Sometimes, great vacations can be found surprisingly close to home. Few travelers could exhaust America's adventures. The United States is such a diverse country culturally and ecologically with mountains, beaches, deserts, canyons, lakes and so much more. Instead of trekking to the Caribbean or across the pond, consider packing the mini-van and hitting the road with the entire family.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Colonial Williamsburg, the historic district of Williamsburg, Virginia, boasts buildings from 1699 to 1780. The small town is a replica of the colonial Virginia of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other founding fathers. The exhibits feature reconstructed and restored colonial houses relating to the American Revolutionary War. Workers in the town wear colonial attire and use colonial grammar and diction. Colonial Williamsburg isn't just an educational trip. There are two amusement parks--Busch Gardens and Water Country USA--nearby. Investigate packages that include nightly accommodations at the Willamsburg Lodge, the official on-site Colonial Williamsurg hotel, as well as 3-in-1 tickets for general admission to Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area and museums, plus Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale has been called the "Venice of America," because of its extensive canal system. Soak up the sun on a water taxi tour along the inland canals. The city has quite a water culture-- boat the canals, fish or dive among the 75 wrecks in the sea reefs or hit the Everglades by air boat. One perk for the divers: walk-in dive spots are accessible from the Fort Lauderdale beach. Promenade, bike or skate Atlantic Boulevard and the Beach Promenade. And inland, Fort Lauderdale hosts a treasure trove of cultural, historical, and social activities. Must see attractions include the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Discovery and Science, the Museum of Arts and the historic Stranahan House. There are also many places to shop, such as Sawgrass Mills, The Galleria, and Las Olas Boulevard, which happens to have numerous exquisite outdoor cafes.
Yellowstone National Park
Looking for a place where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope reign---Yellowstone Park is just the place. Even though it's popular year round, Yellowstone in winter has thinner crowds and half-off hotel rates. There are many things to do, particularly for families. Hiking, camping, bicycling, boating, fishing, horseback riding and picnicking are some of the things families can enjoy. There are also several historical places to stay. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, which sits on the former location of Fort Yellowstone, dates back to the 19th century. The Old Faithful Inn, right beside the Old Faithful Geyser, is one of the largest log buildings in the world. The nine different lodging properties to choose from located inside the park are non-smoking. Television, radios, air-conditioning and internet isn't available and telephone availability and cellphone coverage is limited, so you will definitely be getting away from it all.
San Diego, California
You can't lose with a San Diego vacation. It has California's most beautiful beaches and one of the best zoos in the country, in part because of its world famous pandas. You could also take a harbor cruise. In addition, Tijuana, a popular Mexican border town, is only a trolley ride away. Golf all day at Balboa Park or visit Torrey Pines State Reserve to see rare birds and wildlife. Other family-oriented activities include SeaWorld, the historic Gaslamp Quarter, shopping in LaJolla, a quaint little seaside town, not to mention the restaurants, malls and hotels for every budget.
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