Happy families adopt healthy habits like taking family vacations.  While many people think of vacations as an indulgence, research shows that family getaways promote relaxation and build personal connections.  In addition, family vacations help broaden perspectives, encourage cooperation and create wonderful memories.  For a spring break getaway this year, think outside of the box.  Discover six Spring Break family destinations that combine dining, shopping and entertainment with healthy recreational opportunities.



1. Carlsbad, California:  Situated between Orange County, California and San Diego, the City of Carlsbad offers a variety of exciting opportunities for a family vacation. Affectionately dubbed, "The Village by the Sea," Carlsbad delivers seven miles of scenic coastline for surfing, swimming and fishing.  Tourists enjoy an array of charming shops and boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and colorful flower gardens.  Close proximity to fun family attractions like Sea World and LEGOLAND resort make Carlsbad a favorite getaway location for children.


2. Amelia Island, Florida:  A barrier island located off Florida's northeast coast, Amelia Island offers a number of attractive vacation features.  A history of French, Spanish, British and American rule supplies rich cultural diversity; and 13 miles of beaches provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.  Tourists enjoy a variety of shops and restaurants and strolling along the public boardwalk.


3. San Antonio, Texas:  San Antonio offers a wonderful mix of history, cultural attractions and natural beauty.  Located in south-central Texas, San Antonio is home to the Alamo, a Spanish mission-turned-museum that played a key role in the Texas Revolution for independence from Mexico. Visitors to the city also enjoy the beautiful River Walk on the banks of the San Antonio River and proximity to theme parks like Six Flags and Sea World.


4. Lake Tahoe, California:  When it comes to healthy habits, many families enjoy snow skiing. Lake Tahoe, California, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, has much to offer families in the way of a skiing destination.  Because Tahoe transitions from a winter-to-beach destination in the springtime, vacationers enjoy lower prices and fewer tourists.  In addition to beautiful ski areas, popular attractions include charming mountain villages, a variety of shops and restaurants, and a number of cozy lodge-style resorts.


5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:  The boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, located on the coast of South Carolina, makes every child's heart skip a beat.  Features include a variety of arcades and tourist-inspired restaurants.  The Family Kingdom amusement park offers Sky Wheel, one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the United States.  Miles of coastline and celebrity-designed golf courses also provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor sporting.


6. Wisconsin Dells:  For families that live in the central United States, Wisconsin Dells offers something special for children.  Affectionately known as the "Water Capital of the World," this southern Wisconsin city plays home to a number of water parks including Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park and Noah's Ark Water Park.  When families have had enough of this type of amusement, they can take to the wilderness for hiking and camping.


An annual vacation is one of the most valuable healthy habits that families can adopt.  While it may seem like a luxury, getting away as a group allows parents, children and siblings to form closer bonds and make wonderful memories.  The six destinations above offer something for every member of the family, from shopping and dining to entertainment and recreation.