Ready to depart Omaha for a summer adventure? Disneyland is fun and all, but if you’re tired of the same-old same-old family vacation, check out this list of four less-obvious destinations that promise a one-of-a-kind experience:
If you’re an outdoorsy family — or you just want to go somewhere far from any Wi-Fi connections — Yosemite National Park is the place to go. It’s a little ways away from Disneyland, but think of Yosemite as Mother Nature’s theme park, instead of Mickey Mouse’s. National Geographic recommends hiking through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias for a look at some of the oldest and largest trees in the country, including the historic California Tunnel Tree. If you get tired of hiking, take a scenic drive through the glacial domes and peaks of the High Sierra. Camp out at one of the parks 13 reservations to really get in touch with your natural surroundings.
Wet and Wild Bunch
Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., is one of the nation’s top family vacation destinations. Also known as the Waterpark Capital of the World, the Dells has something for both children and adults, with more than 20 indoor and outdoor parks to beat the summer heat and perfect your slippin’ and sliding skills. Take a boat tour through the picturesque sand-rock cliffs, and face your fears on adrenaline-inducing amusement park rides. Families can start a friendly competition with bowling, mini golf and arcade games available all day long.
America’s favorite pastime could be your family’s favorite too, with a vacation centered on your favorite hobby: baseball. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cooperstown, N.Y., in the same town that features Doubleday Field. Visitors can spend the morning admiring baseball artifacts and exhibits, learning about the history of the game and praising some of the greatest players in the sport. The museum is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended 9-9 hours during the summer time. Finish off your museum visit with a real-life baseball game at Doubleday Field, and explore some nearby educational sites like Hyde Hall and the Farmers’ Museum.
If you and your family are practically attached to your digital devices, a little visit to Amish country might be just what the doctor ordered. Spend some time learning about the culture and belief system of the Amish by visiting Lancaster County in rural Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitor’s Bureau recommends taking a ride on a horse and buggy through the Pennsylvania Amish countryside, making your own Amish crafts and dining on authentic Dutch cuisine. Your kids will definitely appreciate the ease of their own lifestyle when they see families with no electricity, homemade clothing and a community-run farm.