When you think of a family vacation you probably think of a trip to a Disney theme park or maybe even a visit to see long-distance family members. While neither of these options are bad, there are so many other places your family can spend time at, especially if you enjoy exploring the great outdoors.

For your next family vacation, consider a trip that allows you to breathe in plenty of fresh air and soak in the beauty of Mother Nature. Here are 5 of the best family vacations that everyone in your family will enjoy.

1. Lake Tahoe

Each year Lake Tahoe welcomes more than 2 million visitors. While many think that California is only home to sandy beaches, palm trees, and surfers, you’ll see anything but when visiting Lake Tahoe. The lake is located on the border of California and Nevada and is home to granite cliffs, steep mountaintops, and crystal clear blue water that’s perfect for any water sport.

Lake Tahoe also offers plenty of hiking trails, allowing you to take in the beauty from above. For some serious fun, be sure to take a scenic cruise or head up in a hot air balloon. After a long day on the water and in the woods, the family can enjoy shopping and delicious local food.

2. Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming isn’t a state that most people think to visit when planning a family vacation, but Yellowstone National Park is a place you’ll want to enjoy with your entire family. If you’re a true outdoor enthusiast, this is the location to visit. Yellowstone is home to all sorts of natural wonders including:

  • Geysers
  • Meadows
  • Forests
  • Mountains
  • Canyons
  • Waterfalls

There are miles and miles of trails, many of which you’ll have to share with elk, buffalo, and maybe even the occasional grizzly bear. When in the park be sure to check out Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Yellowstone Lake. If there’s time you’ll also want to check out Lewis River Channel and West Thumb Geyser Basin.

3. Gauley River

Some people swim in rivers and others fish, but if your family members are true daredevils, you’ll definitely want to plan a vacation to Virginia’s Gauley River for a few days of adrenaline-pumping white water rafting. Known as the Beast of the East, the Gauley River in Virginia offers the most intense rafting experience that you’ll find in the area. This river is definitely meant for teenagers and adults.

Want to enjoy white water rafter that’s suitable for youngsters? New River offers slower rapids that are much safer for younger children. After spending a few hours on the water, you can give zip lining a try. Or hike the Blue Ridge Mountains and soak in some serious natural beauty.

4. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, located in Maine, is a great family vacation for those who want to trek onto untouched land and rugged terrain. The park is surrounded by dark blue water that crashes against granite boulders, a beautiful site to see.

Lined with spruce trees, Acadia National Park is not only picturesque, it’s the perfect place for hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, fixing, and exploring. The park is also great for biking and horseback riding. When at the park be sure to visit Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, and Park Loop Road.

The best time to visit is September through October. While the weather will be cool and crisp, you don’t have to worry about crowds, fog, or rain. July through late August offers optimal weather conditions but you can expect for there to be plenty of visitors.

5. Boulders Edge

Located in Southeastern Ohio, Boulders Edge is home to some of the most amazing sandstone formations in the country. Boulders Edge is home to authentic log cabins along with a Native American tepee, two awesome outdoor locations for spending a few nights up close and personal with Mother Nature.

Not too far away you’ll find Hocking Hills State Park, another nature hot spot that’s great for kayaking, zip-lining, hiking, and mountain biking. If you’re feeling super daring, you could tumble down a hill in a giant inflatable ball!

Be sure to visit during the spring and fall months to avoid heavy crowds. However, since both regions are quite expansive, you should still be able to hike and enjoy other outdoor activities without too much interruption.


When planning your next nature-based family vacation, be sure to consider these 5 locations. We know that your entire family will have a blast!

Do you recommend any other family vacation locations for nature lovers? Share your go-to spots in the comments!

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