When most people think of National Parks, places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite might come to mind. But with over 417 park units making up the National Park system, you can find parks in all shapes and sizes, from National Memorials to National Seashores. In DC alone, there are currently 25 official National Park units, with another 22 in Virginia. While the National Mall and all the historic memorials should be at the top of your DC to-do list, the 4 places highlighted below are among my favorites, each offering something special. Here’s why you should consider adding one or two of them to your list next time you visit the DC area.
Imagine being locked in a small room with your family or friends, knowing you only have one hour to work as a team to figure out how to escape. That’s the premise behind escape rooms, one of the latest trends in family entertainment which have cropped up all over the country. The themes vary, ranging from detective style mysteries and spy missions, to high school detention classrooms and mental institutions. Most rooms are typically recommended for ages 10 and up, although some are geared towards older teens due to the nature of the room.
Fall is in the air, with clear blue skies and cooler temperatures throughout most of the U.S. If you are like me, schedules get busy and traveling slows down a bit. Spending a day or weekend at a state park is the perfect way to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather. While America’s state parks may not get as much media attention as their national park counterparts, their popularity has soared in recent years, recording over twice as many visitors in 2014 versus national parks. This is due largely to the accessibility of many parks, especially for day trips. For inspiration, I’ve reached out to fellow travel bloggers from around the country who have weighed in with some their favorites, each with a link to a blog post with more details. Check out these 8 gems and start planning a day or weekend fall family outing.
We all get excited when we are packing up our suitcases and heading out the door for vacation. But if you are like me, you hate the look your dog gives you every time you leave the house. So why not take them with you on your next weekend adventure? Luckily in the DC area and surrounding suburbs, there are many dog friendly spots, including several that are part of the national park system. So take a hike, a cruise on the Potomac River, have a picnic or just spend some time outdoors enjoying nature with your furry friend. Here are 4 adventures that have been dog tested for fun! And don't forget to bring lots of water and extra treats!
Tucked in the middle of the Florida Keys on Duck Key, you’ll find the family-friendly Hawks Cay Resort. It was the perfect spot for our family to relax for four nights on the second half of our Florida Keys vacation. What makes this resort so special? How about 5 pools, a saltwater lagoon, access to water sports, walking/bike paths, and daily activities, along with the popular Dolphin Connection program. Here’s what you need to know to have a great stay at Hawks Cay, especially with older teens.
So many things to do - it’s a tough decision to have to make when you visit Philadelphia. I’ve written several posts about Philly, but every time I go, I discover something new to share. Visitors to the city are overwhelmed just trying to cover some of the popular sites like Independence Hall and Reading Terminal Market. Summer brings plenty of outdoor activities like street festivals, outdoor music and movies, and more, in addition to all the amazing tourist attractions. But once you knock off the top 3 or 4 things on your list, consider one of these 5 unique attractions which you definitely won’t find anywhere else.
Of all the cities we have visited as a family, I have to say that I was most excited when we planned our Pacific Northwest vacation. Maybe it was the allure of traveling to a part of the US that I had never been. The city has so much to offer, with a number of attractions that are especially appealing to tweens and teens. We didn’t get to do all of these on our trip, but #7 and #8 are definitely on my list for next time. Read on to learn about ten fun ideas for visiting Seattle with teens.
San Francisco is an awesome city for so many reasons. Not only does the city offer unique opportunities such as riding on cable cars and walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, there are plenty of nearby places you can visit in a day trip. We spent several days in San Francisco during a California road trip and loved every minute of it. Here are some suggestions for all ages if you have 3 days to spend in the San Francisco area.
Want to take a family road trip but not sure where to go or how to plan? In honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, I’ve pulled together road trips highlights from familyTravelsUSA, including visits to many national parks. There are plenty of options no matter where you live. We’ve taken several “fly/drive” road trips, flying to our initial destination, then renting a car to explore. These trips have focused on different regions of the US, such as the 4 Corners area of the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. You might also consider mapping out a trip that covers destinations within a 3 or 4 hour drive from your home. As our kids got older, we started including more urban activities, visiting cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Looking back on our trips, it’s hard to pick a favorite, as they all hold special memories. Here are highlights of 6 trips, running in length from 4 days to 3 weeks, with links to the detailed posts containing suggested routes and activities. You can also visit the familyTravelsUSA Pinterest boards, filled with ideas and suggestions for topics including road trips, national parks, road food and much more. Summer is almost here, so start planning!
Looking for a fun place to spend the day with teenagers in the DC metro area? Head to the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It’s a great day trip option, and it was the perfect activity for us to do over spring break, since we hadn’t been to the aquarium in a number of years. Not only is it located right on the water, there is plenty of shopping as well as a variety of places to eat all around the harbor. Here are 3 reasons why teens will enjoy the aquarium.