As the winter snows blow their last hurrah and one year melts into another, it’s a good time to start planning for warmer days and time in the sun. Maybe you just want to get some fresh air, or maybe it’s finally time to leave Saskatoon, whether literally or proverbially. When you face limited mobility, having something to look forward to is always nice. A spring or summer vacation is just the thing to bring your joie de vivre back after too many hours cramped up at home or out staring at icy roads and walkways. To help with vacation planning, here’s a list of five top destinations with excellent accessibility for all.
1. Freedom Shores at Isla Aguada, Campeche, Mexico
There’s a big reason that Freedom Shores in Campeche, Mexico ranks high among the travel destinations that promote accessibility. The resort was founded by a man who is quadriplegic and understands the need for fun in the sun without limits. Every part of the vacation destination is wheelchair-accessible, and sidewalks let you roll right up to the packed sands on the beach. Enjoy door-to-door delivery service and spa treatments customized for each individual. Mexico is also a top destination for medical tourism, making Freedom Shores a great place to recover following an intensive doctor’s visit.
2. Concordia Eco-Resort at St. John, Virgin Islands
If a destination specifically engineered for accessibility isn’t your thing, but you love the idea of packed sand beaches with plenty of access, Concordia Eco-Resort may be a better fit. Instead of partying late into the night, the eco-friendly destination lets you take part in the conservation and ecology projects that look to preserve and restore the area. Sloped paths give wheelchair access to many of the tents, studios, and rooms on the resort. The location also hosts weddings and receptions as well as environmental summits and ongoing restoration projects. Many travel insurance or healthcare plans cover medical flight services in the Virgin Islands, allowing even individuals with sensitive health concerns to be a part of the meaningful events that happen all spring and summer long.
3. Turtle Bay at Kahuku, Hawaii
A vacation in Hawaii is one of the ultimate fun-in-the-sun adventures, and Turtle Bay on Kahuku prides itself on delivering that experience to everyone who visits the resort. With many rooms designed for strict ADA compliance and amenities including an accessible pool, fitness center and adventure area, Turtle Bay ensures a once-in-a-lifetime experience for almost everyone. The Point Sunset & Pool Bar welcomes all comers, making it easy to gather around and share stories about your Hawaiian adventure with others from around the world.
4. Walt Disney Theme Parks
If a trip to a distant island isn’t quite in the cards, an epic adventure on the coast might be in order. Walt Disney theme parks, including Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, strive to ensure that everyone gets the full Disney experience. Accessibility at “the Happiest Place on Earth” includes timed entries for those unable to stand in line and pools with integrated lifts and supports. Enjoy special seating for parades and events, so you can see through the crowds. These amenities are available at all Disney theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom locations.
5. Six Flags Theme Parks
If you can’t get down to the coast, there’s still likely to be a Six Flags theme park near you. Similar to Disney’s accessible offerings, Six Flags lets you get assigned times for returning and entering attractions instead of standing in lines. Further, the attractions access pass lets you bring three friends or family members along when your time is ready, letting your group enjoy other events in the park while you wait your turn for the rides. Electronically controlled vehicles are available for rent to wheelchair users who want a little more zip on their trips through the park, and service animals can be “kid swapped” to ensure that everyone gets to ride without having to go back in line.
Should any or all of these vacation destinations seem a bit out of the budget, remember that the National Parks of the United States feature many ADA-compliant amenities for just the cost of a parking fee or Parks Pass. These parks are available in every state, and the incredible selection of things to do and see makes each one a destination in and of itself. There’s something for everyone when you’re ready to make the most of your vacation this year.