Traveling with teens is a whole new ballgame. When the kids were little, you picked where you wanted to go, ensured there were activities the family would enjoy, and off you went. With teens, you’ll be better off consulting with them on activities and getting their buy-in before you book (or brace yourself for surliness later).
With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some places that we think teens will love, from the usual beach activities to off-the-beaten-path destinations. All the resorts listed below have accommodation options that are great for families traveling with teens and are ideal for multi-generational and group travel as well.
For the outdoorsy teen who is looking for adventure and excitement
The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, MT
The Resort at Paws Up | Greenough, MT
This is the premier all-inclusive, multi-generational escape that combines luxury with unforgettable adventure on a 37,000-acre ranch featuring untamed Montana wilderness.
Activities include private cattle drives, horseback riding lessons, trail rides, archery, fly-fishing, shooting clays, rappelling, Kids Corp of Discovery, a mountain bike float trail, and more. After a day on the range, guests can indulge in sensational culinary experiences at seasonal dining venues within the Village at Paws Up and rejuvenating spa treatments at Spa Town. For barbecue lovers ready to kick off summer, MMG weekend is the perfect time to visit. There’s also An Independence Day Vacation Package during the Fourth of July holiday.
Big Cedar Lodge | Ridgedale, MO
Chances are your teen may have seen the television show Ozark, and the beautiful scenery captivated them as it did us. This award-winning wilderness resort is a playground for all ages, with specific programming that allows teenagers to explore the wonders of the Ozarks. This lodge is great for groups of kids traveling together. Daily activities include glow-in-the-dark volleyball; DJ Dance Parties; teen archery tag; mini golf; fishing excursions; and hiking. At Fun Mountain, teens can bowl in the underwater-themed bowling alley, play laser tag, Go-Kart, or traverse the sky-high ropes course.
YMCA of the Rockies | Estes Park, CO
Whether you want to be away from the crowds or looking for that epic Colorado mountain experience, the whole family will be in awe of the mountains and wildlife in the backyard of Estes Park base camp at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Take a tour with Wildside 4×4—on-road and off-road options available for incredible thrills. After all your adventures, teens will love Munchin House, which offers 40 flavors of homemade ice cream among other treats.
YMCA of the Rockies is the best spot to lay your head when visiting Estes Park. With loads of different accommodations and tons of activities from guided hikes to fly fishing, this spot will check all the boxes. Be sure to head to the retro roller rink for some family fun!
For the teens who love to golf
La Quinta Resort & Club | La Quinta, CA
Beautifully situated in the Santa Rosa Mountains, La Quinta Resort & Club, with its casita-style accommodations, makes it a nice fit for families with teenagers. Boasting 16 world-class hard courts, five clay tennis courts, and eight pickleball courts, La Quinta Resort offers talented pros available for one-on-one and group instruction. Teens are also invited to perfect their swing on the green on one of five unique, award-winning public golf courses. For teens looking to soak up some sunshine, the pool area is an oasis. Set on 1,400 acres of land, La Quinta Resort & Club allows for plenty of space for teenagers to explore and have fun.
Lost Pines Resort & Spa | Texas
This AAA Four Diamond resort is tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, along the Lower Colorado River. The golf course, designed by golf architect Arthur Hills, winds its way around the 405-acre property and offers beautiful views of the woods, river, and rolling hill country. The course is designed for golfers of all levels, there is a 13-acre driving range, and two practice putting greens. After tackling the 72-par course, enjoy tons of other fun activities like swimming (there’s a heated pool), axe throwing, horseback riding, basketball, kayaking, hiking, tennis, ping pong, and more. Teens will have so much to do, they might even forget to check their phones (we can hope!).
The Lodge at Sea Island | Georgia
Sea Island is a private island resort off the southeast coast of Georgia. The Forbes Five-Star Cloister is a Mediterranean masterpiece that preserves the original architecture’s illustrious history and unique essence. The Lodge at Sea Island has three championship golf courses and a 17,000-square-foot Golf Performance Center, among many amazing activities like horseback riding, falconry, and archery. Does your teen want to improve their golf skills while on vacation? You can book a lesson at the Golf Performance Center, where multiple PGA TOUR Pros play and train. Not into golf? There are lots of other options, including rental bikes and horseback riding.
For the teen who only wants to be at the beach
Amanyara l Turks & Caicos
Set on the shores of an 18,000-acre nature reserve on the island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Amanyara is a pristine Caribbean oasis that features timber-shingled, stand-alone pavilions sensitively integrated into the natural surroundings with views of the ocean, tranquil ponds or coastal vegetation. The Amanyara Science Explorers and Environmental Keepers (SEEK) Camps in collaboration with the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami has programming targeted to children (ages five to 10) as well as pre-teens and teens (ages 11 to 14). SEEK camps focus on three primary themes—Coastal Conservation, Reef Rescue, and Sun, Moon and Stars—with hands-on science activities and guided experiences, such as kayaking and snorkeling led by Frost Science Educators.
Additionally, for teens who want to improve their sports and fitness skills, The Amanyara Legends program is a great option for teens who want to stay fit and improve their skills. Amenities include private Har-Tru clay tennis courts, a pickleball court, a basketball court, and a soccer pitch. The Amanyara Legends program invites guests to learn and improve their sporting skills through clinics with award-winning professional athletes from across the globe.
The Boca Raton l Florida
The Boca Raton just opened up its epic teen club for guests ages 11 to 15. The highlight for teens looking for some thrills is the newly unveiled Flowrider surf simulator. For some sweet treats, choose from a mocktail bar with a dedicated bartender to a candy wall; kids can grab a snack while immersing themselves in engaging experiences. And a Youth Attendant is at the ready to ensure it all goes smoothly.
The Harborside Pool Club at The Boca Raton is a lakefront oasis set among tropical palms featuring three pools, a 450-foot floating river, water slides, themed kiddie cabanas, and new waterfront dining at Harbor House. Family stays are especially easy on the property with the newly renovated 27-story Tower situated next to Harborside Pool Club. The Tower allows for flexible room configurations, including connecting suites and entire floor takeovers. Your teens will be delighted to receive snacks from the robot butlers!
For teens who want adventure and cultural experiences
Mauna Kea Resort | Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
The iconic Mauna Kea Resort, comprised of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, caters to families with teens who crave adventure and cultural experiences. With a “stay at one, play at both” mantra, guests can enjoy amenities at both properties during their stay, from outrigger canoeing and Manta Night Swims to world-class oceanfront dining and luxury spas. Teens can play a casual game of pickleball or tennis, trek a portion of Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, enjoy the Mauna Kea Luau with a fire show, learn to hula or play the ukelele, participate in crafts, stand-up paddleboard or kayak, spot sea turtles while snorkeling, and swimming at Mauna Kea Beach and Hapuna Beach.
theWit Chicago | Chicago, IL
If your teen is looking for a city experience, theWit Hotel is in the center of it all. Less than a 10-minute drive to Grant Park and within walking distance to Chicago’s must-see spots including the Bean, State Street, the Chicago Theatre, and even Lake Michigan, theWit sits in the heart of the action, allowing guests to choose their own adventure. Constantly named one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. Families with teens staying at theWit can experience both the hotel’s luxury and comfort and the excitement and bustle of Chicago, making it the ideal place for young travelers.
For the teens who love art and adventure
Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection | Deer Valley, UT
This family-friendly resort offers year-round wilderness adventures and immersive experiences. Activities include horseback riding, hiking, and art and pottery classes. If your teen enjoys art, they can participate in watercolor painting classes, figure drawing classes, or a unique guided pottery wheel experience. If your teen’s choice of art is in the form of food, they’ll love learning how to make delicious Bavarian pretzels, and of course, the best part is eating it after.
For the younger teens and tweens who love marine life
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives | Fari Islands
Their collaboration with the legendary Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ambassadors of the Environment program, a first in the Asia-Pacific region and offers hands-on activities and science experiments for kids 10+ to explore.
Whether it’s diving to see the rich marine life, or taking nature walks to explore the fascinating flora and fauna of the Maldives, teens will have a variety of activities to fully immerse themselves in the region. The program provides guests of all ages with activities focused on the ocean and coral reefs, nature ecology, and sustainable living. Teens will experience An Expedition of Mirco Plastic where they can capture sand samples and examine them under a microscope to learn about microplastics. The second area is called Little Conservationists, which focuses on science experiments to explore the amazing properties of water. The third focus is called Aquatic Mirco World, where teens can join a marine biologist to discover the micro-world of organisms living in the ocean. If your teen is into marine life or wants to explore marine biology, this resort is a great option for you.
For families with teens traveling with pets
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa | Palm Beach, FL
If your teens have a beloved pet, sometimes it’s hard to leave your best bud at home. The Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa makes it easy. Rated five stars by Forbes; amenities include two pools and the new Loggers Kids & Hideaway Teens Club. Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa knows the same thing we do—to keep teens’ attention, you need variety, and their newly renovated space offers games, crafting, and culinary activities, plus easy access to the new ice cream parlor, Melt.
The teens club is outfitted with environments for teens ages 13 – 17, featuring specialized spaces for gaming with Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo games, as well as a 24-hour arcade that includes everything from pinball to an old-fashioned claw game, table tennis, and drinks and snacks.
The club’s virtual and experiential playground features a Lite Zilla wall and a ‘sketch aquarium,’ in which kids can demonstrate their creativity, play, and feed virtual turtles and fish that are uploaded to a life-size aquarium. There’s also a cinema for movie nights and performances. For the teens who enjoy gaming, this teens club might be just the thing to have them say yes to the trip.
Hot tip for 2023: Starting June 1st, 2023 the teen club will be complimentary to all travelers for the summer.
For the teen who loves to stargaze
Primland, Auberge Resorts Collection | Meadow of Dan, VA
Located on 12,000 acres in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, this property is a year-round mountain retreat that provides a one-of-a-kind experience. There are many accommodation types, but we thought you’d want to know about the remote treehouse suites perched high above the valley! Activities include a list of outdoor adventures from horseback riding to ATV tours and beyond. The resort features a championship golf course weaving through the forests and valleys, an exceptional culinary program with three distinct restaurants, a full-service spa, and a fitness center with an indoor/outdoor swimming pool. The highlight for your stargazing teen is an observatory with top-of-the-line telescopes operated by a local astronomer who leads stargazing experiences each night.
For teens who like aquariums and Bass Pro Shops
Big Cypress Lodge | Memphis, TN
At Big Cypress Lodge, you can explore the 535,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops amidst 100-foot tall Cypress trees and two floors of immersive retail space. Teens can check out the resort’s aquarium holding over 600,000 gallons and 36 fish varieties native to Tennessee. Stop by daily to enjoy live fish feedings by Bass Pro staff. The Fishbowl at The Pyramid offers an underwater bowling adventure where they bowl with the feeling of being in an aquarium. For the teens who are feeling brave, you can step onto the country’s tallest free-standing elevator and explore the 28-story Sky High Ride & Observation Deck.