Best Family Destination Runner-Up: Maine and New Hampshire

Outside chooses the top vacation spots of 2013

New Hampshire's White Mountains in the fall.     Photo: Richard Cavalleri

Forget camp. Make up your family’s own epic summer itinerary with the Appalachian Mountain Club. Last summer the AMC’s Highland Center Lodge, a modern learning facility with 34 rooms in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, added a giant jungle gym that mimics precipitous terrain, so kids can cut their teeth. Opt for a private family room ($63 per adult, $27 per child). If that’s too tame, strike out for the new LEED-certified Gorman Chairback Lodge on three-mile-wide Long Pond in the middle of Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region. From one of 12 cabins, paddle the lake in canoes and kayaks, fly-fish for brook trout (rental rods, $25), hike 11 miles round-trip to Gulf Hagas, a series of waterfalls in a deep gorge, and end the day in the wood-fired sauna (cabins from $117 per person).

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