Go To: Ritz Kids
Whether geocaching in the Arizona desert, casting for catfish in Georgia, or—our fave—getting face to face with ocean critters in Florida, the thrills keep coming.
Name-Dropping: Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment (he's the son of marine royalty Jacques) transformed Ritz locales into outdoor classrooms. The flagship program in Grand Cayman boasts a reef- and shipwreck-exploring submarine. It's expanded to resorts in Kapalua in Maui and Laguna Niguel in California.
Sea Here: In Naples, FL, kids follow naturalist “Ranger Randy” Sarton as if he were the Pied Piper, says Arlin Schmidt of Basking Ridge, NJ, whose 8-year-old son, Jake, attended the Nature's Wonders camp twice. Kids can get up close and personal with sea creatures in the camp's 11 aquariums or don pint-size lab coats to view specimens under a microscope. Marine Encounters, the most popular program, takes kids to the shore, where they take turns hauling in a net, then study the bounty together. “There are always squeals of delight and a mad scramble when we bring the net in,” says Sarton. “They march their amazed parents around saying, ‘That's a lionfish! This is a grouper! That's an alligator, not a crocodile.’”