After the COVID-19 pandemic kept some families separated the last few years, many are looking forward to summer. It might be a great time to take an intergenerational vacation. With thoughtful planning, you can make it a memorable experience for everyone.

Car travel is often easiest when multiple generations are vacationing together. If the youngest generation gets restless, you can stop to have a snack or run around a roadside park. Seniors will also appreciate being able to stop and stretch their legs or use the restroom.

Depending upon where you live, a state or national park is likely within a day’s drive. Michigan residents are especially fortunate. There is a wide range of parks, campgrounds, and hiking trails throughout the Great Lake state.

Consider a Trip to a State or National Park

Both federal and state parks have accessible solutions for people with mobility challenges. They also offer a variety of intergenerational activities.

Depending upon how long your vacation is and how far you are willing to drive, here are a few parks to consider:

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park: Located along the North Carolina and Tennessee border, this popular park offers activities ranging from hiking to bird-watching. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 can complete activities and earn a patch through the Junior Ranger program. Families will find a variety of cabins, campgrounds, and value-priced motels close to the park.
  • Acadia National Park: If your family members enjoy sailing, whale watching, or kayaking, head north to the Maine coast and Acadia National Park. Nature hikes, boat cruises, and carriage tours are also popular. While there is no lodging available at the park, campgrounds and other accommodations are nearby.
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes: This Michigan park has consistently won awards ranging from most beautiful beaches to Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place in America. Touring lighthouses, hiking trails, canoeing, sailing, and biking are just a few adventures you’ll find. Restaurants, lodges, and campgrounds are available near the park.

Explore Train Travel This Summer

Another idea for an intergenerational getaway is to travel by train.

  • Grand Canyon Railway: This flexible and popular train adventure allows families to choose everything from the length of their trip to what car they travel in. There are fun onboard acts travelers of all ages will enjoy, such as staged cattle-rustling and robberies. There’s even a Wild West Shootout on the train platform before the trip begins.
  • Niagara Falls Train: Families can enjoy many options for train travel from both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls. Both day trips and longer getaways are available. Great Rail Journeys also offers other rail and cruise vacations.

Wherever you decide to go, be mindful of summer safety issues that impact older adults. Review “Keeping a Senior Outdoorsman Safe in the Summer” for tips before you head off on your vacation!

New Independent Living Community Coming to Traverse City

For active seniors interested in an affordable option for independent living in northern Michigan, The Village at LaFranier Woods could be a solution. Scheduled to open in early 2023, this Traverse City community will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom cottages. Contact us today to request more information on the newest Heritage Senior Community!