Multi-generational travel—often to celebrate a special
anniversary or family reunion-- is one of the fastest growing segments of the
vacation industry. 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.
You can quickly replace technological connectivity with
personal connectivity when family members bond over shared experiences—and
everyone benefits. While travel companies have developed new offerings to
appeal to multiple generations traveling together, you can also plan your own
fun vacation around excursions such as these:
|Cumberland Lake is the houseboating capital of the U.S.|
Love water activities—but hate sticky saltwater at the
beach? Rent a houseboat on Cumberland Lake
in southeastern Kentucky
Cruise on your private resort, and park in a secluded cove. Large, luxurious houseboats can easily sleep
12, and several boats can be moored together to accommodate larger groups.
|With a little instruction, driving a house boat is easy to learn.|
Surprisingly simple to operate, rented boats come with
hands-on learning time and two-way radios for help if you have questions. With fully equipped kitchens, TVs, back-end
slides, and gas grills, houseboats offer ready-made entertainment literally
right outside the door. Kids, parents,
and grandparents enjoy whiling away the hours with swimming, fishing, and
relaxing—then cooking up the day’s catch.
Advantages include only unpacking once (bedrooms have more
storage than a typical cruise ship cabin), water and sunshine all day, and
clear, star-lit skies at night.
Beautiful scenery is unspoiled by development, since land surrounding Cumberland Lake
is owned by the U. S.
Corps of Engineers.
There is no better place to build or maintain
family relationships than in your own aquatic paradise.
TREK THE WOODS
|Llamas follow a lead without threatening|
hikers and carry supplies.
If you love the outdoors but not water wings, try a llama
trek. Learn how to lead a llama and how not to invades his personal space. One
of the oldest domesticated animals on the planet, llamas are more docile and
compliant than horses and make wonderful pack animals. They are agile, social, and non-threatening
for inexperienced trekkers, including children.
Llama treks in Carson National Forest
near Red River and
throughout northern New Mexico are a terrific multi-generational adventure,
with half-day to multi-day excursions (including gourmet organic meals)
designed according to weather conditions and needs of the hikers. Enjoy the
sights and sounds and feel the peacefulness of the woods while gaining affinity
for llamas, knowledge about ecology and the environment, and an appreciation
for nature to apply later at home.
is a town for all seasons and all reasons,
especially if windmills, wooden shoes, and Dutch treats are on the agenda.
An unmistakable Dutch influence permeates the
town, and Main Street
has a decidedly European flavor even though it’s near the shore of Lake Michigan
|Sure, there are windmills in Holland, MI.|
Named an All American City, Holland makes a delightful
weekend getaway or vacation destination.
Whether you’re looking for beaches and parks in summer, fun festivals
and special events such as the weeklong Tulip Festival in spring, farmer’s
markets overflowing with produce and flowers in fall, or cross-country skiing
in the winter, Holland has it all.
Abundant biking and hiking trails, an active arts community, museums,
and shopping in the revitalized downtown area (listed on the National Register
of Historic Places) are some of the activities appealing to various family members.
Take in unique
attractions such as Windmill Island, where you can climb up the last authentic
windmill to leave the Netherlands—a working structure built in 1625.
Visit the Dutch Village
, and listen to
the beautifully carved street organ play melodies derived from authentic brown
|Houses proudly reflect the Dutch influence in Holland, Michigan.|
Watch wooden shoe carving
or purchase a traditional blue and white souvenir at DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and
Then head to Lake Michigan
’s shoreline to see Big Red, Michigan
photographed lighthouse, and stop to savor bayside cuisine and a harbor view at
nearby Piper Restaurant.
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides many family activities |
and beautiful scenery
Another destination full of family fun is Gatlinburg,Tennessee
, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Waterfalls are abundant, with some right on
the highway’s edge for easy viewing and others a leisurely walk away. Summer
programs and camps provide hands-on discovery activities for all ages.
|Check out the aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN.|
Scenic drives throughout the region, nearby white water
rafting in summer and zip lining year round, old fashioned hay rides and
harvest festivals in fall, and celebrations marking the extensive arts and
crafts community throughout the year (especially around Christmas) mean there’s
something for everyone.
Gatlinburg is also known as the nation’s wedding
capital after Las Vegas, so there’s another reason to bring the family