We have the opportunity to travel to Europe next summer for 4-6 weeks, June and July. 2 adults, 2 kids (ages 11 and 10). Additionally, my husband is disabled. He can walk, but not for long distances or in any strenuous conditions. He also requires a lot of down time after sitting for long periods - like a couple days of rest after a day of travel. We will be flying into/out of Frankfurt, and spending a week with family in Wiesbaden. We, of course, want to see everything, but think that we should limit ourselves to maybe 4 additional areas/cities, a week in each, with down time and rest time for kids and husband built in. We'd also like to mostly use air and rail to get around, although my brother said we can take their car for a time. We are overwhelmed with the possibilities! I've read, and read, and read, other posts and now have even more "wow! That'd be cool!" ideas! I'd appreciate input/suggestions/possible itineraries! Thank you!
I'm only going to address things to do around Wiesbaden. The Mittelrhein is well known, so I'll let others write about it, but here's some other ideas for daytrips in the region. - Here's a list of well-preserved historic towns that you can find within an hour or so of Wiesbaden: Seligenstadt, Idstein, Wetzlar, Heppenheim, Marburg (great university town), Erbach, Miltenburg, Erbach, Michelstadt, Büdigen, Fritzlar, and Ladenburg. The last four still retain portions or all of their medieval defensive walls. - Heidelberg and the Neckar RiverValley up to Bad Wimpfen (also has part of it's wall) - Hessenpark- not the greatest open-air folk museum in Europe, because it's only about half finished, but worth a visit if you're based close by in Wiesbaden -Point alpha, remains of the former Inner German border on the Hessen-Thüringen border, near Geisa - Rüdesheim doesn't get much love on this website, but definately plan having dinner some night in this Rhine town. Yes, it's touristy, but nearly every restaurant features nightly live Schlager music performances. -Darmstadt and the former Jungenstil artists colony of Mathildenhöhe - Königstein im Taunus, Bad Homburg, and Kronburg im Taunus. These are three very ritzy suburbs of Frankurt, and worth at least a quick look. If the kids like zoos, Opel zoo sits between Königstein and Kronburg. -Finally, if you have a clear day, consider driving or hiking to the summit of Großer Feldberg- that's the nearby mountain you'll see with the TV and radio towers on the summit. They have restaurants and beer gardens up there and on a clear day, the view is amazing.
-PS- Other than the Rhine, this region is very poorly served by Mr. Steves' guidebooks. I find that because it hasn't become part of the Blue Book Canon, many travelers incorrectly assume there isn't much of interest in the area and immediately head to Munich or Rothenburg odT. Avoid that temptation, there's more than enough interesting stuff in the area to fill a week. PPS- Oops, I just noticed that your husband is disabled... Most of the stuff I recommended is probably OK for people with mobility problems, except perhaps Hessenpark, Point Alpha and Großer Feldberg.
Thanks for the suggestions! I will put those on my 'read about' list!