Planning travels with teens in mind can be a daunting task. Not only is it hard to find a family vacation destination they’ll actually want to visit with the family, it’s tough to find the time. So when you go, you want to make sure it’s going to be a memorable experience. Maybe even worthy of a few social media shout outs extolling the virtues of their fine parents, or better yet, a selfie WITH the parents! What most teens want is a little adventure, to get outside their normal box. Anywhere new, or slightly exotic to them is a good start. Mix in some thrills and you’ve got a real winner–as proven by the SnapChat story they will tell about the trip.
Here are five places my teens love and yours might too.
- Copper Mountain, Colorado – We’re from Atlanta, so anywhere with lots of snow is new and different for us. At Copper Mountain, they have lots of snow AND Woodward at Copper, where your teens (and tweens) can twist and flip into the foam pits, just like the XGames athletes who train there. During the winter months, take your game onto the slopes. Classes go from the Woodward at Copper Barn to the Copper Mountain’s award winning terrain parks.
- Beaches Turks & Caicos – If snow isn’t your thing, try the turquoise blue waters at Beaches Turks & Caicos. This all-inclusive resort is known for its scuba diving (included), as well as snorkeling. Younger kids like the pirate-themed water park, but even tweens and teens–and your spouse–can get a kick out of the surfing machine. Beaches also has a hip nightclub called Liquid that is open to teens.
- Breckenridge, Colorado– Breckenridge doesn’t just offer wintertime fun anymore. This old mining town is one of my teens’ favorite summer escapes and one of their favorite activities is mountain biking. I highly recommend taking a mountain biking class from Breckenridge Resort before hitting the trails, especially if your family is like ours and used to slightly lower elevations. Spend a little time practicing your technique at the free pump track in town.
- Crystal River, Florida – Swimming with manatees got my teens up from a warm bed before dawn in the chilly winter weather to swim in 74 degree water. The true test: They said they’d do it again! Plantation on Crystal River has an on-site dive shop, as well as lots of other outdoor activities like golf, fishing and volleyball. We challenged the boys to a parents vs. teens tournament that was one of the highlights of everyone’s visit.
- White County, Georgia – About an hour east of downtown Atlanta is Historic Banning Mills and the longest zip line in the state, aptly known as the Screaming Eagle. The Banning Mills zip lines are definitely worth the drive, but I like to mix things up with the high ropes course. For those truly adventurous types, there is the Free Fall, a 10 story drop, straight down.