Visiting Estes Park With Kids – 2TravelDads

Estes Park with kids - 2TravelDads

Colorado is full of all kinds of wonderful small towns, from old mining towns to ski villages, the prairie and the mountains. Our favorite Colorado mountain town is Estes Park. It’s cute, surrounded by epic landscapes and is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. We escaped the bustle of Denver for four days and have come up with our best activities for families planning to do in Estes Park with kids.

If you aren’t into lounging by the pool, this mountain town is going to be your new favorite getaway (and I know there are a few pools to lounge by there too). Check out our top things to do in this Colorado village.

Exploring Downtown Estes Park with Kids

In Washington State we have a great town called Leavenworth that’s really great to wander through and explore, and it’s done up in a Bavarian style which just adds to the fun. This place is a little like that in that it’s been built and designed to echo some of the picturesque mountain villages of Europe while still being characteristically Colorado.

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Estes Park Gay Travel Resources

Big Sky for Gay Families – 2Travel Dads

Big Sky for Gay Families - 2Travel Dads

Big Sky, Montana brings to mind epic ski trips and exclusive mountain getaways in the snow, but did you know that it’s much more than that and it’s actually an incredible summer destination? There are remarkable, fun things to do in Big Sky, MT in summer months. Although it may be considered the off-season there, summertime is just another cycle of fun.

Big Sky for Gay Families

While there are some great guest ranches and small hotels, the Big Sky Resort is the ideal home base for fun things to do, and visiting off-season is perfect for getting the best deals and having the most diverse experiences. Here’s a complete plan for spending 4+ days here and it’s all the best things to do in Big Sky for gay families.

We actually went twice in one summer, so we know this town well. Whether it’s a part of your Montana road trip or you’re adding onto a trip to Yellowstone National Park, the resort is easy to work into your Montana travel plan. Check it out!

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Montana Gay Travel Resources

Olympic National Park’s Ruby Beach – 2TravelDads

Olympic National Park's Ruby Beach - 2TravelDads

Does anybody think of Washington State as a beach destination? Not hardly, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the most beautiful ones around. True, Olympic National Park is missing the palm trees, but we make up for it in other ways. Of all of the sandy shorelines in the Pacific Northwest, the most beautiful one in Washington is without a doubt Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park.

What makes Ruby Beach so beautiful and dramatic? It’s the sea stacks, the weathered wood, the wildlife, the perfection of it all. We’ve got the scoop for how and when to visit to have an unforgettable time at the most beautiful beach in Washington. And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll find some of the red rocks and garnets that give Ruby Beach its name.

How to Get to Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park

One of the things that makes the most beautiful in Washington is its remote location. Located just over three hours from Seattle and a little more than 2 hours from Olympia, it’s not exactly an impromptu day trip, which keeps the crowds down. If you’re making the trek that far you should plan on spending a few days both on the sand and in the Hoh Rainforest nearby.

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Olympic Peninsula Gay Travel Resources

Manatee Encounters at Blue Spring State Park – 2TravelDads

Blue Spring State Park - 2TravelDads

Blue Spring State Park is our most common activity with friends visiting Florida, and it’s the best place to see manatees near Orlando or Daytona Beach. Florida has over 1000 natural springs and they’re all a little different. Some are in high traffic areas like on the Crystal River and others are so strange to pronounce that you might not have ever heard of them… like Ichetucknee Springs. This is everything you need to know about visiting Blue Spring State Park, including the best time for manatees, handicap accessible wildlife viewing, and kayaking / standup paddleboarding information.

Where is Blue Spring State Park?

Blue Spring State Park is a little over a half hour away from Daytona Beach in Orange City, Florida. It’s actually really easy to get to and quite simple to make a day trip out of. Blue Spring State Park is easy to pair with the trip to De Leon Springs State Park or Gemini Springs. It’s a bit further from Cocoa Beach if you’re heading to that part of the Florida coast, but it’s still worth the visit.

If you are visiting Orlando this is also an easy trip to add on (45 minutes drive) and is a nice alternative to theme parks or crowded hotel pools. After a whole bunch of time at Disney World or Universal Orlando no doubt you’ll be ready for some nature and Blue Spring State Park is just perfect for that. Also, the manatees and alligators are real, actual wildlife vs being animatronics, so they’re more exciting!

By Chris and Rob – Full Story at the 2TravelDads

East Central Florida Gay Travel Resources

Vacationing In Cabo for Gay Families – 2TravelDads

Cabo for Gay Families -2TravelDads

We’ve been to Cabo San Lucas with our kids load of times, like, we’ve spent the equivalent of three months there as a family. You could say it’s our favorite family destination in Mexico. Since we’ve done it so much, we’ve decided it’s time we share our best tips for visiting this beachside resort town with kids.

I’ll say this right away, Cabo with kids is mostly about relaxation and swimming vs digging into Mexican culture and nature. There are lots of opportunities for that, but Cabo for gay families is more about a luxury destination than adventure.

How to Get to Cabo San Lucas

For those traveling from the west coast, getting there is pretty easy. There are direct flights from Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego. Denver and Dallas also offer direct flights, so know that even east coasters should be able to find a good flight. When flying in, the airport is SJD (San Jose del Cabo), Los Cabos International Airport.

The airport is actually quite nice now (thanks Hurricane O’dele) and as long as you arrive early in the day or in the early evening, customs is pretty fast and smooth.

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Baja Sur Gay Travel Resources

Chicago for Gay Families – 2TravelDads

Chicago for Gay Families - 2TravelDads

The USA has several cities that are known around the world as being iconic or embodiment of America. We think of New YorkSan FranciscoSeattle and Chicago. Traveling to Chicago is really awesome and totally easy to do in two or three days; you could even have an unforgettable Chicago experience in one day if you were really in a pinch and wanted to. It’s an easy, walk-able city with unlimited potential and plenty of things to do.

There are so many things to do in Chicago, and you really can’t do them all on one trip. For your first trip, or if you’re traveling to Chicago on a tight schedule, these are the best ideas to make sure you explore the city and really get a feel for this incredible town.

To get familiar with the layout of the city, take a look at the map below. You’ll see that Chicago is on the shore of Lake Michigan, so there are several activities and sights very near each other since they’re all in that Magnificent Mile neighborhood, between Michigan Ave and the Lakefront Trail. We don’t include the Shedd Aquarium or Field Museum on our things not to miss in Chicago, but they’re close by too, so easy to add to your list.

By Chris and Rob – Full Story at the 2TravelDads

Chicago Gay Travel Resources

Oregon Coast Camping With Kids – 2TravelDads

Oregon Coast Camping

We have had our first Kampgrounds of America (KOA) camping experience and are thrilled to share it with you. Before this trip we didn’t really know what to expect at a KOA, even though we’d reviewed the website and seen many campgrounds. You just don’t know what the feel of a place is going to be and how it’ll fit with your travel style until you’re actually there. I’ll tell you it was great. When it comes to Oregon Coast camping, the Astoria / Warrenton / Seaside KOA Resort was perfect for us.

LOCALE OF THE ASTORIA / WARRENTON / SEASIDE KOA

We spend a lot of time in Oregon, and particularly on the Oregon Coast. At least once a year, this year it’s been twice already, we do an Oregon Coast road trip, either from tip to tip or just one part of the Oregon Coast. If you’re coming from Washington State or the Portland area, the practical first stop for you coastal getaway is Astoria, Oregon. About two hours from Portland and 3.5 hours from Eugene or Seattle, WA, Astoria or Seaside are totally doable for an easy weekend escape.

You do have to either drive along the Columbia River for a good portion of the trip or you’ll cross the Coastal Range. Either way, the drive is beautiful and there are plenty of stops you can make along the way, from hiking in the hills to visiting small towns full of wineries. If you’re coming from Washington, you can add a little side trip to Cape Disappointment State Park either on your way to or from the KOA Astoria to get your lighthouse fix, because there are two just off the Columbia River. However you get to your Oregon Coast camping destination, you’ll enjoy the full travel experience.

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Northern Oregon CoastCentral Oregon Coast | Southern Oregon Coast

 

Hiking With Kids at Zion National Park – 2TravelDads

Hiking With Kids at Zion National Park - 2TravelDads

Zion National Park is known for its epic hikes and canyoning routes, but it’s also full of fun hiking trails that are great with kids too! By now you’ve seen that we really love Zion; we found that the scenery paired with the activities make for a perfect family vacation destination. And that’s what we’re talking about here: best kid friendly hiking in Zion National Park.

If you are looking for epic views or easy strolls, there are plenty of kid friendly hiking options in Zion. You truly don’t have to over-exert yourself (or your kids) to experience and appreciate the best of what Zion has to offer. These are our top picks for families and safety tips for some kid friendly hiking in Zion National Park.

HIKING SAFETY IN ZION

We always start here because it’s easy to get right into the hike info. Here’s what you need to know to be prepared for hiking in Zion National Park:

  • Know the details of your hike – distance, elevation gain, estimated time
  • Bring more water than you think you’ll need – we do 1.5 refillable bottles per person
  • Bring enough snacks to equate to a meal
  • Don’t rush kids on rocky trails

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Utah Gay Travel Resources

 

Southern Oregon Road Trip – 2TravelDads

Southern Oregon - 2TravelDads

We love our road trips, you know that, and living in the Pacific Northwest, we’re at the gateway to some of the best road trips in the United States. Oregon is our neighbor and we visit it a lot, but it’s rare that we really explore the south part of the state. This is our (future) award winning southern Oregon road trip that takes the best of the Cascades and pairs it with the Oregon Coast. This road trip itinerary is ideal in Spring and Summer and is great with kids!

When we found out we were heading to Southern Oregon we knew two things: the Umpqua National Forest and the southern coast are going to be fun and drastically different. The Cascade Mountains run from British Columbia to Northern California. They’re dotted with snowy peaks and dense forests, which when put together make for an epic collection of waterfalls. Doing a road trip with kids, we knew that we needed to pack in some big wow items, and waterfalls always do the trick.

For fun along the coast, we make it a habit to fly kites when possible, but when the weather doesn’t permit we do the next best thing: beach combing. Even in rainy weather the kids love searching for beach glass and interesting shells, so getting some time on the coast is perfect for us. In addition to the beach, there are lots of unique coastal experiences that are great for families. We made time to do fun activities we can’t do at home, including experiencing some of the natural phenomena of the Oregon Coast (see below).

If you’ve done a road trip with small to medium age kids, you know that being in the car is a bummer. We try to break up longer drive times with fun. Here are our top tips for ensuring every part of the road trip experience is awesome.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Southern Oregon Coast Gay Travel Resources

 

Victoria With Kids – 2TravelDads

Victoria With Kids

Hopefully you followed along as we were exploring Victoria BC with kids… or on our own… or during Christmas or Valentines Day. Yes, we go to Victoria often, but it’s because we love it so much! We were asked by the destination to share our top favorite activities and tips for visiting Victoria with kids and get ready, because we’ve got 18 things for you to do to have an unforgettable trip.

Locale of Victoria BC

Victoria BC is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, just north of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and just west of Vancouver, BC. It’s a fairly large city and is situated on a harbor, the Inner Harbour, and then stretches out to its suburbs of Saanich, Sidney, and Sooke. Getting there is fairly easy and doable on nearly any budget.

Transportation to Victoria

We have written about Victoria before and have a lot of details around transportation to the city here, in our article highlighting a great 3 Day Victoria itinerary. Here’s a recap though and top tips for getting to Victoria with kids.

By ferry, you can depart for Vancouver Island from either Vancouver (Tsawwassen terminal) or Port Angeles. Both sailings are approximately 1.5 hours so which you choose depends on your starting point, travel schedule and budget. Check out the map to see which makes sense for you. You can also take the passenger-only Victoria Clipper from Seattle, which is a great option for those adding Victoria with kids to their family trip to Washington.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources