|Sunday, March 28, 1999
|Looking For a Well-Priced, Outdoorsy Family Vacation? Check Out the Sierra Club's Family Outings
You probably know the Sierra Club as that nonprofit environmentalist
organization that puts out a lovely magazine and, once in a while, sends
you a mailing asking you to contribute. What you quite possibly didn't
know about the organization, at least until now, is that it also sets up a
year-round schedule of outings--more than 200 annually--which
include 30 expertly-run group camping vacations specifically designed
for families and starting at about $80/person nightly for adults and
substantially less for kids, including most all expenses.
The trips, which start in April but are concentrated in the summer
(sensibly, as this dovetails with school vacations), cover just about every
part of the U.S., literally from Hawaii to New Jersey. While some of
the itineraries are a bit on the costly side (at least by our exacting
standards), most are eminently affordable. A couple of top-value
examples: A grandparents/grandchildren only camp in Tahoe Forest
from August 1 to 6 costs $395 per adult, $295 per child; exploring
New Jersey's Pine Barrens (the largest wilderness area east of the
Mississippi, in case you didn't know) from June 27 to July 3 is priced
at $450 per adult, $330 per child; a Navajoland Cultural Experience
(August 14 to 20) is $540 per adult, $450 per child. All food and trip
expenses (ground transport when needed, activities fees, and so on) are
covered in the price, though you will need to bring your own tents,
sleeping camp, and hiking gear if you're on a trip that requires them.
And, of course, you have to get to the trip's starting point under your own steam.
However, we've heard many, many positive reports about these outings--especially for the way they
teach young people to respect and appreciate the glories of our country's natural bounty. We can
think of a lot worse (and more expensive) ways for families to spend a week together.
To find out more, call Sierra Club at 415/977-5522, or visit the organization's Web site at
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