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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 weather US winter vacations off the beaten path

Mary Turner - Travel With Teens and Tweens   

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Living in New England, we are always dreaming about warm weather winter getaways. National parks can be a great option for families who want something a little different. Winter is the right time to visit Death Valley where summer temperatures regularly exceed 120 degrees. By comparison, November, February and March see daytime highs in the 70s and 80s. December and January may be a little cooler than that.  Camping and hotel options are available in the park. The park has hundreds of miles of roads suitable for mountain  biking as well as many hiking options. Scotty’s Castle is open for tours and the National Park service offers a number of guided activity in the winter months. You can also visit ghost towns, an abandoned borax works and an old gold mine.

Another National Park option is the Volcanoes National Park on the the Big Island of Hawaii. The major resorts on the Big Island are clustered on the dry western side of the Island. With a little research you can find lots of lodging options beyond the big hotel and condo complexes and really feel like you have gotten off the grid. We found the varied beauty of the Island’s rainforests and volcanic landscapes to be breathtaking. From petroglyph hikes to views of active lava flows to a walk in the Lava Tree Monument, you will definitely know you did something different than the usual warm weather winter getaway.

Photo courtesy Travel with Teens and Tweens

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