Vacation Roundup

We've been on several little vacations this summer. 
All driving, NO FLYING with the kiddos -  ever again.  


We spent a few days on the Jersey Shore with the in laws and drove up the eastern coast on our way.  My favorite off the map spot?  
Definitely IKEA.  The IKEA stop where hubby surprised me by stopping even though it was a bit out of the way and said;

"We just can't buy anything really big, you know?"  

...and I say "Yeah, of course's not like I'm going to pick up a bunch of huge rugs or anything!"



I come home with 2 rugs....but they-were-in-the-as-is-section-and-they-were-super-cheap-and-not-that-big rugs :)  Pretty in the space, right?

...but anyway...sorry about that, IKEA is not quite a summer destination (unless you are me!!).  

I meant that my favorite off the map spot has to be...the Yankee Candle Factory.  ummm...sorry...I just truly enjoyed the shopping.  

How about this - favorite off the map location for the kids?

Chincatique Island.  

Well, kind of.   We actually didn't go to see thee wild horses (it was that week of 112 degree temps and the boat tours were 2 hours long...gross!), but we did go into the national park to walk on the beach and had dinner at the top of a short walking trail to an old lighthouse.  As we were leaving, we noticed the booth had closed, so we should have come later and skipped the fee.  If you show up around 8:00 PM, you'll be golden with plenty of time to see the sunset on the beach and hike to the lighthouse.

If you are far braver than us and are planning a full fledged family vaca for next summer, check out these great ideas for family trips from Megan!

Top 5 Summer Vacation Spots
Megan Gates is an active blogger and handles communications on behalf of  She provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York City Real Estate, Long Island Real Estate, and the latest in architecture, design and fashion.  Follow her on Twitter @ MEGatesDesign.

When it comes to summertime, there is no need to limit yourself or your family on the amount of fun and adventure that you can squeeze into the season. Visit these top 5 hot spots for family and friends to vacation to in the summer to get your fill of culture, nature and thrills.

Top City: If you want to get a taste of the ultra-metropolitan scene, there is no other city to visit quite like New York City. A melting pot of culture and entertainment, you would have to work hard to be bored in the city that never sleeps. The choices of for food, entertainment and culture are practically endless with the famous Times Square, Broadway and Museum of Modern Art to name very few. Get your closest friends and family together, rent a place in the city for the weekend and live like a local to take in all the sights and actions of the Big Apple.  (Amy's Tip:  Don't miss GROTTA AZZURRA - $20 (for 2!) for some fabulous Italian food just off the subway stop in Little Italy!!)

Top Theme Park: In Sandusky, Ohio, thrill seekers will find their true home at the Cedar Point amusement park. Over 300 acres are filled with 75 rides, 17 roller coasters and a water park. Some of the most notable coasters call Cedar Point their home; Mean Streak is an enormous wooden coaster that boasts a length of 5,400 feet and 65 mph of adventure. Even if you have someone in your family or group of friends who prefers to keep the ground under their feet, there are several award-winning shows there to watch for some good laughs.  (Amy's Tip:  While you're in Ohio, make it a double feature and head down south to King's Island - don't miss the BEAST!)

Top Museums: In the nation's capital of Washington D.C. is the National Mall, which contains many beautiful landmarks, museums and memorials. There are 13 museums in the National Mall that make up the Smithsonian Museums, all of which are free to visit. With no charge to visit, feel free to make multiple trips to this beautiful, culture rich area to expand your mind without breaking the bank. (Amy's Tip:  You definitely want to take your kiddos to the Air and Space Museum and for the adults, take the metro to King St. in Alexandria for great food on the waterfront.  If you want something a little more exotic, check out the Indian buffet at White Tiger downtown on Sundays.)

Air and Space Museum - Washington, DC
Top Water Park: If you're looking for an entertaining way to stay cool this summer, then visit the largest water park in America, Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells, WI. With 49 water rides, 4 children's water play areas, 2 wave pools and 2 rivers, Noah's Ark has more than plenty to offer any aquatic adventurer. With more than 30 years of experience, you can also be sure that Noah's Ark offers only the safest and cleanest rides.  (Amy's Tip:  Get your tube before heading to the top of the I the only one who has ever ended up at the top without a tube and had to walk all the way back down to grab one?  UGH!)

Top National Park: (If you are out west and happen to travel through South Dakota, you do NOT want to miss WALL DRUG on your way.  It is a fabulous stop on the way to your destination with tons of stuff to entertain the kids for free, along with free ice water and coffee - yum!  The map of activities is below!)

So where have you been traveling this summer?
Any great finds?  Places to avoid?!  Please share!


Laura said…
I saw the wild horses when I was in NC last fall. They are smaller than regular horses for sure.

I love that the water park to visit is Noah's Ark, in my backyard! Seriously 45 minutes from my house. And I'm not sure how that woman missed the tube, because seriously everyone carries them to the top, unless a machine does it for you. Again, concerned for her :).