Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Try one of these family-friendly getaways

Multi-generational travel is a great way to celebrate a special occasion or a family reunion.  But if cruising on a mega-ship or visiting large theme parks with thousands of other people doesn’t meet your idea of quality togetherness, there are other options. 

Houseboat for rent at Grider Hill Marina on
Cumberland Lake in Kentucky

Love water activities—but hate sticky saltwater at the beach?  Rent a houseboat on Cumberland Lake in southeastern Kentucky.  Either Grider Hill Marina on the northern end of the lake or Water Way Adventures to the south is a prime location for renting houseboats. Cruise on your private resort, and park in a secluded cove.  Large, luxurious houseboats easily sleep 12, and several boats can be moored together to accommodate larger groups.

Larry enjoys driving the boat.
Simple to operate, rented boats come with hands-on learning time and two-way radios for help if you have questions later.  With fully equipped kitchens, TV’s, back-end slides, hot tubs, and gas grills, houseboats offer ready-made entertainment literally right outside the door.  Kids, parents, and grandparents will enjoy relaxing or whiling away the hours swimming and fishing—then cooking up the day’s catch.  Go ashore for to discover natural areas that aren’t accessible from land.

Advantages of vacationing on a houseboat include only unpacking once (bedrooms have more storage than a typical cruise ship cabin), warm water and sunshine during the day, and star-lit skies at night.  Beautiful scenery is unspoiled by development at Cumberland Lake since the U. S.  Corps of Engineers owns surrounding shore lands.  There is no better place to build or maintain family relationships than in your own aquatic paradise. 


For families who love nature and outdoor activities—and that includes anything from leisurely strolling along the Tennessee River Trail to bravely hang gliding off a mountain—there’s no better place than Chattanooga.  It’s a great vacation spot whether family members choose to simply savor the scenery or challenge their muscles to the max. 

Lovely bridge at Rock City
Gently kayak through downtown on the Tennessee River, walk a cave trail to Ruby Falls, or visit Rock City. This family attraction provides trails through beautifully landscaped gardens, unusual rock formations, an observation point where seven states are visible on a clear day, and live music and shows. 

For indoor nature fun follow the path of a raindrop from the Appalachian Forest to the Gulf of Mexico through visitor friendly exhibits in Tennessee Aquarium’s River Journey.  Ocean Journey takes that story under the waves for a look at saltwater creatures and habitats. 

Fountain near the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee
More to do: Ride the carousel at Coolidge Park, bike or walk along downtown trails and by the Trail of Tears fountain. Want more challenge? Try white water rafting on the Ocoee River, hang gliding at Lookout Mountain FlightPark, or rock climbing under the Walnut Street Bridge.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier 

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