With the possibility of a vaccine on the horizon, perhaps we can rekindle our dreams of a future family vacation. Here are five ideas to consider.
1. Powder Hounds
For those who relish the white stuff, travel to Colorado ski country is always a high-altitude hit. If you plan to visit a mountain resort this season, it will be important to review ski area websites, social media and other channels for tips, deals, COVID-19 information and the most up-to-date resort protocols.
Know that many ski areas will be requiring prepurchase of lift tickets, ski school reservations, rentals and other activities. You'll find information regarding the limits on ski school classes and how each resort plans to manage the loading of gondolas and chair lifts as the season gets underway. This may also be a good era in which to sample winter sports such as snow-shoeing, skating and cross-country skiing that make it easy to social distance. No matter how or when you choose to immerse yourselves in the crisp mountain air and majestic scenery, it will surely boost winter weary spirits.
Contact: coloradoski.com; colorado.com; grandhyattvail.com; Destination Resorts Vail
2. National Park supporters
In Williams, Arizona, board an historic train for a 65-mile scenic adventure across the Kaibab Plateau to the awe-inspiring south rim of the Grand Canyon. In Georgia, bypass the crowds and head for the Cumberland Island National Seashore, the state's largest and southernmost barrier island. Pristine beaches, mud flats, dune fields and salt marshes provide respite for shore birds, sea turtles, wild turkeys and wild horses. Kayak, fish and hike by day. Enjoy the bounty of stars visible from your family's campsite. (No other lodging is available on the island.) Accessible only by float plane or boat, the Katmai National Park and Preserve on the Alaskan Peninsula near Kodiak Island spans nearly 5 million acres. Families visit to observe the dense population of brown bears and to fish for trophy rainbow trout, salmon and Dolly Varden trout that run in Katmai's streams and rivers.
Contact: www.Thetrain.com; www.nps.gov/cuis; nps.gov/katm/index.htm; www.TravelAlaska.com
3. Sun seekers
Visit Curtain Bluff, a laid-back but luxurious family-owned resort in Antigua for an all-inclusive experience that offers extensive water sports including water skiing, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, paddle-boating, tennis, yoga and sailing. As the kids burn off energy with the Cee Bee kids club, relax in a hammock you'll find tucked within the palm trees. Spend an afternoon at the spa where open-air massages provide a perfect end to sports-filled days. Keep it stateside with a visit to Terranea, a seaside resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, offering stunning views from its 102-acre perch above the Pacific. Check in and enjoy sea kayaking, strolling along the Discovery Trail, the Tide Pool Kids Club and a kid-friendly resort pool. Access plenty of open-air dining venues, including the extraordinary Mar'sel, best reserved for a grownups' romantic night out. A seaside spa and fitness facility provide coastal-inspired wellness options.
Contact: www.CurtainBluff.com; www.Terranea.com
4. Museum buffs
Make a future plan to visit our nation's capital with your family and immerse yourselves in the depth and breadth of opportunity provided by the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, education and research complex.
From art and history to the National Zoo and the Air and Space Museum, where kids can climb aboard an interactive flight simulator or take an exciting virtual trip on board a passenger ride, there is plenty to explore in Washington, D.C. At the National Museum of the American Indian, families can sample basketry or sit inside a full-size tepee to learn about Comanche life.
In the short term, tap into a wealth of online resources that inspire, prepare and educate.
5. Music fans
In Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Grand Ole Opry and the best in country music, learn how a simple radio broadcast spawned a global entertainment phenomenon. From industry legends to the latest luminaries, you'll get a taste of history along with a contemporary dose of the genre in the "home of American music." Take in the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Bluebird Cafe and the Johnny Cash Museum. Ask about backstage passes, behind-the-scenes tours and family packages. Or, when the time is right, indulge your teen with tickets to see his or her favorite pop star on stage in Vegas. Avoid some of the bright lights by staying at the Four Seasons, a nongaming oasis.
Contact: opry.com; visitmusiccity.com; www.fourseasons.com/lasvegas
Lynn O'Rourke Hayes (www.LOHayes.com) is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via FamilyTravel.com
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