No matter where you live in the United States, you’re never too far from a natural wonder full of adventure, or an urban landmark rich with history. Plan your next weekend getaway getting lost in nature while fishing in the Niagara River or hiking to beautiful falls in the Grand Canyon. Interested in a more cultural venture? Take a trip to Philly. Dream of relaxing along the countryside with a bottle of wine? Retreat to Sonoma County.
Here are four diverse destinations for parents planning their next stress-free weekend escape.
Cross the border into Canada to experience the breathtaking beauty of Niagara Falls—North America’s natural wonder where the glacier-formed Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls majestically drop into the Niagara River. Aside from witnessing this world-famous natural spectacle and exploring the Canadian city, you can unleash your outdoor spirit while discovering Niagara Falls State Park (America’s oldest state park). Hike the Niagara Gorge trail system, ride the Niagara Scenic Trolley, or take the Cave of the Winds Tour. For a less touristy experience, cast off into the Niagara River for the ultimate fishing voyage. This river is known to be one of the best rainbow trout fisheries in the nation, according to NYFalls.com, and the best spot to fish is by boat. Just make sure to get appropriate licenses such as your fishing license and boater license.
Delve into our nation’s rich history with a weekend visit to Philadelphia, a landmark city that welcomes about 40 million visitors annually. Formerly one of the nation’s capitals during the Revolutionary War and the famous meeting place for the Founding Fathers, Philadelphia unveils our U.S. history with the city’s most popular and historical attractions. Agenda must-sees include Independence National History Park (known as the birthplace of American democracy), the Liberty Bell (our symbol of freedom), and Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were both signed). And you can’t visit Philadelphia without indulging in an authentic Philly cheesesteak!
Escape the stresses of parenthood by adventuring to Arizona and hiking to Havasu Falls and Creek in Havasu Canyon. Havasu Falls is a striking waterfall that plunges into a natural blue-emerald pool against red rock canyon walls. After miles of rugged hiking, adventurers can cool off in the refreshing water and relax on the sandy beach. Keep in mind, you’ll need to first make a reservation for camping and lodging. The trailhead starts at Hualapai Hilltop, which is accessible from Phoenix, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, or Kingman. The hike from Hualapai Hilltop to Supai, the village of the Havasupai Indian Reservation where you’ll find the gorgeous falls, is eight miles. From Supai to the campground is another two miles. About a half mile from the campground you can play at Mooney Falls, a 190-foot waterfall that drops into a pool known as the most popular swimming hole in the canyon.
Sonoma Wine County
After a long day, nothing can feel as rewarding and relaxing than to kick back with a glass of wine once the kids are in bed. If you’re a bona fide vino-phile, then head to Cali for a beautiful (and boozy) weekend away. Sonoma County is where you and your loved one can sneak away for world-class wine-tasting bars, outdoor adventures throughout the towering redwoods, and amazing scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway.
As the No. 1 wine destination in the U.S., Sonoma County is home to more than 400 award-winning wineries featuring legendary Sonoma wine and unforgettable sightseeing and winery tours. SonomaCounty.com serves as an excellent guide for the best overnight wineries, free wine tastings, and more. Bottoms up!