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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Vacation Suggestions

    Looking for vacation suggestions. I'm primarily looking to drive as it seems to work better right now for us with an almost 3 year old. I'd like to keep it around the 8 hour mark, which for reference would get me anywhere in the state of Arkansas or Kansas, most all of Texas, Northwestern part of Louisiana and about 2/3rds of Missouri.

    Honestly I've spent so much time in Texas, I've probably hit 90% of things to do there, so my focus is kind of on the other states. I know it might be a long shot but is there anything work going to for a week in those places mentioned?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Do you enjoy hiking at all?

  3. Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    If you like scenic views.... Just about anywhere in the Ozarks

  4. #4

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    What do you all like doing as a family?

    I enjoyed trips to St. Louis and Kansas City. Easy to get to and have some fun places to visit. You can get to Santa Fe is about 8 hours as well. Pretty area for some outdoor activities. Also you can get to Colorado in about 8 (maybe stay in Trinidad area then go up the mountains the next day).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Kansas City would be an outstanding choice and it's only 5.5 hours.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Hiking with a 3 yo seems complicated.
    Albuquerque and Santa Fe are in reach of the 8 hours drive and are very nice.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    St. Louis is one of the most family-friendly cities in the country. We have one of the nation's best zoos, as well as a second fun animal park (Grant's Farm). There's a great children's museum called The Magic House and a very quirky place called The City Museum (although 3 may be a little young). Forest Park has all kinds of museums and a lake with rowboats. The Botanical Gardens are outstanding and the Transportation Museum has trains, trains, trains. Obviously everyone knows the Arch and if you come in the summer, try to time it to go to a Cardinals game. I can give you lots more suggestions if you want to PM me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    I second STL and KC.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    I've been to KC and didn't see anything there to take me back, but I'm open for suggestions. Only ever driven through St. Louis, I suppose that could be an option.

    We are outdoors people. Hiking probably not so much right now. I've done a lot of Colorado, and anything else on my list is much further than an 8 hour drive. We've been doing lots of beach vacations, and we go to Broken Bow once a year, for like a decade.

    I was interested in Arkansas because seems to have a lot of outdoorsy stuff, but my fear is it's going to be too similar to Broken Bow, but maybe not.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuplar View Post
    Looking for vacation suggestions. I'm primarily looking to drive as it seems to work better right now for us with an almost 3 year old. I'd like to keep it around the 8 hour mark, which for reference would get me anywhere in the state of Arkansas or Kansas, most all of Texas, Northwestern part of Louisiana and about 2/3rds of Missouri.

    Honestly I've spent so much time in Texas, I've probably hit 90% of things to do there, so my focus is kind of on the other states. I know it might be a long shot but is there anything work going to for a week in those places mentioned?
    Albuqueraque

    is a fun city with great food, art and nature

  11. #11

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    also Eureque Springs ARk

    is a fun town

  12. #12

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    There are many options of attractions for children is St. Louis that are great. I would recommend the City Museum, The ZOO, Science Museum, Grant's Farm and The Magic House to start.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuplar View Post
    I've been to KC and didn't see anything there to take me back, but I'm open for suggestions.
    If this was serious, then there's no helping you. lol

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    2,546

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    If this was serious, then there's no helping you. lol
    lol I guess.

    It was serious, I went to their power and light district (I think that's what it's called), and then went to where KC Sporting stadium is can't remember the name of the area. I mean it seemed like OKC, and no offense I wouldn't vacation here if I lived there so just doesn't do much for me.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuplar View Post

    I was interested in Arkansas because seems to have a lot of outdoorsy stuff, but my fear is it's going to be too similar to Broken Bow, but maybe not.
    I've only been to broken bow once. I dont' think it's the case.

  16. #16
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    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by jpetey99 View Post
    There are many options of attractions for children is St. Louis that are great. I would recommend the City Museum, The ZOO, Science Museum, Grant's Farm and The Magic House to start.
    Quote Originally Posted by stlokc View Post
    St. Louis is one of the most family-friendly cities in the country. We have one of the nation's best zoos, as well as a second fun animal park (Grant's Farm). There's a great children's museum called The Magic House and a very quirky place called The City Museum (although 3 may be a little young). Forest Park has all kinds of museums and a lake with rowboats. The Botanical Gardens are outstanding and the Transportation Museum has trains, trains, trains. Obviously everyone knows the Arch and if you come in the summer, try to time it to go to a Cardinals game. I can give you lots more suggestions if you want to PM me.
    St. Louis is honestly someplace that I wouldn't have even considered. But after looking over these suggestions you guys might totally be on to something. There seems to be a lot of kid friendly activities. Definitely a contender.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    I really do not understand the appeal of KC that many here have expressed. It is a nice city but I would hardly consider that a real vacation worthy city. St. Louis is pretty cool and has a lot of attractions to keep you busy. Corpus Christi, Denver, Albuquerque, Big Bend, Austin, New Orleans, Eureka Springs, Memphis, Nashville, Santa Fe, are all places within 10 hours(I know you said 8 but 2 hours gives a lot more options).

    If you are open to moving a bit between places you could check out Springfield, Branson, and Eureka Springs.

    Nashville is a 10-11 drive. New Orleans is amazing.

    What kind of activities are you looking for? How long will this vacation last?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    2,546

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Definetely looking for something kid friendly. We like the outdoors. Like being around water (lake or ocean). We like museums or other historical stuff as well.

    A couple of people mentioned ABQ and Santa Fe. I'm interested in that, is there anything specific worth mentioning?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    I am not sure how long you will have. Some suggestions I would have for an ABQ trip could be things like stopping in Amarillo for a day and exploring Palo Duro which is 30 minutes south of Amarillo, has cabins available to rent, and is considered the second Grand Canyon of the U.S.

    Santa Rosa has the blue hole which you can dive or swim in and stays 60 or so degrees all year round.

    As for Albuquerque I don't know everything about the city but there is a lot of outdoor activities, some decent museums close to downtown between the river, some good restaurants along Central Ave, some cool tram rides around the city taking up the mountains, and if you like Space and air travel Truth or Consequences is a 2 hour drive south and has the Spaceport America, and directly east of the mountains is White Sands National Park and Alamogordo which is home to the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

    I am sure there is rafting or canoeing along the Rio Grande in ABQ. There is a lot to keep you busy there.

    My suggestion for Santa Fe stems from word of mouth but I have not yet been. I know they have a rail line that travels around 100MPH or so and would be a fun experience.

    The good thing is when driving around New Mexico much of the state is scenic and keeps you visually stimulated. I hope this helps!

    https://www.santarosabluehole.com/

    http://www.nmnaturalhistory.org/

    https://www.indianpueblo.org/

    http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/spd/rio...statepark.html

    https://www.nuclearmuseum.org/

    Tram: https://sandiapeak.com/

    https://www.spaceportamerica.com/

    https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm

    http://www.nmspacemuseum.org/

    Canyon south of Amarillo:

    https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon

  20. #20

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Depends when you plan on going. ABQ is at altitude, high desert. Very cold, zero humidity. Plenty of outdoor stuff, including skiing backside of the Sandia. Totally different if you go in the summer.
    Spaceport was closed for a time, check before going. Their museum is superminimal, better to fly to DC for Air and Space Museum on the Mall.
    Saying you want museums but discounting KC? What kind of museums, because their art museum is world class.
    If you are wanting outdoor activities in January and February, your best options are a) drive NW until you hit a skilift or b) drive South until air temp exceeds 72F.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    "I know they have a rail line that travels around 100MPH or so and would be a fun experience."

    I think this is referring to the Rail Runner line. It might get up to 100mph in the desert stretch but it's essentially a commuter rail line from south of ABQ up to Santa Fe, which saves you from the hell that is parking in Santa Fe. It's heavily subsidized by the government so fares are dirt cheap. So cheap that the story among locals is that the ABQ homeless take the train to Santa Fe each weekend morning to panhandle the tourists there for more $, ride train back to ABQ which is not as cold in the night as Santa Fe.
    Probably not the original intent of the train subsidy, but I admire the ingenuity. The train itself is like any other train, so kids are sure to love it, as they can run up and down the aisles more freely than on an aeroplane. It does go past some of the pueblos if you are into that.
    I wouldn't try to afford feeding a kid in Santa Fe unless that kid was also exhibiting her work on Canyon Road. You should also make the kid pay their own way on the Sandia tram, although view at top is nice, plus there is cool old airplane wreckage that the tram hovers over. Kids love old wrecks and parents love falling down Wiki wormholes researching the accident.
    White Sands is much closer to El Paso than ABQ.
    Los Alamos is cool if you like science, atomic history, and breweries. And it's a great base for exploring Bandelier National Monument.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    ^^^ My suggestion for White Sands was if he decides to go to Alamogordo and would be a trip to see several things like the SpacePort America. I went a couple years ago and it was open. It is only a couple hours or so south of ABQ. It is a fun drive, IMO.

    Yeah I am unfamiliar with the Rail Runner. Haven't been on it but I know about it. It would mainly be for experience and to see Santa Fe but be careful where you leave your car.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuplar View Post
    Looking for vacation suggestions. I'm primarily looking to drive as it seems to work better right now for us with an almost 3 year old. I'd like to keep it around the 8 hour mark, which for reference would get me anywhere in the state of Arkansas or Kansas, most all of Texas, Northwestern part of Louisiana and about 2/3rds of Missouri.

    Honestly I've spent so much time in Texas, I've probably hit 90% of things to do there, so my focus is kind of on the other states. I know it might be a long shot but is there anything work going to for a week in those places mentioned?
    Have you been to tanginyaka wildlife park? It's in Goddard KS (20 minutes west of Wichita). Wichita is just 2.5 hours from OKC. There's a neat drive in theatre in Wichita too. It's more of just a weekend trip. But my kids love it. You get to feed all kinds of animals.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Hot Springs Arkansas (especially the drives to the top of both mountains that it lies between and Garvin Woodland Gardens south of town on Lake Hamilton. The Gold Inn is a nice place to stay if you like reconditioned old motor courts). Then north to Petit Jean State Park (including the scenic overlook on the way to the park and Mather Lodge). I'd also suggest the Texas Hill Country (Fredericksburg) but you said you might be "Texas-ed out."

  25. Default Re: Vacation Suggestions

    Memphis, TN is just about 8 hours east on I-40 and it's a neat place to visit with a rich history. Graceland is definitely worth a visit, as is the National Civil Rights Museum - both are super interesting! They also have some fantastic BBQ out there - personal recommendations are Rendezvous in downtown Memphis, and Marlowe's on the south side, just about a mile and a half down Elvis Presley Blvd from Graceland. Marlowe's is kinda neat because they will come pick you up in a pink Cadillac limo for free.

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