the modern belle’s family vacation
10 south east cities perfect for family travel
If you're a mom, you know that every summer comes with the task of finding the perfect family vacation. With beaches spread all over the south, many can be hectic and over-crowded, taking away from the serenity you sought out. We have compiled a list of some off-beat vacations that are perfect for your family (and you wallets). Let's get started!
1. Ellijay, GA
Ellijay is located in the Northern Georgia Mountains. If you are looking for a vacation complete with many outdoor adventures, Ellijay is for you. There are amazing trails, Carters Lake for fishing or just to relax on a pontoon, orchards for picking some of Georgia’s best apples, golfing at Whitepath Golf Course, a family owned vineyard where you can have a tasting, and many more things to experience.
If the outdoors is not for you, Ellijay has a historic downtown where you can patron antique shops and other local business that still provide that laid back, relaxing feel.
Tips: Try and plan your vacation around Ellijay’s Georgia Apple Festival and the Georgia Apple Blossom Festival. You won’t be disappointed!
2. Natchez, MS
Taking family trips is about relaxing, spending time together, and learning something new. With Natchez being the first settlement on the Mississippi River, there is plenty of history to keep you intrigued. Natchez offers more antebellum houses than any other place in the US, the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture, the Grand Village, riverboat gaming, and plenty of outdoor activities for the families that love hiking, camping, and fishing.
Tips: Consider taking a tour. Natchez offers many activities and much to see that you will appreciate a local perspective.
3. Islamorada, FL
Known for being the sport fishing capital of the world, Islamorada is a village comprised of 5 islands. From fishing charters, boat tours, scuba & snorkeling, historic sites and state parks, to great food and drinks, you are sure to have an awesome family vacation in paradise!
Tips: Visit Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. It’s an inexpensive adventure that is sure to interest the children and give them plenty to talk about with their friends.
4. Columbia, SC + Lake Murray
Columbia is a great family destination for traditional southern history. There are museums, galleries, a zoo, theaters, shops, music venues, 3 rivers, a college, and the former home of a slave who bought her freedom. Columbia is sure to make for a memorable vacation.
Tips: Take a short drive and visit Lake Murray! This lake was slated to be a hydroelectric generating facility and is now a major recreation destination.
5. Blowing Rock, NC
Blowing Rock is a true outdoors family adventure. Hiking, spelunking, skiing, and parks are sure to keep everyone in the family busy. An with so many choices of places to stay (inns, bed and breakfasts, cabins, resorts,or hotels), you can make this outdoor vacation fit your family's personal style.
Tips: Plan a brunch at The New Public House and ask to be seated on the front porch.
6. Roanoke, VA
The Dixie Caverns, Mill Mountain Zoological Park, The Harrison Museum of African-American Culture, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Center in the Square, and many many more will provide your family with so much to do, your vacation will fly by. Roanoke offers a rich history and southern charm nestled in the mountains of Virginia.
Tips: Take the kids to experience the Roanoke Pinball Museum. The admission price allows you play the machines all day!
7. Gulf Shores, AL
Known for its bright white sands, Gulf Shores is very pleasing to the entire family! Your family will enjoy daytime cruises, dolphin watching, the beaches and piers, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, trails and hiking; they even have a golf course and a zip line over the dunes. Gulf Shores is also home to some awesome wildlife such as, sea turtles and migratory birds; the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a definite must see for the family!
Tips: Spend some family time at The Track. It’s a family recreation center that has everything from bumper boats to the Spinning Coaster!
8. Bowling Green, KY
The only place in the US that manufactures Corvette’s and a cavern that sits under the center of city! And there is still so much to see and do. You can visit the beautiful parks, distilleries, take an underground boat tour, or see the numerous historic war landmarks.
Tips: Set some time aside and reserve a date at the Angel's Envy Distillery. Parents need some playtime too!
9. Destin, FL
Destin is a quiet beach vacation destination. The waters are an emerald green and sands are soft and fine. If the beach is the center of your vacation, Destin is the place for your family. There are also many surrounding beaches that can add more to your vacation.
Tips: Visit Fort Walton Beach for big game fishing and Crab Island for a family snorkeling adventure!
10. Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, LA
Lastly, if you are planning on vacation with multiple families (meaning lots of kids and some of your parent friends), this is the place for you! Coushatta give adults the ability to enjoy each others company while the children stay entertained (under a watchful eye, of course). This resort not only offers the casino but it has an arcade, a water park, live entertainment, golf and daycare options.
Tips: This resort is pet friendly and even has a dog park! So now the fur babies can enjoy a vacation as well!