Accessible Spring Break Destinations Bring Families of People With Disabilities Together for Fun and Adventure!
It's almost that time of year again! Spring Break gives kids a much needed break from school, and droves of families hit the road for a change of setting. When you have a family member with a disability, additional research and planning is necessary to ensure that everyone will have a great time. However, there are many accessible destinations that will provide your family with fun memories to last a lifetime, and we will provide you with the details to make your planning easier.
Of course, we can't talk about Spring Break destinations without mentioning Disney World. Disney is known the world over for its accessibility and great customer service. There is something for the entire family; from the spectacle of the Magic Kingdom, to the serene surroundings of the Animal Kingdom, it is impossible to go to Disney World without finding something that captures your heart. Disney's attention to accessibility is quite good. You can read about ride accessibility here. There are also special viewing stations for the parades. Disney offers additional assistance information for people with a variety of disabilities. They have a comprehensive accessibility guide that goes into great detail which should assist you in your travels. First Aid Stations located throughout the parks provide a private place to attend to any daily medical care like cathing or administering medicine. Transportation on property is accessible, too! I have found that when we go to Disney World, we don't even have to think about access or disability.
Ft. Lauderdale used to be the place that many of us older folks remember as the Spring Break Capital for college students. Much has changed in the last twenty years. While there are still places to have a wild time, if you choose, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood has done a great job of building attractions that are interesting for the entire family. There are botanical gardens, boat tours, accessible beaches, and easy access to the excitement of Miami. Shake A Leg Foundation provides excellent opportunities for adaptive water sports in Southern Florida. We recently toured the area for accessibility, and found many hotel options, including the upscale Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Beach or the economical Hilton Garden Inn in nearby Dania Beach. Hollywood Beach's Boardwalk is extremely accessible, with beach wheelchairs for public use at the lifeguard stations, centrally located accessible parking and restrooms, and mobi-mats to get wheelchairs on the beach. Ft. Lauderdale also has beach wheelchairs for use, and you can find more information about how to access one here.
The beautiful weather in San Diego is legendary. However, the accessibility is just as good! There are many great hotels, including the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Manchester Grand Hyatt. Attractions, like the world famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, or Safari World, and adaptive recreation possibilities will keep the entire family smiling the entire week! Accessible San Diego is a great resource for accessibility information, and Challenged America and Row of Life offer excellent adaptive sailing opportunities. Go whale watching on the accessible Hornblower, or hop a trolley and tour the city. There is no doubt that you and your family will find endless possibilities in this fabulous city.
Whether it's a river tour of the Riverwalk, learning about the area's culture on the accessible Alamo Trolley tour, or spending the day at Morgan's Wonderland, a fully adaptive amusement park, you can be assured of great family fun! There are several accessible hotels in San Antonio, including the Grand Hyatt Riverwalk and the Westin Riverwalk within close proximity to all of the fun. Nearby Sea World offers the whole family a view into the mystic world of the ocean. Its accessible shows and interactive experiences will provide a day of adventure for everyone.
Spring Break Skiing in Colorado
Would you rather hit the slopes than the beach? Skiing in Colorado is a blast for everyone! Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Keystone Adaptive, Telluride Adaptive, and National Sports Center for the Disabled are just some of the facilities that offer the family an opportunity to ski or snowboard in some of the most beautiful venues in the United States! I'm always amazed at the ingenuity of adaptive staff to get anyone of any ability out on the slopes. There are also plenty of accessible options for après ski and lodging in each ski town.
Interested in history? American history buffs and museum-philes will satisfy their appetite in Washington D.C. Washington D.C. is one of best accessible cities in the United States with a great bus system, level wide sidewalks, accessible tours and attractions. Be sure to visit the Smithsonian, a free museum system with several buildings that cover everything from art to science or Arlington Cemetery to honor our nation's heros. Interested in espionage and adventure? Go to the International Spy Museum. Visit the National Zoo, cruise the streets of Georgetown, or take in a great meal in the Eastern Market. The Holiday Inn - Washington Capitol and W Washington are fabulously accessible hotels in the center of it all.
Remember that spring break is an opportunity for your family to recharge, share laughs, and build lifelong memories. Go at your own pace, and be sure to enjoy the moment. Let's face it; we all can get overwhelmed with the "stuff" that comes along with disability. Try to make spring break a bit of a respite; put away the doctor's visits, IEP worries, and anything else that may keep you up at night. Pack your sense of humor, your inner child, and get out and enjoy!
Until next time...