11 Fantastic Family Travel Adventures

Learn to Sail: There is nothing quite like escaping to the high seas for some quality family time. But before you set sail, you might want to learn the ins and outs of the boating world. Enter Offshore Sailing School, which offers a five-day learn to sail course.

Mornings are spent in the classroom and out on the water learning sailing terminology, maneuvers and how to read the wind. Afternoons are left free for families to enjoy the beach, swimming, spas and local shopping. Students learn enough in the class to test for U.S. Sailing certification and, on your last day, you and your classmates chart a course and sail on your own, without your instructor aboard.

The class can also be done in three days, making for a more intense experience.

Classes are offered at three Florida locations -- South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island; Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa in Ft. Myers and Mansion House Bed & Breakfast in St. Petersburg -- year round. There are also seasonal classes at New York's Chelsea Piers, Liberty Landing in Jersey City, N.J., the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Md., and in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Resort sailing packages start at $1,195 per person, double occupancy for the three-day lowest season classes in Florida. Through December, when two adults pay tuition, up to four kids sail for free.

Kids Treated Like Royalty: In Lausanne, Switzerland, the lakeside Beau-Rivage Palace hotel offers a "Kids are Kings" program. It starts at check-in when children are presented with a shopping bag with age-appropriate contents.

Children 3 through 11 are invited to participate in a treasure hunt where the clues take them throughout the hotel by following pictures and obtaining stickers as they progress. Once the board is completed, a surprise gift awaits children at the front desk.

For children 6 through 16, two different opportunities await. A one-hour children's cooking lesson is given by the hotel's pastry chef, with children participating in the making of cookies and cakes that are delivered to their rooms. And a one-hour, flower-arranging class is conducted by one of the hotel's three on-staff florists, culminating in the children presenting their creation to mom and dad.

Great Vacation Ideas

Lewis & Clark Montana Adventure: Why not add a little bit of history to your outdoor adventure? Abercrombie & Kent offers an eight-day trip that mirrors part of the legendary explorers' voyage.

This journey blends U.S. history, Native American culture and outdoor activity.

Explore Glacier National Park, then travel the Missouri River with your family on 34-foot canoes that replicate those used by the early explorers.

Journey into Blackfeet country and overnight in a tipi. (Don't worry, it's not quite roughing it. The tipis come with a fire pit in the center and off-the-ground cots, sleeping bags and pillows.)

Each trip is limited to 18 travelers with a minimum age set at 5.

Stops along the trip include: the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the Museum of the Plains Indians and a traditional Blackfeet feast where families can sample local game, including buffalo and elk.

The trip starts at $3,395 per person.

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