Holiday gatherings are great, but multigenerational family vacations can be even better.
It’s no wonder that multigenerational vacations continue to be among the hottest trends in travel. When grandparents, their adult children as well as grandkids go on a trip together they can interact by horseback riding, boating, hiking and watching wildlife instead of cooking, serving, passing the potatoes, and cleaning up. Holiday gatherings are great, but multigenerational family vacations can be even better. The key: choose the right trip, one that offers activities for all ages as well as opportunities for time together and time apart. Here are six terrific possibilities.
Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, Ariz.
Just after the sheriff wins a showdown with the town’s scoundrels, you board the historic, 1901 Grand Canyon Railway in Williams for the two-hour plus trip to the iconic national park. The train gives you the luxury of relaxing instead of driving and the ability to enjoy the views of Ponderosa pine woods and sagebrush-dotted fields. Kids like the guitar-playing and singing cowboys plus the faux train robbery by the dastardly Cataract Creek Gang. Conveniently, the train pulls into the park at the foot of the historic El Tovar Hotel, a good place for lunch. Meal, train and lodging packages can include one night at the park’s Maswik Lodge North, which gives you a day to explore the canyon’s wonders on your own, and a return trip departing at 3:30 p.m for another night in Williams. Sunset and sunrise will be highlights of your stay
For more information, visit thetrain.com or call 800-THE-TRAIN (843-8724).
Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Va.
Kingsmill, a condominium resort sprawled on 2,900 acres fronting the James River, offers families an oasis, especially important after busy days of revolution at Colonial Williamsburg, roller coasters at Busch Gardens and wave pools at Water Country USA. Enjoy more space for the money, a kitchen for cooking meals and snacks, and enough bedrooms to avoid sibling fights. Go fishing, paddleboarding and boating on the river; play tennis, stroll the four-mile walking path, float in the pool’s Lazy River, and teach your tweens and teens golf on championship courses. With the kids 5-12 happily occupied at Kids Camp, spoil yourself, your daughter, and teenage granddaughters with spa treatments at the full-service 5,000-square-foot spa.
For more information, visit kingsmill.com/recreation/kids-activities or call 800-832-5665.
CW Safaris' South Africa: The Cape and Sabi Sands
This urban and wilderness safari combines Cape Town culture and impressive coastal scenery with four days in the bush. That’s just the right amount of rising early and sitting still on game drives for newbie safari-goers, especially children. In Cape Town take in the view from 3,300-foot-high Table Mountain and browse masterworks at the National Art Gallery. From Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope, the road leads past rocky cliffs, beaches and to picturesque fishing villages. Stroll the Babylonstoren farm gardens in the Franschhoek wine valley.
In Sabi Sands, adjacent to Kruger National Park, share the thrill of watching elephants walk along the riverbanks, a herd of Cape buffalo munching grasses, and lions stalking their prey. Look carefully and you might spot a leopard asleep on a tree limb. This is a great place to see the “Big Five.” Because Lion Sands River Lodge is private, your guide can drive off-road to track animals and lead you on a bush walk as well as do night game drives, which give you a chance to see a whole different set of animals (bush babies, honey badger, porcupines, and more) as well as predators on the hunt. The rooms come with en suite bathrooms and Internet is available in the public areas. Your tweens and teens will be grateful for both. After all, a safari is the ultimate selfie trip.
For more information, visit cwsafaris.com/safaris/cape-and-sabi-sands or call 888-483-7696.
Austin Adventures' Montana Family Vacation
Explore the West on Austin Adventures’ six-day Montana Family Vacation. In Yellowstone National Park watch Old Faithful, eye elk and bison, and bike to hot springs. In Big Sky Country, ride horses into the mountains, raft a river, and soak in soothing hot springs. Overnight at guest ranches with cookout dinners, cabins at Yellowstone Lake, and a historic hot springs resort. The knowledgeable guides pace the activities, engage the kids, and handle all the logistics. You and your family simply soak in the western sun and fun.
For more information, visit austinadventures.com/packages or call 800-575-1540.
Sea Island, Ga.
Located on the Georgia coast, Sea Island — a collection that includes The Cloister and The Lodge, both Forbes Five-Star rated, the Cottages and The Inn at Sea Island — is known for its championship golf courses and award-winning spa, great for grownups and teens, as well as its kid-friendly dune-bordered beach and Camp Cloister activities for ages 3 to 14. The resort’s family reunion specialist can assist you with selecting the right combination for your family of bike outings, dock fishing, eco tours, kayaking, horseback riding, and star gazing as well as plantation suppers and Low Country boils, both complete with family games and music.
For more information and reservations, visit seaisland.com/family or call 800-SEA-ISLAND (732-4752).
For more travel experiences available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.
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