Around the first weekend in September, I will be traveling with my host family and their two children (ages 4 and 6) by car around Lake Constance for a 2-day excursion from their home in Stuttgart. I have a rough itinerary below. I would love to hear about sightseeing, events, and good restaurants, for the following places: Day 1: Leave Stuttgart, stop in Meersburg, Lindau, and Bregenz Stay overnight in Bregenz Day 2 - Bregenz, Stein am Rhein, return to Stuttgart We will possibly visit Mainau Island and the monastery at Reichenau on the way to Stein am Rhein. I am wondering about time frames, particularly for Meersburg and Lindau. Should I choose only one town to go to, or is it feasible to sightsee both towns the same day? Any suggestions on other sights, or on the itinerary itself, are welcome.
Joseph; It is possible to see Meersburg and Lindau in the same day. We did it last May. Both towns are well worth the time to visit. I'm not sure you can drive all the way around Bodensee in 2 days with the stops you are planning. We haven't done it though so maybe someone else will comment on that aspect of your plans. The area is beautiful and I know you'll love the trip.
I have to agree with James. If technology interests you at all, visit the Zeppelin museum next to the harbor bahnhof (Friedrichshafen Hafen) in Friedrichshafen. The have exhibits on the history of the Zeppelins, details on the mechanics and construction, and a full size mockup of a Hindenburg cabin. Unfortunately (for your schedule), you can easily spend half a day seeing the museum.
I like Stein Am Rehein, but it is not unique. (Restaurant zum Felsen, Rathausplatz 10 surprisingly authentic despite location.) Aarau, Switzerland has water features in the street to please the kids, but maybe Stein am R has a boatride. Won't you be passing a couple of nice medieval town centers on the way North to Stuttgart? I think you have a lot of driving in this itinerary. Very American, but not always wise. I would concentrate on unique stops along the way. I like the lakefront opera house in Bregenz (James Bond movie location, for one). Would the kids prefer the Rheinfall to a medieval town? Many people like Konstanz, Winterthur has a lot of museums. I would also check for Roman sites (Augusta Raurica is too far) because of the chance for the kids to run around while you see something neat.
Just a few thoughts – the route between Meersburg – Lindau (Route 31) is very heavily traveled and could be slow going. Allow for that possibility. Unfortunately, there is no other viable option. Meersburg is much smaller than Lindau, and IMO while pretty with vine covered hills, Lindau is more interesting. I've only been through Bregenz, so can't help there. The drive along the lake on the Swiss side is not too impressive, lots of camping sites, a fair amount of industry. If you like gardens, plants, butterflies, you'll like Mainau. Also the palace, chapel, etc. In my family we remember Reichenau as the 'salad island," because of the number of farm fields growing a variety of lettuce! Very calm, slow moving, but scenic. (The churches aren't bad either.)
It's a beautiful part of the world! I hope you enjoy it. (I'll be back there in about a month.)