Top U.S. All-Inclusive Family Vacations
By Nancy Schretter, Editor
All-inclusive family vacations are a top choice for many parents planning family travel and multigenerational family reunions. With their included daily meal plans and extensive activities for all ages, these properties offer an exceptional all-inclusive family vacation value. It's also nice to know what the total cost of the trip is in advance, allowing families to adequately budget for their vacation and not worry about receiving a large bill on check-out day.
Parents often assume that the best all-inclusive family vacation options are located outside the United States, but that's not the case. There are a number of great all-inclusive resorts, ranches and lodges closer to home. Some are seasonal, while others offer lots of family fun year-round.
Here are ten top U.S. all-inclusive properties that are outstanding choices for your next family vacation:
1. Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Florida. Club Med is one of the best known all–inclusive brands in the world. This unique 307–room property set alongside the river in Port Saint Lucie, Florida knows how to please its guests with specially designed deluxe family rooms, a wide variety of activities and more. The water sports, circus school and Club Med Academies here are very popular. The resort offers excellent daily free kids and teens programs for children 4 to 17 years of age, as well as a well–staffed nursery for little ones ages 4–23 months old and a tots program for 2–4 year olds at an additional charge. For more information, visit www.ClubMed.us.
2. Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana. Since 1945, this family-owned and operated 2,000 acre all-inclusive property has been delighting families seeking a wide selection of unlimited water sports, horseback riding, guided hiking and mountain biking excursions, fully inclusive kids & teens' programs, and other activities. Situated directly on 30-mile long Flathead Lake, this resort includes water skiing, wake boarding, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, lake cruises and more as part of its all-inclusive water sports programs. Horseback riding programs here are superb as well. Guests can take rides through the lodge's private 500 acre Elk Preserve and a Junior Wrangler Program is also available. Flathead Lake Lodge is located a short thirty-minute drive from Glacier National Park as well. For more information, visit FlatheadLakeLodge.com.
3. Grand Hotel, Michigan. Opened in 1887 and accessible only by ferry or plane, this historic family-owned hotel is located on laid-back Mackinac Island where cars and motorized vehicles are not allowed. The Grand Hotel is open from May through October and is a favorite for family vacations due to its wide array of activities and children's programs for ages 5 and older. The Hotel's Full American Plan rates include a full breakfast, the hotel's Grand Luncheon Buffet and a five-course dinner. Complimentary afternoon and evening kids programs are offered as well. Children 11 years of age and younger stay free and eat free here. For more information, visit www.GrandHotel.com.
4. The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Georgia. Located on private Little St. Simons Island, this family–owned resort accommodates only 32 guests in six well–furnished cottages and is a paradise for families and nature lovers. This 10,000 acre barrier island is filled with abundant wildlife, seven miles of white sand beaches, maritime forests and marshlands. Rates at this intimate nature sanctuary include three full meals each day, all beverages and snacks, unlimited island activities and use of recreational gear, and boat transfers to and from the island. For more information, visit www.LittleStSimonsIsland.com.
5. Migis Lodge, Maine. Migis Lodge has been catering to families since 1916. Set on 125 tranquil acres of pine forest fronting Sebago Lake, this family-owned and operated resort's Full American Plan includes lodging in rooms or luxury cottages, three daily meals, and a wide variety of activities that are perfect for families including swimming, boating, waterskiing, rowing, tennis, fishing, wellness classes, evening bonfires and more. Organized programs and activities for kids and teens are included as well. There’s even a children’s “Zoo” supervised dinner program that takes place during the evenings, giving parents the chance to enjoy a leisurely dinner. Their New England-style traditional Lobster Bakes and steak-roasts at the resort’s private island get particularly high marks. For more information, visit www.Migis.com.
6. Mohonk Mountain House, New York. This spectacular cliff–top Victorian castle overlooking Lake Mohonk in New York’s Hudson Valley is a year-round perennial family favorite. Rates at this 259–room resort include three delicious meals daily, afternoon tea, and most activities including lake and indoor swimming, boating and fishing, hiking through thousands of acres of forests and the Shawangunk Mountains, ice skating, snow tubing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and daily kids and teens programs for ages 2–3, 4–6, 7–12, and teens 13–17 years of age. An included Junior Naturalist program is also available. For more information, visit www.Mohonk.com.
7. Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona. Located near Tucson in the foothills of the Rincon and Catalina Mountains, this family-owned ranch stretches across more than 60,000 acres of Southwest land between Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest. Rates here include three meals daily, horseback riding lessons and all trail riding, guided hikes, guided mountain biking excursions, indoor fitness center, art classes, tennis clinics and lessons, water aerobics, and a free supervised kids program for ages 4-12. The ranch's nature center allows guests to learn more about plant and animal life in the Sonoran Desert. For more information, visit www.TanqueVerdeRanch.com.
8. Tyler Place Family Resort, Vermont. This 165-acre all–inclusive located directly on Lake Champlain is a family favorite. In fact, the resort reports it enjoys a high 90% repeat guest rate. With daily kids’ and teens programs for 9 separate age groups and 250 dedicated staff, the Tyler Place’s award–winning all–inclusive childcare programs and guest service levels are superb. In addition to three delicious daily meals (dinners are adults only affairs), rates at this family-owned resort include a wealth of sports and family activities such as biking, tennis, boating, kayaking, canoeing, a field house gym, ziplines and trampolines, mini golf, hiking and much more. For more information, visit www.TylerPlace.com.
9. Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado. Families will fall in love with this beautiful AAA Four Diamond Rocky Mountain playground located close to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Both summer and winter are popular times for families to visit. During the summer months, horseback riding and family activities reign supreme. The ranch also features fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, paddleboarding, photography, yoga, rafting, kayaking, culinary pursuits and more. A highly interactive kids program for ages 6-12 and a teen program are offered as well. During the winter months, Vista Verde turns into a fairytale wonderland filled with snow and fun family adventures. It's a magical time to visit. Families can enjoy tubing, back country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Downhill skiing at Steamboat Ski Resort is just a short shuttle drive away. www.VistaVerde.com.
10. Woodloch Resort, Pennsylvania. Nestled on Lake Teedyuskung in the Pocono Mountains, this four–season resort has been owned and operated by the Kiesendahl family for over 55 years. The focus here is on reconnecting and making great family memories together, earning the property one of the highest repeat guest rates in the industry. Set on over 1,200 acres, Woodloch’s inclusive rate plan includes accommodations, three daily meals, nightly entertainment, and a wide array of fun activities and family events like the athletic contests, summer and winter Olympics, boating, waterskiing, hiking, biking, tennis, bumper cars, ziplining, snow tubing and much more. There’s even a Kid’s Club area where parents and kids can do activities together. In addition to resort rooms, large multi-bedroom luxury homes are available as well. For more information, visit www.Woodloch.com.
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