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5 Easy Family Trips That Go Into the Wild

Photograph by Twenty20

Themes parks and beach resorts make for pretty chill family vacations, but sometimes you need the adrenalin rush of the completely unfamiliar, the totally new, the comfortable but not luxury.

Sometimes you need a family vacation adventure.

Here are five out the norm destinations, great for all ages, that get you face-to-face with a sloth or hiking some of the world's most beautiful vistas. Choose whether you chose to stay local or go abroad, but either way you'll be showing your kids a world of creatures and cultures that are totally unexpected.

1. Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Photograph by WikiCommons

While most families head to the western edge of Costa Rica for the beaches, they need to make a detour to the northern Caribbean side of the country to get up close and personal with a few furry and feathered friends. Tortuguero National Park packs in so many animals you would normally see in a zoo, but your kids will learn that this is the place they actually belong and call home. Sea turtles show up every year to give birth on the beaches they were born on, which gives kids a chance to see turtles nesting and hatching. Sloths wander into the local lodges to take a nap while toucans chatter away in trees. Boat tours take families into the canals to catch a glimpse of monkeys, lizards and turtles—an unforgettable boat ride.

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2. Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Photograph by WikiCommons

Six hours southeast of Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, is Jökulsárlón. This glacier lagoon appears every summer and is the kind of beach you don't want to sunbathe at. Iceland is cold year round, but in the summer the ice melts just enough to break apart and float around this lagoon, making it look like a giant cocktail. The small blue and white icebergs break up the view. Families can take a boat tour across the lagoon to get closer to the ice or simply hang out on shore. It's quite a trek, but it is worth it. If you time it right, you might also see the Northern Lights.

3. Kauai, Hawaii

Photograph by WikiCommons

Hawaii's garden island is filled with calm beaches for year-round snorkeling, great waves for daily surfing and coconut shrimp for stuffing your face with. However, this island is more than just clear blue water. It is also home to the Napali Coast State Park, a hiker's dream and easy spot to get out your traveling kids' pent up energy. This rugged coastline is not for total beginners, but it will give you sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and a taste of what life was like for the early dwellers on the island.

4. Loreto, Mexico

Photograph by WikiCommons

Mexico is well known as an all-inclusive destination for families, but the little town of Loreto on the Baja Peninsula is carving out its own tourist market by promoting creature adventures along with a slow, smalltown pace of life. Tour companies regularly bring visitors out to see the sea lion colony off the coast in the Sea of Cortez, but a popular winter excursion is a bus ride to the Pacific coast to see the grey whales. These creatures come to Baja to give birth in the warm waters and don't seem to mind the small boats of tourists that pop in to say hi. Unlike larger boats, which aren't allowed in these waters, you can get close enough to pet a whale and truly appreciate the size of these majestic beauties.

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5. Glacier National Park, Montana

Photograph by WikiCommons

Some scientists say that the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2030, thanks to global warming. Before it's too late, your amily needs to go now to see this stunning beauty hidden away in the state of Montana. Drive the Go-to-the-Sun Road, hike to lakes and glaciers, sleep under more stars than you every thought possible and remind your kids what natural beauty really looks like outside of their hometown.

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