Welcome to Family Favorites
Our Family Favorites section includes our short list of "must see" places to visit, along with favorite family
vacation spots that have been submitted by others.
We love hearing about great family vacation spots, so don't be shy, suggest a favorite family vacation spot
so that others can learn about your great family vacation spots.
While you are here, take a few minutes to scroll down through this page, and see if anything catches your eye. If
not, check out some of the other pages on our site so that we can help you find something that the whole family
will enjoy, and get excited about.
Have a great family vacation!
Family Road Trip - Dallas to Arizona
A couple of years ago our kids had their fall break around the end of September, and
we were going to take the week and drive out to Phoenix to meet up with my parents
and my older brother. Along the way we decided to take in some of the sights. First off
we stopped at Carlsbad Cavern and did some exploring, and ate lunch at the snack
area deep inside the cavern, then on the way out to Tucson we stopped at the White
Sands National Monument. We got their around 5 PM and had a wonderful time
running around on the sand dunes for a couple of hours.
In Tucson, we visited the Pima Air and Space Museum, and then spent a couple of
days in Phoenix. Just outside of Phoenix we spent the afternoon near Apache Junction
at the Goldfield ghost town. Here we took a mine tour, train ride, and had lunch, and
explored this old western town at the edge of the Superstition Mountains. We then
drove up to Williams, and the next day took a tour of the Grand Canyon.
It was a great trip, and we really enjoyed seeing all of the interesting things along the
Submitted by: Rich Herman Date: 06/20/2006
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Family Houseboat Vacation - Lake Ouachita
Hill's Lake Escape on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas rents houseboats with jacuzzis
and slides. There are lots of rooms for everyone, including a kitchen and bathrooms.
Port the boat everyday in a new location, little coves around the lake, perfect for
swimming, exploring, with lots of wildlife to watch. We saw a deer swim across the lake
in the early morning. Great place to catch stripper fish, or just hang out in a water tube
all day. You can also rent a speed boat and go water skiing and tubing. Fun, Fun, Fun!
Submitted by: Mendy Yarbrough Date: 07/07/2006
Norris Dam State Park - Knoxville, Tennessee
My family just returned from a great, inexpensive ($600 for food, lodging, and fun for a
family of 5!) trip to Norris Dam State Park outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. We rented
a cabin (sleeps 6) there, did all our own cooking, hiked, fished, boated, swam, and had
a great time. The cabins are clean and well-kept by the National Park Service; the
scenery is beautiful; in the summer the Park Rangers do different FREE programs all
day long -- we did innumerable nature crafts, the "Owl Prowl" and Bat Watch at dusk,
an early morning fitness hike, and a history hike along Norris Dam... you get the idea.
There are basketball and tennis courts, several playgrounds, a recreation center with
ping pong, air hockey, foosball, etc., a junior Olympic sized pool and large kiddie pool
with plenty of chaises overlooking the lake, a clean, bright laundry facility... I could go
on and on.
We will go back to this park, and I plan to explore other Tennessee parks as well. I took
a similar trip to Watts Bar, TN, when I was a child and enjoyed the same type of
activities and perks.
Submitted by: Kate Date: 07/19/2006
Visit The Old West - Winthrop, Washington
If you enjoy the Old West and the great outdoors, then you may want to consider a
family vacation to Winthrop, Washington. We just returned and had a wonderful time
there. The entire downtown area looks like a page from the old west, with false front
buildings, boardwalks, and original buildings from the 1890's when there was a flurry of
There are quite a few hotels, guest ranches, or resorts to stay at. Many of the resorts
have cabin rentals. We normally stay in hotels, but decided to try a cabin rental on this
trip. We stayed at The Virginian Resort. The log cabin that we had worked out great,
as it had a small bedroom, plus the living room had two day beds that worked out well
for our two children. There is also a small bathroom and kitchen, which is equipped with
a refrigerator and microwave. The cabins are rustic and cozy and the kids really thought
they were neat. They have a nice outdoor pool, and gas barbecues are available for
grilling if you want to minimize dining out.
While in Winthrop, be sure and play a round of miniature golf and get some ice cream at
Sheri's Sweet Shoppe. Three Fingered Jacks is a great casual restaurant for
breakfast, lunch or dinner. Be sure and visit the Shafer Historical Museum to walk
through some of the original cabins and buildings, and see genuine mining equipment,
and other interesting items.
If you like the outdoors there are many places to hike, fish, swim, or boat. We took a
drive up Sun Mountain and stopped at Patterson Lake. Its a beautiful lake part way
up the mountain. We rented a row boat there for $8/hour, and later took a hike along
the Patterson Lake trail. There are lots of deer around Winthrop so don't be surprised if
you see some along the trails or off in the distance. The Chewack River Guest Ranch
is a wonderful place to ride horses.
All and all Winthrop is a great place to take the family. We had a wonderful time. We
hope you enjoy your trip there.
Submitted by: Rich Herman Date: 08/07/2006
Other Family Vacation Destinations to Consider:
Turner Falls - Davis, Oklahoma
Our family just returned from a weekend excursion to Turner Falls in Davis Oklahoma.
It is about halfway between Dallas, TX and Oklahoma City, OK just west of I-35, in
Nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains, this scenic area has a 77 foot waterfall, natural
swimming areas, several caves, hiking trails, picnic areas, camping, and plenty of great
shallow places to wade in Honey Creek. The creek meanders its way through this valley,
which is heavily wooded, and contains many interesting rock formations. The creek is
crystal clear, shallow in most places, with stepping stones perfectly positioned for
navigating from side to side or exploring along the creek. Your kids will love it!
One attraction located here that is a "must see" is The Castle. It is based on an Old
English castle, and was built in the 1930's by a professor from Oklahoma University. It is
built out of native materials and situated on a hillside overlooking Honey Creek. You and
your family will have a great time exploring The Castle and all of its structures. Be sure
and take the path up above The Castle to the top of the mountain for some great views
This was a great weekend excursion for our family. While we were in the area we also
visited the Chickasaw National Recreation Area outside of Sulphur, OK. This area is
loaded with much of the same type of scenery (neat rock formations, mineral springs,
clear creeks for wading in, lakes, hiking trails, camping and much more!
Here's a few photos of the Turner Falls area. Enjoy!
Submitted by: Rich Herman Date: 10/16/2006
Family Rafting Trip - Maine
Our favorite family vacation spot is Big Island - Indian Pond. It is located in the camped
on Big Island for 10+ years. We hire a Maine whitewater rafting company (Professional
River Runners) that takes us rafting, funyaking and lake touring on our 2-day vacation
to Maine. Our kids love exploring the island trails, looking for fossils, collecting driftwood,
singing around the campfire and scarfing on the hand-cranked ice cream they helped
make. What we like best about this Maine vacation spot is its rugged beauty, the smell
of the pine trees and the fact that the entire family is back-to-nature with no electricity, no
running water and no electronic entertainment. We play cribbage and sing songs around
the campfire (and all the meals are prepared for us by the rafting guides!!) It's amazing
.... when 7:00 p.m. comes around, the kids are exhausted and ready to settle down.
Here are a few photos of our rafting trip. Enjoy!
Submitted by: Kathy Beauchamp Date: 02/28/2007
Inspiration Point Lodge - Nova Scotia, Canada
Inspiration Point Lodge is located on West Bay, Cape Breton, in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The lodge is located on the Bras D'Or Lake Scenic Drive in Cape Breton. It is situated
halfway up the mountain side with Spectacular views of the lake and mountains beyond.
The lodge has eight bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. There is a great room with
a big screen hdtv, a bose stereo system, leather sectional(very comfortable), a bar, a
huge fireplace, and the entryway opens to a large wraparound deck. There is a
professional kitchen and dining room for 20-24 people, a hot tub , a billiard table and
some exercise equipment. You can rent the whole lodge for a family holiday, special
event or just a private getaway for a few good friends to enjoy. The location is great for
the nature and history buff. A great starting point to discover all Cape Breton has to
offer, .....the Cabot Trail, Fortress Louisburg, St.Peters on the Canal, Baddeck and the
Alexander Graham Bell Museum.
Submitted by: Brenda Siebel Date: 06/12/2007
Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast - Clark Fork, ID
Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast is located near Clark Fork, Idaho.
Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast is a complete, old-fashioned camping experience with all
the comforts of a B&B. Everything is provided except food for lunch/dinner, ice and your
suitcase. Comfortably furnished canvas tent cabins feature a queen-size bed, plank floor,
wood stove, camp kitchen, outdoor shower, campfire and s'mores. Big farm-style
breakfast is served at the solar-powered, backwoods homestead. Very private--only 3
tent sites at this end-of-the-road 42 acres.
Submitted by: Christine Date: 07/25/2007
We flew into San Diego & rented a car. We spent a day each at the San Diego Zoo (the
sleeping animals didn't impress our kids ages 9 & 7), but they loved Sea World &
Legoland. Next we traveled to Santa Monica & checked out Mann's Chinese Theater &
Rodeo Drive which were too touristy & also didn't impress, we should have rented bikes
or roller blades/skates to ride along the ocean. They enjoyed the Santa Monica Pier. We
then traveled through Big Sur & stopped at a few national parks along the way. A big hit
was renting a dune buggy in Pismo & stopping for dinner at one of the restaurants with a
great view of the area. Next we went to Monterey to visit the Monterey Aquarium & climb
the rocks in the bay & check out the tide pools -we all loved it! Finally we ended up in San
Francisco biking in the Golden Gate Park, Zeum (incredible experience for the kids)
eating dim sum, Ghirardelli deserts & sourdough bread, a cruise in the bay & Muir
Woods all impressed them. They even let us do a winery tour in the end. It was 10 days
of fun! We used the Unofficial Guide to California w/Kids which was a tremendous guide.
Submitted by: Lisa Cohen Date: 08/15/2007
Family Fun - The California Coast
Travel to U.S. Cities - Branson, Missouri
Truly a remarkable vacation destination, Branson has 52 live performance theaters,
three pristine lakes, 12 championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme
park, dozens of attractions and museums, shopping galore, a full range of dining options,
and a host of hotels, motels, resorts and meeting and conference facilities... all waiting
Submitted by: Dustin Watkins Date: 10/07/2008
Gold Rush and Pioneer Adventures - Julian, California
Smith Ranch in Julian, California offers a wide range of fun and exciting adventures.
Enjoy a 1 mile train ride and visit an 1870 gold rush mine, and pan for gold. Other
historic field trips or tours are available, including: a Pioneer Adventure.
Submitted by: Greg Smith Date: 10/13/2008
Knoebels Amusement Resort - Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Knoebels Amusement Resort is located on Route 487 ner Elysburg, Pennsylvania
The largest "free" admission park in the United States. Ticket books are available to pay
for the rides but the rides are relatively inexpensive. The unused tickets can be saved for
another visit in the future or passed on to someone else to use.
Lots and lots of rides for kids of all ages and adults, too. The food is not bad either and
surprisingly not that expensive. The park is huge, well maintained, and the rides seem to
be a lot of fun. We visited there with six grandchildren and had as much fun as they did
but we never rode anything more strenuous than the tea cup ride.
Wonderful family atmosphere. We camped in one of their two campgrounds for three
days. They ran a shuttle back and forth between the park and the campground. There is
also a campground adjacent to the theme park that will allow you to walk to all of the
Family campground/theme park not to be missed.
Submitted by: ShaRon Conway Date: 04/20/2009
Lake George - New York Adirondacks Area
Lake George is located in the southeast corner of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate
Lake George is a good family vacation spot. My family and I enjoy that we have the option
to do things or simply enjoy time at the beach or fishing. There are lots of kids for my
grandchildren to play with. It is a family spot! Although we enjoy it we are interested in
looking for something of the same nature maybe a different location. Our children range in
ages from 17 down to 6.
Submitted by: Pat Milazzo Date: 01/14/2010
Family Guest Ranch - Quincy, California
Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch is located in Quincy, CA approximately 70 miles from
the Reno Tahoe Airport.
At Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch, you have the opportunity for a truly magical vacation!
The owners of the ranch, in addition to their wonderful staff and amazing Wranglers, make
you feel like family. While the horseback riding program is one of the best anywhere,
guests can hike, swim, fish, line dance, play volleyball, karaoke, roast marshmallows and
sing at the campfire...or simply relax and unwind on your cabin's porch swing. The frog
catching and frog races are a blast! I have been to the ranch numerous times, and in
every way it's a truly memorable family get-away. The big bonus: you'll never hear your
child say "I'm bored!"
It's true what they say at Greenhorn...you are creating a saddlebag of memories and
Submitted by: Kathy Gatherum Lucker Date: 01/21/2010
Family Beach Vacations - Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is located in South Carolina on the Atlantic Ocean.
The whole Grand Strand of pure beach is amazing. The beauty of the waves and the
ocean is incredible. There are also many great family dining places and activities located
Dixie Stampede is so much fun for the whole family. Enjoy a whole show of bulls and
horses, while having a wonderful dinner. Ripley's Aquarium is so much fun! You walk
through a tunnel of glass and the water and animals are all around you. Myrtle Beach is
definitely one of the best family vacation spots. It will have you and your family saying
WOW from the minute you get there to the very end.
Submitted by: Anonymous Date: 03/14/2010
Family Outdoor Adventure - West Virginia
Mt. Lake Retreat - Owl's Nest is located near Rough Run, West Virginia
We stayed at Owl's Nest in WV. Great place for on-site hiking and fishing. Also enjoyed
the nearby lake, South Mill Creek Lake. Great family place -- walks, s'mores, star gazing
and ghost stories!
We also took a drive to Seneca Rocks to see the beautiful rock formations. Nice place
and good visitor's center. Dolly Sods was another trip we took. What a drive up! Nice.
One thing that was nice was that we could bring our dog, Bubba and he had a great time
with us, even when we left him for a few hours. Might bring more family with us next time.
If you are looking for a family friendly place that is off the beaten path, this is it.
Submitted by: Sandy Date: 03/22/2010
Family Beach Resorts - Myrtle Beach
Springmaid Beach Resort is located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The resort has several pools both indoor and out, a fishing pier, and putt, putt golf right on
the ocean. All rooms we have stayed in have an ocean view right on the beach, and
parking on grounds. Marlins breakfast is an all you can eat buffet. We went late to
breakfast, skipped lunch and ate an early dinner out , or you can make things in the room
with full size fridge, etc. Not the fanciest, but for the money it was a great vacation. We
have stayed in 2 of 3 buildings on the complex and plan to go back.
Submitted by: Lou Date: 04/30/2010
Travel to U.S. Cities - San Antonio, TX
The Riverwalk offers shopping, dining and entertainment. There is also the river cruise
that is full of beautiful scenery and historical facts. Our kids loved Sea World and the
children's museum. We didn't expect our kids to like the Alamo but they loved it and we
stayed the entire day! The story tellers (Historians) were fabulous and my son LOVED
seeing all the weapons, cannons, etc. There is also a large waterpark which was a
welcome break from the heat! Our kids loved jumping on the street car and it became our
main mode of transportation while we were there. We found the people in San Antonio to
be just precious. They gave new meaning to "southern hospitality". This really is a
vacation spot for the entire family!
Submitted by: Mary Wusterbarth Date: 06/07/2010
Family Amusement Park - Lancaster, PA
Dutch Wonderland is one of the few theme parks in Pennsylvania geared to young
children. Most of their rides, water park, and interactive displays are strictly for children
48" and under. There are some thrill rides for the older kids, too. Our grandson is 3 years
old and for once he was not turned away from a bunch of rides just because he was too
short. Most rides for the youngest children may require that an adult ride with them but
several allow them to ride alone like the "big kids". Roaming Hershey "candy bars and
candies" offer many cute photo opportunities.
Despite catering to the younger children, the park offers lots of fun for the entire family.
However, those kids who have experienced mind numbing roller coaster rides and zero
gravity thrill rides may find this theme park falling far short of their expectations.
Old Mill Stream Campground is adjacent to the theme park allowing campers to walk
just a few feet to and from the campground. Lots of great shopping at the outlets,
scrumptious eateries, and loads of Amish ambiance await your arrival in Lancaster.
Submitted by: ShaRon Conway Date: 07/23/2010
Father and Son Trips - Near Dallas
My son is a freshman in college and we just returned from a great father and son trip to
Lake Murray State Park. I was looking for a place where we could rent a cabin and ride
ATVs that was pretty close to Dallas, Texas.
We found Lake Murray State Park to be just what we were looking for. It surrounds a
beautiful lake and offers a wide range of activities. You can golf, play tennis, fish, boat,
hike, ride horses, ride ATVs or just hang out and relax. They've got many great camp sites
for tents or RVs if you want to camp, but they also have rooms in the lodge and a wide
assortment of cabins for you to stay in.
We rented a cozy cottage suite that sleeps four. It had a living room with a fireplace and
sleeper sofa, a bedroom, nice sized bathroom and a kitchen. It was also equipped with a
flat screen TV and cable. It was just right for the two of us and a great place to hang out
and relax when we weren't out doing things.
Thrills and Chills provided the ATV rentals for our trip, and they were wonderful to work
with. There is a very nice ATV Park located at the northeast part of Lake Murray State
Park. It is equipped with bathrooms and showers, has a nice parking area, and a great
assortment of trails, especially for beginners. The ATVs were delivered right to the parking
area, where we received some quick operating instructions, and were out on the trails. All
and all it was a great time, and just a short two-hour drive from Dallas.
Submitted by: Rich Herman Date: 11/14/2010