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Old 02-13-2016, 08:44 PM   #1
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Summer Road trip

Good evening,

My family and I have 30 days this summer to go on a road trip. We are so excited. My wife and I have 3 kids (13, 11, and 9) and want to make it a fun and also an educational trip. We are starting on July 4 weekend at the Jellystone Campground in Hagerstown, MD. We need to end up back in Baltimore the 4th week of the month. With our kids, my last major trip was to the Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Mexico which was a blast, but we had some long days. I would like to keep the driving to 4 hours in a day if possible.

If anyone is interested in recommending some great stops I would be thrilled. We have a 42 Itasca Ellipse and tow a Jeep Wrangler 4 door so getting around should be easy. We are pretty relaxed and don't need to get something out of every hour. If we like something we tend to hang out and enjoy it.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jeremy
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:35 PM   #2
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We live in California.

When we were working we didn't have time to make long trips, three weeks was the maximum so we covered all the states west of the Mississippi and western Canada.

After we retired we went on several month long trips and covered the east coast many times.

I'd suggest not trying to cover a long distance and make the trip more enjoyable.

I like your idea of a four hour day and I'm sure that will give the kids more pool time.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:38 PM   #3
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Hi Jeremy



Glad to have you here with us.

It will help if you can narrow down the area of the country that you want to visit. Even if it's just, East Coast, Rockies, Southwest etc.

You will get some good idea and this is the time to start planning.

Best of luck and Happy Trails!!
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:41 AM   #4
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If you haven't already done so, Williamsburg, Va. is a fun & historical stop. Then down to Jamestown for more history. Coming down Rt. 17 I'd take the kids to see the U.S.S. North Carolina battleship. I'm sure the kids will like exploring the ship. You could then work your way down to Myrtle Beach, SC where there's tons of things for adults & children to do. Then maybe down to Charleston. One suggestion would be to maybe make reservations for Myrtle Beach that time of year. There's a couple campgrounds right on the beach which I'm sure the kids would like.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:49 AM   #5
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This is me just thinking out loud - although I have applied this method a time or two.

So you have 4 weeks to travel - first off being in Balt. MD, which way do you want to point your motor home - north - northwest - west - southwest - south.

Once you have determined that and want to travel about 4 hours each day, which should be somewhere in the 240 mile range with an average speed of 60.

I like paper maps over digital - with this said lay your maps out on the floor and as a family plot out 250 - 300 miles per day in the direction to head in.

Then get on the computer and Google your stops. There is so much to see out there - small towns are gems. For instance, if you travel northwest say with a destination of Mt. Rushmore, you may pass close to the movie set of Field of Dreams in Dyersville, IA. Contact Us | Field Of Dreams Movie Site A great stop, especially of you like the movie or there is the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_Palace

Neither place is nothing more than a short stop along the way but the memories last a lifetime. If you head in a northwest direction you can pass close to where I live and the Indianapolis Speedway, home of the 500 Mile Race (Indy 500) and Indianapolis is a neat city.

From Mt.Rushmore, Your are close to Devils Tower,WY (Think Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind) and Dodge City, SD, a real as it gets western town. Yellowstone Park is a short drive - not sure if it would make your 4 hour cutoff - if Yellowstone is a possible destination I'd be making reservations now. Heading south from Yellowstone you will pass the Grand Tetons, you can hit Salt Lake City, Grand Canyon, and some points in the southwest or head back east through Colorado and hit Denver and a little north of there, Estes Park, CO and Rocky Mountain NP. Rocky Mountain National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

This is just one directions (northwest) suggestions - also look for National Parks, there are many out across the US - some may just be a small Heritage Center - others are big parks.

One suggestion I would have tho is once you make your mind up where you are going, I suggest planning on staying at one spot for a few days.......

Again - this is me thinking out loud with my fingers......

Have a great trip and how lucky your kids are................

Glenn
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:18 PM   #6
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Jeremy,

I've been doing month long summer trips (mid July to mid August) the past several summers and as it seems that last time you did the Southwest I would agree with Glenn and go north. In 2013 I did Yellowstone as the main destination - Left NJ headed across I-76 to Pittsburgh and then up across I-90 highlights of stops - Green Giant Statue, MN, Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD, Badlands National Park, SD, Deadwood, SD, Devils Tower, WY, Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn Battlefield, MT, overnight in Billings, MT then to Cody, WY for the Rodeo and Buffalo Bill Cody, then Yellowstone for four nights (one day northern loop, one day southern loop and one day at the Tetons) then out the west entrance to Spud Museum in Blackfoot, ID, Golden Spike Monument, Promontory, UT, then Salt Lake City, UT and headed back to Colorado Springs, Co (Pikes Peak, Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods) then up to Nebraska stopping at the Cabelas HQ Campground in Sidney NE, stopped at North Platte for Bailey Yard the largest rail yard in North America with a tower overlooking it all, from there dropped down to Kansas City for BBQ went across I-70 to St. Louis and up to Springfield, IL to see Lincoln's house and grave. After that dropped back down to I-64 and came home via West Virginia.

My traveling and planning strategies are after the first day which I drive eight hours just to get out of the area I drive 300 miles or 5 hours. Some days it was slightly over and most days considerably less depending on the overnight locations. I start out by using Google Maps starting at my home address and then the main destination. I will then look at where the route takes me. I then change the route by drag the route over to locations that I want to see along the way. The last thing I do is look for campgrounds followed by sights that I will be passing by i.e. the Green Giant Statue in Minnesota and decide if I want to stop. If you are a Good Sam Member their trip planner is most helpful in planning these types of trips as they have the sights, campground, etc all in one. Driving four or five hours gives a lot of flexibility to your planning - you can arrive early to do sightseeing in the afternoon, you can drive 2 hours to a sightseeing location and stay several hours and drive 2 hours before stopping or you can do sightseeing in the morning and drive in the afternoon.

For me the one of the best parts of the trip is the planning.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robmat View Post
............. I would agree with Glenn and go north. .................Deadwood, SD, This is the town I meant to say - I believe I said Dodge City, SD, Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn Battlefield, MT......another neat place - forgot about this - I was amazed at the markers in the ground

My traveling and planning strategies are after the first day which I drive eight hours just to get out of the area I drive 300 miles or 5 hours. Some days it was slightly over and most days considerably less depending on the overnight locations. I start out by using Google Maps starting at my home address and then the main destination. I will then look at where the route takes me. I then change the route by drag the route over to locations that I want to see along the way. The last thing I do is look for campgrounds followed by sights that I will be passing by i.e. the Green Giant Statue in Minnesota and decide if I want to stop. If you are a Good Sam Member their trip planner is most helpful in planning these types of trips as they have the sights, campground, etc all in one. As much as I like paper maps.......(an age thing).......I do use the Good Sam Trip Planner - great app for planning. I am going to try the Google Map planning as you do - good way to figure out milies traveled per day.

For me the one of the best parts of the trip is the planning.
Agreed..!
Almost spent some time in your area as I was being drafted into the military I looked into the USCG.........but went Army instead. Left 30 years later......LOL Guess I found a home in the Army......

g
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:01 PM   #8
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We are thinking going no farther west than Wisconsin, or Illinois. We are also trying to stay in northern part of the country no farther south than Maryland.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:06 PM   #9
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Michigan in the summer is awesome, especially along the west side and further north. You could also cross the Mighty Mac bridge leading you to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and down through Wisconsin. Make a circle of it.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a definitely place to explore. Beautiful beaches and sand dunes, fun quaint towns to explore. Take the day ferry to South Manitou Island to tour the lighthouse (we gave tours there). The whole Traverse City area and peninsula is a fun place in summer.

Then head to Mackinac Island via the day ferry. Rent bikes and tour the island. Buy some fudge!

Cross into the Upper Peninsula. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point is interesting and Pictured Rocks Nat'l Lakeshore out of Munising is a nice boat ride. Copper Harbor has a historic presentation in the state park. The west side of the Upper Peninsula has lots of small waterfalls. Stop at a visitor center up there and get the waterfall map. Most are nice easy strolls or walks to reach them.

It's a very popular place so start making reservations. Have fun!
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:31 PM   #10
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Shall I even mention that the lobstahs are delicious and the wild blueberries are full a bit beyond Bah Hawbah Maine in mid August?
Oh shoot. Now the secret is out!
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:17 AM   #11
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Jeremy: I definitely echo Twogypsies advice on Michigan and the UP. Add in stopping at a couple of Lighthouses, and swinging down through Wisconsin, your kids would enjoy the House on The Rock, maybe ride the Ducks at the Dells. Just my .02
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:30 AM   #12
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On your way to Michigan, you could hit Cedar Point and/or Kings Island in Ohio. Tecumseh outdoor drama in Chillicothe is whole family entertainment and nationally endorsed. And the Air museum in Dayton is cool. If you want to cross through Canada from Detroit, you could be at Niagara Falls in a day.
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