Renting a houseboat has always been on our family vacation bucket list, so I was very excited when the opportunity came up this summer. A three day trip would allow us to see what life on a houseboat was really like, and it was a great excuse for our first visit to beautiful Smith Mountain Lake. Tucked away in southwestern Virginia with over 500 miles of shoreline, we were confident we would have plenty of space for some quiet relaxation. Plus being on a 39’ boat would be the ultimate family bonding experience before my oldest heads off to college! Here’s what I discovered during our adventure, including some helpful tips for first time houseboat renters.
For the first summer in a long time, my family will probably just be taking some mini-vacations, and we are looking forward to exploring our beautiful home state of Virginia. Although I have lived in this state for over 20+ years, there are many places and activities that I have yet to try. So, with the help of the “Virginia is for Lovers” website, I have put together 10 fun things to do in Virginia this summer. I’m excited to have a go-to list so that when my teenagers have a few days free here and there, we can take off and try something new.
Everyone knows that DC is a popular tourist town, filled with history and wonderful free museums. Now that the weather is warm, there are many more options for outdoor enthusiasts or tourists looking for something a bit more adventurous. Next time you visit DC, consider adding one of these fun, outdoor activities for a different perspective of our nation’s capital.
Vacationing with teenagers is fun, because when your kids reach a certain age, there are so many more opportunities to do things or visit places that you might not be able to do with a 5 or 6 year old. With that in mind, last year I posted a Teen Travel Ideas article on this website. With summer coming, I thought I would revisit some of these suggestions and ways to combine these adventures with popular vacation destinations.
Growing up on the east coast, I always considered myself lucky that the ocean was just a few hours away. In the Mid-Atlantic area, the beach seems to be the vacation of choice for many families. But a recent article I found on Pinterest reminded me of how many beautiful lakes there are throughout the US. The Huffington Post article “10 Beaches That Will Make You Want to Visit the Great Lakes Immediately” did make me want to pack my bags and head to Lake Michigan.
*This post was updated February 2017
With summer being a little over 5 months away, its a perfect time to start thinking about a family road trip. You'll find plenty of inspiration throughout this website, but if the thought of planning a trip sounds overwhelming, here are some tips to help you get started.
Since October is the month when talk turns to all things spooky, I thought it would be a good time to highlight a few mysterious attractions that would be interesting for tweens and teens. Each is known for some scientific phenomenon or claims to be haunted, and all are popular with tourists. Best suited for children at least age 10 and up, you can visit any time of the year. As you will see below, they also happen to be located near some great vacation spots.
This post was updated October, 2016
Who would have guessed that the highlight of my summer was zip lining almost half a mile across a valley about 275 feet above the ground with nothing but air and mountain views around me. This is probably one of the most fun family outings we have taken on vacation, and I would highly recommend adding this to a family bucket list. We were at Wears Valley Zipline Adventures in the mountains of Tennessee not too far from Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. The original course has 4 lines that run over 3100 feet, and for many people, that is plenty. But it is the last 3 lines they recently added that are the most amazing, with some of the longest and highest in the region. Also, the guides were super friendly and helpful, and always there with encouraging words, especially for those of us who had never zip lined before. You can purchase a combo ticket which also included whitewater rafting, which we also did the day prior to zip lining. Tickets are a bit pricey but it was definitely worth it for creating some wonderful family memories.