While skiing in the Swiss Alps is the dream of most skiers, you don’t need to wait until the kids are on the level of Bode Miller to spend a family vacation at a Swiss ski resort.
Nor are you limited to those famous resort towns. Beyond the glitz of St Moritz and the glamor of Zermatt there are dozens of alpine mountains offering miles of world-class trails, beginner slopes, ski lessons, children’s programs and family-friendly après-ski life.
Here are three of our favorites.
In Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region, the two resorts of Lenk and Adelboden are connected by a lift system, which allows it to offer a variety of terrain for skiers of varying skills. Advanced skiers should head for Adelboden, while the rest of the family will find plenty of beginning and intermediate pistes and slopes at Lenk im Simmental. Boarders will find a total of five terrain parks. This is also a friendly resort for non-skiing family members with its postcard alpine village feel and lots of off-the-slope activities. Like Lenk, Adelboden’s high-altitude setting promises more consistent snow conditions than lower altitude resorts.
Like Adelboden and Lenk, the resorts of Arosa and Lenzerheide are linked and one ticket is valid at both. The mile-long Urdenbahn cable car, opened in 2013, connects the two in a five-minute ride. Both are known for abundant intermediate terrain, with 140 miles of groomed runs that stretch across three different mountainsides. What makes Arosa Lenzerheide so exceptional for intermediate skiers? So much of the terrain is above the tree line and the views are spectacular — such open views are usually seen only by experts skiing the summit snow fields. An added appeal in mid-winter, this region gets a lot more sun than many Alpine resorts. Of the two base towns, Arosa is the more appealing for families.
The largest family resort for winter sports in central Switzerland is the village of Engelberg. Located under the slopes of Mount Titlis, it’s only an hour train ride from Zurich and 45 minutes from Lucerne. The mountain itself is a year-round attraction with its state-of-the-art revolving cable that takes tourists to the summit.
The mountain’s more than 50 miles of ski runs are mostly for beginning and intermediate skiers, with 17 miles of easy runs, 30 miles of intermediate slopesand plenty to keep the kids busy for a vacation.
Experts won’t be bored, however, with steeper slopes at higher altitudes and on the glacier. There’s a lot of good powder skiing at the higher altitudes and it’s easy to access from the lifts. Meanwhile, in Engelberg, there’s plenty to do for the whole family and children are welcome everywhere.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
By Hainan Airlines
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.