By Sarah Wilkie
Spring has definitely sprung. And since last year’s vacation plans didn’t get to bloom, we’re ready for a much-needed trip (fingers crossed) before the dog days of summer. Many parks, resorts and hotels are adhering to strict Covid-19 regulations, so be sure to check their specific policies before heading out and don’t forget your masks and sunscreen. Our Larkly SPF 30 mineral sunscreen is refillable, TSA approved if you’re ok with flying and easily applied with a brush kids can use themselves.
Let’s take a tour around the country with some great vacation spots the whole family will love.
Yosemite National Park
Located in the Sierra Mountain Range of Northern California, Yosemite Park encompasses 750,000 acres of waterfalls, trails, cliffs, mountains, lakes and meadows. It boasts diverse wildlife and is home to more than 160 rare plants. Whether it’s wading in the Yosemite Valley’s Merced River or enjoying the Mariposa Grove Hike’s giant 200-foot Sequoia trees, you won’t run out of fun family ideas. Don’t forget to carry plenty of water, snacks, and natural, clean sunscreen for you and your kids.
The park offers fun programs like Wee Wild Ones, a class for kids 6 and under with songs, games and stories about animals. They can also participate in Ranger Ned’s Big Adventure, a live theater program. For an educational trip back in time, head to Pioneer Village and tour the historic house and stagecoaches. Then there’s the Museum at Yosemite Village, which highlights the legacy of the Native Americans who occupied Yosemite. It features rotating artwork and artifacts exhibits, plus activities to keep the kids engaged.
AutoCamp, a more luxurious camping experience featuring airstreams, luxury tents, basecamps and cabins, is 40 minutes west of Yosemite Park. Take advantage of the free bikes, free yoga class, local wine tastings, live music and more. There’s a pool on-site and pets are allowed for an additional $75.
Rooms start at $189.
Eastern Shore of Maryland
And for the history buffs...Maryland’s first settlement was established in 1631 and the Maryland coast is a great place for kids to learn more about America’s colonial history. Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers a rich array of historic towns, food and other activities. There’s no shortage of concerts, boat shows, crafts, boating, biking, golf and nature!
Take a tour of historic downtown Cambridge or stop by Old Trinity Church and soak in over 300 years of history. You can also explore the 28,000-acre Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge or the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center.
The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort is located on 342 acres of waterfront property with its own golf course, two pools, and a waterslide. There are plenty of activities for the whole family including tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, and mini-golf. The hotel is also dog-friendly and you can bring a maximum of 2 dogs if you pay a $150 charge.
Rooms start at $160.
Want to get a little more tropical? Located on Hawaii’s “Big Island” and near five of Hawaii’s volcanoes, Mauna Lani is a luxury resort that was recently reopened after a $200 million renovation. It’s only 40 minutes from Kona airport and offers a less-crowded experience than other resorts in the area. Gorgeous sunset views, fishponds, lava plains and tropical gardens make it a heavenly experience. There are plenty of fun activities for the whole family like lei making, snorkeling, a historic petroglyph hike, a lava tube tour, surf lessons and even ukelele lessons! Kids can participate in the Living Culture programs, and the Holoholo Kids Crew offers indoor and outdoor cultural activities for different age groups such as culinary classes, movies and storytelling.
As if we need another reason to love Hawaii, the state has actually banned chemical sunscreens because they’re full of chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate that harm the ocean and aren’t reef-safe. Good thing you can bring our Larkly refillable mineral sunscreen and be a-ok!
Rooms start at $623 a night
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you’re thinking of driving, hit the road to Fort Lauderdale to check out the Museum of Discovery and Science, Butterfly World or Flamingo Gardens. You can also go on a guided historic walking tour or explore Art of Illusions, a 3D art museum that has some really cool photo opportunities. For the kids, Bluefoot Pirate Adventures offers face paintings, a hunt for lost treasure, lessons in pirate slang and even real water cannons. If you have any water sports lovers in your fam, there’s always boating, jet skiing, scuba diving and more.
With its 500-foot stretch of private beach, two large swimming pools, mini golf, beach volleyball and ping pong, the Lago Mar Beach Resort is a wonderful, family-friendly destination. For the kids, there’s also a playground and a retro-style Soda Shop with ice cream and a menu just for them. The resort even employs a photographer who takes perfect family pics on the beach for free.
Rooms start at $350.
How about a glamorous ranch experience and an unobstructed view of the stars? Look no further than the Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch. Located on a breathtaking 30,000 acres four hours from Denver, this luxurious, all-inclusive resort was named #1 Best Resort in the US by Conde Nast and Forbes. Settled in the Sierra Madres and a short drive from Medicine Bow National Forest, Brush Creek Ranch has a vast network of trails running through it.
Yes, it’s a dude ranch. But that doesn’t mean you need to get down and dirty, or even get on a horse. You’ll see cowboy boots and tennis shoes as people enjoy horseback riding, hunting, biking, ice fishing, shooting and archery adventures on site. The Lil’ Wranglers program offers kids’ horseback riding, archery, hiking, educational exploration activities and more. For older kids, there’s an arcade, gym, basketball court and volleyball. There are also babysitters available, so you can enjoy some adulting in the spa, wine cellar, distillery, bakery or greenhouse.
Did we mention the Brush Creek Ranch has its own private mountain? The whole family can cool off with skiing, snowmobiling or snowshoeing. And even though it could be snowy, don’t forget your mineral sunscreen for the mountain!
Rooms start at $1900.