18 answers

Cheap Beach Vacation

Trying to plan a week vacation somewhere around the last two weeks of June -first week of July time frame (dates are a little flexible) and hoping to get some recommendations. We would be driving. Southwest MI would be about a 5 hour drive; Northwest FL about 15 hrs. Would consider anywhere in between (Cost is a key factor) Desparately want to leave Ohio!!! We have a 6.5 and a 2 yr old so - I think the beach will be the main attraction for them but other fun things for kids like a zoo or an aquarium nearby would be great.
Anyone been anywhere within the last couple of years that they really enjoyed? Or been some place that should be avoided? Good hotel/place to stay? Horrible place you stayed? Any recommendations would be appreciated :) THANK YOU!

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You may try chincoteague or assategue island off the Virginia or Maryland coast. We went there a few years ago. They have wild ponies. There is also ocean shore in Maryland not very far from those.

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Bethany Beach DE is a great family place and we love Sea Colony resort. Google it--they have lots of accommodation options.

You can also look at www.vrbo.com

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More Answers

My family goes to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware every year for a week-long vacation. It's a lovely beach town with plenty to do for kids and adults alike. We rent a house or a condo close to the beach, park our car and generally don't drive for a week. Everything you need is within easy walking distance - beach, restaurants, boardwalk. There's a great little amusement park on the boardwalk called Funland that is perfect for both of your kids. There are a wide variety of restaurants for you to enjoy, great boutique shopping, and the beach is quite inviting.

If you do chose to explore, there is a huge outlet mall in Rehoboth with every store you can think of. We have also gone to a great water park called Jungle Jim's to take a break from the salt water, and have had a blast on the water slides. There are also plenty of mini golf courses, bike rentals, etc. for you to enjoy. Oh, and I would be remiss to not mention that Delaware has no sales tax!

Rehoboth Beach is about 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia. Beach houses rent anywhere from $500-$5,000 for a Saturday-Saturday stay. The homes closer to the beach are obviously more, but you can find some good deals on vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner). If you book early, you get your choice of prime rentals. Last year we stayed in a two bedroom house a block away from the boardwalk for $800/week. It wasn't fancy, but it had a kitchen, clean bathrooms, and an outdoor shower (a must to wash off the sand before coming into the house!).

We have a great time every year and look forward to going back for our beach vacation in August! Have fun planning!

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The nice thing about renting a condo is the full kitchen, and the room you have. Four people in a motel room for a week can get very cramped! Togetherness becomes overrated! We love the full kitchen because you can have most meals in, but still go out like you are on vacation. Helps save money, and nice to have treats, milk or juice available when you need it! We have used VRBO for the past 4-5 years and haven't had bad accommodations yet! Good luck and have fun!

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We have visited Rehoboth Beach, Deleware, also --- many times... we were going every year for a while... now we are switching it up maybe every two to three years... we love the hotel we stay at... it has a swimming pool on the 4th floor covered with greenhouse type windows... has a patio on two of the sides where you can see the beach... there is a mile long boardwalk that you can even ride bicycles on (before 10am) - the streets there are wonderful to ride on too!... last year we rode a longer way and found a long bridge over a huge pond/sm. lake where there were many fish and turtles that the kids were feeding/watching. There was a playground there, also!

There is even a building along the boardwalk that has miniature golf on it's roof! There is an ice cream place that you can get all different and I mean different flavors... motor oil... bacon... sweet corn... froot loops... and many many more! So many shops and things to do you can stay busy all week and not see everything and do everything... there is also a Jolly Trolly that takes you down to the next beach and we go there for a great seafood buffet!!!! We usually park the car when we get there and walk all week! It is a great place to go!!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Bethany Beach DE is a great family place and we love Sea Colony resort. Google it--they have lots of accommodation options.

You can also look at www.vrbo.com

1 mom found this helpful

We live in Indiana, so this may be a much closer vacation for you than us (depending on where you live). We've been going to South Carolina for the last few years. Myrtle Beach was really nice, and we stayed at a great resort in North Myrtle Beach, which is more family friendly. There's also outlet mall (with a bridge over water where kids can feed the fish/ducks) and a Ripley's Aquarium that our son just loved. Last year, we stayed in a rental house with my in-laws on the Isle of Palms, which is about 20 minutes from Charleston, South Carolina. I really enjoyed that vacation more because the beach wasn't as touristy, our house had it's own pool, and we all had our own space and bathrooms. We shared the cost of the house, which made it much cheaper for us. We're doing the same thing this year with my in-laws, and I'm really looking forward to some time on the beach. The rental house we're using this year is closer to the beach, too, and has it's own pool! I know there are condos/hotels you can stay in around Charleston and it's various islands, which may be a cheaper way to go, especially if you're not sharing the cost with other family. However, if you want to try a rental house (I highly recommend it!), you can find some great ones on http://www.vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner). Really, you can find houses everywhere, this way, so you might find an even closer, cheaper place to go. Good luck!

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Like some of the others, I wanted to go to the gulf coast of Florida this fall, but now we're not so sure we should risk it. We went to Myrtle Beach several years ago, and it is very nice. Stayed at a great place, Barefoot Resort (especially great if you're golfers), beach was real close. At the time only my husband and I went, but we noticed there are alot of great things for kids to do there to, so we may switch our Florida plans to going there this time.
Southwest Michigan is awesome too, if you want something closer. We live in northern Indiana so we often go to Warren Dunes, or to St. Joseph.

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MYRTLE BEACH!!!
My husband and I and our not yet 2 year old daughter drove there from central Ohio. We stayed in a hotel called Hotel Blue. It was not the best place on the strip, but it wasn't bad and the price was right for us. (granted we went in April and prices were a little less, but it was less than $300 for five nights in a suite) You can see the ocean from all the rooms, and are just steps from the beach. My daughter LOVED it and we walked down there every day. There is also a nice aquarium a short drive away that is in the middle of a lot of other entertainment type places. By short, I mean probably less than 5 minutes. It's not an aweful drive down to South Carolina, I think the map said it was going to be 11 and a half, which it did take, but we also stopped several times to eat and change diapers and stretch legs. For us, it was a GREAT get away (even if I was 7 months pregnant at the time) not too far, and didn't cost too much.
I hope that helped!

1 mom found this helpful

Depends on how warm you want your beach to be! I'm in Ft. Lauderdale and I can tell you that we don't have any oil on our beaches. The media is playing this one up beyond belief!!!

Late June-early July is low season for us so you might be able to get a great deal on a vacation rental or hotel plus car rental. If you avoid the 4th of July you will do better. I checked a few of our nicer on the beach hotels for end of June and found rates less than $100/ night. I used to live in the DC area and vacationed in SC / NC / DE and know that those hotels are usually around $200/night. Just a thought....we have two relatively local zoos, an aquarium, at least 3 great children's museums. Would be happy to help if you want to contact me directly.

You can get beach updates and lots of deals online at: http://www.visitflorida.com

And no, I don't work for the tourism agency!

Happy Vacationing! C.

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