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Welcome the dog days of summer

Enjoy your family's favorite summertime activities and stay cool during the dog days of summer
Enjoy your family's favorite summertime activities and stay cool during the dog days of summer
Sandy Wallace

Summer is the best time of year. Fresh mowed grass and scent of grilling, cookouts and ice cold drinks, no school to fill the time with homework, time to ride bikes and enjoy the sunshine. These are the things of which summertime memories are made.

Welcome the dog days of summer with your family
Sandy Wallace

The hottest part of the summer is known as the dog days of summer. Welcome the dog days of summer with a family getaway to the beach or lake. With long, hot days and steamy nights, heading to the water will cool you down.

What's not to love about the beach? White sand, sunshine, waves and laughter make for the perfect summer getaway for many families. Check VisitMyrtleBeach.com to find everything from coupons and hotel deals to campground information, free stuff to do, family restaurants, maps, contests and lots more at one of our family's favorite beaches.

Our family really loves the beach. It's a good thing we live on the East Coast, where terrific beaches are everywhere. Sometimes we can only get away to the beach for a weekend. But our best beach trips are week-long family vacations. We spend sun-filled days gathering seashells, soaking up the sun and riding the waves. After a late dinner at one of our favorite seafood restaurants, we head back to walk along the boardwalk after dark.

No matter if we're walking along the boardwalk, wading in the waves or walking up the sidewalk beside the shops, the smell of waffle cones is everywhere. Saving money while souvenir shopping means there's a little extra to splurge on ice cream night. A fresh waffle cone filled with my favorite ice cream is the perfect ending to a perfect beach day.

Welcome the dog days of summer with a family trip to an amusement park. Although there are amusement parks from coast to coast, Disney will spoil you for all of the rest. Whether you choose Disneyland or Disneyworld, you will enjoy the classic rides, your favorite Disney characters and the special magic that is Disney. Don't forget the late night parades with lights and sparkle.

The dog days of summer are a little cooler on the trails. Head to the mountains and enjoy a family hike. Whether you plan to hike the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Coast Trail or the trails in your local park, a family hiking trip is a great way to enjoy nature and take your mind off the heat of summer.

Head indoors and escape the dog days of summer. From the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, you will learn a lot on a historic museum getaway. Pick a theme or a section of the country to explore. Online searches will help you find the best of local sites. You may decide to take a walk through the days of the Civil War or find out more about space. Whatever your children's interests, museums are great places to educate and entertain the entire family.

Hit the road and discover America during the dog days of summer. A cross-country getaway may be just right for your family. There are so many sites to see right here in U.S. that you could visit a different state every month and not see it all. Travel coast to coast over a few weeks and you'll learn a lot about this country we call home.

The dog days of summer are packed with fun at your favorite campground. Many families across the country enjoy spending time together outdoors at campgrounds of all sizes. State parks and other family-friendly campgrounds offer a quiet getaway with a few perks. There are often group activities included each night. Campfires, fishing, whitewater rafting and the sound of crickets chirping in the dark may be your family's favorite way to reconnect.

Enjoy the dog days of summer in your own back yard. Pull out the sprinkler, get out the water guns, pack a picnic lunch and invite a few friends over to make family memories at home. The price is right and your kids will have a blast.

Before you know it, the school bells will be ringing. The dog days of summer are straight ahead. When the sun goes down at the end of each day, you'll know that you've enjoyed a day of fun with your family. Welcome the dog days of summer and fill the days with family memories.