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state parks

22 Jul
Two Hikes and a Swim: Artist’s Bluff, Bald Mountain, and Echo Lake (Franconia State Park, New Hampshire)

Two Hikes and a Swim: Artist’s Bluff, Bald Mountain, and Echo Lake (Franconia State Park, New Hampshire)

On our second day in Franconia Notch, we were excited to see more of the mountains. However, we also knew we had to take it a little easy with the kids since the day before had been relatively long and physically demanding for our three young children. This is a regular pattern for us during our travels. We like to alternate busy days with more relaxed days to make sure the boys never hit the ’tilt and meltdown’ point. We went looking for two types of activities… A short, rewarding hike A great swim …and we found them... Read More
18 Jul
A Perfect First Day in the White Mountains: Franconia Notch State Park

A Perfect First Day in the White Mountains: Franconia Notch State Park

It always takes us a day or two to get the lay of the land when we arrive in a new location. I find that I can do all the research in the world, but we don’t really get a good feel for a place until we drive around a bit and chat with the locals and other guests at the campground. The White Mountains of New Hampshire can be daunting simply on account of how many amazing places there are to see and how much there is to do. We were staying in the southern part of Franconia Notch, near Lincoln, so we decided to start our explorations... Read More
18 Apr
Sleepy Cypress Trees and the Silvery Ocean: Myrtle Beach State Park

Sleepy Cypress Trees and the Silvery Ocean: Myrtle Beach State Park

When we pulled into Myrtle Beach State Park, Wesley was fast asleep.  His twin brothers, however, were not.  So we found a parking spot between the playground and the beach so Wes could rest and the boys could play.  Max informed me that I was going to be “the bad pirate” and that he and Theo were going to be “the good pirates.”  Then he informed me that I had to go over to the kiddy playset because that was my pirate ship and they were both about to raid it.  Things were not looking good for dad. Much to my relief, the boys soon become... Read More
17 Apr
Alligators, Architecture, and the Atlantic Ocean: Huntington Beach State Park

Alligators, Architecture, and the Atlantic Ocean: Huntington Beach State Park

I’m going to go ahead and admit something. I have never once in my life seen an alligator in the wild. I’m a little confused by this myself. I mean I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life, and a lot of that travel has been in natural environments with tons of wildlife. But somehow…no alligators. Well, check something off the bucket list that I didn’t even know was on there. The alligators are the first thing you get to experience when driving into Huntington Beach State Park, so I couldn’t help but stop on the... Read More
27 Mar
Planning that Vacation? Let a State Park Surprise Your Family…

Planning that Vacation? Let a State Park Surprise Your Family…

National Parks get a whole lot of attention and rightfully so. They are (across the board) breathtaking and phenomenal experiences, and one of the highlights of our national heritage. State Parks don’t get as much exposure, but over the last four years they have become a foundational part of our family travel. In general, state parks can be more accessible and affordable, offering wonderful hiking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming without the crowds that many of the national parks attract. Two summers ago we set off for a 16 day jaunt... Read More
23 Aug
Watkins Glen State Park: Next Stop on the Great Empire Pass Tour

Watkins Glen State Park: Next Stop on the Great Empire Pass Tour

Once we had purchased the Empire Pass at Keuka State Park, the rest of our Finger Lakes’ itinerary fell neatly into place.We headed off to Watkins Glen State Park in search of the boys’ much-beloved waterfalls. I had originally been angling to camp in the park, but the thought of dry camping after purchasing the new luxury camper sent my husband into fits of despair. If you are in the region, you absolutely MUST make a trip here. It was truly more beautiful than any of us had expected. * * * * Couple of tips… 1. Get there... Read More
11 Aug
Oops. I forgot to plan our trip to the Finger Lakes…

Oops. I forgot to plan our trip to the Finger Lakes…

Keuka Lake State Park Jeremy and I have a well-established division of labor when it comes to our camping trips. He obsesses for months and months over campgrounds and reservations and traveling itineraries while I pointedly ignore any specific questions, offering up irritating shoulder shrugs and grunts in response to his frequent overtures. I’m pretty sure I know why I do this. As a working mom, my life is full of schedules and to-do lists. I have very little daily mental ‘down-time’ and I guard it jealously. I just... Read More

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