Family Trips to Take This Summer to Avoid the Crowds
Parents who have saved up to take their families on a summer vacation will be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime. Traveling together as a family helps strengthen your bond and broadens your horizons. This summer, spend more time adventuring with your kids and less time standing in crowded lines when you check out these fun, off-the-grid hot spots, which are sure to provide you with endless activity options.
1. Golden, CO: Check out Golden for its friendly and funky Western vibe, its kid-friendly museums (like the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave), tons of hiking and biking trails and a main street filled with eclectic restaurants and shops. As an added bonus, Golden is a short drive from many other Colorado mainstays — like Denver, Keystone and Breckenridge — so it's easy to take some day trips if you'd like.
2. Beacon, NY: Skip the hustle and bustle of New York City (but be close enough to visit with just a 90-minute train ride) for the culture and natural beauty of Beacon. This up-and-coming city on the Hudson boasts countless activities to keep your family busy throughout the day. Options include hiking one of their many trails, catching a boat ride on the Hudson or checking out the Dia:Beacon museum. If you're up for it, you can even get a breathtaking view of the Hudson Valley from up in the air with a hot air balloon ride from Blue Sky Balloons. Beacon's main drag has something for everyone, too, with tons of eateries and boutiques, as well as vintage and antique shops to peruse.
3. Jacksonville, FL: Northern enough in Florida to avoid the really humid weather (and crazy Disney crowds), Jacksonville has a ton to offer families. Check out the downtown district for boat rides, theater, restaurants and shopping, or satisfy your nature cravings at the Theodore Roosevelt Area at Timucuan or at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. This city is only a short drive to beautiful and historic St. Augustine, so it's easy to get away for a day or two to visit the beach and to see the notable sites.
4. Gilbert, AZ: Gilbert is full of family friendly activities. Check out a farmers market or art walk, grab some food at one of their many food trucks and take in a special event, like their downtown concert series in the heart of the Heritage District. Or try their outdoor expo, a two-day event that highlights activities like fishing, camping, hunting and hiking. You'll find plenty to do in Gilbert, but it's also a day's drive to Sedona for amazing hikes amongst the red-rock buttes and steep canyons you'll find there.
5. Cody, WY:Cody is full of western charm that's worth checking out — like the Big Horn Art Gallery, their concert in the park series and the Historic Cody Mural and Museum, or the Homesteader Museum. No trip to Cody would be complete, though, without a jaunt into Yellowstone, which is close enough for a day trip or two.
6. Albuquerque, NM:Treat the family to some amazing Mexican food in a gorgeous setting at for a casual fine-dining experience you won't forget. (Be sure to check out their farm shop on your way out!) The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center will teach you and your kids everything about the Pueblos of New Mexico, and Old Town has tons of souvenir shops, museums and local vendors making unique products. No trip to Albuquerque is complete without a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, a cable car that stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains.
7. Charlottesville, VA: Close enough to bustling Northern Virginia and D.C.to visit for a couple hours, but far enough away from it to feel secluded, Charlottesville really is a gem. Located along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it doesn't get prettier than the natural beauty of the area, but don't forget to also walk the brick-lined Downtown Mall for tons of shopping and restaurants, check out a local orchard and maybe even take in one or two UNESCO World Heritage Sites — pick between the grounds of Thomas Jefferson's home (Monticello) or the University of Virginia, or hit both.
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Cheryl Lock and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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