The 2024 Hotlist: Unforgettable Family Experiences

From finding experiences that every age group will enjoy to suggesting spacious, kid-friendly accommodations, we love to curate journeys that bring families together. These kinds of adventures are precious opportunities to forge lasting bonds, share laughter, and create cherished memories that will forever be passed down in family lore. From thrilling expeditions unearthing Jurassic-era fossils to tranquil moments on San Diego beaches, each journey becomes a canvas for shared joy and discovery.

Uncover Jurassic-Era Fossils with a Paleontologist

Elevation Science Institute

Spend a thrilling one or two day expedition at an active excavation site in Montana unearthing fossils. You’ll engage in hands-on work alongside experienced paleontologists, contributing to ongoing research projects by discovering and excavating fossilized remains of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. The Morrison Formation, renowned for preserving the fossils of some of the Earth’s largest animals and iconic dinosaurs like Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Diplodocus, sets the stage for an immersive exploration into the Jurassic Period, approximately 150 million years ago.

Your guide? A field paleontologist, fossil preparator, and adept science communicator. Participants will learn the intricacies of finding, identifying, and excavating dinosaur and fossil remains under her expert guidance. With ongoing excavations and numerous skeletons yet to be unearthed, participants are integral to the continuation of this exciting scientific endeavor for years to come.

S’mores and a Movie on the Beach in San Diego

S'mores at the Del

San Diego is a city known for its beautiful, sandy beaches and laid-back lifestyle, and we’ll be sure that you enjoy both with a private s’mores bonfire and movie screening on the beach. Just steps from your room at Shore House at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, you can enjoy showings of cult classics on the big screen on the hotel’s private beach.

Ranch Life at Colorado’s Smith Fork Ranch

Smith Fork Ranch

Smith Fork Ranch is a private, luxury guest ranch nestled at the head of a remote valley on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies. The entirety of Smith Fork Ranch is yours, as the property now only hosts one group at a time. Perfect for large families of 10-35 people, you can choose to rest your head either in some of the smaller log cabins or the three larger homes. The River House which sits among the cottonwoods and spruce trees on the banks of the West Fork is the perfect option.

All aspects of the stay are customized to your preference. Smith Fork Ranch caters to diverse interests with activities such as swimming in the spring-fed pond, exploring miles of hiking trails leading to the National Forest, and engaging in bespoke experiences like leatherworking workshops, horseback riding, or private helicopter tours. The ranch’s vast 1.6 million acres of national forest offer opportunities for horseback exploration, hiking through wildflower-filled alpine meadows, and fishing for wild cutthroat trout along the ranch’s three-mile private stretch of the Smith Fork of the Gunnison.

New Mexico’s Diverse Culture at Bishop’s Lodge

Bishop's Lodge

Just outside Santa Fe, Bishop’s Lodge originally opened in the 1920’s. After several years closed, a thoughtful restoration by Auberge, the resort lodge reopened with a new look but the same beloved atmosphere. The hotel offers the perfect accommodations and activities for families. For a larger, multigenerational group, the Bunkhouse is a standalone residence including twelve rooms with the capacity for 24 adults and up to 12 children. Smaller families have a wide range of choices from the stylish guest rooms to the expansive suites and freestanding casitas.

The property is 317 acres bordering the Santa Fe National Forest and just minutes from downtown, giving guests the option to revel in secluded privacy or dive right into the action. Family members can set out on individual adventures during the day– like horseback riding and white water rafting for more active youth and onsite art classes for older folks– and reconvene for a private meal or stories by the fire each night. 

Inspirational Itinerary: Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota Luxury Road Trip 

Yellowstone Llama Trek [Credit- Calderon]

Traveling through Wyoming to Montana to South Dakota, this road trip will immerse you in the best of the West. You’ll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the iconic Jackson Rodeo and meet the cowboys. There is bountiful wildlife to be seen which you’ll see close up in Yellowstone National Park’s northern reaches with an expert naturalist. In between, there are the fascinating Western towns of Cody, Buffalo and Sheridan to explore.

Itinerary Inspiration: Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota Road Trip


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