Relaxation isn’t usually on the agenda when my family takes a vacation. Exploring, adventuring, experiencing something new and cool—that’s what we like to pack into our time off. We’ve scaled the Great Wall of China, swum with sting rays, learned to surf, played with dolphins, powered on through Disney World with the flu—and in a funnier-afterward moment, required rescuing after our kayak became stuck in a strong current that kept us from heading back to shore. (That wouldn’t have happened if I had been sucking down piña coladas on the beach, now, would it?)

When we’re picking travel destinations, they need to offer plenty of fun and adventure for the kids, of course, but still be just as intriguing for my husband and me. Those are the destinations that we’ll still be reminiscing about thirty years down the line.

So what insanely cool adventures are on our bucket list (or already crossed off of it)? Here’s the rundown of eleven destinations for cool family vacations for adventurous parents and the kids who love them.