It’s an unfortunate fact, but American workers simply don’t get an ample amount of vacation time over the course of a year. That is, if they get any at all. According to statistics, an American worker employed with the same company for over 25 years gets even less paid vacation days than the minimum amount mandated by labor laws passed in the majority of western European countries (19.2 days vs. 21.6 days). Obviously, with less tenure at an American company, that 19.2 figure dramatically decreases.
Vacations represent that magnificent time of escape – a time when responsibilities are (relatively) bare. Given the short window allowed, however, many Americans are certainly keen on getting their respective vacations done properly. We’ve all had those vacations that ended up being more stressful as opposed to relaxing, and it’s incredibly unfortunate when that happens. It gets even harder to ensure a good vacation when an entirely family is involved. With the entire family in tow, there are more opportunities for the wicked forces of bad luck to interfere. Thankfully, there are a few spots in America where your family will have a lovely vacation where the odds of having a good time are dramatically stacked in your favor.
Here are five vacation spots with family-friendly entertainment:
This hidden Missouri gem of a town is oft referred to as the “Las Vegas of the Ozarks.” While Vegas may have this town beat on population size, Branson certainly has the Nevada hotspot beat on family-friendly activities. Like the Vegas strip, Branson has a road dedicated to lavish and fun entertainment, only without the scandalous, scintillating performances. Highway 76 regularly features shows performed by today’s best country music stars, family troupes, legendary comedian Yakov Smirnoff and a bevy of the world’s most skilled tribute performers. Apart from the entertainment, Branson is home to several thrilling waterparks – a definite kid crowd pleaser.
Even if you remove the basketball team, this Florida city is filled with magic. Adults and children alike flee to and enjoy the vast beaches the Orlando area has to offer. But it’s not the beaches that cultivated the city’s reputation as a vacation hotspot. The reasoning behind that reputation is simple: Disney World. Long regarded as one of the best theme parks in the entire world, families large and small are almost guaranteed to have a great time on rides such as the Astro Orbiter and Space Mountain. For families that haven’t totally bought into the Disney mythology (a rare breed to be sure), there are a number of other theme parks in this great Floridian escape.
Honestly, what list of summer vacation spots would be complete without at least one mention of Hawaii? Club Keiki, the kids club for the Hilton Waikoloa Village, is a haven for fun children’s activities. The resort offers a children’s camp which allows young visitors to feed the koi and swan, hunt for treasure and explore the beautiful tropical gardens. They have both day and evening camps for the kids. At night, adults can certainly enjoy the local delicacies, especially accompanied with a luminous sunset on the beach. When that sun goes down, the traditional luau dancing commences, and tourists start to fully understand the meaning of the word vacation.
I’ll admit: The very idea of our nation’s capital being an ideal family destination would have been utter lunacy ten years ago. Once known as the murder capital of America, the city has (fortunately) cleaned up its act, and done so extraordinarily well. Now that it’s much safer to visit, places like the National Mall are far more optimal. The National Mall contains some of our countries most extravagant museums, and tours of those museums are always free. Families can also tour the White House and the Capitol Building. It’s not only safe and in good fun, but it’s a culturally enriching experience.
Near D.C., this miniscule Virginia town, which is only 150 miles away, is as informative a destination as it is fun for the whole family. Colonial Williamsburg is perpetually one of the most popular vacation spots in the fifty states. Children generally love observing all of the old-time weaponry and clothing on display. Aside from this, however, Williamsburg is known for supplying a bevy of fun in other ways. Local theme park Busch Gardens is widely placed on the upper echelon of theme parks across the United States.
David Bryce is travel writer who enjoys writing about travel and family vacations. He currently blogs for Thousand Hills Golf Resort in Branson, MO.