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Thread: Hello ALL!!!!!

  1. Default Hello ALL!!!!!

    Id like to introduce myself. I am a 38 yo and father of 4 who is just getting into camping. I built an off road trailer with a rooftop tent and I plan on putting it to use this summer. This is why I came to this site. I am in the early stages of plannng a road trip with my three oldest. We will be leaving from philadelphia and heading...........??? This where I was hoping to get some ideas. I was thinking of either heading south to the keys or west to the Dakotas. I was hopign to get some suggestions from you all as to what route to take. Which one would be more"kid friendly" Where arehte cheap but clean campsites. Sites to see? Please any and all suggestions will be used. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I built an off road trailer with a rooftop tent and I plan on putting it to use this summer.
    Sounds pretty cool ! Have you considered doing [or done] a trip or 2 close to home, to iron out any teething problems you may come across ?

    I was hopign to get some suggestions from you all as to what route to take. Which one would be more"kid friendly
    Not knowing your [and your Kid's ] interests, their ages, or how long you have for the trip makes it impossible to make meaningful suggestions. However, we really aren't here to tell people what they should do, or where they should go, more to assist you in getting the best from your plans based on what interests you.

    This where I was hoping to get some ideas.
    Use the search function to find loads of tips and ideas throughout the forums and look at the top of the page for road trip planning links, you will find hundreds of thousands of ideas. Once you have done so, sit down with the Kid's and discuss what you all want to do. When you have decided and have got some dots on the map we can certainly help to fill in the blanks.

    Where arehte cheap but clean campsites
    State, National parks and Forests are a good place to start.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The reality is the "where to go" is really is most impossible question we get here. It really is such a fundamental element of planning a trip that no one else can really decide that for you. Certainly, any place you go could have kid friendly attractions, and pretty much every place you could go has options for camping. I will say "cheap" and the keys don't really go all that good together, and the wide open west will have more camping options in terms of National Forest land - but you can also find lots of great camp sites in Florida and throughout the eastern US.

    How old are your kids, and how much time do you have available? Those are some elements to think about too. What I would suggest is getting out a good map, and get your kids involve. The more they are involved in the planning and the most say they have in where you are going, the more they'll have invested, and the more fun they'll have.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Anywhere and Everywhere

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The truth is that you haven't given us a lot to go on. Not the ages or sexes of your kids, not their interests, not the amount of time you have for the trip. But even so, the fact remains that it is probably best to think of this trip as a first adventure and a bit of a shake-down cruise. To that end, and not to push the kids so far that they never want to do another, I'd keep this first one relatively simple and close to home. Rather than trying to cross a continent, just make sure that everything in your new rig works, that everyone has everything they need, and most importantly that everyone has a good time.

    So where can you go relatively close to home that would still be an adventure? Several places: the Delmarva Peninsula, the Outer Banks, the Blue Ridge, Down East Maine, even French Canada. Each of those could be reached in a single day's drive from Philly. You could even combine 2 or 3 in a loop trip. Ask your kids which they'd like to see first. You could even strongly hint that if it all works out, bigger and better trips await. But again, work the kinks out first.

    As to where to camp, you can hardly do better than national or state parks. National parks and forests in particular offer a range of campsites from highly developed to rustic. State parks are more typically clustered campsites, while commercial camps are more for the motor home crowd (in my opinion).


  5. Default Make Reservations NOW!

    If you're going to the Keys, then you HAVE to stay at BAHIA HONDA STATE PARK. It is by far the most popular camping area in Florida, perhaps America. People reserve campsites here ELEVEN months early!

    I just checked, and MANY of the camping sites are already reserved for June and July! If you want any chance at a camping site, let alone a waterfront one, NOW is the time to put in your reservation. And, it "ain't" cheap! A tent/trailer site at Bahia Honda will run you about $39 per night.
    click on "book online"

    Two years ago, I stayed at a KOA in the keys. That was over $80 per night for a TENT SITE! That helps explain the popularity of the State Parks.

    There are a lot of interesting attractions in the Keys. Your kids might like the glass bottom boat tours from Pennekamp State Park.

    For the more adventurous, a number of snorkeling trips can be found throughout the Keys.

  6. Default Ok I took your advice

    My kids and I (ages 9 and 8) have been looking on the map. They have decided that they want to see Niagra Falls. I am putting together and itinerary as we speak. I simply mapquested from our hometown (Quakertown pa) and had my kids take an hour (great baby sitter :)) and write down all the cities along our route. So far here is what I have on the list
    -Its is 6hours 23 minutes from our house and we will have a week to get there and back. So i took your advice and shortened it up.
    -In Niagra weve decided that we are going to ride the maid of the mist and walk the observatory. Any other suggestions for this area?
    -Along the way.........The only place I say for my interests....was syracuse (carrier dome) and buffao, the bills stadium.
    -We will be using a trailer and camping at the camping sites along the way.

    -Where can i get a comprehensive list of the campsites.....Id like to plan it out but also would like to wing it for part of the trip.
    -There has to be more in Niagra to do...suggestions?
    -My kids are huge burger lovers......are there any places along this route that are famous for their burgers"?
    -Buffalo........Lookingaround trying find things to do there other then starte at the bills stadium...suggestions?

    Thanks and I apprecaite all your help

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 'Philly' to/from Niagara

    OK - I think that will be a good choice, particularly because your kids chose it and are now invested in the trip. By the same token, you can 'suggest' a few of the following and let them do the research and figure out which places they'd like to visit: Little League World Series ball fields and museum in Williamsport, National Soaring Museum in Elmira, Watkins Glen - the racetrack and state park, Letchworth State Park, the Erie Canal, Seneca Falls - birthplace of the Women's Movement, Taughannock Falls north of Ithaca, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. You will note that the above fall on a natural loop from home to home without retracing your steps. Also note that you will need passports for everyone if you plan to cross over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

    As to 'comprehensive' lists of camping areas, if you're a member of AAA you can get their campground books for free, otherwise you can buy them. On line resources include the state park web sites for Pennsylvania and New York, and the National Forest web site.

    Oh - and in the Niagara area...Old Fort Niagara, Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Welland Canal in Canada, Cave of the Winds, an aquarium, an air & space museum....


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    2 other attractions in upstate NY that come to mind are the Baseball Hall of Fame and Howe Caverns. You do not necessarily need to follow the Mapquest-recommended highways! In fact, I'd recommend you look at totally different routes for going and coming home.

    I'd spend the 7 bucks for a Rand McNally road atlas. It can be a lot easier to use to find attractions than clunking around online. You could also join AAA if you aren't a member and get free state maps. Those are even more detailed.

  9. Default

    Here is a link to get you started for the Buffalo Niagara area.

    I live in the Buffalo are and honestly can't say there is much to do in Niagara Falls besides the falls itself and some tourist attractions. Buffalo on the other hand is full of historical attractions, great food (check to get started or forum is great), parks, shopping (elmwood ave. is a great place to walk around), lake Erie, etc.

    For camping you can go to reserve america's website, it is how I book my camping trips. I would highly suggest camping at Letchworth State Park, about an hour east of Buffalo.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-12-2010 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Need to look around a bit more

    Sometimes when you live in an area, you forget about all of the cool things that a visitor might appreciate when they visit. Here are some ideas of places to visit around the Niagara Falls area.



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