Skip the shore this summer

     <a href=Child on beach photo via ShutterStock " title="shutterstock_280220411" width="640" height="349"/>

    Child on beach photo via ShutterStock

    Put down the pitchforks, for I am friend not foe.

    I do, however, have a few ideas I’d like to share with you. Mainly, the idea that maybe, just maybe, you should skip the shore this summer.

    Yes, I’m being serious.

    Hear me out.

    When I was a young boy, my family rarely took the same vacation twice and when we did, we were not surrounded by the same people. The idea of practically an entire neighborhood pulling up roots to relocate a couple of hours east for the same one or two week stretch of summer, on the same block, in the same Jersey beach town, to eat the same food, ride the same rides, and sink toes into the same grains of sand, is a thoroughly foreign concept for me. Instead of vacation on repeat, I was instilled with a strong desire to seek out brand new experiences whenever possible.

    I understand that many Philadelphians are steeped in the Jersey shore summer vacation tradition, but there’s a great big wonderful world out there waiting to be explored.

    For real.

    There are impressive amusement parks, warmer (and, ahem, cleaner) water, different fish to catch, more reasonably priced homes to rent, historic sites and exciting new food cultures to sink your teeth into all over the place, including many within a similar driving distance from where you’re likely reading this now. I’m thinking of Williamsburg, Virginia; the Adirondacks; the Finger Lakes; Newport, Rhode Island; Knoebels Amusement Park and campground; and the Chesapeake Bay. I could go on and on.

    Not only is exploring a new place just plain exciting, there’s another enticing reason to diversify your family vacation portfolio and skip the shore this (or next) summer: Your kids might be better for the change of scenery.

    Young people — with their bright and curious minds, the gates of which are wide open to the many possibilities of the world — are eager to absorb and process a plethora of sights, sounds, smells and ideas. 

    Don’t get me wrong; I love a relaxing day or two at the beach as much as anyone. But does it always have to be the same beach?

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