Hotels & Resorts

23 Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts in the US and Caribbean

When I was a child, a motel with a swimming pool and a children’s meal at Howard Johnson’s was my idea of a vacation. My simple 1970s childhood is so over. Today’s resorts cater to kids (and their parents) with an array of perks. To help make searching for your family’s next getaway a bit easier, we've rounded up our top picks for all-inclusive hotels, lakeside lodges and island retreats across the U.S., Caribbean and elsewhere, that offer soup-to-nuts holidays that will please the most discerning pint-sized guests. Read on for 23 family-friendly resorts that make vacations easy, so you can kick back, relax and just enjoy.

Can an All-Inclusive Resort Be Eco-Friendly? Mexico's Velas Vallarta Says Yes.

All-inclusive resorts are popular with family travelers because they make life so easy. But, all those options can also take a big environmental toll. An all-inclusive resort may create tons of food waste on a daily basis, not to mention loads of electricity for air conditioning and water for washing pool and bath towels. Nobody wants to feel guilty while trying to enjoy a relaxing getaway so a resort that meets the needs of families and the environment too seems like a real dream vacation. 

Velas Vallarta, a family friendly all-inclusive resort with 10 acres of oceanfront in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has an impressive green initiative that goes beyond the typical superficial hat-tip to eco-friendliness. Plus, the all-suite resort, with kitchens in every room and a free bottomless mini-bar, offers an affordably luxurious all-inclusive experience. 

Great Wolf Lodge SoCal: New Water Park Hotel in Orange County

If you've never been to a place where dinner attire is a mixture of pajamas, swim suits, and furry wolf ears, then it sounds like you've never been to a Great Wolf Lodge. Until this past weekend, I was one of those uninitiated, having only heard second hand of the popular indoor water park hotels. But this past weekend, Great Wolf opened its newest location here in Southern California, and I was invited (along with oodles of other press with progeny) to attend the opening and take the plunge. (Yes, that was a pun, and there may be more.)

Poconos Family Getaway: Split Rock Resort and Jack Frost Mtn

If you can’t escape the snow this winter, you might as well enjoy it—and there’s no better way than skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing in the Poconos.

At Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania, deep in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, the emphasis is squarely on family. Amenities such as an arcade, movie theater, indoor heated pool and indoor water park up the fun factor exponentially.

And all less than two hours from New York City? We had to get the scoop on this family getaway. Here’s our parent (and kids) review, and things to know before you go.

Not Just Skiing: Smugglers' Notch Is Year Round Vermont Resort for Families

Smugglers' Notch Resort is one of my family's favorite places to ski in Vermont, and like many other families in the Northeast, we find ourselves returning year after year to hit the slopes. However, we vacationed here last summer and discovered it's also a great year-round destination. We will be visiting again this February during our extended family ski trip, but another summer trip to Smugglers' Notch Resort is awfully tempting, too.

With outdoor adventures and special activities, each season at Smugglers' Notch has its own individual charm. The resort reinvents itself throughout the year, offering families distinct and unique recreation options to make the most of a mountain vacation. 

A Hudson Valley Family Getaway: Rocking Horse Ranch

For families looking for a fun weekend getaway near NYC, Rocking Horse Ranch in New York's Hudson Valley is a definite crowd-pleaser in winter or summer. This year-round, all-inclusive resort provides non-stop activities for all ages, including an indoor water park, horseback riding, snow tubing, skiing and even spa services and babysitting, all of which add up to a memorable family getaway less than two hours from NYC.

Read on for our parent review of the resort and useful tips to know before you go.

Best Family Travel of 2015: Our Favorite Resorts, Beaches and Cities

Planning a family getaway in 2016? We have a little inspiration for you. We're looking back at our favorite destinations of the last year and revisiting what made these locales so compelling for kids and parents.

Read on for our top 12 travel reviews of family-friendly resorts, great cities and beaches and warmer climates of 2015.

Check out the Mommy Poppins travel site or the day trip and weekend getaway guide for more fun travel with kids. Planning a few vacations? Read last year's top 10 favorite vacation spots for Mommy Poppins families.

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