3 places for family fun in the Southeast

Multi-generational travel—often to celebrate a special anniversary or family reunion– is one of the fastest growing segments of the vacation industry. But if cruising on a mega-ship or visiting a theme park with thousands of other people doesn’t meet your idea of quality togetherness, there
are other options.

You can quickly replace technological connectivity with personal connectivity when family members bond over shared experiences—and everyone benefits. These excursions appeal to all ages.houseboat on Lake Cumberland

Splash around—For great fresh water fun, try houseboating on Cumberland Lake in southeastern Kentucky.  Head to Grider Hill Marina on the northern end of the lake or Water Way
Adventures to the south—either is a prime location for renting houseboats.  Beautiful scenery is unspoiled by development, since land surrounding Cumberland Lake is owned by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

Then cruise on your private resort, and park in a secluded cove.  Large, luxurious houseboats can
easily sleep 12, and several boats can be moored together to accommodate larger groups. Advantages include only unpacking once (bedrooms have more storage than a typical cruise ship cabin), warm water and sunshine all day, and clear, star-lit skies at night.

Lake CumberlandSurprisingly simple to operate, rented boats come with hands-on learning time, a detailed book of instructions and map of the lake, and two-way radios for help if you have questions.  With fully equipped kitchens, televisions, back-end slide, and gas grills, houseboats offer ready-made entertainment right outside the door.  Kids, parents, and grandparents enjoy whiling away the hours with swimming, fishing, and relaxing—then cooking the day’s catch.

Go to Gatlinburg–Another destination full of family fun is Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the Smoky
Mountains.  Waterfalls are abundant in the area, with some right on the highway’s edge for easy viewing and others a leisurely walk away, and they make great photo ops for the family.Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Scenic drives, bike rides, or hikes in Great Smokey Mountain National Park, nearby white water rafting in summer, old fashioned hay rides and harvest festivals in fall, and celebrations marking the extensive arts and crafts community throughout the year mean there’s something for everyone. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is outstanding with its shark lagoon, stingray bay, and
penguin play house—don’t skip it.

Beach bound—One of the Lowcountry’s favorite oceanfront family resorts is located on Fripp Island, South Carolina.  This uncrowded private island offers three and a half miles of beach facing the Atlantic Ocean, great golf and tennis, trails for biking or roller blading,and nature programs to educate and entertain all ages.  Those who love waves rolling onto shore, can find many ways to spend leisurely hours enjoying sea and sand.

Photos by Beverly Burmeier

Read more travel stories at Going on Adventures.

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