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BY JENNIE RIVERA
3 sunny family spring break destinations.
Longing to leave the cold weather behind? WorldMark has you covered! With spring break around the corner, these three sunny locations are perfect for a fun-packed family getaway. Any of them would be magical and good for body and soul. So, shed that coat and pack some shorts and sunscreen. Orlando, San Diego and Seaside, Oregon await.
1. Orlando, Florida
Some of the bigger attractions in the vacation capital of the world are obvious. But Walt Disney World parks, Universal Orlando, and Sea World are just the beginning. There is no shortage of activities in Orlando. The thrills are endless at Andretti Indoor Karting. Go-karts, laser tag, virtual reality games, bowling lanes, and a full bar restaurant offers plenty of excitement for everyone in the family.
Are you a daredevil? Then the Orlando Slingshot is for you. This adrenaline rush-inducing ride catapults riders over 390 feet vertically and into the air at 100 mph. Can you stomach it? (Confession: I cannot, but my 16-year-old loves it.) Another fun destination is Orlando Icon Park, a shops, restaurants, and attractions complex that is home to The Wheel (like the London Eye), Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Sea Life Aquarium, and the Museum of Illusions. You can spend an afternoon or the whole day here.
But, say, you want an adult night in O-Town. Head to Mango’s Tropical Café for a night of Latin music to the beat of renowned international DJs or even a live concert, mojitos, and salsa dancing until 2 a.m.
2. San Diego, California
This coastal city is brimming with spots that scream family adventure. For history buffs, a visit to Old Town is a must. Staking claim as the birthplace of modern California, this is where Spanish settlers first arrived in 1769 and built the first mission in the state. About 15 historic buildings remain at the site, which can be explored at leisure.
In terms of amusement parks, there’s SeaWorld and LEGOLAND, both with tons of interactive experience and best suited for younger children. If you are traveling with teenagers, they may be seeking more action and Belmont Park San Diego would be just perfect. Why? Because between an antique wooden roller coaster, an arcade, carnival rides, a zip line, laser tag, miniature golf, and a go-kart track, what’s there not to like?
But if you are in San Diego, it would be a shame not to visit the nation’s largest cultural park: Balboa Park. It is home to 17 museums (including many kid-friendly), gardens, the San Diego Zoo, restaurants, and performing arts venues.
3. Seaside, Oregon
This picturesque resort town is known for surf breaks, beautiful hiking trails and the place where Lewis and Clark’s expedition ended. The Turnaround, a bronze statue of the famed explorers commemorating the event, is the town’s most photographed landmark. It faces the ocean at the historic Seaside Promenade, a 1.5-mile stretch of paved walkway along the Pacific Ocean that was built in 1920.
Oregon is all about beautiful scenery and what better way to take it all in than a hike at a gorgeous location. The Mill Ponds Trail provides hikers of all ages with excellent opportunities to view wildlife. Part of the Neawanna Creek watershed, this nature area is home to various species of mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, but the big draw is the birds. In the spring, colorful, neo-tropical migrants feed here on their travels along the Pacific Flyway. Biking, kayaking, and golfing are popular activities here as well.
But what would a visit to Oregon be without an opportunity to taste its famed Pinot Noir or its Pinot Gris? Wineries and tasting rooms, many offering free tastings, abound in the area. Find a complete list here.