Need some advice on a family vacation destination within driving distance of Cleveland, OH.
November 7, 2012 6:35 PM   Subscribe

Can you give me advice or suggestions for a family vacation destination within driving distance of Cleveland, OH.

We will have 8 adults and 2 toddlers... last year we rented a house in Hiltonhead, NC which was lovely. This year we are looking for a destination within a day's drive from Cleveland.

Options on our radar screen... Traverse City, MI, Niagara-on-the-Lake, maybe Lake George, NY. I've never been to any of these. Any experience with these locations? How would you compare them to Hiltonhead?

Are there any other locations in or around the Great Lakes that could work?

Doesn't have to be a beach destination but must be a place where we could get a 4 bedroom house or suite and there would be things to take young kids to.

Thanks for any advice!
posted by kdern to Travel & Transportation around United States (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just as someone who's from around here, Niagara seems to be the more typical vacation destination of the ones you listed. I still haven't been myself, though. Pretty fundamental question: When are you actually planning on going?
posted by gracedissolved at 6:37 PM on November 7, 2012

It would be in the summer 2013.
posted by kdern at 6:38 PM on November 7, 2012

I live here in Niagara. NOTL might work for you, since it's only a short 10 minute drive to Niagara Falls, where there's plenty of kid-friendly stuff. NOTL itself is beautiful, but geared more towards adults (wineries and theater).

Here's some nice homes for rent:
posted by davebush at 6:45 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

We have a lot of friends who spend a week or two in Grand Haven MI every summer - same sort of deal, multiple adult family members + kids. Everyone seems to have a great time!
posted by hms71 at 6:48 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I haven't been to Hiltonhead, either, but yeah, Niagara is really a do-at-least-once kind of thing, with a fair amount to actually keep adults occupied. Some people I know do Topsail Island every summer and love that. I might be more inclined to do Traverse City if it's during their cherry festival thing. (Unless somebody in your party doesn't like cherries.)
posted by gracedissolved at 6:51 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you ever been to Hocking Hills in Southern Ohio? There are lots of cabin rentals available, some with their own ponds- lakes for swimming, plenty of free state parks.
posted by Isadorady at 6:56 PM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'd say Hocking Hills or the UP/Mackinac.

I personally find Niagara way too busy/touristy during more or less any typical vacation period. Unless your definition of summer actually includes the last two weeks of the astronomical season (September,) I'd avoid it with kids.

At some point, BTW, you should do Kelly's Island.
posted by SMPA at 7:13 PM on November 7, 2012

How about Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV? There are cabins, a zoo, a lake,a large pool and more.
posted by mmascolino at 8:27 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chautauqua, New York.
posted by oceano at 8:29 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm recommending Gatlinburg, TN.

It's a day's drive from OH, and in the Smoky Mountains.

You have tons of stuff to do in the park. Cade's Cove is particularly nice.

Cherokee, NC is an hour, through the park (a very pretty and easy drive) and you can see the museum, a show (Unto These Hills), or Casino Gambling if you are so inclined.

There's Dollywood, both the theme park and a water park.

There is as much tacky tourist stuff as you can imagine, combined with gorgeous scenery and quiet enjoyment of the woods.

There are cabin rentals for days, or you can rent a time share for a week. I like to stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Resort. For location and amenities.

Gatlinburg is very affordable, and not as rednecky as you'd expect (and frankly have every right to expect.)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:13 AM on November 8, 2012

Seconding Chautauqua, NY.
posted by Dolley at 6:29 AM on November 8, 2012

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