Kids Vacation
June 19, 2017 5:17 AM   Subscribe

Looking for summer vacation ideas for my family from Austin. 6 and 8 year old. We've done Disney, cruises and the San Diego Zoo. Looking for some spots in the U.S. that may be off the radar or simply creative ideas for a week long vacation.

San Diego was great because we got to mix the zoo, Legoland, Safari Park and the city all in one. I'd be open to a mountain resort, or a dude ranch, or an all inclusive beach resort. I was thinking Seattle may have a good mix of urban and wilderness exploration. I'm ultimately looking for a place where the kids can have a blast, we can move at our own pace, and mom and dad can have a bit of down time. If you told me to go hang out at at XYZ resort and spa in Idaho I'd consider it. Help us have a great summer vacation.
posted by jasondigitized to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite place in the world is Rainy Lake, and I recommend Tara's Wharf in Ranier, Minnesota, right on the Canadian border. Bike and boat rentals, ice cream, small summer festivals, beaches, nearby muni, the nearby Voyageur's National Park, feed the chipmunks at Sha Sha Resort, Smokey Bear Park and golf in the main town of International Falls. Summer is so gorgeous on Rainy Lake.
posted by jillithd at 7:00 AM on June 19

Since you're open to anywhere, I would unhesitatingly say St. Louis, MO. They have a great children's zoo and science museum, and they also have the City Museum, which is unlike anyplace I've ever seen in my life and worth a trip just for itself. The Arch is a bit boring, but it's cool from a "nowhere else has this" perspective. There's a Six Flags nearby, plus Busch Stadium, and it's only a few hours drive to the Abraham Lincoln Museum, which is also really worth a visit.
posted by Mchelly at 9:38 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]

We rented a small condo outside of Jackson Hole, WY last summer and it was a fantastic trip for our kids, who were in the same age range. We did lots of day hikes, two horseback rides, a couple of raft trips, and all kinds of general sightseeing. We drove up to Yellowstone for the geysers one day. We saw moose, bison, coyotes, and a black bear. We flew in and out of Salt Lake and drove up and back, which was a beautiful drive (we stayed off the interstates for the most part). Probably the best trip we've ever taken as a family. Jackson Hole has plenty of restaurants and ice cream, etc. for evenings. Mail if you want more details.
posted by Mid at 10:33 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Off-the-radar: Fort Robinson, Nebraska . I know, Nebraska in the summer? I thought my sis was crazy. But it was a great time for kids and families. Stay in one of the Officer's Quarters cabins. Loads of history, kids activities.
posted by evilmomlady at 4:01 AM on June 20

Came here to say what Mid just said - Jackson Hole (hiking, rodeo) and Yellowstone NP (stay in the park if you can, it may be too late for this summer but there are cancellations). We stayed in the park for four days, Jackson Hole for two, and visited Boseman MT on the way out (we flew into Jackson Hole and out of Boseman, but weren't that all impressed with Boseman to be frank about it).

We have similar-aged boys and getting outside to do hikes etc is really good for them.

A trip we took last summer was Yosemite - flew in San Jose, visited Stanford, stayed in Yosemite NP for four days, filled with swimming, hiking, a Merced raft trip (one of the highlights), and horseback riding. Seeing a star program at Glacier Point late at night, eating at a nice restaurant after a long afternoon of hiking, they all talk about these trips fondly.

Of course at the end we did the SF city thing: on the way in saw Muir Woods (not to be missed), hung out on the Marin Headlands before crossing the Golden Gate bridge from the north, ate Chinese food on Clement Ave, took the Scenic Drive up to Twin Peaks and across to the Legion of Honor. It was a nice combination of nature and city. (Disclaimer - lived in SF a few decades ago, it really hasn't changed all that much on the inside.)
posted by scooterdog at 1:33 PM on June 20

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