Fave Five Summer Family Destinations
Fave Five Summer Family Destinations by Beth Feldman
Since I love to travel, I usually sit in front of my computer when I’m planning a trip and Google ‘Top 10 Family Destinations’ every time we’re about to start making reservations. What I’ve found over the years is that while those lists have been pretty helpful in pinpointing where I want to go, the best advice I always get is from my girlfriends who have been there, done that and are the best critics in the world if you want to know where to go with your brood this summer. So without further ado, here are my five fave family travel destinations.
1. Family Cruising
While some of my friends are not cruisers, I have to say that cruising with kids is the simplest way to go. I love the thought of taking my luggage, checking in and never having to take a flight to my final destination. My all time favorite summer trip was a seven day cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity Cruise lines. From top notch service, mouthwatering dishes, a great kid’s camp with a sleepover option that lasted until 2 am (I’m not even up that late) and of course, a beach retreat in Bermuda, this is by far the most relaxing vacation you can take. We’ve also traveled to the Western and Eastern Caribbean and love the experience of island hopping - some of my favorite islands include: St. Maarten, Curacao, Antigua, Ocho Rios and Turks and Caicos. Personally, I love that I can finally relax and read several books while lounging at the pool as my kids and hubby are kept busy with camp activities, rock climbing, all day buffets, dessert galore, the gym and even ice skating!
2. Pacific Coast Adventure
If you love the sun, sand and the open road, then nothing quite compares to renting a car and cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles all the way to San Francisco. Of course, don’t do it all in one shot. And if you have younger children, you may want to stick with Disneyland, Legoland, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. We happen to love San Diego; with their great resorts, La Jolla is beautiful and there is so much to do with kids. If your kids are older or you’re actually on a much needed getaway, then check into a cycling excursion through the California wine country.
3. The Best of New England
My family has seen and done it all in New England and if you have time to take a 10 day trip through the northeast, then here’s the ideal route for you. Your first stop should be Mystic, CT. Remember the film “Mystic Pizza” with Julia Roberts and Annabeth Gish? Well the real Mystic Pizza is in this quaint fishing village which also boasts the Mystic Aquarium - a must see for any family. Move on from Mystic to Cape Cod where you can stay with your family at the Red Jacket Inn Resorts -- a personal fave of my family (we’re partial to the s’mores and music at night). Then, take a day trip to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard and make sure to bring your beach towel.
- The Rhode Island Detour
Even though Rhode Island is one of the smallest states in the nation, don’t let it fool you. Some of the best summer vacation destinations can be found here. From Newport, where you can take a sailboat cruise or check out some of the most gorgeous mansions you will ever see, to Block Island for a relaxing trip filled with beaches, bike trails, restaurants and boating.
5. Camping Anyone? We are not the kind of family to totally rough it (scratch that, I’m not the kind of mom to ever rough it) but we’ve uncovered a few travel destinations where you can go back in time, feel like a camper again and enjoy spa treatments too. Some of those mom-approved family destinations include: Club Getaway (www.clubgetaway.com) in the Berkshires, Rocking Horse Ranch (www.rockinghorseranch.com) in Upstate New York, Woodloch Pines in the Poconos (http://www.woodloch.com/home/) and Smuggler’s Notch (www.smugglersnotch.com) in Vermont.