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Old 11-27-2009, 07:30 AM   #1
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Great places for kids?

Spending 6 mos on the road across US Feb-July w/ three kids,10,8, 7, and would love opinions on "must-sees/dos". Have lots of guide books but am interested in personal experience. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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We bought our first motorhome in 1998 when our boys were around 9, 7 and 5. Since then, we have put over 100k miles on 3 motorhomes and the boys have been to 48 states. They are all home for Thanksgiving but still sleeping at 9am EST so I may respond again with their actual picks. Some of our family top picks are:
1. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - rent dune buggies and go wild over the sand

2. Craters of the Moon NM in Idaho - climb through lava tubes and up cinder cones

3. Mt. Rushmore - show the kids how to be pround of their country

4. Mamouth Caves Kentucky - so big that we've been there at least five times and never took the same tour. Sign your kids up to the Trog tour which is wild caving for kids under 12.

5. Yellowstone - again we've been there 3 times and every time we discover a new area

6. Yosemite - waterfalls, hugh trees, and the hike up Half Dome was spectacular

7. Badlands in SD - only National park where you can go anywhere on or off trail as ersosion is part of their story. Kids had a great time exploring.

8. Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky - the boys learned to fish at the Prizer Point Marina. The park has a planetarium, bison range, 1840 homestead, and an area for ATV's.

9. Go Kart tracks across America - pretty much everyone we see, we stop. Always a great time pushing the 'No Bumping' rule.

10. Florida Keys - a tropical paradise that is still in the USA! Great fishing, swim with dolphins, the historical side of Key West.

My oldest is 20 years old and I just took him and his friends to the Football Hall of Fame and Niagara Falls this summer. So have FUN!
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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A few more inputs from my wife...

1. Mesa Verde in Colorado - Cliff Palace, Balcony House. Don't miss it.

2. Four Corners - kids liked that they could be in FOUR states at once!

3. Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC - a very cool house for adults and kids. Do the 'back scene' and 'roof top' tours.

4. Shenandoah NP - if the kids like to hike and climb, do the Old Rag hike.

5. Graceland - all kids know Elvis. Go to Rondezvous Ribs in Memphis for dinner (a cab driver can find it for you as its on a back alley).

6. Zion - the kids just liked floating down the Virgin River right by the NP campground.

7. Great Salt Lake - the sensation of floating in that salty water is pretty intense. Just rinse off thoroughly afterward.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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Drum roll....

The picks from the boys:

1. Son #1 - now an economics major

A. Portland OR or Seattle WA - likes the feel of a NW city

B. Yellowstone

C. Land Between the Lakes in KY

D. Delaware Water Gap in NJ - so beautiful that you don't realize you're in NJ and right on I-80

E. Kennedy Space Center

2. Son #2 - now studying to be a chef

A. St. Louis - Gateway Arch and Cardinals game

B. Rock City in Chattanooga TN

C. Yosemite

D. Yellowstone

E. Seattle on a clear day where you can see Mt. Ranier


3. Son #3 - freshman in high school, budding Ornithologist

A. Yellowstone

B. Shenandoah

C. Mamouth Cave - he did the Trog tour as an 11 year old. Sign up early.

D. Dry Tortugas Island/Fort Jeffereson - 2 hour boat ride west of Key West

E. Yosemite

F. Arches NP in Moab, UT
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thank you!!!!

You guys are the best. Wow. What great experiences your boys have had with you. Thank you so much. Will try to fit in all of the above!
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:17 PM   #6
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Looks like you have a lot of time to explore. What area of the country are you aiming for? We camp 50-60 nights a year in the Ohio, PA. NY. VT. areas at mostly state parks. Both me and my wife came from camping families. We started tent camping with our son when he was 6 weeks old. Moved up to a pop-up shortly after, then a hybrid, then hopefully a 5er some day.

With young sons, I bet they would love Idlewild Amusement Park about an hour east of Pittsburgh. It's geared towards the 5 to pre-teen age. It's cheap and the food is reasonable.

Hocking Hills State Park in SE. Ohio has a series of Caves and Hiking.

In NW PA. about 3 hours East of Cleveland the Cooks Forest area has good hiking in a old growth forest. The Clarian River is great for rafting and swimming. Cook Forest Album #1 #2 #3 or 10 miles up stream at Clear Creek State Park. One thing about Clear Creek is it only has 30 electric sites and fills up fast. Cook Forest State Park which they call their campground (Ridge campground) has about 150 electric sites.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #7
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Our boys are now 17 & 13, we have been doing the RV thing for about 5 years

1. Disney World (Fort Wilderness if you can)
2. Niagara Falls, Cooperstown, Statue of Liberty
3. Grand Canyon
4. Branson (not just for retired persons!! and lots of go-karts)
5. Breckenridge, Co (skiing at Spring Break)
6. Davis Mountains State Park and the McDonald Observatory
7. Big Bend
8. Florida Keys (older son and I are certified divers)
9. Rushmore (think about ATV-ing through the national forest)

These are just the favorites, we try not to let the MH sit to long. Just making memories.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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In 2006 made cross Country trip with 2 boys. Ages 13 and 11. They both loved the trian ride from Williams Az. to the So Rim Of Grand Canyon. You take an older Diesel Locomotive one way and a really old Steam locomotive the other way. I won't give away the secret but the show on the train is good. They also like the Canyon. They also like the Asteroid Crater in Az.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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Thanks, All. Such great ideas. We will try anything. This trip is for adventure, making cool memories, and family bonding-non Simpson style.
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