Your family deserves a break. Sure, amusement parks provide excitement, but no vacation is as rewarding as the one that delivers outdoor activities, breath-taking beauty, and nature exploration all in one.
With 140 million Americans investing in outdoor time, extended stays in open-air environments are on the rise. Whether it’s hiking during the weekend or organizing fishing charters, many are opting for a close encounter with nature rather than a hectic getaway to a touristy trap.
This year, skip the headache of planning your trip to an expected destination and instead travel to nature’s backyard. From things to do in Joshua Tree National Park, visiting the Grand Canyon, or heading out to the Adirondacks, there are plenty of places in the US for outdoorsy family time.
Not sure where to start? No worries, we’ve listed a few of our favorite places to try.
The Best US Travel Locations for Outdoorsy Families
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Grand Canyon, Arizona
There’s a reason why everyone says the Grand Canyon is America’s most beautiful natural wonder. Spanning two states and containing the Colorado River, this majestic spread offers enough scenic views and fun activities for a whole summer.
Hike to the bottom or book a trip to white water raft on the raging rapids. There’s certainly no shortage of fun when visiting the historic site.
Find one of the many incredible paths to wonder and enjoy a night of backwoods camping while you’re there. With 4.5 million visitors per year, you would expect the location to be packed, but the North Rim is a nature buff’s true paradise. Relax away from the crowds and get in tune with your inner outdoorsman.
Adirondacks, New York
It’s not the Rockies — and that’s a good thing. The upstate New York mountains are a little slice of heaven.
Home to Olympic parks and picturesque lakes, the Adirondacks are a source of endless summer activities, as well as a great place to find plenty of unique lodging, like the properties you’ll find on ResortsandLodges.com.
Take in history by visiting Lake Placid or opt for a hike to the range’s tallest peak. If you’re looking to capitalize on the beauty, exploring during the fall foliage months is your best bet.
There’s more than one reason to explore Boulder, but the main purpose for visiting should be to scale the Flatirons. Climbing, hiking, and biking are the popular activities at this scenic stop.
Of course, you can also enjoy a day of canoeing or horseback riding. When you’re finished surveying the area’s incredible nature scene, enjoy a night on the booming city. There’s always something to do with the University of Colorado close by.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Whether you’re headed there in the spring or fall, Jackson Hole provides a memorable backdrop.
Check out Grand Teton National Park while you’re in the Cowboy State, and make sure you put some thought into planning campsite meals; camping is a great way to bond as a family in this part of the world!
It’s the capital of the most beautiful state in the union, and you don’t want to miss it. Tour the glaciers, take in the wildlife, and spend some time on the water to complete an unforgettable experience.
National Bridges National Monument, Utah
Nothing is cooler than the stone bridges in this Utah Park. That’s not an exaggeration. Designed to enjoy the magnificence of a dark sky, this remote area features 13 campgrounds and a ton of opportunities to star gaze.
Hot Springs, North Carolina
With water activates, fishing, and the Appalachian Trail, Hot Springs is simply a “can’t miss” for East Coasters.
Acadia National Park, Maine
By now, the secret is out on this Atlantic Coast oasis. Wander through the enveloping woods and hike Cadillac Mountain to get the most out of your trip.
Photo credit: Rachel Campbell.
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Proximity to Charleston and beach camping options are all the reasons you need to take a weekend trip to Edisto Island. Salt marshes and winding trails add to the allure.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
There’s probably not much to say about the palm oases that you don’t already know. As with the rest of the destinations on this list, there’s never a wasted day when you’re out in nature.
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