Galveston Island sunrise — Photo courtesy of virexmachina
Galveston Island, Texas has many hotels along the waterfront, but if you really want to escape the crowds, head to the Galvestonian. Your ultimate home away from home, these are luxurious condos with full-sized kitchens, linens, table ware and your own private beach. It's a huge plus not having to cross the street and the seawall to get to the beach, and there's no noisy traffic, just the sounds of ocean and gulls. Head to one of three nearby theatres in the historic Strand District for a local show and shopping, or take the kids to the Moody Gardens Aquarium, all within 5 minutes.
When visiting Annapolis, Maryland, escape the downtown noise and expense of being on the harbor waterfront. Instead, head to the banks of the South River and the family style tranquility of a luxurious bed and breakfast complete with back porch relaxation. The Laurel Grove Inn provides top shelf hospitality in a cozy woodsy environment–private dock and picnic area included. For daytime fun, take the kids down to the bay for a cruise on the Sea Gypsy, offered by Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake. After preliminary face painting and dress up, your family will take off on a very reasonably priced (adults $19; kids $12) 75 minute cruise around the harbor. The captain recommends the nearby Boatyard Bar and Grill, with its nautical theme, for a family friendly dinner.
Just two miles from Silver Dollar City and five miles from the main Branson, Missouri Strip, is the fun-filled lake front property Still Waters Condominium Resort. Included in your stay is free kayaking, tubing, paddle boating and fishing at Table Rock Lake. There are three pools, (one with a waterfall and a kiddie pool!), a volleyball court, and large covered parking. Many families give this reasonable Branson resort a big thumbs up, returning every year.