Western US

Yosemite: Plan a Fun, Kid-Friendly Getaway to California's Favorite National Park

Where can one see El Capitan and Half Dome simultaneously, gaze at two thousand-year-old trees, and hike to the foot of a waterfall? Answer: Yosemite, California.

If you live in the LA area, Yosemite National Park and the surrounding areas are a must-see, and a great spot for a quick getaway that feels farther away than it is. But with so many options in one park, it's also a destination unto itself, worthy of travel from afar.

Here's a quick guide for planning a Yosemite getaway with kids in tow.

Legoland's Water Park Makes It Even Cooler in Summer

I've always found plenty to love about SoCal's fun-filled brick wonderland, but Legoland's new water park expansion this summer adds one more reason to visit. Surfer's Cove is a whole new section, upgrading the seasonal attraction from a park add-on to a summer experience worthy of a visit all its own. The new area brings more slides, more waves, and more ways to get wet for kids of all ages. Could you fit all of Legoland's action into one day? Anything's possible, but the bigger, better water park makes a family want to take advantage of one of the many deals that include keeping the fun going all weekend or all year.

25 Things To Do in Denver with Kids, Other than Hiking

My family recently made our first visit to the Mile High City, and I was honestly surprised by just how much we enjoyed the trip. As a native southern Texan, I mainly envisioned Colorado as one giant mountain, where hiking was everyone's only amusement. Ironically, Denver is mostly flat and is surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which makes you feel like you're standing in the middle of a Bob Ross painting.

Denver offers so much more than hiking—with big city attractions that range from museums and animal sanctuaries to quirky restaurants. There are even hot air balloon rides! Read on for 25 things to do with kids of all ages.

Universal Studios Hollywood: 10 Insider Tips for the Park and Wizarding World

Things just got a little more magical at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In case the end of a long day at Universal Studios ever felt like it needed an extra something to send everyone off with a smile, the theme park has added a new lights display for the summer, Christmastime, and certain other holidays. Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is a dazzling and delightful light show projected on and around Hogwarts Castle, accompanied by John Williams' familiar score and narration by the Sorting Hat. This goes way beyond pyrotechnics, creating a breathtaking effect that is definitely worth hanging around until nightfall to see—just like it's worth hanging around to the end of our list of insider tips for our advice on the best way to view it.

Universal is a big park, as your calf muscles will no doubt remind you the day after you visit. While parks like Knott's or Seaworld can be approached with a devil-may-care, keep-your-stinkin'-map sort of spontaneity, Universal's size is better served by a plan. Consider including these ten tips when you form yours.

Disneyland Tips: 12 Hacks You Need To Know

Whether you're a Disneyland passholder who can collect Fastpasses in your sleep or a hanger back who hasn't visited the park since there were E Tickets, there's always more you can learn about making the Happiest Place on Earth easier to navigate. And speaking of E tickets, this summer is a particularly great time for nostalgia buffs to pay a visit to The Mouse, as the old Main Street Electrical Parade stages a return every night through August 20, 2017. I'm no pushover, but I confess I grinned from ear to ear throughout the delightful display of throwback light-up floats. 

It's a lot easier to grin, of course, when you have a game plan, so here are a dozen tips you might not know that can make a day in Disney a whole lot happier. And if you're looking to eat outside the park, check out these 8 restaurants near Disneyland, but not in it.

10 Tips for Last Minute Yellowstone National Park Accommodations

The word is that if you want to visit the popular national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon you have to plan a year in advance because the accommodations get booked up.

When we decided to take a last minute cross country drive last summer, I thought we might have to skip Yellowstone. In a panic, I started looking into how to get accommodations about a week before our arrival. Sure enough, all the rooms were booked for the two nights we wanted to stay in the park. But, in the end, it all worked out and we had an amazing stay. It was definitely worth it. Read on for my best tips for booking last minute accommodations at Yellowstone and other national parks.

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