Travel Makes Memories

Evan at the Grand Canyon

My son and I have taken some great family vacations over the years. So it’s become a little difficult lately when my ideas for destinations seem to fall on deaf ears. At 17, my kid would rather hang out with friends than go adventuring with mom. Still, we’ll take a trip or two soon to celebrate the carefree months of summer. 

If you’re still firming up your travel plans, you’re in luck. We’ve got a host of great, inexpensive destinations you can visit right here in Memphis, as well as across our beautiful state. I’ll start with a few ideas you might find useful.


1. Plan a visit to a national or state park.

This month, we’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of Tennessee’s State Park system. We’re thankful state government remains committed to maintaining 53 state parks and 82 natural areas. These verdant places are perfect destinations for families of all ages. Inside we discover some hidden gems, as well as a few historic parks. I hope it whets your appetite.  


2. Try a family camp.

Camp isn’t just for kids, you know. Family camps can be a relaxing way to meet other families and experience outdoors activities without having to be responsible for all of the family fun. Evan and I have been to two family camps over the years and both provided a range of activities at an affordable price. 


3. Take the great American driving trip.

Being a family of two can feel pretty compact at times. So a big driving trip struck me as something a bigger family (read two adults) would attempt. But when a friend mentioned that she and her family were driving out to Yellowstone National Park, I was envious. Then I decided, yes, we can. 

The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. I wanted Evan to experience what it was like to leave behind the lushness of the East for the wide, open spaces of the West. For all my description, nothing would do it justice. He’d have to see it for himself. Then, as we drove into the mesa lands of New Mexico, my son gasped, awed by the panorama before us. Yep, first-hand experience rules.

He also started driving at the midway point of Route 66. I’d like to say it was planned that way, but it was really just incredibly crazy luck. Finally, we got to hike along the rim of the Grand Canyon. It was a memorable vacation, but one I might not have attempted had I not simply thrown caution to the wind. 


4. Look for activities that involve both looking and doing.

It can be challenging when you’re traveling with young and older children. But family vacations are supposed to be about experiencing activities together. Even if it’s just hiking in the mountains or lolling at the beach, look for activities that will be fun for all. Museums can be great for some kids, but others will chafe at the idea of standing around. Putting together a mix of things that let kids see and do will probably make everyone happier. 


5. Finally, if you need more ideas, check in with us online.

Throughout the summer, we’ll be highlighting fun day trip destinations to help you enjoy the dog days of summer. Happy travels!



• Discover the beauty of a swamp where frog songs come alive. We hike the boardwalk at Mineral Slough at La Grange, Tennessee.

• Cooking better for your family just got easier with our quick kitchen changes.

• Wild animals roam the hills at Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, Tennessee. Never been? We’ve got the details.

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