Summer vacation spots for both playing and learning

The Beaches Negril resort in Jamaica is a picturesque place for a family vacation. Its all-inclusive options provide an endless list of activities and adventures for all ages. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

It’s the season for family vacations. Here are five ideas to consider:

Beaches Resorts (Ocho Rios or Negril, Jamaica)

Access your slice of sun-filled fun during a family vacation at one of two Beaches Resorts in Jamaica. Both all-inclusive options provide an endless list of activities and adventures to keep every member of your family happily engaged. Relax on the private white-sand beach, dip into your choice of five swimming pools and a Pirates Island water park or learn something new in a pool dedicated for scuba practice.

While the younger kids will want to hang with on-site Sesame Street characters, the older crew will be busy sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding or perfecting their swing within the golf program for kids. Lodging options include spacious guest rooms and family suites designed for large and multigenerational clans. Butler and nanny services are also a possibility.

Ask about special air and land promotions.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (Puerto Rico)

Guests are drawn to this luxurious, sun-drenched resort for its pristine coastline, dining venues that pay homage to the local culture, a top-notch spa and two well-regarded golf courses. Young people are invited to join in community garden sessions to learn about nurturing the earth and come nightfall to join experts to observe the night sky and learn how the island’s night creatures move about.

The whole family can explore an 11-mile trail that winds past the two golf courses, beaches and through tree-shaded forests. Named after the resort’s original developer, Laurance S. Rockefeller, the trail can be explored on foot, by bike or with a golf cart.

Terramor (Bar Harbor, Maine)

Located on Mount Desert Island and the gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor provides opportunities to observe humpback, finback and pilot whales along with puffins, dolphins and seals during the warmer months. Sample tasty ice cream, stroll through quaint shops to discover locally created watercolors, sweetgrass baskets and gemstone jewelry, and crack open a lobster during your stay.

Spend the nights at Terramor, an outdoor resort, where you’ll sleep in a luxurious platform tent, stroll through the trees on boardwalks and have the option to consult your onsite outfitter for hiking tips, trail options and even grilling basics.

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa (St. Lucia)

At this all-inclusive Caribbean resort, set within 85 acres, children will learn about their destination through activities designed for each age group. The St. Lucia SCOUTS program — Seeing, Crafting, Observing, Understanding, Tasting — is infused in the fun you’ll find headquartered within the 50,000-square-foot Cocoland Kidz Klub. (Parents receive a complimentary local cellphone to stay in touch when kids are in the Klub.)

Expect youngsters to access a mini zipline and rock wall, a petting zoo and plenty of water play. Three of five resort pools cater to kids and include a lazy river and a zero-depth splash pool. Savvy youngsters can order colorful slushies and fruity drinks at their own swim-up bar. When parents opt for time at the spa or a night on their own, kids can enjoy their own Pirates Night or Movie Night on the Splash Lawn.

Snow King Resort (Jackson Hole, Wyo.)

Located at the base of Snow King Mountain and just blocks from the historic Jackson Hole Town Square, Snow King Resort offers both guest rooms and luxury condominium vacation rentals in the heart of one of the West’s most dramatic destinations, the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Onsite amenities include a fitness center, an outdoor heated pool, a hot tub and a game room.

During the summer months expect snow cones and s’mores around the fire pits, croquet, multiple lawn games and scavenger hunts. Book adventure and educational tours that will depart from the resort lobby or visit adjacent Snow King Mountain for its Treetop Adventure, an alpine slide, scenic gondola rides and miniature golf.

Lynn O’Rourke Hayes writes for Tribune News Service.

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