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Reds Freak
07-07-2006, 05:52 PM
Well we have dragged our feet yet again and have not yet agreed on a vacation destination for this summer. Anyone have any suggestions for a 4-5 day trip within reasonable driving distance from Cincinnati that would be fun for the whole family (2 adults and teenage kids)? I prefer some place natural and relaxing but I'm sure everyone else wants somewhere with a little more activity. So I'm open for any ideas or suggestions...

vaticanplum
07-07-2006, 06:03 PM
I was always a big fan of Gatlinburg. Kitsch city, but the mountains are beautiful. You can go hiking and canoing and horseback riding or if that's not your style you can go to things like souvenir shops with ugly bear-themed sunglasses and the funniest haunted house ever. Just about a five-hour drive from Cincinnati I think and lots of places to stay.

GAC
07-07-2006, 07:26 PM
Ever hear of Long's Retreat (over near Chillicothe)?

Famil owned, well ran and maintained, in the very scenic hills of soithern Ohio.

You can camp or rent one of their cabins, which come in various sizes/features depending on what you want. There is alot of stuff for the family to do.... swimming (nice lake w/well maintained beach, excellent water slides, paddle boats, canoing, go-cart track, putt-putt golf, driving range. There is also an arcade and other rides for kids.

We've been down there twice and really enjoyed ourselves immensely.

It's really inexpensive, and if one wants, they can get a family pass (comes with a wrist band) where the water slides, putt-golf are free.

Rocky Fork and Lake Hope are also near by.

Here is their website....

http://www.longsretreat.com/

max venable
07-07-2006, 08:37 PM
I was always a big fan of Gatlinburg. Kitsch city, but the mountains are beautiful. You can go hiking and canoing and horseback riding or if that's not your style you can go to things like souvenir shops with ugly bear-themed sunglasses and the funniest haunted house ever. Just about a five-hour drive from Cincinnati I think and lots of places to stay.
I second the Smoky Mountains/Gatlinburg nomination. If you decide to go there, I can give you all kinds of tips. We visit there often.

GAC
07-07-2006, 09:23 PM
I second the Smoky Mountains/Gatlinburg nomination. If you decide to go there, I can give you all kinds of tips. We visit there often.

We go there alot. Rent a cabin. You'll save money on eating out.

We like to rent from Chalet Village which has their's in the mountains right over downtown (Ski Lodge Rd).... scenic, secluded, but a short drive down to the downtown area.

It only cost us $160/night, and it was a brand new chalet that was fully loaded. Quite nice to come back to after a long day in the mountains, and climb into the hot tub. ;)

A vast majority of their chalets are pretty new and really nice.

http://www.chaletvillage.com/

Hap
07-07-2006, 09:57 PM
Shenandoah National Park (http://www.nps.gov/shen/home.htm)

BTW, you can get there from Cincinnati by Amtrak.

SunDeck
07-07-2006, 10:14 PM
Asheville. Hiking, biking, kayaking. It's a bit of a drive compared to the other side of the mountains but it's one of our favorite towns.

Jpup
07-07-2006, 11:22 PM
Well we have dragged our feet yet again and have not yet agreed on a vacation destination for this summer. Anyone have any suggestions for a 4-5 day trip within reasonable driving distance from Cincinnati that would be fun for the whole family (2 adults and teenage kids)? I prefer some place natural and relaxing but I'm sure everyone else wants somewhere with a little more activity. So I'm open for any ideas or suggestions...

Williamsburg, VA

GAC
07-08-2006, 06:09 AM
Williamsburg, VA

I haven't been there since I was a kid. It is quite interesting and historic, but don't they have it divided up into various sections now, where you have to pay to enter, and it costs an arm and a leg?

My parents went back there several years ago, and they said the cost was ridiculous.

GAC
07-08-2006, 06:14 AM
Here is another great place for the family to enjoy. You need a couple days to really see it all.....

Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum. Has a huge indoor and outdoor museum where they have actually moved many famous American's homes there. There is alot to see/do.

And the museum is really neat, and very educational.

http://www.hfmgv.org/village/porchesandparlors/default.asp

RedsBaron
07-08-2006, 07:22 AM
I haven't been there since I was a kid. It is quite interesting and historic, but don't they have it divided up into various sections now, where you have to pay to enter, and it costs an arm and a leg?

My parents went back there several years ago, and they said the cost was ridiculous.
I've never thought that the cost of Colonial Williamsburg tickets was out-of-line, given what it costs to get into Kings Island or even parts of GABP. A one day adult pass is $29, kids $15; two day tickets are $48/$24. The best deal is a hotel pass; if you are staying in a Colonial Williamsburg hotel,a pass good for the length of your stay is $34/$15. You can also get a Freedom Pass, good for one year, for $59/$29.
GAC, if you haven't been there since you were a kid, it has really changed since you were there..........although if YOU were there as a kid, you may have talked with the real George Washington, Patrick Henry, etc.;)

RedsBaron
07-08-2006, 07:38 AM
I really am a big fan of the Williamsburg area. Colonial Williamsburg itself is well worth a trip. A highlight for me is always the opportunity to enteract with people protraying people from the 1770s, both "famous" people such as Jefferson or Henry, and others such as a tavernkeeper, a slave, a farmer, etc. I have participated in "debates" on the Stamp Tax in the House of Burgesses, drilled with the militia, danced with the gentry, listened to slaves play music, etc. While pricey, at least one meal at a colonial tavern is worthwhile.
There are also other historic attractions near Williamsburg, including Jamestown and Yorktown.
However, there is also a lot of non-historical attractions. Water Country USA is one of the best water parks in the country. While I actually prefer Kings Island, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a large amusement park. You can buy a pass that gets you into Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settelement, Yorktown Victory Center, Water Country USA and Busch Gardens for the length of your stay.
One hour to the east of Williamsburg is Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach; one hour to the west is Richmond.
Once you get onto Interstate 64, the route to Williamsburg is simple-stay on I-64.

max venable
07-08-2006, 09:40 AM
How 'bout Niagra Falls? We took a family trip there a few years ago and had a lot of fun.

RedsBaron
07-08-2006, 09:46 AM
How 'bout Niagra Falls? We took a family trip there a few years ago and had a lot of fun.
We went to Niagara Falls a few years ago. I really enjoyed it. The Falls are amazing.

Jpup
07-08-2006, 09:59 AM
I haven't been there since I was a kid. It is quite interesting and historic, but don't they have it divided up into various sections now, where you have to pay to enter, and it costs an arm and a leg?

My parents went back there several years ago, and they said the cost was ridiculous.

Busch Gardens and Water Country USA are the draws to Williamsburg IMO. Water Country is one of the top 3 or 4 water parks in the country. Busch Gardens is high, but Water Country is not. As far as the historical stuff, it's neat to see, but I wouldn't go there just for that.

GAC
07-09-2006, 06:29 AM
I've never thought that the cost of Colonial Williamsburg tickets was out-of-line, given what it costs to get into Kings Island or even parts of GABP. A one day adult pass is $29, kids $15; two day tickets are $48/$24. The best deal is a hotel pass; if you are staying in a Colonial Williamsburg hotel,a pass good for the length of your stay is $34/$15. You can also get a Freedom Pass, good for one year, for $59/$29.
GAC, if you haven't been there since you were a kid, it has really changed since you were there..........although if YOU were there as a kid, you may have talked with the real George Washington, Patrick Henry, etc.;)

Thanks RB. It has been awhile since I've been there.

We kinda did the "loop" over several days..... toured D.C., saw Monticello, Mount Vernon, and then Williamsburgh.

I think that will be a solid vacation idea next year.

RedsBaron
07-09-2006, 07:31 AM
Thanks RB. It has been awhile since I've been there.

We kinda did the "loop" over several days..... toured D.C., saw Monticello, Mount Vernon, and then Williamsburgh.

I think that will be a solid vacation idea next year.
GAC--next year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, so I am expecting that there will be a few "extra" things going on at Jamestown and nearby Jamestown Settlement.
The biggest change that I have seen in Colonial Williamsburg over the last 25 years has been in the opportunity to enteract with characters from the past. When I first toured C.W. back in about 1980-81, there was little of that; you got to tour the buildings, hear just a bit of music, eat in the taverns, and learn a lot through tour guide lectures, but that was it.
Since then the opportunities to have "discussions" with people from 1770 have mushroomed. As I previously noted, I have participated several times in the Stamp Tax debate in the House of Burgesses, once even having "Patrick Henry" directly respond to one of my arguments before he began giving the actual speech Henry gave in 1765 (in that particular debate I decided to be a Tory; on another occasion I was a Patriot and I used much of Henry's later 1775 "give me liberty or give me death" speech, absent that line itself, as my own speech). Unfortunately I do not believe this evening program is still offered.
I've danced with townspeople in "Dance, Our Dearest Diversion"; I've enteracted with a slave girl at Wetherburn's Tavern, walked the streets of Williamsburg with Captain Duncan Stewart, met with tavernkeeper Jane Vobe, helped construct a wooden fence at the New Hope farm just outside town, been a judge in the trial of a woman accused of witchcraft ("Cry Witch"); listened to and questioned Jefferson and Henry; drilled with the militia, and so on.
I've stayed at Market Square Tavern, an original building in the Historic Area; Thomas Jefferson once stayed there as well.
If you decide to go to Williamsburg, let me know. There are a number of activities I could recommend, as well as places to stay and eat.

GAC
07-09-2006, 08:36 AM
GAC--next year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, so I am expecting that there will be a few "extra" things going on at Jamestown and nearby Jamestown Settlement.
The biggest change that I have seen in Colonial Williamsburg over the last 25 years has been in the opportunity to enteract with characters from the past. When I first toured C.W. back in about 1980-81, there was little of that; you got to tour the buildings, hear just a bit of music, eat in the taverns, and learn a lot through tour guide lectures, but that was it.
Since then the opportunities to have "discussions" with people from 1770 have mushroomed. As I previously noted, I have participated several times in the Stamp Tax debate in the House of Burgesses, once even having "Patrick Henry" directly respond to one of my arguments before he began giving the actual speech Henry gave in 1765 (in that particular debate I decided to be a Tory; on another occasion I was a Patriot and I used much of Henry's later 1775 "give me liberty or give me death" speech, absent that line itself, as my own speech). Unfortunately I do not believe this evening program is still offered.
I've danced with townspeople in "Dance, Our Dearest Diversion"; I've enteracted with a slave girl at Wetherburn's Tavern, walked the streets of Williamsburg with Captain Duncan Stewart, met with tavernkeeper Jane Vobe, helped construct a wooden fence at the New Hope farm just outside town, been a judge in the trial of a woman accused of witchcraft ("Cry Witch"); listened to and questioned Jefferson and Henry; drilled with the militia, and so on.
I've stayed at Market Square Tavern, an original building in the Historic Area; Thomas Jefferson once stayed there as well.
If you decide to go to Williamsburg, let me know. There are a number of activities I could recommend, as well as places to stay and eat.

I guess ya had to be there! :lol:

But ye, I will Randy, when I come to planning a trip. I love researching/reading American history.

Reds Freak
07-09-2006, 10:09 AM
Thanks everyone for their input. I think we are leaning toward Gatlinburg right now. That Williamsburg trip though sounds very interesting and will definately be taken in the future. We went to Niagara Falls last summer which I thought were incredible. Let's hear those Gatlinburg tips Max...

RedsBaron
07-09-2006, 12:39 PM
I prefer Pigeon Forge over Gatlinburg itself. I love go-karts, and most of the go-kart tracks are there, as are more restaurants and Dollywood, while it is not much further to the Smokies.

Jpup
07-09-2006, 12:55 PM
Thanks everyone for their input. I think we are leaning toward Gatlinburg right now. That Williamsburg trip though sounds very interesting and will definately be taken in the future. We went to Niagara Falls last summer which I thought were incredible. Let's hear those Gatlinburg tips Max...

Williamsburg > Gatlinburg area

redhawkfish
07-09-2006, 01:52 PM
I could go to Colonial Williamsburg every year, but my family is tired of it. We stay overnight in Williamsburg on our way for our annual Outer Banks trip. I convince them to go to historical areas about every other. My kids like Jamestown settlement the best !

dabvu2498
07-09-2006, 09:01 PM
I prefer the Townsend side of the Smokies... MUCH less crowded... same drive into the mountains, close to Cades Cave and some of the more peaceful parts of the park... plus it's only a 20-30 minute drive to the eating/shopping/doing stuff places in Gatlinburg.

GAC
07-09-2006, 09:12 PM
I prefer the Townsend side of the Smokies... MUCH less crowded... same drive into the mountains, close to Cades Cave and some of the more peaceful parts of the park... plus it's only a 20-30 minute drive to the eating/shopping/doing stuff places in Gatlinburg.

Townsend is definitely the quiet part of the Smokies.

Pidegeon Forge is much more family oriented as far as activities (go-carts, amusements, etc). And it is cheaper to stay in PF too.

Roy Tucker
07-10-2006, 09:13 AM
I'd highly recommend the Traverse City/Mackinac Island/Sleeping Bear Dunes area of northern Michigan. Tons of swimming, hiking, tubing, cherry picking, vineyards, and gorgeous lakes and scenery. Wonderful place to go. About an 8 hr. drive from Cinci.

Sweetstop
07-10-2006, 09:23 AM
I'd highly recommend the Traverse City/Mackinac Island/Sleeping Bear Dunes area of northern Michigan. Tons of swimming, hiking, tubing, cherry picking, vineyards, and gorgeous lakes and scenery. Wonderful place to go. About an 8 hr. drive from Cinci.


Been there done that. Lovely area. Should be enough to do to keep teenagers happy.

We always camped and/or backpacked when visiting The Smokies, mostly late fall and spring. The touristy area (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge) is generally so crowded during the summer and fall, that I don't enjoy it.

westofyou
07-10-2006, 10:46 AM
I'd highly recommend the Traverse City/Mackinac Island/Sleeping Bear Dunes area of northern Michigan. Tons of swimming, hiking, tubing, cherry picking, vineyards, and gorgeous lakes and scenery. Wonderful place to go. About an 8 hr. drive from Cinci.
I spent my childhood going up there, spent my early adulthood escaping to Gatlinberg with my wife before we got married.

In the summer the weather and scenery in Michigan destroys Gatlinberg IMO, though the weather can change that later in the season.

registerthis
07-10-2006, 11:37 AM
My vote definitely goes to Shenandoah. It's beautiful, particularly skyline drive. Since you're taking your family. see about renting a cabin somewhere, that's probably the most affordable option.

Of course, this is assuming that your family enjoys outdoorsy-type vacations. If not, you probably won't want to do Shenandoah, because there's not much in the way of cities/amusement parks/etc.

bucksfan
07-10-2006, 12:04 PM
All the places people mention here are or sound nice to me. I'll just add our spot to the list FWIW.

We go up to the west coast of Michigan to South Haven, a fairly quiet resort town, for a week every year. As our daughter is now 4, we don't "go adventuring" or anything, just looking fo r a relaxing week-long get-away. We rent a cottage or condo and basically just plant to hit the beach every day, stroll around the quaint downtown, and head north to Saugatuck and Oval Beach at least once. The water is very clear and clean and the sand is nice and white. Even further north is Ludington where I have played in a few Gus Macker basketball tournaments, which has more awesome white sandy beaches and lakeshore.

Before our daughter was born, we tent-camped alot and I am trying to get us back to that as well. We enjoyed going down to Loudonville, OH area and staying at Mohican State Park.