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Try something new on next family vacation

By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes, FamilyTravel.com
Published: May 4, 2024, 6:04am

On your next vacation, stay someplace special. Here are five ideas to consider.

  • Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection (Punta de Mita, Mexico)

If the curl of the wave is calling your children’s names, consider this Mexican resort’s Surf Safari, designed for young people ages 8-12. Adventuresome kids will begin each of three days with breakfast before heading to the pristine waters of Nayarit beaches where they will receive instruction from an experienced surf team. The program also includes the use of a personalized surfboard, reef-friendly sunscreen and an optional wetsuit. Meanwhile, the adults can explore the spa, three infinity-edge pools cascading down to the beach and multiple dining venues, including a signature Mexican farmhouse restaurant and an open-air taqueria. Overlooking the Bahía de Banderas on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, guests stay in studios, casitas, suites with ocean views or two-to-five-bedroom villas and oceanfront residences.

For more: aubergeresorts.com/susurros/

  • Park Hyatt Aviara (Carlsbad, Calif.)

Relax into the coastal vibe that permeates this five-star resort, nestled within the foothills of Carlsbad transformation. Set amid 250 lush acres of natural beauty overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon, the Park Hyatt Aviara offers breathtaking views and a plethora of on-site activities. Spend time at the peaceful adult pool or the family pool where dual slides keep everyone slipping, sliding and smiling. (Both offer private cabanas.) Opt for an outdoor exercise session, explore via an award-winning hiking trail, play tennis or reserve a round on the Arnold-Palmer-designed golf course. Test your skills in the Top Golf Swing Suite or head to a nearby beach for a surfing lesson. Families will appreciate the resort’s proximity to Legoland California, where more than 60 rides, shows and attractions beckon children ages 2 to 12.

For more: www.legoland.com/california/; www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/park-hyatt-aviara-resort/sanpa

  • Kay El Bar Guest Ranch (Wickenburg, Ariz.)

For a true taste of the Old West, visit this dude ranch that has been welcoming guests for more than 100 years. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, guests saddle up to explore the cactus forests, slot canyons, sandy washes and rocky ridges of the Sonoran Desert. Later, relax in the pool or hot tub, hone your archery or sport shooting skills, or take a hike to scout for red-tailed hawk and turkey vultures in the desert sky. (Just beware of the jumping cholla cactus.)

Come nightfall, you’ll share stories in the adobe lodge with other guests who have come to appreciate the ranch’s cherished traditions.

For more: www.kayelbar.com; https://trueranchcollection.com

  • Ponte Vedra Inn & Club (Ponte Vedra, Fla.)

A historic destination and the crown jewel of its namesake town, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club attracts families eager to relax on a pristine stretch of beach and to choose from a long list of amenities. Just 20 miles southeast of Jacksonville, the resort includes two award-winning golf courses, 15 tennis courts, a bocce ball court and a croquet lawn. The kids pools have zero-entry wading areas and waterslides as well as paddleboarding and kayaking. Many of the 262 guest rooms offer Atlantic Ocean views and walk-out access to the beach. Ask about Popcorn & PJs nights for the kids.

For more: www.pontevedra.com

  • Skamania Lodge (Stevenson)

Explore the dramatic Pacific Northwest landscape and rugged beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, a 4,000-foot-deep canyon of the Columbia River. Choose the Skamania Lodge as your base camp and elevate your experience with a stay in one of their treehouse-style cabins. Set 15 to 20 feet in the air, you’ll sleep amid the Douglas firs in a contemporary structure inspired by childhood memories of outdoor play. Enjoy the outdoor deck, fire pit, hammocks, s’mores kits, ice-filled Yeti and a wealth of nearby activities. Renew your connection with nature through a self-guided forest bathing experience on Skamania’s creek loop trail or try your hand at disc golf. Check out the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center, and plan a trip to any of 70 nearby waterfalls.

For more: skamania.com