For most families, the summer months when school's out are our best chance to have a longer getaway of a week or more. Below, find twenty-six summer vacation inspirations. starting with "A":
- All inclusive Resorts:
Families love one-price-gets all, and love their all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. You may be surprised to also find some all inclusive resorts in the US.
For many families, summer vacation = beach. See "America's Best Beaches" (picked by "Dr. Beach" each year, and announced Memorial Day weekend.) You'll also find ideas for great beach vacations in many regions.
- Disney World
There's always something new at Disney World... such as American Idol, Expedition Everest roller coaster, or the fantastic live stage musical, Finding Nemo. (And psst: check out an amazingly inexpensive way to stay on-property, with all the perks.)
Forget your old ideas about camping, such as "tent": Eurocamp -- in nine countries-- has accommodation, resort-like facilities, and kids' programs.
- History in the South
Head to this excellent guest article: American South Road Trip starts in Montgomery Alabama, and continues through Memphis, the Delta, and Cajun Country, with dozens of suggestions of places to visit with kids: some for history, some for fun, some for a combo of both.
- Indiana, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
One-price admission gets you two parks. Holiday World has kids' rides, family rides, thrill rides; at Splashin' Safari water park, try Bakuli, the huge new family water slide. Nice touch for families: free soft drinks.
- Jazz Festival in Montreal
Thousands of kids romp at a gigantic play zone with giant piano keys, plus arts, crafts, clowns, etc.
This theme park, designed for ages two to twelve,s both a 128-acre shrine to LEGO building bricks, and a fun theme park with rides and games.
- Moose Tours
Kids love to see BIG animals, and tours in New England have moose-spotting success rates of 97%.
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, PA
This four-season resort in Pennsylvania, 70 miles from Pittsburg, has lodgings from Chateau to townhomes, and an amazing array of outdoor activities.
- Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal Orlando
It's part of the Universal Orlando complex that includes Universal Florida and Islands of Adventure theme parks; it's modeled on Portofino, Italy; it has a huge Beach Pool; and guests get Front Of the Line access at the theme parks.
- Quintana Roo: Cancun & Mayan Riviera, Mexico
Probably legions of tourists have been in Quintana Roo without knowing it, as this state holds tourist powerhouse Cancun and also the Mayan Riviera with ruins, coral reef, eco-theme parks.
- Rafting in Utah and Colorado
White water river rafting is a thrill; check family adventures that range from a ranch+raft combo to a specialty tour with Native American history.
Single Parent Tours
This company organizes trips with special price breaks. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, welcome too.
Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaii
The only resort on Oahu's beautiful North Shore, Turtle Bay has a stunning setting, 5 miles of beach, horseriding, snorkeling, on-property surf school.
Vancouver, BC and Stanley Park
Three hours north of Seattle, Vancouver's top draw is thousand-acre Stanley Park-- very near downtown-- with 5-mile seawall (- rent tandem bikes), Vancouver Aquarium, pitch'n'putt golf, salt water swimming pool, miniature train...
Wisconsin Dells Resorts with Water Parks
Wisconsin Dells doubles its water park fun in summer vacation time, as many resorts with indoor water parks open their outdoor zones as well.
This unique "eco-archeological" theme park in Mexico's Mayan Riviera is a must-do, for families staying at resorts in the area.
YMCA of the Rockies
You won't believe the range of family activities at these two locations in Colorado. Rent a cabin and sample the sports, day camps, crafts, and "adventures" such as zip line, rafting, and rock-climbing.
"Z" is for (New) Zealand
About.com's Australia and New Zealand Travel site can help you plan a trip to this wonderful country. Start by exploring Aotearoa, online, the "Land of the Long White Cloud": Lord of the Rings country, where you can find geysers, glaciers, gorges... and glorious scenery.