For many of us, family travel isn’t a style of travel, it’s just who we are. We have kids or spouses or even extended families and our vacations are necessarily spent together. There are some things though to keep in mind when selecting a perfect getaway that every member of the family will enjoy, so we thought we’d pour over our older posts and select some of the best destinations and experiences as featured by our team of intrepid travel bloggers. Which ones would you add to the list?
1. Big Island, Hawaii
Show off Mother Nature's beauty to your kids by taking them to one of the most beautiful states in America, Hawaii. Plus, it is perfect for an exotic adventure without the stress of leaving the country. The kids will love the jungles, forests and beaches. The Big Island is foreign enough that parents are sure to have fun as well. Hawaii is much more than soft sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters and this is the perfect island to discover everything that makes the state so great.
The island holds many adventures from the constantly flowing lava in Volcanoes National Park to the gushing waterfalls of Akaka State Park. Hawaii is a vacation that leaves you with fond family memories.
From the post: Perfect Vacation Spots If You Have Children Under 7
2. Memorial Day in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Everyone loves the beach and Virginia Beach sure knows how to kick off the summer season. Their live concert series and summer events (AKA Beach Street USA) goes into full swing and this beach is much easier to get to than the Outer Banks on a holiday weekend. Stroll the boardwalk while the kids scooter ahead of you, swim in your hotel pool (the ocean may be a little chilly still) and soak up the sea air. This is your chance to kick back and relax as the kids go into those final weeks of school, which we all know is more work for the parents as we have to stay on top of themed days and last day of school party responsibilities.
From the post: Easy Weekend Trips To Take Over Memorial Day Weekend
3. Channel Islands National Park, California
If you really want to escape the stress of city life, Channel Islands National Park is just for you. There are no shops or rental gear stores to be found. You need to plan ahead to go into this park (picnic anyone?). Public boats run from Ventura, CA out to the islands daily. You could also rent a private boat or plane if you don’t want to go with the masses on the ferry. Once on the island, kick back, relax, go for a hike, take the kids out in your kayak, and even do a little snorkeling. Whale watching around the Channel Islands is fantastic and should definitely be booked in advance if you would like to go on a boat tour.
From the post: National Parks Perfect For Families That Are Always Free
4. Camp in the Grand Canyon
Let us break away from the roller coasters and big cities of typical vacations and get into the wilderness. One spectacular family vacation is camping in the Grand Canyon. Any description of the deep reds and subtle browns of this natural wonder won't do it justice; you just have to see it to believe it. The park is booming with people during certain times of the year, but you are still able to find solitude if you know where to go. To escape the hordes of tourists, head to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Fewer people visit this part and yet it has some of the best camping and hiking trails. Surrounded by the beauty of the canyon, it is possible to spend some quality time with your loved ones away from thousands of other tourists.
From the post: Family Friendly Vacation Adventure Destinations
Grab your rain gear and head to Edinburgh to kick off your Scottish adventure. Stay in town for a few days, but what this country is really known for (besides haggis) is its natural beauty. Hike to waterfalls, through moors and show your kids there is more to vacation than just visiting animated characters. Putt around the greens of St. Andrews, go on a hunt for Nessie at Loch Ness or run away with the fairies on the Isle of Skye. No matter where you go in this proud land, you will find friendly locals, wild adventures and make memories with your kids that they will always cherish. Just don’t forget your plastic swords. We hear there are dragons up in those hills.
From the post: Where To Travel With Your Kids In 2016
6. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
For a December escape you won’t soon forget, head to the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains for the Pigeon Forge Winterfest. Stroll through town as you marvel at over 2 million lights on display. Enjoy a parade, ride the carousel, or just do a little last minute Christmas shopping in town. The Inn at Christmas Place, although always in the holiday spirit, makes for an inviting space to cuddle up when the temperature drops after a long day of playing. If you really want to delight the kids though, bring them over to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends from the children’s classic come to life in this theme park. Decorate a few Christmas cookies, ride the roller coasters, and gaze at the model train set before you head to the main attraction—Dollywood’s A Christmas Carole. Dolly herself will show up via a holographic image to play the ghost of Christmas past. There may not be snow on the ground during your visit, but Pigeon Forge sure knows how to celebrate the spirit of the season.
From the post: Family Friendly Holiday Festivals To Catch Across The US
7. Grey whale watching in Baja, Mexico
Sometimes you just have to slow down and watch the whales. On the Pacific Coast of Baja, Mexico you can meet up with a few mama and baby whales as they play in the warm waters off the coast and in the deep-water lagoons. There are plenty of tour groups ready to bring you out from Loreto, La Paz, and Cabo. Make sure your tour company uses smaller boats, as the large boats can disturb the animals.
Unfortunately, Mexico is not as strict about keeping your distance from the whales and letting them come to you, but the boat operators are helping to make sure these whales stick around. They want the whales coming back so they can stay in business.
From the post: Epic Family Adventures To Book In 2015
8. Bishops Orchards, Guilford, Connecticut
Who doesn't love apples, llamas, alpacas and goats? Let your kids pick their own apples and make a seasonal treat for you when you get home. The farms 24-hour U-Pick hotline can tell you when to head to the farm to pick your favorite variety. Tractor rides and a hay maze are available on weekends. Don't forget to pop into the market for other fresh produce, baked-goods, and if you aren't up for picking apples yourself, you can always just grab a bucket of your favorite apples to take home.
From the post: Fun Apple Farms To Visit This Fall
If you've ever read a Hans Christian Andersen story to your children, you'll have an idea of the type of magic that awaits your family in Denmark. Although Denmark rarely tops family vacation idea lists, for kids there's perhaps no more exciting place on the European continent. Denmark is loaded with theme parks including Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, one of the world's oldest and one of Europe's most popular theme parks, and the original Legoland in Billund with its popular Miniland featuring scaled-down reconstructions of villages, movie scenes and world-famous landmarks.
Even if the amusement parks grow old, surprise your kids with a ride through a fjord on a Viking ship, a chilling dungeon tour at Kronborg Castle or a whale watching expedition in Middelfart.
From the post: Three Family-Friendly Travel Spots You Never Thought Of Visiting
10. Monterey Bay Aquarium
Get a look of the giant pacific Octopus, a complex creature with one of the most sophisticated camouflage systems in the animal kingdom, and an animal that likes to call this California aquarium home. Take a look beneath the surface of Monterey Bay where sharks and sturgeon glide past 200-pound sea bass. Printables are available on the aquarium’s website to prepare your kids for their aquatic adventure or fill out during your visit. Mom and dad keep an eye out for sea lemons, acorn barnacles and other underwater oddities that will make your kids giggle and open up a new conversation about what else can live beneath the sea.
From the post: 4 U.S. Aquariums You Won’t Want To Miss
11. Alaska Cruise
Cruising to Alaska can be a great way to explore America’s "last frontier." Most major cruise lines these days offer Alaska sailings in the summer, taking passengers to the capital of Alaska, Juneau (which can only be reached by boat or plane), small coastal towns like Skagway and Ketchikan, and up the Inside Passage to see mountains and glaciers. Some itineraries even go as far north as Anchorage, or include a stop on Vancouver Island in British Columbia (my Alaskan cruise had us exploring beautiful Victoria, BC, for a day).
Cruise theme(s): Landscapes and wildlife are definitely the focus of most Alaskan cruises. You’ll see mountains and glaciers and maybe even whales and bears from the ship, and then will have the chance to get up close to all of them when you stop in port.
Ideal for: Couples, nature-lovers
Bonus location(s): Most Alaskan cruises begin in either Seattle or Vancouver, meaning you could add on a few days before or after your cruise to explore either of these awesome West Coast cities.
From the post: 3 North American Cruises to Consider
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