Summer is the most popular time for family vacations because the weather is great and the kids are out of school. However, due to the recession, many families may opt to travel here in the USA instead of taking cruises or going to an international destination. Here are four cities that kids and parents alike will love to visit.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a wonderful city. There are two theme parks to keep the kids busy: Sea World San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Next, the whole family will want to visit the Alamo, the famous fort where Texans fought against Santa Anna and his Mexican troops. For great shopping and terrific restaurants, check out the San Antonio Riverwalk. If you still have energy, check out the Historic Districts and Market Square. I highly recommend staying at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. It is a lodge style resort with its own golf course, “Ramblin’ River” (lazy river), two pools with waterfalls, whirlpools, many dining options, and gift shop. Guests can even borrow bicycles to ride on the property. This resort is gorgeous.
San Diego, California
As if the beautiful beaches weren’t enough to keep the family occupied, there is always Sea World and Legoland. Disneyland is about a two-hour drive north (more depending on traffic). Looking for great shopping? Check out the Village at nearby Carlsbad. Or, drive over to Coronado Island and visit the famous and immaculate Hotel Del Coronado (simply ‘hotel del’ to the locals). The hotel is more than 120 years old, and has been visited by eleven US Presidents, King Edward VIII of England (who later gave up the throne) and numerous celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Charles Lindbergh, L. Frank Baum, Thomas Edison and Babe Ruth. Lastly, if you have someone to watch the kids, head over to the Bernardo Winery and do some wine tasting.
If the beach just isn’t your thing, why not head to the mountains? Beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado offers a plethora of fun things to do for the whole family. In the winter season there is plenty of skiing to be done, or even going for a dog sled ride. But even in the summer there are fun activities. If you love shopping, you’ll love Historic Main Street Breckenridge, which has over 180 shops, boutiques and galleries. Take the family for a hot air balloon ride, or go ice skating in one of the two year round ice skating rinks. Hike up a mountain or go fly fishing, if your family enjoys outdoor activities. This is only the tip of the iceberg; visit 101 Things To Do in Breckenridge if you still need more ideas.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Yes, the beach is the obvious attraction, but there is a whole lot more to see and do in Myrtle Beach. Kids will love the Children’s Museum of South Carolina. If the carnival scene appeals to you, take the family to the Pavilion Nostalgia Park at Broadway at the beach for funnel cakes, corn dogs, rides and carnival games. Does the family love NASCAR? Visit the Nascar Speedpark, which features 7 exciting tracks, two miniature golf courses, kiddie rides, speed bumper boats, state of the art SpeedDome Arcade and more. Drive over to Georgetown, South Carolina and visit the Hopsewee Plantation, which was built before the Revolutionary War and still stands today. The house was the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Lastly, there are several water parks and amusement parks to keep the family busy too.
Wherever you travel to this summer, do your research in advance. Many cities offer a free visitor’s guide, which can typically be ordered online. Knowing the local attractions ahead of time will help make the vacation go smoother and be enjoyable for all members of your family. It also helps for budgeting purposes because you will know the fees for the attractions in advance.