The lookout over Honomanu Bay, at Mile 14 on the way to Hana, does its best to take your breath away. (Bethany Jean Clement/Seattle Times/TNS)
Photo: Bethany Jean Clement/TNS
Photo: Bethany Jean Clement/TNS

Family travel five: Pursue a passion or explore a new hobby

Family vacations provide time to pursue a passion or explore a new hobby. Here are five ideas to consider: 

1. Go biking in Colorado. 

Head to the high country where downhill, cross country and road biking are part of the local picture. In Snowmass, access more than 80 miles and more than 4400 vertical feet of well-maintained road and dirt trails. With rentals and bike services available, families can take part in bike clinics, special events, and races. Snowmass Bike Park, located on Snowmass Ski Area, is open daily for guests to explore, with beginner, intermediate, and expert trails. New for 2018 is a 4.8-mile intermediate trail with access from the top of the Elk Camp Chair. Check out the Verde trail, a beautiful track through pine and aspen trees where beginners will be comfortable and intermediate riders can practice cornering and fundamental skills. Contact: www.BikeSnowmass.com; www.Colorado.com.  

2. Focus on the music in Phoenix, Ariz. 

This unique museum enables families to see and experience more than 3,000 instruments and artifacts from around the world. At the Musical Instrument Museum, live performances, family-friendly festivals and a wide array of lectures and classes are available. Check out the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine” as well as the instruments of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and George Benson. Wireless headsets allow guests to see and hear exhibits throughout the museum. Kids will enjoy the Experience Gallery where they can touch, play and hear instruments from far away cultures. Contact: www.TheMim.org

3. Hang ten in Hawaii. 

Kids of all ages can learn to hang ten on Maui’s Ka’anapali Coast. You’ll quickly discover that your instructor at the Goofy Foot Surf School is not referring to your on-board performance when he or she talks about “goofy foot.” Rather, it’s an old surfing term describing a right foot forward stance on the board. Sign up for single lessons or daylong camps. Later visit the Maui Ocean Center, go snorkeling or explore the Road to Hana. Contact: www.GoHawaii.com; www.GoofyFootSurfSchool.com

4. Become a birder in Belize. 

Can you identify a mot-mot or red-throated ant-tanager? With the help of trained naturalists, spotting scopes and binoculars, learn to recognize some of the 574 colorful species of birds that reside in the natural beauty of Belize. Although a small country, (about the size of New Hampshire) the diverse habitat and the many national parks, private reserves and mangrove swamps make it easy for families to observe a wide variety of birds as well as well as 275 kinds of orchids and more than 4,000 kinds of plants and trees. Stay in jungle lodges, go caving, canoeing, and snorkeling amid coral reefs. Contact: www.birdinginbelize.com; TravelBelize.org

5. Work on your game in Kohler, Wis. 

The American Club, a AAA Five-Diamond Resort Hotel offers juniors and parents multiple levels of instruction via their Kohler Golf Academy. Together or individually, family members can focus on the game’s fundamentals, including fitness and nutrition, skill development, etiquette and sportsmanship as well as experience on the four Pete Dye-designed courses. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the resort also offers water activities, games, a spa and hiking trails. Contact: www.americanclubresort.com 

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(Lynn O’Rourke Hayes (www.LOHayes.com) is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via FamilyTravel.com

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