Oh, the Places We Went!

One of the major things that my husband and I agree on in life is the fact that we put the utmost importance on travel for our family. When our children were tiny we would take tiny trips but now that they are getting bigger we have grand plans in the works. Travel is so important for any family because it exposes your children to the wonders of the world and gives them the background knowledge for all types of things whether it be school or just conversations with people they meet. Most importantly it helps their sense of wonder and adventure to thrive!

I have had so many friends call, email and text to ask me where we have been and what we have done because they want to travel with their families as well and don't want to waste their time in a place that isn't kid friendly. They always encourage me to write a blog about places I have traveled to with my family, so here it goes! I am just going to write a brief synopsis on each place I have traveled over the past few years and what I liked about it.

I will start of with the grand-daddy of them all......Disney! I could literally write a whole blog just about Disney (which I will one day) but for right now I will just say this...my husband and I are not Disney freaks (it's ok if you are, but we just aren't) but I have to say there is something so wonderful about seeing the magic of Disney through your children's eyes. It is well worth the trip and it brings you back to your childhood, if only for a brief time, and makes you think about a time in your life when you thought the magic of Disney was real life.

Ogunquit, ME- One of my all time favorite family vacations ever! This beach is consistently named one of the most family friendly in New England and for good reason. The beach is on a little peninsula where the Ogunquit River runs out in to the ocean. You can see people all day long riding the tide on rafts from the river out towards the ocean, jumping off and then doing it all over again. One of my favorite things about the beach was staying on the river side and watching the tide go in and out. When the tide went out, the beach was full of amazing tide pools, perfect for little kids to wade in, and there were tons of crabs crawling along the sand. That will keep a child busy for hours! My son spent all day catching crabs and chasing sea gulls (as pictured below). The town of Ogunquit is a beautiful, quaint little town full of great restaurants and shops. The whole town is very walkable and we enjoyed walking from the Perkins Cove area back into the Main Street area. We also loved the proximity of Ogunquit to other towns such as York (they have a cute little zoo there), Kinnebunk, Kinnebunkport, Old Orchard Beach, and Portland. The Stonewall Kitchen Company Store is a short drive away and who doesn't love Stonewall Kitchen products? http://www.townofogunquit.org/

NJ- Cape May, NJ- We went here a few summers ago with family and friends and had the best time! We loved all of the beautiful Victorian homes lining the streets throughout town. The beach there is great (especially if you are staying in a home or hotel and don't have to pay daily for it- downfall of NJ beaches) and you truly feel like you are being taken back in time to another era. One of our favorite things there was the carnival at Congress Hall. It was a tiny carnival, no real rides or anything like that, but cute carnival games and face painting. Unfortunately, we did not get to do everything we wanted to do there but they do have movie nights at the beach and a sunset flag ceremony at Sunset Beach so we will definitely have to make another trip back to get to experience those things. We did get to visit the Cape May Country Park and Zoo which was a nice addition to our trip. http://www.capemay.com/

Mountain Creek, NJ- My husband loves to ski and couldn't wait to get my children on skis as soon as he was able to. Mountain Creek is the perfect little mountain to get them started. Nothing is a very far walk (ugh walking with kids, skis, gear and clothing is treacherous) and the price to ski for the day is very reasonable. http://www.mountaincreek.com/

CT- We have visited CT many times and have visited many towns since it is so close to where we live on Long Island. A few of the places we really enjoy visiting with the kids are the Mystic Aquarium, The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village and the Essex Train (especially if you have a Thomas the Train fan). Each place is a nice day trip or you can stay for a few days and visit them all! http://www.mysticaquarium.org/ http://naturesartvillage.com/the-dinosaur-place/ http://essexsteamtrain.com/

MA- My mom is from MA and most of her family still lives here so luckily for me I have spent many a summer on Cape Cod. There are so many beautiful towns on the Cape but some of my favorites are Dennis, Dennis Port, Yarmouth and Chatham. My all time favorite beach on the Cape is Cold Storage beach in East Dennis. I am probably very biased since this is where we spent a majority of our time but it is very family friendly and you don't have to worry about waves or rip tides with young children. Cape Cod is full of things to do such as whale watching, mini golf, bandstand concerts at night, watching the Cape Cod baseball league and of course endless amounts of restaurants and shopping. http://www.capecodchamber.org/

A few years ago we took a trip to Edaville in Carver, Ma in order to see Thomas Land. This park is a wonderful little park that is not overwhelming at all. It is perfect for little ones but may tend to be a bit boring for older children. If you have a Thomas fan this is perfect for you! During out trip we also stayed in Plymouth, MA which is a nice little day trip. The town is beautiful and why not throw a little history in there and visit the Plymouth Rock? http://www.edaville.com/ http://www.seeplymouth.com/

You can't mention MA and not mention Boston! We took a mini vacation to Boston this summer and I was so surprised at how family friendly it was! Boston is a very active and walkable city and you constantly see people biking, skateboarding, running and rowing. Some of the features we really enjoyed in Boston were the aquarium and the Duck Boat tours. I definitely want to make a visit back because the Children's Museum and a visit to the Public Garden are on my checklist (Swan Boats and Make Way for Ducklings). Boston we will see you again soon! https://www.bostonusa.com/

RI- Two of our favorite places in Rhode Island are Newport and Block Island. Now, truth be told, I have visited Block Island many more times without kids rather than with. Without children I love getting drinks at the National, taking a scooter around the island, sitting at the beach at Ballard's (enjoying the music and drinks served on the beach) and seeing our favorite shoeless performer at the National at night. With children we enjoyed going to the beach, visiting the lighthouses and catching a movie at the movie theater. Block Island is not a place I would personally spend a whole week at because I feel as if it rains there really isn't much to do but it is a great place to spend a few days exploring the island. Newport is also a great family trip! We enjoyed walking the Cliff Walk, visiting the Mansions which take you back to a time when the biggest families in the country kept massive "summer homes" and lived in them for one month, and taking the trolley around town. Newport is full of history and some of the best restaurants around! http://www.blockislandinfo.com/ https://www.discovernewport.org/

Indoor Water Parks- We have stayed in two of the indoor water parks on the East Coast. We stayed in Great Wolf Lodge in MA and Camelback Resort in PA. As a comparison here are the pros of each. Great Wolf has more activities for young kids such as dance parties, characters, wolf ears upon arrival (which the kids love) and so many areas to go to such as a ropes course, arcade, Stuffed Animal shop and water park. Camelback does not have as many activities throughout the day but in my opinion was cleaner and had much better food (great buffet). Their water park was definitely better and they had a larger arcade. There is also skiing at Camelback in the winter so it really has something for everyone. We also loved going to the Barley Creek Brewery for dinner. It is very kid friendly and has great food! http://www.camelbackresort.com/ https://www.greatwolf.com/new-england

Myrtle Beach, SC- We attended a wedding here without children but ended up doing many things we could have done with children. The beaches in South Carolina are just stunning so you could spend days on the beach just playing and watching dolphins in the water. Some of the fun places we went to were Charleston, which was about an hour and a half away (a horse and buggy tour is a must), Broadway at the Beach (something for everyone here) and the Marsh Walk at Murrells Inlet (full of great restaurants, live music and trinket shopping). http://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/ http://www.charlestoncvb.com/

Ocean City, MD- We have gone to Ocean City a few times and spent long weekends here. I am not sure if I could spend a whole week here but that is just me (I am sure many people would feel differently). We love the beach at Ocean City and there is always the boardwalk to go to. A "must do" in Ocean City is to try the crabs....you cannot go to MD and not eat some crabs! It is an experience in and of itself for sure! While in Ocean City make sure to get some Fractured Prune donuts because they are probably some of the best I have ever had (make sure to eat them hot). Don't forget to play a round of mini golf at one of the many mini golf places along the strip. http://ococean.com/

Mount Snow, VT- My husband's family owned a ski house here for a long time and we always enjoyed skiing and spending time in Dover and Wilmington, VT. The mountain is a great mountain for beginners and it is very manageable for children just learning to ski. The surrounding towns are very cute and filled with great restaurants, shops and eating at Dot's is a must (make sure if you go to the bathroom take a look out the window and you are literally suspended above the river)! One of our traditions, before the house was sold, was to drive up to VT and cut down our Christmas tree. It was a wonderful tradition and one we will always remember. Spending time in VT always brought us back to the simpler times when we would spend our days skiing, cooking great meals and playing board games at night. https://www.mountsnow.com/

There are so many great places we have visited and so many more we want to visit. We are always looking to expand our travels so I would love to hear places you have traveled and why you loved it. Leave a comment at the bottom and tell me the places you love to go! Happy travels everyone!