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8 Best Family Vacations for 2015

Now that the New Year is upon us, many families are starting to think about family vacations—where, when, what to do.

Here are some of my favorite trips from this past year, all of which I highly recommend for your 2015 travel list.

1. Best Family Destination: Disney Cruise

Not for the faint of heart, but a great combination of Disney thrills for the kids and plenty of adult entertainment to keep parents happy, too. Visiting Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, alone is worth the cruise.

2. Best Adults Only Destination: The Society Islands

Who hasn’t dreamed of sailing through the islands of French Polynesia? Spend a week on a small ship like those offered by Windstar Cruises and get into small harbors and less explored areas of the Societies and the Tuamotus.

RELATED: How to Take Kids to See the Northern Lights

3. Best Ski Destination: Irwin, Crested Butte, Colo.

The best cat-skiing operation in Colorado is not cheap. But for $550, you can access a seat to the 1,000-plus private acres outside of Crested Butte, which attracts 600 inches of snow per year on average.

4. Best Food and Wine Destination: Bordeaux, France

The French know best when it comes to food and wine. Bordeaux is surprisingly family freindly. Easier to navigate than Paris but just as beautiful, buildings in this “Petit Paris” have recently been cleaned revealing the beauty beneath hundreds of years of grime. It’s the wine and food, though, that shine most of all here. Exploring small producers and the most famous chateaus in the world, each is a gem worth exploring and tasting.

5. Best Emerging Destination: Kelowna, British Columbia

Located three hours from Vancouver, this town is the next big thing in outdoor destinations. It has a small, historic city center surrounded by incredible mountains for hiking, biking and rock climbing. Skiing is also nearby. But the real kicker is the 100-mile-long Lake Okanagan. In the heat of summer, there are stand-up paddlers, kayakers and boat enthusiasts enjoying the water after emerging from the woods. The lake also makes this valley a great terroir for growing grapes. With more than 300 wineries in the area, Mission Hill is a standout white and pinot noir producer that we will definitely be hearing more from in the years to come.

6. Best Beach Destination: Esperanza, Cabo, Mexico

There is no other resort as beautiful and relaxing as Esperanza. Every room has a deck overlooking the Pacific with a private outdoor hot tub, double doors that open to the warm outdoors and an infinity edge pool, where attendants deliver popsicles, and shoulder and foot massages. Easy to get to and the closest thing to heaven on earth that I found all year long.

7. Best New Hotel: Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World

The newest and largest Four Seasons in the resort’s global collection, the Four Seasons Orlando is located within Walt Disney World—the only non-Disney-owned property to ever open up on that sacred ground. This resort was made for multigenerational travel in mind, perfect for grandparents, parents and definitely the kids. There is Explorer Island, a huge pool, lazy river and water park on the property, free Kids for All Seasons (should parents want to golf the new Tom Fazio-designed course) and The Hideout, complete with pinball machines, Xbox, pool, computers and any other gadget imaginable for the tween-teen set. Yes, there are shuttles to the parks, but why would you ever need to leave?

8. Best Adventure Travel Destination: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Biking, hiking, kayaking all in an affordable, warm-weather destination with great food and emerging craft beer scene. Often the redheaded stepchild of New Mexico, thanks to the always chic Santa Fe, Albuquerque is showing itself for the cool college town it is. Stay at the beautiful Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm for a one of a kind desert retreat and fresh, innovative food.

RELATED: 7 Trips That Will Thrill Kids in 2015

Images by Amiee White Beazley

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