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Family Travel Question:

Q | Any unusual ideas for a warm December vacation within the U.S. that aren't your typical places?

Any unusual ideas for a warm December vacation within the U.S. that aren't your typical places? -Mila, IN

A | Warm vacations in the United States

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For a warm December vacation that’s a twist on the typical, I’d try visiting Miami and the Florida Keys or Tucson, Arizona. Both are in sunny, warm spots of the US, but they don’t seem to get the crowds like their more popular cousins: Orlando and Phoenix.

In Miami, you’ll get a cool Latin vibe mixed with warm ocean breezes. For adventurous sorts, Biscayne National Park is nearby where you can scuba dive or snorkel in the world’s third-longest coral reef. Prefer animals instead? >Everglades National Park is also a day trip from Miami. A canoe trip through its mangrove swamps may get you a peek at alligators, egrets, and perhaps even a manatee. And when you tire of city life, take a relaxing drive to Key West and the southernmost point in the continental United States, where you’ll enjoy beautiful beaches and yummy Key Lime pie.

Totally opposite to beach-happy Miami is Tucson, Arizona, a desert city that’s more intimate than Phoenix. Like Miami, you can indulge your adventurous streak by hiking in and around the Saguaro National Park or channel your inner cowboy by staying at a dude ranch. History buffs will love to reenact the past with a day trip to nearby Tombstone . If you’ve got animal lovers like my kids, consider spending a day getting up and close with Arizona’s flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Either way you chose, I think you’ll have a great vacation.

Got your own family travel tips to share? Please leave a comment.