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Hear The Whistle Blow On The Grand Canyon Railway

Come aboard the historic Grand Canyon Railway for a comfortable train trip that will wow grandchildren. The journey travels through time between the Old West town of Williams, Arizona and the rim of the majestic Grand Canyon. Until I met my husband, I had never heard of anyone riding a train.  I don’t mean riding a train to get somewhere, but riding it for the sheer pleasure; such as taking a...

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More Great Summer Vacation Ideas

Will this summer be for mountain hikes and canoeing? Beaches and sandcastles?  Shopping, shows and food truck tours? Perfecting your Spanish, celebrating our National Parks? Whatever your pleasure, we know you want to make the most of your time and travel budget. Start your summer vacation planning by sharing ideas and goals with the kids, then listen to theirs. Allow the kids a daily activities...

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Family rafting on the Salmon River in Idaho with OARS
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51 Great Family Summer Vacation Ideas

Summer is the time to reconnect and relax with family, to recreate favorite childhood memories and make new ones together. Do you see the family lying on a beach, splashing around a resort pool, hiking mountain trails, learning history from a national park ranger, exploring a new city, being thrilled by an exotic adventure or braving new theme park rides? To make your summer fantasy the best one...

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Custom Itinerary: San Francisco And Yosemite on Tight Budget

Q.  Cathy P. and family of St. Peters, Missouri are visiting San Francisco and Yosemite National Park and want budget hotel and sightseeing ideas along the way. A.  Thank you for your note requesting itinerary planning advice for your upcoming trip to California.  As we understand it,...

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Resources For Family Camping Vacations

An enthusiastic family camper, let me share some resources for planning your next big USA camping trip, whether in a tent, RV or cabin, at any time of year in or outside the national parks. Thousands of families go camping every year in North America, and over half of those visitors are children under 18 (the rest are usually still kids at heart). With that said, most campgrounds have adopted...

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Adventures In Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

If you're looking to explore fun landmarks by hiking and biking, we recommend Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, a lesser-visited park that is surrounded by a couple of delightful natural sites. The 200,000-acre wooded paradise is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain range between Pennsylvania and Georgia. Families...

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Camping 101: How To Look Like An Experienced Camper To Your Kids

Take some advice from a frequent camper who's learned that overnighting in a local park is just as thrilling, and less cumbersome, than a long hike into the wilderness. I want my kids to have the same enriching experiences I had when I was a youth, but I know why my parents sent me camping under the care of others. Simply put, it's not easy, especially for weekend warriors who haven't polished their...

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Mount Rushmore, Shrine of Democracy In The Black Hills

Ever since seeing the debonair Cary Grant and the beautiful (but dangerous?) Eva Marie-Saint climb atop the presidents' faces on Mount Rushmore in Hitchcock’s classic movie “North by Northwest,” South Dakota has been on my travel bucket list. Finally, I made it, seeing the very best of the Black Hills region including Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and Badlands National Park over five days. Mount...

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Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From NASCAR to Dollywood to Sevierville, this region offers an unusually interesting array of manmade and natural attractions. The Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee is one the most beautiful places in North America to visit any time of year. The buds of spring brighten up the valley of the Forks of the Little Pigeon River below, in summer the mountains are thick with foliage, autumn...

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Road Trip USA: Great Sights of the West – Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone And The Grand Tetons

Plan a driving trip to experience many national parks and monuments, as well as other interesting Western sights in South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. When Yellowstone, America's first national park, was founded by Congress in 1872, it established a tradition for the preservation of our country's natural resources. Today, we count nearly 400 natural treasures from Acadia to Mt. Zion in...

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