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Where should I go?

Chicago
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49 posts
7 reviews
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Where should I go?

I'm looking for a beach vacation for my family in August. Three kids 14,13 and 11.

We want to go to the Atlantic Coast - anywhere between Cape Cod and South Carolina. Never been to a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. We'd like to rent a house on the beach.

The Outer Banks seems like a good choice. Warmer water to swim in, not too far South (longer drive from Chicago), and we can see Williamsburg and some civil war battlefields on the wa. I've heard traffic is really awful though.

Is it more or less ecxpensive than somewhere on Long Island or Delaware? How does it compare to Virginia Beach, or Ocean City or Rehoboth Beach in Delaware?

Amissville, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Ocracoke
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1,442 posts
33 reviews
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1. Re: Where should I go?

The Outer Banks is a good choice seeing what you have in mind for other activities on the way.

Virginia beach is more hotels on the beach with tons of tourist store lining the main drag Ocean city Md. is about the same but the stores are found on the board walk I also find Myrtle beach SC about the same but bigger

The Outer banks is more laid back community with a verity of things to do from pirates to fishing to putt putt golf or full time golfing as well as every water sport you can imagine . Take a day trip to Ocracoke too the home of Black Beard the pirate and visit the light houses along the way .

Here is a site you might like too just for new comers including ways to get there from the north avoiding Washington DC area that is where the bad traffic is

http://fishoinc.tripod.com/

Richmond, Virginia
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360 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Where should I go?

The rentals in the OBX are usually available after 4pm. So if you plan, you can stay in Willimsburg and visit there, and drive to the OBX in the morning of when your rental starts. If you get to the Wright Memorial Bridge at noon or earlier, you should not hit bad, if any, traffic.

Big attractions are the Wright Brothers Memorial, Jockeys Ridge (the largest sand dune on the East Coast-and you can climb it), and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, which you can also climb (about an hour south of Nags Head).

Check out this website for lots of info:

outerbanks.org

I say this is your spot; tons to do, very family oriented, mostly low-rise rental homes, great restaurants, shopping.

The only issue may be finding an ocean front rental. Search for semi-ocean front. Check nagsheadrealty.com

Vernon, Connecticut
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59 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: Where should I go?

Hi Peej,

We went to the Outer Banks for the first time in August of 2008 and are going again this August because we loved it so much. We booked thru Midgett Realty which has vacation rentals a bit further south on the Outer Banks. A good thing to do is a google map and the satellite view to see what the area looks like.

First off if you plan to spend time in Williamsburg and your kids like rollercoasters you may want to spend a day at Busch Gardens and ride the Griffon. It has 90 degree drop which hesitates over the edge before plunging downwards. My oldest loved it and rode it 4 times. But if noone likes rollercoasters I would pass since there are a couple other things to do but it seems more geared towards coasters. The Old Williamsburg was very nice, the fife and drum band marching thru at the end of the day was wonderful. If you do go try to go to dinner at one of the taverns in the old town itself. I think our boys (we went in August of 2007) enjoyed Jamestown even more. You can board replicas of the 3 ships, see an Indian village, etc. It was very interactive. We also visited Yorktown in the area. That was interesting in itself just hearing how the battles were played out and the technics they used for battle at that time. So much history there.

As was stated before regarding the Outer Banks the traffic can be horrible since there is one road that travels down from the Norfolk Airport to OBX. There is one bridge that takes you there with a traffic light at the end. We were in miles of stopped traffic, there isn't much along the way, and didn't get to that bridge until late afternoon. So, as the previous poster stated the earlier in the morning you cross that bridge the better.

We rented in Frisco, by the Frisco Pier, and it was so great for my husband and our 2 boys (then ages 13 and 11) and me as well. It is not built up at all with hotels at all, where some other places (like VA Beach, some NJ beaches) are. I know with kids of that age you don't want them to be bored, but our kids were not bored. The waves are great, there is fishing at the pier, and during the day while you are at the beach it is very wide and very easy even at that time of year to find your own spot, at least in Frisco since I can't speak of any other towns. Plus when you rent a house so close to the ocean we found each of us would come and go to the house, so it isn't like packing up a days worth of stuff to haul to the beach for the day and that is all you have until you go back to the house.

The Cape Hatterass Lighthouse is very nearby Frisco, which has great views at the top, but if you are like me and afraid of heights that can be tricky. I made it to the top but it was like walking inside a pencil - lol! What is so interesting is they actually moved the lighthouse in the summer of 1999 due to the eroding seashore. It's the tallest lighthouse in the nation and definitely worth seeing.

At night you can build a small fire on the beach (read the local regulations first, of course) and play football and frisbee. The pier was open until 10pm where you can rent rods, bait, etc. There is a very small fee to go onto the pier, and even though I didn't fish it was amazing to be out so many feet upon the water and see the views. Plus you can also actually fish right on the beach.

The area also has a couple of grocery stores not too far away to lay in supplies. We flew down too and bought the boys boogie boards at the local store, they had a blast with those! We ended up leaving them at the house we rented since we couldn't really bring them home (so if you are flying just don't buy expensive ones but it was worth it for them to have them.)

We were also not far from the free ferry to Okracoke which was a great day trip. You drive your car onto the ferry (which is the only way to access Okracoke) then explore the island, the beaches, the wild horses, at your leisure.

Hope this helps! :)

Kitty Hawk, North...
Destination Expert
for Outer Banks
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2,886 posts
132 reviews
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4. Re: Where should I go?

Sunday travel is much much better than Saturday travel in July and August here. Sunday is about 1/4 the crowd of Saturday so come on Sunday and stay Saturday up in Williamsburg.

5. Re: Where should I go?

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