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Old 02-19-2016, 09:38 PM
 
10,171 posts, read 7,123,068 times
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We currently live in Minnesota. As of now our family consists of Me, hubby, 2 kids (9 and 10). We just had a big vacation to Disney World...and had a great time. Of course we spent a small fortune (and we really watched the budget...its an expensive trip!). Hubby has another week of vacation days this year he has to use or lose, so we would like to take another vacation in August. We considered doing a cruise, but then thought 2 big vacations a year is really overdoing it. I would LOVE some suggestions!

So we want something more affordable (5k, all in, tops). It would cut down on cost if we could drive and not fly. 6 hours is my max in a car. But we could still fly if needed (MSP is our home airport).

We love nature, but aren't "out doorsy"
I would rather go someplace cooler then hotter, my family is neutral on that so I will compromise
We want this trip to be more relaxing then the go go go of WDW
Hubby and I do like luxury (or at least really nice/clean) accommodations but we don't golf or care for spas. And with the kids, fancy restaurants aren't needed.
It should be very kid focused
The kids love amusement and don't mind crowds...hubby and I, not so much, at least for this trip. We really want a relaxing vacation
Kids love animals

So I thought of the Dells. But that is my idea of hell. Sorry, I am grossed out by busy water parks and packed pools. My kids would love it...hubby and I, not so much

I have saw several nice lake cabins in the north woods in Wisconsin on VRBO. It seems peaceful, relaxing, a lot of close family time. But I worry since hubby and I have no idea how to do any water sports, the whole time the kids were going to want to do things we won't be able to provide (like boating...I have no idea where to start with that). And no way on earth am I swimming in a lake...I have an issue with having to see through all the water around me (and hubby doesn't swim at all). So they won't really be able to swim because I think lake swimming needs an adult close by in the water for their swimming level

Hubby suggested a national park, like yellowstone. I love nature and all...but on the websites...it sounds boring.

Any and all ideas would be so welcome. I am at a total loss.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:54 PM
 
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What about the Custer, SD area? A lot of nature, but a lot of developed attractions, as well.
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,534 posts, read 1,326,681 times
Reputation: 3605
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I would rather go someplace cooler then hotter, my family is neutral on that so I will compromise
We want this trip to be more relaxing then the go go go of WDW
Hubby and I do like luxury (or at least really nice/clean) accommodations but we don't golf or care for spas. And with the kids, fancy restaurants aren't needed.
It should be very kid focused
The kids love amusement and don't mind crowds...hubby and I, not so much, at least for this trip. We really want a relaxing vacation
Kids love animals

So I thought of the Dells. But that is my idea of hell. Sorry, I am grossed out by busy water parks and packed pools. My kids would love it...hubby and I, not so much

I have saw several nice lake cabins in the north woods in Wisconsin on VRBO. It seems peaceful, relaxing, a lot of close family time. But I worry since hubby and I have no idea how to do any water sports, the whole time the kids were going to want to do things we won't be able to provide (like boating...I have no idea where to start with that). And no way on earth am I swimming in a lake...I have an issue with having to see through all the water around me (and hubby doesn't swim at all). So they won't really be able to swim because I think lake swimming needs an adult close by in the water for their swimming level

Hubby suggested a national park, like yellowstone. I love nature and all...but on the websites...it sounds boring.

Any and all ideas would be so welcome. I am at a total loss.
Well this involves flying, but bear with me...

You could fly to Vancouver BC for around $400 per person, or to Seattle for around $300, get a car and head to Whistler. Whistler is around 2 hours from Vancouver (or around 5 from Seattle) up the incredible "Sea to Sky" highway. Because it's built mainly as a winter resort (is in winter Olympics) it has tons of very affordable and deluxe accommodations for summer visits.

The scenery is fantastic, the food options are numerous, and because of the weak Canadian dollar, things are very cheap. You could probably get something very nice for US$150 per night or less, a week's car rental would be something like $300, many of the lodgings at Whistler are condos, so if you want to cook for yourself, fine.

As for activities, sheesh. Hikes, rafting, fishing, horseback riding... Whistler BC Canada | Summer Activities | Tourism Whistler

And you could spend a couple of days in Vancouver on the way or back - one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Beautiful gardens, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare, Granville market, amazing Stanley Park...

---

OR, same idea, but Portland instead of Vancouver. Cheaper airfare, no sales tax, no passports needed. Head 30 min. east of Portland airport to the Columbia River Gorge for wonderful scenery - vistas, waterfalls, Herman the Sturgeon at the Bonneville hatchery... Then the Hood River Valley with its "fruit loop" through orchards and vineyards, up to the snow at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Add a couple of days in Portland, or a day trip to Mt. St. Helens (a couple of hours from Portland) to see an active volcano...

Passports needed for Canada, not for Oregon.
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Old 02-20-2016, 04:57 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,716 posts, read 3,734,681 times
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You could take Amtrak to Glacier NP and rent a car for a couple days if the kids have never been on a train. You would want a sleeper but you can relax, there's no highway motel bills and meals are included in the sleeper price. I would suggest you cobble together a trip based on what you want to do but Amtrak has tour packages if you need help. Check out the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex MT...they will pick you up at the train station and you can stay in your own caboose...or a room in the inn. Take ear plugs because trains go by the inn at night.




Last edited by SunGrins; 02-20-2016 at 05:08 PM..
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:15 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,071,693 times
Reputation: 4133
I was going to suggest a visit to Toronto, or anywhere else in Canada... the Canadian dollar is really down right now, so you'd get a nice "discount" just for being American. Isn't that nice? The Canadian dollar is only worth 73 cents US right now. That's not going to change this Summer.

Toronto's family attractions include a LegoLand, Canada's Wonderland, the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto Zoo, CN tower, several kid-friendly resorts close to the city, etc. All the entertainment options you'd expect to find in a big city. Toronto4Kids: Things To Do, Places To Go, Fun Family Activities, and Birthday Party Information for Parents and Kids in Toronto, Canada

Montreal and Quebec City would also make a fun family vacation, you could easily visit both cities during the same vacation. Lots of parks and outdoorsy-type activities are available within city limits. There are many Summer festivals in Montreal that are worth checking out. There's the annual international fireworks competition, Montreal Grand Prix, the Just For Laughs comedy festival, a circus festival, Comic Con, so on and so forth: montreal.com - festivals
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