Let’s daydream a little. If you had the opportunity to own a vacation home, where would you choose? Would you hightail it to a mountain chalet or lay low at a beach bungalow?

If you asked me this question last spring I would have quickly answered, “The beach!” But with summer behind us – and after hearing countless vacation stories from friends’ mountain and beach trips – I’m beginning to wonder which makes for a better family vacation.

Of course you don’t need to own a second home to enjoy one location over the other. And the time of year also makes a big difference. But if you had to choose a house in the mountains or one at the beach – a house you would own and visit no matter the season – which would you choose? Wouldn’t you love to be in this predicament?

To get the conversation started, I compiled a list of pros and cons. Feel free to add your own pluses and minuses – and then share with us your final decision and why!

Pros of a Mountain Home/Vacation

* Can be enjoyed year-round
* Amazing beauty
* Access to lots of outdoor activities: hiking, skiing, canoeing, kayaking, camping, etc
* Lots of snow does not mean a cancelled vacation
* Cool weather in the summer months

Cons of a Mountain Home/Vacation

* Snow makes driving difficult
* If you don’t enjoy active outdoor activities, you could get cabin fever
* Not the kind of vacation where parents can relax while children play
* Hilly terrain makes outdoor play difficult for kids
* May be too secluded (aka “boring”) for kids of certain ages
* Bears stealing food from your garbage cans 🙂
* Ticks and mosquitos!

Pros of a Beach Home/Vacation

* Can be enjoyed really one two seasons per year (spring and summer)
* Amazing beauty
* Parents can relax (somewhat) while children play on the beach
* Unlimited access to swimming in summer (ocean and/or possible house, hotel or condo pool)
* Flat terrain makes bike riding easy for kids

Cons of a Beach Home/Vacation

* Fall and winter seasons are not so fun
* Lots of rain could mean a cancelled vacation
* If you don’t enjoy beach activities, boredom could set in fast
* May get too crowded
* A really hot summer could limit time outdoors
* Seagulls stealing food from your backyard BBQ:)
* Mosquitos!

What do you think? Which location would you choose?