It's never too late to plan a family vacation. Here are five ideas to consider:
1. SAMPLE THE PURA VIDA LIFESTYLE
Seamlessly integrating the peninsula's vibrant landscape with the amenities of a contemporary eco-luxury hotel, the 182-room, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is an ideal spot from which to tap into the "pura vida" lifestyle (it's for real.)
Choose from a long list of adventure, spa, fitness and wellness opportunities served up in a relaxed and welcoming indoor-outdoor environment. Access kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis from the beach or relax by one of several pools that overlook the volcanic sand beach areas.
For a family-friendly introduction to the exotic fauna and flora of Costa Rica take a guided tour of the Trail of the Giants, a scenic adventure that showcases the region's birds, monkeys, iguanas, butterflies and giant trees while providing jaw-dropping views of the resort's Arnold Palmer golf course and the Pacific Ocean. The Kids For All Seasons club features a kid-sized pool and junior lounge chairs as well as a range of immersive programs to entice the youngest guests.
2. TEE UP A FAMILY GOLF TRIP
Make golf the centerpiece of your family getaway when you visit Madden's on Gull Lake in Minnesota, a classic Midwestern resort in the land of 10,000 lakes. Get your good-natured game on with a little croquet, horseshoes, badminton, shuffleboard or fishing competition.
Take a family stroll around the Social 9, a casual, tree-studded setting where eight par threes and a lone par four provide an ideal introduction for new players or a tuneup for the more experienced. Then, test your skills on one of three longer tracks. Don't miss the Classic, where stunning views, challenging shots and punishing pin placements make for an unforgettable round.
3. VISIT A SEASIDE RESORT
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Perched above the Pacific on 102 acres, the stunning views from the oceanfront oasis of Terranea in the Los Angeles area are reason enough for a visit. Check in and enjoy sea kayaking, strolling along the Discovery Trail, the Tide Pool Kids Club and a kid-friendly resort pool. There are plenty of family dining options on property, and the grown-ups might want to enjoy a romantic evening and take in the views from Mar'sel. A seaside spa and fitness facility provide coastal-inspired wellness options.
4. TAKE A SCENIC ROAD TRIP
Sometimes called the Million Dollar Highway, the San Juan Skyway, a spectacular drive through southwestern Colorado, will stun the visual senses. Appreciate jagged peaks, pastoral valleys, waterfalls and colorful canyons as you wind your way along this stunning loop.
In the adjoining state of Arizona, you'll recognize the skyline from movies and television commercials. Your entire family will marvel at Monument Valley's 250 million-year-old red rock formations, the magical light and the Native American history that is part of an iconic landscape.
5. LEARN ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
Glaciers are melting. Habitats are disrupted and increasingly fierce storms are threatening resources and facilities, according to the National Park Service. You can learn about how climate change is affecting a park near you or one you've hoped to visit. Visit one of our national treasures to find out what the Park Service is doing and how you might be able to help.