If, however, the family is on a budget then dining at "The Hilton Head Diner" is recommended. Breakfast is served all day long and the cuisine is essentially southern style home cooking for a real nice price.
There are also family oriented activities such as taking a dolphin cruise. Many packages are available (1/2 day and full day cruises) all of which stay close to the beautiful, clean, sandy beaches.
The dolphin will rise plum near complete out of the water to fetch a quick meal from a willing hand. And the dolphins are so gentle. It's a sight not soon forgotten.
Another great (cheap) rendezvous is to take a trip to the lighthouse. There is much historical data hanging on the walls for all to read. No tour guide necessary. And when the top is reached, oh boy, what a view.
If the little tyke likes to ride the bike then Hilton Head is a premier destination.
Bikes may be rented throughout the island for reasonable prices, by the day or week.
There are literally hundreds of trails crisscrossing the entire island. A day spent riding these trails would certainly not be a wasted day.
As soon as the island threshold is crossed there is a welcome center. Any information, including island events, maps, and discount coupons can be had here. Also the staff has always been very courteous and helpful. When in need, just ask. One other tip, bring a camera. The memories will last a lifetime.
Cedar Point was built on the grounds of a resort going back to the 1800's and its oldest hotel (Hotel Breakers) displays pictures of "the good old days" within its halls.
Cedar Point consists of a few parks--not only the amusement park but the water themed "Soak City" and "Challenge Park". Soak City contains a 1/2 million gallon wave pool, a plethora of water slides and rides, and a "Splash Zone" for smaller fry to play in. Challenge Park consists of mini-golf, Grand Prix racing cars, and bungee-type rides: RipChord and Skyscraper.
Cedar Point was voted "Best Amusement Park in the Nation" numerous times and just announced a new attraction for 2012 "Dinosaurs Alive" which will feature 40 animatronic dinosaurs, fossil displays, and an excavation site.
There's always something to do in this wonderful place! I believe that once someone visits Gatlinburg, Tennessee it will stay forever in their hearts and dreams, as it has mine. There's no other place in the world quite like it. I imagine heaven is a lot like sitting in a hot tub on the porch of a beautiful cabin, overlooking the Smoky Mountains.
My family has vacationed there for many years and every year we rent the same beautiful rental house. There are many homes for rent on the island with most of them being either beach front or just a short walk to the beach.
The best thing about the island is that it is not overcrowded and is a great place for rest and relaxation. My family usually goes near the end of August and there have been times that we were the only ones on the beach. For a beach resort, this is uncommon but happens because the town has not allowed big hotels to be built there. The island does have some activities to do like fishing, jet skiing, sailing, golfing and even miniature golfing.
We travel to Myrtle Beach one or two days for some extra excitement and there are many different activities to do there. Oak Island is the perfect location because it is close enough to all of the excitement of Myrtle Beach but far enough away to be able to relax when we want without the large crowds and hefty prices.
Florida has hundreds of miles of great beaches for swimming, boogie boarding, shell collecting, treasure hunting and just resting and relaxing. There are also lots of beautiful springs in Florida with crystal clear cool water for swimming and diving with no chance of sharks.
Crystal Springs is well known for the gentle manatees that inhabit it and Weeki Watchee Springs is a well known for the mermaids who swim there alongside the fish turtles and occasional alligators. You don’t have to be a scuba diver to dive there as they have surface scuba where the diver is not encumbered with bulky scuba gear. They simply have the mouthpiece which is connected to a hose that sends them fresh air from the surface.
Key West is a tropical paradise with glass bottom boats that allow you to clearly see to the bottom of the ocean without ever getting wet. You may think “oh, I’ve been to Florida” but until you go beyond the main attractions beyond Disney, SeaWorld and Universal Studios and Busch gardens, you really haven’t seen Florida. Florida is one of the very best family vacation ideas in the US.
I gave her a new notebook and told her to write down and cool or silly things she saw on the way, and anywhere she might want to stop at on the way back. I didn’t tell her anything except that we were going on a really cool trip. I thought for sure she would get it when we got to Tennessee, but nope. I thought for sure after we passed Nashville that we would understand we were going to Memphis, but nope. I was adamant that when we got to Memphis she would realize she was going to see Graceland, but nope.
We pulled onto Elvis Presley Boulevard and she still didn’t get it! We turned right onto Lonely Street and got out of the car at the Heartbreak Hotel before she realized it. The vacation was amazing, the hotel was all Elvis all the time, Graceland was right next door and we spent an entire day there, we went to the honky-tonks downtown and had authentic barbeque and she even got to record a record standing at the same spot at Elvis did at Sun Studios. On the way back we stopped at a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Aquarium where there’s an awesome tunnel that you walk under the shark.
The next day we drove up to Washington DC and stayed overnight so we could spend an entire day traipsing around on the trolley and stopping wherever she wanted. That night we drove up to Baltimore and went to the Hard Rock Café before heading home. When we got home, we got all the pictures developed, typed out a long rhyming poem about the trip that included all the silly things we saw, like Mother’s Milk State Park, and pasted that down a long poster board with the pictures and brochures from all the places we visited. We made memories that will last a lifetime and still spend hours talking about that trip. I’d actually love to do another one like that with her one day.