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Think outside the box for your next vacation

  • COURTESY SOFITEL NEW YORK

    The Tony Awards Suite features memorabilia and Tony-themed amenities that spotlight the evolution of Broadway.

Planning your next family vacation? Turn the tables and try something new and different. Here are five ideas to consider:

1. Trade a ritzy resort for the backcountry

Family camping can help stir a deep and lifelong interest in the natural world. For the purest connection to nature, make your way off the beaten path. Hike, paddle or float into a pristine location where your family can learn or hone wilderness skills. Choose a destination suitable for the ages and abilities of your crew. Encourage each person to take responsibility for the adventure, whether that be early research, carrying a small pack, collecting kindling or serving as master storyteller around the fire.

If you are concerned about the youngest members of your clan, consider a practice round in the backyard or nearby park. That way, if the weather or unforeseen forces create a kink in your plans, warm and dry shelter is nearby.

Contact: backcountry.com; nps.gov

2. Trade the country for the city

For the ultimate New York experience join the Sofitel New York in their salute to Broadway and the Tony Awards. Check in to the Midtown hotel’s Tony Awards Suite, a luxury space with jaw-dropping views of the Manhattan skyline. You’ll be immersed in Broadway memorabilia and amenities including a Tony Awards songbook, scripts from award-winning plays, photographs, playbills, invitations and a video loop of footage from this’s season’s most popular productions. Of course, with all that in-room inspiration you’ll want to catch a stage performance yourselves. Head to the TKTS booth in Time Square to snag last-minute, discounted tickets.

Contact: sofitel-new-york.com; tdf.org

3. Put down the clubs, pick up a racket

Then head to the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Their new family programs include instruction at the Woodstock Tennis Academy where families can hone skills while participating in relaxed games and doubles matches. A team of pros will host sessions at the resort’s world-class facilities which include indoor and outdoor U.S. Open and Hard-tru courts. The program consists of four half-day sessions, Monday through Thursday. (Check the website for dates and details.) While visiting the 2,500-plus acre property, families can also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing and gardening classes.

Contact: woodstockinn.com

4. Trade terra firma for a boat that floats

Go all in and commit to a family adventure aboard a Disney cruise ship. Choose from four vessels: Disney Wonder, Magic, Dream and Fantasy, each designed to conjure a bygone era but with plenty of modern amenities. (And, a respectful hat tip to the mouse that got the whole thing started.) Expect top-notch service from smiling staff members, character meet-and-greets each day, movies, performances, pool time and a menu of enrichment experiences. Disney aims to offer an elegant, yet family-friendly, experience on every ship. What you won’t find: a casino.

Contact: disneycruise.disney.go.com

5. Don’t fly over, make it a road trip

Drive through some beautiful country and stop often. Visitors who travel this extraordinary byway, experience the visual trifecta of Montana, Wyoming and Yellowstone Park, home to the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains. The Beartooth Highway, a windy, cliff-hugging 68-mile stretch introduces road explorers to one of the most diverse ecosystems accessible by auto. It’s also the highest elevation highway in the Northern Rockies. Stunningly beautiful, the All-American Road showcases wide, high alpine plateaus, painted with patches of ice blue glacial lakes, forested valleys, waterfalls and wildlife. Plan for many pull overs and perhaps a picnic, so the driver can take in the long views!

Contact: beartoothhighway.com

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