Where is Your Perfect Family Vacation?
3 easy steps to choosing the best family vacation in North America this summer
WHEN IT COMES TO SUMMER VACATION….
Bring the heat ——> Sand or Sea?
Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Zion
Ask your kids what they know about the desert, and they’ll probably tell you two things: It’s hot, and there’s no shade or water anywhere. Imagine, then, how shocked they’ll be as they splash along freshwater stream beds; slither through cool, shoulder-width slot canyons; and duck in and out of the shadows cast by 1,000-foot sandstone hoodoos. Bike, inner tube, sand-surf and ride donkeys through three of the most unique national parks in the United States.
SEA – PACIFIC
San Juan Islands
You might assume the Pacific Northwest is cool this time of year, but the San Juans sit in a banana-belt microclimate where daytime temperatures are surprisingly warm. This itinerary strikes a balance between culture (exploring an 1800’s British settlement from the ‘Pig War’ and marveling at the masks and totem poles at the Royal British Columbia Museum) and adventure (sea kayaking among Orca whales and swimming in hot spring pools under waterfalls to satisfy all tastes.
Wildlife sightings range from the river otters and harbor seals in Clayoquot Sound to black bears in Tofino. Think vacations should include a little R&R? How about soaking in natural hot springs and indulging in local wines and fresh oysters? Yep, you’ll do that too.
GOTTA COOL OFF ——> MOUNTAINS OR OCEAN?
MOUNTAINS ——> Grizzly Bears or Black Bears?
Alaska Family Journey
If your kids are happiest when they have dirt on their soles and in their fingernails, you’ll be a harmonious family after hiking through temperate rain forests, hand-tramming yourselves across the deep Winner Creek Gorge and frolicking on the ice of Chugach glaciers. Get within a paddle’s reach of sea otters, puffins, sea lions and other wildlife as you sea kayak glacier-fed waters. Culinarily speaking: fresh Alaskan salmon and halibut, just minutes out of the water.
Canadian Rockies or Montana
The sounds of silence? You’ll find them high in Glacier National Park or the Canadian Rockies. The cool, summer mountain air is unpolluted by traffic noise, ringing cell phones and your kids’ dinging video games. At night, the lack of light pollution means you’ll gaze upon a blanket of stars that seem to outnumber the pine trees. Enjoy hikes on wildflower-trimmed trails, around alpine lake shores and even on frozen glaciers. Scenic gondola rides, a whitewater rafting adventure or horseback riding offer respite for weary legs.
OCEAN – ATLANTIC
Lobster tastes especially sweet when it arrives at your table just minutes from the ocean. And your appreciation grows even deeper when you sail on a traditional wooden ketch past iconic lighthouses and watch the fishermen hauling in their catch. Maritime life permeates Canada’s east coast. Step right into it—and back in time—whether by roaming the picturesque and historic streets of the country’s earliest settlements or paddling a canoe like the native Mi’kmaqs did.