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  • Vacation Spots

    A great side-bar conversation arose on the political forum about great vacation destinations. Already mentioned were Yosemite, Key West, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, (really all of New England) among others.

    Got a great locale you have visited? Or even better have some first-hand insider beta on where to stay or what to do? Discuss it here:
    Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

  • #2
    Went to Universal Orlando and stayed on property two years ago. We absolutely loved it. If you have small children then Disney is the ticket. If they have outgrown the Princess and Mickey phase then you owe it to yourself to go to Universal. This place was AWESOME and it is the best theme park we have been to.

    We also like to go to Gulf Shores every other year. So much better than Panama City or the other usually overcrowded Gulf towns. This is a laid back family atmosphere. There is still a ton to do, you just aren't rubbing shoulders as much. Last year we went in October for the Annual Shrimp Festival and I HIGHLY recommend that. They close down Front Beach Road West and have live music, arts and crafts booths, and killer food. They have just about any seafood you could want but shrimp is the obvious star of the show. We had such a great time that we can't wait to return. Shrimp Fest or not, we have decided that we will not ever go to the beach in any month other than October. It is still warm enough to swim but lacks the ungodly oppressive heat that the Summer months have. It was in the mid to upper 80's last year during the day and the nights were very comfortable. We loved the USS Alabama on Mobile Bay. If not for the Shrimp Fest, this was the highlight of the trip. Not only can you tour the Battleship, but there is a hangar with some 25+ aircraft, tanks around the grounds, as well as a submarine you can tour. The tour is self guided and is fantastic. Head west from Gulf Shores and tour Fort Morgan. It is an Earthen Civil War fort over looking the Gulf and it is HUGE. Lots of history and scenery on the Alabama coast and it is right there with the best trips we have taken.

    On a side note, if you ever find yourself in Alabama and you love beer, Fairhope Brewing's Take the Causeway IPA is a fantastic beer. Has a mango taste and is excellent ice cold on a warm day.
    Last edited by Blue Heaven; 05-02-2017, 06:12 PM.
    Isaiah 5:20

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    • #3
      Growing up, my parents alway took my brother and me to Panama City and Myrtle Beach. Fun as a kid but it got old going there so much like we did. Went to Hilton Head on my honeymoon and it was extremely beautiful. Ton of stuff to do in Orlando but I didn't get to visit the beach there. Last year, I went to work in Fort Lauderdale for 4th of July weekend and I was sold. I want to go back to Fort Lauderdale for an actual vacation instead of work. Insanely nice.

      BUT. My number one destination that I've been to and wouldn't hesitate to go back to is Seattle. Just an awesome awesome city. I would move there in a heartbeat if it wasn't so expensive.

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      • #4
        We always go to Destin in the fall... we have for the last 7 years but in Sept we are headed to a resort in Fort Morgan Alabama for a family vacation

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        • #5
          Alaska is the best we have visited and we've cruised to about everywhere. We are going for the 4th time in July. We fly into Fairbanks a day early and go to North Pole, out to the pipeline and go on a sternwheeler where we see two places where they raise the sled dogs and they have won the Iditarod. Then we board the train for a 6 day trip to the cruise ship for a week of relaxation. On the way to the ship, we take an 8 hour trip into Denali National Forest where we see about every animal in Alaska, and are about 30 miles from Mt McKinley. My wife even kissed a reindeer on an excursion.
          John 3:3

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
            Alaska is the best we have visited and we've cruised to about everywhere. We are going for the 4th time in July. We fly into Fairbanks a day early and go to North Pole, out to the pipeline and go on a sternwheeler where we see two places where they raise the sled dogs and they have won the Iditarod. Then we board the train for a 6 day trip to the cruise ship for a week of relaxation. On the way to the ship, we take an 8 hour trip into Denali National Forest where we see about every animal in Alaska, and are about 30 miles from Mt McKinley. My wife even kissed a reindeer on an excursion.
            My wife's parents have been to Alaska twice. They loved it! Bus and cruise and second time cruise and rent a car. Mother did a cruise too.

            I would like to get there but I'm not sure how to prioritize what to see, it's so big.
            Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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            • #7
              There are a lot of nice spots on the Florida Panhandle with those fine white sand beaches and pretty water, but without the crowds and heavy development. Those are nice.

              Delaware is another place with nice beaches that aren't overdeveloped.

              I like the Outer Banks as well, and you can find many different places there.

              Jamaica also has beautiful beaches, along with vibrant music, flavorful food, and many interesting things to see on the island: caves, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and so on.

              Arizona is full of incredible natural beauty and is a real change of scenery from Kentucky.

              There are a lot of cities where a week will be full of fun and enjoyment without getting to nearly everything you'd like to see. Chicago, Washington, and Philadelphia are at the top of that list for me in the U.S.

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              • #8
                We honeymooned in Seagrove Beach back when Sandestin was a few miles outside of the Destin city limits. Back in `92 Seascape Golf and Tennis resort was on the outskirts of Destin. We've revisited several times and our favorite place in Destin is Henderson Park Inn Bed & Breakfast on old 98 next to the east end of Henderson State Park.

                The Outer Banks is a place I want to visit. A few great old lighthouses there I'd like to visit.

                Key West is a place I'd love to purchase a place and retire to, but most of the dilapidated properties in Old Town and to the west start at $300k - and that's just getting something to gut and start over.

                Acadia National Park area in Maine will probably be our next trip next year. Moab, Utah this year to hike and do some off-roading. Wife has been to every state in the continental US except the upper northwest. We hit San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa Valley last summer. I could easily live in San Francisco if I could afford it.

                Bucket list for the next five years:

                Acadia NP, Maine
                Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon
                Ireland - the documentary "The Irish Pub" got me really interested.
                Italy
                I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're gonna feel all day. Frank Sinatra

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spiritof96 View Post

                  My wife's parents have been to Alaska twice. They loved it! Bus and cruise and second time cruise and rent a car. Mother did a cruise too.

                  I would like to get there but I'm not sure how to prioritize what to see, it's so big.
                  It would cost a fortune to even try to see most of Alaska. Some of it, the only way to get there is by small plane. We've been about an hour north of Fairbanks once, and it gets primitive that far North. If you've ever seen "Ice Road Truckers," that road would tear a car up if driven on it during the summer months. Look at the Land and Sea packages, but make sure you'er able to stay 2 days in Denali. That's the only way you will be able to take the 8 hour tour into the forest. We took the 5 hour once, but you don't see nearly as much on it. If you go, you will want to go back.
                  John 3:3

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post

                    It would cost a fortune to even try to see most of Alaska. Some of it, the only way to get there is by small plane. We've been about an hour north of Fairbanks once, and it gets primitive that far North. If you've ever seen "Ice Road Truckers," that road would tear a car up if driven on it during the summer months. Look at the Land and Sea packages, but make sure you'er able to stay 2 days in Denali. That's the only way you will be able to take the 8 hour tour into the forest. We took the 5 hour once, but you don't see nearly as much on it. If you go, you will want to go back.
                    That's good info.
                    Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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                    • #11
                      My contribution is less on where but more on how to.

                      Given the advances in car GPS, if you go to western Europe, try renting a car. The last time I visited Germany, Austria, Luxembourg we did a car rental (nice Mercedes station wagon) for a reasonable price. It was much easier to get around than I expected and I liked the freedom to get off the beaten path and control my schedule.

                      A few points:

                      1. A good guide book or two and a map can help cross reference what the GPS is telling you.
                      2. You need to familiarize yourself with the political geography of where you are going. They don't do north, south, east, west, signage.
                      3. Be flexible enough to learn how people drive over there and adjust. German's are not tolerant of some common US ways of dealing with interstate travel.
                      4. Carry more cash than you would here. You can go to a lemonade stand in the US and expect to use a card, not as much over there.
                      Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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                      • #12
                        Outer Banks is probably our favorite. It's usually not overcrowded. More in the summer but not anywhere like Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach. For Surveyor there are plenty of old ligthouses around, Hattaras, Bodie Island and one on Ocracoke Island. If you want to go further down and cross the ferry you can stay on Ocracoke Island. It is very secluded. The only Inns and Bed Breakfast are in town. We stayed there one time for a few days. They have plenty of local eating establishments and a few other things you can do. The beaches are impeccable. You have it all nearly to yourself. Just a very ocasional passerby.

                        We love New England too. We have stayed in North Conway NH a couple of times. They have outlet shopping there too but we didn't do much of that. Both times we were there was in the winter. That was our honeymoon spot and went back for an anniversary about three years ago. We went sleigh riding at Nestlenook Farm, went Jackson Falls and just had a peaceful time there. Drove back through Vermont and upstate New York. All very pretty places to go through. We have youtube videos of our sleigh riding if you want see it. Just google Nestlenook farm sleigh riding and you should find it.
                        Kentucky fan since 1971.

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                        • #13
                          My Wife and some in her Family went to Poland, Austria, and Munich back in 2014. The got a guide from Ancestry.com to guide them through Poland. They met with some distant relatives in Krakow and Lublin. They visited some concentration camps including Auschwitz. She told me it was a lot to take in and it was very moving. Not a dry eye during the tour. The pictures she brought home were breathtaking. Their last stop was a 3 night stay in Munich where they took in the first two days of Oktoberfest. I so want to go to that. Some of the videos they took were of a fun time had by any who was there. They sing a bunch of songs throughout the event. To my amazement, one of the more popular songs they sing is Country Roads by John Denver. I got a kick out of hearing them speak German throughout the videos, but when that song came on, everyone knew every word and they sung it loud and proud. Really cool.
                          Isaiah 5:20

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                          • #14
                            Chicago is probably my favorite city in America. I've been several times and still don't feel like I've seen it all.

                            I used to love Hilton Head Island, and Savannah is one of my favorite cities in the south. But my new favorite beach destination would have to be the Florida Keys. Went in 2015, and I'm itching to go back. We stayed in Marathon, which is an island about halfway between Key Largo and Key West. It's one of the relatively rare spots on the island chain (Key chain?) that has a sand beach large enough to lounge on. The water is much calmer than traditional beach spots in the US. I recommend going snorkeling out Looe Key Reef, about 10 miles offshore. The boat leaves twice a day from Bahia Honda State Park. We also went kayaking from Robbie's Marina in Islamorada. We paddled about 10 feet from a manatee. in a mangrove We just sat in the waterway and watched it bob up and down for a good 15 minutes.

                            My wife and I took a weeklong trip last fall to Asheville and then to Gatlinburg. It was my first trip to Asheville, and I loved it. I could live there. Gatlinburg isn't my thing, but I did love hiking the Appalachian Trail up in the park.


                            And he'd go out on the weekend and he played like Clarence White,
                            if Clarence had had a real job and picked the guitar when there was time.

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                            • #15
                              My wife and I honeymooned on Block Island, RI. It's a forty minute ferry ride off the coast of RI, and it's a real gem. If I'm going to do a beach trip, that's what I'm after: cool northeastern wind, rocky shores, and lots of wildlife sightings. It's also known as the swordfish capital of the world, and for good reason. If you've never eaten swordfish, you should do so ASAP: it's like steak, only fish.

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                              Vacation Spots

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