Summer is quickly coming to an end and many people are getting back into the routine of work, school, fall sports and other activities. Just because fall is approaching doesn’t mean you can’t get in one more summer getaway. As a travel agent who focuses on family travel and destination vacations here are three of the best end of summer getaways for you and your family.

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Playa del Carmen

Located on the east coast of Mexico, just south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers something for everyone of all ages. From all-inclusive resorts to whale watching and snorkeling you will never be bored when visiting Playa del Carmen. 

Spend a day at the beach

Playa del Carmen has beautiful white sand beaches and calm waters. Pack a basket, bring the beach toys, sit back, and relax as your kids have a blast playing in the waves, chasing fiddler crabs and building sandcastles. If you aren’t the beach going type, consider visiting one of the many resort swimming pools dotted along the beach. Many are kid friendly and offer fun options for the adults as well.

Take a helicopter tour

Enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful turquoise waters of Playa del Carmen from high above in a private helicopter tour. These tours are very accessible, located directly next to the airport, and offer enjoyment for the family you will not soon forget.

Visit one of the eco parks

Many eco parks exist in Playa del Carmen so it may be difficult to choose which one to visit. I suggest the Xcaret with its beautiful jungle scenery, underground rivers, coral aquariums, and local wildlife. If you are a bit more adventurous you can ride on amphibious vehicles through the jungle and even fly through the canopy on zip lines.

San Diego

For a closer vacation you must always consider San Diego. Located only 6 hours from downtown Phoenix, San Diego has hundreds of activities for the entire family. With its great year-round weather, it always a great place to visit, even if just for the weekend. 

The San Diego Zoo

The world-famous San Diego Zoo is a must see for anyone visiting. Home to over 3700 endangered species and over 700,000 exotic plants the zoo offers activities for adults and kids alike. Try visiting the zoo in the morning when the zookeepers are feeding the animals to get a good look at a variety of species. Kids will enjoy the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp and flying over the park on the Skyfari aerial tram. If you start getting worn out come mid-day, take the guided bus tour to cool off and take a break.


Children and adults will enjoy the many activities Legoland has to offer. From its twisty rides, variety of shows and attractions there is something for everyone to do and enjoy. Stay at the Legoland Hotel for a complete experience or just visit for the day. Be sure to take the factory tour to see how your favorite building bricks are made before picking up a new set to put together back home.

San Diego Natural History Museum

Located in Balboa Park, The Natural History Museum allows you to see scientists and archeologists in action as they prepare and study specimens. Check out the Living Lab which has a variety of frogs, centipedes, spiders, and snakes. If your kids are a little wary of these animals visit the Backyard, a space made just for kids to have fun, play, and learn. 

Grand Cayman

Located in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman is a bit farther away but worth the trip. Outside of the traditional beach vacation activities, Grand Cayman has much to offer. Go snorkeling, watch the iguanas, kiss a stingray or search for starfish along Starfish Point. With Grand Cayman you will have full days of activities everyone will enjoy that will create memories for a lifetime.

Starfish Point

Located at the North Sound visitors walking the beach will find numerous species of starfish. A bit further away from the typical tourist destinations like Seven Mile Beach, it may be best to make this a day trip excursion. When visiting the beach be sure to look, not touch and don’t keep any of the starfish. Your little ones will enjoy spotting the many starfish in the crystal-clear water.

Stingray City

One of the more unique attractions in Grand Cayman can be found on the North Sound portion of the island where stingrays gather on the sandbar to eat and of course get pets and kisses from tourists. Many outlets provide tours to the area so you will have your choice of tour lengths and prices to choose from. Pick your charter and visit these friendly rays. Truly an experience your kids will never forget.  

Cayman Turtle Center

Featuring impressive sea turtles weighing up to 500 pounds, the Cayman Turtle Center is Grand Cayman’s largest land-based attraction. The center not only allows visitors to get up close to these majestic creatures, but it also plays a key role in preservation by releasing more than 30,000 turtle back into the wild. The center offers two separate price points for visitors. The less expensive one allows access to the big pond to see the largest turtles, the touch tanks and hatchery. This is great for kids who may not have long attention spans but offers great fun for couple of hours. For a longer visit the center offers a full access tour which includes the butterfly garden, the predator tank, aviary, and largest swimming pool on the island. When visiting be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and enjoy the many animals the center has to offer. 

A summer ends the days grow shorter and we get back into our busy daily routines. If you are considering a quick final getaway with the family this summer these are three great places to choose from to create amazing memories.

Author: Tamara Lidbom is the Owner and Travel Advisor atAnytime Travel Agency in Peoria, Arizona. Lidbom specializes in creating bucket list itineraries, unique locations, European and Caribbean travel. Lidbom handles every detail of travel planning, so you don’t have to.