bahamasLooking for a fun, family-friendly destination for spring break? Well, there's this city in Florida called Orlando, and it has a bunch of theme parks ... maybe you've heard of it? Just kidding! We're thinking off the beaten path -- and maybe a little closer to home. Here are six vacation destinations the whole family will love, including the parents.

1. Washington D.C.: It's not just for politicians. Our nation's capital is chock-full of historical sites and mostly free museums with something for every kind of kid. The Mall alone could keep you busy, but there's also the National Air and Space Museum a short drive away. Cherry blossom season at the Tide Pools lives up to the hype, if you happen to be there in early April.

2. Colonial Williamsburg: This historic destination takes you back in time to the 1700s, re-created as Great Hopes Plantation. You can put your kids to work doing chores in period costume and watch cannons being fired (from a safe distance). And, if you burn out on the history, the rides at Busch Gardens are nearby. 

3. Lake Tahoe: This spectacular shimmering lake in the mountains is perfect for active, outdoorsy families. There's hiking, biking, swimming, boating, and kayaking. Big seasons are winter (skiing) and summer, but in the spring, you'll find deals and you'll still enjoy Tahoe's abundant sunshine.

4. Zion National Park: Another great destination for outdoorsy families. Zion in Southern Utah is punishingly hot in the summer, but ideal in the spring. You kids will thrill to the other-worldly rock formations. The park has ranger-led guided walks. Nearby Bryce Canyon is also spectacular. I recommend this for elementary-aged kids and older. It's more challenging for parents of babies and toddlers.

5. Grand Bahama Island: Just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, this island has resorts for all budgets. But as packed as this island is with vacationers, there's still plenty of nature to explore on land and by kayak. And, of course, the beaches are everything you'd want them to be.

6. Great Wolf Lodge: If you want the feeling of "getting away" without actually traveling very far, there's this chain of water park resorts, 10 around the nation. In addition to the indoor water fun, there are "dry" activities like bowling, an arcade, a kids' spa, and other adventures.

Are you planning a trip this spring break?

 

Image via cherry let/Flickr