Golden Gate Bridge
See & Do

Visit USA: 12 Best Things to Do with Your Family

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Source: Shutterstock.com

Planning a family getaway to the U.S.? That’s a good choice! USA has some of the best to offer to travelers like you. Whether you’re into cities, nature, sports or all of everything, you can surely find plenty of things worth spending your time and hard-earned cash on. Here’s a list of 12 best things to do with your family in the U.S on your next holiday.

1. See your childhood characters come to life at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World
Source: spatuletail / Shutterstock.com

It’s a dream place for every kid and if you can take your kids there, you’re giving them one of the best times of their lives. Just as how Mickey Mouse and friends had given you some good childhood memories, now it’s time for you to do the same and give your kids something to remember.

After all, everyone loves fairy tales and happy endings, which is something you can find at the 43-square-mile attraction, located in Orlando, Florida.

Let your kids discover Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom, which are four of Disney’s theme parks. There are also two water parks and golf courses available.

At night, get comfortable in any one of the park’s 36 hotels. Not forgetting the newly opened Universal Orlando Resort, where you can find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. J.K.Rowling’s wizards may be all grown up, but Hogwarts continues to cast its love spell to kids all around the globe today.

2. Take educational tours in Washington, D.C.

National Air and Space Museum
Source: Kamira / Shutterstock.com

As you take your kids out for fun, get them to also learn about the country they’re exploring. Take them to the museums in Washington, D.C.!

There are a few of them you can take your kids to, like the National Air and Space Museum, where they can see the most important collection of aviation in the world for themselves; the National Museum of American History, where they can take a look at the original Star-Spangled Banner or also known as the national anthem of the United States of America; and even the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where you and your kids can witness how millions of dollars are produced.

3. Take a big bite of the Big Apple 

Not only is the Big Apple alluring for ambitious professionals and aspiring art performers, it’s also the apple of the eye of travelers all around the world. Its tall buildings and skyscrapers, trendy food, art and shopping scenes, as well as its iconic Central Park, are some of the attractions that have convinced many to visit the US to see and experience all of them for themselves. Even kids love them!

As you explore the city, there will moments of deja vu, simply because many of its city corners and buildings will remind you of some of Hollywood’s  famous movie scenes. Also, the images you see from the giant screens in Times Square will leave you with memories you won’t forget.

New York is also famous for its Broadway theatre. That’s where you can catch live performances, from award-winning musicals to famous plays. Also, be sure not to miss the Statue of Liberty while you’re in New York City. It’s one of America’s most important monuments as it is a symbol of freedom and democracy, and a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States.

4. Take a hike at the Grand Canyon

It’s amazing how one can actually see the Grand Canyon from space. To be there ourselves is a priceless experience. As you explore the one-mile deep and 277-mile long site, you’re also getting a good workout. Your kids will appreciate that, too.

Of course, while you and your family explore the area, always make sure you keep an eye on your kids. There are guided hikes that are perfectly made for kids age six and older. Optionally, you can explore its rim by riding bikes or mules. For a sunrise to remember, wait at the Grand Canyon’s rim, or fly over the Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

5. Gallop around the Tanque Verde Ranch

Tanque Verde Ranch
Tanque Verde Ranch

Riding horses has been proven to be therapeutic, and has been known to be helpful for riders with autism or physical disabilities. The activity is found to be calming, and has in fact help physically disabled riders to improve their flexibility, balance and muscle strength.

While traveling can be a little too hectic for kids to keep up with, plan something more relaxing such as riding horses at one of America’s guest ranches, the Tanque Verde in Tucson, Arizona. It offers wonderful trails and scenic mountain view – perfect for your family vacation.

So whether your kids have any experience in horse riding, or they’re just starting to learn how to ride like a cowboy, this is the place for them to be. Indoor activities are also available, such as arts and crafts as well as soothing spas to rejuvenate everyone after a long day in the outdoors.

6. Experience the movies at Universal Studios Hollywood

Take your whole family for an intensive tour around the Universal Studios Hollywood for a behind-the-scenes experience and amazing movie-making. While it may be another theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood makes your trip extra special with action-packed effects, some of Jimmy Fallon’s pre-recorded bits, and stunning backdrops that are sure to blow you away. The ticket prices are rather hefty, but they’re worth paying for especially if you’re interested to explore deeper into the world’s largest working movie studio.

What you’ll also see there are the award-winning King Kong 360 3D, awfully creepy plane crash from War of the Worlds, Wisteria Lane as seen on the series Desperate Housewives, the legendary Bates Motel from the movie ‘Psycho’ and the blood-pumping scene from the epic movie ‘Jaws.’

7. Enter the wilderness in Yosemite National Park

The Yosemite National Park, covering nearly 1,200 square miles in size is another of USA’s most well-known travel attractions. It is located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The national park’s panoramic valleys and tall granite cliffs are the faces of its popularity, and its stunning sequoias that accompany travelers as they explore the area are hard to forget.

Of course, after an active exploration into the wild, one can surely benefit from a refreshing bath in the park’s waterfalls. A plethora of wildlife also inhabits the national park. For lucky jungle trekkers and hikers, they might come across wild foxes, rams, bighorn sheep, mule deers, or even mountain lions, and many more. Mule deers are usually the easier ones to spot in the wild. For traveling families, hiring a park ranger who will give a more in-depth explanation about the park’s landscape, ecology and history is highly recommended.

8. Visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota

A massive sculpture that depicts the faces of four great American presidents who shaped the American history. They are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The 60-ft high granite construction located in South Dakota’s Black Hills was designed and created by a talented American sculptor and artist named Gutzon Borglum, and it took 14 years and 400 workers to complete.

The American landmark was opened to the public on October 31, 1941. The site opens every day except on December 25. Visitors can see the whole site get illuminated in the evening, from sunset to 9p.m. While the sculpture is the site’s main highlight, the sculptor’s studio is also worth visiting. Be sure to catch its lighting ceremony this year, from May 26 to September 30, 2017.

9. Tour around (and get soaking wet at) Niagara Falls

While some might tell you that it’s another tourist trap, it’s one worth being caught into. Seriously. Of course, the falls are the attraction’s main highlight, but there are also other pretty cool stuff to do there.

One of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking view of the falls is to take a boat tour with the Maid of the Mist. Make sure you have your poncho ready! Visitors are expected to get really wet as the boat almost goes under the falls.

After you’ve covered the main attraction, explore the area more and perhaps visit some of its nearby attractions such as the 17th-century Old Fort Niagara, perfect if you enjoy history or visit Marineland, a theme park that’s also home to the world’s largest killer whale habitat. Friendly and sea lion shows are also two of the park’s highlights.

After spending one whole day under the sun, traveling parents can surely unwind with some good wines at the Inniskillin Winery, where its ice wine is what it’s best known for. Made from frozen grapes that are left on the wine over the winter, ice wine is a must-try at Niagara Falls.

10. Get sun-kissed at Cannon Beach

Recognized as one of the best 21 beaches by National Geographic, Cannon Beach in Oregon is where you and your family should consider going next. Every year in the month of October, the beach hosts an annual dog show in front of the Surfsand Resort.

What makes Cannon Beach so special is its uniquely beautiful rock formations and sea stacks. Its soothing ocean waves make a good lullaby for your ears as you stroll along almost four miles on the sandy beach. Along the way, you may encounter colonies of seabirds and Tufted Puffins. They can be observed from the iconic Haystack Rock. Outdoor lovers can also venture further through the rainforest where more amazing flora and fauna await.

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