Sometimes a family vacation means roller coasters, magical kingdoms or movie studio tours.
Those can be fun.
But there really is nothing quite like experiencing the amazing sights, sounds and general wonder that nature offers us with those we love. And there are plenty of places in North America to make that happen.
Places like …
Out ‘n About Treesort, Southwestern Oregon
Trees + resort … you get it!
Here’s a destination that would make a tree dweller like Tarzan proud.
Fifteen tree houses make up Out ‘n About, located on Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountain range … yes, we said tree houses!
They range from a gazebo 37 feet aloft and accessible only by a canopy walkway to the “Swiss Family Complex,” with separate units for adults and kids and your choice of exit: sliding down a fire pole or swinging from a rope.
Boulders Edge, Southeastern Ohio
Here you get to choose your family’s early American experience: A Native American tepee (sleeps up to eight) or in an authentic log cabin.
Either way, you are in for an experience like no other. This area of southeastern Ohio known for its spectacular sandstone formations.
Boulders Edge, is close to Hocking Hills State Park for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, zip-lining, and … just try to find this anywhere else … tumbling down the hills in a giant inflatable ball.
Whitewater Rafting, West Virginia
Are your teens (or tweens or youngsters) nature-challenged?
Are they Facebooking and texting their lives away?
Well, the incredible thrill of whitewater rafting is guaranteed to get their attention!
No one gets bored on a rafting trip on the “Beast of the East,” the nickname for West Virginia’s Gauley River, which boasts the most intense whitewater rafting east of the Mississippi.
But don’t worry about shocking their systems … for the younger set there’s the nearby New River, which flows slower in the upper sections as it cuts through a gorgeous 1,000-foot-deep gorge and passes beneath a steel-arch bridge.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Montana’s Glacier National Park is an unforgettable family memory just waiting for you to experience it!
Introduce the kids to the stunning vistas, more than 200 lakes, 175 named mountains, and 40 glaciers, all tucked within one million acres of natural beauty. Yes, that was one MILLION.
Classic historically accurate boats glide across the alpine lakes, and venture down the wild and scenic Middle and North Forks of the Flathead River.
Biking, boating, horseback rides, fishing, cross-country skiing, camping … what’s your pleasure?
But be warned … like any great family adventure, it can be overwhelming. Be sure to plan your favorite activities in advance.
Great Smoky Mountains Road Trip, Tennessee and North Carolina
What says “family vacation” better than a road trip?
(Okay, those National Lampoon road trip vacation movies featuring the Griswolds weren’t exactly all fun … but this one will be, we promise.)
First a fact we’ll bet you didn’t know: The Great Smoky Mountains ranks as America’s most popular national park … really!
On a family drive through the peaks, valleys and passes, your family will encounter more than 1,600 varieties of plants, trees and flowers.
Are they more the wildlife aficionados? There are plenty of deer, elks and black bears throughout the park’s half million acres.