Written by: Emily Knapp
Here at Mojo Sportswear Company we are all one big fishin’ family. We value the time we have together as a work family, but also that time spent with our own families. Spring Break time is upon us, which means time for family vacations! We are going to give you our Top 10 destinations for some quality family/outdoor time. Whether it’s snow, crystal white beaches, or high mountain tops, we’ve got you covered!!
- Destin, Florida
With beautiful sugar sand beaches and crystal blue water, Destin is a paradise all its own. There is something sure to put smiles on all the faces in your family. Destin is also home to numerous fishing expeditions. You can view some of the most beautiful beaches on a boat ride along the coast and even see some dolphins playing in the wake as they swim along the side of the boat! If you want something a little more daring, you can also take this view from the sky via parasailing, gliding in the sky across the harbor. There are also numerous places for water fun all along the beach. You can even rent boats, wave runners, paddle boards, and bicycles for your own kind of fun. Destin is also home to some of the most exclusive shopping in the United States. When it comes time to fill those hungry tummies, there is a wide plethora of restaurants to fill everyone up! If you need a rest from the sun, there are also arcades, go cart riding, mini golf, and bowling.
- Asheville, North Carolina
Wanderers have long been drawn to Asheville for the amazing mountains, new age vibes, and exquisite environmentalism. Today Asheville is home to over 85,000 people. Asheville has expanded over the years. They now have some buzzy restaurants, lively bars, and arts festivals. Asheville is home to the famous Biltmore Estates. The Biltmore is an 8,000 acre estate in the mountains. Completed in 1895, you can tour this real life beauty. Along with the architectural beauty, the Biltmore has acres of beautiful gardens and grounds. To go along with the mountain life fun, there are numerous places to do some white water rafting, hike, or just stand in a stream and fish. As if there isn’t enough to do in Asheville, it also has the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway technically isn’t a park. It connects two national parks (Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains) together. You will be able to see exclusive scenery on the Blue Ridge Parkway. With 469 miles of mother nature’s biggest beauties, from vivid colored plants, to waterfalls and beautiful mountain views, take the time to smell the wildflowers along the way.
- Helen, Georgia
Helen, Georgia is a unique destination in the Appalachians and promotes itself as the charm of Bavaria in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town resembles a Bavarian Village with gabled roofs, colored shutters, and a very festive environment. To understand why there is a Bavarian town tucked away in the Appalachians, a little history is required. Settled in 15th century, Helen began as a Cherokee Indian settlement. The discovery of gold in the mountains made Helen a prospering mining town in the 19th century. As the years travelled on, the Appalachians has become more famous for wood from the trees and minerals underneath them. A local artist was hired to sketch and came up with ideas for the transformation; thus becoming Alpine Helen. Helen is also full of so many outdoor activities such as: hiking, biking trails, waterfalls, river tubing, fishing, hunting, and even ziplining. Spring is packed full of activities from wine tastings, live music and hot air balloon rides. You will be sure to find something to suit all the happy faces in your family!
- Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is the oldest, continuously occupied city in the United States, and is over 450 years old. Prior to becoming part of the United States, Florida was occupied by the Spanish and the French. You can still see this in the architecture of the homes and on the historical streets. If you want to enjoy some beautiful beaches and history, St. Augustine is the place for you. There is plenty of fun for the kiddos here as well; everything from mini golf to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not, this destination has it all. Castillo de San Marcos is the one place no one should miss out on. The fort is the oldest and the largest stone fort in the United States. If it’s more fun in the sun you want, there’s even a speed boat tour of the city. It is also complete with a light house and museum for a well-rounded vacay!
- Breckenridge, Colorado
Breckenridge is ranked as the second most visited ski resort in the country, with more than 1.6 million visitors a year! Breckenridge is an all-inclusive resort with ski in/ski out access. At every turn the streets are lined with shops, dining options, bars and cultural venues to explore. With skiing and snow activities’ being the main attractions, there are a few other fun things to do as well; one being the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster. On Peak 8 you can ride this 2500 ft of roller coaster track in a single or double seater cart. It’s full of all the curves and dips! Just to name a few more activities full of adventures, such as: dog sledding tours, ice skating or even a horse sleigh rides. If you’re looking for a vacation venue that has it all included, Breckenridge is most certainly it!
- New Orleans, Louisiana
The “Big Easy” is easy on fun; from steamboat rides on the Mississippi River to beautiful southern mansions, New Orleans has it all! The most obvious and oldest neighborhood is the French Quarter. Spend some time taking in the amazing architecture and checking out all the shops. You can even take a food tour. Another nice attraction is Frenchman Street for live authentic jazz music; make sure to check out the Frenchman Art Market. An amazing atmosphere and twinkling lights with music playing in the background greet visitors. The market is full of authentic art from local and regional artists. Make sure you also take a tour through the garden district. The garden district is full of jaw dropping mansions with beautiful architecture. New Orleans is also full of museums and even a zoo. You are sure to have lots of fun-filled family time visiting New Orleans.
- The Florida Keys
The Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys is the ultimate trip full of spectacular views, fun things to do with hidden harbors and tiki bars! The Florida Keys comprise of five groups of islands including: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, and the lower keys including Key West. There are more than 800 Keys in all! Key Largo is called “The Gateway to the Keys” because of its northernmost location. Key Largo is famous for diving and sportfishing. You can even take a tour on a glass bottom boat tour AND swim with the dolphins.
Islamorada comprises of six small islands. Here you can experience the high flying, extreme sport of kiteboarding! Islamorada is the sportfishing capital of the world. This spot on the map is always a popular destination because of its beautiful scenery and laid back atmosphere.
Marathon is a quaint tropical city conveniently situated in the middle of the key island chain. Marathon is a family oriented island community rooted in a heritage of fishing and reflects the “old keys” lifestyle. Off of Marathon is the Sombrero Reef! This reef is a federally protected section of the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. Marathon’s natural environment has activities for every one of every age. So get ready for sailing, fishing, and snorkeling if this destination is your pick.
Big Pine Key is the lower keys where the island chain crosses the Bahia Honda Key. This quiet region is full of down home restaurants, wilderness, and rich history. The white sandy beaches of Big Pine Key. Big Pine Key is the jumping off points for numerous snorkeling and dive charters.
Moving on down to Key West, stroll through the palm lined streets, and take in the scenery of the gingerbread mansions, and tin roofed conch houses. You can also tour the famous homes of John Audubon and Ernest Hemmingway. Make sure you take a classic harbor tour. This is the best sailing experience in Key West. If you want a little spookiness, make sure you also check out the Ghost Tours of Key West. As you can well see, the Keys will be sure to make family memories that will last a lifetime.
- Sequoia National Park/ Kings Canyon
Sequoia National Park is one of America’s most incredible national parks. It was established in 1890 by men who had the foresight to recognize the beautiful treasures it held. Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are home to natural giants and some of the best scenery America has to offer. These two parks are connected. A must see is the Giant forest. When you walk amongst the amazing huge trees, you will feel so small. On this trail you’ll find the German Sherman Tree, the largest tree in the world by volume, weighing in at 1385 tons. If you want the best views from the parks you can climb the 400 stone steps of Moro Rock to the granite dome. Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the United States at a whopping 14,494 feet. Thousands of people attempt the 22-mile round trip mountain hike each year. Hume Lake is a beautiful lake between Grant Grove and Kings Canyon. It was initially built as a water supply for a flume. Now it’s a recreation area where you can swim or paddle boat! Kings Canyon Scenic Highway is a 50 mile drive where you get gorgeous views of the river and mountain ranges, plus there are plenty of pit stops. Make sure to get a tour of the privately owned Boyden Cavern. Another view you have to see on this trip is Grizzly Falls. Grizzly Falls is a 75 foot waterfall. If your family is an outdoor family, you are sure to be fulfilled by this destination.
- Padre Island, Texas
Padre Island is a barrier island along the southern coast of Texas. It is home to Padre Island National Seashore, a vast protected area with beaches sheltering rare Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles. This primitive national preserve is a 70-mile stretch of underdeveloped coastline on the north side of Padre Island. This park is a must see for birdwatchers. The park contains dunes, beach scenes, prairies, and tide pools teeming with marine life. Padre Island is also home to the longest fishing pier in Texas, Pirates Landing Fishing Pier. They offer pole rentals, and all the tackle items you can imagine. Anglers will be in heaven here! The waters off the coast of this barrier island are home to ample fish, like snapper, grouper, and tarpon. There are several charter companies that will take you offshore to experience the “big game” fishing. They also have dolphin cruises, paddle boarding, and horseback riding. At Padre Island you can even camp out on the beach. Another awesome experience to check out and tour is the Sea Turtle Inc. facility where they aim to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles. They also protect the sea turtle eggs and release the hatchlings back into the wild. Sea Turtle Inc. also educates the public and assists with consideration efforts for all marine turtle species. You may even get the opportunity to touch some of the turtles, who now call Sea Turtle Inc. home. Make sure while you are in Padre Island, you stop at the visitor’s center to see the largest outdoor sandcastle in the United States. It was created in 2013, and took 60 tons of sand to complete the castle. With wildlife, fishing, camping, water fun, and a plethora of restaurants, Padre Island delivers a grand vacation that you and your family will never forget!
- Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas was founded right up against Hot Springs National Park. Even though it is the smallest National Park in America, it has plenty of visitors, even celebrities! The main attraction is coming for a dip in the healing hot spring waters. The visitors center offers guided tours. The National Park Service has even deemed it safe to drink. You can taste the hot springs water at one of the spigots in the park. Hot Springs National Park is the place to be for relaxation. Here you can even experience taking a mineral bath at one of the bathhouses. A guide will take you through the traditional experience of visiting a bath house and make sure you are totally relaxed and comfortable. Some places even offer massages! There are are 47 pools at Hot Springs, but the most famous is Bathhouse Row. The street is lined with old bath house buildings in a variety of architectural styles. Make sure to stop at Fordyce Bathhouse, the Visitor Center for Hot Springs National Park. If you want to experience some more outdoor activities, there are plenty of hiking trails. Hot Springs National Park is also the prime destination for bird watchers; you can see everything from cardinals, finches, wrens, eagles, hawks, chickadees, woodpeckers and much more. Located at the top of the parks Hot Springs Mountain, the Hot Springs Mountain Tower offers 360 degree views of the region. Make sure you keep your eyes open on this vacay, because if not, you will miss some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States.