Five family-friendly ‘bucket list’ adventures in the US

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Sand Dunes National Park Image: US National Park Service

Sand Dunes National Park Image: US National Park Service

Sand Dunes National Park Image: US National Park Service

While hiking and camping are common ways to experience the outdoors in the States, there are definitely other activities to consider for the family. Here are some suggestions for 5 family-friendly must-dos to add to the bucket list!

Sand board down the tallest sand dunes in America

Thrill seekers, this one’s for you! The rolling sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado (less than a four-hour drive from Denver) are the tallest dunes in North America and ideal for sandboarding or sand sledding. You can rent sand boards and sand sleds in Alamosa, a small town about 55 kilometres southwest of the park.

Marvel at the majesty of  the Grand Canyon

The lower falls of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon Image: Brand USA

The lower falls of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon Image: Brand USA

Carved by volcanic activity, melting glaciers and erosion, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone will take your little ones’ breath away. This impressive canyon was carved by the Yellowstone River, which is the longest undammed river in the States. Explore trails that lead to beautiful overlooks, and make sure your camera is ready!

Go zip-lining in Pennsylvania

Zip line in the Poconos Mountains Image: Brand USA

Zip line in the Poconos Mountains Image: Brand USA

About a 90-minute drive from New York City, you can find yourself right in the middle of nature in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Here, you can take the family zip-Lining at Camelback Mountain. The lines are placed in the midst of the forest, and you will zoom above the trees – properly secured, of course!

Explore the underwater world

Monterey Bay Aquarium Image: Jay Cross

Monterey Bay Aquarium Image: Jay Cross

At Monterey Bay Aquarium in California (about five hours from LA), kids ages eight to 13 can go surface scuba diving. What better way to safely meet amazing sea creatures through guided tours while getting a fish’s-eye view of the wonders of the bay. No experience is necessary, only a sense of adventure! 

Go horse riding in Utah

Antelope Island State Park Image Brand USA, Arnaud Muller

Antelope Island State Park Image Brand USA, Arnaud Muller

For a more leisurely outdoor adventure with the family, opt for scenic horseback riding with beautiful views of snow-capped mountains and blue water. Antelope Island State Park about an hour from Salt Lake in Utah is a great place to go riding on the island without sticking to a path. You can even see bustling Salt Lake in the distance!

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