Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Great Vacation Destinations for Families With Older Children

It’s time to plan for a family vacation. Your kids are teenagers, however, so places like Disneyland are no longer an option. It is thus time to consider possibilities like the following.

National Park

The US is home to over 60 national parks, and they all have their attractions. Some, like Yellowstone or Grand Canyon, are justly famous, while others are less well-known. While hiking and camping are common activities, some parks offer other choices. For example, Acadia National Park in Maine is a good choice for sailors. The Everglades National Park is home to over 300 bird species, and visitors can enjoy airboat tours. Indiana Dunes, the newest national park, was established in 2019. It has a variety of ecosystems that are home to over 1,400 plant species.


Cruises offer many possibilities – and you don’t always have to travel in the ocean. Authentic paddlewheel boats carry travelers up and down the Mississippi River, for example. Ocean-going cruise ships carry travelers to destinations like the Caribbean, Hawaii, or Alaska. The ships themselves provide a variety of activities and entertainments. They also have amenities like swimming pools, restaurants, and fitness centers. Many ships have kids’ clubs for youngsters up to 17 years old, and many provide activities for college-age kids who aren’t old enough to drink.

Hunting Lodge

Hunting is another way to enjoy nature, regardless of whether you are going duck or blackbuck antelope hunting. A hunting lodge can offer everything a hunter needs for a successful trip, starting with access to the game. Many lodges provide guides, meals, and sleeping areas. Hunting lodges can range from the rustic to the luxurious, and the latter may provide activities for any non-hunters in the family like fishing or horseback riding.

History Tour

Is there a history buff in the family? Consider a history tour aimed at their favorite period. Many cities have been around for centuries and have accumulated fascinating places and stories. Philadelphia, for example, was the first capital of the United States, while St. Augustine, which was founded in 1565, is the oldest city in the US. Boston features a tour called the Freedom Trail which features 16 historic sites. New Orleans, which was established in 1718, offers a boatload of historical tours devoted to a range of themes like voodoo, plantations, true crime, and cuisine. The west is home to cities like Santa Fe, which has buildings that date back to the 16th century and is known for its art scene.

The main trick in planning a vacation with older children is to consider their interests and avoid anything too juvenile. They are very conscious of the fact that they are growing up and won’t appreciate reminders that you still think of them as your “babies.”

Tim Esterdahl

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