Trekaroo Family Travel Blog kids. trips. tips. Wed, 26 Jan 2022 22:11:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trekaroo Family Travel Blog 32 32 9953755 10 Awesome Spots for Snow Tubing in North Carolina Wed, 26 Jan 2022 21:49:38 +0000 Looking for winter fun in North Carolina? Nothing is better than snow tubing in NC! Here is a list of family-friendly snow tubing areas in North Carolina’s mountains. We include …

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Looking for winter fun in North Carolina? Nothing is better than snow tubing in NC! Here is a list of family-friendly snow tubing areas in North Carolina’s mountains. We include everything you need to know including pricing, height requirements, and much more!

Best Snow Tubing in NC- 10 Snow Tubing Hills for Families

Beech Mountain Snow Tubing in Beech Mountain

Snow Tubing in NC is fun

Beech Mountain Resort is a popular North Carolina resort known for its skiing and snowboarding, but they also have a fun snow tubing park as well!

The tube park is located next to the Resort Village and has long tubing runs up to 70 feet in length. No need to lug your tube back up the hill because this spot for snow tubing in NC has a magic carpet to take you back up to the top after you zip down.

No snow in the forecast? No problem! Beech Mountain makes their own snow when Mother Nature isn’t gracing the mountain with the powdery white stuff.

Kids must be at least 42 inches tall in order to tube at Beech Mountain and there are evening sessions under the lights available during peak season. Each session lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. There are typically four tubing sessions during the week and five on weekends.

Minimum Height/Age: 42 inches.

Pricing: The cost $32 on weekdays and $37 for weekends/holidays for each session

Book your stay at Beech Mountain. As a trusted affiliate of, Trekaroo is thrilled ot offer our readers the lowest rates.

Frozen Falls Tube Park in Sapphire

Frozen Falls Tubing Park in Ski Sapphire Valley is a fun place to tube in North Carolina

Frozen Falls Tubing Park is located at Ski Sapphire Valley, which is close to the Georgia and South Carolina border, just west of Brevard. This is a family-focused resort that is great for beginning skiers. It is also a fun place to go snow tubing.

Frozen Falls has 500-foot tubing runs with a 60 foot vertical drop. There is a moving sidewalk to help you easily get your snow tube back up to the top of the hill.

This site’s hour-and-45-minute sessions can sell out on the weekends, so if you are already staying onsite, try to book in advance. Just head to the Sapphire Valley Community Center after 9am the Friday of your visit and purchase your time for the weekend.

If you are trying for a same day spot on a busy weekend, arrive early in the day to purchase your tickets. There are usually four sessions daily, but a fifth session will open up in the evening on the days that the ski resort is open until 8pm.

There is no age or height restrictions at Frozen Falls Tube Park. Each person must be in their own tube, but parents are able to hold on to the child’s tube with the handles if they choose.

Minimum Height/Age: None.

Pricing: The public rate is $30 per session. If you are stay at Sapphire Valley Resorts you can take advantage of the $22.50 amenity rate.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing in Seven Devils

Snow tubing is fun

In Seven Devils you will find Hawksnest Snow Tubing, a large tubing area not far from Beech Mountain and Boone.

This park has 30 different lanes for snow tubing in four different areas. Lanes range in length from 400 – 1000 feet and there are two different Magic Carpets that tubers can use to easily get their snow tubes back up the hill.

Hawknest is known for its high quality tubes and efficient and friendly staff. Each session at this North Carolina snow tubing spot lasts an hour and 45 minutes. There are four sessions Monday through Thursday, with an additional 6pm session on Friday and Saturday.

Note: Sometimes Hawksnest has fewer runs going when the weather is warmer.

Minimum Height/Age: No height requirement but riders must be at least three years old.

Pricing: Monday through Friday each session is $35. On weekends and holidays the price jumps up to $45. You can enjoy two sessions for $45 on non-holiday weekdays. Hawksnest Snow Tubing sessions can (and should) be booked in advance online.

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing in Jonas Ridge

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park in North Carolina
Photo via Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park is located in the High Country of western North Carolina.

This snow tubing park has five lanes and a snow gun to create their own snow when their isn’t enough naturally. There is also a conveyor that carries folks with their tubes to the top of the hill easily.

This park has a big focus on safety and will show tubers a safety video before their session so that they have all the information they need to stay safe while they tube. The park is usually open Friday through Monday.

Minimum Height/Age: No height requirement but riders must be at least three years old. Children under six must be accompanied by an adult.

Pricing: One hour for $25 or an hour and 45 minutes for $35. Children six and under are $20 for an hour and 30 for the 105-minute session. Active duty military will receive $5 per tube for themselves and their immediate family.

Moonshine Mountain in Hendersonville

Moonshine Mountain snow tubing
Photo via Moonshine Mountain

Moonshine Mountain is a snow tubing park near Hendersonville. They are known for allowing snow tube “trains”, which is when you link your arms around the ankles of the tube behind you and ride down together.

Unlike many places to go snow tubing in NC, Moonshine Mountain likes to offer a full, two-hour session to its tubers. They make their own snow which means you can play even when snow hasn’t been in the forecast!

This tubing hill has a tube lift where rider can sit comfortably in their tube as the are dragged back up the hill by their marvelous machine. There is a 250lb weight limit for the lift.

There are no reservations and ticket purchases must be done in the Main Lodge. Moonshine Mountain is open Friday through Sunday but is does usually stay open until 9pm on Friday and Saturday.

Note: This is a cash only park but they do have an ATM on site.

Minimum Height/Age: 36″ is the minimum height. 48″ if you want to be part of a train.

Pricing: Sessions are $35 regardless of age.

Tube World in Maggie Valley

Snow Tubing in North Carolina at Tube World

With a name like Tube World, the tubing has to be good, right? Tube World is a five run snow tube park located in Chataloochee Ski Area.

There is a Magic Carpet installed to make getting your tube to the top of the hills easier. essions last 105 minutes and run every two hours. Like most other snow tubing hills in North Carolina, this hill makes its own snow.

Tickets may be purchased in advance.

Minimum Height/Age: 42″ is the minimum height.

Pricing: $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends and holidays.

Make a weekend of it and book lodging in Maggie Valley.

Wolf Ridge Tube Run in Mars Hill

North Carolina Snow Tubing

This North Carolina snow tubing spot is a little bit different than the others because instead of lanes, Wolf Ridge Tube Run has one big slope that is 60 feet wide at the top and 350 feet long.

The lack of lanes also means it is easy to link tubes and ride down together. They still have a Magic Carpet like most of the North Caorlina tubing spots, and the ability to make snow.

Wolf Ridge also has a ski area so it nice to be able to ski during the day and then catch a tubing session at night. There are one hour and two hour sessions available.

It is recommended that you purchase your tickets online.

Minimum Height/Age: None.

Pricing: One hour sessions are $20 Monday through Thursday and $25 on weekends and holidays. Two hour sessions are $30 per person Monday through Thursday and $35 on weekend and holidays. Children under five ride free.

Sugar Mountain Snow Tubing

Snow Tubing in North Carolina at Sugar Mountain Resort
Photo via Sugar Mountain Resort

Sugar Mountain Resort is a popular ski resort in North Carolina, known for its ski school with cute bear mascots that kids can’t get enough of. Spend a day on the slopes and then enjoy an evening of snow tubing to round our a perfect snow day.

Sugar Mountain Resort made our list of the best ski resorts in the Southeast for families.

This North Carolina snow tubing spot has six lanes and six sessions daily, giving riders lots of options. The 700 foot long runs are often open 12 hours a day from 10am – 10pm!

Another nice thing about this spot is that three and four year olds can tube for free. Unlike many tubing hills in North Carolina, children six and under must ride with an adult.

Tickets for each session go on sale one hour prior to the start of the session and are first come, first served.

Minimum Height/Age: Riders must be at least three to participate.

Pricing: $32 on weekdays and $38 on weekends and holidays. Children under five ride for free.

Zip n Slip Tube Park in Mars Hill

Zip n Slip Tube Park in North Carolina
Photo via Zip n Slip Tube Park

Zip n Slip Tube Park in western North Carolina is located just 20 minutes from Asheville. For most of the season, it is primarily open on weekends (Friday through Sunday), but tubing is open daily for one full month, from mid-December to mid-January.

Here are our favorite things to do in Asheville with kids.

The slope length can vary depending on conditions, but when the weather is optimum, the run is 800 feet long! Children can ride with adults in the tube or with another child. There are usually 3-4 lanes and a Magic Carpet to help you get your tube back up the hill.

Families can choose from either a one hour or two hour run and sessions need to be booked in advance because they do sell out!

Minimum Height/Age: Riders must be at least three to participate.

Pricing: One-hour sessions are $30. Two-hour sessions are $45. Children under five ride for free.

Highlands Outpost in Scaly Mountain

Snow Tubing in North Carolina is fun!

Highlands Outpost is a good spot for snow tubing in NC if you have little ones in your group. In addition to the big snow tubing hill, they also have a kiddie hill and snow play area for children under eight.

This snow tubing spot, like most of the others, has a snow making gun and a Magic Carpet to make it easy to bring your snow tube back up the groomed hill.

In addition to snow tubing, this location also has ice skating. Ice skate rentals are included in the cost and there are combination rubing/skating tickets available.

Hours vary throughout the season but snow tubing is typically offered six days a week; it is only open on select Tuesdays. This snow tubing hill has a longer season than most, opening October 30 and running through the end of March. Reservations are available on select days.

Minimum Height/Age: Riders must be at least 42 inches AND four years old.

Pricing: Two hours of snow tubing is $35. Access to the kiddie hill and play area is $15. You can also purchase a snow tubing and ice skating combination ticket for $45.

Tips for Snow Tubing in North Carolina

Snow tubing tips

Snow tubing in North Carolina is always a blast as long as you come prepared. Here are some of our best snow tubing tips.

  • Wear waterproof gloves, pants, jackets, and snow boots. Snow tubing is much more enjoyable when everyone stays warm and toasty. A hat helps to keep you warm as well.
  • Bring a change of clothes. Waterproof clothing can still get very wet (and sometimes even muddy) when snow tubing. A change of warm clothes, especially socks and pants, will ensure for a more pleasant ride home.
  • Be aware of each snow tubing park’s hours and season. Some tubing parks are open daily and others require reservations. Don’t ruin you day by showing up unprepared. Visit the park website before you plan your trip.
  • Don’t wear ski boots. If you are snow tubing at a ski resort, you may be tempted to just walk over in your ski boots and hop on a tube. The boots can damage the tubes and therefore are not allowed. Just stick to your regular snow boots.
  • Bring snacks and water. Several of these spots do have food offerings but I always like to save money and bring snacks for my kids. Tubing is sure to work up an appetite.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen! Just because it is cold doesn’t mean that the sun won’t burn your kiddos sweet little faces. As a matter of fact, the sun reflects off the snow and burns are very common.

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Colorado’s Best Ski Town Is Winter Park: Just Don’t Tell Anyone About It Wed, 26 Jan 2022 08:55:00 +0000 Fans of Winter Park, Colorado would prefer that we keep this amazing ski resort a secret. However, we're here to reveal why you should visit with the family.

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Ross Bruce, known locally only as “Moose” begins rattling off his sales pitch for why Colorado’s best ski town is Winter Park, where he has resided for the last 12 years.

“We get 400 inches of snow, 300 days of sun, the best bump skiing in the world, high speed lifts all over the mountain, and I can walk to any restaurant in town and be down in Denver playing golf in an hour and a half. Life doesn’t get much better.”

He then finishes this pitch the same way each time I’ve heard him deliver it, “Just don’t go telling all your friends about it.”

In Bruce’s eyes, Winter Park, Colorado has so many things going for it that he’d prefer it were enjoyed by a small segment of local Coloradans to shield it from the interest of land developers.

Older ski areas like Vail and Aspen are now bordered by high-end boutique shopping promenades and 5-star resorts.

As I ask Bruce his opinion of Vail, also home to nearly 400-inches of annual snowfall and some of the best bowl skiing in North America, he shoots me a look which seems to imply that I should already know what he thinks of Vail.

“If I wanted to go shopping for mink coats, I’d go to New York City. I’m in Colorado to ski.

And this attitude prevails in Winter Park, Colorado, where locals take great pride in being the state’s best kept secret. They largely avoid visits from tour operators and road-tripping, once-a-year skiers from surrounding states like Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas.

And while a steady stream of tourists would seem the only way to keep the economy afloat in a ski town, Winter Park has survived on the dollars brought in by a die-hard fan base from the Colorado Front Range.

These are weekend warriors from Denver who love being able to access good skiing with less than 90 minutes spent in the car.

Look for current hotel deals in Winter Park. As a affiliate, Trekaroo is thrilled to offer its readers the lowest rates.

Winter Park Ski Resort

Colorado's best ski town is Winter Park

Winter Park Ski Resort has been operated by Intrawest ULC since 2002, the massive resort operator that was once behind Whistler Blackcomb, a major host of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Since taking over the operation of the property, Intrawest has invested heavily in the base area around the mountain, adding lengthened shopping promenades, a larger choice of international dining options, and new condominium buildings at the base which extend the number of ski-in, ski-out units on the property.

It has also done its best to mitigate what has long been a problem for the resort. Prior to the investment Intrawest made, the base area became a ghost town at 5:00pm once the sun went down. With few choices for upscale dining or late-night cocktails at the base of the slopes, visitors were forced to take their dollars to town, a five-minute drive from the base area.

Skiing at Winter Park

Skiing at Winter Park Resort

There is perhaps no other ski area in Colorado with such a full-range of terrain for skiers of varying skill levels. On the front side of Winter Park Resort, newbies will be relieved to find several chairs to whisk them over to gently enjoyable green and blue trails, which offer amazing panoramic views of the Fraser Valley below at slow speeds.

The back side of Winter Park Resort has come to be known as Mary Jane, its nomenclature nodding to folk lore of a single “lady of the night” who ran brothels in this valley for the better part of a century to make life a little easier for railroad laborers working to create the landmark Moffatt Tunnel.

“The Jane,” as the locals call it, is left ungroomed by the snowcats of the resort in order to offer the most skilled skiers hundreds of acres of steep, Volkswagen-sized moguls. It’s not for the faint of heart.

If Winter Park wins a blue medal for some of the most varied terrain in Colorado, it wins a gold star for accessibility. The walk from car to slope rarely exceeds five minutes.

If dad wants to test his quads on the jaw-jarring bumps of “The Jane”, while mom and the kids want to cruise the easy groomers on the frontside, the high-speed, 6-seaters make it a breeze to meet back up for lunch on ten minute’s notice.

Where to Stay in Winter Park

Winter Park Colorado

These days, visitors to Winter Park who would rather stay at the base of the ski area have more lodging and dining options to choose from than ever before.

If you’re interested in ski-in, ski-out access and the requisite hot tub to come with it, Founders Pointe is the best that the mountain has to offer. With large, clean two bedroom condos, heated underground parking, a fitness center, and walk out access to the mountain, these units can often be a great value.

For visitors who want to spend their evenings in town where the selection of restaurants and bars is more extensive, there’s an option for every budget. On the modest end, the Best Western Alpenglo Lodge is very centrally-located. It offers clean rooms at a fair price, and is steps from one of the towns frequent shuttle stops which deliver skiers to the base of the mountain.

If your ski experience isn’t complete without the proper trappings of a luxury lodge, the renovated Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa will have you in tears when it’s time to check out.

Cabins and lodge rooms are decorated in a style know as “parkitecture,” a reference to how seamlessly the accommodations blend into the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

Read about the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.

With two splendid restaurants on-site, horse stables, a world-class spa, and its own cross-country skiing course, you might forget that you came to Winter Park to ski.

Book your stay at Winter Park.

Classic Winter Park, CO Dining Options

There are dozens of restaurants between the town of Winter Park and neighboring Fraser to suit any palette or budget. There are a few classics, however, which have stood the test of time and seem to get better with age.

Hernando’s Hideaway is the rowdy pizza parlor that probably washes more dishes than any other joint in town. It’s a great spot for rosy-cheeked ski schoolers to get the food they love while mom and dad enjoy a glass of vino. Be prepared to wait, however, as this place fills up quickly once the mountain closes.

Deno’s Mountain Bistro has also been keeping jelly-legged skiers happy for ages and is a great place for a family, with a high-decibel atmosphere and a wide-ranging menu. 

If a little Southern is what you’re after, you won’t be disappointed by a shrimp po-boy from Fontenot’s, a little cajun-influenced cafe right in town.

More Things to do in Winter Park

Snow Tubing is a fun activity in Winter Park

In the winter, all eyes are on the resort. However, it’s worth spending at last one day away from the slopes to take advantage of the many activities Winter Park has on offer.

Fun for adults and children alike, the ice skating rink in the village hosts broomball tournaments most of the week (think ice hockey with no skates and a broom in place of the stick). This is a must for families of four or more.

If you want to explore the mountain, but just don’t have the energy for another day on skis, the resort offers snowcat tours from the base of the mountain. These heated, 13-passenger “cats” effortlessly deliver you to some of the more remote reaches of the in-bounds ski area. Children under 3 are free.

While there are a number of tubing hill options in Winter Park and Fraser, none of them beat Colorado Adventure Park. Here, you can spend an hour screaming down one of the best tubing hills in the state. They also offer fat tire bike and snow shoe rentals.

Explore more of the state! Here are the best things to do in Colorado with kids.

If you’re hoping to plan an affordable, action-packed ski vacation in Colorado, but want to beat the crowds and high prices that have taken over in Vail, Aspen, Steamboat, and Breckenridge, book your next trip to Winter Park.

Just don’t tell anyone about it.

Nate Johnson is the founder of a Colorado-based software company who leverages the location independence his work affords him to engage in his true passion: dragging his wife and two kids to every corner of the globe.

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

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10 Fun Things to do in Maryland with kids! Tue, 25 Jan 2022 09:16:00 +0000 The Old Line State may be small in size, but it is large in adventures to be had that will delight kids and parents. Check out our favorite Top 10 and get ready to visit the great state of Maryland.

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Maryland is home to miles of scenic Chesapeake Bay shoreline and dozens of historic places that have shaped United States history. There are so many great Maryland attractions for families, from the sandy beaches of the Assateague Island on the Atlantic Ocean to Swallow Falls State Park in Western Maryland. 

Trekaroo’s top 10 fun things to do in Maryland with kids include Baltimore’s best family-friendly museums, Civil War historic sites, and many more places for family fun across the state. 

Fun Things to Do in Maryland with Kids

1. Walk Back in History at Maryland’s State Capital

Places to visit in Maryland Annapolis
Maryland State House, Photo by Melissa Moore

A visit to Maryland’s state capital gives families the opportunity to learn about the early history of the United States. The elegant Maryland State House in Annapolis served as the nation’s First Peacetime Capitol building for almost a year in 1783-1784.

During that time, General George Washington resigned his commission as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Today visitors can view the current house and senate chambers as well the historic ones at this Maryland attraction.

If you’re in the mood to visit more of Maryland’s most historic buildings after a self-guided tour of the Maryland State House, walk over to the William Paca House or the United States Naval Academy.

Kids love checking out the model dorm rooms at the Naval Academy and viewing the ship models in the academy’s museum. The United States Naval Academy is certainly one of the most inspiring places to visit in Maryland, and it’s the reason why Annapolis is often referred to as “America’s sailing capital.”

Once you’ve had your fill of history, head to one of Annapolis’ many family-friendly restaurants. 

Looking to Plan a Weekend Getaway to Annapolis? Here’s An Itinerary for a Family-Friendly Annapolis Weekend Getaway

2. Pick Berries, Cherries, or Peaches at a U-Pick Orchard

Fun Things to Do in Maryland with Kids Berry Picking
Berry Picking in Maryland, Photo by Melissa Moore

While Maryland certainly has its share of suburban neighborhoods, much of the state’s landscape is dominated by rich farmland. There are many places to visit in Maryland that have U-pick farms.

If your family is driving Hwy 70, take a quick detour and pick some cherries or blueberries at Larriland Farm. Making the drive from Washington D.C. out to Harper’s Ferry? Take the scenic route and stop at Homestead Farms for apple picking on your way.

If your family is driving Hwy 270, take a five-minute detour to Butler’s Orchard to pick my very favorite fresh fruit, black raspberries. It’s a great place to visit in Maryland with kids during the summer season.

Fruit is not the only farm-fresh food that families should drive out of their way to sample in Maryland. There are several creameries that are also worth a scenic drive to visit. South Mountain Creamery is a family favorite.

Families can arrive in the afternoon to buy a bite of ice cream and stay to feed a bottle of milk to the baby calves. It’s also great family fun to eat some ice cream next to the sunflower field at Rocky Point Creamery just outside of Point of Rocks.

Find more fun day trips from Washington DC.

3. Spot a Bald Eagle at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Places to Visit in Maryland Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Photo by Melissa Moore

Nearly every kindergartener in the United States can recognize a photograph of a bald eagle. But, how many can say that they’ve spotted one out in the wild?

If you’re looking to go bird watching in the Mid-Atlantic region, look no further than the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is the ideal destination for a somewhat educational and very relaxing getaway.

The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is only a short 30-minute drive from the fabulous, family-friendly Hyatt Chesapeake Bay Resort. It also neighbors the new Harriet Tubman National Historic Site.

My son and I have spotted a few bald eagles closer to Washington D.C. too. On a free mid-afternoon boat cruise on the Patuxent River from the Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, our boat was greeted by a bald eagle soaring down the river. 

Love Birdwatching? Here’s a list of Places to Spot a Bald Eagle Near the Nation’s Capital.

4. Hike in Western Maryland with Kids

Fun Things to Do in Maryland with Kids Take a hike in Western Maryland
Swallow Falls State Park, Photo by: Melissa Moore

Western Maryland is the place to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Families can rent a cabin or spend a week camping during the summer months in the Deep Creek Lake area of Garrett County.

Swallow Falls State Park is one of the best places to visit in Maryland for a family hike. The hike into the falls is simple enough for adventurous tots and takes less than an hour.

Kids also love swimming in the cold waters of Tolliver Falls, the final waterfall on the trail. In the winter months, families can ski at Maryland’s only ski resort, Wisp Resort just north of Deep Creek Lake.

There is no shortage of opportunities for hiking in Western Maryland with kids. For families with older children, there are approximately 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the state of Maryland.

Maryland’s most popular day hikes on the Appalachian Trail both begin in its state parks. Families can hike to Annapolis Rock from Hwy 40 just outside of South Mountain State Park. Hikers are rewarded with amazing views once they reach the top.

Find amazing deals on family-friendly hotels in Maryland. As a affiliate Trekaroo is thrilled to be able to offer our readers the lowest rates.

5. Learn About the Chesapeake Bay at a Maritime Museum

Things to Do in Maryland
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, photo by Melissa Moore

Maryland has nearly seven thousand miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay. It’s no surprise that the state’s history, livelihood, and industry are closely tied to the bay.

Venturing out of urban and suburban Maryland towards the shores of the bay, families find several maritime museums. Maritime museums are popular Maryland attractions for all ages.

These museums tell the story of the Chesapeake Bay watermen who have made a living off of harvesting oysters and catching blue crab.

Driving southeast of Washington D.C., families can explore the beaches along the Calvert Cliffs. Kids love swimming in the bay water and searching for sharks’ teeth by the shore.

Families will also want to check out the Calvert Marine Museum featuring exhibits on the local ecology of Chesapeake Bay. It is one of the best places to visit in Maryland to learn about the state’s aquatic ecology.

There’s also a good deal of history to be found at the Calvert Marine Museum. Kids love climbing up into the Drum Point Lighthouse and checking out what the life of a lighthouse keeper would have been like in the early 20th century.

To visit the Eastern Shore, families can take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge out of Annapolis to St. Michaels and Cambridge. On the Eastern Shore, families can spend their day learning about the Chesapeake Bay watermen at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels one of the top Maryland attractions for families.

Does your family like to learn while on the road? Check out Trekaroo’s Road School Guide: Human Impact on Aquatic Ecosystems for tips on making the most of your visit to the bay.

6. Explore Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

What to Do in Maryland Baltimore Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor of Baltimore, photo by Melissa Moore

Many of the larger cities in the Mid-Atlantic region can boast of their impressive science, art and history museums. However, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor neighborhood is unique in that it includes the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, the National Aquarium, and the Maryland Science Center. 

All three of these world-class museums are within walking distance of the city’s beautifully revitalized harbor.

If that’s not enough to keep your family busy, the harbor is also home to four historic ships. Baltimore Water Taxi also docks right next to the USS Constellation and can take families to the historic Fells Point neighborhood to catch a kid-friendly Urban Pirates cruise or across the harbor to the American Visionary Arts Museum.

There are so many Maryland attractions for kids to experience in Baltimore. Check out Trekaroo’s Top 10 Things to do in Baltimore with kids.

7. Great Beaches to Visit in Maryland with Kids

Fun Things to Do in Maryland Ocean City Beach
Ocean City Beach, photo by Melissa Moore

Maryland has only about thirty miles of sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. This short coastline boasts both a boardwalk with amusement park rides and one of the nation’s ten protected national seashores.

In Ocean City, families can stay beachside in one of the dozens of hotels or hundreds of rental properties available within sight of the sand. With water parks, amusement parks, and miniature golf available at several locations on the island, kids can get their thrills even when they tire of the saltwater and sunshine.

After spending a few days splashing at Jolly Rogers Splash Mountain Waterpark and screaming on their amusement park rides in between visits to the beach, Ocean City easily gets my kids’ vote as one of their favorite places to visit in Maryland.

Less than an hour’s drive from the boardwalk crowds is Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. Families can get away from it all and camp on the beach.

However, they might have to share their campsite with the wild Chincoteague ponies that make their home on the island. 

The Eastern Shore is the place to get away for a vacation. Can’t decide which Maryland attractions to visit on your vacation to the Eastern Shore? Check out Trekaroo’s Family-Friendly Eastern Shore Getaways Vacation Guide.

8. Hike, Bike, or Paddle the Historic C&O Canal

Places to Visit in Maryland C and O Canal Great Falls
C&O Canal, photo by Melissa Moore

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park stretches from Georgetown in Washington D.C. all the way to Cumberland in Western Maryland. It might be my favorite Maryland attraction and the state’s best-kept secret.

Hiking the Billy Goat Trail, which traverses the rocky cliffs of the Potomac Gorge just upriver from Washington D.C., is one of my favorite things to do in Maryland with kids. They love to climb the rocks while I enjoy taking in the view of the Potomac River rushing by.

However, families don’t have to hike miles of strenuous trail in order to get the perfect view. The view of Great Falls from Olmstead Island is just an easy 10-15 minute walk along the towpath and a boardwalk from the Great Falls Visitor Center.

With 184.5 miles of canal, visitors don’t have to battle the traffic of suburban Maryland in order to experience one of the top Maryland attractions. The Cumberland Visitor Center terminus of the canal is full of educational displays describing the procedure for bringing the canal boats through the many locks along the canal.

Another of my favorite stops along the canal is in Brunswick, just a short drive from Harpers Ferry. There is a small, free visitor center on the first floor of the Brunswick Heritage Museum.

If your family stops in Brunswick, make sure to eat at one of my favorite Maryland coffee shops, Beans in the Belfry. This classic, small-town church has been converted to a restaurant complete with stain glass windows, toys for the tots and the most amazing desserts.

9. Eat Some Crab

Eat Crab in Maryland with Kids
Steamed Crab at Bo Brooks in Canton, photo by Melissa Moore

Crab cakes, steamed crab, soft shell crab, crab soup, and the list goes on and on. There’s a reason that Maryland is known for its crab. Approximately 50 percent of the country’s blue crab harvest comes from Maryland.

The blue crab is even Maryland’s official “State Crustacean.” Families visiting Maryland should give crab a try whether trying the seafood platter featuring crab cakes at the Phillips Crab House in Ocean City or cracking their own steamed crab at Bo Brooks in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.

The Eastern Shore is one of the best places to visit in Maryland for crab. Just ask the locals anywhere along the Chesapeake’s Eastern or Western shore for a local recommendation.

When visiting the Chesapeake Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, the locals recommended the crab soup at the nearby Chesapeake Landing Seafood Restaurant. It was very tasty with huge chunks of crab meat.

10. Become a Junior Ranger at a National Historic Site or Battlefield

What to Do in Maryland with Kids Visit Fort McHenry National Historic Site
Raising of the Flag at Fort McHenry, photo by Melissa Moore

There are more than fifteen parks run by the National Park Service where kids can become a Junior Ranger in Maryland. One Maryland attraction that families should make sure to put on their itinerary is Fort McHenry. Fort McHenry is the place where the US flag was seen by Francis Scott Key the morning after the Battle of Baltimore.

Of course, Francis Scott Key then went on to pen the poem that eventually became the United States National Anthem. The video shown at the Fort McHenry visitor center is one of my favorites in all of U.S. national park system. It is appropriate for all ages and should not be missed. For McHenry is one of the most educational places in Maryland to visit with the family

If you take a moment to look at a Civil War era map that includes the infamous Mason-Dixon Line resting between Maryland and Pennsylvania, you’ll quickly see why so many Maryland attractions are Civil War battlefields and historic sites.

There are visitor centers and Junior Ranger programs at both Monocracy National Battlefield and Antietam National Battlefield. Our children are fortunate that these historic sites have been preserved and that park rangers are available to provide educational programs so that we all can learn from our country’s past.

Do your kids love the Junior Ranger Program as much as mine do? There are so many places to visit in Maryland with kids where they can complete the Junior Ranger program. Here’s a guide to Places to Become a Junior Ranger Near Washington DC.

Featured photo by: Bigstock/flownaksala

Top 10 50 states series

Find things to do with kids near you!

From coast to coast, we’re determining the Top 10 Things to do with Kids in each state and dozens of cities across the country.

Special thanks to jesslove for whose hard work helped make this post possible!

The post 10 Fun Things to do in Maryland with kids! appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

40 Cocktails That Will Make You Feel Like You Are On Vacation Fri, 21 Jan 2022 00:17:00 +0000 We can’t always be on vacation but that doesn’t mean we can’t drink like we are!  Are you dreaming of sitting on the sands of a tropical beach with a …

The post 40 Cocktails That Will Make You Feel Like You Are On Vacation appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

We can’t always be on vacation but that doesn’t mean we can’t drink like we are! 

Are you dreaming of sitting on the sands of a tropical beach with a cocktail in hand? Or perhaps you wish you were enjoying apres ski with something boozy and tasty. Vacation drinks are truly the best!

Whatever your vacation dreams may be, we have a cocktail for you! Destinations, resorts, and travelers from around the world have shared recipes for their favorite cocktails, and we can wait to sample them all!

Trekaroo tip: If you don’t have access to all the ingredients listed in a recipe, don’t be afraid to improvise!

40 Vacation Drinks You Can Make at Home

Rum Cocktails

1. Mai Tai from Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii

Mai tai is a classic vacation cocktail
Mai Tai | Photo via Turtle Bay Resort

We start our cocktail journey with the first cocktail that comes to mind when I think of vacation, the Mai Tai. Many people associate the Mai Tai with a Hawaiian vacation, but Victor J. Bergeron claims to have invented it at his restaurant, Trader Vic’s, in Oakland, California back in 1944.

Our friends at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore have shared their recipe for the iconic Mai Tai. A sip of this will definitely transport you to someplace warm and sunny. 

– Dash of Grand Marnier 
– 1 1/4 shot Spiced Rum (recommendation: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum)
– 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
– 1/4 cup Orange Juice
– Dash of Lemon Lime
– Dash of Almond Syrup
– Float of Dark Rum (recommendation: Hana Bay Premium Dark Rum)
– Garnishes: Lime Slice, Cherry, and Pineapple Wedge

1. Scoop some ice into your favorite glass.
2. Add the dash of Grand Marnier. 
3. Pour in the spiced rum, pineapple juice and orange juice.
4. Dash in some lemon lime and almond syrup.
5. Stir it all up.
6. Add the rum floater.
7. Make it pretty with a lime slice, cherry, and a pineapple wedge.

Discover the Top 10 Things to do on a Hawaii Family Vacation

2. Mai Tai Cider from Plunge Beach Resort in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida

Mai Tai Cider recipe
Mai Tai Cider | Photo via Plunge
For a fun, immune boosting twist on the Mai Tai, check out this Mai Tai Cider recipe from Plunge Beach Resort’s signature restaurant, Octopus Kitchen & Bar.
Head bartender at Octopus Kitchen & Bar Abraham Millet says,”When you infuse the warm, spicy flavors of apple, cinnamon and ginger into a cool, fun & refreshing drink like the Mai Tai, you get the Mai Tai Cider. The perfect drink to ward off any sickness during flu season!”  
Who says cocktails can’t be healthy?
– 2 oz Bacardi Rum
– .5 oz Maple Syrup 
– .5 oz Orgeat Syrup 
– .5 oz lime juice
– Cranberries, Fresh Ginger, Cinnamon Sticks for taste
– 1 oz 151 Dark Rum
– Fresh Apple and Cranberry for garnish
1. Combine Bacardi Rum, maple syrup, orgeat syrup, lime juice, cranberries, ginger, and cinnamon sticks into a cocktail shaker filled with ice until chilled.
2. Strain into an old-fashioned glass.
3. Top with 151 Dark Rum floater and garnish with fresh apple and cranberry. 

3. Piña Colada from Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Pina Colada is one of the classic vacation drinks
Classic Piña Colada, photo via Caribe Hilton

Another one of the most classic vacation cocktails is the piña colada, which originated in Puerto Rico. It is hard sip on a drink made with coconut and pineapple and not get whisked away with visions of a tropical island. Caribe Hilton shares their classic recipe, which dates back to the 1950’s.

– 2 oz Rum
– 1 oz Coconut Cream 
– 1 oz Heavy Cream
– 6 oz Pineapple Juice
– 1/2 cup Crushed Ice
1. Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream, and pineapple juice in a blender.
2. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds.
3. Serve in a 12 oz glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.

Read this guide to Puerto Rico for first timers

4. Key Lime Martini from Cheeca Lodge & Spa in the Florida Keys

Key Lime Cocktail
Key Lime Cocktail, Photo via Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Cheeca Lodge & Spa, a historic luxury resort in the Florida Keys, shares their creative twist on a classic martini. It celebrates the key lime pie and rum, two things synonymous with the Keys. So go ahead and drink your dessert while imagine yourself sitting under a palm tree in South Florida. You deserve it!

– 1.5 parts Parrot Bay Key Lime Rum
– .5 parts Licor 43
– Vanilla Ice Cream

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
2. Rim a martini glass with crushed graham crackers.
3. Pour and enjoy!

When you are ready to plan your trip to the Florida Keys, check out our article on the Top 10 Things to do in the Florida Keys with Kids.

5. Descanso Destroyer from Desanso Beach Club on Catalina Island, California

Descanso Destroyer
Descanso Destroyer, Photo via Descanso Beach Club

A favorite local escape for us Southern California folks is Catalina Island. It sits just about an hour off the coast, but this laid-back island feels like it is a world away. The Descanso Beach Club is a popular spot in the charming town of Avalon to kick back with a drink in hand and feet in the sand. Here is one of their most popular drinks, the Descanso Destroyer. 

–  1 oz Sailor Jerry Rum
– .25 oz Amaretto
– 1.5 oz Pineapple Juice
– 1.5 oz Orange Juice
– 0.25 oz Crème de Noyaux
– 0.5 oz 151 Rum
– Garnishes: Orange and Pineapple Wedge

1. Mix the Sailor Jerry rum and amaretto.
2. Add the pineapple juice and orange juice.
3. Add the Crème de Noyaux and 151 Rum
4. Garnish with pineapple and orange. 

Read our guide on exploring Catalina with Kids. 

6. The Ancho Girl! from W Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona

Ancho Girl! _ W Scottsdale is a great vacation cocktail
Ancho Girl!, photo via W Scottsdale

I love a good spicy cocktail. Turn up the desert heat at home with this sweet+spicy cocktail from W Scottsdale. Ancho Reyes chile liqueur brings some spicy heat and the blueberry puree cools things down in this drink which celebrates Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.   

– 1.5 oz Flor de Cana Anejo Oro Rum
– 1 tbsp Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
– 2 tbsp Blueberry Puree
– 1 Lime, Juiced
– Dash of Bitters

1. Pour ingredients into a cocktail mixer filled with ice.
2. Shake and strain into a lowball glass over ice.
3. Pour in the spiced rum, pineapple juice and orange juice

Discover the Top 10 Things to do in Arizona with Kids as well as the best things to do in Scottsdale with kids.

7. Espanto Wave from Cayo Espanto in Belize

Espanto Wave from cayo Espanto Beliza
Espanto Wave, photo via Caya Espanto

Dreaming of a Caribbean getaway? In Belize, Cayo Espanto is a barefoot luxe island resort with villas equipped with a personal butler, private dock area and customized meals set by the on-island world-renowned chef.  Make yourself an Espanto Wave, close your eyes, and dream of warm waters and private butlers.

– 1 ounce of Captain Morgan Rum
– 0.5 ounce of Blue Curacao Liquor
– 0.3 ounce of Amaretto
– 0.5 ounce of Triple Sec
– 1 ounce of Pineapple Squash
– 1 ounce of Lime Juice
– 1 tablespoon of Sugar
– Ice Cubes

1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and frozen..
2. Pour and enjoy! 

8. The Bushwacker from The Sandshaker in Pensacola Beach, Florida

Pensacola Beach Bushwacker
Pensacola Beach Bushwacker, photo via The Sandshaker

The Bushwacker and Pensacola are synonymous with one another. They even have a festival dedicated to the drink! Bar after bar in this beachside town has created its own version but it all started back in 1975 when the Sandshaker’s original owner, Linda Taylor, visited Sapphire Beach Village, St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. 

She tasted a drink they called “Bushwacker” and liked it so much she decided to make her own version for the restaurant. Here is the recipe for their version of vacation in a glass. 

– 4oz. Cream of Coconut 
– 2 oz. Kahlua’ Coffee Liqueur 
– 1 oz. Bacardi Black Rum
– 1 oz. Creme De Cacao
– 4oz. Half-and-Half
– Vanilla Ice Cream

1. Pour ingredients into a blender with two cups of ice and blend. 
2. Pour into a glass.
3. Serve with chocolate syrup and a cherry. 

Read about the Top 10 Things to do in Florida with Kids

9. Blood Orange Mojito from Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island in South Carolina

Blood Orange Mojito
Blood Orange Mojito| Photo via Sonesta Resort Hilton Head

South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is known for its incredible beaches and world-class golf courses. Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and their signature mojito is the perfect sip to transport you right to their sugary beaches.

– 1.25 oz Brugal Extra Dry Rum
– 5 Limes
– Handful of Mint Leaves
– Natalie’s Blood Orange Juice
– Sliced Ginger
– .5 oz Simple Syrup

1. Muddle together sliced ginger, 4 limes, handful of mint leaves, .5 of simple syrup (correct as necessary) and 1 container of Natalie’s Blood Orange Juice.
2. In a glass with ice, pour 1.25 ounces of Brugal Extra Dry Rum and fill to the rim with the signature blood orange mix made in step 1.
3. Garnish with a lime wedge, 1 sugar cane stick, and 1 sprig of mint.

Here are 10 Fun Things to do in South Carolina with Kids.

10. Dark and Stormy from Bermuda

Dark and Stormy Bermuda
Dark and Stormy, photo via Goslings Rum

If you have been to Bermuda, you are likely quite familiar with their national drink, the Dark ‘n Stormy® . If you haven’t been, it is time to familiarize yourself with this quintessential Bermudan beverage. The drink is trademarked by Bermudian rum company Gosling’s Rum and they have been kind enough to share their recipe with us. 

– 4-5 oz. Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer
– 1.5 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
– Ice
– Lime for Garnish

1. In a tall glass filled with ice, add the Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer. 
2. Top with the Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.
3. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Read our complete guide on things to do in Bermuda.

11. Rum Punch from Belize

Belize Rum Punch
Rum Punch, Photo via Travel Belize

From one national beverage to another, we celebrate rum cocktails in all their glory. This time, we daydream about snorkeling and sunbathing in Belize. The national drink of Belize is Rum Punch, and the Belize Tourism Board has been kind enough to share their version of this local favorite.

– 2 cups of White Rum
– 1 cup of Coconut Rum
– 2½ cups of Fresh Orange Juice and Pineapple Juice
– 1/2 cup of Fresh Lime Juice
– 3 tblsp Grenadine

1. Simply stir all the ingredients together in a pitcher or punch bowl, and chill before serving.
2. Use short rocks glasses full of ice, and garnish with slices of orange and pineapple or cherries. This recipe yields 8-10 servings.

Tequila and Mezcal Cocktails

1. Carmesi Maya from Chablé Resort in Mérida, Mexico

Carmesi Maya from Chablé Resort
CarmesiMaya, photo via Chablé Resort

When I think about cocktails in Mexico, I think tequila!

Chable Yucatan  is a resort that was built on an old agave factory. It is home to the largest private tequila collection in the world. According to the resort, the Carmesi Maya cocktail has been inspired by the beautiful red color “carmesi” and the great citrus flavors of the Maya region. 

– 2 oz Tequila Chable Cristalino (or Blanco Tequila)
– 1 oz Licor 43
– 1 oz Lime Juice
– 1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
– 1 oz Simple Syrup
– 1 oz Hibiscus Extract 
– Tortilla Ashes (or Salt) 

1. Pour liquid ingredients in a shaker with crushed ice.
2. Shake for a few seconds and then pour it in an old fashioned glass.
3. Garnish with a ring of salt.

2. Blueberry Mezcalita from Grand Residences Riviera Cancun in Mexico

Mezcalita recipe
Mezcalita and Guacamole, Photo via Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

Mezcal is the national spirit of Mexico and like its cousin, tequila, it is made from agave. Tequila comes from a specific agave plant but mezcal can be created with any type of agave. So, in essence, tequila is a type of mezcal.

Grand Residences Riviera Cancun shares this refreshing and fruity cocktail that will transport you right to their beachfront pool. 

– 2 Oz. Mezcal
– 2 Oz. Cranberry Juice
– 2 Oz. Sprite
– 1/4 cup of Blueberries
– 2 Slices of Lime
– 4 Mint Leaves
–  Ice
 – Garnishes: Sprig of Mint and Blackberry

1. In a glass add the green lime, blueberries, and mint leaves.
2. With a pestle for cocktails, macerate until the juices are released and well mixed.
3. Add the ice cubes, the cranberry juice, the sprite, the mezcal, and mix. 
4. Decorate with the blackberry and the sprint of mint. 

3.  Pineapple Mexican Mule from Mexico

Pineapple Mexican Mule
Pineapple Mexican Mule, Photo via Moscow Muled
Most of us have heard of the Moscow Mule, but have you ever considered giving it a Mexican spin? shares 4 different Mexican Mule recipes, including this Pineapple Mexican Mule that caught my eye.
Pineapple=vacation, no?
– 1.5 oz. Quality Tequila
– Slice of Fresh Lime
– A Few, Fresh Pineapple Chunks
– 1 Bottle of Ginger Beer
– Cubed Ice
– Fresh Mint
1. Add a slice of lime and pineapple wedge to the bottom of a chilled copper mug or glass.
2. Use the back of a spoon to muddle the lime and pineapple.
3 Add your tequila and stir.
4. Add ice, cubed or crushed, 3/4 of the way full.
5. Pour in the ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel, fresh mint, and pineapple slice.

4. Grapefruit Margarita from Montage Los Cabos in Mexico

Montage margarita is a classic vacation cocktail
Margarita, Photo via Montage Los Cabos

If you have been lucky enough to stay at a Montage resort, you know that they are first class all the way. So it is no surprise that the Montage Los Cabos is sharing a first rate margarita recipe.

They are also sharing various other recipes through their #MontageAtHome series on Instagram. Thank you to our friends at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which Montage is a member of, for pointing me in the direction of this tasty series.

– 2 oz. El Tesoro Blanco Tequila
– 2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
– 1 oz Cinammon Syrup
– Fresh or Dried Lime Slice and a Salt or Sugar Rim for Garnish
1. Combine all cocktail ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake vigorously until chilled and diluted. 
3  Cut a lime wedge, moisten the rim of a medium glass, and then dip in salt or sugar for the rim.
4. Pour cocktail into glass and serve.

5. San Miguel Sunset from The Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

San Miguel Sunset cocktail
San Miguel Sunset, Photo via The Hotel Matilda
When the sun begins to sit, it is cocktail time! The San Miguel sunset via The Hotel Matilda is a pretty cocktail designed to capture the beauty of the region. Unlike most tequila beverages I have seen, this one uses beet juice as its base. So we can basically say it is healthy, right?

– 1 1/2 oz. Casa Dragones Tequila Joven

– 1 3/4 oz Roasted Beet Juice
– 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
– 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
– 1 oz. Orange Liqueur

1. Combine all cocktail ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake and strain into a glass. 
3  Garnish with a cherry and citrus peel.

Vodka Cocktails

1. Fleurs & Fleurs from The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills, California

Fleurs and Fleurs Cocktail
Fleurs and Fleurs, photo via The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills

If you have dreams of a sophisticated and trendy Hollywood getaway, this next drink comes from a hotel that boasts an atmosphere of British style melded with Southern California sensibility.

The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills has put together a cocktail that celebrates the flavors of spring .

– 2 oz Kiwi Infused Ketel One Vodka
– ¾ oz Fresh Lemon
– ¾ oz Simple Syrup
– 1 oz fresh Strawberry Juice
– 2 Big Basil Leaves
– Strawberries, Orange Essence, and Edible Flowers for Garnish

1.  Add all ingredients into a shaker.
2. Add ice and shake.
3. Strain over ice into a highball glass and garnish.

2. Lavender Bliss Martini from Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel Valley, CA

Lavender Bliss Martini from Carmel Valley Ranch
Lavender Bliss Martini, photo via Carmel Valley Ranch

Another taste of spring comes from Carmel Valley Ranch. Their signature Lavender Bliss martini is garnished with lavender sprigs from their lavender farm, but at home you can find a few sprigs in your (or a generous neighbor’s) yard.

This cocktail really does a great job of embodying the region. It is sophisticated, beautiful, and built around nature. 

– 2 oz. Absolut Vodka
– ½ oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
– ½ oz. Lavender Simple Syrup
– Blueberries, Lime, and Lavender Sprigs for Garnish

1.  Add vodka, lime juice, and lavender simple syrup into a shaker.
2. Add ice and shake.
3. Strain over martini glass and garnish.

3. White Cosmo from Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida

White Cosmo Cocktail
White Cosmo, Photo via The Brazilian Court Hotel

Anyone who watched Sex in the City is familiar with the traditional pink cosmopolitan. Brazilian Court Hotel decided to mix things up a bit and created this white cosmopolitan using white cranberry juice topped with a beautiful orchid ice cube.

Even if you don’t have a spare orchid, you can still easily make this beverage at home. Don’t be afraid to swap out the orchid for a different edible, organic flower you might have in your garden. 

– 2 oz Stolichnaya Vodka
– 1 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
– ¾ oz White Cranberry Juice
– 1/2 oz Lime Juice
– 1 Orchid Ice Ball*

1. In a shaker, combine liquid ingredients with ice.
2. Shake vigorously and strain into a carafe.
3. Place orchid ice ball in a martini glass and pour contents of carafe over ice ball.

*Orchid Ice Ball: Place 1 pesticide-free orchid in 2” diameter ice ball mold, fill with filtered water, and freeze.

4. Aruba Ariba from Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive in Aruba

Aruba Ariba cocktail
Aruba Ariba, photo via Tamarjin Aruba Resort

Aruba is the sunniest island in all of the Southern Caribbean, so it is not surprise that this drink looks like a sunset in a glass. The mixologists at Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive share this recipe for the Aruba Ariba.

They normally use coecoei liquor, which is only found in Aruba and derived from the sap of local agave plants, but have adapted the recipe so you can make it at home. 

– 1 oz. Orange Juice
– 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
– 1 oz. Vodka, such as Tito’s
– 1/2 oz. Light Rum
– 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
– 1/2 oz. Banana Liqueur
– Splash Grenadine
– Dark Grand Marnier

1. Fill a shaker with ice.
2. Place all ingredients except grenadine and Grand Marnier into shaker and shake.
3. Pour cocktail into tall glass over ice.
4. Float grenadine and Grand Marnier on top.

5. Ranga’s Espresso Martini from Hotel Ranga in Iceland

Ranga Espresso Martini
Ranga Espresso Martini, photo via Hotel Ranga

Iceland has rapidly become one of the most popular destinations for families looking for adventure, immense beauty, and something different from a typical beach vacation.

Hotel Ranga in Iceland is sharing a cocktail which doubles as dessert. They suggest making your own syrup with dark chocolate and orange zest. 

– 1 oz. Katla Vodka
– 1 oz. Orange/Chocolate Syrup
– 1 oz. Vodka, such as Tito’s
– 1 oz. Espresso
– Chocolate and Orange Zest for Garnish

1. Add all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until frothy.
2. Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
3. Garnish with chocolate and orange zest.

Gin Cocktails

1. The Famed Original Martini from the Knickerbocker in New York City

Knickerbocker Martini
The Knickerbocker Martini, photo via The Knickerbocker

The most classic and sophisticated gin cocktail in the world originated in New York City way back in 1912. Rumor has it, the birthplace of the martini was at The Knickerbocker in Times Square.

Kick it old school with a recipe that has been tried and true for over 100 years. 

– 2 oz Tanqueray 10 Gin
– 0.75 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
– 0.5 oz Cocchi Torino Vermouth
– Dash of Orange Bitters
– Dash of Citrus Bitters 
– Lemon Twist for Garnish

1.Place all ingredients in martini glass and stir. 
2. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Important: This martini is stirred and not shaken.

Here are 15 Fun Things to do in New York City with Teens.

2. Enchanted Forest from Wymara Resort & Villas in Turks & Caicos

Enchanted Forest Cocktail
Enchanted Forest Cocktail, photo via Wymara Resort & Villas

Turks & Caicos is home to one of the most picture-perfect beaches on the planet, Grace Bay Beach. It is gorgeous and so is this next beverage, which comes from mixologist Paolo Pattitucci of Wymara Resort & Villas

– 1 ½ oz Star of Bombay Gin
– 1 tsp Organic Raspberry Jam
– 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
– ¾ oz Ginger & Lemongrass Syrup
– 1 ¼ oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
– Fresh Raspberries for Garnish

1. Combine all of the above ingredients on ice in a cocktail mixer.
2. Shake for a few seconds then double-strain in a martini coupe glass.
3. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

3. The North Shore Collins from Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in Florida

North Shore Collins
North Shore Collins, photo via Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort

The North Shore Collins is the Vinoy’s twist on the Gin Rickey, a classic Prohibition cocktail is reminiscent of the resort’s history during the Roaring 20’s.

The resort’s cocktail nods to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s version of the drink, but adds a touch of simple syrup and rosemary to the mix. 

– 1 oz. Old St. Pete Gin 
– 0.75 oz. St. Germaine
– 0.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice 
– 0.5 oz. Simple Syrup 
– 1 Cucumber Slice
– 1 Rosemary Sprig 

1. Combine gin, St. Germaine, lime juice, simply syrup in a mixing tin. .
2. Add cucumber and rosemary and muddle.
3. Add ice and shake vigorously.
4. Strain over fresh ice in a tall glass.
5. Add lime twist and rosemary sprig as garnishes.

4. The Royal Treatment from White Mountain Hotel & Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire

The Royal Treatment Cocktail will make you feel like you are on vacation
The Royal Treatment, photo via White Mountain Hotel and Resort

This may be one of the prettiest drinks I have ever seen. There is just something so unusual and beautiful about a lavender beverage dotted with fresh fruit.

White Mountain Hotel in New Hampshire shares the recipe for the Royal Treatment, which we all definitely deserve right about now. The key to the color is the distinctive purple gin.

– 1 1/2 oz. Empress 1908 Gin 
– 3 oz. White Cranberry Juice
– Dash of Sparkling Wine
– Kiwi, Berries, and Mint for Garnish 

1. Combine gin, white cranberry juice, and sparkling wine in iced glass and stir. 
2. Garnish with kiwi, berries of your choice, and mint.

Here are our favorite things to do in New Hampshire.

5. Cucumber Cooler from Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California

Cucumber Cooler
Cucumber Cooler, Photo via Monarch Beach Resort
Dana Point is close to home for me in South Orange County, but it is wonderful vacation destination visited by people from around the world.
Monarch Beach Resort is world-class resort that offers an elevated California beach getaway experience. They are sharing a drink the is cool, citrusy, and totally California. 

– 1.5 oz. Nolet’s Gin 
– 1 oz. Simple Syrup
– 0.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice 
– 5 Mint Leaves
– Muddled Cucumber
– Tonic 

1. Muddle mint and cucumber together.
2. Mix all ingredients in a shaker except tonic and shake for 20 seconds.
3. Pour over fresh ice and top up with tonic water.
4. Garnish with a long cucumber slice wrapped around inside of glass.

Whiskey and Bourbon Cocktails

1. River Trip Punch from Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine

River Trip Punch
River Trip Punch, photo via Earth at Hidden Pond

Who doesn’t love a great punch for sipping down by the river?

Can’t get to the river right now? Your backyard or your couch will do just fine. Earth at Hidden Pond, a “farm to fork” restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine, shares their recipe for a punch that will take you back to the lazy days of summer. 

– 4 oz of Langsford Road Bourbon Whiskey
– 1.5 oz of Black Tea
– 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
– 1 oz Pineapple Juice
– 1 oz Orange Curacao
– 4 oz. Soda Water

1. Fill punch bowl half-way with ice.
2. Combine all ingredients except for the soda water and stir in bowl.
3. Once stirred top with soda water.
4. Garnish with pineapple, lemon & lime wheels, and/or seasonal edible flowers from the garden. 

These are the absolute best things to do in Maine on your family vacation.

2. Honey Queen from the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic

Honey Queen cocktail
Honey Queen, poto via Westin Puntacana Resort & Club

Combine a good whiskey cocktail with a Dominican Republic beach and you have paradise.

Can’t reach paradise today? Luckily, you can still drink like you are there. Westin Puntacana Resort & Club has shared their recipe for the Honey Queen, along with a video on how to make it. 

– 2 Basil Leaves
– 1 oz of Puntacana Forest Honey (or your favorite substitute)
– 1.5 oz Jack Daniels
– 2 oz of Passionfruit Juice
– 1 oz of Lemon Juice

1. Add all of the ingredients into a mixing glass.
2. Stir with a spoon to dissolve the honey.
3. Add ice and mix.
4. Strain then serve in a highball glass. 

3. The Haymaker from The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana

The Haymaker, photo Via The Ranch at Rock Creek

If you haven’t had the pleasure of spending a week or two in Montana during the summer, make it a priority. Big Sky Country is laid back, slow-paced, and stunningly gorgeous.

A guest ranch vacation is unlike any other, and The Ranch at Rock Creek provides a 5-star experience with endless activities. They have shared their recipe for The Haymaker, a switchel.

This type of drink was common in colonial America, where it was used to quench hay harvesters’ thirst during the hot, long hours in the fields.

– 2 tblsp Apple Cider Vinegar
– 3 tblsp Ginger Syrup
– 1.5 oz Single Malt Whiskey (The Ranch at Rock Creek uses Glacier Distilling Wheatfish)
– 1.5 cups Water
– 1/2 Fresh Lemon, Juiced

1. Add apple cider vinegar, ginger simple syrup, water, and fresh lemon into a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake well, strain into a Collins glass with ice. 
3. Add whiskey, stir, and garnish with a lemon round.

Here are our picks for 10 great things to do in Montana with kids. 

4. Peaches & Bourbon from Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina

Peaches and Bourbon cocktail
Peaches & Bourbon, photo via Montage Palmetto Bluff

Is there anything more southern than peaches and bourbon? This classic cocktail definitely transports me to a porch swing in South Carolina’s Low Country. Montage Palmetto Bluff shares their recipe for this traditional treat.

– 1.5 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
– 3 oz. Lemonade
– 3 oz. Peach Cider
– Garnish with Peach or Lemon Wedge

1. Combine all ingredients into a shaker and mix vigorously.
2. Pour ingredients into a Collins glass filled with ice. 
3. Garnish with a slice of peach or lemon wedge.

5. Mint Julep from The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky

Classic Mint Julep
Mint Julep, photo via Kentucky Department of Tourism

We couldn’t possibly put together a vacation cocktail roundup without including a mint julep straight from Kentucky! This recipe comes from The Brown Hotel, a Louisville landmark since 1923.

This drink is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby so put on a flamboyant hat and sip on this, the symbol of southern elegance. 

– Crushed Ice
– 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon
– 2 oz Mint Simple Syrup * (recipe below)
– Splash Club Soda
– Fresh Mint Sprigs, for Garnish

 Cocktail Instructions
1. Place crushed ice in a silver cup, preferably.
2.Pour in bourbon and mint simple syrup and stir.
3. Add club soda, if desired.
4. Garnish with fresh mint.

Mint Simple Syrup Instructions
1. Combine equal amounts of sugar and water and several sprigs of spearmint (tied in cheesecloth) in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts.
2. Cook it a few minutes to get a thicker syrup.
3. Remove from the heat, remove mint from the syrup once satisfied with the flavor.

Discover 10 great things to do on a Kentucky Family Vacation

Wine and Champagne Cocktails

1. Rosé Mojito from Casa Sensei in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Rose Mojito
Rose Mojito, photo via Casa Sensei

Have an unopened bottle of rosé? Well lucky for you,  lead bartender Jessica Allen of Casa Sensei has a fruity take on the classic mojito that will put it to good use.

This drink only requires 5, easy-to-find ingredients, so you will be able to rosé all day in no time!

– 1/2 of a Lime
– 6-8 Fresh Mint Leaves
– 1/2 Cup Rosé
– 1/4 Cup Club Soda
– 1 Lime Wedge

1.Cut 1/2 of the lime into wedges and muddle to release lime juice.
2. Add mint leaves and strawberries to lime juice and gently muddle.
3. Pour in the rose, add ice, and shake.
4.Strain the contents and pour into a glass.
5. Top off with soda water.
6. Use extra mint leaves for garnish.

2. The French 75 from Paris, France

French 75 Cocktail
French 75 Cocktail, photo via Marissa Stevens of

Ahhh…. Paris. So sophisticated, beautiful, and romantic. Many of us dream of a Parisian escape, and wouldn’t a cocktail help us daydream just a little bit more?

Marissa Stevens from shares her recipe for The French 75. It was was first created at a bar in Paris in 1915 and was said to have the kick of a French 75mm field gun, hence the name. 

Cocktail Ingredients
– 2 oz. Champagne
– 1 oz. Gin
– 1/2 oz. Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup

Cocktail Instructions
1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Add gin and Meyer lemon simple syrup.
3. Shake well and strain into a Champagne glass. 
4. Top with champagne.
5. Stir gently and serve. 

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup Ingredients
– Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon (about 3 tblsp)
– 2 tblsp Super Fine Sugar

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup Instructions
1. In a small bowl, whisk Meyer lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Makes enough for 4 cocktails.

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Paris with kids

3. Mango Sangria from Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Mango Sangria
Mango Sangria | Photo via Rosewood Little Dix Bay

The British Virgin Islands have long been a vacation paradise for those dreaming of azure waters and beautiful beaches. What goes better with azure waters and beautiful beaches than sangria?

Rosewood Little Dix Bay has shared their recipe for Mango Sangria, which sounds so refreshing and tropical that I can’t wait to be whisked away!

– 1 oz. Mango Puree 
– 3/4 oz Gin
– 3/4 oz Grand Marnier
– 4 oz. White Wine 
– Garnish with Mango and Dry Orange

1.Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. 
2. Shake gently.
3. Pour into glass and garnish. 

4. Il Riccio Spritz from Capri Palace Jumeirah in Capri, Italy

Il Riccio Sprtiz
Il Riccio Sprtiz, photo via Capri Palace Jumeriah
This next drink is almost as beautiful as the island of Capri itself. The Il Riccio Spritz is a cocktail served at the Michelin-starred restaurant at Capri Palace Jumeirah. It was inspired by the water intense blue waters off Capri’s coast. 
– 1 oz. St. Germain
– 1/3 oz Blue Curacao
– 4 oz. Italian Prosecco
– 1 Splash of Soda Water 
– Fresh Mint
1. Combine Curacao, St. Germain, and prosecco in an iced glass. 
2. Gently stir and top with soda water. 
3. Add minty for garnish and serve. 

5.  Lake Como Getaway from The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley, California

Lake Como Getaway Cocktail
Lake Como Getaway Cocktail

Whether you are wishing for a Napa Wine Country getaway or a week on Lake Como in Italy, this next drink will help get you to your happy place.

This recipe is shared with us from Olive & Hay at The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley, but the cocktail is called the Lake Como Getaway because it uses the flavors of Italy to create a lemony, refreshing drink.

– 1.5 oz. Limoncello
– 2 oz. Prosecco
– 3 oz. Bitter Lemon Tonic Water 
– Lemon Slices for Garnish.
1. Use all 3 ingredients to build over ice (only a few ice cubes). 
2. Finish off by garnishing with two lemon slices.

But Wait- There’s More Cocktails!

1. Pisco Sour from Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel in Peru

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour, photo via Sumaq Machu Picchu

Peru is my favorite country I have visited (so far!) and though my recent trip to this South American gem has been delayed, I can dig into my pisco stash at home and still enjoy the country’s national cocktail.

If  you haven’t had the chance to visit Machu Picchu and the rest of Peru, put it near the top of your bucket list. It is a country filled with distinct culture, fabulous food, and incredible scenic beauty. Until then, use this recipe shared by Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, which sits at the foot of one of the world’s great wonders.

– 3 oz. Pisco
– 1 oz Lime Juice
– 1 oz Simple Syrup
– 1 Egg White
– Angostura Bitters 
– 5-8 Ice Cubes

1.Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake for 10 seconds.
2. Using a strainer, pour contents into a glass.
3. Add 2 drops Angostura Bitters on top of foam and serve.

2. Barraquito from Tenerife, Spain

Barraquito from Tenerife Spain
Barraquito, photo via Tenerife Tourism

Tenerife is an island in the Canary Islands known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beaches, and looming volcano, Mt. Teide. The island is owned by Spain, but located off the coast of West Africa. 

Tenerife’s star drink is the barraquito. It is often enjoyed after a nice meal on the terrace of one of the island’s charming cafes.

– Milk
– Espresso
– Condensed Milk
– Ground Cinnamon
– Lemon Peel
– Licor 43

1. In a small and short bube glass pour the condensed milk.
2. Then add Licor 43 “to give that cheerful touch”.
3. Above this, layer the espresso.
4. Finally a layer of milk and one of milk foam to achieve the five characteristic colors of the barraquito.
5. It is essential to finish the recipe with a small slice of lemon and a little cinnamon sprinkled on the foam.

Note: This cocktail can be made to taste. If you want it sweeter, add more condensed milk, if you want it stronger, add more liquor, etc. Pour each ingredients slowly and with the help of a spoon to avoid them mixing too much. 

3. Caipirnha from Brazil

Caipirinha cocktail from Brazil
Caipirinha, photo via

Bradley Williams from DreamBig, TravelFar shares the caipirinha, a cocktail that always makes him think of golden, sandy beaches in South America. Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil, and is made with Cachaca, a popular distilled alcohol. 

– 1 Lime 
– 1 tblsp. Golden Caster Sugar
– 1 3/4 oz. Cachaca

1. Chop a lime into 4 pieces and place 3 of these into a cocktail shaker.
2. Add in 1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar and muddle together well.
3. Fill an old fashioned glass with crushed ice and then pour the ice into the cocktail shaker.
4. Add in the Cachaca.
5. Shake well for 15-20 seconds and then pour straight back into the glass (if necessary, top glass up with more crushed ice).

Bonus Tip 1: For an even better caipirinha, before muddling your limes go ahead and cut off the rind. It removes the slightly bitter taste that this sometimes causes and makes for an even sweeter and tastier cocktail!

Bonus Tip 2: Feel free to include other fruity ingredients to add new flair to your caipirinha. Strawberries and lime make for a popular choice.

4. Little Nell Hot Toddy from the Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado

Little Nell Hot Toddy
Little Nell Hot Toddy, photo via Little Nell

Not all vacation dreams are based in hot and tropical places. Some of the best vacations are ski vacations in posh Rocky Mountain cities like Aspen, Colorado.

The Little Nell in Aspen is a 5-star hotel that serves up plenty of drinks to warm you up after a few hours on the slopes. Exclusive Resorts  shares the recipe for The Little Nell Hot Toddy, perfect for daydreaming about the slopes. 

– 2 oz Hennessey VSOP Cognac 
– 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
– 1/2 oz. Anise, Nutmeg, and Honey Simple Syrup
– Rishi’s Chamomile Medley Tea
– Nutmeg-dusted Lemon Wheel 

1. Build the cocktail in any insulated glassware, combining the cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
2. Top with chamomile medley tea.
3. Garnish with a nutmeg-dusted lemon wheel. 

The post 40 Cocktails That Will Make You Feel Like You Are On Vacation appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

10 Fun Things to Do in Alabama with kids Thu, 20 Jan 2022 08:01:00 +0000 What are the best things to do in Alabama with kids? Alabama is a state rich in historic sites; sites which document the trials and triumphs of our nation’s past, …

The post 10 Fun Things to Do in Alabama with kids appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

What are the best things to do in Alabama with kids? Alabama is a state rich in historic sites; sites which document the trials and triumphs of our nation’s past, and offer an unparalleled look at some of the momentous events that have defined this great country.

Historic adventure awaits across the Heart of Dixie, from the Native American tribes and Civil War battlefields to the Civil Rights Movement and the birthplace of Helen Keller.

Read this guide as you plan your Alabama family vacation and decide if you’re cheering for Alabama’s Crimson Tide or rooting for the Auburn Tigers. Football is a religion in Alabama. 

10 Best Things To Do In Alabama with Kids

1. Live Your Space Camp Dreams at the US Space & Rocket Center

Space camp is one of the best things to do in Alabama with kids
Photo by kelliwhitman

As a kid, I longed to go to Space Camp. I still vividly remember wistfully staring at the posters of Space Camp which were taped around my elementary school. At night, I prayed to attend Space Camp even more than I prayed for a date with Ricky Schroder!

So, as you can imagine, when I first learned that Space Camp is still in existence and offered at The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, I just about flipped my Alabama biscuit!

 Family Space Camp houses parents and children together includes on-site meals and gives parents a chance to fulfill childhood dreams of space camp’s past. One small step for mom; one giant leap for momkind.

Other science-minded museums in Huntsville include Early Works Children’s History Museum and Sci-Quest Hands-on Science Center.

2. Learn Courage & Conviction at the Rosa Parks Museum

Top 10 things to do with kids in Alabama Rosa Parks Montgomery
Photo via Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

At Rosa Parks Museum Children’s Wing, kids go back in time on the Cleveland Avenue Time Machine to discover that things just don’t happen – people make things happen.

Children come to realize that they too can make a difference just as Rosa Parks did on that monumental day in 1955. Parks’ bravery teaches kids to stand up for what they believe in and not to let anyone make them feel inferior.

Additional nearby learning opportunities await at First White House of the Confederacy, the Montgomery Zoo, The MOOseum, and the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site.

If you’re able, be sure to catch Alabama’s National Fair in October. Do not miss these incredible learning experiences when choosing what things to do in Alabama with kids.

3. Life’s a Beat at the Gulf Shore

Visiting Gulf shores alabama is on of the best things to do in Alabama with kids
Gulf Shores Beach, photo by John W. Tuggle

The beaches of the gulf are what an Alabama family vacation is made of. Escape to family-friendly Dauphin Island. Its campground provides walking trails into the beautiful Audubon Bird Sanctuary, paths to secluded beaches, and is only a short walk to top attractions such as Historic Fort Gaines, and Sea Lab Estuarium.

Nearby, Gulf State Park boasts over 3.5 miles of sparkling turquoise waters and gleaming white sand beaches. Gulf Shores Beach area can be accessed from via a beach pavilion with private showers, a snack bar, plenty of shady spots to sit and eat, and a huge fireplace perfect for warming up on chilly days.

Read our full guides to visiting Gulf Shores with kids and things to do in Orange Beach, two awesome beach vacation destinations in Alabama.

4. Explore & Discover at Gulf Area Attractions and Museums

Alabama attractions for families
Photo via Tad Denson

At Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, young adventurers of all ages can design their own thrilling roller coaster, hold a holographic heart in their hand, and strum and tune a laser harp.

Afterward,  head over to Bellingrath Gardens and enjoy its 65 acres of beauty and floral luxuriousness. Every inch of Bellingrath is exquisite and stunning. Kids will love the butterfly garden where flowers have been planted to attract all kinds of colorful, fluttering beauties.

The ultimate Bellingrath experience comes at Christmas when more than three million twinkling lights turn the gardens into an experience that will always be remembered.

More fun in Mobile and Gulf Shores can be had at Alabama’s Pecan Festival, Hank Aaron’s Childhood Home and Museum, The Environmental Studies Center, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Trekaroo readers agree the U.S.S Alabama is also not to be missed!

Stay at these Family Friendly Hotels in Alabama. As a affiliate we are thrilled to offer our readers the lowest rates.

5. Retrace Historic Roadways in Tannehill

Tannehill Ironworks is one of the best places to visit in Alabama
Tannehill Ironworks, photo by Andy Montgomery

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park has more than 1,500 acres set aside for camping, hiking, and outdoor leisure. Tannehill is an awe-inspiring place where you and your children can enjoy being outside while learning about the history of Alabama.

Hike trails that retrace historic roadways, browse shops that occupy restored pioneer cabins, and visit dozens of other historic buildings dating back to the 1800s.

Tannehill’s Iron and Steel Museum displays artifacts of Alabama’s 19th-century iron industry and explains the park’s massive stone furnaces. Children will love the miniature train chugging through the pines.

After a few hours at Tannehill, delight in nearby Birmingham Zoo, McWane Science Center, and Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

6. Follow in the Footsteps of Helen Keller

Helen Keller's home is a good place to visit on an Alabama family vacation
The Famous Helen Keller Well Pump, Photo by TheSeafarer

The celebrated life and times of Helen Keller are preserved at her birthplace and childhood home, Ivy Green. Built in 1820, her home and cottage are available to tour and give children the opportunity to learn about the everyday life of persons who are hearing impaired and/or blind.

Tuscumbia’s historic Spring Park is the location of the annual Helen Keller Festival, where children can watch a play depicting the early life of Helen Keller.

Spring Park features the world’s largest man-made natural stone waterfall with 51 jets all choreographed to lights and music. A water show delights spectators each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at dusk.

Children love Spring Park’s train, carousel, Python roller coaster, splash pad, and playground.

7. Explore Alabama’s Scenic State Parks

desoto falls Alabama photo
Desoto Falls, photo by timcorradino

Alabama offers six state park resorts, a nature lover’s perfect destination. Across the state, these resorts provide comfortable accommodations and vacation style amenities coupled with the beauty of the great outdoors.

Desoto State Park Resort showcases DeSoto Falls, a beautiful 92-foot waterfall plunging into a canyon. Nearby, an 11-mile scenic drive allows visitors to view the splendor of Little River Canyon National Preserve from a series of overlooks.

The shores of Lake Guntersville State Park are some of the most pristine in the entire state and its hiking trails were used 200 years ago by Cherokee Indians. Nearby Buck’s Pocket State Park’s panoramic vistas are a must see!

9. Play in Grandma’s Attic in Tuscaloosa

Children's Hands on Museum in Alabama
Photo via Flickr/bamakodaker

At the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa, kids can play dress-up in 19th-century clothes found in Grandmother’s Attic, visit the Lil’ Sprouts Farmer’s Market, put on a puppet show, or climb into a beaver lodge and slide out the other end.

You will also want to make time to see the Hodges meteorite (the only meteorite known to have struck a human); view Alabama’s State Fossil, Basilosaurus cetoides; and experience the natural diversity of Alabama through exhibits at Alabama’s Museum Of Natural History.

9. Discover Alabama’s Caves

cathedral caverns photo
Cathedral Caverns, photo by Marshall County CVB

Alabama is home to a wealth of caves. In the late nineteenth century, Shelta Cave in Huntsville was the site of parties and underground boating.

In the 1930s during prohibition, Blount County was home to an infamous speakeasy in Bangor Cave, where wealthy patrons flocked to enjoy music, drinks, and gambling.

Alabama is so rich with caves that the National Speleological Society, relocated its headquarters to Huntsville in 1971, giving the state a central role in the study of cave environments. More than 4,200 caves have been discovered in Alabama.

Some of these discoveries such as Cathedral Caverns are open to the public and provide access to and education about the wonders and beauty of the subterranean world.

Desoto Caverns, a fun and touristy theme park designed around a cave is geared towards children. Plan at least half the day for this beloved park.

10. Learn About Important Civil Rights History

The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail photo
Photo by Ron Cogswell

The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail was established by Congress to commemorate the 54-mile route of voting rights marchers from Selma, Alabama to the State Capitol in Montgomery.

Throughout your journey, your family will visit such places as the Selma Interpretive Center, National Voting Rights Museum, and the Lowndes County Interpretative Center.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 achieved the legal right to vote for all Americans and forever changed the political life of the South and the United States as a whole. The Selma to Montgomery March remains one of the most significant civil rights protests in American history.

Experiencing this trail and educating your children on the history of inequality in the United States is definitely the most important thing to do in Alabama with kids. 

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