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  1. Default April 10-day NJ - FL

    I am planning to start a road trip from Monmouth NJ to Florida with 3 screaming boys age 7,5,2. I would like some advise on what to do and where to stop to keep both me, my kids and my misses happy. Would like recommendation on good places for Photography, good, unique food places, and stuff to keep the kids entertained.


    Thanks
    CJ

  2. #2

    Default Some fill-in info will help

    Hello jojor,

    An official welcome to the RTA Forums awaits you. In the meantime, you might consider posting the Florida location(s) representing your destination(s) inasmuch as Florida is a large state. Also relevant is how much time you intend to spend at your Florida destination(s) inasmuch as that defines your available Road Trip time.

    Foy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Stop Early/Often

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    When I travel with my grandsons (8 and 5) I find that I have to stop on a schedule that fits their attention span. That means taking a half hour break every few hours just to let them out of the car and blow off some steam there rather than at each other while I'm trying to drive. In your case, I'd also recommend, for the same reason, that you forego the standard drive down I-95 through Baltimore, Washington and Richmond since that will just aggravate you and limit the kinds of stops that appeal to young children. Instead consider driving first to Cape May, taking the ferry across to Lewes, DE and then continuing down the Delmarva Peninsula to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to Norfolk. This would give the kids some unique experiences and you can make stops at Chincoteague Island besides the time on the ferry and/or on the bridge pull-outs. From Norfolk, US-58 would tie you back in to I-95 for the rest of the journey. For the southern part of your journey along the Interstates, here are some well spaced stops.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default Good stuff for the kids and the missus there

    jojor,

    The last direct info I had on the Cape May ferry is at least 5-6 years old, but at that time advanced booking was recommended. Some calls to confirm how long ahead of time the advanced booking is needed seems wise. I recall hearing it's about a 2.5 hour crossing of the mouth of the Delaware River, and my in-laws and their nephews used to look forward to it in order to break up their 10-12 hour drives from Upstate NY to Virginia Beach. I recall their parents saying there are cafes and lounges aboard the ferry, so everybody has the opportunity to get out and stretch out for a spell.

    Also be advised the southernmost artificial island along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) features a large parking area, viewing area, restrooms, cafe, gift shop, and a long fishing pier (free to walk out on once you've paid the toll to cross). Norfolk/Hampton Roads is a high-volume commercial port and the entire US Navy Atlantic Fleet uses the Thimble Shoals Channel to cross the CBBT 24/7/365. There is every possibility a 30-45 minute stop there will have a large container ship, collier, or a warship passing by within a few hundred feet of your position on the island. The large aircraft carriers have flotillas of armed patrol boats all around and combat air patrol choppers in the air preceding their passage. It's quite the sight, especially for young boys.

    Farther south at the NC/SC line is South of the Border (SOB). The kids will see dozens and dozens of billboards between Emporia, VA where US 58 links back up to I-95 and SOB. If you look up corny or kitschy in the dictionary, there's a picture of SOB. The kids are wild about it, so what's not to love?

    Have fun planning and taking your trip!

    Foy

  5. Default

    Yeah, as long as you can handle boat rides, I would definitely reccomend that Cape May Ferry as well. I took it with my family when driving from NJ to NC and it broke up the trip nicely. There's places to eat, a bar, benches all over, and enough space to walk around if you want to stretch.

  6. #6

    Default See you on the road

    I also live in Monmouth Co (manasquan to be exact) and will be road tripping with a child to FL for 10 days in april.

    Our rough itinerary is leaving on Thurs the 9th taking the cape may ferry to delaware and traveling down 13 to virginia beach where we are stopping at a motel for the night.

    Next morning heading to the outer banks and camping at ocracoke.
    Next day head for SC not sure where we are stopping but I hope to cover a good distance.
    Arrive the following morning at St Augustine stay the night at Anastasia state park.
    The next day we are hitting the everglades for a day trip before heading to Bahia Honda state park where we will stay for 4-5 nights before heading home via atlanta.

    Some of the stuff we plan on doing include swimming, surfing etc at the state parks. Day trips to key west to snorkel on the wrecks and to do the haunted tour. In St Augustine there is a schooner that does the sunset sail trip daily for about $40.

    Have fun. I'll keep an eye out for a yellow license plate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    jojor,
    The last direct info I had on the Cape May ferry is at least 5-6 years old, but at that time advanced booking was recommended. Some calls to confirm how long ahead of time the advanced booking is needed seems wise.
    In 2007, I became aware of this on arrival at the ferry... I had arrived early in the day. The advise given to me was to join the 'waiting' queue. I was within the first dozen, but by boarding time, there must have been over 100 in that queue.

    Fortunately I was the second last to board, but for the ones further back it was going to be a long wait. So make sure you book.

    Great ferry ride... not just for kids!

  8. Default

    Liza,

    That's exactly my itinerary. We are thinking of starting out early to catch the 9:30 am ferry and stop over in Ocean city MD for lunch. Undecided about where to stop, maybe Virginia beach for a night, is it difficult to get lodging? shall I book in advance?

    Thanks everyone for the info.

    jojor

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jojor View Post
    Liza,

    That's exactly my itinerary. We are thinking of starting out early to catch the 9:30 am ferry and stop over in Ocean city MD for lunch. Undecided about where to stop, maybe Virginia beach for a night, is it difficult to get lodging? shall I book in advance?

    Thanks everyone for the info.

    jojor
    I love the Lewes ferry, if you go that early in the morning you might see some dolphins in the bay. Ive seen them a few times on the ferry. I am stopping at VA beach since it usually takes about 7 hrs to get there (including the ferry) and I plan on leaving at about noon.

    We camp most places but since we are getting to Va so late we are staying at the econolodge. Its about 50 bux if you book in advance. Kind of a crummy motel but we like to stay on the cheap.

  10. Default

    Here's the plan so far:

    Day 1: Norfolk/Virginia Beach
    Day 2: Charleston SC
    Day 3 - Day 8: Orlando, Miami
    Day 8: Florence,SC or Richmond VA
    Day 9: Home

    Should I make another stop on the way back?
    Should I avoid the I-95 from Richmond to New York?

    My other alternative is:

    Day 8: Atlanta, GA
    Day 9: Richmond VA or Washington DC

    But I guess, my the end of the FL trip, my kids and wife may just want to head home without sightseeing

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