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Spring break is an ideal time to get away with family and make some happy memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re culture-seekers, sun worshippers or powder hounds one of these family-friendly destinations is sure to float your family’s boat.
I spent a lot of time researching spring break destinations for families and Rancho de los Caballeros, a historic Arizona dude ranch resort just 75 miles from Phoenix kept coming up. Activities include horseback riding, golf, swimming, tennis, skeet shooting, jeep and ATV tours and even luxury spa treatments. The hotel has beautifully appointed rooms and suites and three home-cooked meals a day are included in the price. When I checked the rates for a suite for a family of four the price was about $800.00 a night. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to live out my Wild West vacation!
Kalahari Resorts- Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Did you know that Wisconsin Dells is the indoor waterpark capital of the world? I had NO idea! With over two dozen indoor waterparks and hotel rooms right around $100 the African themed Kalahari Resort is a vacation not to be missed. There’s even an indoor theme park! A second Kalahari Resort is located in Sandusky, Ohio and they’re coming to the Pocono Mountains, PA in the summer of 2015 which is very exciting news for folks who live on the East Coast
Asheville, North Carolina
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, Asheville is a fun and funky city with a booming arts and food scene. Just a few miles outside of town you can find The Biltmore which is recognized as the largest private home in the United States. There are many opportunities to explore the home and grounds and there’s even an Outdoor Adventure Center on the property which offers everything from bike and Segway rentals to horseback riding lessons and fly-fishing lessons. Downtown Asheville offers fabulous shopping and fantastic restaurants.
The weather in central Texas in the springtime is simply magnificent. The rainy winter season has come to an end and you’ll also miss the oppressive heat of the summer months. If you make Austin your home base you’ll find a plethora of activities to do without leaving downtown. There’s swimming in the naturally fed Barton Springs Pool, kayaking and even a small gauge railroad called the Zilker Zephyr. Just outside the city you can find hiking and tubing and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where the state flower, the bluebonnet, blooms from March to May. There’s also the Austin Children’s Museum if you happen to have a rainy day during your stay.
There are plenty of family friendly hotels in Austin including The Four Seasons located in a prime downtown location. Children under 18 stay free and there’s also a comprehensive kids program which includes a welcome gift, free rollaway beds and more. For the more budget-concoious travelers there’s the Residence Inn located near the Convention Center. What’s great about the Residence Inn is that there’s a kitchen in every room and you can choose to stay in a studio, one bedroom suite or two bedroom suite. There’s also free breakfast included in your stay and pets are welcome!
Park City, Utah
When I think of Park City, I think of skiing but after doing some research I’ve learned that it is far more than a ski resort town. Although all three of Park City’s resorts were voted in the top 10 Ski Resorts by SKI Magazine’s 2013 Reader Survey there’s a huge list of winter activities that go beyond skiing and snowboarding. Those include winter fly-fishing trips, hot-air ballooning, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, tubing and more.
There are plenty of family friendly accommodations in Park City. The Westgate Park City Ski Resort is an award-winning resort nestled amid the scenic Wasatch Mountains. Guests enjoy ski-in/ski out accommodations with easy access to The Canyons’ 4,000 skiable acres and 182 ski runs, as well as free ski valet service. The resort is also home to Utah’s largest indoor/outdoor pool. Guests can also enjoy complimentary shuttle service to a variety of popular destinations within town. The best part about the resort is that the luxurious accommodations are all suites or villas and include kitchenettes or full sized kitchens in the villas. Room rates start at about $330.00 a night.
Poipu Beach, Hawaii
They say that the family that learns to surf together stays together. According the the folks at Kauai Surf School, if you can swim, then you can surf. Families can register for group sessions so that the whole crew can wipe out together and inspire each other to hop right back up and try it again.
After a long day of surf lessons you can relax at the family-favorite Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort. This luxury hotel boasts a magnificent pool complex including saltwater lagoons and freshwater pools with waterfalls, grottos and a 150-foot slide. There’s also Camp Hyatt where kids ages 3-12 can meet the resident parrots, learn the hula and make ultra-cool cultural crafts. Room rates start at about $480 a night for double rooms.
While all of these vacations sound extremely tempting, this year we are traveling to Paris for nine days. It’s my mother-in-law, Paula’s, 70th birthday and she and my father-in-law, Rob, are taking all of us to their favorite city to celebrate. Au revoir mes amis!
John K. Hart
Founder and CEO of StaySmarter
A purpose-driven and results-focused leader, John is the Founder and CEO of Imagine If, a team of hotel insiders that is the maker of the StayFaster and StayAtHand websites and apps, a powerful suite of tools that are the smartest way to get your hotel stay. They provide consumers the world’s fastest, most powerful way to book hotels. They provide hotels a new pricing model, support for their rewards programs, and significant opportunities for brand differentiation.