One of the benefits of traveling with your family is getting out and experiencing something new. Whether it’s exploring a new destination, trying a new food or experiencing a new culture, travel is both fun and educational for kids. With just a few weeks of summer left, there’s still time to squeeze in one more trip before heading back to school. Bing Travel guest blogger and family travel expert Anne Taylor Hartzell uncovered three last-minute summer weekend getaways that are both fun and informative.
1. Cool off and explore the Pacific Northwest. While the rest of the country is experiencing record heat, temperatures are cool and comfortable in the Pacific Northwest. There is no better time than summer to visit the area for a week or a weekend getaway. In Seattle, stay at one of the many hip and family-friendly boutique hotels and get out and explore the city’s museums, rich history and local cuisine. Learn about the history of the country’s oldest public market with a Savor Seattle Food Tour of Pike Place Market, go under the city with the Seattle Underground Tour and take in the city’s vibrant music scene at the Experience Music Project.
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2. Head to the ranch in Carmel, Calif.: Less than two hours from San Francisco-area airports, the Carmel Valley Ranch provides numerous opportunities for families to learn something new and relax. Learn about honeybees in the apiary, explore the property’s organic garden, take a cooking class or learn about the local marine ecosystem from the chief scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The property is also just a half-hour drive from Big Sur and 90 minutes from Hearst Castle.
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3. Hit the Big Apple. The East Coast may be sweltering right now, but New York City is always a vibrant destination for learning about our country’s history and diversity. Top attractions for families include the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History. Rise before the heat sets in and hop aboard a double-decker bus for a tour of the city. Cool off at one of New York’s best ice cream and gelato shops. The city has abundant choices of hotels for all budgets. Affinia Hotels offers an American Girl Place Package, and Kimpton – always a family-friendly option – has four properties in New York.
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What are your family’s favorite getaways to learn something new? Add your comments in the section below.
Anne Taylor Hartzell is a family travel expert, speaker and the founder of HipTravelMama.com, a family travel blog dedicated to extraordinary family vacations, retreats and hip hotels. Find more family travel inspiration on Twitter @hiptravelmama or at HipTravelMama on Facebook.