We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

Hickory, North...
Level Contributor
9 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

Hello fellow TripAdvisors!

We are going into the planning stage of our next family vacation. We are looking toward and week long vacation in second or third week of July. Our family has special needs, so I have to start planning early.

This is what I'm working with...

My 14 year old has mild Autism and doesn't do camping or anything too outdoorsy. He would say internet access is a must...

My 12 year old gets anxious with big cities and lots of people. He would live in the woods if he could.

My husband does not like traffic, amusement park rides, waiting in lines or lots of people in general. He is pushing to visit Civil War battle fields and/or a Rennaisance Fairs (?!).

So, I am looking for a drivable family vacation that is not based in a big city, but is not too remote. There need to be varied activities- possibly including history or court jesters. We need enough to do to keep everyone entertained for a week, but there can't be long lines, spinning rides, bugs, traffic, tall buildings, or outhouses.

Our last 3 destinations were Mackinac Island, Washington D.C., and Gatlinburg, TN.

Any ideas?!

Thanks!!

Erin

Dordrecht, The...
Level Contributor
481 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

As a non-American, my first thought was Gettysburg, but I have no idea what else you can do there.

Are you aware of the site http://www.civilwartraveler.com/

It might give you some ideas.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
357 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

One of my favorite vacations as a kid was when my family went to Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Tons of history there. The Jamestown Settlement is also close by. Williamsburg is also not far from Newport News/Norfolk, the Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk and the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island), and Virginia Beach. I'd think you might also be able to find some things to do in the Shenandoah Valley. Happy Planning!

Dordrecht, The...
Level Contributor
481 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

Planning holidays in your family must be hard. Your kids are the exact opposite, based on your description and with such a pot luck of interests, it seems hard to me to pull something together.

I did notice something else though, you described the interests of everyone in your family except yourself. Don't feel like you only have to take care of your family all the time. Of course, they're important, but you deserve some fun while on holiday as well, so include something in the program that you enjoy too. When all of you get to do something you love, the holiday will be better for it.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Family Travel, Honeymoons and Romance
Level Contributor
29,257 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

Hi Erin..................................................I agree with the suggestions put forth by wish2trvl in post #2, especially Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement..............while not "Renaissance Fairs",( which btw , can have "lots of people" in attendance), these areas are full of historical importance and have costumed employees enacting the culture of the day.....IMO, great fun and hugely interesting.....

http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com

Both Colonial Williamsburg And The Jamestown Settlement have numerous glowing reviews here on Trip Advisor too...

Edited: 12:21 pm, October 24, 2013
Iowa
Level Contributor
1,448 posts
465 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

We're planning a vacation to Gettysburg this summer, and combining it with Shenandoah National Park and Harpers Ferry. So that could be an idea.

I like the suggestion of Williamsburg; seems like there would be plenty of things for you guys to do there.

Another option could be the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

The Black Hills in South Dakota has quite a few different things to do (Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, etc.).

perth,W.A
Level Contributor
17 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

I love to travel and We have a good vacation when we are with children. Its an amazing moments when we are with family.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Family Travel, Honeymoons and Romance
Level Contributor
29,257 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

Yes, Ella15perth, I must agree with you.................without a doubt, some of the most amazing moments I've ever had on vacation have been with my family.............

8. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 8:35 am, October 26, 2013
South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,552 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

We had a nice vacation basing out of Madison, WI one year. There are many things to do if you're willing to take day trips involving an hour's drive in one direction or the other. East is Old World Wisconsin, a living history-type place that easily fills a day. Also within an hour's drive are the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, the Midcontinent RR in North Freedom, Devil's Lake State Park and all the activities in the Wisconsin Dells area. House on the Rock is a place I can't even begin to describe (google it) and is in Spring Green, WI. Madison is a mid-size city and if you stay near I-90, you can hop on without dealing with a lot of traffic and be at any of these places I mentioned in an hour (give or take).

South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,552 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Family Vacation for Summer of 2014

Another suggestion (longer drive, though) would be Duluth, MN. Pop 80,000, so not huge but not remote.

Historical sites: Glensheen Mansion, Wm. Irving Ore Boat, Split Rock Light House

Other activities: Spirit Mtn. coaster, Great Lakes Aquarium, beach on Park Point, RR museum, train rides, just hanging out in Canal Park, climb Enger Tower and look at the views

Gooseberry State Falls State Park is gorgeous. I know you said no outdoorsy type things, but you could simply look at the various falls and leave. No need to hike if you don't want to.

We did this trip in August, which would be peak tourist season and it was not crowded. Avoid going during Grandma's Marathon and the Bayfront Blues Festival.

Minneapolis would be on your way and they have a huge Renaissance Festival on weekends at the end of summer. I think it's in the suburb of Shakopee.

Edited: 9:01 pm, October 27, 2013