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The Best Family Vacation Destinations

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FAMILY-FIRST RESORTS continued...

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.

Details: Summer room rates at Trout Lodge are $149 per night for one adult; each additional adult is $59. Kids 6 through 17 are $49; 5 and under are free. Includes all meals and most activities.

To book: For Trout Lodge, call 888-386-9622 or go to ymcaoftheozarks.org. Browse the offerings at ymca.net to find a camp near you or in a locale you’d like to visit.

Summer at a Ski Resort

With spectacular scenery, luxurious amenities, and a full roster of fun (which may include such kid thrillers as tubing on a waterslide, bungee bouncing, and balloon rides), the slopes make just as great a getaway when they’re sunny, warm, and snow-free — and the price is often much lower. Take Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont, where, as the grown-ups linger over a leisurely breakfast, the kids can hop onto the resort’s free shuttle bus bound for skate camp, theater workshops, or one of four water parks. Alternatively, some combination of adults can join little ones in building a toy sailboat or taking a guided nature walk while the rest of the party quaffs cocoa or cocktails at the lodge. At night, the resort hosts live performances, movies, bonfires, and a genuine Vermont country fair, featuring games of all kinds, food stands, and local musicians.

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