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8 Kid-friendly Outdoor Vacations in the US You'll Never Forget

Outdoor vacations make the best vacations, especially with kids in tow. Take your pick of these best outdoor vacations for families across the US.

Outdoor vacations are a great way to enjoy nature, escape from the stresses of daily life, and relax. And, when you add kids to the mix, these types of getaways can be even more fun.

I’ve taken my family on all sorts of trips, but my favorites are always those that have something to do with being outside, whether it’s camping, glamping, or staying at a ski retreat. We put our screens away, immerse ourselves in our surroundings, and enjoy some new adventures.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated, but kid-friendly getaway with one-of-a-kind experiences in Pennsylvania, a dude ranch with an action-packed activity schedule in Arizona, or a secluded getaway minutes from Lake Tahoe in California, here’s a whole of host ideas for an outdoor family vacation you’ll never forget.

Luxurious Lake Outdoor Getaway on the Edge of Lake Tahoe

Situated on the west shore of Lake Tahoe with breathtaking views of the water, this newly renovated three-bedroom home in Tahoma is the perfect vacation spot for families who are looking for an unplugged lake getawayEco View 3-Br Newly Redone Peaceful Home comes with plenty of space for everyone to spread out and offers easy access to beaches, hiking and mountain bike trails, and ski slopes.

The public beach at Chamber’s Landing is only a ten-minute bike ride away. It’s fun to grab a picnic lunch at Tahoma PDQ market, or you can dine out at Chambers Landing Bar and Grill.

After a tiring day of kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, or hiking the nearby Eagle Falls Trail, sink into the outdoor hot tub and enjoy the views (and some quiet time) or sit by the fire and play board games with your family.

Eco View - 3 Br Newly Redone Peaceful Home With Chefs Kitchen, Amazing Views

Tahoma
8.9 Excellent (51 reviews)

Magical Outdoor Glamping Spot Overlooking Mount Rushmore

Under Canvas Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota is the ideal option for those who don’t like skimping on creature comforts on family vacations. You get to enjoy a luxurious and relaxing getaway while still feeling immersed in the beautiful natural surroundings.

The award-winning campsite located on a former gold-mining settlement looks across Mount Rushmore, one of the most iconic landmarks in the US. Its stunning safari-style tented suites come with upscale amenities, including comfy king-size beds and private bathrooms, and will fit a family of four.

Camp activities for kids include corn hole, arts and crafts, movie nights, and scavenger hunts. Moms might like to do a sunrise yoga session, while the kids are asleep. When night falls, grab blankets and lie down for a prime view of the star-filled sky and the Milky Way (not the chocolate bar kind). If you wish to explore further afield, head to Black Hills National Forest or Big Thunder Gold Mine.

Under Canvas Rushmore

Top rated
Keystone
9.2 Excellent (388 reviews)

Kid-Friendly Outdoor Resort on the Edge of Zion National Park

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is a superb family-friendly hotel set on 4,000 acres in Mount Carmel – a short drive from the main attraction, Zion National Park. Families can choose from Cabin Suites that sleep up to five or rental homes, and make the most of the amenities, including the outdoor pool and hot tub, climbing wall, tennis courts, and zipline. Kids can also challenge their parents to a game of mini-golf.

The bright red rock walls, towering cliffs, and deep canyons of the park create a magnificent backdrop for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other outdoor adventures for young and old. It’s fun to explore the Virgin River or go on a guided jeep tour through the park, where kids can be a junior ranger for the day. While rock climbing is not allowed in the park, kids as young as six can have a rock-climbing lesson outside the park.

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Mount Carmel
8.2 Very good (1563 reviews)

Dude Ranch with an Endless List of Outdoor Activities in Arizona

If you’re looking for an outdoor family vacation with endless experiences and activities for all the family, then White Stallion Ranch in Arizona is ideal. This award-winning, 3000-acre dude ranch benefits from a pool, a restaurant, tennis courts, a movie theater, and a petting zoo. It is also home to one of the largest private herds of horses in Arizona. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, you can ride every day,

The ranch offers a mind-blowing list of other activities and an action-packed schedule. Older kids and teens will forget about screens as they try rock climbing, e-biking, shooting, and cattle sorting. There are animal programs, horseshoe decorating, and even wine and cheese rides for parents. Evening entertainment includes rodeo shows, line dancing lessons, and moonlit bonfires. While the kids are busy, make a quick escape and head to the spa or the bar.

White Stallion Ranch

Top rated
Tucson
9.5 Excellent (215 reviews)

Secluded Home Close to Outdoor Hiking Trails in the Catskill Mountains

If you love the idea of a secluded escape in the mountains, you’ll love this family getaway near Windham Mountain in the Catskills, NY, a popular four-season vacation destination. This three-bedroom relaxing private home lies on 5.5 acres and comes with a deck and a firepit. It has three levels and sleeps up to ten in three bedrooms – including one with bunk beds, so you can easily bring another family.

In summer, there’s plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking along the nearby Elm Ridge Trail. It’s also a short drive to Kaaterskill Falls. Any thrill-seekers in the family should head to Hunter Mountain, where you’ll find the world’s second-longest zip line and a mountain coaster that is suitable for smaller kids too. In the winter months, Windham and Hunter are both excellent ski resorts. If you’re craving some downtime, drop your kids at the ski school and do your own thing.

Hike, Bike, Golf Or Just Relax

Windham
8.6 Excellent (10 reviews)

Countryside Inn Outdoor Retreat in the Berkshires

Seven Hills Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts is a historic mansion that is full of charm and character and provides easy access to all the Berkshires have to offer. It features renovated rooms and suites decorated in a transitional style with modern comforts. The 27-acre property has a pool, life-size chess, and a huge lawn for kids to run around on your family getaway.

The inn is not far from Stockbridge Bowl, where you can go kayaking or paddleboarding. You’ll also find hiking trails at Monument Mountain and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. For maximum thrills, there are several options for whitewater rafting only an hour away. This year-round vacation destination is also not far from several ski slopes and within easy reach of activities such as snowmobiling and snow tubing.

Seven Hills Inn

Lenox
8.0 Very good (337 reviews)

Grand Ski-In/Ski-Out Outdoor Resort in Colorado

If it’s mountain adventures in luxurious surroundings you’re after for a family vacation, The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort is the place to be. Located at the base of Vail Mountain, this beautiful 5-star alpine hotel comes with a restaurant, a spa, outdoor hot tubs, a playground, and a variety of accommodation options for families, including some with five bedrooms. You can even book a babysitter and enjoy a night out. It is also steps from the restaurants, cafes, and shops in Lionshead Village.

Whether you’re there in summer or winter, you’ll discover plenty of outdoor adventures to entertain your crew, from hiking and biking to ice skating and snow biking. Family-friendly attractions include the Forest Flyer mountain coaster, a kids zipline, and a bungee trampoline.

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort

Top rated
Vail
9.3 Excellent (1087 reviews)

Outdoorsy Resort with One-of-a-Kind Experiences in Pennsylvania

For the ultimate outdoor family vacation, whether you have babies or teens, head to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania. Located in Farmington in the Laurel Highlands, this sophisticated four-season resort has four properties, including the Chateau and the Lodge, with multiple accommodation options ranging from suites to townhouses for every family. The long list of amenities includes swimming pools, a kids’ club, a spa, and a golf course.

The 2,000-acre resort offers plenty of opportunities for exploring and trying new things, whether you feel like saddling up for a family bike ride, going off-roading in a Jeep, or trying summer tubing. Tweens and teens will love ziplining or the aerial ropes course at the Adventure Center. Even the younger ones can get in on the action, as there is a dedicated ropes course for them too. Or perhaps they’ll prefer having close-up encounters with the resident badger and other furry animals.

Winter activities include dog sledding, ice skating, and snow tubing. In the evenings, book a babysitter, and enjoy a romantic dinner at any of their 15 restaurants or lounges.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Farmington
8.9 Excellent (749 reviews)