8 places to bring your kids before they graduate high school

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s commonly said by parents, memes on social media, and even ad campaigns that you only have eighteen summers with your kids.

It is important to take the time and opportunities available now to instill values, make memories, create bonds, and mold them into the people you hope they will become. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to make the most of these summers and travel with your children.

These are eight of the most iconic and character building locations in the United States:

The Grand Canyon

There is a reason that, according to the National Parks Department, over six million people visit the Grand Canyon every year; the views and beauty of the Grand Canyon are unmatched. Oftentimes, parents bring their children, recreating their own jaunts to this famous national park from their childhoods. The Grand Canyon is rich in history, beauty and wildlife and photographs will never do it justice. This is something that has to be witnessed in real life.

Niagara Falls

Tourists have been flocking to Niagara Falls since the 1800s to take in the beauty of its three waterfalls. Now people come from all over the world to see it. Families will always remember braving the Hurricane Deck at Cave of the Winds, riding the Maid of The Mist for some of the best views of the Falls and getting soaked in the process or admiring the illumination of the Falls at night.


Yellowstone offers a diverse and beautiful landscape that has been attracting families for hundreds of years. It is a great multi-generational gathering destination to marvel at Old Faithful’s glory, wander walkways through steamy lakes and hot springs, hike to remarkable waterfalls, and catch some glimpses of bears, elk, and deer.

Statue of Liberty, New York, New York

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour are a reminder of the freedom and liberty that you have the privilege of enjoying. Take the short cruise from Liberty Island or Battery Park and spend some time walking around the Statue of Liberty and catching a unique glimpse of the city from the crown. Afterwards, make sure to take an audio or guided tour of Ellis Island and even spend some time looking up your own ancestors at their family history center.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is an iconic monument nestled in the spectacular beauty of the Black Hills in South Dakota. A family visit to Mount Rushmore combines history and geography, and also serves as a gateway to other local beauties. Take the opportunity to view impressive wildlife such as buffalo at Custer State Park and amazing scenery and rock formations at Badlands National Park. Mount Rushmore itself is an engineering marvel and is awe-inspiring.

Washington D.C.

Take a free tour of the Capitol, stop to admire the White House, stroll through the various presidential monuments, veterans memorials, and Smithsonian museums for an educational vacation that is perfect for families. Age appropriate children can learn reverence and respect for our fallen veterans from the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.

Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts

Walk back in history and retrace the steps of the American Revolution. Meander the iconic 2.5-mile Freedom Trail in Boston comprising of sixteen historic sites including Paul Revere’s House, the Old North Church, Bunker Hill Monument, and the USS Constitution among many others. Afterwards, head over to the Minute Man National Historic Park to see reenactments and walk over the bridge where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.


Disneyland or Disney World is a quintessential family vacation that offers memorable experiences for the whole family. It may not be the most educational or historical, or showcase the natural wonders found in our expansive national park system, but it will be a place and time your family will remember forever.

Eighteen summers will go by fast but memories and experiences will live on forever. Hilarye Fuller is a blogger and an author and travels full time with her family, including four children, trading experiences for things. She shares her experiences and travel tips on her blog https://www.dottingthemap.com

Most recent Outdoors stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast