Unique Vacation Ideas

#1: Outdoor photography vacation - If you love photography and outdoor adventure, then Outdoor River Specialists ( O.A.R.S. ) may have the vacation you are looking for. O.A.R.S. has been arranging great vacations since 1969 and among their many offerings are their Photography Trips. You will head out into the scenic American western landscape with naturalist guides and a professional photographer.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California

The goal is to assist you in achieving the best possible nature photography images. At the same time you will be kayaking, hiking and camping in some of the most beautiful areas of the country such as the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River in California, Bearpaw and Leigh Lakes in Yellowstone National Park or the protected wilderness of the Main Salmon in Idaho.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to both work with and learn from a successful professional photographer and also challenge your outdoor adventure skills.

Unique vacation ideas#2: A trip to the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race. Every year the town of Emerson, in southwestern Arkansas, holds the PurpleHull Pea Festival at the end of June.

The main event is the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race where contestants race to see who has the fastest rototiller. The "world record" is a blazing 24 miles per hour. It's wacky but fun. You can enjoy the pea-shelling contest, fireworks, the PurpleHull Pageant and the Million Tiller Parade.

#3: Experience a cultural reality tour with Global Exchange. What is a reality tour? Lots of people want to travel to places around the world but have no interest in the standard tourist itineraries.

They want to experience a different culture from the more intimate view of the locals rather than as a tourist. If this is you, than take a look at something called a “Reality Tour”. One of the pioneers in reality tours is a San Francisco based company called Global Exchange. They offer close to dozens of reality tours around the world.

Global Exchange works with local leaders and organizations designed to aid local development. They put together a reality tour package that provides you with a close-up intimate and educational interaction with local cultures. Meaningful relationships are created that build and strengthen international ties and cooperation.

One example is a tour to India where learn about efforts to protect and conserve the traditional culture and endangered wildlife, visit 1,000 year old Buddhist temples, participate in a mountain yak safari, stay with the villagers in Asia’s highest village, Komic.

Unique vacation ideas #4: Archaeology adventure at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, in the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado. This is an internationally renowned institution which provides families with the opportunity to spend their vacation time helping to uncover the mysteries of the American Indian past.

Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde, Colorado

On a Crow Canyon archaeology adventure vacation your family will be working alongside archeologists on various research projects such as excavating and reconstructing a large Pueblo Indian village dating from the A.D. 1200s.

Help study and analyze the thousands of samples and artifacts that are unearthed during a dig. You don’t need any experience, just the desire to learn and have fun learning something new and interesting. Your lodging during this unusual family vacation idea will be comfortable log cabins built in the style of Navajo hogans.

#5: Red River Gorge in Kentucky. The Red River Gorge in Powell County, Kentucky is one of my favorite places to take a vacation. There are so many things to do at the Gorge that you can't do it all in a weekend, so I am a return visitor.

Cabin in Red River Gorge Kentucky

We sometimes get a log cabin close to the Natural Bridge and hike there and other times we just take our tents and camp in the woods. Rock climbing at the Gorge is some of the best in the world. There is no feeling like climbing 100 ft. in the air on a cliff face. Something about it is just life changing and everyone that is able should try it at least once in their life.

I can’t wait to go this year because they have a new zip-line that I want to try out. Another attraction there is the via ferrata that is just awesome. It is a big gorge that anyone at any climbing level can go and climb the rock faces with guides. No experience or equipment is necessary. They supply everything. - Rusty from KY

Unique vacation ideas #6: A covered wagon trek. Take the family on an authentic re-creation of a pioneer covered wagon train. Wagons West Wyoming is a company that specializes in covered wagon treks in the Wyoming wilderness where you can experience the life of the pioneers who traveled across the country in the 1800s to settle the west. You can ride the wagon or jump in the saddle of a gentle riding horse.

Sleeping is also in the covered wagon or you can choose a tent or out under the stars. You will eat chuckwagon style meals cooked over an open fire using dutch ovens. If you enjoy horseback riding there are special guided trail rides during the trip. The covered wagon trek takes place in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Mount Leidy Highlands along unused roads.

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