25 answers

Would like Recomendations for Mother Daughter Vacation

I'd like to take my 4yr old daughter somewhere during spring break for a vacation.

My husband will probably not be able to go due to work, so it needs to be someplace where I'd feel safe just she and I.

Priorities being safe and clean, away from the college/high school party crowds. The beach would be nice, the closest shore is Alabama's Orange Beach, Gulf Shores. We'll be going by car to get there so it needs to be within a day or two's driving distance from northeast Arkansas. Any advice would be appreciated. Happy New Year.

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Hello, either area is nice I've been to both of them once when my daughter was about 3 then we went back when she was about 6, now I have another 2 year old and my other daughter is now 10 so we are going back this summer, I think you might prefer Gulf Shores, they have more outdoor things to do like the zoo and parks etc, they also have more shopping center in walking distance and its really safe. Hope this helps and enjoy.

1 mom found this helpful

Instead of the beach where the Spring break crowd will be how about a trip to a zoo, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Little Rock, all have zoos and it can be fun and educational. We went to Little ROck zoo last summer and had a blast (5 yr old and 3 yr old twins).

1 mom found this helpful

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Branson, MO is a great place for a couple of days. They have shows, go-carts, and lots of SHOPPING! There is a Ripley's Museum, Titanic Museum, Toy Museum, and lots of different restaurants. Get online at the Branson Chamber of Commerce for a listing of shows. We go every year, and we have since my son was born (he's 11 now and can't wait to go again:) Then again, there's always Disney World in Orlando! The happiest place on earth.

1 mom found this helpful

I live in the gulf shores area and I take my 4 year old to the beach all the time. I've never felt unsafe any time of the year. If you wanted to avoid some of the crowds on the main beach and don't mind a drive into town you could stay on Ft. Morgan Rd. My sister takes her 2 boys and stays at Gulf Shores Plantation every year. I wouldn't feel unsafe staying in the main areas, but it does get very busy during spring break. Gulf Shores has a zoo, miniature golf, the track (which has a few small rides for younger children), Waterville, the water park, has an area for small children, the ferris wheel at the wharf, build a bear, dolphin cruises, adventure island in orange beach. Fort Morgan has a fort you can walk through and you can also catch a ferry to Dauphin Island. you could check on visiting the USS Alabama battleship and submarine in Mobile Bay. Oh yeah, Tanger Outlets in Foley has a playground and carousel now that my daughter enjoys. My daughter and I are by ourselves most of the time since my husband works out of town and I have never hesitated going anywhere in this area. I would be more worried about safety while traveling, and for that reason, would recommend a travel buddy. Hope this helps and that whatever you decide that you have an awesome vacation.

1 mom found this helpful

Instead of the beach where the Spring break crowd will be how about a trip to a zoo, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Little Rock, all have zoos and it can be fun and educational. We went to Little ROck zoo last summer and had a blast (5 yr old and 3 yr old twins).

1 mom found this helpful

I took my son, by myself, to Destin, Fl. We stayed at the Holiday Inn right on the beach. It is VERY kid friendly. It has organized activites, especially a 4 year would like. You can see the hotel and its setup by going to its website. I felt very safe there.
I took two days getting there. I live in Conway, so I drove to Hattisburg (6 hours from Conway), then drove to Destin (about 6 hours).

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, either area is nice I've been to both of them once when my daughter was about 3 then we went back when she was about 6, now I have another 2 year old and my other daughter is now 10 so we are going back this summer, I think you might prefer Gulf Shores, they have more outdoor things to do like the zoo and parks etc, they also have more shopping center in walking distance and its really safe. Hope this helps and enjoy.

1 mom found this helpful

www.alabama.gov has a list of destinations, attractions, and events in Alabama. My brother works security in Orange Beach at a place called The Wharf. He hasn't told me of any problems in that area. Although, it seems anywhere now has the potential of having any type of problems.

Good luck and happy vacationing.

R.

1 mom found this helpful

I absolutely LOVE Dauphin Island, AL (right next to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach) but very laid back- not the "party spot." I don't know what the water is like that time of year, I usually go during the summer. It is definately worth checking in to!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you thought about something simple like Branson or Eureka Springs? Do you like the outdoors or would you prefer something with more attractions? How much are you wanting to spend?

My girls both like Oklahoma City's zoo and science museum. They are right next door to each other and I have always felt safe there.

The wachita forest has lots of little camps and such. They are rural though.....very outdoorsy.

If you are thinking beach....Galveston is only a day away. I have never been to another one so I won't be much help there.

There is also Memphis. They have lots of attractions. I would just check for safety before you go.

If you get any good ideas, let me know. I am looking for some for me and my girls as well....

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

As part of homeschooling, I took my kids (daughter 7, son 4) to Mobile once. Your daughter may be young for a long stay, but there are some fun forts to walk through (neat for any age; you needn't dwell on the history), a great science museum, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab not too far away, and at the Museum of Mobile (I think--it's one of the main ones downtown near the old fort they've fixed up as a visitor's center) there are some absolutely FANTASTIC, not to be missed, dollhouses. My kids also enjoyed paddling the old Hunley (Civil War era) submarine. There are some beaches too, and we found a fun used book store. We also took a trolley (bus) around Mobile, looking at the New Orleans-like architecture. She may not appreciate the architecture a lot yet, but kids like to ride in interesting looking buses. The touristy area in the middle of Mobile is pretty safe and clean, and the beaches are nearby.

1 mom found this helpful

You will be very happy if you choose Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as they have always tried to convey a family friendliness. They pride themselves on having a family atmosphere and they seem to be safer and cleaner than some of the other beaches. We have been to Panama City Beach in Florida for Spring Break in the past and have been very disgusted with what was going on there. It is very wild around there with all the open drinking and wild behavior by the young people.The police seem to look the other way. There will be some high school and possibly college crowd in O.B. and G.S. but they are are better controlled and better behaved. With young people it is hard to totally get away from everything but it is alot better at O.B. and G.S. Come on down, I think you will like us and will feel welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I live in Mobile, Alabama, about an hour and a half or so from Gulf Shores. There are a lot of great places in Gulf Shores for kids, like mini golf and long stretches of beach. It is a beach town, so expect everything to cost a lot, especially during spring break. Orange Beach will probably have more college age spring breakers than Gulf Shores. If you can work it out, which would be hard because there aren't any hotels close to the beach, Dauphin Island would probably be a better choice. The swimming isn't as nice, but my husband and I take our daughter there often. It's rarely ever crowded.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi P.,
Just wanted to let you know about a website that we use called www.vrbo.com (vacation rentals by owner). We stayed in #23432 this past Sept. at Gulf Shores Plantation. It was awesome! It is down Ft. Morgan Rd. a little away from Gulf Shores (about 9 miles?), but definitely within driving distance to the main beach souvenier shops, restaurants, etc. The complex is security gated and right on the beach. It has 7 pools, one is indoors in case of rain and a small game room. you can get things like shuffleboard equipment,etc. from the security office. Ft. Morgan and Dauphin Island Ferry are close, Gulf Shores Nature Museum is the other direction. If you are looking for a really exciting - activity-based vacation this is probably not the best place, but if you are just looking to enjoy the pools and beach and relax it was family-friendly and terrific!

1 mom found this helpful

Branson would be great!! I also have a 4 year old and I took her to Silver Dollar City in September with one of my friends and her little boy, it was very nice to get away with just her for a day. All 4 of us are going to go back to Branson for a couple of nights during spring break and stay at the Grand Country Inn, it has an indoor water park that is connected to the hotel. Have fun no matter what you decide to do!!!

1 mom found this helpful

P. this is an idea every 4th of July my sister gets together with all her grandbabies and their mamas and they go to a motel or hotel close by and call it their Jamacia or Hawaii or something like that and they take pic nic lunches and spend lots of time at the pool and the highlight of the night is the fireworks they watch the city they chose to go to puts on.
You could pick somewhere near by that has something yall would like to do or visit and make it whatever theme inside your room.
T.

1 mom found this helpful

I know people might think I'm crazy but Nashville can be really nice and fun. We stayed in a Hilton suites in Brentwood (absolutely huge and fabulous, room had a sep. bedroom) with a pool. Brentwood is a very upscale part of town (suburb of Nash.) and seemed very safe. Normally we would not pay Hilton prices but we used Priceline and got the room for $65 a night. From Brentwood, you can hit the zoo (very cool - stand eye to eye with a giraffe). There is a pancake place (PFunky Griddle) where you can make your own pancakes at your table. There's Grand Ole Opry - all kinds of stuff. Parents Magazine ran an article on fun things to do in Nashville. As to safety, play it smart - stay out of bad neighborhoods, get in before dark, and choose an interior hotel that's nice and in a good neighborhood. You'll be fine.
A couple other ideas - go north? Have you checked into dude ranches or winter sport places? Kids love the animals on the ranchs.
We're going north this year b/c my daughter wants to make a snowman, throw snowballs, sled, hot chocolate - the whole deal. You don't have to ski - just hang out in the snow, sled, snow tube, etc. I'm sure there's somewhere within a couple days drive. Might be a fun change and might not be as crazy as the beach during Spring Break. Mostly it's families and some college kids, but the wild kids tend to go out to some of the flashier resorts in Colorado, it seems.
Look for a family place that provides activities - you might even find one that has a kids program where you can drop DD for an hour and get a massage or something! Anyway, there are all kinds of article on the internet - just google family winter vacation and other phrases like that. Might be a fun way to get quality time!
Good luck and have fun!

Found what might be some good links for you:

Midwest Vacation Spots: 1001 Vacation Ideas
www.1001-vacation-ideas.com/midwest-vacation-spots.html

Midwest US Vacation Ideas - Family Vacations.
travelwithkids.about.com/od/moreuslinks/tp/Midwest_vacation_ideas.htm

Winter Vacations - ideas by region
Winter Vacations - ideas by region; find winter vacations in the northeast, ... See also some ideas that cross many regions: Family Adventures are ...
travelwithkids.about.com/od/wintervacations/ss/wintervacations.htm

JUst google - there were tons of sites from winter stuff to good deals on beach vacations!

1 mom found this helpful

Orange beach is awesome and very family oriented as long as you stay away from the spring break crowd, which is usually more the club scene. It is by no means like panama city or fort lauderdale. I've been there many time throughout the years, and in fact, plan on taking my 5 year old son myself this spring. It is a very safe place and has lots of little parks and small amusement places geared for children. Not to mention, i've been to alot of beaches and orange beach is one of the most beautiful in the world!! Have a great time!
Have a great day and god bless!!

1 mom found this helpful

Personally, I'd drive over to Branson, MO and go there. There are shows to watch, a butterfly palace, silver dollar city (she's tall enough to ride some rides and they have activities for kids all the time), caves to go through, ripley's museum...loads to do, you can stay at some of the nicer hotels and get a heated pool too. We love it and go at least once every two years, this past year we went twice, in december and July and it was great both times. I've been memorial weekend, spring break and labor day weekend, you just have to deal with traffic more but if you do most of your traveling while shows are going on and/or get to shows early enough for the pre-show then it's not an issue. There's and indoor water park and the dixie stampede too~!

ETA: My daughter was 3 the first time she went and rode most of the rides and had a blast at the dixie stampede

1 mom found this helpful

How about the Great wolf Lodge, we may take our kids there on spring break. It is a indoor water park with the lodge. It is in northern Texas.

1 mom found this helpful

Branson, MO. is a fun, safe and clean place. Silver Dollar City is there and your 4-year-old would love it. They have demonstrations of old time arts and crafts such as glass blowing, rides for children and shows right there in the park. The town of Branson has many wonderful shows. If you get on a website, you will be able to get a sense of what is available. There are may shows that a 4-year-old would just love! Have a nice vacation and I hope that next year Dad can go too! The town is very family and child friendly!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi P.--that's a wonderful idea for you and your daughter; I would like to recommend a website for locating somewhere to stay; it's called homeaway vacations-just put it in your google search and you'll find it--you can locate nice little home away from home condos (even 1 bedroom and studios)almost anywhere. You just click on whatever state you are interested in and it will show the towns where units are located; If you choose Alabama, my husband and I just stayed in a Home Away unit at Fort Morgan--it is off the beaten path in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach and it's just minutes away from the Fort (Fort Morgan) where you can take a picnic lunch and spend the day exploring; also nearby at the fort is the ferry that you can take over to Dauphin Island --that would be lots of fun too! Since Fort Morgan is off the beaten path you would have to drive back into Gulf Shores and head to Foley to spend some time at the Tanger outlet mall--We stayed at the Gulf Shores Plantation which is a gated community (approx 12 miles down Ft Morgan Rd-Hwy 180 from Gulf Shores); if you need further info, just let me know (____@____.com) K.

1 mom found this helpful

We went on a family vacation to Gulf Shores a year ago and it was perfect for us. At the time we had one year old, 5 year old and a 7 year old. We rented a condo and cooked. We felt very safe and it accomadates the children well. Good Luck. I am not sure what it is like for the Spring Break as far as kids. We went in Aug.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, as far as hotels/motels are concerned: skip them! I've learned that they spray pesticides *monthly* or, if you're lucky, every other month. (This is way too much. And it's not like the stuff breaks down or goes away. It's not even vacuumed up in a lot of the areas where they spray, because they spray in areas where vacuum cleaners generally can't reach.

So, what to do? Stay at bed & breakfasts, instead! First, ask them whether they spray for pests before you commit. If they're normal people, they simply clean their rooms frequently and thoroughly, which obviates the need to spray.

B&Bs tend to be cheaper, anyway, though some are not. Just look around online and see what you find.

Oh, and they're usually cuter and nicer, too. Better for vacation memories than the standard industrial rooms at the hotels and motels.

Have fun with your daughter!

L.

Panama City beach

Book at the Palmetto Hotel

It has indoor outdoor play facilities for little ones and is on the beach

I recommend the non beach side as it has a kiddie indoor pool and kitchenettes for reasonable prices

Go to the zoo world and the Gulf world and visit Alvin's Island

at St. Andrews, pack a lunch and drink.. take the ferry boat to the shell islands and collect shells.

Unfortunately it is really not safe to go away on vacation
with just you and your daughter. Maybe a friend or your mother could go
with you and even then I would be sure to take something like mace and you must have a cell phone in case of any
emergency. It is just not wise to go alone with your daughter. Take care. V.

Hi, If it is not to far, Disney World is always fun. They have a special running right now buy 4 nights get 3 free plus free tickets. I just took my 2 year old and 11 year old and we had a blast.

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