With American theme park holidays being a popular “Go to” for younger families, many parts of the US can be overlooked. We asked Jessica Thiefels from American online magazine “CarpeDaily”, to tell us more on what we might be missing in these alternative American family holidays –
“When you’re planning a kid-friendly vacation somewhere in the U.S., Disney World or Universal Studios are likely to come up first in conversation. While both of these destinations are crowd-pleasers, there’s a whole country of hidden gems outside the “theme park bubble” just waiting to be explored. This year, instead of another predictable US trip to Orlando, experience these off-the-beaten-path destinations with remarkable scenery and fun activities for the entire family.
Treehouse Dwelling in Cave Junction, Oregon
Nestled in 36 acres of wilderness fringing the Siskiyou National Forest, this quirky compound is like no other vacation rental for one simple fact—it’s suspended above ground. If you’re heading to the Pacific Northwest, be sure to visit the Out ‘n About Treesort near Oregon’s rugged southern coast. This four-star resort in the canopies is ideal for adventurous families who prefer being surrounded by nature. With hiking and horseback riding trails, whitewater rafting tours, music festivals, crafting lessons and a variety of zipline courses, the entertainment options will satisfy both kids and parents alike.
Deep Sea Fishing in Destin, Florida
This region of Florida is known as the Emerald Coast for its turquoise waters and powdery sands. The beachfront town of Destin, in Florida’s panhandle, isn’t just for working on that summer tan. Destin is an active community home to world-class outdoor sports, most specifically: deep sea fishing. And don’t worry, it’s fun for all ages and no experience is necessary. For ocean loving families who want a memorable, unique and off-the-grid excursion, climb aboard a deep sea fishing charter as part of your Destin beach getaway. “This is more than just a saltwater fishing trip. It’s a time when lifelong bonds are created between family members,” suggest fishing experts from Charter Fishing Destin. You’ll be given instructions for how to dress and what to bring when you sign up for a full or half-day trip, ensuring you and your kids have everything they need to have fun in the sun.
Historic Sightseeing in Williamsburg, Virginia
This Southern town transports you to colonial America at its most nostalgic, with patriot soldiers marching on cobblestone streets and cozy taverns serving up 18th-century fare. Families who venture into Williamsburg aren’t tourists passing through—they become citizens of the Revolutionary Era back when schooners floated in the harbor, church bells echoed in the distance, and blacksmiths labored in their shops. If your children have an interest in history, this town will whisk them beyond the pages of a textbook. They’ll be right in the action for an authentic taste of life in the New World.
Dude Ranching in Tucson, Arizona
Flanked by diverse landscapes of the Rincon Mountains and Sonoran Desert, this premier Arizona dude ranch offers deluxe amenities in a Wild West ambiance. The Tanque Verde Ranch is considered one of the top-ten resorts in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler, and is both an oasis of leisure and a center of activity. Kids will love riding horseback through rows of cacti and you’ll appreciate unwinding by the pool while looking at striking mountain views. There’s something to occupy all the ranchers in your crew, making it an ideal family holiday—and one that feels extra American thanks to its cowboy feel.
Bike Riding in Mackinac Island, Michigan
Situated between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, this quaint island is an invitation to unplug from the hurried pace of everyday life. No vehicles are permitted within the borders of Mackinac Island, creating an old-fashioned charm that’s hard to find anywhere else. In fact, the only modes of transportation are bike rentals and horse-drawn carriages. Biking is also a main attraction on the island with 70 miles of paved and rocky trails. Cruise along the shores of Lake Huron, pedal through wooded bluffs and cruise past Victorian mansions with the whole family—and your camera—in tow.
Before purchasing theme park tickets and setting your sites on Orlando, consider a getaway at one of these lesser-known—but equally entertaining—destinations. Both kids and kids-at-heart alike are guaranteed to create memories of a lifetime. Take a vacation from the ordinary—mouse ears and pixie dust not included.”
If Jessica hasn’t convinced you to cast the net out a little further than Orlando or Disney when planning that next holiday stateside, then nothing will. Whether you’re planning a family trip to Disney or Dubai this year, don’t forget your travel insurance. We have great value family travel insurance policies on our website where kids go free!