Historic Salem, MA: Where Witches Meet the China Trade

 Posted by on August 6, 2013  Comments Off
Aug 062013
Historic Salem, MA: Where Witches Meet the China Trade

Salem, Massachusetts is filled with centuries of history and merits a well planned stop on family vacations that include exploring the beaches and towns north of Boston.  The historic city was founded in 1626 and was a major maritime center for centuries,  The city was also the site of the infamous Salem witch trials in 1692 that resulted in more than 150 men and women  being accused of selling their souls to the devil and 20 being put to death for their crimes.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, Salem grew to be the sixth largest city in the country, and the richest per capita by 1790, due in large part to its highly successful maritime trade with Europe, the West Indies, China, Africa and Russia.  Many fine buildings remain from this era overlooking the [...]

Photo Friday: Happy Summer 2013 from the Jersey Shore!

 Posted by on July 31, 2013  Comments Off
Jul 312013
Photo Friday: Happy Summer 2013 from the Jersey Shore!

Looking back over the photos from our most recent family vacation visit to the Jersey Shore, we continue to be thrilled at how well the area is doing as it recovers from Super Storm Sandy.  For Photo Friday we wanted to share a few of our favorite Jersey Shore boardwalk and beach images from summer 2013. Walking the beachfront in Belmar, NJ Enjoying classic boardwalk food – fries, ice cream and candy.. did we miss anything? Playing all those classic arcade games – skee-bowl is a favorite! A visit to the recently re-opened Jenkinson’s aquarium – love those penguins. And any excuse for fireworks! Hope to see you all at the Jersey Shore real soon!  In the meantime, you can find links to lots of great family travel photos from around [...]

Jul 132013
New Ideas for Family Fun and Things to Do At the Jersey Shore

Although we have made annual family visits to the Jersey Shore for the last 20 years, we still keep finding new things to do on our family vacations.  This year we discovered a Ground Round Sports Grille and Bowling Alley in Bradley Beach, the Silver Ball Pinball Museum in Asbury Park and the 9th Avenue Pier waterfront outdoor restaurant and mini-golf in Belmar.   Also discovered on the Asbury Park boardwalk, the Asbury Splash Park and Asbury Eighteen mini-golf which are perfect for families with younger kids.  All these activities offer a nice break from the beach. The 9th Avenue Pier opened last year at the Belmar Marina and has been an instant hit offering a beautiful waterfront outdoor setting with bands and a menu that features Mexican, burgers, salads and seafood.  Food orders are made at the [...]

Jul 072013
Jersey Shore Beaches and Boardwalks in Great Shape for Summer 2013!

Having just returned from a week at the Jersey Shore visiting some of the beaches and boardwalks hardest hit by Superstorm  Sandy along the coast between Sea Bright and Point Pleasant, we can confirm that the Jersey Shore is very much back in business for the summer of 2013.  While the recovery effort is ongoing, everywhere we visited found businesses, beaches and boardwalks open and well stocked. Here are some of our favorite images of the Restored Jersey Shore starting with a view of the beach in Belmar, NJ.  Post-Sandy, beach sand was found covering streets and lawns as much as 8 blocks away from the beach.  Businesses located across the street had more than two feet of sand covering their floors.  Throughout the winter the town plowed, shifted, cleaned and reclaimed [...]

Family Fun in Boston for July 4th!

 Posted by on June 22, 2013  Comments Off
Jun 222013
Family Fun in Boston for July 4th!

Boston is a great city for family travel during the July 4th holiday week.  Every year the city goes all out as fireworks, historical reenactments, outdoor performances and food festivals are added as additional attractions beyond the city’s many year round historical sites and museums.   If your college visit or family vacation plans are bringing you to New England in July here’s a round-up of some great ways to celebrate early summer in the greater Boston area: Harborfest is a five day celebration of Boston’s colonial and maritime heritage features more than 200 events ranging from historical scavenger hunts, opportunities for kids to sail the Harbor for free, 19th century gun drills, citywide trolley tours and of course Fireworks and food!   Children’s Day is July 3rd. Fireworks and the Boston [...]

Jun 132013
Cape Cod Flyer Weekend Getaway from Boston - Family Fun without a Car!

Everyone loves a day at the beach, but, very few people enjoy sitting in traffic for hours to get there.  Summer weekends in Boston find many families waiting in traffic on their way to the sunny beaches of Cape Cod or the North Shore – a fun day can quickly turn into an ordeal.  Families on vacation or college tours in Boston often miss out on seeing the Cape because of worries about how long the trip will take. For many years, the only public transportation options from Boston to the Cape have been buses (which also get stuck in traffic) or boats.  This year, however, families that want to visit Cape Cod without a car have a new choice: the Cape Cod Flyer train service from Boston to Hyannis, the gateway to Cape Cod.  [...]

Jun 062013
Smugglers' Notch Resort Adds New Summer Adventures for Teens and Tweens

Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch Resort is one our favorite four season family getaway destinations with a wide range of on site lodging options, pools, restaurants and many opportunities to explore Vermont’s Green Mountains.  This is one resort where there really is something for everyone from the youngest kids to  teens and tweens to mom and dad looking for a little adult time. Year round, including summer, the resort offers a range of age appropriate kids camps and programs.  Summer options feature a number of special interest camps for teens and tweens including: A 2-day/2-night hiking exploration on Vermont’s Long Trail which runs across the spines of the resort’s Sterling and Madonna Mountains.  The 4,000 foot elevations provide quite a view!  Nights are spent in wooden shelters on the trail. A 4-day Survival Camp for 12-17 [...]