Pre-summer vacation getaways: Quick weekend trips for the whole family
If you're feeling a little out of practice when it comes to planning a big family summer vacation, these no-fuss weekend getaways will ease you back into the travel groove. | By Joanna Tweedy | February 19, 2022
Warmer weather is coming! You'll get the whole family smiling with a shorter, pre-summer getaway, escaping your everyday routine — ideally in sunny climes. If you’ve taken a break from traveling due to the pandemic, shake off those rusty suitcases and get back out there by taking a shorter, more manageable weekend trip with the family. These destinations allow you to dip your toes back into traveling and will help you fall back in love with discovering new places and cultures.
Cabo itinerary: Sun, sail and all the seafood you can eat
For an international vacation that you can realistically do over a long weekend, consider Cabo San Lucas. Located at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, this balmy destination offers warm days, golden beaches and if you visit in early summer, the freedom to explore without the heavy crowds. Here are our top picks for a Cabo getaway:
The Cannery Beaches
Your kids can splash in low-key waves and spot colorful marine life before dining on tasty fish tacos via the marina's street food stalls.
The Sierra de la Laguna mountains
Your Instagram-loving teen will channel all the #weekendvibes on a day trip that includes a hike, a bike ride and a swim in the water holes at Agua Caliente Canyon.
A whale and dolphin-spotting boat trip
The grandparents will marvel at the marine life while admiring a stunning view of Baja's beautiful beaches.
Dallas itinerary: The down south triple threat
For a little taste of it all — untouched natural beauty, adrenaline-boosting attractions and spectacular museums and galleries — head to Dallas. The ‘Big D,’ as it’s affectionately called, delivers big on things to do without requiring a lot of extra coordination – which is exactly what you need out of a short trip.
Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park
Your kiddos will learn about creatures in the air and on the ground via the two-story butterfly house and sssssensational Snakes of Texas exhibit.
Klyde Warren Park
Explore over 5 green acres and a wealth of amenities, including child-friendly climbing frames, table tennis and foosball.
Dallas World Aquarium
Want to bring the great outdoors inside? Try the Cloud Forest Trek for a multi-sensory rainforest experience.
San Francisco itinerary: A coastal classic
A classic American city break may be the perfect way to get back in the vacation saddle. San Francisco never disappoints. There’s a bevy of iconic sights — Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Coit Tower — and acres of green space to explore on two feet or two wheels.
Catch a ball or concert, explore sports-themed art and chow down on all the game-time favorites.
The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
Kids (and kids at heart) will love meeting the zoo's 200-plus species. Traveling with a toddler? Don't miss a ride on the Little Puffer miniature steam train.
Chinatown's Dragon Gate
Step through this iconic monument and spend the day exploring local boutiques and inspiring galleries while feasting on delicious Asian delicacies.
Atlanta itinerary: Barbecue, breathtaking views and beloved attractions
With its big-ticket sights, hearty portions of irresistible barbecue and welcoming Southern hospitality, Atlanta guarantees an easy minibreak that everyone will enjoy. Scratch your travel itch and satisfy your barbecue cravings with these tips.
Get easy access to two of the city’s top tourist spots with one stop: Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. Marine biologists-in-training will especially love being able to swim with sharks, dolphins and rays at the former.
Stone Mountain Park
Drive 30 minutes east of the city and find a 3,200-acre haven that’s perfect for picnics and hikes as easy or challenging as you’d like.
Daddy D'z The Bar-B-Que Joynt
Go on – get sticky at this Downtown staple, which is among the best places to sample classic Atlanta barbecue. Try the ribs, which are cooked on a hickory and oak pit and come with a side of lip-smacking sauce.
Miami itinerary: Water works — for all ages
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables
Cool off (early summer temps mean highs of 82 degrees Fahrenheit, or around 28 degrees Celsius) with a dip in this historic public swimming pool, which was carved out of coral rock quarry in the early 1920s.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne
Drive over and spend a relaxing day in the shadow of Florida’s historic 1825 Cape Florida Lighthouse. Bonus points if you rent a bike (the four-seaters are great for smaller children) and cruise along the park’s 1.5-mile bike path.
Tidal Cove in Aventura
Your kids will feel their stomachs leap on one of the nerve-shredding chutes. You might opt to take it easy with a relaxing meander down the Lazy River.
Joanna Tweedy is an award-winning travel writer and editor who lives in London.
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