Family Vacations With College Kids and 20somethings

From Montreal to Granada, wonderful, adventure packed-destinations for families.

Teens and 20somethings are adventuresome travel companions, who enjoy a mix of outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, fine dining and cool shopping. Continue reading for tips on structuring the ​perfect family vacation when everyone's grown up, then check out this sampling of great vacation destinations for families with young adults.

1

Montreal, Canada

Chinese garden in Autumn, Montreal
Perry Mastrovito/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The combination of European feel, museums, boutiques and club scene made Montreal a top pick among teens and 20somethings, as well as their parents. Old Montreal bustles with museums, boutiques, fine dining and café culture. Street performers, jugglers, and musicians fill the former marketplace of Place Jacques-Cartier. And Mount Royal rises above the center of the city, offering beautiful parks, hiking trails, and horseback riding. A 23-year-old intern at TravelMuse.com sold us on the idea after she called it her favorite all-around city. This gorgeous 2-minute video sealed the deal. We're booking our tickets now for the summer. Winter is icy.

2

San Diego, California

San Diego, California
By Donald Cook, Stock.Xchng Photos

San Diego's beautiful beaches — so alluring for surfers, sunbathers, divers, and kayakers — are an outdoorsy counterpoint to the city's fabulous museums, world famous zoo and the clubs and cafes of its Gaslamp Quarter, where 20somethings will want to hang after mom and dad go to bed. Nearby La Jolla boasts swanky boutiques and posh shops, and Coronado Island lends a retro vibe and powdery soft beaches to your must-see list.

Other places to see include coastal towns nearby like Leucadia, Cardiff by the Sea and Del Mar, home of the famous race track. The Del Mar Race Track season runs from mid-July through early September. There's also the very popular Del Mar Fair.

3

New Orleans

New Orleans
By Bruce Soileau, Stock.Xchng Photos

New Orleans's French Quarter provides jazzy nightlife and outrageously wonderful dining possibilities, but teens and 20somethings may also be very interested in the ample opportunities for voluntourism. Among the groups working here: Hands on New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity, and Parkway Partners".

Other great things to do in New Orleans and the surrounding area include bayou tours, architectural tours, and museums. 

4

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
By Gian, Stock.Xchng Photos

Europe offers so many exciting destinations, but Dublin has a particularly cool vibe, says TravelMuse's Donna Airoldi, that combines "outdoorsy days and then at night, live music, restaurants, and clubs." In addition to the historical attractions and hiking possibilities, Dublin's Temple Bar area, the narrow, cobble-stoned streets near Christ Church Cathedral, is home to bohemian shops, a thriving arts scene and plenty of late night clubbing. In short, there's plenty to do here for teens, as well as enough nightlife to satisfy the 20something crowd.

If your family enjoys hitting the links, there are plenty of gorgeous golf courses in Ireland for you to try out. Going outside of the city to see the countryside is a day trip that's worth the time, as the Irish countryside is unique and beautiful.

5

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua
By Alberto Ramirez, Stock.Xchng Photos

Costa Rica is an undeniably popular vacation destination, but Airoldi calls neighboring Nicaragua, with its Pacific and Caribbean coasts, an undiscovered jewel. It's not "uber-developed," she says, so prices are still low, but it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world discovers the Central American country's beach towns, towering volcanoes, lush jungles, and great cities, including Granada, a colonial-era jewel on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. There are ample opportunities to explore, she says, everything from coffee farm tours to petroglyphs, jungle hikes and other adventures that will keep teens and 20somethings enthralled.

6

Glamping

glamping
Getty

If you haven't yet heard about glamping, check into it for a fun and adventurous vacation with your family. Head to Montana, California, upstate New York or lots of other places across the country to try out camping for those who prefer running water and a mattress to sleep on. Horseback riding, hiking, gourmet meals and more are part of the glamping experience. 

7

More Suggestions

suitcases
Jane Cleary, Stock.Xchng Photos

New York City, Seattle, Portland, and Austin are all great cities for families traveling with older teens and 20somethings. Got skiers? Try Vail or Aspen, with its lounge and restaurant scene and celebrity factor, are always popular too. 

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