Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
The Lazy Way
Okay, so your kids' definition of exercise is channel surfing. Then they'll love being rim rats for a day.
Head first for the Yavapai Observation Station in the Grand Canyon Village. You can enjoy the breathtaking buttes and tributary canyons from behind glass windows, without worrying about anyone falling off the side. What's more, the canyon's geological features are identified on panels near the viewing points, so the kids won't miss a thing!
Then, pick one of two Rim Drives, to tour by car or bike:
- Desert View Drive. The 46-mile roundtrip route to the park's east entrance is an absolute must. At Yaki Point, check out the glorious, unobstructed views of the canyon and its distinctive buttes or "temples."
- At Watchtower, the highest point on the South Rim, you'll get a 360-degree view of the Vermilion Cliffs, San Francisco Peaks, Painted Desert, and Colorado River. The tower has an authentic kiva (a ceremonial room, decorated with murals) as well as a gas station, snack bar, and rest room.
- On your way, take a tour of the Tusayan Ruin and Museum, where you'll view a small, 12th-century Ancestral Pueblo and learn how the neighboring Hopi continue a similar lifestyle today.
- Hermits Road and Nature Trail. On this 16-mile roundtrip route, you'll see 8 popular viewpoints, including Abyss, where the Great Mohave Wall plunges 3,000 feet, creating a breathtaking view of the Colorado River.