Swan boats

Credit: swanboats.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Historic Boston

Take a ride on a 130-year-old swan boat across the lake on the grounds of the Public Garden, the country’s first botanical garden — and one of a long list of Boston firsts. The colonial city is a perfect place to explore U.S. history with your extended clan. Many of its attractions are free, including Boston Common and the Black-Heritage and Freedom Trail. Narrated sightseeing trips are offered by the Beantown Trolley and Boston Duck Tours.

Amelia Island

Credit: ameliaisland.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Amelia Island

Go fish with your grandchild on this historic barrier island just 45 minutes off Jacksonville, Fla. And that’s just the beginning of the fun that awaits you. You can watch dolphins frolic, ride horses on the beach, hike and bike around Fort Clinch State Park, and view wildlife from a Segway. Or heck — just relax on the wide, white-sandy beach.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Credit: visitindy.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

IndySpeedway

The Indy 500 tops most motorsports fans’ wish lists, and it’s all the more fun with your sport-loving family in tow. Visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — the mecca of racing — where international legends have competed. While there, take in the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indiana Historical Society, the IMAX Theater, the Indiana State Museum and Victory Field.

Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch

Credit: barlazyj.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch (Colorado)

Kick up your heels or just kick back. This mile-high dude ranch gives guests a firsthand taste of the great outdoors, cowboy-style. With room for 42, Lazy J lets larger families take over the whole place. All-inclusive packages include room and board (and a bottomless cookie jar), plus horseback riding, swimming, fly-fishing, hayrides, campfires, mountain biking and evening entertainment.

Black Canyon, Colorado

Credit: nps.gov

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Black Canyon (Colorado)

Taller than the Empire State Building, this gorge in Gunnison National Park features a wider range of ecosystems than any other North American canyon. Summertime offers camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and Junior Ranger programs. Start with a ranger-led boat tour at the bottom and work your way up. More adventures await in the canyon’s backyard, notably around the charming southwestern Colorado town of Montrose.

San Antonio Family Cruise

Credit: riosanantonio.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

San Antonio Family Cruise

When your feet get tired from strolling along the tree-lined River Walk, take a family cruise guided tour down the meandering river. You’ll learn historical facts while noting restaurants and shops to come back to. Remember to visit the city’s symbol of liberty, the Alamo. Also impressive: the Institute of Texan Cultures. And what family adventure would be complete without a day at SeaWorld San Antonio or Six Flags Fiesta Texas?

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Monterey, Calif.

With more than 35,000 creatures, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is just one of the fun things to do here. Go on a boat-based “marine safari” and watch seals, otters and dolphins cavort in the natural habitat. Continue the safari theme at Vision Quest Ranch, were resident elephants deliver breakfast. (The ranch is next door to Wild Things, an exotic animal training facility.) Indulge in “glamping,” or camping with all the amenities of a hotel, at Fernwood Resort, set amid towering redwoods near Big Sur River.

Quebec City

Credit: quebecregion.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Quebec City

History awaits in every corner of this UNESCO World Heritage site, where 400-year-old fairy-tale chateaux and fortifications will transport you back in time. The elevated Hotel Terrasse Dufferin offers panoramic views of Old Quebec and the St. Lawrence River. In winter, grab a toboggan for a heart-pumping 60-mph decent down 270 feet. Pick a season, and you’ll uncover ways to explore this French-Canadian gem and its exciting festivals, such as August’s New French Festival and January’s Winter Carnival.

Costa Rica

Credit: visitcostarica.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Costa Rica

This tiny Central American country has been an ecotourism leader for two decades. For active “kids” 8 to 80, your adventure will be a checklist of adrenaline-junkie activities: rappelling down waterfalls, zip-lining through rainforest canopies, hiking in jungle canyons, paddling an outrigger canoe, camping on the slopes of a volcano — and then soothing sore muscles in natural hot springs.

Wellington, New Zealand

Credit: wellingtonnz.com

Prev (Slide 1 of 10) Next

Wellington, New Zealand

Check off another bucket list item by taking the clan to New Zealand’s capital. Minutes from downtown Willington, Eco-attraction Zealandia includes an indoor natural history exhibit and a protected 550-acre Sanctuary Valley with endangered indigenous species. Explore the photogenic geology and natural environment inside Te Papa, a natural museum honoring its indigenous people, the Maori.

Slideshow previous Slideshow previous