Summer travels and family excursions are always a great excuse to get together and enjoy the fleeting free time and long, sunny days. Whether the kids are out of school and looking for something to do or you have some vacation days on your hands you want to put to good use, there are a myriad number of ways to entertain this summer.
For the more nature-focused family members, consider a rustic trip to rural Texas. Completely off the beaten path in the less-touristy regions, your family can get out and about for some old-fashioned fun, surrounded by natural beauty.
Hit the Beach
The beach is definitely a summer activity best spent with friends and family. Head to the beaches of Galveston, Texas, on Galveston Island and stroll along the historic pier with the kids, taking in sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico. The long stretch of beach, lining the entire island, offers enough outdoor fun and natural beauty for the whole family. Hit the beach and play in the sand and surf, or ride rollercoasters, play carnival games and fill up on funnel cake at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. Cool off and splash around at Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark, or, when the sun gets a bit too hot for the little ones, head to the indoor retreat of Moody Gardens and visit resident marine life in the aquarium.
In East Texas, Caddo Lake State Park in Karnack boasts a world of fun outdoor activities for all ages. Head out on the lake boating and fishing, or take the smaller, non-motorized devices for kayaking, paddle boating and more. Kick it old school with a fun summer campout while staying in a nearby cabin. Enjoy warm nights by the fire, cooking out over the grill, hiking by day and even geocaching with the kids.
Toward El Paso, Texas, families and active travelers flock to the natural beauty and rugged wonders of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Take in the sweeping views of the Guadalupe Mountains, the four highest peaks in the whole state, and hike extensive trails and paths along the base. This national park also happens to be home of one of the most impressive Permian fossil reefs, canyons to explore, dunes and desert vistas to enjoy with the family.
Spend a few nights camping with the kids and experience other incredible parks in Texas, like Big Bend National Park or Dinosaur Valley State Park. Read through a full list here for an epic family road trip through Texas.
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.
San Diego is a great destination for families looking for fun no matter what time of year it is, but this fall, there is plenty to do for everyone — even when you have a budget. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the best way to explore this city is by heading outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Just because the kids have gone back to school and the days have started getting shorter doesn’t mean summer fun has to end. There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s left of the dwindling season. You can extend your warm weather adventures with these activities all over the country.