Planning a kid-friendly active vacation

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Planning a kid-friendly active vacation
Question: I'm looking for a broad collection of information on family adventure vacations that focus on the kids. Specifically, I have 10- and 14-year-old boys who enjoy skiing, biking, and hiking. I need to plan a vacation for next summer. Suggestions?

Charleston, West Virginia

Adventure Adviser: My first suggestion is to call 800-428-5331 and order a copy of the Outside Guide to Family Vacations (published by Frommer's). This comprehensive collection of vacations, published last year, includes everything from sailing the Caribbean to canoe-camping in Missouri, to beach-bumming in Hawaii. Until the book arrives at your door, however, here is a sampling of the kinds of ideas you can expect from the book:

Biking: Washington's Methow Valley has the simple distinction of being an undiscovered biker's paradise. If you're looking for a place to stash the kids while you do your own thing, I'm leading you in the wrong direction. However, if you're looking for a reasonably priced, gorgeous location with enough biking to keep the most energetic kids busy into the next millennium, this place if for you.

The Mazama Ranch House (509-996-2148), cabins equipped with kitchens, is right along the Methow Valley, where a 175-kilometer trail system rolls on forever. You can stop at Winthrop Mountain Sports (509-996-2886) on the way into town and get the scoop on the best trails.

If a bike camp is more what you're looking for, Mount Snow, Vermont, has the perfect family set-up. The Family Mountain Bike Weekend includes two days of instructor-led riding through the forests of Mount Snow and Jamaica State Park. Included in the price are classes on fat-tire fundamentals, and your choice of private or group lessons, plus self-guided riding or hiking. For more information call 800-245-7669.

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