Multigenerational travel ideas for the whole family

Over the past decade, as more baby boomers have reached retirement, multigenerational family travel has exploded. And after a year and a half, when so many of us have been separated from loved ones for unprecedented long periods of time, we can’t wait to embrace the whole family: kids, parents and grandparents; aunts, uncles and cousins ​​too — and hit the road. But planning a successful trip that takes into account the needs, wants and interests of a range of personalities and age groups can be a daunting endeavor.

To help you out (we don’t want family feuds in our hands), we’ve rounded up a few must-see southern destinations with ageless appeal, from laid-back island getaways to national park adventures to premier resorts. order. communities to crazy wellness retreats. All you have to do is pack.

For a safari-style national park adventure

Sleeping under the stars in America’s most visited national park no longer has to strain in sleeping bags and undersized tents thanks to the folks at Under Canvas, a national outfitter offering Glamorous safari-style canvas tents with wood-burning stoves, private bathrooms, and even suites with adjacent children’s tents. Located on 182 acres of woodland, the resort, which opened in 2017, is just ten miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and minutes from the park entrance. Nighttime s’mores for kids of all ages are a no-brainer.

For a tropical getaway, no passport needed

You can feel your blood pressure drop as you take the Overseas Highway, heading south from Miami to this island village halfway between mainland Florida and Key West. The pace is slower here. The people are nicer. The fish are bigger. Accommodation options are plentiful (and varied), but like the late President George HW Bush, we’re fans of the newly renovated Cheeca Lodge & Spa. Opt for single rooms or book one of the resort’s colorful casitas for your entire crew, with private beach access. Do as much (fishing, snorkeling, parasailing, paddle boarding) or as little (relax by one of the three excellent pools or hit the spa) as you want – it’s time to the island.

For a luxury getaway in the Lowcountry

One of the South Carolina coast’s best-kept secrets, this amazing little town on the banks of the River May is a short drive from more well-known Lowcountry destinations like Charleston, Savannah, Beaufort and Hilton Head. . With the same dreamy landscape draped in Spanish moss as other locations, Bluffton still looks like a find, though it now boasts plenty of celebrity fans thanks to Palmetto Bluff, a luxury resort community and inn focused on conservation. Check VRBO for local accommodations in town or make Palmetto Bluff your starting point and source for a chalet or one of the property’s multi-bedroom homes available for rent.

For a wellness retreat worthy of madness at the top of a mountain

From our talented friends at Blackberry Farm, Blackberry Mountain, which opened in 2019, is for outdoor-conscious and health-conscious families who also love the comfort of their creatures. Not to mention the great food and drink. If you imagine a strict diet of smoothies and green salads, think again. At the Mountain, wine with lunch is the order of the day and dessert is encouraged. After all, between mountain biking, yoga and morning meditation, guided hikes, rock climbing, tree climbing courses and fly fishing trips, you’ve earned a little indulgence. Note: During major vacations to the United States, young travelers (ages 4 and up) have the option of enrolling in Camp Blackberry for the duration of their stay.

For a stay in a small town with lots of old Florida charm

Key West meets Savannah in this forgotten slice of old Florida, located just half an hour north of Jacksonville. The charming fishing village is bounded by two state parks, so there are plenty of wild places to explore on foot, by bike, or even on horseback. Overflowing with restaurants, local shops, and quirky dive bars, the town center is well-preserved and within walking distance, and if you are an architecture lover, you can spend an entire afternoon admiring the Victorian vernacular architecture of the Historic waterfront district. There are two first-class resorts (Omni Amelia Island Resort and The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island), but try Elizabeth Pointe Lodge for a more quaint, quieter vibe.

For a relaxed getaway on the lake

When it comes to creating lasting family memories, it’s hard to beat the old-fashioned feel of a trip to the lake. Cannonball competition and pontoon cruises. Gin tournaments and board game marathons. Cocktails and burgers at sunset on the grill. And while there are dozens of southern lakes that we love, we have a soft spot for the wooded shores of Lake Martin in Alabama for its vibrant community vibe and historic (as well as inspired) lakeside architecture, including the famous rustic Russell cabins, which were built in the first half of the 20th century.

For a cultural getaway in a big city

For a taste of Texas Hill Country

Stop in Greune, a historic neighborhood on the Austin side of New Braunfels, and teach the TikTok generation two steps at Greune Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. The summer months bring a wave of tube visitors looking to float the two natural flowing rivers of this hill town, Comal and Guadeloupe. To avoid the worst of the crowds, avoid long holiday weekends and arrive at the river outfitters early in the morning or late afternoon. New Braunfels is also home to the original Schlitterbahn water park. Sandwiched between Austin and San Antonio, it’s easy to drive to the Texas subway. Heading north to Austin? Detour to visit one of Driftwood’s wineries or the booming Dripping Springs distilleries district.

For a getaway on a barrier island

No matter what your family’s mood is. There is a place for everyone on the legendary Georgian Sea Islands. Exterior and eco-responsible? Consider one or two waterfront cabins at the all-inclusive Little St. Simons Island resort. For casual elegance and plenty of beach relaxation, the historic Jekyll Island Club Resort is your best choice. And if you’ve got a busy family with many diverse interests and looking to splurge, The Cloister at Sea Island offers old-fashioned coastal glamor like no one else. The region is also at the heart of the Gullah-Geechee Corridor, which encompasses the barrier islands of North Carolina to northern Florida, and is home to the Gullah Geechee people, the descendants of Africans enslaved on neighboring plantations. Take the time to learn about the rich history and cultural heritage of this unique group and their contributions to the region.

For a dose of Disney magic

Whether you’re eight or eighty, Walt Disney World rarely disappoints. It is the original multigenerational family vacation destination and is designed to make group travel not only easy but enjoyable. Be sure to factor in the weather and crowd level when choosing a date, and if your budget allows, consider staying on the property of a Disney resort, which offers many perks, including access. Free and unlimited on Disney transportation, extended hours, complimentary magic groups, early booking windows for FastPass and Disney restaurants, not to mention the location that makes it easy to get back to the room for a quick nap .

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