Give the gift of exploration and take your family on a quest—local or global— and inspire your littles to become adventure-seekers and doers, grabbing experiences by the horns. It’ll help them bond with family, create lasting memories and develop into thoughtful, compassionate and mindful grownups. Bring your camera, thirst for adventure, and your family to one (or several) of these amazing destinations in 2017.

Bend, Oregon

Why It’s Awesome: Bend, located in the high desert at the foot of multiple magnificent mountains, is one of those places where, after meeting the laid back, outdoor-centric locals, you’ll say, “I could totally live here.”

Where to Stay: The Sunriver Resort planted at the base of the Cascade Mountains on 3,300 acres, is a beautiful place to start, no matter what season. Check out the onsite Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory, go on a horseback ride at the Sunriver Stables, take a dip in The Cove outdoor pool and grab a bike out of the Bike Barn to explore the 40-some miles of paved bike paths, including a trail along the Deschutes River. If parents want to check out the Sage Springs Club & Spa for a work out or spa treatment, kids can enjoy a golf lesson at one of the resort’s four golf courses. Fall Escape Packages start at $109 and the winter Sugar Plum Package offers discounted rates and a $50 resort credit. Check their website for more deals and savings throughout the year.

Don’t Miss: Wanderlust Tours offers adventures year round. In the warmer months, everyone will love the Lava Tube Cave Tours, Cascade Lakes Canoeing or Kayaking and the Volcano Tours and in the chillier temps, check out the snowshoe tours (there’s even a moonlight one!). Sun Country Tours is the go-to company for whitewater rafting, standup paddling or river tubing.

Make it Happen: Fly into Redmond Municipal Airport, served by Alaska Air, American, Delta and United, with direct flights to Denver, Portland, LA, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Seattle. You might also consider flying into Portland, which is more cost effective in many cases, and then renting a car for the three-hour drive to Bend.


Will you travel with the family this year? Share with us in a Comment below!

—Wendy Altschuler