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10 Most “Family Friendly” Cities For Vacations in the US

10 Most “Family Friendly” Cities For Vacations in the US

Who doesn’t want to take some extra vacation time with the family? Thankfully, here in the US we have a ton of different cities across the country that offer all types of cool activities. If your family likes outdoor sports, you can find places to go boating, hiking, or skiing. If you like theme parks, arts, or fine dining, you will find many wonderful options here in America.

Depending on where you go, getting around your host city without your car can be easy or it can be complicated. Some cities, like NYC, have very efficient and reliable public transportation. Other cities, like Los Angeles, are car-centric, so you will need to hire some wheels to get around. Regardless of where you go, it always pays to hire some experts to recommend to you the best ways of traveling. We personally recommend using a private transportation service.

Here is a list of the 10 most recommended family-friendly destinations around our country. You should consider visiting these places on your next trip.

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1. New York City

This is a place where fun, luxury, and beauty come together. For families, couples, business people, or solo travelers alike, New York promises to be one of the best trips of your life. With all the incredible museums, street life, natural places like Central Park, you will certainly end up fully amazed and satisfied with your decision to visit the Big Apple. New York City offers a wide variety of high-quality ethnic restaurants, trendy bars, fashion stores, and Broadway shows. Kids will love taking the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (yes, you’ll need to take that selfie under the statue).

2. San Diego

This is definitely one of the most visited cities in the country. San Diego has it all: beautiful parks, adventure-packed activities, perfect weather, tourist attractions, and perfectly sandy beaches. There is the famous San Diego Zoo near Balboa Park where you can find many green areas for recreation. You can take the kids to educational museums. Not enough? San Diego also has Petco Park (for baseball lovers) and Sea World. So yes, San Diego sounds like the perfect place to go with your kids.

3. Los Angeles

There is much more to see in LA than the HOLLYWOOD sign on the hills. LA is also the epicenter of film production and is perfect for movie lovers. It’s great to take the kids to check out their favorite celebrities’ stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and even visit Universal Studios. If you want some closer views and want to take some selfies, visit the Ripley Museum, the Hollywood Waxwork Museum or Madame Tussauds in Hollywood. Los Angeles also has great places to shop and eat for the entire family, and you can visit the boutique art galleries, vintage shops, and many beautiful places to walk.

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4. Anaheim

It seems like California has it all, doesn’t it? Anaheim is another excellent destination to vacation with your family, especially with your kids. People love it and you surely know why: Disneyland! It’s heart of Anaheim and one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world. If you can, you should spend some time in Anaheim visiting spots like the lovely downtown area, both theme parks (Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park), local stores, restaurants, and bars. But if you want to try something different, there are also Knott’s Berry Farm and the Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

5. San Francisco

This is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are so many incredible places that you need to reserve a number of days to see that city. You will definitely need to take a ride on the famous cable cars and walk around the Fisherman’s Wharf. You can’t miss the bay, and of course, you should walk or drive through Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. Parents will love to visit Sausalito and the well-known prison island, Alcatraz. San Francisco also has excellent places to eat, shop, and even drink- don’t miss the famous coffee at Bellini’s. And if you want to feel like you’re visiting another country while you’re still in the US, try going to San Francisco’s historic Chinatown!

6. Orlando

This city is a huge combination of attractions, with both Disney World and Universal Parks. You should know that one of the most visited attractions in Orlando is the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal – this is a Florida attraction to rival the best in California. Besides the amusement parks, Orlando also has the perfect weather for a full day and night of entertainment. You can definitely plan a perfect itinerary filled with outdoor activities, visits to art galleries, visits to shopping malls, regional cuisine, and exciting cocktails – an overall unforgettable experience!

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7. Riverside

Founded in the early 1870s, Riverside is a city in Riverside County located approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles. You might wonder, why visit this city? Well, citizens say that they live in relative tranquility with a quality, well-balanced life. That’s why many people are feeling Riverside’s pull. It offers a relaxed stay, and you may even be tempted to buy a house in Riverside and forget about all that big-city-chaos.

8. Washington, DC

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by this city’s reputation as the home of high-profile politicians. Nowadays, DC is transforming itself from a purely politics-centric city into a thriving cultural hub. You can go the traditional route: visit the White House, Capitol Hill, and the monuments to America’s founding fathers. You can follow a more educational route and visit the numerous museums that the capital is home to. The Natural History Museum is highly acclaimed, and importantly, all museums in DC are free of charge for both national and international tourists. If you visit there in April, you cannot miss the National Cherry Blossom Festival — a gift that Japan gave the US back in 1912, this event is now a national festival that attracts people from all over the country. If satisfying your palate is of more importance, try the foodie heaven Eastern Market, where Capitol Hill residents search through the stands to catch the latest clothing trends and find the freshest local produce. Keep your eyes open and you will be able to see a mile-high stack of pancakes from afar.

9. Pennsylvania

This is another place with an endless list of things to do. You and your family can go to an amusement park (like Hersheypark or Dutch Wonderland) or learn something about Gettysburg Battlefield at the Military Park. If you want to visit a different kind of place and also feel a little thrill of fear, you definitely need to go to the Eastern State Penitentiary, one of the most famous prisons in the world.

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10. San Antonio

Theme parks, water parks, outdoor activities and places for family fun are all among San Antonio’s highlights. San Antonio is a city where fun, beauty, and tourism meet to give families an excellent vacation. You can take a tour around San Antonio’s city or maybe get a little contact with nature by visiting the Zoo and the Natural Bridge Caverns. Your family will definitely want to visit the Guinness World Records Museum and feel some adrenaline at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

You also need to remember that the best fun and enjoyment will always happen wherever the family is – sometimes there is no need to go too far. Spend your free time with your loved ones, and you will always find it memorable. If you have visited some other cool US locales that are not in the article, please mention them in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: www.knok.com/family-travel-guide/articles/tag/kids-food/1000118 via knok.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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