A few weeks ago I wrote about some amazing places in the world that you could find family adventures—I talked about places like Iceland, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Africa. What if you’re looking for something a little closer to home? No worries! Today I’ve got 9 fantastic family adventure destinations close to home. You might need a passport, or maybe not, but either way, here are some incredible ideas for places not too far away where you can find plenty of adventures.
1. Family adventures in the Grand Canyon, Arizona:
The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder that will leave your family in awe. Spanning 277 miles long and over a mile deep, this vast canyon offers breathtaking vistas and thrilling adventures. Explore the South Rim, where you can hike along the Rim Trail or venture into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. For a bird's-eye view, take a helicopter tour or brave the famous Skywalk, a glass bridge extending over the canyon. Camping in the park allows you to witness stunning sunrises and sunsets that paint the canyon walls in vibrant hues. Hike the rim trails, snap jaw-dropping pics, or even take a wild helicopter ride for a bird's-eye view. Camping under the stars in this magical place will make your family feel like you're part of a National Geographic expedition!
2. Family adventures in Yosemite National Park, California:
Picture towering cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, and giant sequoia trees that make you feel like you've wandered into a fairytale. Granite cliffs, towering waterfalls, and ancient sequoia groves make Yosemite a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the Yosemite Valley, home to iconic landmarks such as El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. Embark on family-friendly hikes to Glacier Point or Mirror Lake, or challenge yourself on more strenuous trails like the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall. Discover the magic of Yosemite's night sky by stargazing or attending a ranger-led astronomy program.
3. Family adventures in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:
Puerto Vallarta is a tropical paradise on Mexico's Pacific coast. Enjoy sun-soaked beaches and crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Explore the charming Old Town, known as Zona Romantica, with its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and lively art scene. Go on a thrilling zip line adventure through the lush Sierra Madre Mountains or take a boat tour to the beautiful Marietas Islands. Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine, from street tacos to gourmet restaurants. Puerto Vallarta is where you'll find sun, sand, and a whole lot of fun. Spend your days splashing in crystal-clear waters, building sandcastles, and snorkeling with colorful fishies. You can stay in anything from from all-inclusive resorts to cozy boutique hotels.
4. Family adventures in Moab, Utah:
Moab is like an action-packed theme park for outdoor enthusiasts. I wrote about Moab just last week! Click here to read about it. SO many things to do and see here!
5. Family adventures in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming:
Yellowstone National Park is like a real-life Jurassic Park, minus the dinosaurs (phew!). Get ready for gushing geysers, bubbling mud pots, and jaw-dropping canyons. Yellowstone National Park offers geothermal features, diverse wildlife, and mesmerizing landscapes. Discover the dramatic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its magnificent waterfalls. I have access to cabins and lodges within the park, or I can hook you up with some fantastic options outside the park and you can drive in every day.
6. Family adventures in New York City:
New York offers endless family adventures. Catch a Broadway show or enjoy street performances in bustling neighborhoods like Greenwich Village. Take a leisurely stroll along the High Line or rent bikes to explore the city's parks. See Times Square. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Go to the top of the Empire State Building and see the incredible view of the city. Bike around Central Park. Navigate the subway system. Stuff your face with mouthwatering street food, catch a Broadway show, and soak up the vibrant energy of the city.
7. Cancún and Riviera Maya, Mexico:
Cancún and Riviera Maya are all about turquoise waters, powdery-white beaches, and endless adventures. Lounge on pristine white-sand beaches or snorkel and dive in the turquoise waters of the second-largest coral reef system in the world. Take a refreshing dip in a cenote, natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water. Experience vibrant nightlife in Cancún's Hotel Zone or enjoy the tranquility of Playa del Carmen. Go adventuring at one of the area’s eco/adventure parks. From all-inclusive resorts to eco-friendly accommodations, there are accommodation options for everyone.
8. Family adventures in Hawaii:
Hawaii is the definition of paradise, and it's not just about flower necklaces and hula dancers. In Oahu, learn to surf on the famous waves of Waikiki Beach or explore the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. In Maui, venture along the Road to Hana, where you'll discover hidden waterfalls and lush rainforests. The Big Island offers a unique opportunity to witness an active volcano at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Kauai's stunning Na Pali Coast beckons with its dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches. Learn to surf or take a family-friendly surf lesson. Enjoy a traditional luau with Polynesian food and entertainment. Take a helicopter tour and admire the stunning waterfalls and landscapes. And don't forget to feast on mouthwatering poke bowls and shave ice.
9. Family adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and North Carolina:
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a lush paradise. Embark on scenic drives along the Newfound Gap Road or the Cades Cove Loop Road, offering breathtaking mountain views and wildlife sightings. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the park's trails, including the popular Alum Cave Trail and the iconic Appalachian Trail. Discover the rich cultural heritage of the region at historic sites, such as the preserved cabins of the Cades Cove settlement. Cozy cabins, campgrounds, and lodges provide accommodations nestled in the heart of the mountains. Don’t forget to indulge in some classic southern comfort food. Y'all are gonna have a great time!
With all of these incredible family destinations in the United States and Mexico, there’s no shortage of adventure! Enjoy the vibrant energy of cities, the beauty of nature, or sun-soaked beaches. These locations offer a perfect mix of excitement, culture, and relaxation. Let me know if you’re interested in adventuring with your loved ones to one or more of these destinations; I’d love to help you put it together.