Olympic national park, Washinngton
The lush climate and dramatic variety of the Olympic Peninsula make for great family adventures. The Hall of Mosses tour is a highlight of the plush Hoh Rainforest. Mysterious Crescent Lake is so deep it was long believed to be bottomless. The lake's spectacular glacial scenery rivals the beauty of the nearby coast. If rainforests, ocean views and an alpine lake aren't appealing enough, drive up to Hurricane Ridge for mountain hikes and views of glacier-capped Mount Olympus. Port Angeles, the largest city in the area, or Port Townsend, known for its charming Victorian homes, are great places to stay if you don't want to camp.
Let's face it, your kids will disown you if they don't get to Disney World at some point in their youth. Why fight it when it can be so much fun? Disney offers lots of themed resorts that engage the kids and offer parents a luxurious retreat after a Mickey-filled day. Check out the Polynesian Resort, the Wilderness Lodge, or the Port Orleans Resort. Need to cool off? Catch a wave at Typhoon Lagoon's massive wave pool or get splashed at Sea World. For a taste of real-life adventure, launch your family to Cape Canaveral, only an hour away, and explore the fascinating exhibits at the Kennedy Space Center.
Graceland is the king of Memphis attractions, but you and your kids can also learn about the Civil Rights Movement and experience the Underground Railroad. The Rock 'n' Soul Museum, just off historic Beale Street, and Sun Studios, where Elvis recorded, offer glimpses into America's musical heritage. A few blocks from Beale Street you'll find the National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the Lorraine Motel, where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. You can also tour secret tunnels at Slavehaven, one of the most intriguing posts along the Underground Railroad.
Grand Canyon National park, Arizona
Starting in Williams, the Grand Canyon Railway is an entertaining and environmentally friendly way to visit the South Rim -- the most popular tourist spot and vista point of the Canyon. But don't restrict your visit to a quick look from there. Many explore the Grand Canyon National Park on a trusty packhorse, but if you and your kids want to get the most exciting perspective, try a white-water rafting trip. You don't have to be a die-hard thrill seeker to do it, either. Plenty of guides offer safe group rafting trips that will delight the kids.
Dedicated chocolate lovers should make a pilgrimage to this family-friendly chocolate capital of the U.S. The mystery of chocolate production is revealed through tours and tastings at Hershey's Chocolate World. After the tour, spend some time at Hershey Park, an amusement park and garden both built for the factory's workers and families. If you have time after your tour of Hershey, take a short drive to see the grand stalactite formations at Indian Echo Caverns in Hummelstown.
So, where do you travel this year?