Disconnect to reconnect: Ideas for memorable outdoor family vacations

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This summer, it's time to disconnect from technology and reconnect with family. There's no better way to do this than with a family vacation that brings everyone closer to nature. A trip to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia will connect you to the great outdoors while bringing together family members of all ages. So put down the phone and tablets and enjoy true serenity with your loved ones. Here are five ways to create lifelong memories together on your next outdoor travel adventure.

1. Plan a discovery hike

Shenandoah National Park beautiful landscape
The best way to connect with Mother Nature and each other is to plan a hike with the whole family. Find abundant breathtaking views throughout Shenandoah National Park in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you hike at sunrise or pack a picnic lunch and spend the whole afternoon exploring, there are dramatic expanses of unspoiled wilderness waiting to be discovered.

2. Hit the trails on horseback

Horseback riding through Shenandoah National Park
Bonding with family has never been more enjoyable than when you explore park trails on horseback. For example, a one-hour guided ride through wooded Shenandoah trails will take you miles from technology yet much closer to one another. Rides depart from Skyland stables.

3. Seek hidden treasures

beautiful flowing stream
It's your family trip, so make it your own! Whether you're looking for vigorous outdoor fun or a more laidback adventure, the time you spend together is important. Leave part of the day open for casual exploration - you never know what you might discover in nature and about one another. A quiet talk with your son by a waterfall or a rock-climbing adventure with your daughter can take family bonding to a new level.

4. Explore natural wonders

Exploring majestic caves
Planning a nature-inspired family vacation has never been easier, thanks to the Shenandoah National Park Family Linger Longer package. Families get two nights of lodging, daily breakfast and a choice of three exciting outdoor activities, such as a tour of the fascinating geological wonders found at the Luray Caverns. Visit www.goshenandoah.com to learn more today.

5. Get wet and wild!

canoeing in Shenandoah National Park
To get a unique perspective of the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, head to the water. A three-hour canoe trip on the fabled Shenandoah River is an activity option from the Family Linger Longer package, which allows families to explore this popular recreational river at a comfortable pace. You might see a host of creatures that call Shenandoah home, such as deer, gray fox, groundhog and more than 200 species of birds.

6. Take time to relax

Enjoy a glass of wine on the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop
Mom and Dad need quality time together, too, so make sure to plan a few special activities that appeal to more mature interests. For example, one of the activities you can select in the Family Linger Longer package is a wine tasting on the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop. Enjoy local wines with good company and stress will be nothing but a distant memory!

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