Our family does a lot of traveling and camping (in fact we’ve spent close to 10 weeks away in 2008). We take our two boys along on almost every trip, even if one of us is attending a conference (heck, the hotel room is already paid for, and there is always plenty to see and do, even before or after the conference). Chase’s first road trip was at 6 weeks old, Gabe’s at 4 weeks of age, and we’re still taking trips. So when people ask us questions like “Where’s your favorite place?” or “What is your favorite campground?” or “Where are you going next?” it gets really hard to pick. Each place has its own unique features that are great for the time of life you are in. Some places are easier with small kids (toddlers at the Grand Canyon require extra parental vigilance), and other parks and areas are a lot of fun for adults too when the kids are old enough to participate in most activities, or take that longer hike. As our boys grow older, develop more interests and are able to take longer hikes or excursions, our list of places changes too.

Favorite National Park campground: Zion National Park, Utah. With the great red rocks towering above you, the Virgin River flowing by the campsite and bike trails leaving from the campgrounds, it’s a pretty great spot. The scenery in Zion is amazing and we never get tired of it, even though we’ve been there several times. The Virgin River in the summer and early fall is slow and low, which means there are great sand beaches to dig and relax on, and the water isn’t deep enough or fast flowing enough to worry about the kids getting in too much trouble. The adjacent town of Springdale is just across the bridge and has fun rock shops to poke around in. There’s also some surprisingly good restaurants with creative southwestern cuisine. And you can leave the vehicles set up at the campground, then bike or take the shuttle into the Zion Canyon area for some great short hikes and sightseeing.

— Look for more tomorrow from Sheri on her favorite place to vacation with their kids —