Best Remote Vacations That Are Fun For The Whole Family

travel with whole family

Sometimes you need to get away from your screens. It is time to go into the outdoors and leave your phones, laptops, tablets, watches, FitBits and everything else like that at home. Unplugging every so often is important for your mental health. If you have a family you may be thinking it is unrealistic to find a remote vacation that is safe and fun for the entire family. Luckily for you, we have whipped up at least five of the best remote resorts, vacations and more With this list, you can start planning that much-needed trip right now.

Head West

The western part of the country is absolutely breathtaking. Here are some of the best places to visit out west if you are looking for somewhere to reconnect with nature.

Rogue River

This river is in the middle of Southern Oregon and it is 84 miles rich of the wild. Near this river, you will not find roads, power lines or even cell phone service. The most recommended activity to do at Rogue River is to go rafting. This is an activity the whole family can partake in.

Oregon State Park

Oregon is a state with many natural sceneries. You and the whole family can camp in a yurt in the Oregon State Park along the coast. With a budget-friendly $40 a night, your family can sleep under the stars and reconnect with each other.

San Juan Islands

San Juan Island in Washington is an adventurous place to visit with the family. There is an endless supply of activities to do on this island. You can go kayaking to any of the outlying islands in the area and stumble upon a trail. Of course, there are camping options.

Treehouse Treesort

What an innovative way to spend time outdoors. If you are looking for a glamping opportunity, but do not want to spend the money, consider staying at a treehouse treesort. It can be fun for the whole family. Do a quick Google search and find the nearest treehouse treesort in your vacation destination, or you can plan a vacation around where the treesort is. Either way, your kids will love this.

Jefferson Park Wilderness

This is the best place to go backpacking with the family. This wilderness is in Central Oregon and you can get to it through the Pacific Crest Trail. You and the entire family will see some of the best sceneries of Oregon.

Stay On A Farm

Your kids will love this. Also, located in Oregon, your family can visit the Leaping Lamb Farm. Cabin stays with the opportunities to try your hand at farm chores at the start of your day is a memory that your children will remember for a long time. There is so much to do in a place like this, you will never hear your kids tell you how bored they are while on this vacation. At this farm, you can hike, tend to the farm animals or read your favorite magazine on the porch. This is the perfect spot to unplug while still spending quality time with the family.

Reverse Backpacking In Yosemite

This is the perfect option if you do not want to experience crowds but you still want to visit Yosemite in the summer. Believe it or not, reverse backpacking is a real thing that people do. All you have to do is start at the top of Tuolumne Meadows and backpack your way down to the valley floor where you will be met with crowds. Just make sure that you snag yourself a Yosemite Backcountry Permit for you and your family.

Live On The Sea

Well, maybe you will not live on the sea, but spending your vacation in the sea is a great way to unplug and has proven to be really remote but still safe for the family. If you are in the western part of the United States, consider staying in a houseboat on Lake Powell. You will not have any cell phone service which means it will be super easy for you to truly unplug.

Trail The Mountain States

The mountain states offer plenty of natural scenery that looks straight out of a movie. Here are some interesting things to do if you are near the mountain states.

Colorado Mountains

Colorado is known for many things, the beautiful Rocky Mountains being one of them. Many people flock to the mountains all year round with some finding fun ways to camp there. There are many ways you can camp while exploring the mountains, one of which would be luxury cabin rentals in Colorado. For those looking for the ultimate work from anywhere experience this is the way to go. For those looking for the most rugged then consider renting a tent and hiking to a campsite in the woods.

Grand Teton National Park

The most recommended activity in this park is kayaking Jackson Lake. You and your family could easily spend three days here and never think about life in the outside world. This national park has many stunning beauties. The best part is that no matter when you go, your chances of running into another human being are scarce, even if you are in the middle of their summer season.

Lower Salmon River

This river can be found in Idaho and it is breathtaking. The Lower Salmon River is great for rafting if you are up for it. There are plenty of sandy campsites and good food to hold you down while you spend the week detaching from your creature comforts in the most pleasant way.

Visit Three Bars Ranch

Another great remote vacation option is for the whole family to take a trip to a dude ranch. Three Bars Ranch is past the Montana border with the Canadian Rockies as the perfect backdrop. Keep in mind that you truly will not have any cell phone service unless you intentionally seek it out. Your kids can also play with the horses while at this ranch. What a better way to entertain them than with a live horse!

Vista Verde Dude Ranch

The great thing about this Colorado dude ranch is open year-round. If you are looking for a true unplugged vacation, you can definitely find it here. There is no access to wifi, so your children will be forced to get off social media and find other ways to have fun. They can go horseback riding in the summer. In the winter your children can do skiing. The possibilities are endless.

The Midwest

The midwest is not just full of fly-over states. The midwest is often overlooked when it comes to discovering the natural beauty of the United States.

Bike To Mount Rushmore And The Badlands

This is a very adventurous activity that is great for the whole family. You can bike trip through South Dakota on the Mickelson Trail, past the Crazy Horse, the Badlands and the Black Hills. You will not find service here. It is the perfect day getaway.

Boundary Waters

This is a great place to go canoeing. Starting in Ely, Minnesota, you and your family will be geared up for a guided trip. Boundary Waters and the area near are relatively remote wilderness areas. There is no cell phone service or wifi here, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to bond more with your family.

Head East

The East Coast can also be overlooked when thinking about remote places to vacation the whole family. With so many options like a pond camp or a plethora of national parks, you can be sure to find something everyone in the family will love.

Spencer Pond Camps

If you are looking for a place completely off-the-grid, consider staying at a mountain cabin in Maine. Spencer Pond is the perfect place. You can fish, hike, hunt and paddle. All of these things are fun for the whole family. You may even see a moose. You never know when traveling to Spencer Pond Camps.

7 Tips for Traveling Safely With Kids

Traveling with your kids exposes them to new experiences that stimulate their development. Whether you are traveling to visit family or to go on your annual vacation, you do need to remember that safety is always your highest priority. Fortunately, you can help your kids have fun while also keeping an eye on their wellbeing by using these travel tips that make sure everyone arrives back home safely.

 

Know How to Manage Getting Through Airport Security

 

Making your way through airport security can be hard enough without having to struggle with diaper bags, toys and little ones. However, there are a few things that you can do to make it easier. Have your older kids wear shoes that are easy to remove as they go through the screening process such as slip-ons or crocks. Your younger children can likely keep their shoes on, but they may need to be warned about the need to put their belongings through the x-ray machine. 

 

Use the Right Car Seats and Seat Belts

 

The majority of places that you will travel to domestically have car seat laws in place, and you need to make sure that you know them so that you do not get into trouble with the local law enforcement team. If you are traveling internationally, then you may still want to use your child’s car seat as additional protection in the event of an accident. Lugging a bulky car seat around can be a hassle, so consider using an all-in-one stroller that reduces the equipment that you need to carry. Older kids should also be taught to use their seatbelts when they are in a rental car or taxi cab.

 

Never Leave Your Child Alone In a Public Space

 

Being stressed or in a hurry can sometimes cause parents to experience a lapse in judgement. However, you should never assume that your child is safe just because you are in a comfortable environment. For instance, you should not leave your child alone in the hotel lobby while you run out to the car to grab a few bags. Ideally, your child should always be within an arm’s reach in case you need to stop them from wandering or protect them from a kidnapping.

 

Discuss What to Do If They Get Lost

 

Despite your best efforts, it is possible that your child might still get lost at some point during your travels. If your child is young and mostly nonverbal, then place your contact information somewhere visible on their clothing or skin. You can even order special stickers and fake tattoos with your name and phone number on them specifically for this purpose. 

 

Older children should be coached on how to ask for help in an emergency. Talk to them about how they can identify employees at the venues that you expect to visit such as by checking for a uniform or name tag. You can also rehearse what they should say to a person in authority if they do get lost such as their phone number and parents’ names. Finally, make sure that your child knows to stay where they are if they get separated from your family. While they may need to look for an adult to help, they should not wander far from where they were left.

 

Use Caution at Swimming Pools and Beaches

 

Aquatic activities are one of the most popular things to do on a family vacation, and there is no doubt that hitting the beach or public pool is a great way to cool off and burn off your kid’s energy. However, you must always remember that no body of water is ever completely safe.

 

Do a quick scan of any public pool to check for signs that something could be amiss with the pool maintenance. Never let your child swim in cloudy water where you cannot see the bottom of the pool. You should also see a cover over any pool drains or filters. 

 

For beaches, try to choose ones with active lifeguards whenever it is possible. You will also want to give your children boundaries for how far they can go out into the water, and younger children should always be holding your hand. Remember that a beach can be overcome suddenly by rather high waves, check the weather reports before you go. You should also obey any flag warnings regarding rip tides and wave height.

 

Think About Bathroom Safety

 

During your travels, using public restrooms is usually unavoidable. Talk to your children about how to stay safe in a public bathroom. For example, you can help them look for places with appropriate bathroom dividers to protect their privacy. Your child should also be taught how to practice proper restroom behavior such as knocking and waiting to see if there is an answer before pushing open a stall door. If possible, make sure to accompany your children to the restroom, and make sure that your older kids know that you are waiting just outside the door of restrooms where you cannot go inside.

 

Identify Emergency Services at Your Destination

 

If all goes well, you should hopefully never need to take your child to the emergency room or file a police report. Yet, you should be prepared in case the unexpected happens. Trying to search for an emergency room at the last moment could delay your child’s ability to get prompt medical care. Take a few minutes before your trip to locate sources of aid that you can turn to in an emergency. You should have a list of these resources for every place that you intend to visit so that you are confident about seeking help if the need arises.

 

Taking a trip as a family is a great way to bond and build wonderful memories that you will cherish forever. Yet, the last thing you ever want is to experience an accident when your family is far away from home. By focusing on doing everything you can to keep everyone safe, you can look forward to stress-free travels that lead to only wonderful experiences for your family to remember.

 

Baby Sea Turtle programming at Atlantis @Bahamas

baby sea turtles
August and September are Baby Sea Turtle months at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Every other year, a female lays up to 200 soft -shelled eggs and only about 2 or 3 are expected to live. Atlantis’ Blue Project actively breeds and releases the endangered green sea turtle, and to date over 700 hatchlings have been returned to the ocean that will help increase wild populations.
Guests can take part in a behind- the-scenes tour of the resort’s aquarium, fish hospital and meet with one of the resort’s 165 scientists full time marine biologists, aquarists, veterinarians, lab technicians and water safety specialists; where they will learn more about Atlantis Blue Project’s commitment to conservation. They can also take part of a mature turtle release – as part of the process, guests will name the turtle, ride a motorboat to the nearby release location, and be in the waters during the release. Snorkel equipment is included.  A portion of the proceeds from the experience goes back to the Atlantis Blue Project. The turtle release experience costs $1,250 for up to four people.

Child-friendly travel: The initial checklist

There was once a time where travel was a simple affair. Then, the kids came.

Few would disagree that this brings a different complexity to enjoying your holiday. Now, you’re perhaps not choosing destinations based on vibrant nightlife, but more on what it takes to keep the little ones happy.

Of course, planning such a getaway is easier said than done. This is what today’s guide is all about, as we look at four areas you should be looking to keep on top of as you plan your child-friendly holiday.

Consider Cities Like Portsmouth

If you are planning a trip to the UK, you might have your heart set on London – and this isn’t a surprise.

However, when traveling with your little ones, a degree of common sense needs to enter the picture. It’s cities like London which bring crowds of tourists and if your family is young, this is something that is going to be difficult, and stressful, to deal with.

It means that this presents the perfect opportunity to think outside the box. Consider somewhere like Portsmouth, which still has plenty to do but without the tourist-heavy crowds which can really weigh your trip down.

Stay longer in each location

For those of you who might be looking at staying in several locations across your trip, this point is for you.

Again, if we return to your younger days, there’s no doubt that “city hopping” was a big thing. Staying a day or two in one city, before jumping to another, was the fashionable thing to do.

Unfortunately, such an approach doesn’t work quite as well with little ones. This is the exact way to prompt more stress; the process of moving between places isn’t easy and needs to be reduced by any means possible.

As such, try and stay longer in each location. It might mean that you don’t manage to tick off each and every destination on your list – but trust us, it will save you in terms of stress.

Be shrewd with your baggage

Next, it’s time to be shrewd about your baggage. As we all know, as soon as parenthood comes upon us, a trip to the shop becomes a huge adventure. It means that many of us automatically think that we should consider packing up everything we have with us for our trips away.

Well, it doesn’t have to be like this. Let’s not forget that the more things you take, the more stressful trips become. There are more things to lose, and tired shoulders don’t play well into anyone’s mood. Ultimately, you need to remember that if the worst does happen and you desperately need a particular item, you can simply buy it in your destination country anyway.

Plan your flights around sleep patterns

Of course, this final point can sometimes relate to your budget. After all, we all know how flights at certain times can shoot up in price.

Nevertheless, if you do have the luxury of choosing, try and plan your flights around sleeping patterns. If you know that your little one sleeps on the plane, try and opt for a night flight. Alternatively, if you know they are going to be awake for the entire flight, going for the opposite course of action should be your way forward.

Coconut Bay Resort, St. Lucia

No matter what kind of vacation you are looking for- family trip, a romantic couples retreat, girlfriends getaway- you can find what you are looking for on the diverse island of St. Lucia. Coconut Bay is located near the airport (in fact, just five minutes away), so you won’t have a long trek to your room once you arrive. That’s never a welcome surprise, is it? Once there, you are greeted by friendly staff with cool towels and cold drinks of your choice- water, rum punch, or champagne.

Coconut Bay

As you refresh and cool off, you and your entourage check into your room.  You can take your bags or have them taken to your room for your, and your vacation really begins. A recently renovated resort on 85 acres, the all inclusive Coconut Bay offers plenty to see, do, (eat!) and explore.  There are nine restaurants, seven bars, five pools, a fully functional and not all all lacking fitness center (lets face it, often “gyms” while vacationing are weak sauce) the largest waterpark on the island, and more. Did I mention it was all inclusive? Because that makes things so. much. easier. Also, the beach is just past the pools- no long hike to and fro.

best family vacation

We took my daughter for a long weekend, and there was definitely not enough time to see all that we wanted to on the resort, let along the island. So it’s a great spot for a quick getaway, but for sure even better for those who like a more immersive experience. If you are traveling as an adults only getaway, you will likely prefer to stay o the “Harmony” wing of the resort, which does not allow children. When you get a moment to get away from it all- your routine, the kids, the noise-  the last thing you want to hear is someone else’s kids screaming, and that’s totally fair and understandable- and other adults get that. It can be hard to find time to reconnect as a couple, and Coconut Bay makes sure you can have those quiet moments you are looking for, complete with hammocks and lounge chairs everywhere you look.

St Lucia Resort

Brining the kids? Totally cool. I usually do as well. The “Splash” wing is for families, and where you will find the waterpark, the only resort petting zoo on the island (and the only one I can remember seeing ever in my own experience), the Kidz Club, and even a paintball course.  It is for sure the louder side of the resort, and there are plenty of family friendly activities to keep everyone busy. Also, a note for those looking to keep active while traveling- they have really good fitness classes offered. Actual quality, that are both fun and challenging. You will be working up a sweat but enjoying yourself at the same time. Again, not something I see all the time. Places might have gyms and classes, but they are not usually anywhere near this intensity, and we were super impressed.

If you are getting away for a couples retreat for a girlfriends getaway, there are plenty of places that are kid free. Sometimes, you just need some quiet time. With separate pools, cabana area, and bar, the “Harmony” area has adults only peace and quiet in mind.  The rooms are luxurious and have evening turn down service, and there are quite a few options when it comes to views. Pool, ocean, or garden, they are all beautiful (and what tropical view would you turn down right now, really?)

There are great packages at the Kai Mer Spa, which you can receive indoors or outside, in your own private cabana, beachside. Nothing like a warm ocean breeze, is there? That’s like a double shot of relaxation. There are quite a few massage options to choose from, as well as other beauty options, like nail salon services and more. You can go on your own, or with your girlfriend, partner, daughter- whatever works for your party.

St Lucia vacation

There are also plenty of touring options, should you want to venture outside the resort. Head to the front desk and choose from a great variety of options. While most resorts offer some kind of tours, Coconut Bay has a really large variety to choose from. St. Lucia is a tiny island, but it has a lot to offer. Not many islands have active volcanoes, mountains, award winning scuba locations, several kinds of sandy beaches (including black sand), amazing vegetation and flora and fauna- it’s a one of a kind island.

amazing views

The watersports are plentiful, from water skiing to sailing to kite surfing and more. Snorkeling is amazing, the waters are beautiful and there are many kids of marine life to find. There is also a beautiful botanical garden with waterfall and thermal pools, ziplines, rainforest sky rides (a unique attraction) and more. There is also an active volcano, aforementioned, that creates a thermal bath and spring. Those willing can climb into the sulfuric smelling waters and coat themselves with the gray mud that is created by the ash. Wash it off in the warm waters below, and your skin glows for days. Really, your skin will look and feel amazing. Wear a bathing suit you don’t love or is dark, the mud will stain. Sulphur Springs is also the world’s only “drive in volcano”, where you can really drive right up and see steam rising, bubbling, and feel the heat. You can’t get too-too close, and you will be accompanied by a ranger who will make sure safety rules are followed and tell you about the volcano. DO NOT MISS THIS!

volcanic bath

 

For hikers and climbers, you will want to save a day for St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons, which technically can both be climbed, although only one is legally sanctioned. Gros Piton, the legal mountain, is steep and challenging. Taking you up roughly 2000 feet in an average of two hours (and two more hours to get back down), there are benches and areas to rest. Bring plenty of water, you will be glad you did.

tours in st lucia

 

A Unesco World Heritage site, nature lovers and hikers will not want to miss Gros Piton. You will  register at the base of the mountain, pay the fee of $50 per person (in US dollars), and hike with a guide. Guides are at the base of the mountain, and reservations are not required. As the hike is not a short one, tours are available from 7am until 2pm daily- last tour ends at 2. It is recommended to go early.

horse riding on beach

After your day out, head back to the hotel, relax, and grab something to eat before choosing which pool to lounge next to.

Relaxation AND adventure- sounds too good to be true? Visit https://cbayresort.com to choose a package that works for your next vacation.

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

Looking for an all-season resort you can enjoy with the family? Look no further then the beautiful Waterville Valley Resort, set in the always stunning White Mountains of New Hampshire.

We are lovers of NH, it’s not hard to find a reason to get us to head up for a visit. If you have ever set foot in the small but stunning state, you likely are as well. Outdoors Enthusiasts will be hard pressed to be kept away, no matter what the sport(s) or recreational activities of their choice might be.

white mountains

With endless outdoor fun at your fingertips, and natural beauty as unspoiled as you can find without heading way, way out (and you can do that as well if you desire more solitude and untouched nature),  the hardest part of your vacation will be choosing what activities you have time for on this trip- and planning when you can make a return visit.

Everyone needs a comfortable spot to lie their heads at night, and choosing your “home away from home” can be stressful. No matter what the reviews say, it is always a crapshoot- you never really know what you are going to get. Personal experience is always the best, and from my own experience, I can tell you I’ll be heading back to Waterville Valley Resort. It was as advertised, comfortable (ad clean), with amenities and multiple (clean!) restaurants and stores within a stones throw from your room. Forgot something, lose something? Always, right? Not a problem, there is someplace that sells what you need in the resort.  And there’s not price gouging, either, which is both refreshing and oh-so rare. You can even souvenir shop while you meander about.

hiking in new hampshire

Truly a nature lovers paradise, you can enjoy the fall foliage, winter wonderland, spring blooms, and summer splendor all from the mountain valley with a 360 degree views.  The location is truly stunning. As Waterville Valley Resort is nestled deep within the White Mountain National Forest and hosts a wide selection of activities for everyone within it’s grounds. You can always venture off property as well, but if you wanted to stay in one general spot and still be able to see and do, this is a fantastic spot to be in. (Bonus? The staff is amazing. Nice, friendly, accommodating, helpful- honestly. Apparently, they are trained this way. Imagine! Training to put the guests experiences first. What a throwback, and a most welcome one.)

We love hiking, and if you do as well, you are going to be in paradise. There are many trails to choose from, with hundreds of miles that range from easy walking paths to steep ascents. Some popular choices are an leisurely ramble along Corcoran Pond at the center of Town Square, an easy walk through the woods and wildflowers on the valley floor, or a more challenging hike up the 4,315-ft. summit of Mount Osceola, where you will find yourself surrounded by stunning views of the 700,000 acres of the national forest.

There is also mountain biking and trail riding.  You can bring your own or rent a bike from the Adventure Center in Town Square. There is also the (very cool) option of taking the chair lift to the top of Snow’s Mountain and riding your bike down. (This is a hike option as well.) Other options include golf, tennis, swimming, the cultural center, tours, seasonal skiing, skating, and more.

There is also a gym on site, and it’s actually a really good one- high quality and we loved it. Usually when we are away, if there is a gym, it’s small and not anything much. This one had all the equipment you look for and want to use. Your workouts won’t suffer while you are away.

“The White Mountain Athletic Club has an indoor swimming pool, whirlpools, saunas, weight rooms and cardiovascular room. And the Waterville Valley Ice Arena, a popular year-round destination, provides open skating, rentals and lessons for all ages.” (As per Waterville Valley Resort)

The creators of the  Curious George books, H.A. and Margret Rey lived in the area part time in the 1950s. The Rey’s have left their legacy, and many personal items and sketches, at the Margret and H.A Rey Center within the property. The center hosts nature walks, writers workshops, discussion clubs, a monthly lecture series, art shows, and activities for children. We attended both a nature walk where we looked in vain for owls, as well as a discussion about moon cycles given by a NASA volunteer. They also had an arts and crafts portion for children.

There is a lot to see and do in Waterville Valley Resort- and that’s without even leaving the property. The White Mountains area leaves so much to be explored as well.  For more information For more information, call 800GO VALLEY or visit www.visitwatervillevalley.com or e-mail [email protected].

 

 

Rhode Island Bound

rhode island

When planning your trip to Rhode Island you might not be thinking of horseback riding on the beach, but you should be. C and L Stables located in Goddard Memorial State Park and offer access to 18 miles of trails or beach rides along the East Greenwich Bay. Riders of all levels are welcome and the stables has even been awarded the North American Horseman Association “SAFETY AWARD” ten years in a row.

rhode island museum

If history is more your style visit the Cloud Hill Victorian House Museum. An authentic example of Victoriana and Rhode Island architecture designed by William Walker & Sons the house was originally a wedding gift and has remained in the family since then. One of these family members is Anne “Nancy” Allen Holst, whose history you can learn more about. She is an inspiration for her work fighting fire and became the world’s first female fire chief.

The Museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and is open for scheduled exhibits. Be sure to look at their site when planning a visit. This is your opportunity to take a look into the past with family items and furniture dating back to the 1870’s. Outside the grounds have a variety of trees and shrubs that have led to it being called the West Bay arboretum. Kids will also enjoy checking out the mid-1800s gypsy wagon and the fire truck used by the Cedar Hill Volunteer Fire Company. Their headquarters was located in a white shed on the property.

rhode island hotel

For your stay in Rhode Island check out (or rather into) Hotel Dolce Villa. Right on Federal hill and located in the “Little Italy” neighborhood in Providence, the hotel offers easy access to many local attractions. Within a mile of Waterplace Park & Riverwalk, Providence Performing Arts Center, and seven colleges and universities like Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Centrally located Hotel Dolce Villa is a great base for your visit.

rhode island restaurant

There’s More to NY than NYC

New York’s Finger Lakes region is a beautiful destination filled with history, adventure, and the great outdoors. Hikers, historians, artists, and literary buffs alike can find numerous attractions to draw them to the area. From Mark Twain’s time spent writing in Elmira, to the Corning Museum of Glass, and the natural splendor of forests and lakes, this is a truly inspirational trip.

NY State vacation

Mark Twain Country

One of America’s greatest writers, Mark Twain, was a regular visitor to Elmira NY. He summered there for over 20 years, his words flowing as he looked out over the countryside, penning such works as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Now tourists can have their own adventures in the very same surroundings.

You can visit the octagonal study where Twain wrote, which he called “the loveliest study you ever saw.” USA Today list it as the “number one literary attraction in America”. Now located at Elmira College, tours of the study are offered. Or perhaps a trip to Woodlawn Cemetery to see the author’s final resting place. Don’t be surprised to see a cigar or two, a common offering to the memory of the great Mark Twain.

In July and August the hour long Trolley into Twain Country Tour is available. Starting at the Chemung Valley History Museum the narrated tour hits multiple historic stops in Elmira touching on Twain, Civil War Sites, the restored Powers Theater, and Dunn Field, “home of the Elmira Pioneers baseball team”.

Tanglewood Nature Center even features a Mark Twain trail. Quotes from the author are posted along the trail. His voice still resonates surrounded by the very places he too visited. Twain’s appreciation of the natural world is reflected in all of his work, and though he traveled all over the world this is the countryside he returned to time and time again.

Younger visitors may find the Children’s Trail more up their alley. This path includes some obstacle courses while following “a disassembled nature-themed book along the way.” The Nature Center is home to more than 40 species of live animals most notably their birds of prey. They have ongoing education programs and events for kids and families.

gliders

Soaring Above Harris Hill

Searching for a loftier view? Try a trip above the tree tops. Soaring is a familiar word, but what does it mean when you are entering the “Soaring Capital of America”? An opportunity to take to the skies in a glider, high above the terrain that inspired some of America’s greatest literary works.

You can visit the National Soaring Museum to learn about these motorless planes or head over to Harris Hill Soaring Corporation in Elmira NY for a ride in the passenger seat. Weather can be an issue with gliding, but on a clear day there are no prettier view for your silent 15-20 minute flight across the sky.

For those of us happier to hug the ground Harris Hill Amusement Park offers some family fun and thrills at a lower altitude. A carousel, go-karts, and games right by the museum combines learning and play time in one stop. If mini-golf is your game than this is the place, or the driving range where you can see how far your golf balls soar.

waterfalls

Visiting Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen State Park is famous for its beauty and perfect for a day trip or as a camping stop. The Gorge Trail is nature at its most amazing and unexpected. Over a two mile stretch the glen’s stream forms 19 waterfalls as it descends 400 feet. The path goes over, under, and around the waterfalls or “rim trails overlook the gorge”. A suspension bridge 85ft. above the creek offers a birds eye view or you can go down and feel the water on your face while standing behind two waterfalls at Cavern Cascade. Swimming pools, fishing, hiking, and biking make the State Park ideal for anyone of any age that enjoys nature.

If you take the Gorge Trail be prepared for a workout. Over 800 stone steps await you as you hike. Also remember to bring lots of drinking water, you’ll get thirsty staring at the stream as you make your way through the gorge.

family vacation

Must See Museums

The Corning Museum of Glass is more than a gallery of glass art. It is dedicated to the history of glass, and home to historical glass pieces an amazing “35 centuries of glass art”. From the Romans and the origins of glass blowing to modern day innovations there is more to learn than you could ever have imagined and always more to see amongst the huge collection. If you want to feel the heat there are  demonstrations of glass blowing (Hot Glass Demo), or the Flameworking Demo where glass rods are shaped. Optical Fiber and Glassbreaking Demos are also offered so you can watch them make it or break it depending on your mood.

“Make Your Own Glass” Classes are offered at the Museum for all ages, which seriously fun and offer a sense of accomplishment when finished, and we highly recommend trying. You can make items such as flowers, ornaments, and other objects that will also serve as a unique souvenir of your time in NY State.

glass rabbit

The Rockwell Museum located in Corning NY, is the only Smithsonian affiliate in Upstate New York. The name comes from collectors Bob and Hertha Rockwell who gifted their art and artifacts to start the museum. Their goal to “make art accessible to kids” reads loud and clear. Visit the Family Exploration Studio to draw on a light board or take part in the Art Hunt by matching partial images to the full artwork throughout the galleries. To add to it’s draw, kids and teens visit free.

NY museums

The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is dedicated to the local and international legend who became the “fastest man on earth” when he raced a motorcycle at 136.4 MPH. He went on to be a pioneer in early flight being awarded the very first pilot’s license ever issued. The first to take off and land on water, Glen Curtiss pushed the limits of flight and plane design. The museum houses motorcycles, planes, boats, antique tools, and a Restoration Shop where you can see volunteers working on historic aircraft.

From museums, to wildly beautiful natural scenery, to high flying adventures and more, NY has it all. Visit the Finger Lakes to make memories that will last a lifetime (and take some of the most “Instagram Worthy” photos you will ever post).

new york vacation