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Showing posts from 2013

Maine Adventure

Who: Active Families
What: A Family Adventure
Where: Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park
When: August
Why: Family Fun and Adventure
How: Biking, Hiking, Boating, Swimming

Do you have a family of active teens? If so, a family vacation has to appeal to their interests or else you'll have a family of frustrated teens in your midst. That's the challenge I faced as I planned this year's family getaway.

After a lot of web surfing to destinations near and far, I decided on a family favorite destination, Acadia National Park, as well as the addition of Maine's Baxter State Park. The strategy was to initially excite and exhaust my very active family with a wonderful climb to Mt. Katahdin's summit then a number of days of hiking, biking, and swimming on Mt. Desert Island.

We packed the car with plenty of healthy snacks and got an early start to our five-hour drive to Millinocket, Maine which lies at the southeast edge of Baxter State Park. We stayed at the welcoming Big Moose…

Baxter State Park Adventure

As I mention in Family First Adventure's first post, family vacations and adventures create lifelong memories.  This is a short story of a family adventure I experienced as a young child, one I hope to recreate soon with my own children.

New Hampshire Sunrise Seacoast Bike Ride

New Hampshire has a small, but beautiful, seacoast.  In fact, the seacoast ride equals about 20 miles one way--a great length for a wonderful round trip bike adventure.  If you want a shorter ride, you may choose a section of the route for your adventure.

If you're taking the ride during the very busy summer season, I suggest that you start as soon as the sun rises to avoid traffic.  Once the traffic begins, the ride becomes more difficult as you have to navigate countless cars (and car doors) which can be challenging if you're not an experienced biker. Off season, it will probably be fine to start a little later.

We began our ride a bit late at Hampton State Park which opens at 8am. It costs $15. to park for the day.  You can park about a half mile up the road earlier for a cost of $12. for six hours (the fee starts at 8am even though you can park earlier).  The first leg of the journey brings you by Hampton's tourist hotspots, then you pass a number of local beaches as …

Coast Guard Beach: Extraordinary

Who:    Active Individuals (Handicap Access)
What:   A Day at Coast Guard Beach
Where: Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, MA
When:  Anytime of the year.
Why:    A beautiful beach with multiple adventures.
How:    About 2.5 hours from Boston by car.

The beach is the great equalizer when it comes to vacations as there's something for everyone. Children can scamper from sandbar to sandbar during low tide while teens compete at body surfing, and others relax, nap, read, walk, swim, converse, and play.

If you want to visit an extraordinary beach, plan a trip to Coast Guard Beach, one of Cape Cod National Seashore's best beaches. Coast Guard Beach avails itself to beach goers with physical disabilities as there's handicap parking at the top of the dunes and a rolling wheel-chair access to and from the beach. There are sand wheelchairs on hand for those that need to be wheeled to the water. Call ahead to make sure that the equipment and access meets your needs in this regard.

For t…

A Boston Fourth of July!

Who:    Any age, but particularly great for 18+
What:   The Esplanade Fourth of July Celebration
Where: The Esplanade, Boston
When:  All Day on the Fourth of July
Why:    Celebrate Our Country's Birth with Music and More

The Fourth of July in Boston is spectacular.  People begin to gather in the early hours of the morning with blankets, food, and water at the Esplanade so they can get a front row seat to a sensational Fourth of July extravaganza including the spectacular Boston Pops concert and dazzling fireworks show.

If you want to watch the show from the "best seats" on the grass in front of the Hatch Shell, you have to get there early and be prepared for a long day of waiting for the show. The waiting can be enjoyable if you dress for the weather, bring friends along, and plan to play games, read, people watch, take walks, picnic and relax as you wait. Bring plenty of snacks and lots of water.  Some rain gear or a tarp might be helpful since on a muggy Fourth of July rain…

Why Quebec City?

Who:   Any age.
What:  Walking, Boating, Biking, The Arts, History, Food.
Where: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
When:  Anytime of Year
Why:    It's a true getaway.
How:    Car or Plane

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of life in the United States, Quebec City offers you a wonderful, relatively nearby adventure.  The fact that French is the main language immediately takes you away, and reminds you that although you may be just a few hundred miles away from home, you're in another country.  The ambiance of the city, the history, delicious food, natural beauty, friendly people, and the arts draw you in to explore the old city and new.

There are many hotels to choose from.  We got a great price at the Loews by using Priceline.  Lowes is located at the far end of the Plains of Abraham, Quebec's extraordinary park that borders the St. Lawrence Seaway.  There are also many other wonderful hotels close to, and inside of, Old Quebec, Quebec's historic city.

Old Quebec…

Travel Style?

Every family has a different travel style and getting in touch with your family's vacation interests, needs, and passions is a good first step to planning a memorable and enjoyable family vacation.

Start the planning with the question, "Where would you go if you had all the money and time in the world?" Then follow up with the question, What makes that the place or adventure you'd choose? Think about the factors that matter.

After you've thought about those questions and responses for your family group, then group the answers you had in common and those that are true for just one or two of your group.  Next, choose a place that matches most of the needs you have in common and one that has some of the individual needs as well.

For example, I have an active family. They like to run, hike, bike, swim, and play. Yet, I also have a family that likes space. So we need a place with plenty of adventure, but also space for individual reading, writing, quiet walks, and &q…