There’s plenty to engage active families at these outdoor playgrounds. Here are five towns to consider.
1. TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN Music, parades, tastings and art are all part of the annual National Cherry Festival (July 2-9). Families also can enjoy the local freshwater lakes and streams where searching for Petoskey stones, swimming, kayaking and paddling are favorite pastimes. Visit the diverse ecosystem of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for miles of trails, shoreline and forested islands. Adults might want to stop at some of the local wineries.
2. SUN VALLEY, IDAHO This vibrant high-altitude enclave serves as an ideal base camp for exploring the beauty of the Sawtooth Range and the nearby mountain lakes and trails. Then return to town, where activities such as horseback riding, mountain and road biking, fly-fishing, tennis, golf and shopping will keep your clan engaged. Check dates for outdoor summer concerts, plus art and music festivals.
3. GRAND MARAIS, MINNESOTA Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this harborside village blends an artistic, creative vibe with an adventurous spirit. Grand Marais also serves as the gateway to the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Hike Pincushion Mountain, set sail on Superior or bike along the shoreline.
4. STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO In the late 1880s, fur trappers passing through this Colorado enclave heard an odd noise resembling a steamboat. The sounds came from more than 150 geothermal bubbling springs that today soothe tired muscles after skiing or hiking. Take time to go rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding and fly-fishing or tubing on the Yampa River.
5. JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING This Wyoming paradise has long been a favorite stop for active travelers. Lace up your hiking boots and explore amid the jagged peaks of the magnificent Teton Range, following scenic trails that hug the shores of String, Leigh and Trapper lakes. Spend a sunny afternoon picnicking, wading, floating, fishing or kayaking on the Snake River.