What are you looking for in your next family vacation? Do you want to learn more about the historical events and figures who shaped our country? Or would you rather explore the natural environment and learn more about our beautiful planet? Or maybe you’re just looking to relax and have some fun?
When taking your family on vacation, it can be hard to choose which of these goals you’d like to focus on. Perhaps you and your partner each have a different idea of what you’d like to do, while your kids have something else in mind entirely. With so many different opinions of what makes a great vacation, how can you decide where to go?
Worry not—here are some great destinations that everyone in your family will love! These three towns offer a host of historical sites, natural wonders, and fun and relaxing activities that you all can enjoy. Combined with the many beautiful, affordable vacation rentals available in these places, you and your family are sure to have a great time on vacation this summer.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Near the Smoky Mountains,Pigeon Forge, Tennessee offers a window into a unique culture that dates back more than 200 years. Whether you love mountain views, historic sites, or music, you’re sure to have a great time in Pigeon Forge.
This part of Tennessee is most famous for its beautiful mountain views. Located just five miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge offers access to a unique alpine ecosystem. More than 100 species of trees abound in this park, along with 200 bird species, 39 types of reptiles, and 50 different kinds of fish. Whether you’re looking to learn more about the natural environment or just take in some stunning sights, Pigeon Forge is the place to do it.
In addition to scenic mountains, Pigeon Forge also is known for being a center of music with many theme parks and dinner shows available for the whole family. The town is home to the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, the Stampede Theater, and the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater. Whether you’re a fan of country music, gospel, or any other regional style, there’s no better place to hear your favorite tunes.
There’s another reason the area is popular for families: you can find hundreds of family-friendly cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge. That means you can have a family mountain adventure with everyone under the same roof, and without huge hotel bills.
As the home of Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson, Monticello is steeped in history. Here you can tour Jefferson’s house and plantation and learn all about the man behind it. The tour guides at Monticello explore every aspect of the complex life our third president led, from his sterling accomplishments as a philosopher and statesman to his great moral failings as a slaveowner. You’ll leave with a new understanding of the man who helped write the Declaration of Independence.
As you are taking a tour of Monticello, don’t forget to look out at the scenic Southwest Mountains—surely one of the most beautiful sights in the continental United States. The mountains contain a wealth of stunning minerals, including greenstone and basalt. Anyone with an interest in geology or environmental science is sure to love exploring this area.
Between tours of the plantation and the mountains, don’t forget to visit the nearby city of Charlottesville. As the home of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson himself, Charlottesville is the perfect place to learn about the events and institutions that shaped our country. It’s also notable for its delicious restaurants, which serve everything from traditional Virginia staples like country ham and baked chicken to Chinese, Italian, Mexican, and Mediterranean cuisine.
Located in the Panhandle between Destin and Panama City Beach, Seaside is renowned for its pristine picturesque beaches. From the stark white sand to the deep blue water, you’ll almost believe these sights were created just to impress you!
A vacation in Seaside offers fun and serenity for the whole family. From one of the town’s many vacation rentals, you can go swimming, soak up the sun, or walk or bike downtown on the local pathways. While downtown, check out the many fun shops and entertainment venues, including local art galleries, jewelry stores, glass works, and bookstores. You can also take surfing classes, attend a spa, or sign up for tennis lessons, among other activities to help you relax and enjoy the beach. Then dine at the variety of delicious local restaurants, where you can eat shrimp baskets, beach dogs, shortcakes, and other local favorites.