If you are planning a family vacation, the first places that come to your mind may be places such as 6-Flags Magic Mountain, Disney World and Disneyland. However, these are not the only options for some family fun. There are other places that, though not as popular, are equally exciting.
1. Ghost Towns. Every child goes through the phase when he is fascinated with the wild west of old. This is particularly true for boys, who will often pull out imaginary guns from holsters and ‘shoot' everyone in the neighborhood. So, a trip to a ghost town may just be a thrilling experience for your kids, and it will also educate them in American history.
There is at least one ghost town in virtually every state, and most of these have been restored, and enhanced with attractions and activities. One good example is the Goldfield ghost town in Goldfield, AZ. It has old Western buildings and shops to see, and an authentic gunfight is enacted in the street every hour. If you are there in the middle of February, you can catch all the action from the annual chili-cookoff. The town also offers tours to the bordello, the museums and the mine. You can even rent a horse for yourself and your family from the stables.
2. Dude Ranches. If your family is into western traditions, a dude ranch might be a good place to visit. There are various kinds of dude ranches, ranging from luxury spa ranches devoted to total comfort for their guests to rougher holiday places where guests need to ‘work' for their food.
Typically, though, a dude ranch offers the perfect opportunity for some family fun and bonding, with activities like cookouts, campfires, hiking and horse riding. There are no TVs, computers and phones, and the homely family meals are all freshly cooked, and you can eat as much as you want.
3. Houseboat Vacations. The general concept of boating involves fast ski-boats, canoes, kayaks or fishing boats. However, houseboats are as much a part of boating as any of these. Put simply, they are complete houses floating on the waters, including kitchens, living quarters, and bedrooms as well as dining areas, sundecks and barbecues. Some houseboats can even accommodate up to 12 people, and it is not uncommon to find TVs inside. Some even have water slides. So, if your family loves the waters, a vacation on a houseboat may just be the ideal plan.
4. Train Tours. The role that trains have played in the history of the US, has been a major one. A train vacation can be an excellent opportunity for you and your family to enjoy a thrilling and very unique adventure. While you relax, you can enjoy watching the scenery pass by the tracks. Train tours are available everywhere in the US, and you can even take your family on a vintage train ride, which should be a memorable learning experience.
To sum up, keep in mind that great family vacations spots need not always be large and expensive. All you need is a bit of imagination and creative thinking, and you might just come up with a plan that will make for one of the most memorable get-aways you've ever had with your family.