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Author Topic: SE US Vacation destinations  (Read 391 times)

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Online CLAY

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SE US Vacation destinations
« on: June 17, 2020, 09:49:06 PM »
So here's the scoop:  My cousin works for Princess Cruises, and thanks to the friends and family discount we were going to cruise Alaska this summer.  We were going to go from June 27-July 5, roughly.

Now we have that time set aside, and no firm destination.  We have not been to the East Coast/Carolinas area.  The big draw that it's easily driveable.

Does anyone have advice for me on the place to stay in that area?  We LOVE seafood, snorkeling, beach time, and hiking.

What say ye?
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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 05:42:02 AM »
June 27-July 5, ...Carolinas area.

What say ye?
Well, you asked.
Now isn’t the time.
COVID is spiking there.
Stay home, stay safe, we kinda like having you here.
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Online Patmo

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 08:07:14 AM »
I’m a big fan of Charleston.  Savanna is nice as well.  Good seafood either place.  Somewhere in between would be Hilton Head Island.  Beaufort S.C. is a great little town to visit too.

Online garry

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 09:01:29 AM »
The wife and I have been visiting a variety of east coast beaches over the last couple years. Here's my take on where we've been...

Rehoboth Beach / Bethany Beach (DE) - (relatively) short drive. Not too developed. We actually stayed in Dewey Beach which is between the two cities. Ocean City (MD) is a short drive south from Bethany for the full boardwalk experience. Assateague Island is cool (known for wild horses and mosquitos, LOL) and not too far away.

Duck/Outer Banks (NC) - not a bad drive. Duck is on the north end of OBX. We liked it and would go back. Not overly developed, but lots of smaller restaurants and stores. Kitty Hawk/Nags Head is a short drive south (middle of OBX) but much more commercial (think suburban mall sprawl) along the highway. Things get much less developed south of Nags Head. Wright Brothers museum is cool. If you have a truck (and a permit) you can drive up the beach on the north end of the island (north of Corolla). Wild horses up there too.

Topsail Island (NC) - another set of barrier islands to the south of OBX (north of Wilmington). Getting into a long drive now (10 hours from Pittsburgh). Lots of residential housing. Not much retail except for a few restaurants and shops in Surf City (middle of the island). Of course there is typical suburbia if you go inland a few miles. Really not much to do there except go to the beach or fish. We just got back from two weeks there.

North Myrtle Beach (SC) - Long ass drive. Ugh. Nice beach. Highly commercialized main highway but the road along the beach is a nicer mix. Had a fine time there and would go back. In fact, we were planning to go there this spring when COVID-19 hit. Maybe in the fall.

St. Simons Island (GA) - Really Long Ass drive. Did it in two days. Just north of the Florida line. Lots of mossy oaks. Firm sand on the beach (not my thing). Developed, but no overly so. We had a nice week, but would probably not go back (just for more variety).

Sanibel Island - Have to fly unless you want to do two long days in the car. We've been there twice. Awesome shelling if you're into that. Like, one of the best places in the world to look for shells. Nice beaches. Good selection of restaurants and shops but not over built. Would go back again for sure (wife loves shelling).

I would say that Sanibel Island was my favorite, but flying costs $$$ (plus rental car) and the Fort Myers airport can suck. But once there, it's very nice. For driveable spots, I would go back to Duck.

We are looking at visiting the Galveston area beaches next and maybe try to work the COTA MotoGP race (if it happens) into the mix. The northern Florida panhandle (Panama City, etc.) is also on the radar screen for a future visit.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 09:21:44 AM by garry »
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Online Vulcanbill

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 10:47:34 AM »
Research seafood.  Regional differences can be epic.  Being from MD originally, all shrimp must be steamed in beer and drowning in Old Bay.  That is the only way to prepare shrimp.  In NC, we got shrimp and it wasn't spiced at all and they boiled it.  Hurl.  Same with crabs.  no bueno.  Just ask a few questions depending on what your standards are.  And prepare for the drive up and down the road to/from Duck / Corolla down to okracoke island to take approximately forever. 
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Online garry

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 10:52:25 AM »
And prepare for the drive up and down the road to/from Duck / Corolla down to okracoke island to take approximately forever.

This is true. The road between Duck and Kitty Hawk (where the bridge is) is slow and usually busy. Kitty Hawk to south of Nags Head is four lane with lights and lots of traffic. South of Nags Head is not much traffic but it's longer than you'd think. Traffic to/from Duck is especially bad on the turnover days (Saturday). We mostly stayed in the Duck/Corolla area with a few excursions to the south to do stuff. But yeah, traffic is thing there.
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Online Skee

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 11:43:36 AM »
We are not big-time beach goers; that being said...
North of Kitty Hawk has a laid back family beach scene.
Hilton Head has great beach, good restaurants and bars.
Charleston & Savannah are both nice tourist towns.
Avoid Myrtle Beach; unless you are a golfer, then go south to Merrill's Inlet.
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Offline MrsCablebandit

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 01:03:59 PM »
Ocean City (MD) is a short drive south from Bethany for the full boardwalk experience.

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2020, 04:43:48 PM »
Key West.  You can't really get any more SE than that.
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Online Smoothie

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SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2020, 11:48:33 PM »
Sounds like Garry is the man with the low down!

All I’ve got is a recommendation in Charleston SC:   A local restaurant called The Obstinent Daughter.   Make a res because it’s always full of locals.   So ridiculously good tho.
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Online radon222

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2020, 07:51:59 AM »
Keeping in mind that it will be a Holiday weekend, so likely to be nuts anywhere you go.  But if you do end up on the northern end of OBX.  Give a holler.  Its an easy 1.5hr ride if I avoid the peak traffic times.

Online CLAY

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 09:18:49 AM »
The wife and I have been visiting a variety of east coast beaches over the last couple years. Here's my take on where we've been...

Rehoboth Beach / Bethany Beach (DE) - (relatively) short drive. Not too developed. We actually stayed in Dewey Beach which is between the two cities. Ocean City (MD) is a short drive south from Bethany for the full boardwalk experience. Assateague Island is cool (known for wild horses and mosquitos, LOL) and not too far away.

Duck/Outer Banks (NC) - not a bad drive. Duck is on the north end of OBX. We liked it and would go back. Not overly developed, but lots of smaller restaurants and stores. Kitty Hawk/Nags Head is a short drive south (middle of OBX) but much more commercial (think suburban mall sprawl) along the highway. Things get much less developed south of Nags Head. Wright Brothers museum is cool. If you have a truck (and a permit) you can drive up the beach on the north end of the island (north of Corolla). Wild horses up there too.

Topsail Island (NC) - another set of barrier islands to the south of OBX (north of Wilmington). Getting into a long drive now (10 hours from Pittsburgh). Lots of residential housing. Not much retail except for a few restaurants and shops in Surf City (middle of the island). Of course there is typical suburbia if you go inland a few miles. Really not much to do there except go to the beach or fish. We just got back from two weeks there.

North Myrtle Beach (SC) - Long ass drive. Ugh. Nice beach. Highly commercialized main highway but the road along the beach is a nicer mix. Had a fine time there and would go back. In fact, we were planning to go there this spring when COVID-19 hit. Maybe in the fall.

St. Simons Island (GA) - Really Long Ass drive. Did it in two days. Just north of the Florida line. Lots of mossy oaks. Firm sand on the beach (not my thing). Developed, but no overly so. We had a nice week, but would probably not go back (just for more variety).

Sanibel Island - Have to fly unless you want to do two long days in the car. We've been there twice. Awesome shelling if you're into that. Like, one of the best places in the world to look for shells. Nice beaches. Good selection of restaurants and shops but not over built. Would go back again for sure (wife loves shelling).

I would say that Sanibel Island was my favorite, but flying costs $$$ (plus rental car) and the Fort Myers airport can suck. But once there, it's very nice. For driveable spots, I would go back to Duck.

We are looking at visiting the Galveston area beaches next and maybe try to work the COTA MotoGP race (if it happens) into the mix. The northern Florida panhandle (Panama City, etc.) is also on the radar screen for a future visit.

Scads of great info.  Thanks Garry!
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"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Offline Stripes

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SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 03:56:53 AM »
Where'd you end up going? How was it?
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Online CLAY

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Re: SE US Vacation destinations
« Reply #13 on: Today at 08:36:29 PM »
LOL- with the rise down there we ended up going to Colorado- decided about 2 days before we left.  4 days in Colorado Springs, 2 days in Fort Collins.  Hiked, White Water Rafted, did the sights.  It was amazing.
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.