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5 Great Family Vacations with College Kids and 20somethings

From Montreal to Granada, wonderful, adventure packed-destinations for families.


Teens and 20somethings are adventuresome travel companions, who enjoy a mix of outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, fine dining and cool shopping. Click here for tips on structuring the perfect family vacation when everyone's grown up, then check out this sampling of great vacation destinations for families with young adults.

1. Montreal, Canada

Chinese garden in Autumn, Montreal
Perry Mastrovito/The Image Bank/Getty Images
The combination of European feel, museums, boutiques and club scene made Montreal a top pick among teens and 20somethings, as well as their parents. Old Montreal bustles with museums, boutiques, fine dining and café culture. Street performers, jugglers and musicians fill the former marketplace of Place Jacques-Cartier. And Mount Royal rises above the center of the city, offering beautiful parks, hiking trails and horseback riding. A 23-year-old intern at TravelMuse.com sold us on the idea, after she called it her favorite all-around city. This gorgeous 2-minute video sealed the deal. We're booking our tickets now. For summer. Winter is icy.

2. San Diego, California

By Donald Cook, Stock.Xchng Photos
San Diego's beautiful beaches - so alluring for surfers, sunbathers, divers and kayakers - are an outdoorsy counterpoint to the city's fabulous museums, world famous zoo and the clubs and cafes of its Gaslamp Quarter, where 20somethings will want to hang after mom and dad go to bed. Nearby La Jolla boasts swanky boutiques and posh shops, and Coronado Island lends a retro vibe and powdery soft beaches to your must-see list.

3. New Orleans

By Bruce Soileau, Stock.Xchng Photos
New Orleans's French Quarter provides jazzy nightlife and outrageously wonderful dining possibilities, but teens and 20somethings may also be very interested in the ample opportunities for voluntourism in a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Among the groups working here: Hands on New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity, and Parkway Partners". Click here for other voluntourism information and ideas.

4. Dublin, Ireland

By Gian, Stock.Xchng Photos
Europe offers so many exciting destinations, but Dublin has a particularly cool vibe, says TravelMuse's Donna Airoldi, that combines "outdoorsy days and then at night, live music, restaurants and clubs." In addition to the historical attractions and hiking possibilities, Dublin's Temple Bar area, the narrow, cobble-stoned streets near Christ Church Cathedral, is home to bohemian shops, a thriving arts scene and plenty of late night clubbing. In short, there's plenty to do here for teens, as well as enough night life to satisfy the 20something crowd.

5. Granada, Nicaragua

By Alberto Ramirez, Stock.Xchng Photos
Costa Rica is an undeniably popular vacation destination, but Airoldi calls neighboring Nicaragua, with its Pacific and Caribbean coasts, an undiscovered jewel. It's not "uber-developed," she says, so prices are still low, but it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world discovers the Central American country's beach towns, towering volcanoes, lush jungles and great cities, including Granada, a colonial-era jewel on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. There are ample opportunities to explore, she says, everything from coffee farm tours to petroglyphs, jungle hikes and other adventures that will keep teens and 20somethings enthralled.

6. More?

Jane Cleary, Stock.Xchng Photos

New York City, Seattle, Portland and Austin are all great cities for families traveling with older teens and 20somethings. Got skiers? Try Vail or Aspen, with its lounge and restaurant scene and celebrity factor, are always popular too. Click here to find travel information for vacation destinations around the globe and ideas on voluntourism possibilities too.

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