The Best Family Vacation Destinations
By Stacy Lu
Traveling with the kids (and maybe even your parents) need not be a
compromise or a chore. Here, getaways for all generations.
If going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas Eve doesn’t
provide enough together time for your family (and how could it?), there’s a new
trend you may want to try. Increasingly, vacationers are including Grandma and
Grandpa on their summer getaways. The appeal is obvious: Active, healthy
seniors are eager to share fun times with the kids; overworked parents get to
relax with all their loved ones; youngsters revel in twice the attention; and
everybody gets to reconnect in a new setting, build even stronger bonds, and
create lifelong memories.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Then there’s the other possible
scenario: You and your husband trapped in an overcrowded hotel suite with
warring tweens and an overanxious mother-in-law. But don’t worry. Choosing the
right destination goes a long way toward guaranteeing that your
gang-of-all-ages will stay happy, excited, and entertained. Here, three
affordable, irresistible ideas for three-generation vacations that will delight
all your loved ones, young and old.
For most families, the secret of togetherness is spending several daytime
hours apart — and family camps and resorts are set up to let that happen, with
a smorgasbord of organized programs, day and night, generally all included in
the price of your stay. That means that as you plan, you should consider not
only what each of you likes to do, but what potential new areas you want to
explore — because if you’ve never tried snorkeling or water-skiing, this is
your big chance. Typically, you can also choose among a number of lodging and
dining options, giving your family even further flexibility to mix and match
until you create a getaway that will be great for everyone.
With family camps throughout the country (and beyond), the YMCA serves up
some of the best — and most affordable — sites for outdoor fun. Each camp is a
gem that makes the most of its natural setting — pristine lake, primeval
forest, unsullied beach — with comfy lodgings and a long list of
location-specific things to do that will swiftly and easily erase any
Perched in Missouri’s Eastern Ozarks, Trout Lodge overlooks the vast Sunnen
Lake, surrounded by acres of lush forest. There’s an activity for just about
every letter of the alphabet, from archery and horseback riding to trout
fishing and woodworking. The camp’s family-friendly accommodations include
buffet-style meals and suites in the main lodge, as well as adjoining
two-bedroom cabins that share a common room.
Other standout camps in the Y’s stable: Sandy Island by the crystal waters
of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire provides sailing lessons, water-skiing,
line dancing classes, and talent shows. The YMCA of the Adirondacks in Silver
Bay, NY, features rowing and kayaking, while Camp Nawakwa, in Lac du Flambeau,
WI, is located next to a Chippewa reservation where you can tour an original
Native American village.