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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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