Travelling with family members spanning two or three generations offers a unique opportunity to spend quality time, create priceless memories and strengthen the family or friendship bond through shared experiences. And when you begin planning your perfect family vacation, you need activities that will satisfy everyone, the active pre-schoolers, sullen teenagers, foodie millennials, the wine-loving parents, and the nap-happy adults. Here’s how you can expand your USA holiday experience while visiting your family at these 5 brilliant multigeneration vacation destinations in the USA.
California has exceptional variety of natural attributes like the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, ancient redwood forests, and farmlands. Located less than an hour away from San Francisco is Sonoma County, home to world-class wineries where you can experience unique and memorable adventures for the whole family. Visit the Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood and play bocce ball or test your puzzle-solving skills in the Unlock the Chateau Escape Room at this quintessential Sonoma winery. Picnic in select areas on the gorgeous Mediterranean-style property and experience wine tasting along with a selection of cheese and charcuterie.
If you’re a fan of trains, then you will enjoy the Train Town in Sonoma County. This old-fashioned, scaled-down railroad is a delight. The 20-minute train ride goes over bridges, through tunnels, and stops in its miniature town, “Lakeview,” which includes a petting zoo. Kids will also get to enjoy six other rides including a carousel and Ferris wheel.
You can go soaring through the treetops of a redwood forest in Occidental. Plan an overnight stay in a treehouse with the kids and wake up in the redwoods. A zip line lets the magic of gravity do all the work.
A must stop on the California Cheese Trail is the Achadinha Cheese Company in Petaluma. You can tantalize your tastebuds with a cheese tasting while exploring the cheese plant, milking parlor, and loafing barns. Here you can also learn how to use the equipment and see the cheese aging room with the whole family.
Love the wild? Experience the sights and sounds of the Sonoma Serengeti, the wilds of Africa in this wine country. You can spend the night ‘glamping’ in a luxurious African safari tent and embark on an authentic safari to see rhinos, giraffes, lemurs and wildebeests.
If you happen to have some Peanuts fans in the family, don’t forget to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum and research centre in Santa Rosa. This fun, laid-back museum has some interesting exhibits about the famed cartoonist and his beloved Peanuts characters. Directly across the street is Snoopy’s Home Ice stadium for ice skating with the family.
No matter where you venture, there are many places in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that are designed to offer an interactive and engaging experience for the entire family.
If you’re a science lover, visit the Wagner Free Institute of Science that provides free public education for all ages. The National Historic Landmark building houses more than 100,000 natural history specimens including fossils, shells, minerals and mounted animal skeletons and skins displayed in original wood and glass cabinets. The exhibit is one of the largest systematically arranged collections on display in the country and remains in active use as a key educational tool of the Institute’s free science programs.
For all art lovers, The Brandywine River Museum of Art is a must visit that houses an extensive collection of Wyeth family art. The museum galleries are dedicated to the work of N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth and offers American art with a special focus on artistic practice in the Brandywine Valley. Throughout the museum, you and your family will find many works appealing to children including paintings and sculptures of animals, illustrations of pirates and characters from classic adventure stories, and colourful landscape and still life paintings. The museum also hosts many family events and activities through the year and the campus consists of 15 acres of buildings, native plant gardens and a river trail all to be explored.
Love cars? The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is your kind of place where you can explore and admire over 75 historically significant vehicles, including makes from Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche, Ford, Alfa Romeo, and others. Activities for all ages include a “Kiddie” corner.
You can also learn about rotary-wing aircraft at the American Helicopter Museum, located in a 20,000 square-foot hangar in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The museum offers a hands-on experience of rotary flight for visitors of all ages. The Museum’s collection of aircraft includes a fully restored Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse acquired from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, a Boeing CH-46E Sea Knight - on permanent loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum - plus a McCulloch J-2 Gyroplane.
You can take a short trip with the family to Philadelphia’s countryside with wide-open spaces, outdoor adventure, and more public gardens than anywhere in the United States. The Brandywine River winds throughout the picturesque countryside and offers both lovely vistas and water-based activities. Almost 100 miles of trails loop through the countryside, many along the Schuylkill River where you can rent boats and kayak with certified tour guides. You can discover 37 public gardens, arboreta, and historic landscapes all located within 30 miles of Philadelphia. The region is called America’s Garden Capital, with more gardens in close proximity than anywhere else on the continent.
Arizona is a beautiful state that offers fun experiences for all ages; outdoor recreation, opportunities to learn about Native American history and culture, and impressive landscapes that are totally surreal.
The Grand Canyon is one of America’s most iconic National Parks in Arizona. You won’t want to miss this epic site on your family trip to Arizona. You can explore the Grand Canyon National Park, with trails to hike, mules to ride down into the canyon, air tours by plane or helicopter, rafting trips both wild and tame, and even a train ride to and from the canyon.
While visiting the Grand Canyon, you can visit Flagstaff which is a small town in northern Arizona also known as a gateway to the Grand Canyon. You can stay at the America Flagstaff, Flagstaff's only AAA approved Four Diamond hotel that combines inviting hospitality with the natural beauty of Northern Arizona and you will be close to two national parks, and only a quick 15-minute drive away from Northern Arizona University and Lowell Observatory.
Ride off into the sunset with your family at one of Arizona's many dude ranches. Consider the White Stallion Ranch which is at the foot of the ruggedly beautiful Tucson Mountains adjacent to the Saguaro National Park. Here you and your family can not only relish the western-style horseback riding with the wranglers but also participate in fun activities like cookouts, steak barbecues, hayrides, rodeos, a heated pool, a hot tub, tennis courts, volleyball, horseshoes, billiards, a petting zoo, a full bar.
With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, endless sunshine, warm water, perfect weather, and some of the most spectacular scenery in the west, Lake Powell is the ultimate playground. You can stay at the Lake Powell Resort is located at the south end of the lake and is steps away from the Wahweap Marina and a short car ride from Page, Arizona. The marina offers dinner cruises, boat tours to Rainbow Natural Bridge National Monument, boat rentals and Colorado River raft (float) trips in Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.
In north central Arizona, you can visit the Terra Farm + Manor with your family which is part inn, part restaurant, part farm and part cooking school all set in a stunning location in the Prescott National Forest outside of Prescott. From daily instruction including cooking, farming and wine blending, this exclusive experience is truly unique and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.
It’s nearly impossible to find a spot in Colorado that doesn’t have ‘something for everyone’. Nestled in the foothills of Colorado’s dynamic Rocky Mountains, just 45 minutes north of Denver, Loveland, Colorado is the ideal basecamp that appeals to all types of visitors. Whether you are an art lover, foodie, outdoor enthusiast, love to shop or just want to get away, Loveland has everything you love for an adventure that is truly you. In August, the city hosts the largest juried sculpture show in the USA, Sculpture in the Park. You can’t leave town without adding a lock (and throwing away the key) for someone you love to the LOVE sculpture in Loveland, one of the largest of its kind in the USA.
Another perfect option for an affordable mountain holiday full of authentic cowboy experiences for you and your family is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch tucked in the foothills of west Loveland. This family owned and operated ranch is an easy drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The cosy cabins and friendly guest houses promise a good night’s rest. Indoor and outdoor dining facilities complement the homemade Colorado cuisine, and the recreational facilities offer families the opportunity to engage in interactive fun. In addition to horseback riding, ranch activities include guided nature walks, outdoor cookouts, daily youth programs. So, there is plenty to occupy the non-riders in any group too.
Whether your interest lies in animals, science, history, or something else entirely, Alabama offers plenty of things to see and do for the entire family.
Spend a day out of this world at the world’s largest space museum, Alabama’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center which is a veritable wonderland for dreamers of all ages. Saturn V rocket hangs from the ceiling and is surrounded by numerous artifacts including the Apollo 16 capsule, which orbited the moon 64 times in 1972. The USSRC features a number of rotating exhibits, planetarium shows, a flight simulator and world-famous space camp. You can explore the history of space exploration or get hands-on at the interactive exhibits. People of all generations can feel like an astronaut for the day or the week. Located in Huntsville, AL, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is very accessible, just off the interstate and is within walking distance of hotels.
From deep sea fishing to seashell hunting, bird watching and soaking in the sun, Alabama’s 32 miles of sugar-white sandy beaches are made for all. You can stay at any of the luxurious hotels, condos, or Airbnb rentals offering a range of various experiences. The Hangout Restaurant, LuLu’s, Pink Ponty, Tacky Jacks and other charming local nooks serve up their best catch of the day and showcase live music and tasty treats – all within walking distance from the shore.
Fishing is a time-honoured family activity in Alabama, and you can experience it too. Alabama’s Lake Guntersville is tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, offering a picturesque family outing on the water. Alabama’s largest lake contains 67,900 acres and stretches 75 miles. Boats and ramps are in abundance around the lake’s perimeter as are several local restaurants where you can relish your fresh seafood favourites. In addition to fishing, the area is a marvellous spot for swimming, camping, eagle watching, and hunting. America’s most popular game fish is the largemouth bass which you can find in abundance at Lake Guntersville. It’s the perfect spot for families of all ages. If you are seeking an experience beyond a hotel stay, RV parks can be found as well.