Great Family Adventures: Backroads' 'Hawaii's Big Island Family Multisport'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Courtesy of Backroads

HIGHLIGHTS: Hawaii’s a favorite family destination for obvious reasons: there are wonderful beaches, lush rainforests, and a rich, friendly culture. The six-day offering from Backroads takes full advantage of the Big Island’s splendor. Together with your family you’ll walk across a caldera with a volcanologist in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, hike to 400-foot Akaka Falls, and have a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) experience riding horses on a working ranch. Other options include biking 30 miles of the Iron Man Triathlon course along the rugged Kau Coast (for ages nine and older), seeing Kamehameha the Great’s temple, and learning to make leis. Time on and in the water can include snorkeling with sea turtles, surf lessons, canoeing, kayaking, and tide-pool explorations. The trip leaders are great with children and eager to convey their thorough knowledge of Hawaii’s culture, geography, and wildlife. This trip is recommended for ages six and older.

OUTFITTER: Backroads, a 33-year-old active-travel company with more than 1,400 departures each year to some 70 destinations worldwide.

ITINERARY: The Big Island’s Kohala Coast to Akaka Falls, Volcanoes National Park, Pa’ani Ranch, Pu’uhonua o’ Honaunau National Park, Keauhou Bay, Lapakahi State Park, and Kona.

DATES: Reservations available in February, March, June, July, August, and December.

PRICE: From $2,998 per person, with discounted rates for kids (when children share a room with two adults, ages 11 to 17 get 10 percent off, ages seven to 10 get 20 percent off, ages three to six get 40 percent off, and ages two and younger get 75 percent off), including most meals and gratuities, and hotel stays at the Kilauea Lodge, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, and the Fairmont Orchid.

INFO: backroads.com, (800) 462-2848.

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