For families long separated by distance and Covid-19, reunions are top of mind for future travel plans. And what better place to reconnect than a resort with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and multi-generational family fun? Here are five resorts where your family’s time together will be as memorable as it is meaningful.
Edgewood Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada
It’s hard to imagine a more prime stretch of Lake Tahoe shoreline than that occupied by Edgewood Tahoe, an expansive south shore retreat that started life as a cattle ranch in the late 1800s.
Start your day with morning lakeshore yoga, hit the lake on a paddleboard or kayak, or just chill out by the pool and view the snowcapped peaks from a comfy lounger. Golfers will appreciate Edgewood’s renowned shore-side course, home to the American Celebrity Championship, while knowledgeable staff are at the ready to help your family organize hikes, bike rides and other excursions for all ages.
As if that isn’t enough, the hotel puts out gourmet s’mores for the making every night by the poolside fire pits, where the evening’s activities might include storytelling or a ukulele lesson.
Edgewood’s 500-square-foot rooms combine modern luxury with the warmth and rustic ambiance of a historic lodge. Choose one of those or treat yourself to a stay in the Emerald Suite with its large deck overlooking the lake and granite fireplaces both outdoors and indoors.
Conrad Punta de Mita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
One look at the Conrad Punta de Mita’s vast infinity pool, its entirety tiled in vivid indigenous motifs, and you know you’re in for something different. Brand new this year, the resort takes full advantage of its location on the sunny Riviera Nayarit north of Puerto Vallarta to bring life outside, with plenty of palm-shaded outdoor patios and gazebos framed in wicker and rattan.
As if the resort’s three pools and four restaurants weren’t enough, horseback riding and ziplining are on offer to thrill kids and teens. At the end of the day, relax with a Vaváuri Caríma deep tissue therapy massage in one of the 10,000-square-foot open air “cocoons” or enjoy the sweat lodge-style Temazcal Therapy.
Every one of the Conrad’s 324 rooms overlooks the Pacific, and features like plunge pools, outdoor showers, and extra-large patios make the casita-style villas perfect for spacious living.
ADERO Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
“Star light, star bright” takes on a whole new meaning at ADERO Scottsdale, the first resort located in Scottsdale’s Fountain Hills Dark Sky Zone. Not only do all 177 of the boutique resort’s rooms boast large private balconies for sky viewing, but programming includes nightly telescope tours of the galaxy led by official Dark Sky Zone guides.
The resort is spread across 17 acres of spectacular red rock canyon, making it the perfect basecamp from which to explore McDowell Mountain Regional Park and its 40 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Learn about the botany and geology of the Sonoran desert with the resort’s own adventure concierge, who leads guided hikes morning and night, while partnerships with the SunRidge Canyon Golf Club and McDowell Mountain Cycles add more opportunities for fun.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California
Rising from the beach like a giant pink and white cupcake, the Hotel del Coronado has been the escape of family dreams since travelers first began crossing the country by train to stay there in 1888. But while it’s fun to think that Marilyn Monroe and several presidents wiggled their toes in the same white sand, the real thrill of staying at the Del is luxuriating in all the modern amenities such as contemporary cabanas with private oceanfront terraces and easy access to the pool.
Take a surf lesson, gather around a beach bonfire, or join a mermaid swim class complete with giant rainbow-colored tail. Another joy of being right on the beach: the chance to seek out rock pools filled with starfish, anemones and hermit crabs at low tide. From its perch on Coronado Island across the harbor from San Diego, the Del also affords access to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park.
La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, California
Privacy has been a hallmark of La Quinta Resort & Club from the days when Clark Gable and Greta Garbo chose this desert oasis 25 miles from Palm Springs as their secret hideaway, and today’s families will benefit just as much from the chance for some seclusion. And with more than 600 casitas, some with private pools, hot tubs and outdoor fireplaces, it’s not hard to carve out your own personal space. And the family dog can come too, welcomed with the PAWS La Quinta canine experience which includes a cozy bed and treats, expansive lawns and dog-friendly trails.
The activity offerings are just as extensive, from the three golf courses to tennis and pickleball courts to miles of winding bike paths and bike shops stocked with rentals. And if you need a refresh or jumpstart to do any of those things, lessons are available onsite.
But while there’s enough on property to keep you busy for weeks, you’ll still want to venture to nearby La Quinta Cove park to watch the sunset turn the hills every available shade of pink.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, Oahu, Hawai’i
There’s nowhere more central nor more convenient to gather the clan in Hawai’i’ than at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, right in the center of Oahu’s iconic crescent bay. Here you’ll find shops, restaurants and water sports galore, bookended by Diamond Head and the aquarium and marine sanctuary in one direction and the lively nightlife of Honolulu on the other.
Another reason to love Outrigger: The enormous variety of accommodations, which include the flagship resort, the condos of Waikiki Shore and the design-forward Waikiki Beachcomber.
And then, of course, there’s Duke’s, the quintessential Waikiki cocktail lounge named for Duke Kahanamoku, five-time Olympic medalist in swimming who is credited with introducing surfing to the world.
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Melanie Haiken is a writer, editor and web project manager based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She operates on two simple assumptions: Everyone has a story to tell. And a story well-told will always find an audience. Her work is characterized by exceptional clarity, depth and insight – no matter the topic covered. Haiken writes for AFAR, Forbes, Via, Yoga Journal and many other national magazines and websites. She has also created award-winning marketing and custom publishing materials and communications campaigns for clients like Adobe, Wells Fargo, Lane Bryant, Kaiser Permanente and Safeway.