questionswhere should i go on vacation?

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Western Montana, near Kalispell is beautiful. Glacier National Park would be a great place that time of year.

Or even Coeur D'Alene Idaho. Plenty of trees, hiking, fishing, golf (yuck), and such in both areas.

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To do something different, I considered a dude ranch vacation for my family this year. There are plenty of ranches within driving distance of me (central Washington state) that offer all-inclusive vacation packages, but they can get really pricey. A fairly bare bones package - lodging, meals and horseback riding - was about $3000 for a week. A better package that included more activities like rafting and fly fishing was about $5000.

Ultimately, we decided to spend a few days at Mount Hood, Oregon this summer. Since it's known more as a ski destination, resort rates are very reasonable during the off season - we booked a one-bedroom suite with $100 daily resort credit for under $200 a night. Plus there's a park in the area that offers lots of outdoor activities for both kids and adults (I am so looking forward to trying their Human Hamster Ball). And it's about an hour from Portland, so we can go into the city for a day trip if we want.

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@mtm2: Montana was also on our short list, the pictures we have seen from friends that have gone there are beautiful! Thanks for the tips on where to go.

@wingnutzero: That sounds a lot like what we were thinking, any tips on which resorts to consider?

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@ruger9mm: Just make sure it's North West Montana. While there are other spots in Montana that are beautiful, it's the best up there around Kalispell.

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@ruger9mm: This will be our first time going to Mount Hood, so I don't know the resorts that well, but there are good deals at a place simply called The Resort at the Mountain (www.theresort.com) and it gets very high marks at tripadvisor.com. The Timberline Lodge is also nearby, which happens to be the hotel that was used for exterior shots in The Shining (muhahahaha...).

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Ever seen the sights of Utah?
I'm a big hiker, and I have two favorites:
The Uintas in northeast Utah - very woodsy, hundreds of lakes, mountains and mountains...
And you can't go wrong with the redrock of Southern Utah:
Arches National Park
Goblin Valley
Canyonlands
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon
etc.

You could even hit up a bunch of those in one trip. Many of them you don't have to hike very far to see the sites.

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Except in July it's going to be freaking hot in red rock country in Utah. If they are from someplace cooler they might not like the heat very much. All your other suggestions sound great. Colorado also has lots of nice greenery and scenery. I've never been to North Carolina, but just about every time I watch a movie filmed in the US and say, "Wow, that's a pretty place", it was filmed in North Carolina.

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Lake Crescent on the north tip of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Nearby side trips to the ocean (through Forks where Twilight was filmed), waterfall hikes, and the rain forest. Also some hot springs nearby.
Don't miss the trails at Hurricane Ridge where you can see across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island, and south across the top of the Olympics.

For example: www.logcabinresort.net/

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@luvche21: I'm with moondrake on Utah being too hot in July. I lived in Albuquerque for a couple of years and saw a lot of the Four Corners states, so I think that is out this time around.

@notanaardvark: That looks like fun, definitely putting it on the list!

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Bayonne NJ, it's really nice in the spring

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This is in the lower 48 and about 30 miles from where I live. This one is also within that distance. Beautiful scenery in this part of the country as well.

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My family went on a trip down the entire Oregon coast starting at Astoria and ending in Crescent City, CA. I have to say it was a great and beautiful trip. The Washington Coast is also beautiful (I lived there when I was a kid) but I liked the Oregon coast better. Newport, Oregon aquarium was really cool. Here is the link for that http://aquarium.org/visit