The top 5 summer vacation ideas with kids:
Admittedly, I even struggle with with where to go with the kids for the summer even though I am a ‘ family travel expert.’ At least I like to think I am a family travel expert, so don’t bust my balloon because it is my travel party here at Chic Family Travels. I made it a goal to write a family travel article about the top summer vacation ideas for families with kids in 2013. It is already May 2013, so I obviously had a little writer’s block due to my own struggles with where to go with the kids this summer. After a lot of thought and procrastination, I am proud to give you the top 5 summer vacation ideas with kids in 2013!
It is amazing to me how many people in the United States, outside of the south and even some in the south, have not heard of South Walton and the beach towns that it encompasses including Rosemary Beach, Seaside, Alys Beach, Watercolor and Seagrove Beach. Everyone seems to have heard of Destin Florida, but surprisingly very few non-locals have heard of South Walton Florida. Well, let me just give you a vacation hint. It is a fabulous family vacation destination, and it is a crying shame that the whole U.S. does not know about it. On second thought, maybe it is not a shame that the U.S. has not discovered South Walton as it might lose its charm and the reason why we think it is the top summer vacation idea for families with kids!
Allow me to give you a brief overview of what you will experience in South Walton at any of these 30-A beach towns, including Rosemary Beach and Seaside Florida. You will find upscale yet decidedly unpretentious families on vacation with kids freely biking and walking around on beach cruiser bikes while enjoying everything from airstream restaurants to outdoor shopping and beachfront dining in a charming and family-friendly beach destination. My words do this family friendly destination no justice as one must see and experience South Walton for himself or herself. It is hard to describe, but I have been everywhere from Malibu to Kiawah and none compares. Take a look at a few South Walton and 30-A pictures (as the locals call it) to give you an idea as to why South Walton Florida made my list of the top 5 summer vacation ideas for families with kids.
Yes, Alabama does have beaches and these beautiful white sandy beaches make the list for Top summer vacation ideas with kids. Again, I am astonished as to how few people know that Alabama’s beaches are just as pristine and beautiful as Florida’s beaches. In fact, Alabama’s beaches actually border Florida’s beaches and one can walk from the Florida Panhandle to the Alabama beach side if you are near the famous or infamous FloraBama beach bar. Orange Beach Al is more of a boating destination that South Walton, thus it appeals to those who want a deep sea fishing trip or like the idea renting a boat to visit local islands and restaurants. The Bella Luna in Orange Beach is a perfect Orange Beach condo rental for those wanting boating access at the beach. I have seen recent articles claiming that Florida is the best place for finding value on summer vacations, and I beg to differ because Alabama is far less expensive and just as nice !
Now, you all know that I like luxury family vacations so I would not include this destination if that were not available. Turquoise Place in Orange Beach Al is a top beachfront luxury rental at a bargain of a price if you take into consideration what you are getting! Think huge 3 bedroom beachfront luxury condos with private hot tubs and outdoor kitchens for less than $700 a night! Now, when is the last time you booked a 3 bedroom Ritz Carlton for thatprice ? Pensacola Airport is a short 4o minute drive from Orange Beach Alabama so check out airport code PNS when you are looking for summer vacation deals on flights. Orange Beach Al is a top summer vacation idea with kids in 2013.
3- – The Atlantis at Nassau Bahamas
Okay, I am admittedly going mainstream with a recommendation for top summer family vacations at the Atlantis in the Bahamas but I have a good reason to recommend this mega-resort for a summer family vacation. For those of you who think the Bahamas is warm year-around, think again! Yes, the outside temperature stays comfortable but try jumping in the ocean in January and you will agree with me!
I have had friend after friend book a winter vacation to the Atlantis in the Bahamas and they come home and say, ‘geez….it was chilly!’ The Bahamas has year around comfortable outside temperatures but the ocean does not stay “Caribbean warm” year around as one is accustom to in St. Thomas or St Lucia or example. Thus, the Atlantis in the Bahamas is a great idea for a summer family vacation. The waters are warm and the rates are lower than they are in the winter! Who knew ?! We recommend the Atlantis at the Reef in the Bahamas for a summer family vacation for a couple of reasons. First, the Reef at the Atlantis has condo-style accommodations that will save you a ton of money by having snacks and drinks on-hand. Also, the Reef is has a private pool and beach so you can retreat from the masses during busy times of the day.
4- Breckenridge Colorado
My previous 3 top summer family vacation ideas were pretty hot so I decided to go a bit cooler, in terms of temperature that is. Colorado is mainly known for being a winter destination, but they also have a lot to offer in the summer and for half the price ! Chic Family Travels visited One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge last summer and wrote an article about all there is to do for families during the summer. Breckenridge has everything from white water rafting to mountain biking to an alpine roller coaster. We recommend Breckenridge for a summer vacation because it is family friendly and has plenty to do for the kids including the Breck Fun Park. One Ski Hill Place is the perfect place to rent a condo because it overlooks the Breck Fun Park and has a private bowling alley!
5- Universal Orlando Florida
I bet you thought I was going to include Disney World on this list didn’t you ? Well, I recommend Universal over Disney for a summer family vacation for a couple of reasons. First, they have a fast pass system that actually works! If you stay at one of the Universal on-site hotels, you get the fast-pass perk for free! Unlike Disney, there is no limit to how many fast-passes you can get for each ride and you don’t have to get a time to come back. Yup, you just walk up to the fast-pass line anytime you want for any ride you want. Also, Universal has something for all ages in the family. My oldest child has out-grown Disney, so we opt for Universal that has a little something for everyone in the family. You would be surprised to know that each park at Universal actually has more rides for toddlers than Disney! Chic Family Travels stayed at the Portofino at Universal last summer and is staying at the Hard Rock for our summer vacation in 2013. FYI- I don’t know the dude who is holding his breath on the Hulk 🙂