Believe it or not, the day will come when families can get out of the house and travel again. Let’s face it—family travelers never liked crowds in the first place, anyway. When the curve has flattened and public health experts give the okay to travel again, consider heading to one of these under-the-radar destinations for family vacations.
What could be further from the crowds than a sparsely populated island? Block Island, Rhode Island, is just a ferry ride away from the coast, and it doesn’t attract the mobs that trample Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the coast of Maine. There’s even a baby beach if you’re bringing your littlest ones with you—just don’t forget the stylish car seat cover for your infant to keep sun, sand, and curious onlookers away from your baby while you and your spouse take turns enjoying calmer waters. Shops, seafood, ice cream, and an animal farm complete the agenda for a relaxing family vacation.
Guided Hiking Adventure
Get away from it all on a hike in the wilderness. Some outfitters, such as Wildland Trekking, allow you to book a private, customized family trip. Choose from their existing destinations or let them know your dream hike, and they’ll come up with a private hiking itinerary for you. Outfitters provide guides, provisions, and—for some trips—even porters who will carry the heavier packs for you.
Unsung State or National Parks
Pile into the SUV or minivan—or better, rent an RV—for a self-guided tour of a lesser-traveled state or national park. North Cascades National Park outside of Seattle or Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado accommodate RVs and offer beautiful views and unusual features. At the latter, you can even go sand sledding or sand boarding with the kids among the largest sand dunes in North America. Consult your state’s tourism bureau to find state parks with RV hookups to take the kids and learn more about your state’s landscape and history.
Wide Open Spaces
The American West is a natural destination for avoiding crowds if you skip the most popular destinations. Many dude ranches in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico accommodate families and create activities especially for kids. Choose smaller, under-the-radar destinations that’s further away from the popular ski resorts and heavily traveled national parks such Yellowstone. There’s still plenty of space out West: whether your kids love horses or prefer glamping, you’ll find a destination that suits your needs.