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The 8 Best Family Vacation Destinations in the US. Summer is right around the corner. While we may be sticking closer to home this year, that doesn’t mean the adventures have to stop. Why not make this the summer that you and your family explore the wild, rugged beauty of America?
From the hoodoos of Bryce to the slot canyons of Zion and the abundant wildlife of Yellowstone and Grand Teton, a world of adventure awaits you and your family. No international flights or passports needed.
Let’s explore the top eight best family vacation destinations in the US to visit this summer.
1. “Go West” in New Mexico’s Vermejo Park
Embrace the romance of the “Wild West” at Vermejo Park, located in northeastern New Mexico. Immerse yourself in the rugged landscapes of this 55,000-acre ranch, complete with 30 miles of streams, 19 lakes, and diverse wildlife.
Head out on a mountain biking adventure where you’ll enjoy the fresh mountain air of the early morning and the sights and sounds of the reserve. Keep your eyes open for majestic elk, deer, and the other animals who frequent the reserve’s hillsides and meadows.
“Cowboy up” during a horseback riding and fishing expedition. Participate in a “geocaching” adventure where you’ll discover old mines, historic cabins, ancient adobe ruins, and cemeteries lost to time. Vermejo remains one of the best vacation destinations in the US because of its artful combination of rugged adventure and pampered luxury.
2. Nature Triumphant in Yosemite National Park
In 1899, John Muir wrote of Yosemite, “Nowhere will you see the majestic operations of nature more clearly revealed beside the frailest, most gentle and peaceful things. Nearly all the park is a profound solitude.” Once you visit, you’ll understand why Muir felt so passionate about preserving this gorgeous cross-section of the Sierra Nevada.
The heart of Yosemite National Park remains its incredible waterfalls. Among the most impressive is Yosemite Falls, which plunges a breathtaking 2,425 feet (739 meters). There’s also Sentinel Fall, a long series of cascades plummeting 2,000 feet (609 meters) and Bridalveil Fall at 620 feet (188 meters). If you’re up for the adventure, Yosemite’s also an excellent place to learn how to rock climb or test your skills.
From the regal Giant Sequoias of Mariposa Grove to the panoramic vistas afforded at Tunnel View, it’s hard not to fall in love with this slice of American wilderness, just like Muir.
3. Go Wild in Yellowstone National Park
Known as the Serengeti of North America, Yellowstone National Park teams with some of the most iconic animals to ever roam North America, from herds of bison to elk, deer, bears, and wolves. It also boasts thousands of geothermal features, including ever-punctual Old Faithful and the impossibly-hued Grand Prismatic Spring.
Kayak Yellowstone Lake, the largest high elevation lake in North America at a whopping 7,733 feet (2,357 meters) above sea level. Boasting the largest wild cutthroat trout populations in North America, scientists still puzzle over how a Pacific Ocean fish ended up trapped in a lake that drains to the Atlantic. Your family can go on a hunt for clues to solve this biological mystery.
Of course, no visit to the park would be complete without a hike around the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Carved down more than 1,000 feet by the Yellowstone River, the canyon epitomizes the park’s complex geologic history in its dramatic shapes and colors.
4. Sublime Experiences in the Grand Canyon
If you’re after infinite expanses, colorful geology, and rich cultural legacy, look no further than the Grand Canyon. Get lost in the park’s scenic vistas at the South Rim. Then, learn about the profound Native American connection to the area.
Take family photos, explore the park’s abundant flora and fauna, and discover the historic Kolb Brothers’ Studio. This one-of-a-kind structure was built in 1905 beneath the canyon rim by the pioneering brothers who documented the area’s history through photographs. As you explore the park’s many treasures, you’ll quickly realize why the Grand Canyon remains one of the top travel destinations in the US. Besides daytime exploration of the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, you’ll find plenty to
marvel at by night. Stargazing in this part of the Southwest comes with incredible views due to Arizona’s pristine night skies and low humidity. Get ready to see the Milky Way Galaxy in all its glory, a stunning kaleidoscope of millions of stars.
5. Bewitched by Bryce Canyon National Park
The term “hoodoo” in geology refers to tall, skinny shafts of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins. Commonly found in Badlands region of the Northern Great Plains and the Colorado Plateau, they are a fascinating geological phenomenon. The word “hoodoo” means to bewitch, and that’s just what the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon will do to you and your family on a visit.
This Utah gem contains the largest concentration of hoodoos anywhere on the planet. The result? An otherworldly landscape that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a Dr. Seuss book. Adventures abound in Bryce, but our favorite remains canyoneering, a combination of hiking, scrambling, rappelling, and wading through canyon pools.
6. Epic Escape to Zion National Park
Zion National Park remains one of the best travel destinations in the US for families on the go! It boasts epic landscapes carved over the millennia by the Virgin River. On the plateau above the canyon rim, you may see sego lilies, Greenleaf manzantina, and fir flourishing. The great destroyer and creator of this landscape, the river, gives life to the boxelder, singleleaf ash, and Fremont cottonwood that shade its banks.
Great blue herons and canyon treefrogs congregate in its waters, and yellow-bellied marmots, elk, and black bears venture down for occasional drinks. At the lower elevations, vegetation gives way to impressive sandstone cliffs in vibrant hues of ivory, pink, and burgundy. Explore the park’s impressive slot canyons, the epitome of the American Southwest’s rustic grandeur. Varying in appearance and size, some are like finely polished jewels, the result of millennia of wind and water. Others are but narrow slivers between abutting canyon walls.
7. Safari in Grand Teton National Park
Go wild on a safari through Grand Teton National Park. Depart in the early morning to catch animals when they’re most active. Predators you may see include grizzly bears and black bears as well as wolves and coyotes. Observe herds of bison, moose, bighorn sheep, and mule deer. Overhead, catch glimpses of golden eagles, bald eagles, and trumpeter swans soaring.
Enjoy a rafting tour of the Snake River. Savor a ten-mile scenic float through Grand Teton National Park where you’ll have endless chances to see wildlife (e.g., river otters, ospreys, and bald eagles) and learn about the Snake River Canyon’s rich geological history. Tour the park on a horseback ride, or opt for a hot air balloon experience above the Teton Valley.
8. “California Dreaming” in Terranea
Are you ready to turn your “California Dreams” into a vibrant reality? Less than an hour from sunny Los Angeles, escape to the exclusive beachside getaway of Terranea. Situated on the Pacific coastline, get ready for spectacular ocean views and endless luxury amenities.
Terranea includes a sea salt conservatory, which produces the region’s signature sea salt using the waters of the Pacific. This salt, in turn, helps to cure locally cultivated and harvested kelp. During a Sea Salt Harvest Workshop, savor a unique sea salt and kelp tasting paired with farm- fresh produce and signature crafted bites. Sample ONEHOPE sparkling wines while learning about the resort’s harvesting process.
Of course, seaside life also comes with plenty of unforgettable adventures that your kids will love. One of our favorites? Kayaking along the Terranea coastline through the Catalina Channel’s famous underwater reserve.
The Best Family Vacation Destinations in the US
Whether you opt for the “Wild West” in Vermejo Park, the sublime natural beauty of national parks, or “California Dreaming” in Terranea, get ready for one-of-a-kind travel experiences at the best family vacation destinations in the US.
At Global CommUnity, we offer luxury family vacations to over 25 global destinations. Each customized itinerary comes in both 4- and 5-star price points. Your family will enjoy opportunities to interact with a destination’s culture and people in profound ways. Explore Global CommUnity’s itineraries now and open the door to an exciting world of luxury family travel possibilities.