Enjoy this free collection of vacation ideas

One of the neatest weekend trips my family took was to the eastern part of West Virginia. We camped at Watoga State Park, which had a great campground, and spent our time exploring the area.

Close by are several state parks and forests with miles of hiking trails to wander. One really interesting spot was the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area out in the Monongahela National Forest.

Here was a boardwalk trail that went throughout a boggy ecosystem, including through an actual cranberry bog (my kids actually picked a few cranberries there!).

Besides the cranberries, there was also some interesting ferns and carnivorous plants to examine. Cool and creepy!

Another great place to check out is the National Radio Astronomy Observatory up in Green Bank, WV. This was maybe an hour and a half away from our campsite, but completely worth going to.

The NRAO has a number of gigantic radio telescopes there, and the whole landscape is very retro-future looking. There is a walking path that visits each of the radio telescopes, and also serves as a scale model of the solar system - the trail begins at the sun, and the furthest radio telescope is located at Pluto. It is a great place to take kids, especially any which are interested in space. I can't wait to go back! Claire from Columbus



One of the most popular vacation spots is Las Vegas, Nevada. The best vacation I ever took was when I went to Vegas. I went originally for a baseball tournament, but it turned out that baseball was not the only thing on my mind.

The bright lights, the shows, the restaurants, everything that was on the strip was incredible. We stayed about 15 minutes away from the strip, but it was not a bad drive into Las Vegas. We saw the water show outside the Bellagio, we ate at the ESPN Zone, and we visited the M&M factory.

A fun side excursion from Vegas was a tour of the Hoover Dam. It was incredible, one of the best sights I have ever seen. Even though I was not 21 when I visited Vegas, there was so much to experience and enjoy. When I told people I was going to Las Vegas, they laughed and said there is nothing to do there until your 21, when I got back, I was the one laughing at them and showing them my pictures of every little thing I got to do. – Frank from Chicago


What I enjoyed most about my last vacation was a 6 hour wildlife tour in the ocean off the coast of Alaska. As the boat was heading out, I looked to the shoreline and saw about 40 Bald Eagles.

I was absolutely stunned as I had never seen more than 2 at the same time before. They were perched in several dead trees and on the ground.

The boat captain said that was where the fisherman dumped what they couldn’t use so the eagles congregated there on a daily basis. The day of this excursion, the ocean was rough, with 10 foot swells, so we didn’t see any whales. However, we did see sea lions, sea otters, and many different varieties of ducks on the leeward side of a small island.

We also saw several glaciers which were the most incredible color of blue-green that I’ve ever seen. In spite of the rough seas, I somehow managed avoid getting seasick. When we returned, I stopped in a diner along the shore and ate fresh, beer battered halibut that was excellent.

I stumbled around for hours after the tour because of the effects of the rocking boat, but I had a great time and took many pictures. I would definitely take another boat tour on my next vacation, assuming there is water nearby! - Rick from Washington


Bannack State Park MontanaBannack State Park Montana
For a little vacation getaway we like to visit ghost towns in the west. Our favorite is the old ghost town of Bannack State Park.

It's located in the southwestern part of Montana near the town of Dillon. It was one of the biggest oldest preserved ghost towns. While there we like to go on what you call a ghost walk.

What it is basically is live reenactments of significant events that happened throughout history there. I like it is so much because it’s fun and incredibly real.

You also get to explore the town and see all the old historical buildings ether on your own or you can have a guided tour where they answer any questions you have. Another plus is they allow you to go behind the locked doors.

Lots of room for camping available here if you are not too scared plus it’s a lot closer than going to a hotel. So if you are in for a good scare and love history I can't think of a better place to be than a ghost adventure in the west like Bannack State Park.

 


For combination golfing and spa vacation vacation ideas, try the Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, California. Surrounded by desert and mountains, this resort is in a unique location.

The beautiful 18-hole championship golf courses, Palm Desert Springs and Valley Desert Springs are popular with both the golf pros and many Hollywood stars. They were both designed by the "King of Waterscapes", Ted Robinson.

The Desert Springs resort spa features massage and body treatments for both men and women. Desert Springs has fitness classes, personal training including one-on-one yoga and Pilates. The Kids Klub organizes fun adventure activities for the kids. Nearby is Joshua Tree National Park and Indian Canyons where you can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and biking.



A trip to Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beach vacation ideas along the U.S. Atlantic coast. Located in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has so much to offer for the family. There's the beach itself, for great swimming, surfing, fishing and all the water related fun. But there are also plenty of other things to do and see. There is almost always some type of festival or other event taking place.

Some of the local attractions include Ripley's Aquarium, Alligator Adventure and Waccatee Zoo. A real favorite with the kids is Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Family Kingdom Water Park, both situated right on off the beach. Vacationing in Myrtle Beach is also great for golfing, theaters, shopping and excellent restaurants.



Derbyshire, EnglandDerbyshire, England

A great golf vacation destination is Derbyshire, England. For many people, golf is very important when choosing a place to go.

England has many great places to satisfy your golf urges. Horsley Lodge is the perfect choice for a golf getaway in England.

Located in the picturesque Derbyshire countryside , Horsley Lodge is a small country hotel and golf club.

On premises is the fine Highlander Restaurant and 10 award winning guest rooms. They all have great views of the golf course. The 18-hole golf course is laid out over 170 acres of the most gorgeous East Midlands countryside. It was designed by the former World Champion, Peter McEvoy.

Nearby is the Peak District National Park where you can enjoy walking, biking, climbing and other outdoor fun. In between golf rounds you can take advantage of all that the Peak District and Derbyshire have to offer; beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, shopping, festivals and shows. Horsley Lodge, Derbyshire is great for combining a family trip with your England golf getaway plans.



For romantic vacation ideas, the place to visit is Niagara Falls, Canada. When I think about one of my favorite vacations, I always think of Niagara Falls. There is so much to do and see. The best part is that Canada is our neighbor. So, if you need a weekend getaway or a relaxing longer vacation, this is the place to visit. When you visit Niagara Falls, Ontario, you will find many attractions to do and see.

I personally love enjoying the true magnificent splendor of the falls, but if you are the more active person or club goer, this is the place for you too! There are attractions like The Maiden of the Mist. This is a boat ride that will take you to the cataract of the falls. Watch out! You will get wet.

If you are a history enthusiast then you can enjoy old Fort Niagara. Clifton hill is a street that has many souvenir stores and attractions. Some local attractions are fun houses, museums and, my favorite, The Hershey Factory! If you are a serious risk taker there are casinos located in Niagara Falls too!



New South Wales, Australia provides a scenic destination for nature lovers. The South Coast of New South Wales (NSW) is lush with green forests, teeming with native wild life and long quiet white sandy beaches. For those who love bird watching, the national parks of the NSW South Coast are teeming with your feathered friends.

Satin Bowerbirds, famous for their collection of blue objects, used for attracting mates, can be found here. Also the Superb Lyrebird, a mimic of a huge variety of sounds, some of which sadly include chainsaws. There are plenty of camping grounds in which to pitch a tent, many with ocean views! Cook up some snags on the many barbeques available in council owned parks and gardens.

For those who love fishing, there are many options. Rock fishing, beach fishing and boat fishing can haul in Flathead, Leatherjacket, Mulloway and more. There are many boutique shops featuring the works of local artisans, so pick up a souvenir to remind you of your restful and nature loving visit to the South Coast of New South Wales.


Kalahari Waterpark in the Dells WisconsinKalahari Waterpark in the Dells Wisconsin
My favorite vacation of all time was when I was younger. The trip was to the Kalahari Water Park at the Dells in Wisconsin.

It was amazing! I've been to numerous water parks but the Dells is very special. But this time made me so happy since I got to go with a friend.

We arrived at the water park and immediately went to the large slide area and went on all the slides at least 3 times each, then took a nice rest in the hot tubs. My friend's brother went as well and he brought a friend so we all sat in the hot tub for a while, until I whispered to my friend that I know how to get some alone time from his brother.

My friend and I bet his brother we could hold our breath the longest under water. The challenge was accepted. As soon as they went under we got out and ran to a hiding spot to get away from them and were successful in hiding under some inner-tubes in the wave pool. After we all regrouped we headed up to our room, but on the way got the idea to play 5 story hide and seek so we all hid and got to choose from multiple floors making it more difficult for sure.

I could go on and on for paragraphs more about how awesome it was, but I thought I'd share a few highlights of our water park trip which made it a ton of fun! I hope someday I can go back and try to relive that wonderful vacation idea! - Dan from Mass


My absolute favorite vacation experience I ever had was going to Atlanta with my family for my brother’s 15th birthday. My brother is a huge Atlanta Braves fan, so my parents decided to take him to a game and spend some time in Atlanta as a gift to him.

We got to tour Turner field on a non-game day, which was just absolutely beautiful, and then we went to a game the next night. The following day we went to a few museums and just sort of generally explored the wonderful city of Atlanta.

My favorite part of the vacation though was this awesome BBQ place called Fat Matt's Rib Shack. We found it on our first day in the city and man, they have the absolute best pulled pork sandwich ever. It was so good that we went back 2 more times in our 3 days in Atlanta.

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