Funny thing about kids and travel: While most moms and dads dream of vacations involving little more than lying on the beach with a frozen drink and a book that doesn't rhyme or involve pictures, kids tend to like getaways with a bit more get-up-and-go. You know, they want to actually do stuff. As opposed to nothing. Sigh.
Luckily there are some super-fun destinations with plenty of stuff to do for kids & grown-ups alike. Whether you prefer to play alongside your children or send them off for some age-specific activities so you can nap under an umbrella uninterrupted, we found a vacation spot to fit every family's needs.
La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, California
Need to relax? Of course you do. At this gorgeous Southern California retreat, parents can indulge in an Ayurvedic massage or take a yoga class at Deepak Chopra's Chopra Center, let off some steam in Spa La Costa's Roman pools, and more while kids (ages 5 to 12) have a blast playing tennis, swimming, hiking, and more at Camp La Costa. Sadly, you will eventually have to go home.
Out 'n' About Treesort, Takilma, Oregon
Adventurous, outdoorsy types will love this back-to-nature getaway, made up of 14 treehouses sleeping 2 to 8 people each. Just getting to your room is an athletic event, involving everything from stairs to ladders to a 90-foot-long suspension bridge; activities include ropes courses, horseback riding, rafting, and even a treetop pool made of river rocks.
Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Better than running away to join the actual circus, this resort is a mix of Big Top-themed fun and tropical luxury. Kids learn how to swing on a flying trapeze, juggle, do acrobatics, and other tricks -- then put on a show for the family at the end of the week -- while parents soak up sun on the beach or by the pool and rejuvenate at the Club Med Spa* by L'Occitane.
Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
A true desert oasis located right next to the majestic Saguaro National Park, this modern-day dude ranch has over 120 horses and lessons for all ages and skill levels (little kids are "Buckaroos" and older tykes are "Wrangler Kids"). Plus: Tennis, swimming, nature programs, and yet another glorious grown-up spa.
What's your family's favorite vacation spot?
Image via Tanque Verde Ranch