1: Capitalize on Everything Washington, D.C. Has to Offer
With countless museums, monuments and outdoor recreation, it’s no wonder that our nation’s capital has bloomed into a go-to city for families.
Wave hello to Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their cub Bei Bei at The National Zoo, one of only four zoos in the United States where you can see giant pandas (bonus: admission is free); explore the fantasy of flight at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; admire the magnitude of the national monuments; or ride bikes along the Potomac.
When staying in a city as stately and historic as D.C., it’s only fitting that you’d want to stay in a hotel with a rich and storied past. Find this at Omni Shoreham Hotel, an elegant property that has played host to presidents, world leaders and even rock music royalty (The Beatles stayed during their first American tour — be sure to look for John Lennon’s hand-written set list on display in the lobby).
Situated on 11 acres of lush gardens, the hotel offers a resort atmosphere in the heart of the city (the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro station is directly across the street), and boasts a heated swimming pool, milk + cookie turndown service for the kids and is adjacent to Rock Creek, a national park with more than thirty hiking trails.
2: Live the La Costa Lifestyle in Southern California
Just 30 minutes from San Diego, discover the quaint community of Carlsbad, an idyllic area known for sprawling flower fields, LEGOLAND and countless outdoor recreational activities that revolve around abundantly gorgeous southern California weather.
An expansive resort boasting Spanish mission-style architecture and graced with fountains and lush, tropical greenery throughout, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is a picturesque location for a family getaway. With kid-oriented activities and parent-friendly golf, spa and dining options, it’s no secret that it’s one of the country’s top vacation spots.
Families can soak up summer at La Costa’s splash pools, featuring two 100-foot waterslides, water shooters and fountains, or build castles at the sandy beach family pool; the Kidtopia day camp offers small slides and soft climb items, books, puzzles, blocks, games and a comfortable movie lounge (and is available to watch the kids on date night); and events like Friday night s’mores, hula hoop lessons and dive-in movies ensure there’s never a dull moment.
For Mom and Dad, two championship golf courses offer legendary play; the award-winning Spa at La Costa takes relaxation to new levels with treatments inspired by the surrounding landscape, a private pool and hot tub as well as a garden café; and decadent dining from the bright flavors of VUE to the impeccable service and cuisine of Bob’s Steak & Chop House and more.
3: Explore a Vacation of Historic Proportions in Boston
Not only does Boston boast a legendary history dating back to before the birth of our country — it’s also home to championship sports, countless colleges and exquisite cuisine.
Take a stroll through Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States, and make your way to the Boston Public Garden, home of the iconic “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture that has captivated the hearts of children and adults alike for generations (and is the perfect photo opportunity). Or meet a duck of a different sort by taking a Duck Tour — an amphibious vehicle — through Boston Harbor and the city streets.
The most iconic way to take in the city’s history is with a walk along Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile path that meanders through downtown and passes 16 historic locations including Faneuil Hall, the home of Paul Revere and the Bunker Hill Monument.
Of course, perhaps the best way to take in the history of the city is to experience it firsthand. The oldest continuing operating hotel in the United States, Omni Parker House drips with history — from the literary to the political to the culinary.
In fact, two iconic foods were invented within the hallowed walls of the hotel’s signature Parker’s restaurant: the buttery, soft and sweet Parker House roll and the decadent Boston cream pie, a curious dessert that blends the smoothness of custard, the sweetness of sponge cake and the richness of chocolate so beautifully, Massachusetts declared it the state’s official dessert.
4: Keep Your Cool in the Hottest Valley in Palm Springs
Palm Springs has long been a playground for celebrities, artists, and wellness-seekers alike. The Coachella Valley has gained notoriety in recent years as the country’s most epic concert venue, but those who know Palm Springs know there is far more to the area than the annual event.
Beat the heat by taking a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which carries passengers more than 2.5 miles into the San Jacinto Mountains. Temperatures are typically 30-40 degrees cooler than on the desert floor, although the sweeping views from the top are easily the coolest part of the ride. Or take the kids to the Living Desert Zoo, where they can feed giraffes, ride a camel and meet the desert’s most unique animals.
Stay cool even when the temperatures hit triple digits at Splashtopia at Omni Rancho Las Palmas. The only water park currently open in Palm Springs, Splashtopia features two exhilarating 100-foot water slides, water play zones with fountains and a sandy beach for the kids, while adults can drift the day away in the lazy river or snooze in a cabana next to the adults-only Azure Pool.
The resort also offers family-oriented activities and special events all summer long. From dive-in movies and life-sized Jenga to murder mystery escape rooms and mermaid classes, programming goes beyond the expected to ensure your family vacation is unforgettable.
5: Find Adventure and Awe on Amelia Island
Nestled just south of the Florida/Georgia state line on the Atlantic ocean, Amelia Island is a beach retreat with southern charm. A barrier island off the coast of Florida, the island is just 40 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport and is known for its meandering boardwalks, sweeping sand dunes and pristine beach.
Named a Top 10 Best Family Resort by USA Today in 2018, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is a sprawling property that spans both beach and Intracoastal Waterway sides of the island. On the Atlantic side of the property sits the resort, where every room features a breathtaking oceanfront view. And on the Intracoastal side of the property, Spanish moss-draped live oaks line pathways as sawgrass salt marshes line the golf course.
The resort boasts Northeast Florida’s largest poolscape, featuring a large family pool, a children’s splash pad and an adults-only infinity pool. But those are far from your only water recreation options. Build sand castles and search for seaglass along 3.5 miles of beach, or take a kayak or paddleboard tour to explore the Intracoastal and its unique flora and fauna.
With eleven restaurants to choose from, even picky eaters can rejoice. A local fine dining favorite, Verandah, offers fresh, traditional seafood; Falcon’s Nest serves casual American fare with an aviation-themed twist; and surf-inspired pizza joint Natural Slice makes their pizza dough with salt water, ensuring you get a true taste of the local area.