Tag Archives: Adventure travel

Five Family Travel Adventures Perfect for Summer


Family travel at Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont

There has never been a better time to travel with your family. Hotels, resorts, tour operators and more have embraced the idea of multigenerational travel and families are spoiled for choice when it comes to planning a family vacation this summer. These five curated family travel escapes are perfect for summer getaways.

Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe, Vermont

The four-season resort boasts the tranquility of New England and enviable access to Stowe Mountain Resort ski area, as well as the charming village of Stowe. Get Out and Go offers families two-night accommodations, a rustic furniture-making class, a guided family hike or snowshoe adventure, dinner at the sophisticated-yet-laid-back Hourglass Lounge and a classic welcome amenity of milk and cookies. Rates begin at $1,254 for two nights, for a family of four. www.stowemountainlodge.com

Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia

A true luxury escape, Lansdowne Resort combines impeccable service and urban style with scenic views of the Potomac River. Lansdowne Resort’s Education Package provides overnight accommodations in adjoining guest rooms and dinner at the signature bar, Stonewalls Tavern or the elegant clubhouse, Crooked Billet. Grab your family for a geocaching adventure on the hotel’s grounds for a grown up version of hide and seek. After, hop aboard the shuttle transfer to Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum, the home to the largest collection of aircraft and space artifacts in the world including the Space Shuttle Discovery. Rates begin at $174. www.lansdowneresort.com

Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum, Washington

The Pacific Northwest’s famously breathtaking setting and rich history offer an unlimited amount of activities for guests of Suncadia Resort. The Suncadia Family Adventure takes families on a guided Nature Trail Hike to catch the views from Manashtash Ridge, Thorpe Mountain, or to take in the stunning setting of the Cooper Lake hike. Prepare for a downriver adventure on a three-hour guided rafting River Float Trip on the Yakima or Cle Elum River. Return to the hotel’s Portals Restaurant for a home-style dinner followed by a relaxing night in the sumptuous one-bedroom suites. Rates begin at $929. A minimum two-night stay is required. www.suncadiaresort.com

The Embassy Row Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Nicknamed “Millonaires’ Row,” Embassy Row is a street of mansions on Massachusetts Avenue. Nestled between historic embassies and enchanting row homes, The Embassy Row Hotel’s ”Mini-Monet” family vacation package allows families to unleash their inner artist in Dupont Circle. Families start their day at The Phillips Collection, a private art gallery that features permanent exhibitions such as Rothko and Georgia O’Keefe. You’ll leave the gallery inspired to paint your own masterpiece. Walk nearby to ArtJamz for two-hours of studio time, including blank canvases, painting supplies and drinks for four. Continue to explore the nation’s capital with four all-day metro passes, and then retreat to the hotel’s superior room to unwind with stunning city views. Rates begin at $361. www.embassyrowhotel.com

La Cantera Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, Texas

Perched atop one of the highest points in all of San Antonio overlooking the rolling Texas Hill Country sits La Cantera Hill Country Resort. For the ultimate thrill, the Hidden Passages Adventure Tour brings families into one of the most treasured natural attractions Texas has to offer, Natural Bridge Caverns. Once outfitted with caving gear, each guest will be lowered by rope through a 160-foot well shaft. Travel approximately one mile, going down to 230 feet below surface level to the Fault Room which features one of the longest soda straw formations in North America. This three hour adventure will have your teens talking about this vacation for years to come! Rates, based on a family of four, start at $759 for one night. Each additional night starting at $199. www.resortlacantera.com

Visit Destination Hotels & Resorts for more family-friendly offered year-round.

A Family Adventure Bear Grylls-Style in California

I am going to have to put my adventure pants on — this might be too crazy for me — but I would do it for my family. Bear Grylls, the man behind television shows such as “Man vs. Wild”, has launched an adventure program for families and adults. The Bear Grylls Survival Academy offers a rare chance for a lucky few outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe to learn Bear’s extreme survival techniques. And, lucky for us Californians, it’s not far away. The academy is located in Oakhurst, Calif., near the entrance to Yosemite National Park. 

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First launched in Scotland in 2012, the Bear Grylls Team is bringing the adventure to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and further afield in New York’s Catskills and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains in Spring 2014.  The Academy, designed by Bear Grylls himself, will be run by his close team of highly trained experts and professional mountaineers.

Dates are scheduled from June through August for 24-hour adult, 24-hour family as well as the more intensive five-day course for adults. There’s even time to get that adventurous gift for mom on Mother’s Day — gift certificates are currently available.



Retreat of the Week: El Capitan Canyon

Stay in a yurt this Easter at El Capitan Canyon.  // (c) 2014 El Capitan Canyon
Stay in a yurt this Easter at El Capitan Canyon. // (c) 2014 El Capitan Canyon

Is your family looking for an Easter to remember? El Capitan Canyon is the place for adventurous families looking for an outdoor experience this Easter weekend. The luxury camping resort nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara, Calif., amid blooming spring colors, magnificent wildlife and coastal scenery is offering a special Easter brunch buffet, a 3,000 egg hunt for the kids and a wine-tasting event for the parents. I can’t help but recommend this because I don’t think there are three things that I love more than brunch, fun activities for my children and wine tasting — but it gets better. To experience the great outdoors in the blossoming spring season, visitors can stay in cedar cabins, safari tents and adventure yurts in villages throughout the canyon.

Children hoping to catch a glimpse of the fabled Easter Bunny can take part in a 3,000 egg hunt beneath historic sycamore and oak groves along El Capitan Creek on Sunday, April 20.  Little ones 4 years old and younger will also have the opportunity to engage in a pre-egg hunt.  Those who are fortunate may even see the native Californian jackrabbit or cottontail hare bouncing around on the forest floor.  El Capitan will also host an Easter Brunch Buffet for families and guests, celebrated with El Capitan’s very own Easter Bunny.

El Capitan offers guests an abundance of activities for making the most of their Easter weekend or weeklong getaway. Minutes away from valley villages, families can dip their toes into the Pacific Ocean and enjoy the warm spring weather on sandy white beaches along California’s central coast. Just north of El Capitan Canyon sits Refugio Beach, a hidden gem with beautiful vistas complete with picnic tables for the perfect afternoon with the family. Visitors seeking adventure can also take part in guided nature hikes through the valley, rent bicycles or Segway’s, rock-climb, surf, kayak, and even try their hand at El Capitan’s own high ropes course.


Try G Adventures New Family Programs

The balloons over Bagan, Myanmar were a highlight of 2012 // (c) 2012 Janeen Christoff
Families can head to Myanmar with G Adventures // (c) 2012 Janeen Christoff

Looking for some inspiration for your summer vacation? Try G Adventures new family programs. Adventurers of all ages will find something to love with G Adventures new line-up of family trips across five continents. Just reading through this list of trips is making me want to pack my bags and head to the airport. If any of you feel the same, feel free to let me know and we can schedule a group trip.

·       Burma Family Adventure – Explore intriguing Yangon, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, cycle around amazing Bagan, visit limestone caves at Pindaya, relax at tranquil Inle Lake and hike in the hills around Thandwe. Priced from $2499* per adult and $2299 per child. Minimum age 8 years.

·       Namibia Family Adventure – Climb the highest sand dunes in the world in Sossusvlei, spy flamingos in Walvis Bay, admire the mighty cheetah in theirnatural habitat and spot wildlife in majestic Etosha National Park. Priced from $2399 per adult and $2299 per child. Minimum age 10 years.

·       Western USA Family Experience – Hike the natural splendor of Zion and Bryce national parks, learn horseback-riding at a cowboy ranch, visit Canyonlands National Park for sunset and marvel at the sight of the Grand Canyon. Priced from $2499 per adult and $2399 per child.Minimum age 8 years.

·       Amalfi Family Adventure – Try a delicious cooking class, see the ruins of the doomed city of Pompeii, hike the hills of Tre Calli, explore Capri and more, all in a breezy and affordable seven days. Priced from $1499 per adult and $1399 per child. Minimum age 6 years.

All family adventures are two weeks or less in duration and planned around school vacation periods.  Each trip has a minimum age appropriate to the activities undertaken, with the youngest being suitable for age 4 years and above.


Five Inspiring Adventures for the New Year

Adventure travel treks: The Great Himalaya Trail // (c) 2013
Adventure travel treks: The Great Himalaya Trail // (c) 2013

These are definitely not adventures for families, but it is that time of year when people consider their “best of” lists, dream destinations, bucket lists and what have you, and I though that this was a pretty awesome list of over-the-top  treks. At the very least, it can provide some inspiration for next year’s travels. These specific trips are provided by World Expeditions.

The Great Himalaya Trail: The Full Nepal Traverse
Be amongst the few who have trekked the Nepal Great Himalaya Trail in one continuous 152-day trek! Along this 1700km trail you’ll encounter some of the wildest and most remote mountain environments imaginable. We’ve also crafted seven treks that interlink to make up the full traverse.
Departs: 01 March – 30 July 2014 (152 days)

Great Patagonian Traverse – North to South
Mostly on foot and at times by boat, be among the first to discover the rarely used pass between the shores of Lago O’ Higgins (Chile) and Laguna del Desierto (Argentina).
Departs: 4 February, 29 November 2014 (15 days)

Bhutan Snowman Trek
One of the world’s most challenging treks is undertaken by only a handful of trekkers each season. It accesses the remote region of Lunana, where tiny Buddhist monasteries and secluded villages remain isolated many months of the year.
Departs: 15 September 2014 (27 days)

Dominica – Trek the Waitukubuli Trail
The Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica is the longest walking trail in the Caribbean crossing the entire island. Along the way, hikers encounter a varied canvas of contrasting landscapes.
Departs: 2 February, 9 March, 20 April, 5 October, 16 November 2014 (12 days)

John Muir Trail
Celebrate the centennial anniversary of the John Muir Trust hiking the Sierra Nevada trail, covering some of the most pristine and dramatic backcountry in North America.
Departs: 10 July, 31 July, 4 September 2014 (21 days)