10 answers

Vacation with 1 Year Old

My husband and I are looking for a nice vacation destination to go with our 1 year old this summer. We're open to anything- we don't know if we'd rather fly or take a car trip- I love the beach, so I'd love to go to a beach or at least somewhere with some water activities. Does anyone have any good suggestions on destinations? General travel trips would be welcomed as well!

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I would suggest Muskegan Michigan! It is amazingly beautiful. The beaches are great, they have lots of Sand Dunes which kids love. So much fun. We camp but there are lots of other options for sleeping.

Good Luck!

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Yep, I vote for beaches in Michigan, too, if you are looking for a reasonably priced vacation, you want some relaxing time, beautiful sunsets on clean beaches and an array of nice fresh fruits and vegetables - you can't beat it! If you rent a home or cottage, it will give you that flexibility in your little ones napping schedule. Saugatuck/Douglas area is nice (Oval Beach is Lovely - some sand dunes and light hiking! Great shopping a little pricy. Very crowded week-ends! A few cute restaurants in Douglas. Fennville Winery boasts local wines -if you can get a hayride through the vineyard, it's a lot of fun! - have pie at Crane's Orchard/restaurant. Wonderful panoramic views!) South Haven (lovely shopping - blueberry festival in August; lot's of cottages to rent) St. Joe's Michigan (quick jaunt, lovely long walk on the pier to the lighthouse, nice beach, cute park area, smaller shopping area - some special events take place along their waterway.) Throughout Michigan, love those farm stand markets where you can buy fresh fruits & veggies and a lovely bunch of gladiolas, hollyhocks, sunflowers, etc...depending on season.

Farther up the coast, you can go to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes which is very beautiful but it just depends on how much you really want to drive. Throughout these areas, depending on how touristy you want to get, there are various water sports available, fishing, dune buggy rides or just plain long walks on the beaches, building sand castles and collecting shells.

Have a glorious vacation!

1 mom found this helpful

I would suggest the harbor towns in Michigan; Grand Haven, Manistee, etc... You can look it up on www.michigan.org. It is within driving distance so you'll save on airfare.

1 mom found this helpful

I would suggest Muskegan Michigan! It is amazingly beautiful. The beaches are great, they have lots of Sand Dunes which kids love. So much fun. We camp but there are lots of other options for sleeping.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I love Myrtle Beach in SC. I grew up there so I am a little partial, but it is economical and fun for the kids. Google the beach and places like White REalty and Elliots to find very nice prices on rentals. The google the area for things to do while you are there.

My family goes every year. WE rent the Hawk's Nest (actually owned by a nice man in Illinois..he gives an owners discount when he finds the renters...) through Elliots with my brothers, mom, aunt and a friend. Last year it cost us about $500. That was our part of the rental and groceries for the week. We cook in the house and eat out just once during the week and then at Cracker Barrell on the way out. Airport flies right into the beach as well. There are lots of things to do if you want to spend the money, but we keep it cheap by spending everyday at the beach, then fish off the surf at night and watch movies. We take the kids to the movies one day. Then we might do an amusement park one day or the aquarium. My husband and I drive from Illinois to South Carolina. For the whole week we spend about $1500 and that gives us plenty of money for food along the way, gas, and so on. Not bad for a whole week of vacation. If you stop at a hotel half way (some people can't do the 18 hour drive to the beach like we do) that will add to your costs...but could be fun if you stay some place with a pool.

Hilton Head is beautiful if you can afford it.

We took our son to disneyworld. I said i would never take him until he was 5 - well he has been there 3 times. Kids are free until they are 3. He came out of disney with 5 new words after 3 days. The water parks are great and kid friendly so are the hotels and they have a rider swap program. I hope that helps

I second . . . third . . . or whatever others who said beaches in Michigan. Our children grew up going to various beaches along Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, too. Children love the beach; they never grow tired of it. But they do grow tired after playing there, so it's a restful vacation for the entire family.


The Kalahari resort in Wisconsin Dells is really nice. The indoor and outdoor water parks have a child's area that would be great for your 1 year old. We took both our daughters there when they were about 9 months old. They have the 0 depth pool with little sprinklers that they can play in. There is also a really good restaurant inside there that is reasonably priced with good food. There is also a sweet shop, movie theater, gift shop, arcade and I forget what else. A cheaper option is also the Polynesian resort, also in The Dells which also has children's areas as well.

Hi E.-
When my daughter was about 8 or 9 months we drove to northern Wisconsin and stayed at a condo on the lake and had a blast. It was peaceful and not stressful. On our way back we stopped at a hotel with a waterpark in Wisconsin Dells and my daughter went nuts! She loved it! It was an easy vacation because the condo had a swingset and all the amenities of our house. Good luck and have a great vacation!

Your best best is to go to a water park and one that is near. With a 1 year old who would love any water - even a small pool in the backyard and think its a vacation - this is more for your husband and you a change of scenery. Its a pain to fly these days with young ones - you have to take their shoes off, can't pack liquids, etc. A nice car ride to a lovely hotel that has a waterpark inside or out is perfect for small kids. And mom and dad still get to enjoy the water, dine out and not have to clean your room or make beds!

When our son was 14 months, we took him to Los Angeles. We visited Disney Land and went to the beach one day. We also had family there that we visited with, and a pool at our hotel that we enjoyed. It was so much fun! We flew and it only took 4 hours. He slept for 2 of the 4 and was entertained with food and toys the rest of the time. Our son is NOT an easy child and I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was, but he surprised me, and did just fine. I would go ahead and buy your child their own seat in the plane to make it easier to spread out and be comfortable. In April, we are flying to Florida to spend the week on the beach. It's close enough to drive to Disney World, but we're mainly going to relax on the beach and swim. If you wanted to drive somewhere with fun water stuff, Wisconsin Dells is about a 4 hour drive, and it's really fun there as well. Our son won't do a trip that long where he is confined to his carseat, but he's ok on an airplane (go figure!). Good luck!

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