Pick up a backpack preloaded with all the makings of a cheese fondue at the Molkerei (dairy shop) in the valley town of Gstaad, then board a mountain gondola at the base of the Wispile mountains and head 6,270 feet up to the top for a hike and picnic amid the wildflowers. Or hire a guide and hop on a mountain bike (traditional or electric) to tackle the chalet-strewn hills and valleys—stopping only for selfies with alpine bovine. For a real thrill, make your way to the alpine coaster, a half-mile mountain descent on a toboggan track where you’re in control of your speed up to almost 25 mph, and kids ages nine and up can drive solo.

Gstaad, Switzerland

Pick up a backpack preloaded with all the makings of a cheese fondue at the Molkerei (dairy shop) in the valley town of Gstaad, then board a mountain gondola at the base of the Wispile mountains and head 6,270 feet up to the top for a hike and picnic amid the wildflowers. Or hire a guide and hop on a mountain bike (traditional or electric) to tackle the chalet-strewn hills and valleys—stopping only for selfies with alpine bovine. For a real thrill, make your way to the alpine coaster, a half-mile mountain descent on a toboggan track where you’re in control of your speed up to almost 25 mph, and kids ages nine and up can drive solo.
Photograph by LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH, Alamy Stock Photo

Upgrade your summer with these 15 epic trips

Bike, hike, and dive into history on these global adventures for all ages.

Take one part adventure, add whatever your family is obsessed with at the moment, mix with warm weather, and you’ve got the recipe for an unforgettable summer vacation.

Love animals? You can spot grizzly bears in Alaska, kayak among orcas in British Columbia, or watch elephants wallow in mud baths in Kenya. (Read how to responsibly interact with wildlife.)

Dinosaur lovers will want to check out the new Deep Time fossil hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C., opening June 8. And the new Galaxy’s Edge attraction will have Star Wars superfans lining up at Disneyland now and at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios beginning in August. (The Walt Disney Company is the majority owner of National Geographic Partners.)

Here are 15 additional trips, from the Caribbean to Hong Kong, that will maximize your summer.

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This story was published in the June/July 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveler. Heather Greenwood Davis is a contributing editor to Traveler and the founder of Globetrottingmama.com.

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