Hiking is a quiet, intimate way to experience nature, whether you're following a well-traveled trail, or bushwhacking through rarely explored back country. There’s a whole world of beautiful sights out there that can only be seen by those who venture out of the city and out of their cars.
Hikes range in difficulty from many-day strenuous climbs to relaxing afternoon strolls depending on the trail and terrain. Consider these factors when deciding on a hike, but also consider climate. A hike that might be perfect in August, could be a nightmare in October. It is important to note the level of difficulty of a trail before you begin, as well as the estimated time it will take, especially when traveling with kids.
Hiking vacations are available on just about every continent, including Antarctica. Trek to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, explore the Himalayan valleys of Nepal, or hike the Rocky Mountains of Yosemite National Park. Those looking for a real challenge could consider hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Or if you don't have five or six months to spare, at least a segment of it.
Alaska’s wilderness is one of the final frontiers for travelers seeking adventure, unparalleled natural beauty or just a chance to get away from it all.
From cultural and culinary institutions to moose sightings and hundreds of miles of trails, Alaska’s largest city offers a variety of activities for the whole family.
The highest mountain peak in North America, abundant wildlife and family-friendly activities make this an essential stop on your Alaska itinerary.
This tony ski resort town is appealing in winter and summer. It even can be surprisingly affordable.
Take the kids to this sprawling city in the South packed with amusement parks, historic sites and the world’s largest aquarium.
The Texas capital is teeming with city and nearby state parks, with plenty of trails and rivers to please hikers, bikers, kayakers and swimmers alike.
Experience rural Belize and explore ancient Mayan ruins when you stay at these top jungle lodges.
From volcanoes to underwater wonders, coffee to ranches, beach resorts to hula dancing, Hawaii has packed a whole lot into one island.
Choose from a wealth of outdoor family activities on Hawaii’s Big Island, from hiking to horseback riding to helicopter rides.
Visit this British Virgin Island jewel—as part of a B.V.I. vacation or on a day trip from the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only way to get there is to swim ashore, like pirates of yore.
Walk along the world’s longest wall on a day trip from Beijing.
Get familiar with colleges and activities in favorite Seattle neighborhoods.
Learn how ancient Aztecs and Mayans invented chocolate from raw cacao beans on this chocolate adventure tour in a Costa Rican rainforest.
Costa Rica offers an exciting yet safe entrée into exotic ecotourism and soft adventure vacations, from coast to coast.
Walk in the clouds and volunteer at a nature school in Costa Rica’s tropical rainforests.
Tortuguero, on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica, provides a wealth of opportunities to see a variety of sea turtles and other jungle life.
From scarlet macaws to leatherback turtles, Costa Rica’s unique biodiversity is a world all its own.
Want to know what to do in port? Take our expert’s advice and don’t miss these key attractions for cruise ports around the world.
Dublin helps Ireland earn its nickname the Emerald Island with plenty of parks, gardens and golf greens to satisfy most outdoor enthusiasts.
Truckee is a short distance away from Lake Tahoe, for affordable vacation rentals and outdoor activities.
A great family hike is never more than 20 minutes away in Birmingham, Alabama.
Best destinations for students or families for a memorable Spring Break getaway.
Prepare for your family hiking or caving adventure with these expert tips on safety and gear essentials.
With a little help from your friends—aka, professional outdoor guides—your family can have a safe and hassle-free vacation.
Check out these 9 great places that make family reunion planning a breeze.
Looking for an adventure-packed guy getaway escape? Check out these six active volcano locales for a hot time with molten lava.
Head to Mackinac Island for famous fudge, historic forts and the great outdoors.
Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.
Fall in love with the beautiful coastline, attractions and charming small towns in this Bay Area destination that boasts luxury and farm tours, side-by-side.
Celebrate your birthday girl’s Sweet 16 on a mini-vacation with family and friends.
Take a fall foliage driving tour, then see the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at harvest festivals in Westchester County.
Read our expert’s tips on the best trails for day hikes in the Grand Canyon.
Read our tips for taking in the best vistas and historic sites of this national treasure, one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
Hike the Emerald Isle with experienced tour guides who lead you on a scenic journey through the Irish countryside.
Find the best attractions and places to take the kids when visiting this quaint Idaho mountain town.
Read why this gorgeous mountain destination with an acclaimed arts community is considered one of the best small towns in the west.
Sophistication, culture and a beautiful coastline make this a favorite Southern California vacation destination.
Read about the best hiking trails for checking out rare pines, colorful sandstone cliffs and native vegetation at this state park overlooking the Pacific.
Tahoe’s plethora of accommodations can fit any family’s budget or style, from luxury resorts to classic campgrounds.
A local highlights what’s best in the region for a Lake Tahoe vacation in any season.
This luxury retreat offers bejeweled-wall tents, silk bedding, a seaside spa and guided activities. Roughing it has never been so glamorous.
Witness an otherworldly sunrise atop Haleakala volcano, where you’ll see orange-red craters and purple valleys—but remember to bring your jacket.
The Valley Isle of Maui offers adventures for the entire family—from diving and snorkeling to language and hula lessons.
Hawaii’s second-largest island is, as the locals say ‘the best.’ It offers striking beauty, a range of activities for all ages, cultural history and a peaceful vibe.
Leave your worries behind and take the slow road on Maui’s Hana Highway.
Whales, wine, redwoods, art—all come together blissfully in this picturesque Northern California community.
Known as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park’s scenery rivals the European Alps for beauty and variety.
Read our picks for five essential national parks to see before you die, and five worthy ones that are under-the-radar.
Southern Utah’s bedazzling red-rock park offers countless hiking trails and special events this year to mark Zion’s centennial.
From musical performances to historic memorials, there are plenty of things to do on Oahu without spending a dime.
Want to see the Caribbean the way it used to be? Put on your flip-flops and get away to the Bay Islands of Honduras.
Outdoor enthusiasts love the Mayan city of Cobá—so do tropical birds, monkeys and alligators.
Family-friendly exploration is easy and affordable in Copán, Honduras, from gazing at Mayan ruins to getting up close with tropical birds.
Fresh air abounds at this historic mountain village near Mumbai where all mechanized transport is banned.
Travel from cloud forest to rain forest in the Manu Biosphere Reserve to view the highest concentration of bird species in the world.
This exotic Club Med is tucked away in a corner of a rainforest, and it’s a hit with kids and parents, especially single parents.
Visit Uganda, one of the most beautiful, safe and biologically diverse countries in Africa.
Traverse precipitous cliffs and waterfalls on these mountain climbs and treks popular in the Swiss Alps and Dolomites of Italy.
From snow in the desert to one of the best skate parks in California, this adult sanctuary also offers fun attractions for kids.
What to expect and how to plan for the journey of a lifetime in Peru.
Thanks to imaginative pet-tailored programs, four-legged friends can now join the family vacation fun.
The City of Roses has something for everyone: microbreweries, biking trails, and plenty of green spaces and places.
One reason to love this Pacific Northwest destination is the multitude of nearby outdoor adventure activities easily accessible on a Portland day trip.
Looking to get in an active workout while on your urban endeavor vacation to the Bay Area? You’ve found the right place.
This Florida beach community offers both affordable and luxury accommodations, beautiful beaches, family attractions and quality cultural venues.
Dig for clams, rent a sailboat or hit the hiking trails in the hills for some memorable outdoor adventures on your next Seattle family vacation.
From lush rain forests to staggering mountain peaks, experience the rugged beauty of the this state’s three national parks, each an easy day-trip from Seattle.
Linked to its western traditions, Steamboat Springs mixes champagne powder with cowboy style to create a Rocky Mountain high everyone can enjoy.
Recommended destinations for parents whose teens would rather be grounded than go on a vacation with the family.
Tag along for this teen’s perspective on her hiking adventure along the scenic and slippery slopes of this beautiful northern trail.
One teen hikes the Great Wall on her family vacation and takes a memorable zip-line flight off its edge.
A teen adventurer hikes through the Costa Rican rainforest to check out a lava-spurting volcano.
Get outdoors with a trip to Traverse City, for beachcombing, scuba diving, kayaking and more.
This southern Arizona city blends rustic, Wild West charm with modern-day sophistication.
Learn about marine life and help conduct sea studies through a volunteer program at VIERS, a research facility in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Discover St. Thomas’ treasures from duty-free shopping malls, white-sand beaches and historic attractions—but visit when the cruise ships aren’t there.
Chill on gorgeous beaches, ply Caribbean waters, tour historic attractions and shop duty-free on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John—while leaving your passport at home.
Check out these top accommodations and activities for families planning a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As one season fades into the next, there is something to entice everyone at every age in this Rocky Mountain mecca.
Whistler is known for its skiing, but it’s also a nature lover’s paradise in spring, summer and fall, making it a resort for all seasons.
From wild amusement park rides to mellow nature hikes, the Wisconsin Dells has it all.
Venture into the wild with the help of expert naturalist guides.
Yosemite National Park offers several wilderness trails that are ideal for families traveling with children. Our expert reveals her insider tips.
Enjoy nature at its finest along with cultural amenities you might not expect in a national park.
Introduce your children to the great outdoors with expert advice on how to make sure your first camping trip goes smoothly.
Explore the Big Island and Maui with two guidebooks that highlight outdoor adventure in the Hawaiian Islands.
Read our review of two guidebooks to see whether a summer or winter Tahoe family vacation is right for you.
Two comprehensive and educational guidebooks cover everything from Yosemite hikes to helping kids identify animal tracks and droppings.