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  • How to Plan Your National Park Family Adventure

    Traveling with Family: A Guide to Multigenerational Vacations

For a vacation that will cater to all ages and interests, look no further than Xanterra Travel Collection®.

Whether playing the world’s lowest elevation golf course in the middle of Death Valley National Park, experiencing the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, or becoming a Junior Park Ranger, a multigenerational vacation provides endless opportunities for family bonding.

Traveling with Family: A Guide to Multigenerational Vacations 1 Family Fun! Death Valley Inspires Awe and Wonder 50 Shades of Green: Sizzling Spring Golf Getaways
Traveling with Family: A Guide to Multigenerational Vacations

Death Valley National Park

Make fun-filled memories with your extended family at The Oasis at Death Valley, a true oasis in the middle of the largest national park in the lower-48. During the day, discover the mountainous landscape of Death Valley National Park, the desert setting of the original Star Wars films. Return to the resort to swim in a spring-fed pool and dine at one of our delightful restaurants. The resort has two properties: the historic AAA Four Diamond Inn at Death Valley and the family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley. Both offer activities for every age, including an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, the Borax Museum, an old-timey soda fountain and ice cream parlor, and an authentic Western saloon.

Stay at The Ranch, where guest rooms offer a classic mid-century feel with easy access to the pool, sports courts, and playground. The Ranch boasts horseback and carriage rides at the stables, Jeep rentals to explore the park, and The Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valley—the lowest elevation course in the world.

Meanwhile, the historic Inn at Death Valley offers quiet comfort for grown-ups and families with older children. The Inn recently underwent a $150 million renovation, bringing new life and amenities to this iconic property. Escape and spend quality time relaxing by the pool, strolling through date palm gardens to the bubbling melody of natural springs, or watching a glorious sunset from the quaint stone patios.

Best Grand Canyon Railway Adventures Family Ties: 4 Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate the Holidays 4 Fabulous Western Train Vacations 1
Train Guitar Family

The Grand Canyon Railway

Skip the traffic and congested parking at Grand Canyon National Park and take a journey from historic Williams, Arizona, to the stunning South Rim of the Grand Canyon the way visitors did in the early 20th century – by train. With multiple departures, a trip aboard the Grand Canyon Railway is for anyone looking for a special, one-of-a-kind experience.

Relax and let the train take you through the high desert, prairie, and pine landscapes. Listen to folklore and music that brings the Old West to life, and enjoy the Wild West-style shootout and cowboy musicians that add to the ambiance. 

For a more private and upscale experience, book a newly refurbished Rail Baron car. Choose from The Kansas, which can accommodate 18-day passengers or six overnight guests, The Utah, which can entertain 26 guests and has an onboard kitchen and bar, or The California, which can accommodate 44 guests during the day or 16 overnight and includes a second-story glass dome top with sofa seating for stargazing. The Grand Canyon Railway also offers the ability to book a completely private charter on your own schedule!

The Polar Express, a 90-minute ride to the “North Pole” is a must during the holiday season. Sip on hot chocolate, listen to the timeless Christmas story, and watch servers dance and sing along to the music before Santa boards the train. It’s a family tradition you’ll all look forward to each year.

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Glacier National Park

You and your family will appreciate the views and likely spot wildlife during a Red Bus tour through Glacier National Park. Since 1914, the fleet of 17-seat, roll-back top buses has provided  visitors with breathtaking views and unforgettable animal sightings. Choose between an East side or West side tour and let your knowledgeable driver/guide highlight the natural and historical aspects of the park.

For the ultimate mix of comfort and convenience, stay at Many Glacier Hotel—the largest hotel in Glacier National Park. Located on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake, this five-story hotel has unbeatable views and amenities, including an onsite restaurant, lounge, and gift shop.

If you’re looking for a year-round home base just outside the park, the 64-room Cedar Creek Lodge is a perfect choice. This property has the look and feel of a mountain lodge with modern style and comfort. Located just outside the park in Columbia Falls, Montana, it’s the perfect spot for hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, and more.

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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular family destinations in the United States. With nearly 3,500 square miles of land, it offers an incredible variety of activities from geysers and hot springs to hiking and horseback riding. 

One of the best ways to see wildlife is on the Wake Up to Wildlife tour. From 6:15 7:30 a.m. (depending on the pick-up location), you’ll board a 13-seat 1930s vintage bus and venture out to the Lamar Valley. You’ll have a chance to spot elk, bison, and eagles while enjoying the open vistas of the valley. It may be early, but the animals are most active in the early morning and the evening.

Of course, no trip to Yellowstone is complete without seeing the geysers. Old Faithful is famous for shooting steaming spray up to 180 feet into the air every 90 minutes. To avoid the crowds, arrive at Old Faithful before 9 a.m. The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center is a great place to learn about the geology and geothermal forces that create geysers and hot springs.

Yellowstone also has a few choices when it comes to Wild West adventures. Take a guided horseback ride through the park at the Canyon Lodge Corral. If you have older kids, follow the ride with a hike on Mount Washburn Trail for some unbelievable views. For a different experience, head 19 miles north to Roosevelt Lodge and board a stagecoach replica of the Tally-ho versions. Keep your eyes peeled for the deer, bison, and elk that favor this region.

Hiking people - hiker couple on hike outdoors enjoying active lifestyle in beautiful mountain landscape in Zion National Park. Multiracial Asian woman and Caucasian man in Utah, USA. Traveling with Family: A Guide to Multigenerational Vacations 5 Family at the edge of Zion Canyon in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery of Zion National Park in southern Utah.
People on hiking trip in the mountains walking on pathway. Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Zion National Park

To fully immerse yourself in the towering sandstone walls, winding slot canyons, and diverse wildlife of Zion National Park, take advantage of the shuttle system or stay at Zion Lodge, the only in-park lodging option.

Set up your base camp at Zion Lodge, with rooms and cabins centrally located to trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy to challenging. Grandma and Grandpa can take the younger children to explore the sights, while mom, dad, and the older kids can embark on a more demanding trail.

In the late afternoon, reunite for snacks, games, and family time before dinner. Zion Lodge’s prime location also allows you to soak up the park’s serene ambiance without the hustle and bustle of crowds.

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Sea Island

A family-friendly resort on the Georgia coast, Sea Island has a variety of accommodations, including The Cloister and The Lodge (both Forbes Five-Star rated), the Cottages, and The Inn at Sea Island.

Boasting championship golf courses and an award-winning spa for adults and teens, kids can enjoy the dune-bordered beach and Camp Cloister activities for ages 3 to 14. The resort’s family reunion specialist can help you select the perfect combination of bike outings, dock fishing, eco-tours, kayaking, horseback riding, and star gazing.

In addition, Sea Island hosts plantation suppers and Low Country boils, complete with games and music. With so many options, you’re sure to have a memorable vacation.

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The Broadmoor

A luxurious retreat perfect for families, The Broadmoor is situated at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. As a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond resort, they offer a range of amenities and activities that go above and beyond with three all-inclusive retreats.

Cloud Camp, perched 3,000 feet above The Broadmoor, is a place for families to reconnect without the distractions of modern life. The Orvis-endorsed Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp offers a private five-mile stretch of river, dedicated guides, a comfortable main lodge, and seven guest cabins. The Ranch at Emerald Valley was voted the #1 resort in Colorado by the Condé Nast Readers Awards and is a great setting for family fun with horseback riding, fishing, archery, and hiking.

Take part in the tradition of cowboy coffee at sunrise or sip a glass of wine at sunset overlooking two mountain lakes. These retreats provide the backdrop for unforgettable family adventures.

Whether you explore the vast landscape of Death Valley National Park, take the Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, or embark on a Red Bus tour through Glacier National Park, Xanterra Travel Collection® has a vacation for every family. Spending quality time is priceless, and our properties cater to bonding, adventure, and unforgettable experiences.