Best Family Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

When it comes to finding the best family vacation destinations, it can be tough to decide where to go for your next trip that will combine great, fun activities and attractions for the kids as well as the parents. Now you can explore ideas from Tripbase’s list of the best family vacation destinations and top family vacations in the United States. We looked at tens of parameters in thousands of locations across the United States to come up with a list of best family vacation destinations that include some all-time best family vacation spots as well as some less well-known, more off the beaten path places for the best family vacation destinations. We included cities from California to Florida, and a few in between. Our ratings are based on extensive Tripbase data that compiles information about each destination, including outdoor attractions, the number of family friendly entertainment options, all-inclusive package deals, family friendly hotels and budget friendly places (like restaurants, zoos and theme parks)—to name just a few. So whether you’re looking for a family adventure vacation with beaches and natural landscapes or you prefer theme parks and museums or a city packed with historical significance that will lend an education value to your next trip, check out our top suggestions for the best family vacation destinations.

For more information about each location, including flight, hotel and car rentals as well as personalized travel recommendations tailored to you, such as where to stay and where to eat and what to see and do while you’re there, visit the Tripbase location page by clicking on the link.

1. Myrtle Beach Vacations
Situated right on a 60-mile stretch of beautiful Atlantic Coast beaches called the ‘Grand Strand’ and 98 miles north of the historic city of Charleston, Myrtle Beach attracts over 13 million visitors a year and is one of the best family vacation spots in the United States. And for good reason. Myrtle Beach Vacations are a dream come true for families who want a wide choice of kid friendly restaurants and budget friendly activities– from water sports to beach walks and playgrounds to amusement parks, as well as all-inclusive hotel packages that often have special activities for kids. Myrtle Beach Vacations include water parks and dinner shows as well as plenty of concerts and special events here that cater to families. Myrtle Beach Vacations also offer plenty of great shopping.

2. Honolulu Vacations
Honolulu Vacations on Oahu are among the top family vacations because they combine stunning natural landscapes with loads of kid friendly activities. On Honolulu Vacations you can visit the popular Kapiolani Park, the Polynesian Cultural Center, an adventure water park, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the Honolulu Zoo. Honolulu Vacations on the island of Oahu have plenty of family oriented activities and pristine kid friendly beaches. If you’re into water sports or boat trips, you can swim with the dolphins, take a surfing lesson (kids too), visit Pearl Harbor, go to a luau and watch traditional Hawaiian dancers. The northern part of the island is less developed and a great place for those seeking more of an off the beaten path family vacation.

3. Orlando Vacations
Orlando Vacations in the theme park capital of the world offer dozens of choices for kid friendly hotels that have resorts with ‘beach pools’ and children’s activities. Orlando Vacations are one of the best family vacation spots in the United States thanks to the number of all-inclusive vacation packages offered there. On Orlando Vacations, you can find great deals to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, NickHotel (dedicated to all things Nickelodeon that features two water parks) and many others—even at Christmas time, when it makes a great, warm escape. If you want to do some exploring, there are more beach resorts nearby than you could count on two hands, including Amelia Island, Cocoa Beach, Clearwater Beach, Daytona and many, many more within two hours drive from Orlando.

4. New Orleans Vacations
New Orleans Vacations are starting to make a comeback after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, and New Orleans Vacations are top family vacations. With the Aquarium of the Americas, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the jazz music festival and even Mardi Gras (there are great things for kids in the colorful festival), you’ll be surprised by how many things New Orleans Vacations have to offer families.

5. Washington, D.C. Vacations

Washington, D.C. Vacations offer top-notch museums, national landmarks, kid friendly hotels, activities and entertainment in mind-boggling numbers. On Washington, D.C. Vacations, you’ll find zoos with baby pandas, natural history museums with dinosaur bones, the Air and Space Museum with all things aviation and rocket-oriented, insect gardens and sprawling urban parks. Washington D.C. Vacations are top family vacations because they offer education and history in a format that’s fun for kids.

6. San Diego Vacations
Sand Diego Vacations are top family vacations because they include visits to one of the best zoos in the world and spectacular beaches. San Diego Vacations are great for families because they have a wide range of hotel and restaurant options. Just a half hour away is Legoland California, a theme park with live shows, rides and mini villages constructed from Lego blocks. On San Diego Vacations, it’s an easy drive to the Anaheim area where Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom and many California Adventure theme parks are located too. There’s also the popular Universal Studios theme park where kids can explore movie-based attractions.

7. Chicago Vacations
Chicago Vacations include visiting the lovely waterfront and plenty of free activities that kids will love–from urban parks to the Lincoln Park Zoo and a nice boardwalk to beaches. Chicago Vacations are easy to navigate too, which is another reason why Chicago is one of the best family vacation spots. There’s the ‘El’ carriage rides– a favorite mode of transport for kids– and between that, trolley cars and buses, you won’t have trouble getting to the museums, lakefront, shopping, restaurants and kid friendly hotels. For girls, Chicago Vacations should include a day at the American Girl Place– one of the top attractions in the country. Plus, there are a plethora of high-quality museums in the downtown area.

8. Gatlinburg Vacations

Gatlinburg Vacations in Tennessee pack a great punch when it comes to top family vacations thanks to a wide range of family friendly and budget friendly attractions. A wide range of accommodations exist here and you’ll find great parks, the Ripley’s Aquarium, white water rafting, the Space Needle, mini golf, and the Guinness Book of World Record’s Museum, which are great to visit on Gatlinburg Vacations with kids. Don’t miss the host of attractions owned by Ripley’s while you’re there, including the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Haunted Adventure and Moving Theater 4-D. Gatlinburg Vacations also include access to the Ober Gatlinburg, with its aerial tram and plenty of rides, an ice skating rink, and a plethora of nightly kid friendly entertainment like the Lou Vuto’s Salute to Elvis in the Reflections Theater.

9. Philadelphia Vacations
Philadelphia Vacations combine great attractions with historical landmarks. Plus, Philadelphia Vacations are among the best family vacation spots because vacations here can easily include a drive to Hershey, just 90 minutes away from Philadelphia. Known as ‘chocolate town USA’ because it’s the home of Hershey’s chocolate, you’ll find Hersheypark, the Hotel Hershey (an antique themed hotel with a club for kids), the Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, the Chocolate World Visitor’s Center and the Hershey Lodge. On Philadelphia Vacations, there are loads of museums and landmarks that are a great way to introduce kids to American History without boring them to tears and plenty of family friendly entertainment options, great restaurants, shopping, and art galleries for a night out on the town.

10. Williamsburg Vacations
Colonial Williamsburg Vacations in Virginia are top family vacations because they have an educational twist. Take the whole family back in time to life in the 1770’s, right before the American Revolution, through historic villages that replicate colonial life, actors and volunteers dressed in period costume from 230 years ago on Colonial Williamsburg Vacations. There are plenty of things to see and do on Colonial Williamsburg Vacations. And from there, it’s a short trip to Yorktown and the nearby Busch Gardens Europe theme park (in the summertime) and Water Country USA –both great places to go for a dip with the kids.

8 thoughts on “Best Family Vacation Destinations in the U.S.”

  1. Steven Scott is a Maui-based freelance travel writer and photographer and can be reached at thehawaiitourist@gmail.
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