001.

How about the Thousand Islands area of New York State. In Alexanderia Bay you can go by boat to Hart Island and get lost touring the castle. The boat rides around the islands are fun too. Lots of inexpensive loging in the area and easy traffic free driving upstate.

-- Kate henderson (, May 29, 2001.

Hi nancy. Have you ever thought about donating your vacation time to helping people in need. Resently disaster area's, church organized trips to third world countries such as Mexico, Cuba, etc,. Or maybe a maybe some kind of a farm trainning seminar, growing mushrooms, hydroponic gardening, or something that the whole family could get involved in and use back at home.

-- Russell Hays (, May 30, 2001.

Just a suggestion, Nancy; I don't know how much money you want to spend, but I have found that travelling on Amtrack is really fun, especially if you get a sleeper. They really treat you like royalty!

Although I have only taken trips up and down the west coast on Amtrack, I understand that there is a program they offer which is sort of like a Eurail Pass, only for here in the US. You can go anywhere you want, for a given length of time, get on and off a few times if you want, all for a base price which (I've heard) is quite reasonable.

You might also think about flying down to any of various Latin American countries, as the costs to stay in nice hotels can be unbelievably cheap. Speaking Spanish helps, but is not absolutely necessary in some locales.

Good luck!


-- jumpoff joe (, May 31, 2001.

My kids' favorite vacation is driving to the "city" and checking into the Holiday Inn with the indoor swimming pool. They don't care if we ever leave the pool area. My husband shops around combines discounts and comes up with the best prices. I pack a picnic basket and an ice chest so we save on food costs.

Their other favorite is KOA camping with the swimming pool and other activities. You can even have pizza delivered to some of them.

It seems what my kids want from a vacation is boys, toys and water. (16, 11 & 6) Unfortunately for you, it won't be a real vacation until you can go without the children.

-- Laura (, June 01, 2001.

Funny you mentioned the Amtrack thing Joe, my husband and I had a trip pretty well planned out when we first got married - our intention was to tour from East to West and back again. We never DID end up doing that, but the thought hasn't left our minds. That's a really interesting idea........

When Laura mentioned the thrill her kids get on going to the 'city' and then wanting to stay at a motel with a pool- I had to laugh. That's EXACTLY the way I was when i was younger!!!! That would suit my just fine......although I don't know if my husband and our son would be able to tolerate it -LOL!!!! They would just assume go deep into the backcountry for a week of hunting/camping/fishing!

I have gotten some absolutely TERRIFIC ideas so far from all of you- it's so nice to know that somebody else has been in this same situation before. Also, I don't know if I mentioned before, but we live in Southern VT. [not somewhere we're exactly proud of lately.....], and around here, it seems like everybody travels to Maine for vacationing at the seashore, so I'm so gratefull to have some different ideas. Again, thanks

-- Nancy (, June 01, 2001.

How about renting a cabin on Lake Winnepasaukee in New Hampshire. The kids will have a blast swimming and fishing from the docks and the cottages have full baths just like a house. It is a pretty quiet lake and not real crowded. The fishing is great and the swimming is too. I have moved away from New Hampshire now so I don't know the current price but it should be pretty reasonable for a week. They also have some amusements you can take the kids to such as miniature golf, etc. It would be a reasonable drive from Vermont.

Nova Scotia is nice as well but I found it boring as an adult and wonder if the kids would too. The only part I liked was the ride on the Prince of Fundy ferry boat to get there because they have gambling and I got a kick out of that. Hubby and I did that when we were first married twenty-two years ago so I couldn't tell you what the price would be.

Maybe going to somewhere else in Canada might be a better idea such as going to Montreal and have a city trip instead.

-- Colleen (, June 01, 2001.

My favorite is driving the coast and visiting islands. This may not be for you since you have small children. Long car trips are boring for kids. But I find a coastline and drive scenic routes along it. Texas, Louisian, Alabama and Georgia have a lot of out of the way places to see and enjoy. There are a lot of small islands that are very expensive - w/o all the tourist junk. Some of them don't even allow cars, just bicycles. St Georges Island off the coast of Georgia is just great for kids. Nothing to spend money on except food and maybe a guided hike or fishing expedition. Very limited commerical development. I hope you find the perfect vacation - have fun.

-- Linda Al-Sangar (, June 03, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ