10 Great Places to Take Your Teen

Resorts and hotels all around the country are starting to realize that designing activities and marketing them to both adults and teens makes a lot of sense. Clubs just for teens, unique kids programs, and even innovative new attractions are drawing young adults to these destinations. They're also great for parents, relatives and any other adult, too.

Check out 10 of the best places to take your teens this summer -- or year-round.

  1. Atlantis
    Paradise Island, The Bahamas
    A king among resorts, Atlantis on Paradise Island has everything you can imagine. This mega-resort offers 50,000 sea animals, a waterpark, 11 swimming pools, a full-feature spa, a 24-hour casino, and an elaborate theme based on the sunken continent of Atlantis as well as all the usual resort accoutrements like beaches, basketball, volleyball, and golf. But the newest attraction is the recently opened 'tween' and teen night club called Club Rush. Club Rush has been set up to resemble a trendy club featuring a checkerboard dance floor, leopard-print couches, and a disco ball. The club also features high-speed Internet access, eight plasma-screen TVs and video games. Friday night is karaoke night. Another attraction for teens is that Atlantis, where Christina Aguilera hosted a huge birthday bash, is regularly visited by stars like Britney, Mary-Kate and Ashley, Hillary Duff, Beyoncé, and Lindsay Lohan%21 Call 800/Atlantis.

  2. The Hotel Hershey
    Hershey, Pennsylvania
    Hershey is the self-styled Chocolate Capital of America, with tons of activities for the whole family. Old standbys like the several pools, basketball, volleyball and tennis at the Hershey Hotel, co-exist with unique programs whereby teens can volunteer as counselors at the Cocoa Kids Club, romantic horse-drawn carriage rides, or spa treatments for adults. Add in the Hershey theme park, miles of nature trails, 36 holes of championship golf, Hershey's Chocolate World, and Hershey's signature chocolate spa treatments, and you can see why this corner of Pennsylvania is a great family destination. Call 800/HERSHEY.

  3. Jersey Shore
    Wildwoods, New Jersey
    The Jersey shore seems like an unlikely place for summer fun, yet this hotel's two-mile-long boardwalk has more water rides and roller coasters than Disneyland. The area also features great nightlife, restaurants, nine public golf courses, water sports, shopping and miles of beaches. Log on for bargain lodging options and more information.

  4. Hotel del Coronado
    San Diego, California
    The 'Del' is a resort in southern California that prides itself on its teen-friendliness. While there, kids ages 11-17 can take advantage of the supervised kids program to go kayaking, surfing, jet skiing, water skiing, biking and playing tennis. Also available are teen treatments at the spa, and hanging out at the Coast Club Teen Lounge, which has video games, music, a pool, foosball, and snacks. This resort's close proximity to perennial favorites like Seaworld and the San Diego Zoo, as well as stellar weather and amazing beaches, makes it easy to see why this place is such a popular choice. Call 800/HOTEL-DEL.

  5. Fort Lauderdale
    Florida
    Fort Lauderdale wins points overall for simply being a great city, with many attractions to draw the whole family. There's the Museum of Discovery and Science (with an IMAX theatre, of course); Sawgrass Mills (one of the largest malls in the country, which features Wannado City, which is an entire city, except scaled down to kid-size with an emphasis on exploring various career options%21); and Butterfly World, which features one of the largest butterfly collections in the US. If your feet are starting to hurt from visiting this great city, get on a Segway to tour the city that way%21 If your forte is the open water, snorkeling and diving trips are available. Whatever your interest, Ft. Lauderdale and its many family resorts have you covered.

  6. The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center
    The Woodlands, Texas
    The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center is a great escape from the Texas sun, especially hot in summer. Just 27 miles north of Houston, the Woodlands promises fun for the whole family; teens will adore the Forest Oasis Waterscape which is a series of pools and other water-related elements tied together under the theme of a tropical paradise. The whole family will enjoy the resort's 'Dive-In Movies,' where guests watch movies while floating in pool or lounge chairs. Two golf courses, a spa, and 90 miles of trails for hiking and biking top off an already impressive array of things to do. A nearby mall offers movies, shopping, skating and cover for the occasional rainy day. Call 800/433-2624 for reservations.

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  1. Presidente-Intercontinental Cancun Resort
    Cancun, Mexico
    Could Cancun be the spot for your next family vacation? Seriously, Cancun could be the perfect spot for everyone to spend the next break whether or not MTV is in town. The Presidente-Intercontinental is located on an isolated white-sand beach offering nearby dining, shopping and exciting nightlife. The resort itself, less than a mile from town, has two pools, a tennis court and free non-motorized boat rentals for guests. Call 800/327-0200.

  2. Myrtle Beach
    South Carolina
    Myrtle Beach is an amazing place to spend some time if you're a teen. If the theme parks (Grand Prix Family Thrill Park offers exciting thrill rides and go-cart rides); water parks (Myrtle Waves Water Park has huge slides and two different lazy rivers to help you cool off under the Carolina sun); and amusement parks (Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park features acts like jugglers, clowns and bands) aren't enough for you, then the nightlife will be%21 Club Attic, located in the Pavilion Amusement Park, is an under-21 nightclub that strives to be as trendy as possible, playing the latest pop music. As a testament to how popular a destination Myrtle Beach is, the town swells to 14 times its size during the summer months%21

  3. High Cascade Snowboarding Camp
    Timberline, Oregon
    One of the most unusual teen destinations is Oregon's High Cascade Snowboarding Camp, located at the very first ski area in North America to stay open during summer. The region is home to about 50,000 skiers during the summer, who center themselves around Mt. Hood, Oregon's best-known and largest mountain. The main draw for teens, aside from the abundant snow, sunshine and operating chairlifts, is the instruction available at a snowboard camp sponsored by some of the best people in the industry. This area is also known for its historic slope-side lodge.

  4. The Homestead Resort
    Hotsprings, Virginia
    The Homestead Resort promises to satisfy the outdoorsman in everyone. A full 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, swimming, tennis, hayrides and guided fly-fishing trips are offered, and falconry and golf are available. The classic resort's Club H assures that kids can have fun away from their parents. The program supports kayaking trips, canoeing, more biking and hiking, as well as hayrides and cookouts, but for teens (ages 13-17) only. The club lounge also has music, snacks, billiards and videogames for those days where all you want to do is not get any more mosquito bites. Spa treatments, manicures and pedicures are offered to 'pampered' teens as young as 13.


Jesse Spielman, an 18-year-old frequent teen traveler and former FTF summer intern, is a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He reviewed the ideas that grown-up Abby Naylor suggested, then decided what makes these destinations really special for teens.