The US is home to some of the greatest vacation destinations for hikers. Here are 7 of the most stunning locations for a family vacation.
If you’ve landed on this article, you’re one of many who loves hiking. According to recent studies, hiking is the fourth-most popular outdoor activity in the US, falling behind only running, fishing, and biking. The US is home to some of the greatest vacation spots for hikers.
In 2017, an astounding 44.9 million people reported hiking at least once. This number is a significant increase from the early 2000s when only about 30 million people reported taking a hike in 2006. The biggest jump in participation occurred between 2015 and 2016.
Are you interested in having the sort of life-changing experiences one can only have in the great outdoors? What are the best family vacation spots in the US just waiting for someone like you and yours to traverse their paths?
In this hiking guide, we highlight seven of the best destinations for both new and avid hikers alike to enjoy some trails. Keep reading to see where you and your family should plan your next getaway.
1. The Crown of the Continent
Also known as the home of Glacier National Park.
This area has no lack of gorgeous views, from sprawling mountains and vast meadows to pristine lakes and dense forests. It also doesn’t suffer from a lack of trails: The park is home to over 700 of them! Choose from leisurely strolls to more strenuous hikes, depending on the experience of your group.
There’s also a historic road, aptly named the Going-to-the-Sun Road, that your entire family will love to experience.
2. The Grand Canyon
It’s safe to say that visiting the Grand Canyon is an event that’s on almost everyone’s bucket list. You and your kids will love the awe-inspiring views of the deep and expansive canyonlands.
The views around the Grand Canyon are undoubtedly beautiful and worth seeing, but they don’t come without putting in a little work. The NPS warns that there are no simple trials in and out of the canyon, so it’s best to do so with a more versed group of hikers. Pick from a large variety of day hikes, some of which are even paved for your convenience.
If you choose this adventure, be sure to stay safe and well-stocked with proper gear, as well as plenty of snacks and water.
3. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The best part about making your way to Pigeon Forge, TN? There’s something for everyone here.
In 2008, the Rocky Top Wine Trail was created in an effort to foster collaboration with the three wineries in town. It was Tennessee’s first wine trail, and of course, its most-visited, too. Since then, another two wineries have joined in, and visitors can hike from one to the other throughout Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.
Trail participants get to enjoy the beautiful, expansive, rainforest-like Great Smoky Mountains, all while supporting local farms and drinking handcrafted wine. If the kids are around, they’ll love the trails and the delicious restaurants, and Mom will be pleased to enjoy herself, too.
There’s no lack of things to do in the area, either, so after you’ve completed the Wine Trail, enjoy several other activities before packing up and heading for home.
4. The Sierra Nevada Mountains
What can your family expect to find in these mountains? One notable experience is visiting the well-known and well-loved Lake Tahoe, which rests on the California-Nevada border.
This US lake hosts up to 2.7 million people a year, which is not surprising considering its mind-blogging beauty. Lake Tahoe is considered one of America’s most gorgeous bodies of water, probably because it’s so undeniably blue and clean. It’s also surrounded by steep granite cliffs, providing a backdrop that’s just as beautiful as the lake itself.
Choose from any number of trails around the lake, ranging from more accessible to more difficult, depending on how sweaty and dirty your crew wants to get.
5. The Big Island
One of Hawai’i’s premier islands, the Big Island, is home to a host of hikes. If you’re willing to make the trek to this American oasis, this may be the place for you.
The Big Island has a large variety of trails, offering you plenty of options depending on your family’s wants and needs. It’s got more than 300 miles of hikes, so you’ll surely not be bored. Bring your camera and prepare to photograph anything from volcanoes to banana and jacaranda trees.
6. Yosemite National Park
There’s hardly a list about the best family vacation spots in the US without there being an appearance by Yosemite. One of the best ways to see and experience Yosemite is through hiking, which allows you to take in the massive and stunning expanse of this landscape on foot.
There are several different hikes in the area, again providing your family with much-needed diversity depending on the ages and athleticism of those in your group. From Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point Road, you won’t be disappointed regardless of the path you choose.
7. Wyoming, Montana
What does Wyoming have to offer its visitors?
One exceptional experience is that of Yellowstone National Park.
The park provides hikers with over 900 miles of trails, all of which offer trailblazers a rewarding experience. It’s worth noting that most of the park’s trails are about 7,000 feet about sea level, so prepare for colder temperatures and snow-capped mountains, even through the month of July.
These Are the Best Family Vacation Spots in the US: Where Will You Go?
If this list tells you anything, it’s that America is ripe with beautiful, scenic landscapes and thousands of trails waiting to host your hiking boots. These are a few of many of the best family vacation spots in the US—your options are nearly endless!
At Rocky Top Wine Trail, we can make the decision about where to go next an easy one.
Click here to plan your trip with us and request a guide or itinerary, so you know exactly how to execute your calendar. Enjoy the great outdoors and a glass of wine (or two) at the same time: It’s a win-win!