Home on the Road

Bucket-List Hot Spots for Families

Two states, two bucket-list worthy destinations—both within reach if you love the open road. 

As much as a luxurious, fun, and relaxing family vacation sounds like an oxymoron, allow these gems to sway you otherwise. 

Stop number one: Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon. Sunriver is a unique hot spot set in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The 3,000-plus-acre property offers everything you need to enjoy a quality family getaway that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in touch with nature’s natural beauty.

Sunriver accommodations are plush and spacious; book a Lodge Villa Suite with an upstairs loft bedroom, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, living area, fireplace, and patio. Patio views are picturesque, set amidst grassy fields and among the resort’s four golf courses. With Mount Bachelor as your backdrop, you’ll fall in love with the at-home, yet chic, feel.

Filling your days will be easy. First, connect with the Sunriver Marina and opt for a 3-mile, self-guided float down the Deschutes River; the ambiance is nothing short of surreal. The water is gentle and easy to navigate as you pass the Sunriver stables and spot plenty of wildlife. 

Earlier this year, Sunriver opened its Aquatic Center, which is a mecca for families. The place is flawless and fun-filled; waterslides, a lazy river, plenty of pools, cabanas, and more. Steps from the main lodge, the indoor-outdoor facility also has a large patio and lawn for grassy game playing.

Bend, Oregon is a quick drive from Sunriver, and one of its most sought-after attractions is Tumalo Falls. Sure, the falls are beautiful, but what makes this destination extra special is that you can hike underneath Tumalo. Yes, you read right… hiking under the falls is a wet and wild experience, but there’s a great trail leading behind the rampant water—and it’s quite exhilarating. 

Stop number two: Whitefish, Montana. You can hop a non-stop flight via Mesa Gateway Airport, or drive from Sunriver—it’s about 10 hours. There’s a saying about Montana: it’s where the mountains call you home. And, there’s no truer statement.

Stay and play at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, nestled between majestic mountains and pristine waters and Montana’s only AAA Four Diamond-rated resort. The Lodge is truly a special place situated between Whitefish Lake and the 28-acre Viking Creek Wetland Preserve—breathtaking scenery. Convenient to Montana’s greatest attractions, the Lodge is everything and more for a true family escape.

The Lodge offers condo-style accommodations, with many units being two stories stocked with comfort and necessities: a full kitchen, a washer/dryer, multiple bedrooms, and an outside seating area. The grounds are magnificent—lush grass, the crystal-clear lake, and plenty of amenities: a lakefront pool, a tiki bar, restaurants, and a marina. Speaking of the marina, spend a day on a speedboat; available to rent, you can explore the lake at your speed of choice… just don’t forget to rent a tube along with it. Your kids will love a tubing escapade.

In the winter, you can indulge in snow sports at Whitefish Mountain Resort, a quick drive from the Lodge. However, Whitefish Mountain is just as fun in the sun as it is in the snow. You can ride the ski lift, go on the Alpine Slide, and—should your children be adventure-seekers—check out the ropes course and zipline.

The Glacier Park West Entrance is less than 45 minutes away… and it’s stunning. The best family hike: Avalanche Lake Trail, doable for all ages. Leading you through a real vast rainforest, you’ll arrive at the lake surrounded by snowcaps and waterfalls. The park’s “Going to the Sun Road” opens mid-summer, which connects west to east Glacier Park. Should you be there when it’s open, take the radical route and opt for eastside hikes: Running Eagle and Aster Falls. 

Moral of the story: people don’t take trips; trips take people.

Exposing your family to road trip adventures will allow you to be a kid with your kids—memories are the greatest gift you can give your children, and yourself.

And remember… country roads, they’ll take you home. To places… you belong.

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