As much as I love traveling abroad, there is something to be said for spending time roaming through my motherland. The USA is teeming with adventure for people of all ages – you just need to know where to find it.
Traveling with kids can be hard. Children want constant stimulation, which can be tough to find and tiring for parents who just want to relax. Your kids want Disneyland but you want a scenic drive through Boulder. You can see the dilemma. Kids rarely care for views and few adults want to traipse through theme parks surrounded by other people’s screaming children.
Fortunately, the USA has quite the roster of destinations that cater to both. These destinations will keep your kids entertained and give you parents something to do too. Win-win.
Honestly, what’s not to love about Hawaii? Pristine beaches, fresh seafood and a general ‘feel good’ vibe – what more could you ask for from a destination? On Maui’s north shore, there are all kinds of adventures to be had for the young and slightly less young alike.
Send your kids soaring over the forests, suspended from a zipline, or attach them to a kiteboard and watch them conquer the waves at Kite Beach. All the while, you can relax on the beach or under the canopy of the trees and await their panted excitement as they tell you how much fun they just had. Or you can join them in the activities. Whatever floats your boat.
In the evening, retire to a beautiful, family-friendly condo and rest up before you do it all again the next day.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans thrums with excitement. Music wafts through the air along with the smells of barbecued meat and gumbo. The energy is electric and even the most frantic of children will be awed to silence by it – if only for a second.
New Orleans is a great place to give your kids a history lesson without boring them to sleep. The city boasts some seriously impressive former plantation homes that can be explored. Your kids will have fun running through the huge grounds and gawping at the houses’ splendour. Meanwhile you can brush up on your history and deepen your understanding of the USA’s troubling past.
Once you’ve finished exploring the homes, head back into downtown and feast on some of New Orleans’ finest cuisine. Make sure you get some fried chicken and jambalaya while you’re there.
The National Parks of Utah
I know what you’re thinking: isn’t Utah just full of Mormons? Yes, there are Mormons in Utah, but there are also five mind-blowing national parks. Not only are these parks absolutely stunning, but they are big enough to totally wear your kids out before bedtime comes around.
Zion National Park is a vast and verdant expanse of land and is a favorite with travelers in Utah. There are loads of hiking trails you can follow, ranging from short tracks that just take a few hours to multi-day treks. Let your kids run wild and free through this outstanding park before plunging into the Virgin River to cool off.
Those who want to see something really sensational should check out Zion’s Emerald Pools. This is Mother Nature at her finest.
Distinctly more relaxed than Atlanta, peaceful and picturesque Savannah sits near Georgia’s coastline. While cities can often bore young children, Savannah is different. While its old world charm and gorgeous architecture might be lost on your little ones, its big open spaces are ripe for adventures.
One particularly good spot to take your kids is the Wormsloe Historic Site. Parents, you will instantly fall in love with the low hanging oak branches, covered with hanging moss. For your kids, this eerie canopy of trees will be a fascinating experience, especially if you walk or drive right underneath them.
For more immersion in nature, the Skidaway Island State Park is perfect for a camping trip and only about 30 minutes from downtown Savannah.
Yellowstone National Park
What child hasn’t dreamt at some point about being a cowboy? Well, in the Yellowstone National Park, your kid can turn their fantasy into a reality. The park is full of horse riding routes along which you can trot alongside your family members.
The trails lead around canyons and through the vast plains of the park. This is a great way to get an authentic experience of what the mid-west was once like. At the end of the day, when you’ve built up an appetite, join in a cookout with the other members of your tour.
If horses aren’t your thing then explore the park by foot. When you start to feel that tell-tale burn in your legs, make your way to Boiling or Firehole River and soak your muscles in the soothing, warm water.