It’s been a tough year for everyone. How about we let the kids pretend everything is fine in the world this summer? These destinations offer perks for adults such as mountain bike trails, surf breaks, and rooftop bars, plus drive-in cinemas, hot spring pools, and skate parks to keep the kids happy.
(Photo: Courtesy Aleks Butman)
Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is a haven for young explorers. You can hike between slot canyons, marvel at sandstone arches and natural bridges, and dig for dinosaur fossils. If your kids can do a six-mile loop hike, the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls, which drops 30 yards into a pool below, is well worth it. Take a drive on Hole in the Rock Road to explore hoodoos in Devils Garden or hike the family-friendly slot canyons of Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch. The reward: burgers and shakes at Nemo in Escalante town afterwards. Opened on the site of an old drive-in theater this year, Yonder Escalante (RV sites from $ 69; cabins from $ 249) has bespoke A-frame cabins, vintage Airstreams, and RV sites. You can watch an outdoor movie from the seat of a restored classic car.
(Photo: Craig Zerbe / iStock)
This high-altitude town is famous for its ice climbing in winter, but Ouray is also beautiful in summer. A new via ferrata – a European-style cable climbing route – opened here in 2020 and crosses the Uncompahgre Gorge via a 35-foot wire rope bridge. San Juan Mountain Guides leads guided climbs (starting at $ 139) on the new routes that are suitable for all ages and abilities. The geothermally heated pools at the Ouray hot springs make for a nice after-climbing activity. Hotel Imogene (from USD 105) opened in 2020 in a historic building that was once a salon and brothel and now has six rooms, a rooftop bar, and a wooden sauna.
(Photo: Courtesy Woodward PA)
Granted, your kids will love this destination more than you do, but there’s still plenty for adults to enjoy – from paddling to hiking trails – at Woodward PA, the U.S. premier action sports training facility US dollars) or if you enroll your teen for a skate or BMX camp, this is all about fun. The 48 hectare campus has skate parks, BMX racetracks, go-karts, a pool and much more. Families can stay at Woodward Lodge (from $ 280) or pitch a tent in nearby Woodward Cave (from $ 30), a campground next to one of the largest underground caves in Pennsylvania (private cave tours available upon reservation).
(Photo: Courtesy Maine)
If you’re looking for a laid-back beach destination on the east coast, check out this small town 45 miles south of Portland. Take a stroll along 1 mile (1.6 km) of Long Sands Beach or hike 300 meter high Mount Agamenticus – the kids will enjoy it too. Then, enjoy views of the Nubble Light from Sohier Park and watch saltwater toffee be made on the goldenrod that has been making candy for over 100 years. Stay at the Oceanfront York Beach Surf Club (from $ 249), opening this summer in a restored motel with a new heated pool, bungalows, and rooms decorated to celebrate the area’s longstanding surfing culture.
(Photo: Courtesy Redwood Sky Walk)
This northern California coastal town is home to some of the tallest trees in the world, the towering redwoods of Humboldt County. The coolest new way to see these trees? From 100 feet above the forest floor on the Redwood Sky Walk, a hanging self-guided walkway that opens between 60 acres of old and second growth redwoods in the city’s popular Sequoia Park Zoo in early June. Book a suite at the Humboldt Bay Social Club (from USD 166) and enjoy the lawn games, hot tubs, and beach access. Your kids will love roasting marshmallows by the fire pits and after the beach soak in the outdoor claw-foot tubs that are part of the property’s historic bathhouse.
Sister Bay, Wisconsin
(Photo: Courtesy Destination Door County)
Door County, the peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan from eastern Wisconsin, has 300 miles of coastline, dozens of surrounding islands, and a culture that celebrates its Scandinavian heritage. Don’t miss out on Newport State Park, a designated Dark Sky Park with hiking campsites, 30 miles of hiking trails, and superb stargazing. The kids will love the Washington Island ferry ride and a movie at the Skyway Drive-in Theater, which opens for the summer season in May. This mid-century, four-bedroom A-frame cabin (starting at $ 399), re-listed on Airbnb for this summer, will house the whole family.
(Photo: Courtesy The Cloudveil)
By midsummer, the city of Jackson and neighboring Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park will be busy. But Remembrance Day through early June is still early for the summer crowds. The Cloudveil (starting at $ 549) – named after the Cloudveil Dome in the Teton Range – is a new hotel in the town square that opens May 26. The kids will enjoy the outdoor pool, but you’ll love the rooftop terrace and indoor bar and restaurant. The hotel staff can help you create itineraries for the whole family, from fly fishing or rafting the Snake River to guided mountain biking and hiking. Or visit Snow King for hiking and biking trails. Alpine slide and zip line for her.
Main Photo: Courtesy of Redwood Sky Walk