It’s the time of year when many families decide to take a vacation and get away from the daily grind and busyness of life.  It’s important to remember that we should include God in our plans even while we are away.

Today we present a list of vacation ideas for the Catholic family.  Maybe you will decide to dedicate your whole week to service and prayer or perhaps you will just make a quick stop at one of the shrines that near to your vacation destination.

Whatever you choose, we hope you will find ways to show your family the beauty and love of God through the world around us.

11 Vacation Spots for Catholic Families in the US

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception , Washington D.C.

Though there are many tourists stops in D.C., the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (http://bit.ly/1UPG3F0) is worth visiting. This beautiful Basilica has over 70 chapels and oratories that are absolutely breathtaking.

St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington D.C.

Also located in Washington D.C. is the St. John Paul II National Shrine (http://www.jp2shrine.org/jp/en/index.html). The Shrine contains two first-class relics of St. John Paul II as well as many personal artifacts.

National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge Massachusetts

” Pilgrims find refreshment of soul at Mass, confession, the 3 o’clock Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, and personal adoration of the Eucharist. We invite you to stroll throughout our beautiful grounds. Visit the many statues and candle shrines like the Lourdes Candle Grotto and Holy Family Shrine. The groves of St. Therese and St. Francis’ each offer an oasis for silent prayer and contemplation. Several sites on Eden Hill, including the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine and the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, devoted to deceased children, offer unique memorial and devotional opportunities. The Shrine is also the geographic and spiritual home of the Association of Marian Helpers and is open to visitors on weekdays.” taken from the website: http://www.thedivinemercy.org/shrine/about.php 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, New York

The foundation stone for St. Patrick’s Cathedral (http://saintpatrickscathedral.org) was laid in 1858. This Cathedral truly captures the spirit of early American Catholicism with its extraordinary architecture and magnificent works of art.

National Center for Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania

At the National Center for Padre Pio your family will be able to venerate relics and see replicas of many of the important places in St. Pio’s life. An actual confessional that was used by St. Pio in  San Giovanni is present at the center. Find out more information at the website: http://www.padrepio.org/

Bethlehem Farm in Talcott, West Virginia

If you are looking for a unique family vacation experience, be sure to check out Bethlehem Farm (http://bethlehemfarm.net). Your family will spend the week serving in the local community, learning about sustainable living, and in reflective prayer.

The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods in Gaylord, Michigan

Most come to The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods to see the cross which weighs seven tons and is twenty-eight feet tall from head to toe, but you will also find many other beautiful reminders of the Catholic faith. Find out more about it here: http://www.crossinthewoods.com/

Holy Family Fests in Bloomingdale, Ohio (Catholic FamilyLand)

Several Holy Family Fests take place throughout the summer so that you can find a week that will work for your family. “The Holy Family Fests create an environment unlike any other where families, in the midst of a fun family camping experience, receive the inspiration, healing, and tools they need to take their relationship with Christ to the next level.” Find out how to register here: https://afc.org/events/holy-family-fests

Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando, Florida

If your family is already headed to Disney for a vacation, why not take a detour and stop at this Shrine dedicated to our Lady?  “It is a worship environment that evokes the very spirit of evangelization, celebrating Christian life, and encouraging visitors to experience the fullest communion with Our Lord and His holy mother.” Plan your visit at: http://maryqueenoftheuniverse.org

The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe features the miraculous staircase which has drawn in visitors for many years because of its unique design and mysterious builder. Though the chapel was deconsecrated in 1971, it still offers much beauty to inspire us in our faith. http://www.lorettochapel.com

The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in San Francisco, CA

“One of the reasons this Shrine is unique is its very urban location in the second most densely populated city in the country. But in the midst of an often rowdy, noisy, bawdy, and chaotic neighborhood (a bronze marker in the sidewalk reminds us that this was once “The Barbary Coast”), the Shrine’s Church and the Porziuncola offer an oasis of peace, quiet, serenity, and refreshment to the thirsty spirit.” Visit the website: http://shrinesf.org/

What is your favorite Catholic “vacation” spot? Please share it with us in the comments!