One of our favorite small towns we visited along our trip was Wallace, Idaho. The town of Wallace is actually listed on the National Register of Historical places and is located in the Bitterroot Mountains surrounded by amazing natural beauty.

Wallace is in northern Idaho, not even an hour east of popular Coeur d’Alene, and just west of the Montana border. Wallace is right off the I-90 and is the perfect town for a fun and easy weekend trip.

Why your family should go to Wallace, Idaho

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Just 12 miles east of Wallace is the Hiawatha Trail. The route is 15 miles long and includes 10 tunnels and seven high steel trestles. The views are simply gorgeous. The ride starts off through a pitch dark and somewhat wet 1.7 mile long tunnel. I would recommend bringing along a light windbreaker for this alone.

The kids loved the thrill of this tunnel, while Mom pedaled her heart out and was very happy to finally see the sunlight streaming through at the end! Helmets and headlamps are necessary for the ride, but can be rented at the Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area where you have to go to purchase your tickets.

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Trail fees are $10 for adults and $6 for children 6-13. Pretty reasonable until you have to add in the shuttle ride back up.  The cost for this is $9 for adults and $6 for kids. You most certainly don’t have to take the shuttle and can turn your bike around and ride back up, but I think the shuttle is your best bet and I’m glad we did it.

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What else is there to do in Wallace?

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Historic downtown Wallace is simply adorable. There are lots of cute antique shops as well as fun restaurants and little museums. The downtown was a stones throw from Wallace RV Park where we stayed. We loved being able to walk into town and enjoyed riding our bikes along the Trail of the Coeur D’Alene’s as well.

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Take a guided Sierra Silver Mine Tour right here in town too! A family package is only $47 for 2 adults and as many children as you have! The Tour also includes a brief guided trolley ride around historic Wallace!

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We loved the three nights we spent at little Wallace RV Park. It is a tiny park within walking distance to town. Also, City Limits Pub and Grill is conveniently located right on the property. Full RV hookups right here on the creek are only $25 a night. Dry cabins are $30 and tent sites $15 nightly. I loved hearing the creek running right behind us!

Thinking of planning an Idaho getaway?  This week I’ll be posting three unique options for some Idaho outdoor family fun. Today’s suggestion is to head to Lava Hot Springs, which is located in the southeastern portion of the state. It is almost a 13 hour drive from either Phoenix, AZ or Seattle, WA, and only 2 1/2 hours away from Salt Lake City, UT.

Lava Hot Springs is unique in the fact that it is extremely affordable to come here for vacation. Stay for a couple nights to enjoy simplicity and small town fun. Your kids will love it!

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Book spot #11 to have this rope swing right in your backyard!

We loved our three night weekday stay at the Lava Hot Springs KOA. This campground is quaint and oh so pretty nestled right on the Portneuf river amongst many mature trees. The owners, Kody and Andi, are super hands on owners and have really turned this campground around in the past two years they have owned it. Look at our gorgeous spots backed up to the river!

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The KOA is just a short walk/bike ride to Lava’s World Famous Natural Hot Pools as well as to everything in this little town.

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We also were able to rent float tubes right here at our KOA at a discounted price! We just picked them up in town and down the river we went over and over. So much fun!

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Our first full day in Lava we spent at the Olympic swimming pool/waterpark. We all had a ball here and the kids loved their first time jumping off the diving boards and various platforms. We bought day combo passes good for both the waterpark and the Hot Pools. What a deal at only $12.50 a person for the entire day! The outdoor waterpark opens back up in mid-May while the indoor portion is open during various times throughout the winter.

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Keep in mind that you will need to bring your own chairs, blankets, umbrellas, towels, etc. There is a reason this place is so affordable! It’s no big deal if you are prepared! You may bring in your own food and nonalcoholic drinks too.

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This Lava Hot Springs KOA offers options for every type of camper.  There are several adorable cabins for rent as well. The kids loved watching the trains go by on the tracks just next to the main road into the campground as well.

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If you happen to be traveling along the I-15 , definitely take the 12 mile detour to Lava Hot Springs for a couple days of family fun at this KOA! We recommend going during the week as we hear that the weekends can get a little crazy.

KOA

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When planning our 6-month journey around the USA by motor home, we decided that KOA (Kampgrounds of America) was the best fit for our family and that we would focus most of our stays at their campgrounds. They have almost 500 locations across North America to chose from so the opportunities are endless! As a sponsor of our family sabbatical, we stayed at over 40 different KOAs around the country.

Hands down, the KOA chain has the most family friendly campgrounds around. We loved their activity schedules featuring everything from wine tastings to flashlight candy hunts! We played tons of mini golf, rented fun bikes, took up fishing and just simply enjoyed the great outdoors. The Jumping Pillow was our kids most favorite KOA feature. Our four are begging for us to put one in our Arizona backyard now!

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I’m also a big fan of consistency which you can expect behind KOA’s Yellow Signs. If you haven’t camped at KOA in a while or ever, here’s a few things you should know:

KOA has introduced three new ways to help you select the right campground for your needs: KOAJourney,” “Holiday,” and “Resort.” These descriptive words to help define your camping experience and better match your expectations. I equate this to the Marriott brand of hotels.

KOA Resort CampgroundsNotice I started off the lineup with the Ritz Carlton of the chain- the KOA Resort. Anything resort is up my alley! Unfortunately, the four KOA Resort properties were not a part of our plan this time around. They are  Waterloo / Lost Island Waterpark KOA Resort (Iowa), Port Huron KOA Resort (Michigan), Cape Hatteras KOA Resort (North Carolina) and the Shelby / Mansfield KOA Resort (Ohio). Get pampered with true, resort-style facilities and amenities at these locations. You will enjoy endless entertainment and conveniences such as food service that allows you to never have to leave the campground if you don’t want to!

KOA Holiday CampgroundsKOA Holiday campgrounds are like your typical Marriott hotel stay- pretty perfect but a little more casual. At the KOA Holiday properties, you can expect deluxe cabins and patio RV sites as well as on-site activity schedules and options to keep everyone entertained. A lot of our stays were at KOA Holiday locations. Some of our favorites were West Glacier, MTLake Placid, NY; Niagara Falls, NY; Mt. Rushmore, SD; Mystic, CT; and Mount Pleasant, SC.

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The beautiful grounds at West Glacier KOA.

KOA Journey CampgroundsKOA Journey campgrounds are more like a Courtyard Marriott.  Less expensive and less fluff. They are usually conveniently located and great for overnight or short stays. You still get the same free wifi, Kamp K9 Pet Park, and a convenience store just as you would at the Holiday and Resort properties.

Some campers say that KOAs are expensive. Yes and no.

You will pay up to $100 a night for a nice RV spot during the busy summer months at a Resort property, but most will run you half of that. Hey, we did spend one “free” night in a Walmart parking lot in the beginning of our travels and I can tell you I will never do that again. Give me the safe, quiet campground any day of the week! KOA strives to give you what you pay for.

Sign up for their Value Kard Rewards program which will save you 10% off every stay, while earning points at the same time.

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Our family joined us in Mystic, CT and loved staying in the cabins here.

You also don’t need to have an RV or be willing to pitch your own tent to stay at KOA.

Many locations have new Deluxe Cabins, complete with bathrooms and kitchens. We stayed in several of them in New England, when our motorhome had to go in to the shop. They are spacious, updated and wonderful for a large family! I think you’d be surprised. Not only are they less expensive than a hotel, they are way more fun. Keep this in mind when you are planning your summer travels! The cabins definitely lend a more unique family vacation experience and your kids will love it I guarantee!

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Who doesn’t love roasting smores outside at night surrounded by family and friends? 

Nothing will make you prouder to be an American than traveling around our beautiful country like we did visiting 44 states by RV in 2014. In no certain order, here are our top 10 spots that we recommend you visit in your American lifetime.

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1. Mt. Rushmore National Memorial- Keystone, South Dakota

This is one place you have to see in person. I don’t know if we would’ve ever made a special trip to fly here to see this American icon, so this was a huge benefit in traveling around the country by RV. I highly recommend making your way here as there is a lot to do in the surrounding area and it’s just gorgeous. Check out the fabulous Mt. Rushmore KOA here!

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2. Kennedy Space Center- Cape Canaveral, Florida

Kennedy Space Center is an amazing place to learn about our American history in space as well as view actual NASA rockets and spacecraft while learning about the future. The Astronaut Hall of Fame is just up the street and is included with your KSC admission ticket.

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3. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is just an overall gorgeous city so you will love walking along the Freedom Trail here. We started our day at Faneuil Hall and took a trolley tour of all the historical sites in the area.

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4. Kansas City, Missouri- Federal Reserve Bank

The Money Museum here was a unique, free  and fun way for us to learn about our country’s cold hard cash. The kids got to each take home a bag of shredded bills for a souvenir too. Kansas City is beautiful with all of its fountains and the World War I Museum is right by here as well.

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5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Another great tour we took to learn about our American currency was in Philadelphia at the United States Mint. We learned all about the history of our coins and how they are made. This is a close walk from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell as well. Philadelphia is such an amazingly walkable city with so much history on every corner. Walking around this city was one of my favorite days of our trip.

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6. Lake Placid, New York – Olympic Center

Upstate New York is amazingly gorgeous in the summer. Lake Placid was the home of the 1980 Olympics and the kids loved skating at the Lake Placid Olympic Center as well as checking out the other venues around.

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7. Utah Olympic Park- Park City, Utah

As the site of the 2002 Olympic games, this place is outstanding! Park City is beautiful in the summer and we loved spending the day at the Olympic Park. Not only did we get to watch several athletes train while we were here, but we got to have fun ourselves zip lining, climbing the ropes course and going down our first alpine slide.

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8. Washington, D.C.

Our Capital city is the #1 place to visit if you are looking to learn about the United States of America government. The National Mall is gorgeous and features all of the Monuments and Memorials. The Capital Building, White House, National Archives and the Smithsonian are just a few other favorites. You need lots of time to spend in Washington, D.C. as there is so much to see and do.

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9. New York, New York

One of America’s most popular attractions is the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The short boat ride from Battery Park over is really fun and the views looking back at the city are fantastic. When you get to Liberty Island you can take a self guided audio tour to learn everything about our Lady Liberty.

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10. Williamsburg, Virginia

This is a beautiful spot to feel like you are living back in Colonial times in this Revolutionary City. Engage with the costumed locals and experience firsthand the daily struggles of wartime. Colonial Williamsburg is definitely a little slow paced, but the KOA was one of our favorites and the area was gorgeous!

Where are your favorite spots where you feel proud to be an American?

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“Where was the favorite place you visited?”

It’s everyone’s first question when talking about our epic adventure around the USA. It’s almost an impossible question to answer as there are so many wonderful parts of our country.

Here are our family’s top 10 adventures, listed in no particular order. Be sure you click on the highlighted city name if you want to read the blog post from the actual time we were in that area.

JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

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Jackson Hole is full of beautiful scenery and things for families to do. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are accessible from here. This tram up the Tetons is popular as well as the local Rodeo and Alpine Slide.

GULF SHORES, ALABAMA

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Gulf Shores, AL was quite the surprise. The beach is beautiful and clean with gorgeous sunsets. There are tons of fun family-friendly restaurants like this one (The Gulf). There is a lot to keep families busy here. This was one of the kids top picks!

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

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Asheville, NC has been on my list to visit for a while. There is so much to do here and coming here for the October fall foliage was awesome! There are many beautiful places to hike including this one at Chimney Rock State Park. Gorgeous Great Smoky National Park and the famous Blue Ridge Parkway drive is close as well.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

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Ahhh… Seattle. We definitely love our big cities and Seattle is just so beautiful in the summer. Isn’t the skyline perfect at sunset from Alki Beach? Don’t forget to take the kids to the Gum Wall at Pikes Place Market and take a ride on the popular Duck Boat tour.

COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO

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Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful city with lots to do. Hiking and jumping off the rocks at Tubbs Hill was the kids’ favorite!


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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

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St. Louis was a fun stop. Not only was seeing the famous Gateway Arch beautiful, but the kids loved going to the City Museum as well! Six Flags is here and nearby Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park was one of our trip favorites too.

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA

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Myrtle Beach was the perfect family-friendly coastal town! We loved riding our bikes from the KOA here to everything and the boys loved golfing, while us girls hit the outlet mall. We ate breakfast every day at the restaurant on this pier. There are amusement and water parks here, which were closed when we were in town, so there’s even more to experience when you visit Myrtle in the summer.

QUECHEE, VERMONT

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Quechee is on here because it was one of my absolute favorites. It is such a beautiful area and there are several fun things to do! The kids learned to fly fish and loved watching the glassblowers at Simon Pearce, where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner too! We went to Sugarbush Farms to learn how maple syrup is made and went to King Arthur Flour for some yummy baked goods.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

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New Orleans was awesome and full of life and culture. We all loved our first time here to the Big Easy and ate more beignets than we should’ve. Listening to live Zydeco music while bowling at Rock N’Bowl was a blast! Be sure to read the post to see what else kept us busy here.

ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH

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Zion National Park was one of our very first stops along our cross country journey. Zion is stunning and filled with amazing family hikes! We were surprised at how gorgeous the state of Utah was and this park in general.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

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OK, if you’re counting this is actually #11, so I’m cheating. I had to include New York City because any time anyone asks my kids where their favorite place was, they all say the Big Apple. It confuses me, even though I’m a big lover of the city myself. I forgot what Times Square and the hustle and bustle looks like through a child’s eyes. Very exciting stuff!

What are your family favorite spots around the USA?

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 Can I tell you that it’s absolutely freezing here? I know by the pretty picture above it doesn’t look like it, but it is. Who knew that one day New Mexico could be a beautiful 70 degrees and the next it is struggling to reach 30! I guess it is December…

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We pulled over along the drive into the park so I could prove just how cold it is with these frozen icicles hanging from the cliffs! Brrr… We were happy to get inside the caves to get warm!

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I had booked a Ranger led tour of the Left Tunnel done by only candlelight. It was very different than the mainstream tour we did of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky! I highly recommend that you do a cave tour like this. It only cost $7 for us adults and $3.50 for each of the kids, which is well worth it!

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Unfortunately, we missed the popular nightly Bat flights that happen April through October out of this natural entrance. All the bats have migrated south to Mexico now, but it gives us something to come back here for one day!

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The natural entrance is really cool to see. This hike is more strenuous than just taking the manmade elevator down to the infamous Big Room. The natural entrance and the Big Room are the main hikes included with your National Park admission. There are many other unique hikes you can do for a nominal fee as well.

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We were fortunate to see the hills loaded with desert bighorn sheep and deer on both sides of us as we were driving in and out of the park! So beautiful!

 

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I can’t even begin to list all that I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving holiday. Our family has traveled by motorhome over 13,000 miles in 6 months to be here in San Antonio, Texas. My blessings overflow each and every day and I thank our Lord above for all of them. As we find ourselves away from home, family and friends this holiday at the San Antonio KOA, I am grateful for…..

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1. The Simplicity of Camping…

Never has life been so simple for me. Never have I shown up for Thanksgiving dinner in a ponytail, jeans, and flip flops with a bowl of heated up mashed potatoes to share. I am the one who makes all of the homemade dishes for this holiday, that we host at our home every year, so this is quite the change!

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Today I got to walk over to this luncheon with just this dish that I heated up in the microwave. Yep. That’s the way we roll at the campground. I did like that I had a KOA yellow bowl to put them in at least!

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2. Prepackaged yummy food

I found out yesterday when we pulled in here to San Antonio that we needed to bring a dish to the Thanksgiving potluck today. Thank goodness Costco has kept our fridge and freezer stocked with all of their yummy prepackaged dishes, as they have been my lifesaver along this trip. I never, ever buy these types of foods when we are at home and I have never served pre-made mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving before. But, I guess there’s a first time for everything!

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3. Our stay at the 2015 KOA campground of the year

For over 30 years, the staff and owners of this KOA have graciously served all their campers a delicious Thanksgiving feast! We are so grateful, as I had no idea how I was going to cook a turkey in this RV microwave or over a campfire! They let me off the hook as they provided turkey, stuffing, gravy and the campers chipped in for the rest.

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4. The blessing of togetherness!

If we were home right now, our family would be split into two. Half of us would be in California at a soccer tournament and half of us would be in Arizona for a hockey one. I know that is the reality that is just around the corner of return for us, but today I am thankful our family is enjoying downtime and Thanksgiving together…. as it should be celebrated!

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5. An after lunch bike ride on the path running alongside the campground and

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6. Watching my happy and healthy kids be active together on the KOA playground!

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7. Knocking off another spot from my Bucket List – the San Antonio River Walk

 This bus stop is just outside the gated entrance to the San Antonio KOA. We hopped on here and took it into the city to see what we came here for… The Alamo and River Walk. It is always nice when we can get on public transportation right from our campground after driving hours to get here in the first place!

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The Alamo… in all it’s glory and history!

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We strolled all along the River Walk enjoying the scenery, shops, and restaurants. The San Antonio Riverwalk has been a spot I’ve always wanted to visit and I would love to come back with just my hubby one day for sure. 

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Thank you to the San Antonio/Alamo KOA for letting us celebrate Thanksgiving with you! We can see why you were chosen as KOA’s 2015 Campground of the Year and we are so thankful for the time that we have here!

The past couple of weeks have definitely felt like winter in the south as we traveled through Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Brrr! I’m not going to complain though because we could most certainly be stuck in northern New York right now. Those poor people! But, that’s why we went through that area in August and not November.

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When we planned our route to Arkansas, we decided to go through Hot Springs and check out the National Park. This urban park is like no other that we’ve experienced in the National Park Service system. It is comprised of a series of old-time American spas lined up along what is called Bathhouse Row. You really have to see it, to believe it.

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The Fordyce Bath House is where the Visitor Center is housed and it is just gorgeous. You can take a self guided tour inside to see what an old time american fancy spa used to be like. The kids can also earn a junior ranger badge here and it’s a good way for them to learn the history behind these spas.

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Outside the Visitor Center you can feel the scalding hot thermal mineral waters!

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We were bummed that there is no actual pool that we could sit outside, like the other hot springs that we’d visited in Montana and Idaho. In order to experience the waters, you have to go to one of two spas that are still in operation. The Buckstaff Bathhouse has been in continuous operation since 1912 and remains the only bathhouse providing the traditional bathing experience in Hot Springs National Park.

The minimum age is only 10 to soak in a thermal water tub here. The downside is that it costs $33 and our kids weren’t too keen on the idea of relaxing in a private room by themselves! We weren’t keen on the idea of paying for them to do it either!

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You must be 14 years of age to go to Quapaw, which excluded our family. Of course, if the kids weren’t with us, we would’ve probably checked both of these out. So sorry, I can’t report on what they’re like inside! They are all beautiful from the outside though I know!

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There are several nice trails above Bathhouse Row. The Grand Promenade is really pretty and it’s fun just to wander around the town. Cute shops and restaurants line the other side of the Row as well. We loved the feel of the town even if we didn’t get to go to the spa!

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We loved watching the locals show up to these public fountains with all of their huge water jugs to fill. Nobody is buying bottled water around these parts! We took the few items we had in the RV to fill up with the spring water and we were laughing the whole time because we really looked ridiculous with our Tupperware and Aladdin pitchers as well as our tea kettle. But we had a good time and we wanted to grab what water we could while we were there too!

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Our home base was the Hot Springs National Park KOA and we couldn’t have been happier! We hadn’t been to a KOA since we were in Florida, so it was nice to be back to the yellow sign we know and love! This KOA was just a few miles from downtown and the National Park/Bathhouse Row.

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Our spot by the pond was just perfect. I loved that the Arkansas trees still had color, despite the cooler temperatures.

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Tortillas proved to be good bait for our sons at this pond, as they were able to fish right outside our front door once again! Thanks to the friendly staff and owners of the Hot Springs KOA for hosting our family for our Arkansas stay!

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New Orleans, Louisiana is one place that had been on my bucket list for a while. I was so excited to finally get here to check out the Crescent City. New Orleans isn’t necessarily known as a family spot, but I beg to differ.

Here are 9 ways to enjoy NOLA with kids in tow!

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1. Hang out in Jackson Square

This popular square is a perfect starting point. There is so much to see in just this little area. You can also take a carriage ride tour from here around the French Quarter. Be sure to go into the St. Louis Cathedral. Not only is the architecture gorgeous but this is the oldest cathedral in the United States still in use.

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Musicians, street performers, and other local artists surround this beautiful square. Make sure to have plenty of low bills on hand to tip these fun entertainers!

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2. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Grab a table on the busy patio at this iconic spot and indulge in the city’s infamous French donuts. They come in orders of 3 for under $3. Be sure to indulge in a Cafe au lait or Coffee and Chickory as well. Yes, we made our way here a couple of times.

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3. Eat more beignets at Cafe Beignet

We decided to become beignet connoisseurs during our three days here.  Unfortunately, the day we were here was freezing and rainy, so we didn’t get the live music that normally would accompany your experience here but a few of us did rate these beignets higher than Cafe Du Monde. You try them and let us know what you think!

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4. Eat Debris Poboys, Gumbo and Jambalaya at Mother’s on Poydras

 It does seem like all we did while visiting New Orleans was eat! There are so many great restaurants and new dishes to try here that you just can’t help yourself. We loved this local eatery for an authentic Creole lunch.

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5. Enjoy a night at Rock’n’Bowl

This was my favorite thing that we did while visiting New Orleans. We listened to some live Zydeco music as we bowled. Rock’n’Bowl was such a unique place and so much fun! We wanted to find a family friendly spot to listen to some local music and this was just perfect. Admission was $10 per person.

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The fun energy here helped my bowling for sure as I was victorious in our family’s game. It is $24 to rent the lane for up to 6 bowlers for the hour. Shoe rental is just $1.

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6. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Who knew this little National Park was tucked in the French Market? Be sure to visit it and have the kids earn a junior ranger badge while learning about the history of Jazz music in NOLA. Then you can continue to shop at all the booths in the French Market.

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7. Louis Armstrong Park/Congo Square

While on the subject of Jazz music, make sure to take a stroll through this park which is on the edge of the French Quarter in the Tremé neighborhood. The beautiful park is dedicated to one of the City’s most celebrated native sons and to the tradition of jazz in the City. It is also very close to the Basin Street Station Visitor Center, which you will want to hit as well.

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This poor area suffered so much devastation at the hands of Hurricane Katrina that it’s no wonder they celebrate the end of hurricane season with concerts and other festivities. They were just setting up for this one in Armstrong Park as we were getting ready to leave.

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8. Ride a historic streetcar

Riding one of the streetcars here is a unique and inexpensive way to get around certain areas of New Orleans. We took the St. Charles green streetcar out to see the Garden District, Uptown, and the Tulane University campus. It is only $3 for an all-day pass to hop on and off the cars.

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9. If you’re brave, stroll Bourbon Street

We had been warned to stay off this famous street with the kids. There isn’t any point in purposely waltzing the children along Bourbon Street to witness insanity. We did have to walk along there to go to Cafe Beignet but it was very tame in the morning rain, so there was no action that day thank goodness.

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BUT, we were walking from Armstrong Park to Jackson Square on our last morning and happened to cross Bourbon Street. This was our view at 9 am. At least it provided us with some last-minute laughs. I guess it wouldn’t be New Orleans without a little crazy.

What are your New Orleans family favorites?

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OK good, because sometimes I feel guilty when we are taking beach days during this cross country trip. I always feel really good  when we are visiting National Parks, monuments and historical places because I know we’re giving our kids hands on lessons that they would never get sitting in a classroom. And then we come to the coast and sometimes there’s just not anything to do, but head to the beach. Or maybe we are just drawn to the salty air and sand beneath our feet…..

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We were definitely drawn to Gulf Shores, Alabama. I honestly had never even thought about what this area might be like for most of my life. Then I met a friend, in Arizona, who is from Alabama and she always talks about how nice it is here, so I was excited to visit myself. Boy was she right! From the fine white sand beach to the amazing sunset, this could be the prettiest beach that we’ve experienced along our journey.

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There are so many unique and fun family friendly restaurants/bars in this area. I’ve ever seen anything like these places. I have to admit that I expected the area to be a bit cheesy, like most of Florida (notice the italics Florida fans). But, it was far from it! The Hangout was right on the beach and only a 3 block bike ride from our RV Park!

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This place is amazing, just to walk around even. The property is huge and filled with all sorts of fun things to look at inside and out. This sand pile, with a tunnel running underneath, kept the kids loving life!

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Check out our table for dinner here at sunset! You can’t beat that open air view! As you can see, not many people frequent this area in November, which was all the better for us! The food was what you would expect from any beachside grill, but the service was great!

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When the kids started getting cold, the waiter pulled out these skeeters and let the kids ride wild around the place. They had a ball!

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Another spot that our friend Heather recommended was The Gulf. I loved this place right on the water in Orange Beach, which is just east of Gulf Shores.

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Look at this setting! What a beautiful spot to enjoy a sandwich for lunch.IMG_3945

I hope to definitely come back and experience summer here! We will be back Alabama!