If you want the thrill of the hunt without all the unpleasantness of guns and dead animals, then perhaps bird-watching is for you. This popular pastime for non-aggressive nature lovers has attracted millions of Americans in recent years. Birders can range from the passionate devotee, armed with knowledge of the molt, migration and habitat of rare and common birds alike, to the casual birdwatcher who finds enjoyment in a walk through the local reserve.
Wherever you fall on the scale of dedication, you can grab a pair of binoculars, a notebook and field guide to birds and pursue your passion just about anywhere. Of course, there are some exceptional spots for birding including Costa Rica and the Galapagos, and some birders travel the world in pursuit of rare species. But it’s also popular to enjoy the flap of wings and songs of birds right in your own backyard. And bird watching is the perfect for families with children.
What do whales, penguins and seals do if they’re not in the zoo or aquarium? They go to Península Valdés.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see on any trip to Argentina, including for families with young children.
Get close to nature at Grand Cayman’s environmental attractions, and learn more about how the island values its native plants and animals.
Costa Rica offers an exciting yet safe entrée into exotic ecotourism and soft adventure vacations, from coast to coast.
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.
Dublin helps Ireland earn its nickname the Emerald Island with plenty of parks, gardens and golf greens to satisfy most outdoor enthusiasts.
From dolphin excursions to a tour of Hemingway’s house, check out the myriad of family vacation activities in the quirky and charming Florida Keys.
Learn where to spot whales, birds and other wildlife during your Cape Cod vacation in autumn.
Learn how you can get personal with alligators, prairie dogs and falcons while on vacation.
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.
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.
Travel from cloud forest to rain forest in the Manu Biosphere Reserve to view the highest concentration of bird species in the world.
Our young writer shares his excitement and avian finds while bird watching on a family vacation to Costa Rica.
Southern Arizona guest ranches offer families a healthy mix of outdoor adventure and American tradition.
Visit the winter home of more than 30,000 sandhill cranes in Willcox, Arizona, and witness their epic dawn flight.
This southern Arizona city blends rustic, Wild West charm with modern-day sophistication.
Circus World and Ringlingville keep the circus tradition alive and well in Baraboo, Wis.