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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top 10 places to take your family in North America

One of the most difficult decisions is to decide where to take your family for a vacation in North America. Ask your children for their favourites and you would end getting a long list of must dos and must sees along with an equally long list of destinations that they would want to visit. Ask your wife for her preferences and you would get a humongous list of places to see, things to do and destinations to go to. And obviously, you have your own list of destinations that you would want to visit and things that you would want to do. So how do you find that perfect place which has something for your entire family? Hopefully, our list of the top 10 family friendly destinations in North America will shed some light on the matter.

10. Boston, USA

Irrespective of your favoured baseball team, you have to admit that a chance to see the iconic Fenway Park, the oldest stadium in MLB is worth seeing. Heck, even Babe Ruth pitched there. The stadium offers an exciting 50 minute tour which allows you to touch the famous Green Monster, enter the dugout, walk across the baseball diamond and peek into the press box. Oh that’s not all that Boston has to offer. It is also considered to be the central point of the colonial history of America. So who needs history lessons when you can explore and walk along the Freedom Trail. Some of the most popular tours of Boston include the 90 minute Pirate tour and the Patriots tour. You can also visit the Long Wharf, once known to be the centre of the colonial shipping industry of Boston and the Griffin’s Wharf, home to the 1773 Boston Tea Party.

09. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

For something exciting and unique, you could plan a trip to Playa del Carmen in Mexico. This seaside village was once known to be a private little haven for European backpackers. Today, it has become the main gateway into the world famous Mayan ruins - something that your entire family would love to see. Your kids could also have a blast at the Xel – Ha, a group of peaceful lagoons where they can easily learn how to snorkel. The ruins of Tulum are also located nearby and boast of having the ruins of 60 ancient buildings which date back to 700 – 1000 AD. Some of the local delicacies include pollo pibil (chicken in banana leaves) and langostsa (lobsters). Your missus would also freak out at any one of the authentic shops and antique stores located all over town. Some of the best things to buy in Playa del Carmen include embroidered dresses, quartz sculptures and hammocks.

08. Philadelphia, USA

Philadelphia might be popular for the ranger led tours of the Independence Hall, but it also offers a wide range of entertainment activities and fun adventures. Some of the most unique sights and tours in Philadelphia include the 90 minute Ghost Tour, the 238 year old City Tavern, reported sightings of Benjamin Franklin who is said to roam the city even today, John Adams’ watering hole. Other things to do include trips to the world famous Franklin Institute and the Please Touch Museum. The Please Touch Museum is particularly famous among kids due to its touch and explore theme which allows them to touch, feel and explore the beautiful exhibits in unique child size environments.

07. Prince Edward Island, Canada

The Prince Edward Island, immortalized in the book “Anne of Green Gables” is a banana shaped island in Canada which features in most lists of the Top 10 family friendly destinations in North America. It offers you with the perfect family vacation. Make sure that you visit the Green Gables site, bike through the fertile potato farms, canoe across the bays, kayak under beautiful cliffs, hike through lush green forests and swim amid high sand dunes. All in all, the Prince Edward Island is an ideal option for any family that loves adventure and natural delights.

06. Calgary, Canada

Calgary, a city which has its own Cinderella story, is a city which transformed itself from rags to riches. The city was initially founded as an outpost for the Canadian Mounted police. However, it managed to transform itself into one of the best tourist destinations in the country with the help of oil money once oil was discovered in the early 1900s. The city’s population reached its height with the Winter Olympics and it has never looked back since then. However, what makes Calgary so unique from most other cities is that despite the immense influx of wealth and riches, the city has managed to retain its cowboy culture and wide hats and leather boots are still popular. For something unique, make sure that you visit the city during the Calgary Stampede, an annual festival which calls bronco-busters from all over to compete at wrangling.

05. San Fransisco, USA

Cramped jail cells, old world jails and vast collection of Shivs might not really sound like the place to go for your perfect family vacation, but any trip to the Alcatraz is a must do. America’s most notorious island prison has its own way of luring tourists from all over the world. So hop onto the boats and visit the jail that held some of the most dangerous criminals such as Al Capone and George Kelly. The strong hearted families can also opt for an after dark tour of the Alcatraz. However, that’s not all that San Fransisco has to offer. Apart from a wide range of accommodations, shopping opportunities, world class cuisines and a vibrant nightlife, it also offers unique attractions such as the California Academy of Science, a zoo cum museum cum planetarium cum museum aquarium combo. It is also home to more than 40000 animals and is popular for its rainforest, fossil and dinosaur exhibits.

04. San Diego, USA

San Diego is one of the best places to take your kids. It offers a myriad of family friendly attractions, beaches, hotels and restaurants. It is also home to a world famous zoo and a number of theme parks which promise an exciting and fun filled holiday for your entire family. You could start off your tour by visiting the pandas at the San Diego zoo and head on to embark on a hot air balloon tour of the Wild Animal Park, home to a number of lions, rhinos, giraffes, elephants. Make sure that you visit the extremely popular Sea World as well. It offers your family with a chance to have a sumptuous dinner while killer whales flip and frolic less than ten feet away. You could also visit the Laguna Beach, the perfect American coastal town.

03. Washington D.C., USA

We hardly need to describe the iconic Washington DC to the world. It bombards tourists with a plethora of sights and attractions which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Make sure that you take your family to some of the grandest sights in America such as the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, the world famous Smithsonian Museums and the Capitol Building. You could also plan tours to the Gravelly Point, a park which allows you to watch planes take off and land at the Reagan National Airport’s runway and the National Museum of American History, a museum which offers excellent insights into the history of America including world famous exhibits such as Changing America and The American Presidency.

02. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is considered to be a young city even today. As a result, it might lack in the grand historical sights and monuments that some other cities in North America can offer. However, it more than makes up for any shortcomings by offering tourists with the perfect natural playground, a beautiful fusion of high fashion boutiques, chic neighbourhoods, pleasing atmospheres and spectacular natural scenery. Your kids might simply love the place due to the fact that it acted as the backdrop to some of the greatest pictures such as the Twilight Saga and Battlestar Galactica, but make sure that you also take them on the unique hiking, white water rafting, kayaking and skiing adventures that Vancouver offers.

01. Orlando, USA

Well, the list of the Top 10 family friendly destinations in North America would simply be incomplete without this one. Orlando is by far the most popular family friendly destination in the US due to the simple fact that it is home to the greatest theme parks in the world. Who could say no to a chance to visit the magical Disneyland and the Universal Studios Theme Park. These theme parks are one of those few things that your entire family would agree upon. From shopping, exquisite cuisines and uniquely themed hotels to a myriad of sights, adventures, rides and attractions, you can find everything that your family desires in the theme parks of Orlando.

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