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Top Stories

A & K

Some go to check off their seventh continent.

Others, to see penguins waddle or whales breach amid blue-tinged icebergs. More recently, an increasing number of travelers choose an Antarctic expedition to better understand climate change and to learn from onboard scientists, naturalists and history experts who have spent decades observing the changing landscape.

No matter your reason for booking,  a journey to this wild southernmost destination is an awe-inspiring adventure. On an Abercrombie & Kent voyage, you’ll cross the storied Drake Passage before reaching a land where there are no permanent residents, no hotels or shopping opportunities. However, you’ll trade traffic noise for the sounds of glaciers calving, zip to remote islands via Zodiac boats where Crabeater and Weddell seals loll on the ice. You’ll be mesmerized by the towering snow-covered mountains, the ever-changing ice formations, smile-inducing Adelie, Gentoo and Chinstrap penguin colonies and the opportunity to step where few have ventured before

Your family will also learn nautical knot-tying with a former British Royal Marine commando, join kids-only scavenger hunts, and learn from deep-sea presentations by a marine biologist as well as a photo-coaching workshop for teens and kids-only Zodiac lessons with a naturalist guide. And, you’ll return home having joined the ranks of great explorers like Shackelton and Scott who forged the way.

Plan ahead for a winter holiday voyage to introduce the budding scientists in your clan to a one-of-a-kind wilderness. 

Ask about other offers for family and multigenerational groups.

For more: www.AbercrombieKent.com

Are you ready for a family fly-fishing adventure? If so, know you’ll soon wake up in some of the country’s most pristine places. You may catch and release the fish, but will savor the memories for a lifetime.

Here are five destinations to consider: 

Visit Casper

Casper, Wyo. 

With plenty of wide-open space at the ready, this central Wyoming town is a vibrant hub for outdoor adventure.  Home to the North Platte River, which provides year-round fly-fishing opportunities, Casper has become a bucket-list destination for avid and aspiring anglers.  The river sits below five reservoirs, enabling consistent water flows and temperature, thus manifesting a stable fishing habitat.  You’ll hear enthusiastic talk and big fish stories that originate on specific stretches of the river, including the Miracle Mile and Grey Reef. But for family travelers it’s good to know there is also Blue Ribbon water flowing right through the heart of town, with plenty of public access points available.  

Appreciate the legendary waterway in a different way via the Platte River Trail system which threads through the community for eleven miles. The paved paths provide a good way to social distance as well as access to wildlife watching, mountain views and public art.

Contact: www.VisitCasper.comhttps://greyreefanglers.com

fly fish the Keys

The Florida Keys

Chase big bonefish, tarpon and permit in the Florida Keys, one of the world’s top spots for saltwater fly-fishing.  Practice your side casting and work on that double haul. Then prepare to be mesmerized by the reefs, flats and blue waters of these southern waters. Islamorada, comprised of six islands and billed as the “sportfishing capital of the world” , is a popular spot for eager anglers.  It’s said backcountry and saltwater fly-fishing were launched in this Florida community. Key Largo, the longest island in the archipelago, is said to host more than 600 species of fish. 

Contact: www.fla-keys.com

Steamboat Springs, Colo.

An outdoor-lover’s paradise, Steamboat offers family fly-fishing opportunities on the Yampa River. Spend the morning testing a few trout-rich holes before taking the remainder of the day to bike or explore the historic Western enclave.

Ask a local guide to lead the way for a multisport adventure, combining a short hike with the opportunity to cast a line into the pristine streams, lakes and reservoirs that dot the region.

Contact:  steamboatchamber.org  www.colorado.com

Wellston, Mich.

Introduce your family to the joys of fly-fishing in the north woods of Michigan. The scenic and diverse Au Sable River originates north of Grayling and winds for more than 100 miles before meeting Lake Huron.

A fly-fishing only section of the river flows past Burton’s Landing and is known as the “Holy Water” for its productive riffles and trout-filled pools. Team up with a local outfitter for instruction designed for young anglers.

Contact: puremichigan.com

Jackson County, N.C.

With more than 3,000 miles of trout streams and 1,100 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters in the mountains alone, North Carolina is a fly-fishing haven. Home to the nation’s only designated fly-fishing trail, the Western North Carolina Fly-Fishing Trail takes anglers to 15 prime spots in the Great Smoky Mountains to cast a line. Expect a variety of options from wide-open rivers to small, secluded streams. The heart of the trail, the Tuckasegee River, or the “Tuck” as it’s known by locals, is the county’s largest body of water. Designed by two outdoorsmen and fly-fishing guides, the trail is an ideal way for fly-fishers of all skill levels and ages to learn the art of fly-fishing.

Contact: www.flyfishingtrail.com; www.discoverjacksonnc.com

Many of us have put our island vacation plans  on hold. When the time is right, these island destinations, not too far from home, will be eager to welcome you. 

Belmond La Samanna

St. Martin & Anguilla . 

After a long wait, you deserve double the fun.

And Belmond’s two island treat delivers. A unique package makes is possible to experience the dazzling beachside luxury at Belmond La Samanna on the Caribbean island of St Martin, paired with the pristine paradise you’ll discover at Belmond Cap Juluca on neighboring Anguilla.

At La Samanna, you’ll enjoy hiking adventures, island discovery tours, art programs and guest lecturers as well as al fresco massages, evening cruises and plenty of beach time.

Don your sun hat for the semi-private boat transfer to Anguilla and prepare to immerse yourselves in the dreamlike beauty of Cap Juluca,  where every room is a beachfront haven. Pristine white walls and Greco-Moorish columns frame a stunning turquoise sea that will surely tempt your loved ones in for kayaking, paddle boarding and splashing about. Pamper yourselves in the luxurious Arawak spa where ancient healing treatments and locally sourced ingredients will nourish your spirit.

Both resorts are scheduled to reopen in November. 

Contact: www.Belmond.com.

 

Rhode Island.  

While most of “The Ocean State” is located on the mainland, it is home to 30 islands, some of which are popular and possible vacation spots. 

Block Island, a 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland, and perhaps the most popular of the small state’s island options, boasts 17 miles of public beaches, rugged ocean bluffs and historic 18th-century lighthouses. You won’t find any chain motels but you can check into small family-run inns and B& Bs. Block Island is also home to the first offshore wind farm in the country, which  produces renewable energy for the island.

On Aquidneck Island, with rocky cliffs and dramatic ocean views, 

you’ll find Newport, the historic summer destination and sailing capital of the world. Lovely beaches, colonial homes, and gilded age mansions draw visitors. 

Just off of the coast of Aquidneck lies Goat Island,  so-named because early settlers used the island for goat herding. Today the island plays host to the Tall Ships Festival and world-class sailing regattas. It’s also home to Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. 

Contact: www.VisitRhodeIsland.com

Coronado Island, California. 

Located just across the bay from downtown San Diego, this family-friendly  getaway is famous for its gentle surf and wide, welcoming beaches. It’s home to the Hotel del Coronado, an iconic Victorian gem considered the island’s crown jewel.  The long, wide stretch of sand provides easy access to the water and thus the perfect home base for your family’s seaside activities. Get out the boogie boards, issue a beach volleyball challenge, take surfing lessons, learn the secrets of mermaid fitness or join a clambake. Top-notch children’s and teen programs and spa options are also available.

Nearby, is the Loews Coronado Bay Resort where family members can choose from beach activities, pool time and ideas spurred by the pros at the kids' activity desk. Guests can call ahead to reserve child-friendly resources ranging from cribs and baby swings to pool toys and strollers. 

Contact: www.Hoteldel.com  ; www.LoewsHotels.com

 Amelia Island, FL.  

With 13 miles of beaches, abundant native wildlife and a pristine environment,  this barrier island, located off the coast of northeast Florida, has been luring families for decades. Stay at the 446-rooom Ritz Carlton on the Atlantic shore and the kids may want to join the hunt for fossilized shark teeth on the beach or learn to balance on a stand-up paddleboard. Add other water sports to the mix by trying jet skiing, boogie boarding, kayaking and surfing. Children five through 12 can look forward to the Ritz Kids program that offers immersive adventures designed to introduce young people to the natural wonders of the island. They’ll learn about sand dunes and ancient forests and how recycling can make a difference through storytelling, art and even food.   Hopefully, the kids won’t be too tired to appreciate story time, snacks and a tuck-in offered by a friendly pirate and his friend the princess.  

Contact:   https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island

Mackinac Island, Michigan. 

You’ll find Michigan’s iconic island in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.  You won’t find chain hotels or even cars. So hop on a bike or in a horse drawn carriage to explore the picturesque island along with locals and other visitors. In just under four square miles, you’ll find a spacious lake front, outdoor dining, casual picnic spots, putt-putt golf,  interesting shops and farm-to-ferry culinary offerings. Consider a stay at The Grand Hotel for it’s historic grandeur or check in to the iconic Mission Point Resort and enjoy the sprawling Great Lawn dotted with colorful Adirondack chairs. 

 It goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave the island without sampling the world-famous Mackinac Island fudge. 

Contact: www.MackinacIsland.org

At home with the kids or grandkids?

If we can’t travel to a favorite hotel, resort, restaurant or ranch, we can always pretend.

Here are five ways to create a virtual vacation in your own home. 

The Dyrt

Go Camping.  

Whether you set up a tent in the backyard or the bedroom, with a little imagination you can enjoy all the fun of a real camping trip without spending travel time! Create a campfire using flashlights under a towel or thin blanket. Listen to the sounds of your own backyard or create an alternate sound track featuring birds, waterfalls, streams or trees rustling via a music or meditation app. Tell stories around your campfire, sample s’mores, sing songs and plan for your next adventure. 

Pro Tip: REI offers advice for introducing kids to the outdoors through camping in your own yard and beyond. 

Enjoy a Spa Day. (Or Week)

Channel the services of a famous resort spa and pamper yourselves at home.  Give family members the chance to reserve a manicure, masque, foot or head massage, a salt or sugar scrub, a relaxing soak or whichever services your creative minds concoct. Craft a soothing play list via your favorite music app, gather candles and supplies from your own beauty stash, your kitchen and you’re good to go!  

Pro tips: 

The Arawak Spa, at Belmond Cap Juluca on the Caribbean island of Anguilla recommends a detoxifying soak to ease the tension of these stressful times. 

Arawak Salt Soak 

Ingredients: 

  • · 1/2 cup Salts (Epsom, Pink Himalayan, Sea Salts)
  • · 1 cup baking soda (softens water)
  • · Essential oils if available in home (5-10 drops)
  • · Loose Tea Leaves

To make: 

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. If possible, crush or grind the tea leaves to open up natural oils in the plant and allow it to mix well with the salts. Once combined, run a hot bath and add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to the water. Soak in the tub for 15 minutes.

Suggested blends:  

  • ·      Invigorating:peppermint or citrus oil /or tea leaves
  • ·      Calming: Chamomile tea or oil, Green tea loose leaves
  • ·      Detoxifying: Rosemary Anise or Ginger /oil or tea leaves

The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe suggests this post-winter scrub which makes use of pine needles reported to be both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.

Alpine Mountain Scrub Recipe: 

  • · 1 cup white sugar
  • · 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • · 1/4 cup olive oil
  • · 2 tablespoons freshly chopped pine needles (optional)
  • · 12 drops of essential oil* (optional)

WildChild

Play Restaurant. 

Take turns playing Executive Chef and encourage every member of the family to play a role. Plan for various theme nights that might include an island luau, a ranch cook-out, mountain meadow picnic fare, a safari sundowner or a Mexican fiesta. Encourage the kids to make their own menus, placemats and other décor. Choose music to suit the “destination”.

Pro Tip: &BEYOND’s Wildchild Hub offers recipes, reading and activities to bring Africa home to your children.

4. Host a Happy Hour. 

Don’t let social distancing requirements keep you from staying in touch (virtually) with family and friends. Plan a “happy hour” video call and encourage the group to join you in a toast to future family travels. 

 FT tranquil 3

Pro tip:  Serve a kid-friendly mocktail like the one offered by restaurant  ZuZu in Scottsdale, AZ’s Hotel Valley Ho

Tranquil Tonic  

Ingredients

4 oz. blood orange juice

6 fresh raspberries

1/2 oz. simple syrup

3 oz. LaCroix grapefruit sparkling water

Instructions

Combine the blood orange juice (regular orange juice also works well with this recipe if blood oranges are not available), simple syrup, and raspberries in a shaker, then muddle. Strain and pour into a glass; top with LaCroix and garnish with an orange slice and a raspberry.   

From the Belmond Charleston Place, Charleston 

The Morning Dew Mocktail

Packed with bold, refreshing flavors, the Morning Dew mocktail is the perfect alcohol-free option for toasting to family travel.
  • 1oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz mint and basil simple syrup
  • 1 mint leaf
  • Soda water
  • 1-2 cranberries to garnish

Fill rocks glass with ice and stir. Add cranberry juice and mint and basil simple syrup into a cocktail mixer. Shake and strain into the rocks glass. Top with soda water, and add mint leaf and cranberries to garnish.Bear hunt

5. Your Fitness Center 

Take turns leading a yoga or Pilates class. Choose from a wide variety of exercise classes available online.  Venture out for a fitness walk.  

Consider taking the kids on a “bear hunt”, by walking through your neighborhood in search of teddy bears placed in the windows of neighboring homes. The idea of creating window-based scenes using teddy bears and rainbows, is spreading around the world. If it hasn’t reached your area, perhaps you and your family can help expand the trend. #BearHunt.

Pro Tip: Tara Cruz, Senior Spa Director at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown  recommends starting each day with simple stretches, breathing exercises and positive thoughts to stay healthy during challenging times. 

For now, we can be armchair travelers.  

We can dream, imagine and plan. Here are five places where beautiful scenery, wide open spaces and compelling adventures await.  

AndBeyond Namibia

Explore Namibia   

One of the least populated countries in the world, Namibia begs to be explored. From the capital city of Windhoek to the stark Skeleton Coast, you’ll find a timeless landscape where desert-adapted wildlife – elephants, lions and the rare, black rhino – share the vast landscape with birds, antelopes, cape foxes and brown hyenas.  Drive through barren moonscapes and search for small herds of Hartmann’s zebras or find pink flamingos and other migratory birds in a coastal wetland.  Hike up Namibia’s highest ochre-colored sand dune and watch the sunset before slip-sliding down. Few people and sparse development translate into a  magnificent display of stars. Don’t forget to look up.

Contact:  www.NamibiaTourism.com ; www.AndBeyond.com

 Palau Family Travel

Discover the Wonders of Palau  

This Pacific archipelago, made up of 500 islands is one of the richest ecosystems on the planet, and home to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral. During your visit to this aquatic wonderland you can paddle and snorkel amid the multi-colored brain coral of the Rock Islands, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Hike to waterfalls, dive amid sharks, giant manta rays, turtles and bright blue starfish, and kayak in caves, through mangroves and to hidden lagoons. History lovers will find the WWII heritage compelling. 

Contact: www.PristineParadisePalau.com

Adventure in Alaska. 

Our sparsely populated and endlessly captivating 49th state lures those who yearn for epic scenery, spouting whales and glaciers the size of small countries. Experience family travel in rugged Alaska by road and rail, via boutique yachts and expedition ships that set sail for adventure beginning each Spring. 

Aboard smaller vessels you’ll have meaningful cultural experiences, find your way to natural nooks and crannies, opt for hiking and kayaking and discover rarely visited wilderness areas, increasing the chance for up-close wildlife viewing. Those who venture to America’s last frontier will be rewarded with Mother Nature in all her glory. In the short term, visit the state’s inspirational website to order your free travel planning guide. 

Contact: www.Uncruise.com ; www.WindstarCruises.com www.TravelAlaska.com  

Lone Mountain Ranch

Saddle up at the Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, Mont.

Just a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park’s northwest border, in the shadow of Lone Peak, you’ll find a cluster of hand-built cabins. Authentic and luxurious, the historic accommodations, tucked creekside, in the pine trees or in meadows,  help visitors conjure the days when the property was a working cattle ranch, operating in untamed country. Then, like now, the region is home to stunning vistas, and abundant wildlife including grizzlies, black bears, bison and wolves.  In the company of guides or on your own,  adventurers have the  chance to fish Blue Ribbon trout streams and explore the last best place via horseback, Nordic and downhill skis, snowshoes and on the many hiking trails in the area. 

Contact: www.LoneMountainRanch.comDudeRanch.org

Explore the North Shore from Grand Marais, Minn. 

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this friendly, harborside village blends an artistic, creative vibe with an adventurous spirit. Home to nationally renowned artist schools and galleries, Grand Marais also serves as the gateway to the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Hike Pincushion Mountain, set sail on Superior or bike along the shoreline. Plan a side trip down the 57-mile, historic Gunflint Trail, from which you’ll have the option to paddle across glacier-carved lakes, hike through ancient forests, fish for Walleye and sample Northwoods hospitality. 

Contact: www.Gunflint.comVisitCookCounty.comwww.OnlyinMN.com

Discover a new waterfront where your family can enjoy fresh air, tasty food and each other’s good company. Here are seven places to consider: 

Gurneys

Montauk, N.Y. 

Head to the end of Long Island, just beyond the famed Hamptons, for a relaxed experience in a beachy enclave where fishermen, surfers, urban hipsters and families easily mix in the salty air. Stroll along the docks to witness (and later sample) the arrival of the day's fresh catch, as tony yachts and the occasional sightseeing boat, spouting the area's seafaring history, inch into the harbor. Stay at the historic Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina, where all things nautical will serve as your holiday backdrop. A children's playground, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and fishing expeditions provide plenty of opportunity for family fun. Head to the wide stretch of Atlantic Ocean beach a few miles away where you can watch surfers take on the world-famous wave action. Stop in to the Sloppy Tuna’s roof top deck, just steps from the sand,  for a beverage, a lobster roll and one of the best views around. 

Contact:  www.discoverlongisland.com; www.GurneysResorts.com

Grand Marais, Minn. 

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this friendly, harborside village blends an artistic, creative vibe with an adventurous spirit. Home to nationally renowned artist schools and galleries, Grand Marais also serves as the gateway to the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Hike Pincushion Mountain, set sail on Superior or bike along the shoreline. Plan a side trip down the historic Gunflint Trail where you’ll have the option to paddle across glacier-carved lakes, hike through ancient forests, fish for Walleye and sample Northwoods hospitality. 

Contact: www.Gunflint.comVisitCookCounty.comwww.OnlyinMN.com 

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, Ind.

Geocaching is a favorite activity of families who choose to explore this 15,000-acre Midwestern lakeshore. Be on the lookout for the rare Karner blue butterfly. Climb over dunes, along rivers and through wetlands as you choose from 50 miles of meandering trails where 1,100 native plants flourish.  Take the Succession trail to the top of a dune for a view of the Chicago skyline. Kayak via the Lake Michigan Water Trail or claim your spot along the 15-mile stretch of sandy beach.  

Contact:  https://www.nps.gov/indu 

Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Decades ago, this spirited Maryland city bolstered a movement to transform industrial waterfronts into tourist meccas where restaurants, shops and appealing attractions would soon energize the local economy. Today, visitors flock to the Inner Harbor, which serves the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S., bordered by the Susquehanna River on the north and the Atlantic Ocean on the south. Family travel plans often include a visit to the National Aquarium, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and feasting on the region's famous blue crabs, oysters and clams.

Contact: www.visitmaryland.org; www.baltimore.org; www.aqua.org

Half Moon Bay, Calif. 

This small enclave is an ideal spot for a relaxing coastal getaway. Sample Dungeness crab and other seafood offered by local fishermen. Visit the historic main street for shopping, galleries and restaurants where nearby farms showcase their fresh offerings. The state's magnificent redwood forest is a short drive away. There, you and your family can hike and picnic under the canopy of awe-inspiring trees. Stay in small seaside inns or more luxurious cliffside digs.

Contact: visithalfmoonbay.org  

Ketchikan, Alaska

Facing the Inside Passage on the state's southeastern coast, this rugged frontier town welcomes visitors from cruise ships as well as other adventurers, eager to hear tales of the gold rush and to observe local wildlife. Visit the Tongass Historical Museum, the Totem Heritage Center and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center to learn about the area's earliest residents -- the native Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. Ketchikan is home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world, many of which are scattered throughout town.

Contact: www.visit-ketchikan.com

Charleston, S.C. 

Founded in 1670, this Southern city and its scenic harbor provide an appealing blend of old and new. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and stories of Civil War-era prominence, beckon history lovers. Meanwhile, a burgeoning food scene, stunning beaches, nearby plantations, a top-notch aquarium and hip hotels nudge families to experience both. The Waterfront Park offers an ideal place to relax after an active day. As colorful sailboats and ocean-worthy ships slip in and out of the harbor, take note of nearby Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War rang out across the water.

Contact: www.charlestoncvb.com

  

Choose a ranch vacation to learn horsemanship in an authentic  setting, explore pristine wilderness areas, fish wild and scenic rivers and relax in Western style.

Here are destinations to consider: 

 

Westgate River Ranch, River Ranch, Fla. 

You'll be just an hour from Orlando but feel a world away when you arrive at the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi. Situated on 1,700 acres of wilderness in Florida's cattle country, the ranch offers a menu of lodging options that include glamping-style tents, lodge rooms and two-bedroom cabins. Opt for horse and pony rides, airboat excursions, miniature golf, nature hikes and zip lining. You'll want to take in the Saturday night rodeo, campfires, cookouts, hayrides and a weekly street party.

Contact: www.wgriverranch.com

Latigo Ranch FamilyTravel.com

Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, Colo. 

Choose your season and relish the peace and tranquility you'll find at this historic ranch. With never-ending views along the Continental Divide, choose from snowshoeing, tubing, cross-country skiing and fat biking in pristine winter conditions. The summer months offer top-notch horseback riding on over 200 miles of trail, cattle drives, hiking and mountain biking for the active members of your family. For those eager to relax, settle in on the porch for a card game, in a meadow or near a crackling fire with a book or puzzle at the ready.

Contact: www.LatigoTrails.com

Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, Mont.

Just a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park’s northwest border, in the shadow of Lone Peak, you’ll find a cluster of hand-built cabins. Authentic and luxurious, the historic accommodations, tucked creekside, in the pine trees or in meadows,  help visitors conjure the days when the property was a working cattle ranch, operating in untamed country.

Then, like now, the region is home to stunning vistas, and abundant wildlife including grizzlies, black bears, bison and wolves.  In the company of guides or on your own,  adventurers have the  chance to fish Blue Ribbon trout streams and explore the last best place via horseback, Nordic and downhill skis, snowshoes and on the many hiking trails in the area. 

Contact: www.LoneMountainRanch.com  www.VisitMT.com 

White Stallion

White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, Ariz. 

Family-owned and -operated, this working cattle ranch is known for award-winning service, exceptional riding opportunities and a family-friendly atmosphere. Ride amid towering saguaros and enjoy moonlit bonfires, hay rides, fat tire biking, cowboy entertainment, astronomy shows, Western dance lessons and a weekly rodeo where family members can admire the roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling skills of local wranglers.

Contact: www.whitestallion.com

Resource: www.DudeRanch.org

Geographic spread, busy careers and hectic school schedules can make planning a vacation challenging.  But, carving out time with the people we care about often ranks high on our priority list. 

Here are five ways it may work for you and members of your family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins -  to gather. 

 

Skip-gen or Gramping  

Family life is busy.  Remedy: skip-gen or gramping vacations. Parents get a break and grandparents and grandkids  get to know each other without the filter of mom or dad on the scene.

Grandparents: why not take the opportunity to share your experiences and knowledge with your grandkids? Are you a World War II veteran? Did you grow up inspired by jazz or classical music? Did the ethnic or rural neighborhood of your youth greatly influence the person you are today? Visit a war memorial, take in a concert or visit the old stomping grounds.  It will mean more to hear a bit of history from someone who has been there than what they’ll find in school books.

And, remember, you are part of their history.

Contact:  www.Grandparentrips.comwww.DestinationHotels.com

Milestone Moments

Planning ahead to celebrate birthdays, graduations, retirements and anniversaries can be an important touchstone and meaningful part of a family’s legacy. With plenty of advance notice,  the odds increase that more family members will be able to take part in the fun.  Consider a cruise, a dude ranch or an all-inclusive resort for your gathering. You’ll find a long list of intriguing itineraries and appealing destinations from which to choose. With activities to engage every generation, food choices to suit the pickiest eater (and plenty of volume to satisfy hungry teens) you’re sure to see smiles all around. Separate sleeping quarters provide the privacy and flexibility required for early birds, nappers and night owls.

Contact:www.woodloch.comwww.Beaches.comwww.RoyalCaribbean.com www.NCL.com www.duderanch.org 

Glacier Guides

Rock Star Relatives

Are you an amazing aunt, an unbelievable uncle or a cool cousin?  Perhaps your birdlings have flown the nest or your own kids have fur and four legs. Either way, you may want to join the increasing number of relatives choosing to explore the world with youngsters as their trusty travel companions.  Share your passion to fish or hike, learn a new skill together or plan a mutually engaging adventure to a National Park or a far-off land. You’re certain to return with a deeper bond and memories to share for a lifetime.  

Contact: www.XanterraTravelCollection.com;www.REI.com/adventureswww.MontanaTrout.com ; www.grasshopperadventures.com 

Family Reunion

The true value of a family gathering has less to do with boarding a snazzy cruise ship or checking in to a faraway resort. That option  might not be in the cards for your crew right now. It’s more about the quality of a shared experience. So, whether you are planning a small gathering in a state park picnic area or a mass meeting of the clan, organization will be key. Gather input regarding a budget, destination and lodging preferences, activities and  meal planning. Get a date on the calendar as soon as possible.  Communicate well and often. Keep your sense of humor at the ready and be grateful that at least some portion of your family is eager to spend time together.

“Like Family” 

With relatives spread far and wide, our best friends often become “like family”. Traveling with another crew, particularly one with children of similar ages and interests, can be fun and festive. Still, proper planning can go a long way toward keeping relationships and expectations intact. Family groups often choose to share a ski cabin, beach house, or urban condo. That can mean divvying expenses, transportation, room assignments, cleaning and cooking.

Avoid misunderstandings about how time and resources will be allocated with a clearly defined plan before your holiday gets underway. No matter how much you enjoy your vacation buddies, carve out private time  with your own family. You’ll be glad you did.  

Contact: www.Vacatia.com;  www.Airbnb.com;  www.Vail.com.

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Take part in a family fly-fishing adventure and you’ll wake up in some of the country’s most pristine places. 

Here are a handful of fabulous places to consider: 

fly fish world cast anglers

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

For an extraordinary angling experience, consider an overnight trip on the South Fork of the Snake River. On day one, you’ll hone your skills floating through some of the most coveted water in the western United States.

Later, as the sun sets, arrive at the South Fork Hilton, a fully-outfitted camp ,tucked in the pines with a steep canyon wall as backdrop. The overnight includes a deluxe dinner, tall tales, roasted marshmallows around a campfire, and a good night’s rest in cozy platform tents.

The second day promises stunning scenery, 16 miles of braided waters and the opportunity to expand the adventure wading around gravel bars and up side channels. The trip is ideal for a multigenerational outing. 

Contact: worldcastanglers.comwyomingtourism.org

Western Montana

Stunning scenery, diversity of waterways, plentiful fish and an enthusiastic community of guides combine to make Montana a top notch base camp for your fly-fishing adventure. Spend a day on the Madison River with Joe Dilschneider, owner of Ennis, MT-based TroutStalkers and your family members will go home with more than basic casting skills. You’ll learn to “match the hatch”, fish pocket water from a raft and how to maximize a day on the famed Madison River. A day on the Yellowstone River, a long stretch of blue-ribbon trout habitat or nearby spring creeks will also make for great memories. 

Formed by the confluence of the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison rivers at Three Forks, the mighty Missouri River flows 700 miles across Montana, and is considered one of the most productive trout fisheries in the west. 

The small town of Craig is among the numerous launch points from which families explore this storied river. Expect a picturesque landscape, trophy trout and the opportunity to imagine Lewis and Clark navigating the same waters.

Contact: visitmt.com www.Troutstakers.com

fly fish North Carolina

Jackson County, North Carolina

With more than 3,000 miles of trout streams and 1,100 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters in the mountains alone, North Carolina is a fly-fishing haven.  Home to the nation’s only designated fly-fishing trail, the Western North Carolina Fly-Fishing Trail takes anglers to 15 prime spots in the Great Smoky Mountains to cast a line. Expect a variety of options from wide-open rivers to small, secluded streams. The heart of the trail, the Tuckasegee River, or the “Tuck” as it’s known by locals, is the county’s largest body of water. Designed by two outdoorsmen and fly-fishing guides, the trail is an ideal way for fly-fishers of all skill levels and ages to learn the art of fly-fishing.

Contact: www.Flyfishingtrail.comhttps://www.discoverjacksonnc.com/outdoors/

Fly fish Cumberland Valley

Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania 

The Letort Spring Creek, Big Spring Creek and Yellow Breeches Creek, two classic limestone spring streams and one freestone stream are considered “hallowed waters” and have enticed fly fishers to the area since the 1800s.  Enthusiasts can expect to cast for brook, brown and rainbow in the local streams where a variety of riparian ecosystems provide diverse fly-fishing opportunities. Consider a stay at the Orvis-endorsed Allenberry Resort where fly-fishing packages are offered. The Valley is also home to the Pennsylvania Fly- Fishing Museum. 

Contact:  more: www.VisitCumberlandValley.comwww.Allenberry.com

Sun Valley, ID

Sun Valley, Idaho

This mountain town is perhaps best-known for its famous ski slopes. But the region’s gold-medal waters make for yet another reason to nudge Sun Valley higher on your family vacation list. You’ll be on the hunt for rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat trout on Silver Creek, the Big Lost and the Wood rivers as well as in pristine mountain lakes.

Tap into the town’s vibrant cultural scene or strap on skates for a whirl around the ice rink at the -famed Sun Valley Lodge.

Contact: visitsunvalley.comsilver-creek.com

The freedom to explore the world around us is something to savor.

Here are five reasons that family vacations matter:

1. Travel broadens our perspectives.  

Whether you travel to the next county or around the world, moving out of your comfort zone or everyday routine will enhance your family’s understanding of our world. Appreciate the language, dress, recreational and culinary differences and similarities of your fellow global citizens when you venture into new territory. Make an effort to see the view through the eyes of others. And observe how a friendly smile is welcome currency in nearly every corner of the world.

Contact: Intrepidtravel.com

2. Travel builds character.

Travel provides parents and grandparents the opportunity to model what matters most. Will you exhibit patience when the line snakes around the corner, your hotel room is not ready or the restaurant server accidentally spills a drink on your table? Delayed flights, weather changes, poor service or a rocky road help all of us learn to live in the moment, share resources, manage unexpected consequences and see the bright side of the occasional travel mishap. How the adults respond to challenging scenarios will influence the developing character of young adventurers.

Contact: TSA.go

3. Travel serves up nature’s bounty.

A super moon rising over the mountain tops, eagles lofting in a barren tree, the gentle mist from a nearby waterfall, the crunch of the trail under hiking boots. Awe-inspiring experiences in the natural world are nurturing to the youngest of souls. Make time to travel to nature preserves, national parks, deep canyons and shimmering lakes, where dark skies allow the starry expanse to light your world.

Contact: NPS.gov; WildernessTravel.com; DarkSkies.org

4. Travel is inspiring and educational.

Feed your children’s natural curiosity through travel. Do they yearn to learn more about art, history or science? Is there a burgeoning chef, musician or engineer in your midst? How about a language immersion class? Are your kids curious about other religions, cultures or lifestyles? Whether you opt for magnificent museums, nature’s classroom or immersive experiences, expand their knowledge (and your own) by exploring new ideas together.

Contact: RoadScholars; GlobeAware.org; NationalGeographic.com

5. Travel enhances connection.

Leave the laundry, homework and to-do lists behind and reconnect in a cozy cabin, on a blustery beach or on a small ship at sea. Keep technology and the news of the day to a minimum and enjoy each other’s company and conversation. Take walks in the woods, listen to the birds sing, the owls hoot and the wind whistle. Remind yourselves that the best things in life are free. You’ll return home knowing your time well spent will last longer than the latest gadget or a trendy fashion item. Because time flies, be “glad you did” rather than “wishing you had.”

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