You could spend hours fighting the crowds at a theme park or busy national landmark, but there are other vacation options available for those who want to spend quality time with loved ones. By selecting some of the lesser known areas around the country, you experience a unique vacation without high food prices and exasperating lines. Try some of these off the beaten path ideas and have the vacation of a lifetime.
1. Lake Powell
When some people think of lake vacations, they automatically choose the Great Lakes, Lake Tahoe or Lake Havasu. Nestled in Utah, Lake Powell is incredibly large, allowing you to rent a houseboat and disappear on your own path. Anchor your houseboat close to shore and explore the coastline or set your fishing line out for a big fish catch. There are some waterfalls that dot the coastline as well. Your family can bond as gorgeous sunsets and sunrises bookend your days.
2. Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Country
Located in south-central Oklahoma, invite the whole family for a trip into Native American history. Along with beautiful golf courses and pools, adults can hit the casino while kids enjoy the chocolate factory. Feast your eyes on the Toy and Action Figure Museum for the entire family as you gaze at the nighttime stars in this magical land.
3. Savannah, Georgia
This southern city is full of family fun at reasonable prices. Eat at famous restaurants while walking around quaint shops downtown. Visit the seaport and imagine life back in the 1800s when the Civil War was raging. The Oatland Island Educational Center offers a nature study of native Savannah plants and animals. Try to visit in the spring and fall to avoid the humid summer period and lock in lower hotel and rental car rates.
4. Tucson, Arizona
Visit Tucson’s desert gardens and one of its largest attractions, the Boneyard. Unlike other Air Museums, Tucson has the land to spread thousands of old and discarded planes out in the open. Although you cannot walk through it, buses can take you through the yard to see planes from almost every war. Kids can learn about history with the visuals in front of them, especially planes with bullet holes prominently scarring the fuselage.
5. Southwest Dude Ranches
Let the whole family be cowboys in the Southwest. Whether you want to ride the trails or lay by the pool, various dude ranches teach you about horse riding, roping and cattle penning. Shooting practice is often available for those that want to try their hand at gun wrangling too. Depending on the ranch, you can even move cattle from one site to another. Known as cattle drives, spend several nights under the stars as you corral cattle to another ranch for an experience like no other.
6. Dinosaur Ridge
Experience the world as it was millions of years ago by visiting Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark’s Dinosaur Ridge. Immerse the kids in prehistoric science while enjoying the Colorado scenery. A simulated dig is a highlight for visitors, allowing them to find dinosaur fossils from long ago.
Family vacations do not need to be lessons in crowd control. Ask your family about their favorite history subjects or dream activities. Roller coasters are just one type of vacation, but off the beaten path selections broaden the mind, bond your family and create unique memories for all time.
Alvin Ingram has worked as a travel agent for the past 5 years and enjoys traveling to exotic destinations as often as his schedule allows. Alvin recommends http://exoticgringo.com as a great blog for exotic travel tips.