Family Vacations in the West - Family Traveller (USA)

The West has a reputation for being rugged, bold and, dare we say, wild. The magical and sometimes bizarre landscapes here inspire awe and range from rolling fields and prairies to high-rising rock arches and jagged cliffs with tumbling waterfalls. Outdoor adventure rules the day here with hiking, biking, kayaking, tubing and some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding readily available at every turn. From big cities like Las Vegas and Denver to jaw dropping natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, the West is here to delight and inspire.

Explore the West


Why Go

  • Cities

    Home to glittering Las Vegas, adventure destinations like Denver, Salt Lake City and booming with luxury resorts from Scottsdale to ski towns like Jackson Hole and Aspen, the West has plenty to offer in terms of arts, culture and big-city life.

  • National Parks

    This area is home to some of the most beautiful national parks. Yellowstone, Grand Teton and The Mighty 5 that includes otherworldly soaring rock arches and stunning red rock cliffs. Not to mention the granddaddy of them all, the Grand Canyon. If picturesque views, singular landscapes and breathtaking sites are what you seek, the West is where to head.

  • Outdoor Adventure

    You’re never far from incredible outdoor activities here. Take a hike, go mountain biking, raft down the Colorado River or just have a picnic at the edge of Lake Tahoe.

  • Winter Activities

    When it comes to world-class skiing and snowboarding, the West easily has the rest of the country beat. Light, powdery snow, fun resort towns, snow well into the spring and mountains that will challenge beginners and experts alike abound.

  • Family Fun

    Museums, art, ranger programs, outdoor fun and Dr. Seuss-like scenery will keep kids entertained from start to finish.



Where to Go

Arizona

Head to Arizona and not only will you find the dazzlingly impressive Grand Canyon, but you can also explore striking Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. It’s also home to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Sedona, offering an eclectic mix of arts, culture, resorts and city fun.

Take Me to Arizona

Colorado

Take a winter adventure here to Telluride, Aspen, Beaver Creek or Breckenridge and you’ll quickly see why skiers and snowboarders flock to the area every year. In the summer, Denver and Colorado Springs are fun destinations with plenty to offer families from aquariums and art museums to hiking and horseback riding, and Rocky Mountain National Park will get you to the top of the world.

Take Me to Colorado

Montana

Big Sky Country offers breathtaking views at Glacier National Park. For less crowds and unbeatable snow, head to one of their many ski resort towns in the winter.

Take Me to Montana

Nevada

Of course, Las Vegas offers plenty to families in the way of fun hotels, exciting shows and thrilling rides. You can also get a taste of the outdoors with summer and winter fun at Lake Tahoe or a road trip to see the rosy rocks at the aptly named Red Rock Canyon. Las Vegas also makes a great home base for trips across the border to California or to the Grand Canyon.

Take Me to Nevada

North Dakota

Explore the rich history of this state and visit Theodore Roosevelt’s old cabin at the national park named after him or follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. A fantastic place for camping, you can enjoy the expansive views and take life a little slower here.

Take Me to North Dakota

Utah

Home to The Mighty 5, you don’t want to miss the uniquely beautiful scenery on display at national parks like Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon. This state was made for road trips and camping. Salt Lake City also offers families plenty to do with museums, parks, zoos and gardens.

Take Me to Utah

Wyoming

Pristine landscapes and soaring classic peaks will wow visitors at Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Activities include picturesque hikes, scenic drives, lake activities and, in the winter, Jackson Hole offers world-class ski resorts.

Take Me to Wyoming


What to Do

  • The Grand Canyon, Arizona

    This is an obvious must. Whether you stay at the South Rim and take in the views from the top, soar above it in a helicopter or marvel at its beauty from the river below on a rafting trip, this is one destination that will wow kids and adults alike.

  • Denver, Colorado

    Kids are sure to love this capitol with its buzzing downtown, First Friday Art Walks and kids’ shows at Denver Performing Arts.

  • Skiing and Snowboarding

    The West in general offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. Resorts, cabins and ski towns are found all over Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota and yes, even Arizona. Jackson Hole, Park City and Aspen are just a few you might recognize.

  • Glacier National Park, Montana

    Natural beauty is found in the form of majestic glaciers, sparkling lakes and streams, towering mountains and wildlife like bighorn sheep and mountain lions.

  • Lake Tahoe, Nevada

    On the border of Nevada and California, this spectacular lake is set high in the mountains. Skiing and snowboarding with a view, lake activities, hiking and mountain biking trails are all found here.

  • Hoover Dam, Nevada

    Marvel at this feat of engineering that creates the largest reservoir in the country when it’s full.

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

    Catch a high-flying Cirque show, go on stomach-churning rides and explore the fun themed hotels that kids are sure to love.

  • The Mighty 5, Utah

    Don’t miss the truly unique rock formations and colors on display at the Mighty 5 in Utah that include: Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon

  • Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Wyoming

    Just 10 miles apart, you can’t beat the gorgeous landscapes found at these national parks.

  • Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming

    Walk on boardwalks through hauntingly beautiful landscapes of steaming pools and plateaus.




 

Getting Around

It’s no secret that the West is sprawling and wide open. Cars are definitely necessarily if you want to really explore these landscapes. Luckily, it also offers some of the most scenic drives and best road trips in the country.