Come summer and it’s time to plan that fun vacation with kids! I have often struggled to shortlist a location, but these are my top 5 recommended places to visit with kids in summer:

1. Kashmir

The charm of Srinagar and Gulmarg makes this a pristine and fascinating holiday. The memorable houseboat stay, shikhara ride, fort and the garden settings make it picture perfect. The breathtaking view on a cable car ride in Gulmarg is a rare experience. Go off the beaten track to Pahalgam, tickle those childhood buds and let your kids experience the growing of saffron, making of cricket bats from Willow, collecting acorns and plucking apples at the orchards. To play the perfect dress me up, don’t forget to take that picture in the local Kashmiri costume. Naturally if you had that snow fight in mind, then heading to Sonmarg in Kashmir after August would be a great idea!

2. Andaman & Nicobar Islands

If it is beaches you’re looking for, then this is the place to be! Here heritage, stories of war or tsunami will engage the older kids while everyone basks in the open beaches or swims with elephants. Explore the world down under with a scuba dive or a fun sea walk. Kids will be fascinated by the Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park with the fabulous sea life, bird watching at Chidiya Tapu, museum exploring or the fun water sports.

3. Coorg

It is a must to visit the Scotland of India! With an abundance of coffee and pepper plantations, the charm of Coorg is complete with a homestay vacation, indulging in local food and savoring sights like the fort, Tibetan Monasteries, Tala Cauvery, Madikeri or Nisargadhama sprinkled with adventures in white water rafting. Kids will be thrilled with the fun splash in Abbey or Irupu falls, some adventure trekking, animal spotting at Nagarhole or elephant bathing at Dubare to name a few. It’s a holiday that brings happiness to every member of the family. 

4. Darjeeling

In Darjeeling, you will feel like you’re in a movie, with the fun diesel train ride and sights that are never seen before. Steam engines operate too or one can also take a ride to Ghoom with return on a steam engine toy train. This location has the best sunrise in the whole of India from the very famous Tiger hills. The cable car ride, rock gardens are amongst the other favorites here.  Kids will love the sights of rare animals in the zoological park with the likes of Snow Leopard, Himalayan Wolf, Red Panda, Llama, and Siberian Tigers amongst others. 

5. Ooty

Charming and scenic, Ooty has the fascinating tea landscape, a quaint little town, botanical garden, a fun boating experience, horse riding and more. The large bungalows make this a memorable vacation. You will love the steam locomotive called the Nilgiris Mountain Railway plying between Ooty and Coonoor with its heritage and charm. A short distance from Ooty, you may be lucky to sight the Kurinji flowers which bloom once in 12 years. 

 

Words to ponder “The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy experiences and not things have stories to tell and not stuff to show!” Take that next family vacation and make sure every summer has a story to tell!