Camping Hot Spots
Find great places to camp and gain insights into activities to make the most of the top camping hot spots. Get the scoop on where to go next. Discover destinations that offer unique opportunities for you to experience the great outdoors through recreation activities, wildlife viewing, and unforgettable vistas.
Mile-High Denver, Colorado
The Mile High City offers all the diversity of big-town life combined with the spirit of outdoor adventure. The State Capitol of Colorado truly sits a mile above sea level. In fact, if you climb the western steps of the capitol you will find a plaque marking the step the lies exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. The mild climate makes this city a great place to visit any time of the year. Outdoor enthusiasts will find many green parks in the city and can hike, bike or climb at one of the nearby state parks. Sports lovers will also be enchanted with this city year round, as it is one of only a few that is home to eight professional sports teams. This home of the first hamburger holds a little something for everyone.
Denver has many amazing activities that will please you and your kids alike. Visit the Downtown Aquarium, where you can see shipwreck exhibits, pan for gold or even feed the stingrays. The Denver Zoological Gardens have narrated train rides and naturally landscaped exhibits like Predator Ridge, which features African species. If you want to bring your child's education to life, stop at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This museum has exhibits ranging from dinosaur skeletons and fossils to space travel.
There are also many wonderful attractions for adults in Denver. In the lower downtown area you will find great shopping opportunities. You can get to know Denver a little better by exploring its different neighborhoods. LoDo (Lower Downtown) has many nightclubs and dining establishments; the Capitol Hill area has the mansions and Gothic Cathedral. Denver also has many spas, art museums and outdoor sculptures. If you visit in summer be sure to look up the various music festivals, as you're sure to find one that has something you'd enjoy.
Denver's mild and sunny climate makes it a great place to visit year round. The high altitude reduces the precipitation and makes the sun feel warmer. In the higher altitude, be sure to drink plenty of water; you need to drink more water because the air is much drier. Also, make sure you use sunscreen; the suns UV rays are more intense at this elevation.
You will find plenty of outdoor adventure during your time in Denver. The city is very close to the Rocky Mountains where you will find hiking, biking and snowboarding. Within the city you can visit the Denver Botanical Gardens. If you are a rock climber, there are some great routes to be climbed at Eldorado Canyon State Park or Castlewood Canyon State Park. Denver is a sports lover's paradise; you will find professional baseball, football, hockey, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and even rugby teams.
Denver has a little bit of everything, and it has a lot of some things. You will find outdoor activities for everyone. Your children will find attractions that they will rave about after your visit. Denver has a rich history, diverse populations and a multitude of events. On your next vacation go to Denver and revel in the adventures of the Mile High City.
Escape to Connecticut
The Constitution State is full of history, but you will find activities and sights to interest everyone. Connecticut has scenic fishing spots, seaside walks, the excitement of NASCAR, and much more. Each region of Connecticut has many captivating adventures.
If you are looking for a relaxing seaside vacation this year, visit the southwest region of Connecticut, including Fairfield and Greenwich. Fairfield and Greenwich offer beautiful beaches, and you could also partake in a bit of top-notch shopping while there. Between Greenwich and Fairfield lies Sheffield Island with its historic lighthouse and nature preserve for those with interests in history and wildlife.
For a little more adventure during your stay in Connecticut, you could visit the northwestern or Litchfield region of the state. Hikers should make sure to take some time to trek along the Appalachian Trail. Those with a love of fishing should visit the Housatonic River for some scenic trout fishing. Housatonic Meadows State Park provides a lovely camping location to act as a starting point for all your fishing adventures.
The Hartford region of Connecticut has beautiful art and architecture. You can view windows created by Louis Tiffany at the Center Church. For a little more history combined with architecture, take a tour of Mark Twain's home in Hartford. Car lovers will enjoy a visit the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs where they can watch the NASCAR auto racing on Fridays.
In the south of Connecticut, you will find miles of beaches and excitement. You will find the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in the southeast. For more art and culture visit the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven. Yale University offers an amazing collection of art from around the world including pieces by Picasso and Manet.
Connecticut is also a great location for a more pastoral vacation. If you are interested in agritourism or you just want to spend a little time on the farm, check out New England FarmWays. You will discover the many scenic farms and vineyards that Connecticut has to offer.
Brownsville, Texas - a Gulf Coast Oasis
Deep in the heart of Texas, you'll find a city with charm, warmth, golden beaches, and incredible Tex-Mex food. Brownsville is Texas's southernmost city, serving as a gateway to Mexico and a vacation destination for the rest of the Lone Star State. This area is famous for its bird watching, bargain shopping, and breathtaking ocean views. With its palm trees and blooming tropical flowers, Brownsville feels exotic and luxurious, even in the depths of winter.
It's no wonder so many Winter Texans choose to call Brownsville home. This stunning area enjoys 230 days of sun every year, and its winter temperatures are warm enough for year-round gardening. You may even find citrus and avocado trees in your campground. Summertime average highs are in the 90s, while winter highs are around 70 degrees. Plan to carry a light sweater or jacket if you're going out during the morning or evening in winter. Otherwise, dress for the heat!
If this is your first visit to Brownsville, you can get a sense of the city's past by following the Brownsville Heritage Trail. On this walking tour, you'll see turn-of-the-century homes and businesses in the historic downtown area, including the original 3,000-acre townsite (now downtown Brownsville). Be sure not to miss the 1849 Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
The Rio Grande River area of South Texas is famous for its bird watching. The warm temperatures draw winter residents from the north, while summer brings southern migratory birds. The area offers a number of excellent birding centers and bird watching areas.
Sabal Palm Audubon Center
Filled with native plants and animals, this is the perfect place to learn about the flora and fauna of South Texas.
Resaca De La Palma State Park
Tour 1200 acres of semi-tropical landscape along the winding Rio Grande. This is the World Birding Center site that's closest to Brownsville.
World Birding Center
The center is actually a network of several different birding sites along the Rio Grande River, all known as excellent bird-watching hot spots.
All the incredible shopping, dining, and tourism of Old Mexico awaits you, right across the border in Matamoros! Widely known as the best place to cross the border in South Texas, this is a hot-spot for shopping and bargain hunting or for enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine. The town puts on regular festivals and events, so watch for music and folk dancing in the main square while you enjoy your margarita or succulent seafood. Prices are low, so step across the border and see what bargains you can discover.
Day Trip - South Padre Island
The gorgeous get-away spot of South Padre Island offers unforgettable days of relaxation, lounging on the beautiful white sandy beaches, and sipping cocktails while the sun sets. While you're there, don't forget to dine in one of the many sea-side restaurants and visit the quaint shops for souvenirs, clothing, and gifts.
If you like to fish, then charter a boat for the day and try your hand at deep sea fishing. Or, you can enjoy a variety of water sports like water skiing, sailing, kite and wind surfing, para-sailing, and swimming. Once you visit the southern Gulf Coast, you will want to return again and again.
Kansas City - Barbecue, Fountains, and More
Beautiful, vibrant Kansas City is an oasis of a city. With four waterparks for cooling off on steamy days, world-famous barbecue, and incredible shopping, this city has it all. Perhaps Kansas City's diversity has to do with the fact that it spans two states and is the largest city in each. With one foot in Kansas and another in Missouri, this river-fed destination-point is truly the queen of the region.
City of Fountains
Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains, so it's always been an ideal place to enjoy a splash in the water. As you tour the city, try to spot some of the more than 200 Kansas City fountains. The fountain at Crown Center is a highlight of any trip downtown. The whole family will love watching the 100 water jets spout water into the air, creating a synchronized show that's beautiful, refreshing, and comical.
K.C. also has four waterparks. The kids in your group will love exploring Kaptain Kidd's and Crocodile Isle at Oceans of Fun, the city's classic water park. Oceans includes a Surf City Wave Pool with a million gallons of water. The newest park is Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which opened in July 2009. Schlitterbahn has 24 acres, the tadal-wave Torrent River, and the Storm Blaster Uphill Water Coaster. East of the city is the CoCoKey Water Resort, a park that's filled with indoor and outdoor twisting, winding waterslides. The Great Wolf Lodge is four stories high, dropping hundreds of gallons of water. The park has eight waterslides, five pools, two whirlpools, and fun transitions from indoors and to out.
This unique city has always been a center of trade, ever since the days of the Santa Fe Trail and riverboat travel. Today it's the home of a number of interesting businesses that you can visit for tours. From a trip to see card-making at Hallmark Cards to a stop at the Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations, you'll find plenty of surprizes.
Some of the city's newer attractions include the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the Bloch Building, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the College Basketball Experience with its exhibits and hoops hall of fame.
When you take the kids to Kansas City, you'll find plenty to do as a family. In the summer, you won't want to miss the fountains. Any time of year, you can take a trip to Science City, a hands-on children’s museum at Union Station, or to the 100-year-old Kansas City Zoo. With more than 1,200 exotic animals in natural settings, the zoo is a terrific place to spend the day. For a little high-adrenaline action, just visit the Kansas Speedway for superb racing. Young drivers in the group will love the Sadlers Indoor Racing center, where kids can drive, ride bumper cars, or steer the go-carts.
Kansas City has the full range of shopping choices, from unique boutiques to larger stores with top fashion labels. But it's the setting that offers that extra something special to a shopping expedition. You can stroll through the architecturally-stunning Country Club Plaza, see live theater at Crown Center, or explore City Market, one of the Midwest’s largest farmers’ markets.
Sonoma Vineyards, California
Gorgeous Sonoma, California, is known world-wide for its incredible wineries, but it's also a fabulous place to enjoy stately redwood forests, rolling vineyard hills, and delicious fresh food.