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Venturing off the beaten path in the U.S.: unique ideas for a family holiday

When planning a family holiday to America, it’s easy to gravitate towards the expected highlights such as Disneyland, New York City, or the Grand Canyon. But the U.S. is teeming with destinations off the beaten path, where unique experiences await – perfect for adventurous families. Whether you’re hiking ancient mountains, whale-spotting, hiking or camping under the stars, there are exciting new experiences to be found around every corner.

Here, we explore some of the best and most extraordinary family holiday ideas for your next trip to the U.S.

Glamping in Yellowstone National Park, Montana

A love of the great outdoors is something that drives many families to travel, and there are few places on earth as stunning as Yellowstone National Park in Montana. Offering the perfect mix of outdoor adventure and comfort, you can explore this vast alpine wonderland before settling down in a fun, safari-style tent (complete with cosy beds and a wood-burning stove) to revel in some world-class stargazing.

The kids will enjoy exploring the numerous trails throughout the park, which is made up of over 3,472 square miles of forests, lakes, geysers, hot springs and archaeological sites. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars, as there’s an astounding array of wildlife to spot, including grizzly bears, wolves, elk and 285 species of birds.

Wildlife Safari in the San Juan Islands, Washington

The San Juan Islands are a fascinating place where you can enhance your children’s knowledge of marine life whilst enjoying the laidback, tropical island lifestyle. With over 700 paradisiacal islands to explore, this archipelago is the perfect place to unwind as a family. Whether you’re dining on delicious meals made from fresh, local produce, rock-pooling along the sandy shores, or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters surrounded by marine life, this magical region is sure to please.

Humpback whales, orcas, seals and river otters are some of the most sighted animals here, whilst silver foxes and deer can sometimes be seen on the islands. Always remember to be a responsible wildlife spotter, following the rules of the islands and leaving no trace on your travels.

Exploring Death Valley, California

When most people think of California, they picture visiting the hotspots such as prestigious L.A. and the gorgeous Pacific coastline. But for a new experience in the Golden State, why not venture to Death Valley? Though the name may sound ominous, this national park is a geological wonder that’s well worth a day trip.
Trekking over picturesque salt flats and volcanic mountains, this vast desert is known for its extreme temperatures. At its lowest point, some 282 feet below sea level, temperatures have been known to reach 57℃ (134℉) – in the mountain peaks, however, it can be far more chilly. Hike up to Dante’s View to breathe in a panoramic vista of the badlands, where iconic sunsets cast strange shadows over the unique texture of the land.

Where will you go?

These three destinations are just some of the many hidden gems across the U.S., each offering the opportunity for learning, adventure and lifelong memories for intrepid families. So pack your bags and get ready for an extraordinary journey to some of the most diverse and incredible places in America.

This article is written in collaboration with a partner


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