Video: Travel's Best Family Adventures 2015

This year, embark on an adventure that the whole family will love.
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Pile Everybody Into the Car

Family-friendly destinations accommodate all your travel companions — whether they include babies, pets, teenagers, grandparents, or all of the above. From the wide selection of parks in Orlando to the golfing, shopping and swimming in Myrtle Beach, family trips are a time for enjoying what you love with the people you love.

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Hilton Waikoloa Village (Hawaii)

Hilton Waikoloa Village (Hawaii)

In Hawaii, the Hilton Waikoloa Village promises endless activity and unprecedented luxury. Parents hoping to find a child-friendly haven can sign their tykes up for Club Keiki. During its day and night camps, kids can feed koi and swans, hunt for treasure and explore tide pools. 960 1280

Edmunds Dana / Perspectives / Getty Images  

Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hilton Waikoloa Village

The resort's tropical gardens, saltwater lagoons and 2 golf courses are tempting, but the most popular retreat is Dolphin Quest. It provides guests with a variety of interactive dolphin programs, including training adventures, a family experience and kids' quest. Meanwhile, at Waikoloa's 4-acre lagoon, water lovers can schedule kayak trips, snorkel sails and seasonal whale-watching tours. After dark, attend the Legends of Hawaii luau to experience traditional island dancing and music, as well as a buffet dinner. 960 1280

Ron Garnett / Getty Images  

Kingsmill Resort (Virginia)

Kingsmill Resort (Virginia)

Stretching over 3,000 acres of Virginia wilderness, Kingsmill Resort boasts its own long list of recreational activities, as well as close proximity to the fun found in nearby Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. Active families can enjoy the resort's 2 18-hole golf courses, 15 tennis courts and Sports Club, which features indoor and outdoor pools, exercise classes, personal trainers and a billiards and game room. 960 1280
Kingsmill Resort

Kingsmill Resort

Stop by the concierge desk for special Junior Guest registration, and children will receive a Kids' Fun Pack introducing them to the resort. The kids' camp is the perfect opportunity for 5- to 12-year-olds to play tennis and golf, swim, fish, have theme days and make arts and crafts. Don't forget to sign little ones up for Kids' Night Out, a pizza and game party that allows parents to have a romantic date night at one of the 4 signature restaurants on-site. 960 1280

Kingsmill Resort  

Tanque Verde Ranch (Arizona)

Tanque Verde Ranch (Arizona)

The 640-acre Tanque Verde Ranch is a serene oasis nestled in the Sonoran Desert, near Saguaro National Park. With more than 120 horses, it's no surprise that this dude ranch offers ample riding opportunities. Specialty options available include breakfast rides (with a meal at the Old Homestead), 6-hour-long day rides, and picnic rides with lunch in Cottonwood Grove. Newcomers can take riding lessons at a variety of levels. 960 1280

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images  

Tanque Verde Ranch

Tanque Verde Ranch

Naturalist guides offer hikes through the desert wilds, exploring canyons, cacti and even secret waterfalls. The popular kids' program offers little cowpokes (ages 4-12) the chance to "ride 'em cowboy!" Children are divided into 3 age groups — the Buckaroos, Wranglers and Outlaws — and treated to riding lessons, tennis, swimming and arts and crafts. 960 1280

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images  

Circus Circus (Las Vegas)

Circus Circus (Las Vegas)

The biggest permanent big top in the world can be found rising in all its colorful glory in Las Vegas. More than 3.5 million people a year stop by to experience the live entertainment and whimsy that Circus Circus has to offer. The resort lies on 70 acres of land, and with nearly 3,800 rooms, it's the fifth-largest resort-casino in Vegas. 960 1280

Mitchell Funk / The Image Bank / Getty Images  

Circus Circus

Circus Circus

"Oohs" and "ahhs" fill the air every half-hour as performers engage in airborne stunts on the resort's center stage. Surrounding the stage is the Midway, an enormous carnival filled with 200 games and wandering clowns. Possibly the world's biggest funhouse, the indoor Adventuredome theme park continues the excitement with more than 20 rides, plus miniature golf and laser tag. 960 1280

Walter Bibikow / Getty Images  

Out 'n' About Treesort (Oregon)

Out 'n' About Treesort (Oregon)

Nestled into treetops and branches is one of the world's most unusual bed-and-breakfasts. This high-in-the-sky treehouse resort proves that trees aren't just for the birds. Fifteen treehouses, which sleep anywhere from 2 to 8 people, make up the "treesort" (but because of legal issues, not all 15 are available for overnight lodging). 960 1280

Out'n'about Treesort  

Out 'n' About Treesort

Out 'n' About Treesort

Guests climb stairs, ladders, even a 90-foot-long suspension bridge. At the Swiss Family Complex, a swinging bridge separates child and adult units, and a fire pole and rope swings provide kids with ground access. Luxury lovers will enjoy the Tree Room Schoolhouse Suite, which fits 4 and has a bathroom, kitchenette, master bedroom, sitting area and loft. Fun perks include lessons in treehouse building, horseback riding, rafting, ropes courses, pools and arts and crafts classes. 960 1280

  

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort (Utah)

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort (Utah)

If the sight of snow gets your family excited, grab the skis and head to Snowbird for a wonderful, wintry vacation. The resort, which rests in Little Cottonwood Canyon, offers 3,240 vertical feet and 2,500 acres of mountain to explore. Thanks to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, it sees an average of more than 500 inches of snow annually. 960 1280

Gary Caviness / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

More than forty years after being founded, the resort now features 10 lifts, 169 runs and an uphill capacity of 17,400 people. Beginners ages 3 and up can learn skiing and snowboarding at the Snowbird Mountain School. Love the outdoors but not a fan of the slopes? The resort also offers ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoe tours and luge sleds. Parents can unwind with a stone massage or herbal wrap at the luxurious Cliff Spa. 960 1280

Scott Markewitz / Getty Images  

Omni La Costa Resort and Spa (California)

Omni La Costa Resort and Spa (California)

Most commonly associated with its 2 championship golf courses and its world-class spa, the Omni La Costa now earns itself a new reputation: family resort. Tucked among the property's rolling greens, renowned golf school and 17 tennis courts is a world of activities designed for little ones on retreat. 960 1280

By NoraCaselinGomez (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Omni La Costa Resort and Spa

Omni La Costa Resort and Spa

At the Kidtopia children's club, young guests experience the resort's magnificent facilities in a kid-friendly environment, filling their time with tennis, croquet, hiking, swimming, nature walks, crafts and pingpong. While they're making friends and having fun, parents can indulge in the body- and soul-soothing luxury that defines the Omni La Costa.
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La Costa Resort and Spa  

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (Florida)

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (Florida)

At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, families experience the thrills of an African safari without ever leaving their hotel. If a trip to the Serengeti is out of your price range, a visit to this wild lodge will more than suffice. Strolling throughout the property's 33 acres of savannas, guests will see more than 200 animals representing 100 different species, including antelopes and gazelles. 960 1280

By Micha L. Rieser (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Rooms are decorated with a traditional African ambience: earth-tone walls, handcrafted furniture, tapestries and mosquito nets. But true historical value can be found in the 4,000 native handicrafts placed throughout the lodge. When it's time to dine, experience the tastes of Africa at one of the resort's inspired restaurants, including Jiko, which features wood-burning ovens, and Boma, a buffet under a thatched roof. 960 1280

By BestofWDW from USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Amazon Kindle 2011

Amazon Kindle 2011

At just $79, the fourth-generation Amazon Kindle is hands down the best inexpensive, easy-to-use ebook reader out there. 960 1280

Amazon.com  

CPG10 Grid It! Organizer

CPG10 Grid It! Organizer

No more fishing for your phone at the bottom of your backpack or laptop bag -- this versatile organizer will keep you organized and all of your gadgets in place. 960 1280

Cocoonbags.com  

WD My Passport Essential

WD My Passport Essential

This best-selling hard drive is compact, sleek and works with both desktop and laptop computers on campus, at home or on the road. 960 1280

Western Digital  

Apple iPad 2012

Apple iPad 2012

It's not the cheapest on the market, but with a stunning new screen, a better camera, a host of educational apps, access to Apple's iTunes U and 4G wireless options, studying will never be the same. 960 1280

Apple  

Livescribe Echo Smartpen

Livescribe Echo Smartpen

A ballpoint pen that saves digital copies of your notes to your computer and captures meetings or lectures with a built-in microphone? It may finally be time to convert to this smartpen. 960 1280

Livescribe   

Orbicule Undercover

Orbicule Undercover

Stolen Mac? The thief doesn't stand a chance if you've installed Orbicule's Undercover. With this software, you can see who is using your Mac, what they're doing and help authorities locate it. 960 1280

Orbicule  

New Potato LiveRider

New Potato LiveRider

If you plan on biking to school or work this fall, the LiveRider is a must. The first on-board computer for cyclists that connects your bike to your iPhone or iPod Touch measures your speed and pedal cadence. Once you download the LiveRider app, iPhones with GPS can provide real-time location and tracking. 960 1280

New Potato Technologies  

Roku HD

Roku HD

Who needs cable if you have a Roku? For only $60, the box can stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora and more directly to your dorm room. 960 1280

Roku  

Logitech Harmony 650

Logitech Harmony 650

A $50 remote may not be high on your shopping list, but it’s worth it. With so much technology in dorm rooms these days, you can control up to 5 devices with just the touch of a button on this universal remote. 960 1280

Logitech  

Clocky Robot Alarm

Clocky Robot Alarm

Not a morning person? Constantly afraid you’ll sleep through an important meeting or test (thanks for nothing, roommate)? Then Clocky could be your savior. But be warned: If you hit the snooze button, it jumps off your night stand and rolls around beeping loudly until you get up and turn it off (take that, roommate). 960 1280

Nanda Home  

Young schoolgirls in China walk past farmers on their way to school. Some farmers' children have to walk 3 hours along a narrow mountain path to get to school. 960 1280

Getty  

Palestinian Students in Gaza

Palestinian Students in Gaza

Palestinian students sit at their school during the first day of the new school year in Gaza. 960 1280

Reuters  

Pupils salute as their teacher raises the Chinese national flag on the first day of their new semester at Gao'er Hope School located on the top of Xiaohuatan Mountain in Jinan, Shandong province. 960 1280

Reuters  

Students of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls make their way to the auditorium during the opening of the school in Meyerton. 960 1280

Reuters  

Students getting on a school bus

Students getting on a school bus

Students board a school bus on a rural road. 960 1280

iStock  

Uros kids in a boat going to school

Uros kids in a boat going to school

Uros children go to school on a boat near Uros island on Lake Titicaca. 960 1280

Reuters  

Girl walking home from Shimizu elementary school

Girl walking home from Shimizu elementary school

A girl walks with her mother after her first day of school at Shimizu Elementary School in Fukushima. 960 1280

Reuters  

Amish kids going to school

Amish kids going to school

Amish children head to their newly built schoolhouse in Nikel Mines, PA. 960 1280

Getty  

Students in Havana, Cuba

Students in Havana, Cuba

Students attend a ceremony on the first day of classes at Roberto Poland School in Havana. 960 1280

Reuters  

Boy walking to school in Jenin

Boy walking to school in Jenin

A Palestinian boy walks to school on the first day of the school year in the West Bank city of Jenin. 960 1280

Reuters  

Students in New York City

Students in New York City

Students arrive at PS 36 on Amsterdam Ave in New York City for the first day of school. 960 1280

Monika Graff  

School children in Mumbai

School children in Mumbai

School children wait for a train to stop at a railway station in Mumbai. 960 1280

Reuters  

school children in India

school children in India

After flooding, children in Cooch Behar get to school on a makeshift boat. 960 1280

Reuters  

Children walk to school in the Philippines

Children walk to school in the Philippines

Indigenous Aetas children walk on a trail to school for the first day of classes in Porac town, Pampanga province, north of Manila. 960 1280

Reuters  

A woman walks with children to school on the first day in Berlin, Germany. 960 1280

Getty  

Students in Jakarta, Indonesia

Students in Jakarta, Indonesia

A student hugs her friend as they sing a song during their first day of kindergarten at HighScope Indonesia in Jakarta. 960 1280

Reuters  

A boy plays the violin at Sulaimaniya Music Institute in Sulaimaniya, 160 miles northeast of Baghdad. 960 1280

REUTERS/Julie Adnan  

Schoolchildren pass a sugarcane field as they return home on horseback in the province of Cienfuegos, 130 miles from Havana, in central Cuba. 960 1280

REUTERS/Desmond Boylan  

Seven-year-old Thai student Chamaya Pamutito rides a scooter as she travels back from school along with her father and mother in Bangkok. 960 1280

CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images  

Back to School  19 Photos

Medua, roller coaster, Six Flags Mexico City
Medusa, Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City

Medusa, Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City

Like the New Texas Giant, Medusa is a hybrid roller coaster that was redesigned from its original all-wood structure to replace the tracks with steel I beams. The end result, once again, blew riders away. This time around, Medusa features an inverting first drop — a first for a ride of its kind — several moments of airtime and 3 inversions total. The roller coaster alone is worth the trip to Six Flags Mexico.     960 1280

Six Flags  

Maverick, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

Maverick, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

While Maverick does not hold any records for the tallest or fastest ride in the world, it is a huge favorite among coaster enthusiasts. Its high speed, quick turns, airtime-filled layout, surprise tunnel launch and multiple inversions leave riders breathless when they hit the brake run! When visiting Cedar Point, a park filled with 16 different roller coasters, this is the 1 that I personally like to run to first. 960 1280

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio  

New Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

New Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

In 2011, Six Flags unveiled a project that would create a new category for roller coasters. Taking away the wood tracks of the classic Texas Giant and laying down a new steel design created a "hybrid" roller coaster that was the perfect mix of the 2 materials. While the ride still retains some of the classic elements of a wooden coaster, the new steel I-beam track allows for a much smoother ride, steeper drops and maneuvers not possible on wooden roller coasters before.     960 1280

Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images  

Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

Outlaw Run is considered the first successful wooden roller coaster to go upside down. While others have come before — and failed — Outlaw Run was the first one with both a phenomenal ride experience and a design that didn't push unrealistic boundaries of engineering. The joint effort between Silver Dollar City and Rocky Mountain Construction proved to be a huge win, as this ride immediately jumped to the top 10 of many coaster fans’ lists. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City  

Space Mountain, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Space Mountain, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Let's not forget about the classics — the roller coasters that many of us grew up on and are still favorites during adulthood. Do not underestimate Orlando's version of Space Mountain. While the top speed may only be just shy of 30 mph, this dark, indoor ride features some very tight turns and sudden drops, which produce surprises that can compete with larger thrill rides. But even still, this ride is all about family fun, so if you're a family that likes to scream together, Space Mountain is a great place for younger ones to start riding! 960 1280

Disney  

T Express - Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

T Express - Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

The owners of Everland wanted a roller coaster that would blow visitors away. They rode both Balder and El Toro, and asked the ride manufacturer Intamin to create a ride that was a combination of the two. That's exactly what they got -- a ride that starts out very similar to El Toro, and then transforms into a near copy of Balder! T Express is nearly 200 feet tall, with over 5,000 feet of track, and features a first drop at a 77-degree angle. It also has claimed the title of "No. 1 Wooden Coaster in the world" for several years.
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Seongbin Im  

El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

El Toro has ranked the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world several times. It's one of the tallest, fastest, steepest and most intense roller coasters anywhere. The 76-degree, 180-foot-first drop is breathtaking, and you’ll find it difficult to catch your breath through this 1:42-minute ride! The airtime encountered on El Toro is some of the most extreme. Not many roller coasters match what this ride can do. 960 1280

John Greim/ LightRocket/ Getty Images  

Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

Like Bizarro, Expedition GeForce has also claimed the coveted "No. 1 steel roller coaster" title several times. From the initial twisting 175-foot-first drop to rocketing through over 4,000 feet of airtime-filled track, Expedition GeForce tops many roller coaster enthusiasts "best of" lists. It's kind of out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Germany, but it's well worth traveling to. 960 1280

Holiday Park  

Balder - Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Balder - Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Balder, simply put, is an "airtime machine" -- a wooden roller coaster that turned the wooden roller coaster world on its side when it debuted. It featured the world’s steepest drop on a wooden roller coaster, 70 degrees at the time, and a track layout that literally left you flying out of your seat for the 2-minute duration of the ride. It's about as perfect as a wooden roller coaster can get! 960 1280

Liseberg  

Bizarro - Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Bizarro - Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Bizarro is Superman's alter-ego version of Superman, and this is his roller coaster! This steel "hyper coaster" has won the No. 1 steel coaster in the world award many times for its out-and-back combined with a twister design, airtime-filled bunny hops, and steep, sharp drops. It's easily one of the don't-miss roller coasters in the world. 960 1280

Six Flags  

Nemesis - Alton Towers, Stoke-On-Trent, England

Nemesis - Alton Towers, Stoke-On-Trent, England

Nemesis is a vicious monster! No, for real! This intense, inverted roller coaster is themed after a monster from another dimension that has been unearthed at Alton Towers. Because of local area height restrictions, the ride had to be built mostly underground and much of the area had to be blasted away to make room for the ride. Because of this, the coaster travels through trenches and ravines, over rivers of blood, and throughout the "Forbidden Valley" section of the park. It's truly a perfect combination of "thrills" and "theming," and should not be missed! 960 1280

Alton Towers Resort  

Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA

Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA

It doesn't get anymore old school than Phoenix! This traditional wooden roller coaster was originally built at Playland Park in San Antonio in 1948, and was relocated to Knoebels in 1985. One of the most classic wooden roller coasters with a "survival story," this roller coaster thrills riders of all ages. Phoenix is an airtime-filled machine; you find yourself floating out of your seat more than you're in it! 960 1280

Jeremy Thompson  

Goliath - Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Goliath - Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Goliath is not the tallest or fastest coaster in the world, but it packs some serious power behind its multiple airtime hills, sharp drops and intense helixes, and delivers one of the most airtime-filled rides that any roller coaster has to offer. It's located just about an hour outside of Amsterdam, and it's well worth the visit for any thrill-seeker. 960 1280

delawega  

iSpeed - Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Italy

iSpeed - Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Italy

Launching roller coasters started becoming all the rage about 10 years ago, and iSpeed is one of the best! Riders are launched from 0 to 62 mph in about 2 seconds, and then maneuver through a series of twists, turns and 2 inversions over more than 3,000 feet of track. It's one of the best roller coasters in all of Europe! 960 1280

Jeremy Thompson  

Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

Intimidator 305 is a MASSIVE steel roller coaster -- 305 feet tall, over 5,000 feet of track and blazing speeds of 90 mph! It's one of the top 10 coasters in the world for biggest drop, height and speed! Extreme g-forces on this coaster may cause "gray out" sensations at the bottom of the first drop, where riders feel light-headed! It's one incredibly intense roller coaster -- which is why it's one of the best in the world. 960 1280

The Washington Post/ Getty Images  

Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan, Wuhan, China

Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan, Wuhan, China

No, that's not a typo -- the name of the ride is "Dauling" Dragon! This one-of-a-kind double-tracked, racing wooden roller coaster features a "high-five" element where both tracks simultaneously speed through a 90-degree banked element, creating a visual where it looks like the riders in both trains could "high five" each other! While you're not close enough to actually touch, the element is insanely thrilling; it's about as close to another 65 mph moving roller coaster train you're ever going to get! 960 1280

milts via Wikimedia Commons  

Pyrenees - Parque Espana - Shima, Japan

Pyrenees - Parque Espana - Shima, Japan

Located just a couple hours outside of Nagoya sits one of the best roller coasters anywhere, at a park that isn't well known outside of central Japan. Pyrenees is an "inverted" steel roller coaster with some extreme g-forces, blazing fast speeds and some crazy inversions. I've been on quite a few inverted coasters in the world, but Pyrenees always comes close to the top of my list. Well worth the trek out to Parque Espana. 960 1280

Yanajin33  

Kawasemi - Tobu Zoo - Tokyo, Japan

Kawasemi - Tobu Zoo - Tokyo, Japan

Kawasemi is proof that a ride doesn't need to be the tallest or the fastest to be fantastic! At just about 100 feet tall, Kawasemi has some of the most extreme airtime of any roller coaster I've encountered! One of the best roller coasters in the world, and certainly the best coaster in all of Japan! 960 1280

momokkey  

Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa, FL

Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa, FL

No question that Kumba is one of the best "multi-looping" roller coasters in the world! The ride opened in 1993, and 20 years later is still thrilling millions of riders. Kumba takes you upside down 7 times through a series of dive loops, cobra rolls and interlocking corkscrews. You'll never know which way is up! 960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.  

Superman Escape - Warner Brothers Movie World - Queensland, Australia

Superman Escape - Warner Brothers Movie World - Queensland, Australia

Blasting at a speed of 0 to 62 mph in a mere 2 seconds, Superman Escape is one of the most thrilling "launched" coasters on the planet! The ride features not only a fast-paced roller coaster but a complete "dark ride" prior to the launch that takes riders through a metropolis to the scene of an incident that Superman helps you escape from! 960 1280

Paul Broben/ Getty Images  

Honorable Mention - Formula Rossa - Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

Honorable Mention - Formula Rossa - Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

While I don't feel Formula Rossa is in the "top 15" coasters in the world, you can't create a list like this without mentioning the world’s fastest roller coaster! Located in Abu Dhabi, Formula Rossa is built at Ferrari World, an entire theme park dedicated to the race cars of the same name. And Formula Rossa lives up to what you would expect from a park like this. Formula Rossa launches to speeds of 149 mph in 4 seconds -- you can feel every bit of that launch speed through your body! It's an amazing experience! 960 1280

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi  

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