Family travel five: Summer destinations that offer adventure, memories

Montauk Lighthouse, the first lighthouse in New York State commissioned by President George Washington, and constructed in 1796, as seen Sept. 13, 2009 in Long Island New York. (Ellen Watson/Newsday/TNS)

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Montauk Lighthouse, the first lighthouse in New York State commissioned by President George Washington, and constructed in 1796, as seen Sept. 13, 2009 in Long Island New York. (Ellen Watson/Newsday/TNS)

Where will you be this summer? Here are five destinations that promise to deliver family adventure and magical memories:

1. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica 

Find your way to this iconic Caribbean resort, where you’ll find a multitude of ways to enjoy family time within 400 beachfront acres. Young guests are greeted with their own welcome drink and invited to discover the Anancy Children’s Village, a play area for kids ages 3 to 12 and designed to showcase Jamaica’s rich heritage through storytelling and island-style activities. Settle into individual rooms, suites or villas before choosing from a menu of activities that include a round of golf on the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole championship course, tennis and water sports such as scuba diving, parasailing, wakeboarding and tubing. The use of kayaks, pedal boats, standup paddleboards and snorkeling gear are included in your stay at Half Moon. You’ll want to experience a beach BBQ to sample local specialties including a variety of jerk dishes. While dining, you’ll be treated to steel band and congo drum performances, fire-eaters, dancers and even crab racing.


2. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Known for their impeccable service and stunning views, this five-star resort has offered up their special brand of Western hospitality for nearly a century. Their top notch, golf program draws national tournaments (including the 2018 Senior Open) as well as families eager to enjoy the storied game. With Rocky Mountain grandeur as your backdrop, choose from three courses, each providing unique challenges and enjoyment. Kids 12 and under play free with a paying adult after 2p.m. Ask about complimentary Sunday afternoon family golf clinics and unlimited weekday golf packages. Beyond the links, families enjoy hiking, horseback riding, resort-style pools, bowling, boating and tennis. Several family packages are available including the Grand Memories package designed for multigenerational vacations.


3. Grand Marais, Minn. 

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this friendly, harborside village blends an artistic, creative vibe with an adventurous spirit. Home to nationally renowned artist schools and galleries, 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. Plan a side trip down the historic Gunflint Trail where you’ll have the option to paddle across glacier-carved lakes, hike through ancient forests, fish for Walleye and sample Northwoods hospitality.


4. Montauk, N.Y. 

Head to the east end of Long Island, just beyond the famed Hamptons, for a relaxed experience in a beachy enclave where fishermen, surfers, urban hipsters and families easily mix in the salty air. Stroll along the docks to witness (and later sample) the arrival of the day’s fresh catch, as tony yachts and the occasional sightseeing boat, spouting the area’s seafaring history, inch into the harbor. On your way to or from Montauk, enjoy a casual lunch at the Clam Bar, a family-favorite, open-air seafood shack, where platters of fried clams might call your name. Stay at the historic Montauk Yacht Club Resort, where all things nautical will serve as your holiday backdrop. A children’s playground, volleyball and tennis courts, SUP, kayaks and fishing expeditions provide plenty of opportunity for family fun.


5. Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. 

Re-opened since March 1, 2018, following a brief post-hurricane closure, this lush, oceanfront resort is adjacent to the El Yunque National Rainforest and the Mameyes River where eco tours are possible. With two beachfront pools, a water sports center and access to a mile-long stretch of sand adjacent to turquoise waters your challenge will be choosing your sunny home base for the day. Kids can look forward to iguana feeding, bird walks, salsa dancing and cooking classes as well as face painting and arts and crafts. Sporting families will want to check out the tennis center, two world-class golf courses and the spa and fitness center. Ask about family packages.



(Lynn O'Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via

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