The Best Family Vacation Destinations
SHARE A SHIP continued...
Helm a Houseboat
Steer your own personal home through the quiet coves and rippling lakes of Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Amazingly, no sailing experience is necessary: You’ll receive easy-to-follow maps and instructions well before you step on board a houseboat from Voyagaire, one of the area’s renters. Boats are generally equipped with full kitchens, bathrooms, grills, and (just as essential) a swim slide — and many have air-conditioning and hot tubs. All provide safety features such as radios and life jackets, and you can opt to have the outfitter deliver whatever supplies you need daily.
Other idyllic locations for houseboating? Try Utah’s Lake Powell, ringed with red rock formations and soft sand beaches, or Dale Hollow Lake on the border between Tennessee and Kentucky, which offers some of the nation’s best bass fishing.
Details: Price for a Voyagaire boat with five double beds is $485 daily, $2,425 weekly. Good Housekeeping readers receive free linen service.
To book: For Voyagaire, call 800-882-6287 or go to houseboatvacation.com. For houseboats in other areas, visit lakepowell.com and dalehollowlake.com.
Travel on a Tall Ship
Love the romantic many-masted ships of yore? Sail back in time with the Maine Windjammer Association, 12 privately owned tall ships that supply an authentic New England seafaring experience (as well as a crew to do the serious sailing — good news for landlubbers). The company’s oldest vessel was built in 1871, and seven are registered as National Historic Landmarks. These beautiful boats are almost entirely wind powered, so get in the spirit and leave your cell phones and laptops at home. You’ll find yourself hauling lobster traps and sails, tying knots, fishing, and seal spotting as you sail the quiet paradise of Penobscot Bay. When you go ashore, explore fishing harbors and tidal pools and savor an authentic Maine lobster bake before heading back to the boat to bunk down by lamplight on board.
Details: Cruises carry between six and 40 and run three to six nights from May through October; prices are about $150 per day per person and include all meals and activities. Children must be 5 or older. Age restrictions and activities vary by boat: Ask in advance.
To book: Call 800-807-9463 or visit sailmainecoast.com.