When planning a family vacation, it can be difficult to find a destination and organize family activities that everyone will enjoy. Luckily my family enjoys the great outdoors so we can easily plan trips that keep the entire family happy.
My kids developed a love for nature while staying at an outdoor boarding school in New Hampshire one summer. Here they discovered a love for hiking, white water rafting and rock climbing. Since then we have organized vacations that center on adventure sports and hiking and these trips have been fantastic for family bonding and building memories that will last a lifetime.
And thanks to my wife’s enrollment in an online university we have a new found flexibility and so can travel whenever our kids are on vacation time. We have had some phenomenal trips experiencing some of the best in nature that the US has to offer.
Here are our top 5 favorite US outdoors and family friendly destinations:
The Grand Canyon
One of the world’s most famous natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is located in the heart of the Arizonan desert. A beautiful and awe-inspiring canyon carved by the Colorado River, this far-reaching site is on many people’s bucket lists. If you do go here, make sure you plan to spend the whole day as the Canyon is absolutely huge and you will want to spend a decent time to truly grasp its sheer size and wonder. We were completely blown away by the Grand Canyon and highly recommend it.
This Northern California destination is one of the most stunning and widely visited National Parks in all of California. Famed for its granite cliffs, tall waterfalls and snowy winters, Yosemite is a very family friendly vacation choice. We love skiing and snowboarding in Yosemite in the winter and during the summer it is great for hiking trips. There are plenty of camping sites and picnic tables throughout the park, so save money and bring your camping gear and own food and skip on the local often pricy accommodations and restaurants.
Everyone should explore a Hawaiian island at least once in their lifetime, and Honolulu is a great one to start off with. A beautiful island known for its warm hospitality, there is plenty here to keep every member of the family entertained. My wife and I enjoyed the jet skis while my kids had a great time snorkeling and horseback riding along the sandy beaches. Avoid peak summer times as the beach can get jam packed. We vacationed here in the winter and relished in the virtually deserted beaches and slashed accommodation prices.
Another epic National Park, Yellowstone is the first National Park in all of America. Primarily located in Wyoming, this gigantic park also borders Idaho and Montana. As well as its natural beauty, Yellowstone also boasts much indigenous wildlife such as wolves, bison, elks, lynx, bears, deer and mountain lions. We love hiking through the park and marveling at its natural geysers. Just make sure you bring your camera, as you will want to take snapshots that will capture family memories you will cherish forever.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you are a family of beach bums, you can’t go wrong with Fort Lauderdale. One of Florida’s sandiest and most popular beaches, Fort Lauderdale is great for water sports or just for sunbathing. We tried scuba diving here and had an amazing time seeing all the fishes and even swam with some dolphins! As with Honolulu, this beach destination can get unbearably busy in the summer months, so you will probably want to schedule your vacation during off season periods of the year.
These are 5 of my family’s personal favorite picks for US outdoors adventure vacations but of course there are many more epic places that aren’t on the list. Make sure you explore your options online before you pick a place to visit and stay. The best deals and advice can often be found online so don’t forget to do some online research before you book. Happy Travels!