Outdoor Vacation Spots | Articles and Reviews at Family Travel Blog

This unique, castle-esque property, with its turrets and gables, overlooks a pristine, mountain lake and has been enticing families to the Hudson Valle. The surrounding hills boast sweeping views of the Catskills, and can be explored on foot, mountain bike, horseback, or cross-country skis. From Thanksgiving to early spring, parents can wear the kids out before bed at the 9,700-square-foot ice rink meant for skating, broomball, and curling. When the weather warms, guests amble down to Lake Mohonk, a half-mile long, 60-foot-deep mountain lake, and enjoy swimming, boating, and fly-fishing. The surrounding Shawagunk Ridge (known fondly as “the Gunks”) is a favorite with rock climbers. On the hotel’s grounds, there’s a historic barn museum with local antiques and a heated pool. Look out for discounted kids travel packages, which are offered regularly throughout the year, and include meals and scheduled children’s programs.
A gondola lift system, dubbed Disney Skyliner, is under construction as of June 2018. The system’s three lines will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot with four resort hotels.[19] Completion is expected some time in 2019.
Guests with a Disney Resort reservation (excluding the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin) that arrive at Orlando International Airport can be transported to their resort from the airport using the complimentary Disney Magical Express service, which is operated by Mears Destination Services. Guests can also have their bags picked up and transported to their resort for them through a contract with BAGS Incorporated on participating airlines. Many resorts feature Airline Check-in counters for guests returning to the airport. Here their bags will be checked all the way through to their final destination and they can also have boarding passes printed for them. Some participating airlines are Delta, United, American, Jet Blue, Southwest and Alaska Airlines.
$40 million worth of Walt Disney Productions Convertible Debentures were sold in January 1968 to fund Disney World (WDW). The next year in February, an agreement was made with multiple labor unions, in which the unions exchanged the right to strike for regular pay increases during the first building phase.[CDW 6] By 1971, chairman of the Park Operations Committee and vice president of park operations Dick Nunis was appointed executive vice president of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.[21]
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Stretching over 3,000 acres of Virginia wilderness, Kingsmill Resort boasts its own long list of recreational activities, as well as close proximity to the fun found in nearby Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. Active families can enjoy the resort’s two 18-hole golf courses, 15 tennis courts and Sports Club, which features indoor and outdoor pools, exercise classes, personal trainers and a billiards and game room.
Tyler Place Resort’s formula for good, old-fashioned family fun features morning and evening children’s programs with afternoons free for families to bike, hike, canoe and sail together. Little ones fish for perch and play dress-up; preschoolers listen to stories and jump on trampolines; and grade-school kids go on nature hikes, participate in gymnastics and put on marionette shows. Tweens take to zip-lines and go on fishing trips while teens add bicycle trips and water skiing. The accommodations, whether in the resort’s Inn rooms or cabins, tend toward basic, but are comfortable. Kids and parents are separated at dinnertime, ensuring parents have time to relax, too.
Cruise ships and luxe lodges are familiar sights in western Greenland, but more recently, the untamed tundra of the east has begun opening up. Natural Habitat Adventures is leading the push: two seasons ago it debuted Base Camp Greenland, a seasonal eco-lodge comprising eight rustic but cozy tented cabins, which visitors use as a home base for exploring East Greenland by boat, helicopter, and on foot. When you’ve had enough of the wilderness, return to the western shore. Upscale additions there include the glamping retreat Camp Kiattua, which has tipi-like tents with fireplaces and fur-draped furnishings, and the new Ilimanaq Lodge, which feels like the Arctic’s answer to the overwater bungalow. Each of 15 Scandi-inspired cabins feature floor-to-ceiling windows and oceanfront terraces for whale-watching and iceberg-spotting. —Lila Battis
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On an eight-day trip with Un-Cruise, adventures include touching anemones in tide pools and looking at plankton kids have collected under the microscope. Movie nights and dance parties keep the group camaraderie going on board. Book the Inner Reaches Eastern Coves itinerary for access to harbor seals in Endicott Arm, humpbacks in Stephens Passage, and lessons in Tlingit and Haida culture.
History and nature lovers alike will appreciate the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. Explore the stunning waterfront architectural mansion grounds and stroll through the lush manicured gardens for a unique day trip to one of Florida’s historic landmarks.
This is the family-friendliest pick of the of the three Iberostar resorts on Montego Bay, with a kids’ club, water park, kids’ menus, and pull-out sofas in every room. The rooms are large enough to share with the kids, and the resort offers an awesome kids’ club with a water park, as well as a lazy river, an activities pool, and best of all, a rockin’ kids’ club with a water park, video game center, playground, pool, and arts and crafts. All-inclusive rates cover meals and drinks at the property’s six restaurants and six bars. Lucy’s Kids Club is free for kids ages four to 12, and has a (literally) cool water park, with a playground pool showered by fountains and a giant bucket that sprinkles water over the children as they play on slides and bridges. Babysitting is available for a fee.
This family-focused hotel set in a wing of a National Trust property caters well to under-10s. Like all members of the group, two free hours of crèche care are included in your stay (allowing you to wander the grounds or book into the spa), and the listening service means adults can dine solo while children snooze upstairs. Adults will enjoy gazing out over the Georgian rotunda and Capability Brown designed parkland. Children will relish exploring it – encountering sheep, secret gardens, lakes and countless trees for climbing. Read expert review
California’s sunny San Diego has tons of activities for families, with theme parks, water parks, kid-friendly museums, and 70 miles of beaches. The Go San Diego Card can be used for top attractions like the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the nearby Legoland California, harbor cruises, and museums in Balboa Park at a discount of up to 50 percent. Passes, which range from one to seven days, also include unlimited access to SeaWorld San Diego.
A family vacation creates memories that last a lifetime, and there’s no better place to take the kids than to one of these “Family-Friendly” resorts. From children and teen clubs to waterparks and movies on the beach, each of these properties offer exceptional activities and amenities for families at an incredible value. Everyone will have a blast! Not to mention, the dining options are tremendous and offer a wide variety of cuisine – perfect for picky eaters! It’s time to pack up the family and create some unforgettable memories at these beachfront retreats!
If the children are too young to care that the famous golfing duel in Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, was filmed here, they can find plenty of other advantages, from a well-equipped games room, outdoor play area, mini football pitch, dedicated times in the pool, tennis lessons and special fitness classes to children’s menus in all three restaurants. In the bedrooms, expect to find activity packs, themed bed linen and personalised cookies at bedtime. Babysitting is also available. Read expert review
Your most difficult task will be choosing which of the dozens of family attractions to try, from a wax museum to a world records hall to dinner theaters, roller coasters and even “Goats on the Roof.” Nature will also be luring you to Smoky Mountain trails and overlooks, so no matter how many days you can spend in Pigeon Forge, they will all be full.
The New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom opened on December 6, 2012. It is the biggest upgrade to the theme park since its opening in 1971.[59] Announced along with its new Star Wars Land expansion at the D23 Expo on August 15, 2015, Hollywood Studios was slated to have a version of Toy Story Land.[60]
Weekend on the Beach: Weekend trips that include relaxing on the beach are always a good idea. Visit the Florida Keys where you can check into one of the island resorts or explore fun attractions and restaurants in Key West. During the summer, many lake and ocean beaches are within driving distance on the East Coast, West Coast, the South and Midwest. During the warmer season it’s easy to plan a day trip or an affordable overnight stay. In the winter, inexpensive vacation spots may be harder to find and you may have to take a plane to get to a tropical beach in South Florida, Hawaii or the Caribbean.
Most of the royal wedding excitement will have settled down, and warmer weather will arrive in July. It’s the perfect time to take an open-top bus tour or stroll through Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens. Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence, opens its staterooms for tours on July 21, the beginning of only 10 weeks when visitors are permitted inside. The Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Palace should be on every visitor’s agenda as well. Wimbledon, London’s prestigious tennis tournament, begins on July 2 for two weeks of world class tennis and tradition, including the time-honored strawberries and cream. July events also include the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the largest annual flower show in the world. Music fans will enjoy Lovebox at Gunnersbury Park, British Summertime in Hyde Park, All Points East in Victoria Park, and more.
Where should we go? Pick the best family trip ideas based on the interests of everyone in your group. The age of the children and how well they travel in a car or a plane will determine whether you will be checking into a nearby resort, taking a flight to a Caribbean island or going on a family trip to Europe. Other equally important considerations when picking the best kids vacations are budget, how long is your vacation and what type of a destination your family finds the most exciting and fun. Babies and toddlers will be happy crawling around a sandy beach and carrying a bucket of water from the ocean all day long. Older kids will need more entertainment, however, everyone is generally happy and relaxed next to the water, whether that’s a lake or the Pacific Ocean. Keep reading for more best family vacations.
“This adorable house was very comfortable and had every amenity needed for a family vacation. Everything was close by, from amazing restaurants to cute shops, and of course the beach. I was impressed at how quickly we were able to get to Disneyland and down the coast to Newport Beach.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
New York offers some other unique walks that won’t cost a dime. One adventure not to be missed is the 1.3 mile walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, high above the East River with endless panoramas of the skyscrapers of Wall Street and Lower Manhattan. The photos will be your favorite souvenirs.
Whether you’re after heart-stopping adventure, a close-up look at history, or the perfect meal, these are the 50 best destinations to discover in 2018. If you already know where you’re going, share your plans with us on social media with #TLBestPlaces.
Where do we go on the East Coast? During the summer months, visit the scenic coast of Maine, stay at a family resort in Vermont, take a trip to New Hampshire, relax on the beach in Cape Cod and enjoy other family vacation spots. Visit the museums of New York, Boston and Philadelphia, dine a family-friendly restaurants, and watch outdoor theater performances with older children. In the winter, plan a ski trip that will let your kids learn how to downhill ski, cross-country ski or snowboards at a New England mountain resort such as Stowe, Killington or Sugarbush.
The only city in America to have been ruled under eight flags, there’s quite a bit to cover, and this history museum of Florida does it perfectly with traveling presentations that enhance permanent exhibits on historic preservation, Spanish missions, a Timucuan village, the Civil War, Florida railroad, local history and legendary Floridians. ameliamuseum.org
Guests climb stairs, ladders, even a 90-foot-long suspension bridge. At the Swiss Family Complex, a swinging bridge separates child and adult units, and a fire pole and rope swings provide kids with ground access. Luxury lovers will enjoy the Tree Room Schoolhouse Suite, which fits four and has a bathroom, kitchenette, master bedroom, sitting area and loft. Fun perks include lessons in treehouse building, horseback riding, rafting, ropes courses, pools and arts and crafts classes.
The Whitewater rafting on Kicking Horse River, in Banff, is awesome. Choose from a variety of family packages; options include passes to Banff Hot Springs, a ride on a gondola for a 350-degree view of Sulphur Mountain and the Canadian Rockies; a canoe ride or a tour of a grizzly bear refuge. Packages can also include certified rafting guides and equipment. Kicking Horse, which flows from a glacial lake, is considered one of the most exciting whitewater runs in the Canadian Rockies, with a drop of about 50 feet about every 6/10 of a mile.  You’ll enjoy stunning scenery as you journey down this Canadian Heritage River. 
Picking the right location to travel to during the busy summer season can make all the difference when it comes to saving money. (There are also many ways to save while on your trip, like pre-packing snacks and making a stop at a local grocery store so you can make some of your own meals.)

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