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Old 05-24-2008, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Chappaqua, NY
41 posts, read 105,782 times
Reputation: 17

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Hi! I have been reading this forum for awhile, and am very impressed by the thoughtful advice given. I am sure that this is an indication about what a great place the triangle area is to live in!

My husband, three kids (10, 7 and 2) and I are accidental expats. Currently living in Zurich, my husband and I are native Californians who have also lived in the UK, New Jersey and Bermuda. We are looking to move back to the States in the next few years, and think/feel that the Raleigh and surrounding areas would be a great place to live.

We are not ready to buy a place in the triangle area yet, but are thinking of getting a vacation home that we could use from Zurich, but also, eventually, from North Carolina.

SO, my question is this: could you all give me some kid-friendly vacation spots within a three hour drive from Raleigh? Asheville? Virginia Beach? Myrtle Beach? We don't really have any pressing hobbies or requirements, but we would like a place that has a bunch of kids running around and with a lot of summer activities. Pros and cons would be helpful as well!

Many thanks for reading this!!!
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Virginia (again)
2,697 posts, read 7,614,791 times
Reputation: 1544
Williambsurg has Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA and Great Wolf Lodge (an indoor waterpark but you have to stay at the lodge to use it). I think Williamsburg is about 3 hours from Raleigh.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,103,642 times
Reputation: 1846
Are you looking to get rental income from the house when you are not there? Do you want structured kids' activities like swim team and tennis lessons, or do you just want somewhere where the kids can run and swim and bike? Do you want "theme park" type activities like the previous poster described in Williamsburg? Do you mind a lot of summer tourists and nobody in the winter, or would you rather have somewhere where there is something of a year-round community? Would you be going on weekends from Raleigh or staying there all summer?

If it were me, and I wanted a nice quiet place to go with my kids on weekends, I'd be thinking Topsail or Sunset Beach, as they are close and quiet and the kids can swim and bike pretty safely. However, they aren't big enough for a lot of organized activities or theme parks. If I wanted the theme parks I'd go for Myrtle or Williamsburg. If I wanted it to be more of a community with year-round sports and such, I'd go for Wrightsville Beach. If I were looking for revenue from the house I'd choose somewhere on the Outer Banks or Wrightsville.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Five Points
1,190 posts, read 3,565,283 times
Reputation: 988
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Williamsburg is a poser chamber of commerce phony town. Only clueless tourist consider it cool. The walmart crowd is wide eyed in fake historic billsburg. It is like being a commoner american taking the family to eurodisney. The same dunces that love the sunbelt suburbs think that Impala's are good looking cars. Middle America is so dumb downed that they actually think vinyl sided slab built homes that occupy erstwhile farms in the middle of nowhere are dream homes. I find any home built on a treeless former farm to be disgusting.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Chappaqua, NY
41 posts, read 105,782 times
Reputation: 17
Smile So...

Make that one vote against Williamsburg!

J_Lurk: great questions! Thank you! I know this is pushing it, but, I would like someplace with a year round feel, but that really comes alive in the summer. I would like organized kids activites, but the chance for the kids to ride bikes and play on the beach/mountains if that doesn't suit them. I would like the option for "days out" but someplace lovely and quiet as well. I want high quality and low prices!!!

Thank you for the Wrightsvile suggestion: I had never even heard of that town, and it sounds great. Do you have any ideas about a place in the mountains? How do you feel about Asheville?

I stumbled on the Wintergreen Resort online - was thinking that might be an option if we decide to go for someplace with rental income. (They seem to have a pretty well established situation there.)

Basically, we are very green to North Carolina and very green to owning a second home!

Thank you!
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:28 AM
 
1,489 posts, read 5,051,347 times
Reputation: 545
Asheville is a beautiful town, with a lot of great mountain activities available. Coming from Zurich, if you want a different feel, however, I think the previous poster's suggestion of Topsail is great. My brother has a house on the sound in South Topsail, and they are constantly trying to find a way to move there permanently. There are also some great values to be had there right now. Home prices have dipped anywhere from 100-700k in the last year or two.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Virginia (again)
2,697 posts, read 7,614,791 times
Reputation: 1544
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncletupelo View Post
Williamsburg is a poser chamber of commerce phony town. Only clueless tourist consider it cool. The walmart crowd is wide eyed in fake historic billsburg. It is like being a commoner american taking the family to eurodisney. The same dunces that love the sunbelt suburbs think that Impala's are good looking cars. Middle America is so dumb downed that they actually think vinyl sided slab built homes that occupy erstwhile farms in the middle of nowhere are dream homes. I find any home built on a treeless former farm to be disgusting.
I misunderstood. I thought the OP was looking for places to take day/weekend trips from Raleigh with children. I wasn't recommending it as a place to live/buy a vacation home. Completely my misunderstanding. That being said, there are a lot of nice things in Williamsburg to do with children, but I definitely wouldn't want to live there either.
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,103,642 times
Reputation: 1846
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissOnion View Post
J_Lurk: great questions! Thank you! I know this is pushing it, but, I would like someplace with a year round feel, but that really comes alive in the summer. I would like organized kids activites, but the chance for the kids to ride bikes and play on the beach/mountains if that doesn't suit them. I would like the option for "days out" but someplace lovely and quiet as well. I want high quality and low prices!!!

Thank you for the Wrightsvile suggestion: I had never even heard of that town, and it sounds great. Do you have any ideas about a place in the mountains? How do you feel about Asheville?
I like Asheville to visit, but as the city itself is around 80,000 and greater metro area is pushing 400,000 people I'd consider it a little too urban for a resort destination (but that's purely me. I just think of it more as a city). I've heard really good things about Boone. A friend of mine lives in Brevard and says really good things about that area. However, most of the mountain areas are going to be closer to 4-5 hours from the Triangle (vs. 3-4 for the beach, or even 2 1/2 for Wrightsville or Topsail).

Last edited by J_Lurk; 05-26-2008 at 03:19 PM..
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