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  1. #1

    Default Houston to Ohio -- A Family Roller Coaster Odyssey

    Greetings, Earthlings!

    After many years without a big family vacation, we're planning on going big this summer! The trip will consist of my wife, our kids, aged 14, 11, and 4, and my sister. Here is our itinerary so far. We hope to keep it extremely flexible and adaptable so we won't feel pressured to meet definite timetables.

    June1 (day 1)
    Leave Houston, traveling up through hwy 59 to Texarkana, then on to I-30 into Arkansas, peeling off onto Hwy 7. We'll stay on scenic Hwy 7 up through the Ozarks and into Branson, Mo. This will probably be the single longest leg of the journey, but since we'll be fresh and with 3 drivers, we're confident we can get all the way to Branson in a single day if we get a pre-dawn start. Time permitting, we'll stop and relax at some scenic sites along the way. Any recommendations? We are particulary interested in caverns and cave tours, and historical sites. Has anyone been to the Marine Corps museum in Harrison, Arkansas? That looks interesting.

    Day 2:
    A full day at Silver Dollar City. Not much on coasters, I know, but a great start. My wife and I visited here in 1992 and had a great time. I'm really looking forward to seeing Marvel Cave again. From this point on, our exact to our destinations are still to be determined, so please advise.

    Day 3:
    Leave Branson and travel to St. Louis. Spend the day Seeing the Arch and whatever sites catch our fancy in and around St. Louis. (We're going to skip Six Flags St. Louis). My wife and I took a similar trip to this area as newlyweds 18 years ago, and we recall a cavern tour where they drove you into the cave in propane powered jeeps. Does anyone know what this is cavern is called?

    Day 4:
    Arrive at King's Island Theme park area. Rest by the pool and see some sites. Any route recommendations and tourist stops from St. Louis to near Cincinatti?

    Day 5:
    Full Day at King's Island. While there, we'll process our MaxxPasses which will get us unlimited entry into King's Island, and two more of the theme parks in OH we will be visiting. We're still debating on getting the MaxxPass Plus, which will also gain us entry into some waterparks. Begin the Journey to Sandusky.

    Day 6:
    Arrive Sandusky OH. If not too late, go ahead and go into the park for a few hours.

    Day 7 and 8:
    Full days at Cedar Point. Leave in the evening on Day 8 to shoot over to Cleveland area. If it's not over crowded and we get to do everything quickly, possibly take in the water park. Note: I would love to catch the Indians' home day game at the Jake on what would be day 7, so maybe some shuffling is in order. Do they sell out?

    Day 9:
    Full day at Geauga Lake theme park.

    Day 10:
    Begin the journey home. For the journey home, I have no idea which route to take, but I like the idea of going south through Kentucky and going to Mammoth Cave. I would welcome scenic route and attractions recommendations as we will be in no hurry to get home. So far, that's what we've got. I won't have to go back to work until the Monday that would be day 18, but I'd like to get home with a few days to unwind. Provided the money holds out, we'll be able to truly enjoy our time together and have an excellent family experience.

    So that's what I've got. Let me know if we're being realistic. We are all physically fit and in great shape, but as I've stated we'll keep it flexible should our pace start to take its toll. I used the AAA triptik tool to get a crude route using main hwys hoping to find more attractions and ideas, but I would definitely love to hear some first-hand recommendations.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for this awesome website! I will definitely log my trip and check in while on the road with updates.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-11-2007 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Formatting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Up and Down (It's a Roller Coaster Odyssey After All)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Day 1: As you note, your first day is going to be hard. I and others have said before that changing drivers does not really accomplish all that much in the way of keeping people fresh or allowing more miles to be driven in a day. Still, it is possible to cover 600 miles if you can keep the children entertained - hopefully with something more RoadTrip specific than DVDs and Gameboys. But you will not have any time for scenic sites this day, particularly since most of these miles will be on US rather than Interstate highways, and you'll have to navigate a number of small towns.

    Day 3: You may be thinking of Fantastic Caverns outside of Springfield. For things to do in and around St. Louis, have a look at this thread.

    Day 4: If you leave St. Louis on I-64, then from Louisville eastward you can follow the Ohio River Scenic Byway up river to Cincinnati.

    Day 7: The Indians game would be on a Thursday night against Kansas City. I'd say chances of a sellout are minimal. Currently, box seats just beyond third base are still available.

    Day 10+: If you do decide to go to Mammoth Cave, 'sneak' in the back way by taking US-31 south at exit 65 into the town of Munfordville, then KY-88 west to Cub Run and KY-1827 (Cherry Spring Road/Cub Run Highway) southwest to KY-255 (Stockholm Road) south. The point of this is to spring a little surprise on the kids as you show up at the (free!) Green River Ferry. Then, for a great, scenic and relaxing drive back. take the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville to Jackson, MS and consider a final stop at Vicksburg National Military Park.


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