Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Located high in the mountains of Colorado, the small town of Glenwood Springs offers some fantastic outdoor adventures for families.
We rented some mountain bikes, got a ride 25 miles up the valley and rode our bikes back to Glenwood Springs along a bike path that parallels the Colorado River. It was truly a specular ride and one of the nicest days we have spent with our kids.
After a day of mountain activities we soaked in the natural hot springs (a little smelly, but good for your muscles after riding all day), that made Glenwood Springs famous.
Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, Texas
The biggest and most advanced water theme park in the world! This place is amazing. Schlitterbahn has water slides and tube rides that go for 45 minutes non-stop, there is a water lift that allows you to keep riding without getting out of the water. There are fast adrenalin rides, roller-coaster water slides, slow family rides and heaps of slides in-between for everyone to enjoy. All the water used at Schlitterbahn is fresh, taken directly from the Comal River and returned again to the river, very unique indeed. I would recommend at least 2 full days at Schlitterbahn.
The small town of Moab is surrounded by some of the most magnificent natural scenery you can imagine from the high mountains in the distance (in Colorado mind you), to the red buttes, deserts and rivers all within a short drive from the heart of town.
Use Moab as a base to explore nearby Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, the Green and Colorado Rivers. It’s also an easy drive to see the wonders of Monument Valley on the border of Utah and Arizona as well as the archaeologist sight of Mese Verde in Colorado. Our family’s pick for best National Park near Moab would easy by Arches National Park, as the rock formations are so unique and desert scenery with the red buttes so spectacular.
Fun and educational! As the capital of America its home to some of the best museums and monuments in the world and they are almost all free to see. The standout museums for us were the Natural History Museum (full of dinosaurs), National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History (great collection of Americana).
We also spent time exploring the National Mall, White House (from the outside), and Capitol as well as the imposing Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. Make sure you spend at least 4 full days exploring Washington D.C. and bring your good walking shoes, as you will need them.
Redwoods, Northern California
The largest living things on earth, the giant redwoods are almost spiritual!
Explore the remaining groves around the small town of Eureka in Northern California. Make sure you drive on the famous “Avenue of the Giants”, visit Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Redwood National Parks. But don’t just drive, get out of your car and take one of the many walking trails to get close and personal with these living giants.
The coastline in the part of the world is also very rugged and nice to see.
Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida
There is no place like Disneyworld with its 4 major theme parks, 2 water parks, 20 odd amazing resorts….how could you go wrong?!?
Spend at least a week at Disneyworld and make sure you stay in one of the Disney owned and themed resorts onsite. Our family favourite is the Wilderness Lodge.
Disneyworld is especially fun leading up to Christmas time.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Historic Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown are both living museums showcasing how life was like in colonial America. There are actors walking around in period costumes, doing activities that they would have done in the past like handicraft, building, farming and general living as if they were still in the 1600 and 1700’s, great for the kids to see and experience this.
A few hours’ drive from Colonial Williamsburg is the impressive Monticello, President Thomas Jefferson’s plantation house. The gardens surrounding the house are outstanding, especially in spring or autumn.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The most celebrated ‘hole’ in the world… at 277 miles long, 10 miles wide and over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is extraordinary in every way. Do some of the walking trails along the rim and then watch the sunset over the canyon as the colours change as the sun goes down. Mother Nature at her finest!
Hollywood and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
These days every kid seems to want to be a celebrity and there is no better place to see this crazy world than in Los Angeles and in particular Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
Make sure you take the “stars homes” tour so you can see how the rich and famous live, shop and entertain. Also, don’t forget to do some window shopping on Rodeo Drive.
New York, New York
The heartbeat of the world, New York City is a must for everyone at least once in their lives.
For families it is an exciting destination to visit as there is so much to see and do. Explore the famous shops on 5th Avenue, the Statue of Liberty, go to the top of the Empire State Building, watch an ice hockey game at Madison Square Gardens, eat pizza in Little Italy, go to a Jewish Deli for a massive sandwich, see a Broadway show, go biking in Central Park, and visit any of the world class museums and art galleries – the list goes on and on!
Spend at least a week in New York City, you certainly won’t be bored.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming
Hidden out west on the frontier are two of the most spectacular national parks America has to offer. Yellowstone National Park is bursting with bears, bison, elk and other wildlife as well as geysers, lakes, fast flowing rivers and massive waterfalls.
50 kilometres to the south you will fine Grand Teton National Park, with its mountain peaks (over 4000 metres high), beautiful lakes and rivers. We stayed in a lodge with no tv and internet, great for the kids to experience nature without these modern interruptions.
These are just some of our favourite (… and our girls favourite) places to visit in the USA! It’s a wonderfully easy destination to visit, no matter in which direction you’re headed.