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Looking for a great family getaway? The experts at global timeshare exchange company Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX) have scoured the country for top spots to help members make their next vacation with the kids the best one yet.

“Many of our members choose destinations with beaches, theme parks and state and national parks for family trips,” says Justin Hunter, vice president of operations for RTX. “Our most popular destinations offer a host of fun activities that educate, thrill and delight, with something to appeal to every member of the family.”

From golden-sand beaches to rollercoasters, concerts, nature escapes, interactive museums and more, the RTX family hot spots below feature classic favorites as well as hidden gems just begging for discovery.

Gatlinburg, Tenn. – This gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park brims with affordable family-friendly accommodations, attractions and restaurants that make exploring the Smoky Mountains tremendous fun. Nestled beside the park, this mountain town boasts spectacular views; a charming, walk-able downtown with shops and restaurants; and a unique lineup of attractions. The big draw, of course, is the 521,085.66-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Hike or bike its woodsy trails. Then take the scenic mountain road to Cherokee and ascend 3,000 feet for commanding views.

Gatlinburg also boasts engaging museums like the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, displaying more than 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers. Also a hit: The Hollywood Star Cars Museum, which features celebrities’ vehicles from movies like “The Fast and the Furious.” Seasonal festivals add to the fun. The semiannual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (July and October) spotlights beautiful crafts along with bluegrass and country music. Neighboring Pigeon Forge entertains, too, with go-cart tracks, mini golf and large-scale music shows. It also is home to Dollywood, an amusement park named for hometown hero Dolly Parton.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Once known as a spring break destination, Fort Lauderdale has emerged as an ideal family-oriented, year-round escape. The area’s 20-mile shoreline—with wide swaths of golden sand—is the main draw, but these beautiful beaches today are complemented by exceptional hotels and resorts and top-notch foodie and arts and culture scenes.

Just minutes from Fort Lauderdale’s luxury hotels and golf courses, the Everglades National Park presents a mosaic of wildlife and birds in their natural habitat. For a close-up view of nature, visit amazing Butterfly World, with acres of aviaries as well as botanical gardens, butterfly farm and research facilities. Be sure to leave time for the Museum of Discovery and Science to see how much fun science can be for the entire family. Adding color to a Fort Lauderdale itinerary, the Museum of Art is the ideal place to introduce children to great works of art. From the museum, it’s a short stroll to the shops, restaurants and galleries of vibrant Las Olas Boulevard and the picturesque Riverwalk waterfront promenade.

Branson, Mo. – With dozens of glittering music halls, Branson, Mo., earns its nickname, the Live Music Capital of the World. This country-music mecca sits in the rolling hills of southwestern Missouri’s Ozarks Country. While millions of people make the pilgrimage here to enjoy the shows, Branson’s theme parks, natural attractions, shopping and restaurants have their own appeal. One of Branson’s favorite attractions, Silver Dollar City, treats families to all types of rides, including speeding steel coasters, wild water rides, and the daring wood coaster, Outlaw Run®. For calmer action, visitors hop aboard the Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train for a ride through the breathtaking Ozark countryside.

At the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai show, watch performers master stunts that will have jaws dropping. For more tranquil pursuits, many families visit the Ozarks for hiking, fishing, swimming, mountain biking and water sports in Table Rock State Park, an exquisite natural expanse on the banks of Table Rock Lake. The park offers scuba diving, as well, in crystal-clear lake waters. To see all that Branson has to offer, take on a Ride the Ducks Tour aboard a World War II-vintage amphibious vehicle known as a duck. It passes through the city’s entertainment district, climbs to the top of nearby Baird Mountain for stunning views and completes its journey with a splashdown in Lake Taneycomo.

For more information on these and many other vacation opportunities available from RTX, visit www.rtx.travel

About RTX

Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX) is a timeshare and vacation ownership exchange company based in Asheville, N.C. RTX works with a number of resorts and developers throughout the world to provide the best exchange options possible to its members. In addition to exchange services, RTX offers numerous travel benefits to members, such as reservation protection, rebates, travel discounts and more. RTX has approximately 80,000 members.

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Email: keishabarber@perspectivegrp.com
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Address:4700 Millenia Blvd Suite 370
City: Orlando
State: Florida
Country: United States
Website: http://perspectivemagazine.com/category/featured

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