We swim for so many reasons: for recreation, for exercise, for competition and even for our jobs. Evidence of competitive swimming dates back to the first Olympic Games in Greece. Since then, swimming has become one of the most popular events to watch during the Summer Olympics. Men and women compete in 17 events each, such as the 100-meter and the medley relay, swimming the following competitive strokes: butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle.
While many people learn how to swim at any early age, some do not learn basic swimming skills until well into adulthood. Fortunately, swimming lessons have become core curriculum in physical education programs across the U.S. and worldwide. Sweden, Norway and other Scandinavian countries require all fifth-grade students to know how to swim. Swimming lessons are widely available in U.S. gyms for both children and adults.
For most family vacations, swimming is an imperative, be it beach, lake, pool or water park. Some of the most popular beach destinations are in Florida, Hawaii and the Caribbean. The Wisconsin Dells earns raves for both its natural lakes and plethora of water parks. For competitive swimming, visit legendary aquatic centers in Austin, Sydney and Indianapolis.
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.
Swim with dolphins, take a dip at a pool casino and gaze at aquariums in your hotel room at this Bahamas mega resort.
Read our expert’s overview to the best that the islands have to offer for a Bahamas vacation sure to please everyone.
Visit this Bahamas Out Island, where you can enjoy solitude and get pampered at the same time.
Add to your family-friendly beach list with this round-up of favorite beaches from TravelMuse.
Experience rural Belize and explore ancient Mayan ruins when you stay at these top jungle lodges.
Navigate your way through great beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island for quality sand, snorkeling, swimming, scuba and surfing.
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.
Find the best resorts, attractions and restaurants on the third largest of the British Virgin Islands.
Get close to nature at Grand Cayman’s environmental attractions, and learn more about how the island values its native plants and animals.
Learn from the author's first family cruise to the Caribbean how to make your cruise vacation a success.
Grandparents, toddlers and everyone in between are sure to find onboard activities and entertainment to suit their interests.
Mexican cruises offer families warm temperatures, native art and culture, and plenty of adventure.
Dublin helps Ireland earn its nickname the Emerald Island with plenty of parks, gardens and golf greens to satisfy most outdoor enthusiasts.
Once a Spring Break mecca, Fort Lauderdale has evolved into a family-friendly city with an overwhelming possibility for adventure.
Truckee is a short distance away from Lake Tahoe, for affordable vacation rentals and outdoor activities.
From sun to water safety, review these beach tips to keep your family healthy and happy before you chill out on the sand.
Check out these 9 great places that make family reunion planning a breeze.
Take a family vacation road trip to these New England destinations that are kid-friendly and affordable.
Celebrate your birthday girl’s Sweet 16 on a mini-vacation with family and friends.
Whether you have 30 minutes for a helicopter ride or two weeks for a rafting trip, there’s a canyon tour bound to suit you.
Find the best attractions and places to take the kids when visiting this quaint Idaho mountain town.
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.
Vegas isn’t just for poker fans and shoppers. A family Las Vegas vacation features everything from wave pools to roller coasters, with exotic animals thrown in for good measure.
Find seclusion on a private island vacation, where you can stay in luxurious accommodations and have an entire beach (or more) to yourself.
All you’ll have to worry about with these resort kids clubs is getting your child to leave.
Leave your worries behind and take the slow road on Maui’s Hana Highway.
Whether you go to the beach for fun, surf, sun or solitude, there’s a perfect one waiting for you on Oahu.
From musical performances to historic memorials, there are plenty of things to do on Oahu without spending a dime.
Family-friendly exploration is easy and affordable in Copán, Honduras, from gazing at Mayan ruins to getting up close with tropical birds.
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.
Surf’s up at O.C. beaches and seaside resorts at Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.
Alltournative’s tours are geared for the entire family. Our writer’s day-long adventure with her son featured kayaking, swimming in cenotes, a traditional Mayan meal and four-wheel fun.
This Southern California destination remains a family favorite, but cool new hotels and restaurants make it an appealing playground for adults too.
To escape the city, locals and tourists alike head to this manmade resort area for beach fun, dining and Singapore family attractions.
How and where to plan an accessible family beach vacation.
Celebrate Mother’s Day by whisking the mom in your life to a balmy island and a relaxing spa treatment. Here are a few deals to make her smile.
Discover St. Thomas’ treasures from duty-free shopping malls, white-sand beaches and historic attractions—but visit when the cruise ships aren’t there.
Check out these top accommodations and activities for families planning a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
From wild amusement park rides to mellow nature hikes, the Wisconsin Dells has it all.
Paddle amid spectacular scenery in Yosemite Valley on an inflatable raft.
Get back to the basics for family beach fun.
Explore the Big Island and Maui with two guidebooks that highlight outdoor adventure in the Hawaiian Islands.
Frommer’s new Hawaii Day by Day guide is all you will need to see the best of the islands on your next Hawaiian vacation.