Whether you want to relax by the pool, explore a famous city, or de-stress surrounded by mountain views, spring is a wonderful time to get away with kids. Some of the best family-friendly destinations offer a diverse choice of things to do for all ages.
Things to consider when choosing where to go include activities for kids, the climate, dining options, room size and layout. Activities for grown-ups such as rejuvenating spa treatments, relaxing yoga classes, horseback riding and golf are a wonderful way to unwind while kids participate in age-appropriate programs.
1. California - The Resort at Pelican Hill
© The Resort at Pelican Hill
The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Southern California has great facilities for younger guests, including a clubhouse, pool, bubble jet fountain and sand areas. Camp Pelican facilities overlook the ocean, offering a natural and calm setting for kids. At the clubhouse, children have access to art tables, computers, plasma tvs, ping pong and an outdoor patio with tables.
While young ones are busy at the camp, grown-ups can play 36 holes of golf, visit the spa and enjoy 500 scenic acres the hotel is set on. There is a diverse range of accommodations to choose from, depending on the size of you family. Bungalows all feature private ocean-view terraces and at least 847 square feet of living area (from $695/night). Families can also book one of the 128 villas which range in size from two to four bedrooms.
2. Wisconsin - Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark
© Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark
Located in the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Timber Ridge Lodge is an all-season, all-suite family-friendly lodge that offers comfortable home-away-from-home accommodations and an array of world-class facilities, including a vast indoor/outdoor waterpark. Combining resort-style luxuries with the comforts of home, 225 guest suites are fully equipped for self-catering needs with modern kitchens, private bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, spacious lounges with fireplaces and luxurious whirlpool baths. If you feel like eating out, Smokey´s Bar-B-Que House offers hearty, all-American fare with a casual, relaxed vibe and the Hungry Moose Food Court is ideal for a quick bite on the run. There are a number of fine dining restaurants at the Grand Geneva Resort, such as Geneva Chophouse and Ristoranté Brissago. An array of activities is available in and around the resort, including vast Moose Mountain Falls Waterpark, skiing and snowboarding at The Mountain Top, and golf on the championship Brute and The Highlands courses. Unwind with pampering spa treatments at the WELL Spa and Salon after a fun-filled day in the sun.
3. Spring Vacation: Colorado - C Lazy U Guest Ranch
© C Lazy U Guest Ranch
Rolling green meadows, blue skies and rugged mountains surround C Lazy U Guest Ranch, an authentic dude ranch in Colorado that has been welcoming guests for nearly 100 years. Celebrated the world over for its rustic elegance, rich heritage, world-class cuisine, and signature service, the ranch is an ideal getaway for the whole family. Scattered around the ranch for privacy, a variety of accommodation options are offered within walking distance of the main lodge.
Comfortably furnished with Western-style décor, cozy stone fireplaces, and fully stocked mini bars, modern amenities abound, including new iHome docking stations and plush bathrobes. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado valley, go horseback riding (you get your own horse for the week), Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, trap shooting and a challenging ropes course. The full service spa offers a range of pampering treatments for body and soul. After working up a hearty appetite in the fresh mountain air, sit down to a family-style dinner where you can get to know your fellow guests in a rustically elegant dining room with lovely views. Plan a week-long trip or try one of the short-stay specials.
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4. Spring Vacation: Portland, Oregon - Sentinel Hotel
© Sentinel Hotel
Located in two of Portland’s most historic downtown buildings, the Sentinel Hotel reflects historical grace, Italian Renaissance elegance and classic old-world charm. The hotel’s long and rich history is evident in its beautifully preserved architecture and grand interiors. Meticulously appointed guest rooms and suites are luxurious havens of contemporary elegance, boasting beautiful décor and the latest technology for comfort and convenience, such as iPod docking stations, in-room Portland Roasting Coffee and Steven Smith Tea, and deluxe bath amenities. Elegance abounds in the deep walnut furniture, pale ivory leather-clad headboards and hand tufted rugs, while panoramic views can be soaked up from large windows.
Join the locals at the traditional Jake’s Grill, one of Portland’s quintessential dining spots, which serves some of the best steak and seafood in town, and offers an extensive cocktail and whiskey menu. Have pre-drinks in the exquisitely elegant Jackknife Bar whose dark wood and leather interior will have you journeying back in time. Guests have access to a private fitness center and a range of services can arranged on request, including 24-hour room service, pillow and spiritual menus and hand-delivered Portland ice cream which is always popular with kids. The hotel is within close proximity to the famous Pearl District and Waterfront.
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5. Spring Vacation: Wyoming - Hotel Terra
© Hotel Terra
The Wild West takes on a contemporary-chic twist in this modern, stylish hotel that offers superb accommodations, warm, welcoming hospitality and breathtaking views. Located in the heart of Teton Village near Grand Teton National Park, Hotel Terra is an ideal place for a tranquil escape from the city. Elegantly designed guest rooms and suites reflect the beautiful mountain surroundings with rich décor in natural tones, rich leather finishes and smooth wooden paneling. King- or queen-sized beds promise absolute comfort, while modern amenities such as flat screen televisions, mini fridges, coffee makers and iPod docking stations avail. Dine on mouth-watering wood-fired pizza and other delicious Italian fare on the outdoor terrace at Il Villaggio Osteria, or soak up lovely views through floor-to-ceiling windows over light meals and snacks at Café Terrace. Relax by the crackling fire with a glass of wine at the Lobby Lounge or enjoy a private meal in the comfort of your suite.
6. Isle of Wight, UK - West Bay Country Club & Spa
© West Bay Country Club
The West Bay Country Club & Spa is a luxurious country club and spa ideal for a family getaway. Resting on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, the surrounding island is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the perfect base from which to explore the heritage coastline and discover the hidden secrets of the island. Designed with pure comfort and relaxation in mind, the club offers 105 individually furnished houses that are privately owned and vary in size, layout and style. Fully equipped for comfortable holiday living, two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses cater for all needs and are surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped gated grounds, perfect for children. Foodies will delight at the gourmet cuisine served at restaurants around the island, made from fresh local produce. Re-energize and revitalize at a variety of facilities at the club, including a 20-meter heated indoor swimming pool, high-spec fitness room with spinning studio and hot yoga studio, three all-weather tennis courts, table tennis tables, indoor sports hall, squash and badminton courts.
7. Spring Vacation: California - Hampton Inn Santa Cruz
© Hampton Inn Santa Cruz
Located in the heart of one of America’s most popular coastal towns, Hampton Inn Santa Cruz is a comfortable and convenient hotel ideally situated for exploring this vibrant and energetic part of California. Well-appointed guestrooms are available in a range of sizes and offer spacious en-suite bathrooms, chic décor, cable/satellite TV with premium channels and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Enjoy a range of deluxe facilities during your stay, from a complimentary hot buffet breakfast to the use of the indoor swimming pool and nearby fitness center. A DVD library is available for rent from the front desk, and a 24-hour concierge service is on hand to cater for every need, from transport arrangement to restaurant reservations. Santa Cruz offers a plethora of things to see and do, from beautiful beaches where you can swim, surf and have fun in the sun, to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Capitola Village and the Natural Bridges State Park, to name but a few.
8. Wyoming - Old Faithful Inn
Take the family out the Yellowstone National Park and see the geysers, buffalo, bears and the Old Faithful Geyser. The 325 room Old Faithful Inn was built in 1904 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The hotel is right next to the Old Faithful Geyser and the Upper Geyser Basin. Its central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the rest of the natural wonders of Yellowstone. Plan on spending the lunch hours resting in a cool spot so you can avoid the heat and the tour buses that stop at the inn each afternoon. Watch the Old Faithful erupt in the early morning or early evening and you will have it to yourself. Park visitors not staying in the park arrive late and leave early because the drive out is about two and a half hours.
9. Arizona - The Phoenician
Head to the Phoenician to sit by one of the nine heated pools, play tennis, a round of golf and, when the kids are off at the Funicians Club, get a massage at the Centre for Well-Being Spa. Stay in one of the resorts 474 guest rooms, 119 casitas, or 57 luxury suites. The seven restaurants at the resort make feeding the family easy. The Funicians Kids Club and offers different supervised activities for kids 365 days a year. Kids club activities include sand castle building, parachute play, hiking scavenger hunts and puppet shows.
The Phoenician has introduced a yoga and meditation program for families at its wellness center. The program is designed to allow parents and children to bond and relax together on vacation. Guests can choose from three different sessons: Family Yoga, Family Meditation or Family Meditation Walking Tours.
The 45-minute yoga session promotes concentration and relaxation. It is held in in of the outdoor private garden retreats featuring waterfalls, trees or cactus gardens as a backdrop. Meditation Atrium at the spa is the setting for Family Meditation sessions, while walking tours take resort guests into the surrounding desert. Family Yoga and Family Meditation programs are offered seasonally and are complimentary with the adult spa fee.
10. Keswick Hall
© Keswick Hall
The 600-acre Keswick Hall near Charlottesville provides relaxation and great golf in a historic setting. This is a great weekend getaway from Washington DC. Play golf on the eighteen holesignature course or tour nearby historic sites and local vineyards. The resort features an Olympic-size pool and a children's pool, both surrounded by surrounded by expansive terraces and gardens. In the Clubhouse, the heated indoor-outdoor pool with whirlpool allows for year round exercise and relaxation. Guests can play tennis on one of the five courts lighted for nighttime competition on their weekend trip with the family.
Each of the forty-eight spacious bedrooms is individually furnished and has its own character. The rooms feature English and early American antiques, porcelain and original works of art. For guests interested in nearby historic attractions, tours can be arranged, including trips to Thomas Jefferson's historic Monticello, Montpelier, historic Charlottesville, and others.
Spring is a great time for blooming flowers, and fall for foliage. Major airlines serve the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport. Consider renting a car, which will allow greater mobility during your weekend trip. The resort is approximately 2.5 hours from Washington DC, which makes it an ideal weekend getaway.
11. North Carolina - Grove Park Inn
© Grove Park Inn
Located near Asheville, North Carolina, Grove Park Inn is a family weekend getaway offering several children's programs and numerous vacation activities for adults. Children ages 4-12 enjoy supervised activities such as arts and crafts, swimming, lawn games and nature hikes. In the meantime, you can get pampered at the 40,000 square foot spa, play golf or tennis, and lounge next to the swimming pools. Look for special family packages in the spring.
12. Oahu, Hawaii - Outrigger Reef on the Beach
© Outrigger Reef on the Beach
Resting on the crescent-shaped shores of Oahu, Outrigger Reef on the Beach exudes luxurious, island-style living with superb oceanfront accommodation, delicious local cuisine, and magnificent views of palm-lined beaches and cobalt seas. Designed to complement the unspoiled tropical surroundings, elegant guestrooms, suites or residential-style villas feature contemporary, beach house-chic décor that creates a relaxed and luxuriously laid-back island-living feel. Modern amenities abound, while creamy, natural tones with touches of blues echo the miles of pristine white sands and azure blue sea. Savor fresh island cuisine at a range of elegant restaurants. Head to the poolside Kani Ka Pila Grille for delicious pupus (hors d'oeuvres), sublime cocktails and vibrant island music; grill your own steak or fresh fish at Shore Bird Restaurant & Beach Bar, or try the Ocean House for sundowners. Explore underwater kingdoms as you snorkel or dive with a variety of amazing marine species or try your hand at deep-sea fishing in the waters off the island. Kayak along sun-kissed shores of Waikiki beach or take a stroll along the white sands as you watch the sun sink below the horizon.
13. New Hampshire - Omni Mount Washington Resort
© Omni Mount Washington Resort
The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, offers a great variety of vacation activities for grown-ups and kids alike. The Mount Washington Kids Camp offers supervised activities for kids ages 5 to 12, including arts and crafts, outdoor games, swimming, hiking, tennis clinics and excursions. Full-day, half-day and evening programs available, providing you with maximum flexibility. Kids can swim in the heated indoor and outdoor pools, try the Princess Package in The Spa, and roast s'mores next to the outdoor firepit.
14. Florida - Turnberry Isle Miami
© Turnberry Isle Miami
Turnberry Isle Miami in Florida offers a kids' club, private Ocean Club and a pool area. While kids are busy with their own activities, take advantage of the beautiful 25,000 square foot spa and fitness center, two golf courses, a three-mile scenic jogging path, beauty salon, shops and boutiques. The resort restaurants offer kid-friendly eats while a range of room and suite options lets you choose the perfect layout for your family's needs. Rooms feature balconies and terrace that let you enjoy warm Florida air. Take a relaxing bath in the privacy of your own room on your rejuvenating family getaway. If you are traveling with a baby, the hotel can provide baby toiletries, bed rails, bibs and accessories such as the Diaper Genie to make your stay as comfortable as possible. If you are bringing along your family pet, put in a request for a dog bowl, treats and a dog bed before you arrive.
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15. New York - Mohonk Mountain House
© Mohonk Mountain House
Plan a family vacation at Mohonk Mountain House in New York's Hudson Valley and enjoy vacation activities that range from ponny rides at the stables to tennis for kids, nature walks and games designed for specific age groups. Surrounded by nature, the resort is a great year-round family vacation destination. The Mohonk Kids' Club is a complimentary program for overnight guests, offering a number of activities for guests ages 2 to 12. The program is offered on most weekends, and daily from mid-June through Labor Day. Children are divided into different age groups so that they can participate in vacation activities appropriate to their age. Find out more about Mohonk Mountain House and plan your family vacation to Hudson Valley.
16. Montana - Paws Up
Plan a family adventure vacation to Montana and stay at Paws Up which offers luxury homes, cabins and tents surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness. For family travelers, the resort offers a kids recreation program with activities such as nature hikes, bird watching, horseback riding lessons and ranch-hand days with the Paws Up cowboys.
Paws Up has a Kid's Corral with a playground, arcade and games. Nanny services are available for babies, as well as high chairs, cribs and kids menus. If you are planning a summer family adventure vacation, you'll be able to go fly-fishing, hiking, tubing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, bird and wildlife watching, sporting clay shooting, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
The resort has an outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs, fitness center and a relaxing spa. Take a cooking class, a photography lessons or listed to guest speakers such as Montana wildlife experts and local authors. The Saddle Club at Paws Up has a 23,000-squarefoot riding arena, 52-stall barn, equestrian showers, and acres of outdoor pasture. The Club offers private lessons, group rides, tours, horse care lessons and boarding of guests' horses.
17. The Westin Tampa Waterside
© The Westin Tampa Waterside
Located right on the waterfront of downtown Tampa, The Westin perfectly marries its exciting location with relaxing amenities to offer guests an ideal Florida vacation. On-site, vacationers can take in the sunlight and summer breeze while lounging in the heated bayside pool, focus on wellness at the complimentary fitness studio, or please their palette at the Blue Barbour Eatery + Bar. The hotel offers several modern rooms and suites, from guest rooms for two to skyline-facing rooms to large one-bedroom suites with views of the bay. Thanks to the hotel’s central location, guests can easily explore attractions such as Sparkman Warf, Tampa Riverwalk, and the Florida Aquarium.
725 South Harbour Island Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33602, Phone: 800-937-8461
18. Crown Paradise Club Cancun
© Crown Paradise Club Cancun
Have your quintessential Cancun vacation at Crown Paradise Club Cancun. Perfect for families, this all-inclusive resort offers an excellent waterfront location to the city’s iconic white-sand beaches alongside an endless list of activities to enjoy. There’s something for every member of the family, from four pools—one of which includes a bar exclusive for adults—to sporting facilities, playgrounds, water activities, and a relaxing spa. The resort is home to over 600 rooms and suites, all just steps away from the beachfront and designed with the best of modern comforts. There’s also no shortage of dining options with five specialty restaurants, three snacking restaurants, and seven bars. Room service is also available for guests who would like to dine in their rooms after a full day of activities.
Boulevard Kukulkan 18.5, Cancún Q.Roo, Mexico 77500, Phone: 998-848-9000
19. RiverStone Resort & Spa
© RiverStone Resort & Spa
Settled along the Little Pigeon River, Riverstone Resort & Spa offers luxurious condominium rentals for all kinds of visitors to experience the enchanting Smoky Mountains. Accommodations are equipped with tasteful furnishings and modern amenities along with around-the-clock service. The resort also offers log cabin rentals for groups looking for a more rustic and private experience. Guests will love relaxing at the spa with services such as personalized massage therapy treatments, body and nail treatments, facials, waxing, and makeup services. Thanks to RiverStone’s central location, popular Pigeon Forge attractions are also easily accessible from outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains to the Wonderworks Museum and NASCAR Speedpark.
212 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 37863, Phone: 865-908-0660
20. Inn on the Alameda
© Inn on the Alameda
Stay at one of the top voted accommodations in Santa Fe care of the Inn on the Alameda. The inn has been, in its own words, cultivating a culture of care since 1986, through traditionally decorated and curated rooms and hotel interiors. The entire inn is enveloped in the uncanny old southwestern style characteristic of Old Santa Fe with a variety of room options to choose from. Be sure to pay a visit to Joe’s Tequila bar, which serves both guests of the hotel and local regulars alike. Sample a delectable menu of southwestern-inspired meals or tuck into your choice of beverage care of the full bar.
303 E. Alameda Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501; Phone: 800-289-2122
21. Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe
© Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe
Spend a lazy afternoon lounging on the beach, relaxing and sunbathing by the pool, or taking a boating trip on the sparkling Lake Tahoe when you book a stay at Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe. Nestled on the water’s edge, this resort is the perfect place to renew your spirit and re-energize for all of the stressors that come with everyday life. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or your significant other, this hotel has something for you. Guests to the hotel can enjoy views of the lake, beach, and mountains from the rooms, indulge in watersports right at the marina or dine at fantastic waterfront restaurants, or lounge at one of the beach-side bars. Meanwhile, Breach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe also has direct beach access, pier access, and an outdoor heated pool for the use of guests.
3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150; Phone: 530-541-6722
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More Family Trip Ideas This Spring
Florida offers many great resorts and amusement parks. Innisbrook will let you combine fun in the sun with championship golf, tennis, spa, and playtime in six swimming pools. Kids can have fun on water slides, at Camp Innisbrook, and in the dedicated children's playground. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort in Naples has rooms and suites overlooking the ocean.
If you want to be near Orlando's amusement parks, check into the family-friendly Nickelodeon Family Suites where kids will get a chance to see their favorite cartoon characters, play on waterslides and eat at kid-friendly restaurants. Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando offers a wide variety of activities for kids, dining and proximity to the area's amusement parks. Kids can have fun with SpongeBob, Dora and Cosmo, whether they are celebrating a birthday, holiday or a reunion. The property is set on 24 beautiful acres in Orlando, near the Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Wet 'n Wild, Orlando Science Center and Gatorland. The hotel has 777 Nickelodeon-themed KidSuites designed with bright colors and characters on the walls.
City vacations are becoming increasingly popular and offer many things to do. New York City has a bit of everything: unique shops, a great collection of outdoor playgrounds, Central Park Zoo, and many fabulous places to stay. The Peninsula has rooms with double-glazed windows and marble bathrooms, and a glass-enclosed swimming pool. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park offers luxury rooms and suites with park views.
Napili Kai on Maui is a favorite with families who want casual atmosphere and condo-style accommodations with kitchens that offer the flexibility of preparing your own meals. Hyatt Regency Waikiki is very close to the ocean and has kid-friendly suites, some with spectacular ocean views.
Safari West in Napa Valley offers adventures that let you observe over 400 animal species in their natural habitat. Hotel del Coronado offers many family-friendly activities, including programs for kids, biking and kayaking. La Costa features pools, waterslides, and surfing lessons for kids.
Vacationers have a choice of family-friendly getaways in Barbados. All-inclusive resorts such as Turtle Beach and Crystal Cove make sense for families that like to try different activities. Instead of all-inclusive packages, many getaways in Barbados give families the option of purchasing a meal plan. If you want your kids to participate in a children's program, be sure
to check the schedule since many kid's clubs are seasonal.
Round Hill Hotel often offers special rates to families, especially in the summer. The Tryall Club has a kid's club and private villas available for rent. Sugar Bay Resort offers all inclusive rates. The luxurious Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas has a half-mile white sandy beach and a spa.