Best Family Vacation Destinations in New York and New Jersey
You want to be a part of it—New York, New York. Our list of 100 things to do in NYC with kids before they grow up merely scratches the surface of family fun to be had in the Big Apple. Our Ultimate Itinerary By a Local Mom narrows down the best things to see and do if you've only got three days, including top attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park.
The Adirondack Mountains near the Canadian border are one of the most idyllic family vacation spots in all seasons. Enjoy canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking, art festivals, and lots more in the warmer months. Winter means snow sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and even dog sledding. The region is home to the much-loved Lake Placid.
We love taking family vacations to the Adirondacks so much that we've got a whole guide to family activities in the Adirondacks and Catskills, which includes our founder's roundup of 40 fun things to do in the Adirondacks with kids in every season.
At the foot of the Adirondacks, Lake George boasts great outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, boat rides, beaches, and horseback riding. There are also wonderful shows, hotels, shopping outlets, and food. We detail it all in our roundup of 30 things to do in Lake George with kids.
Charming main streets and shops, great restaurants and breweries, family-friendly farms, rail trails for biking, and cozy boutique hotels with hiking trails are all part of a family vacation to the Catskills. See our list of over 35 things to do on a family vacation to the Catskills.
This luxurious, all-inclusive resort in the Hudson Valley is so fantastic, it's a destination in and of itself. Our review of Mohonk Mountain House details all the reasons to stay there, from its incredible kids club and family activities to its great dining to its gorgeous lake. If you want to splurge, then trust us—you won't regret booking a family trip to Mohonk Mountain House.
There are so many things to do with kids on Long Island's East End, home to the Hamptons and North Fork. These include fantastic beaches (some with beach playgrounds), family-friendly wineries, historic lighthouses, awesome shopping and restaurants, kid-friendly museums, and more. It's all in our list of 55 things to do in the Hamptons with kids.
Though it's often considered part of the Hamptons, this town on the extreme east end of Long Island deserves its own spot on our list. It boasts white-sand beaches, over 5,000 acres of parkland, fishing and camping adventures, and more. Our writer shares 25 things to do in Montauk with kids.
With over 130 miles of shoreline and loads of great family beaches, the Jersey Shore is a popular summer travel destination. Whether you're looking for a bustling boardwalk full of rides and games, a beachside water park, thrilling animal encounters, or a lazy beach day, the Shore has it all. Consult our Jersey Shore Travel Guide for Families before visiting.
Walk the rocks at Fort Williams for views of Portland Head Light and the waves. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
Best Family Vacation Destinations in New England
This seaside city boasts a terrific children’s museum, award-winning restaurants, fantastic parks, gorgeous ferry rides and hikes, and jaw-dropping coastal views.Read our roundup of 50 things to do in Portland with kids to learn more.
Beantown has it all: fabulous museums, the Public Garden, the Old North Church and the Old South Meeting House, Fenway Park, and so much more. It's all in our list of 100 things to do in Boston with kids before they grow up. A Go City - Boston tourist pass will get you access to many of these top attractions for one ticket price.
This peninsula off the southeast corner of Massachusetts is known for its pristine beaches, charming main streets, legendary seafood, and fun museums like the Cape Cod Children's Museum. Many attractions are only open in the summer months, so Cape Cod is best for summer travel. See our roundup of 60 things to do on Cape Cod.
You won't find water parks or go-karts, but there's still plenty of family fun to be had in Martha’s Vineyard. Local fairs, fresh seafood, beautiful beaches, ice cream shops, and more fill our list of 50 things to do on a Martha's Vineyard family vacation.
This hilly, charming region of western Massachusetts is a great choice for a family getaway. With breathtaking nature trails, gorgeous waterfalls and mountains, quirky museums, and welcoming farms, the Berkshires offer something for all families. Here's our list of 25 things to do in the Berkshires with kids.
With its historic seaport district, renowned aquarium, and easy beach access, Mystic is bursting with New England charm and a ton of family fun. Check out our list of the top things to do on a weekend getaway to Mystic. Be sure to grab a slice at the famous Mystic Pizza!
Newport has a reputation as a summer playground for the elite, but in truth, it makes for a great family vacation. Yes, you can see fabulous Gilded Age mansions along the famous Cliff Walk and luxurious yachts in the harbor, but coastal Newport also has lots of budget-friendly things to do including gorgeous parks and beaches. We list 55 of them in our Newport city guide.
With its ancient cliffs and towering lighthouses, Block Island offers families plenty to do all summer long. Entertainment here is free of boardwalk attractions and amusement parks. Instead, spend your days on beach walks, bike rides, nature sanctuaries, and water activities. Our writer details 20 fun things to do on Block Island with kids.
Theme park and chocolate might be an even better match than peanut butter and chocolate. Photo courtesy of Hersheypark
Best Family Vacation Destinations in the Mid-Atlantic
Whether you visit for skiing in the winter, swimming and boating in the summer, or hiking in the spring and fall, the Pocono Mountains are a gorgeous and fun-filled family vacation destination all year long. There are loads of great cabin rentals and awesome family resorts like Kalahari Resort and Great Wolf Lodge. It's all in our Poconos Family Vacation Guide.
If the promise of eating a mouthwatering cheesesteak doesn't compel you to visit Philly, then exploring the Franklin Institute, seeing the iconic Rocky statue, and soaking up history at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall will. Check out our list of 100 things to do in Philadelphia with kids before they grow up.
Lancaster is more than just Amish Country. Here, families can learn how ice cream is made at the Turkey Hill Experience, take a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road, and explore hands-on museums like the Lancaster Science Factory. Dutch Wonderland is also the perfect theme park for younger kids.
Catch thrills at Hersheypark, explore Hershey's Chocolate World, see more than 200 animals at Zoo America, and enjoy other fun activities on a family vacation to Hershey. They're all in our roundup of 22 things to do on a Hershey family getaway.
Delaware's beach towns—Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Dewey Beach, and Lewes—all have gorgeous beaches, great mini golf courses, and loads of ice cream shops. Find more family fun in our roundup of 21 things to do at the Delaware shore.
Everyone needs to visit our nation's capital at least once in their life to see top attractions like the National Mall and Memorial Parks, free museums such as Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Arlington National Cemetery, and more. Check off items on our list of 100 things to do in DC with kids before they grow up.
Williamsburg is the perfect family vacation destination for history buffs, who can visit Colonial Williamsburg, the Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, and the Yorktown Battlefield. When you need a history break, catch some thrills at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and nearby Water Country USA. You can even book a stay at Great Wolf Lodge.
Read our ultimate Williamsburg itinerary.
East Coast families flock to Virginia Beach for its seven wide, kid-friendly beaches and its three-mile boardwalk. Families can also visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to see marine life and other animals, then try one of the many other great things to do on a Virginia Beach family vacation.
At Baltimore's Inner Harbor, you'll find the Port Discovery Children's Museum, the National Aquarium, and the Maryland Science Center. Be sure to also visit the USS Constellation warship and cheer on the Baltimore Orioles at historic Camden Yards. It's all in our guide to visiting Baltimore.
Relax on miles and miles of beautiful Outer Banks coastline. Photo courtesy of Visit Raleigh
Best Family Vacation Destinations in the Carolinas
The Outer Banks (also referred to as the OBX) is a series of beautiful barrier islands, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the calm Pamlico Sound on the other. With lots of huge houses to rent, the OBX is the perfect spot for a beach vacation with extended family. You'll see why in our list of 25 things to do in the Outer Banks with kids.
There's a reason Asheville has landed on several of our best-of travel lists. Families can explore the majestic Biltmore Estate, visit kid-friendly museums, take gorgeous hikes, and eat great food. Asheville is also known for its family-friendly breweries. Those are just a few items on our list of the 40 best things to do in Asheville with kids.
With interesting museums, great parks, delicious restaurants, and more, there's no shortage of fun things to do in Charlotte with kids—in fact, there are 98 of them on our list! You can even book a stay at a Great Wolf Lodge.
Sixty miles of gorgeous beaches, world-class golf courses, the fantastic Ripley's Aquarium, a boardwalk with thrilling rides, and more combine to make Myrtle Beach a place the whole family will love. Read all about it in our guide to visiting Myrtle Beach.
Charleston is home to beautiful beaches, kid-friendly museums and historic sites, pretty parks and gardens, and loads of southern charm. The South Carolina Aquarium is a can't-miss. Read all about our favorite things to do in Charleston with kids.
Enjoy gorgeous beaches and golf courses, take a day cruise, explore kid-friendly museums like the Coastal Discovery Museum and the Sandbox Children's Museum, and soak up the southern vibe of on a Hilton Head family vacation. But first, see our list of the 20 best things to do in Hilton Head.
Kiawah Island is known for world-class golfing, 10 miles of pristine beaches, and unbeatable hospitality. The island centers around the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and its endless family activities, from swimming and water sports to biking and arts and crafts. Find out why our writer and her family repeatedly return to this southern oasis in her roundup of the 40 best things to do on Kiawah Island with kids.
The water at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo is so bright, it doesn't look real. Photo courtesy of the park
Best Family Vacation Destinations in Florida
You'll feel like you've left the country when you visit this 125-mile chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida. From Key Largo down to Key West, each of the islands has its own character. Learn more about their breathtaking beaches, animal encounters, and other outdoor adventures in our handy Florida Keys guide.
The main reason tourists visit Orlando is, of course, its theme parks—Disney World, Universal Orlando, Legoland, and SeaWorld. But we also share 100 other things to do in Orlando with kids, including great museums, gorgeous hiking trails, and fun dinner shows.
This island just south of the Florida-Georgia border line is home to 13 miles of gorgeous beaches, destination-worthy state parks, and fun mini golf courses. Families can visit the Amelia Island Nature Center, go horseback riding on the beach, take scenic bike rides, and try one of the other kid-friendly activities on our list of the best things to do in Amelia Island.
While beaches are West Palm's biggest draw, there's also plenty to do off the sand. Meet recently rescued sea turtles at Loggerhead Marine Life Center, kayak or hike at John D. MacArthur State Park, check out nearby Singer Island, and consult our West Palm Beach city guide for more fun ideas.
The beaches in Naples feature powdery white sand, blue-green water, and gentle waves, making them one of the best things to do in Naples with kids. Families can also visit animals at the Naples Zoo, have hands-on fun at the Golisano Children's Museum, explore nature at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and go hiking and kayaking.
This Gulf Coast barrier island is a seashell lover's paradise. Walk along the shores of the unspoiled beaches while collecting tons of pretty shells. Another must-do is renting bikes to explore the island, making sure to stop at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Find more in our guide to Sanibel Island.
Destin is part of the Florida Panhandle's "Emerald Coast", a 100-mile stretch of beach along the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to gorgeous beaches like Henderson Beach State Park, Destin is home to interactive museums, fun amusement parks, and plenty of other fun things to do with kids.
As long as you don't visit during spring break, Miami is a great vacation spot for families. Frolic on the gorgeous beaches, get hands-on at the Miami Children's Museum, explore the Miami Seaquarium, and check our ultimate list of things to do in Miami with kids for more.
Come play at Annakeesta, the mountaintop adventure park in the heart of Gatlinburg. Photo courtesy of Annakeesta
More of the Best Family Vacation Destinations in the South
Unwind and enjoy nature at this barrier island, which has 10 miles of natural shoreline dotted with gorgeous and unique beaches. There's also a water park, outdoor activities like biking and horseback riding, a nature center, historic sites, and a sea turtle education and rehabilitation facility. Find them all in our list of the top things to do on Jekyll Island with kids.
Sea Island Resort on Georgia's stunning southeast coast is brimming with southern charm and world-class hospitality. It features five miles of private beach, several pools, and loads of family activities like biking, bowling, and a kids' camp. Read our writer's glowing review of Sea Island.
With cobblestone streets, oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, majestic riverboats, and live jazz music, Savannah is the picture of southern charm. Check out our list of 35 things to do in Savannah with kids, including two children's museums, interesting historic sites, great parks, and more.
Music City—home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame—is a country-music fan's heaven. It's also lots of fun for kids, who can ride a vintage train at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum, explore pretend shops at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, and see exotic birds and animals at the Nashville Zoo. Our roundup of the 60 best things to do in Nashville will give you even more ideas.
Families flock to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for their amusement parks, including the world-famous Dollywood. But you can also visit interesting museums like the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum, see marine life at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, and explore nature at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our list of 70 things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge will ensure your family never gets bored.
Go walking in Memphis to explore music history at places like Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion and Sun Studio. Kids will also love the massive Memphis Zoo, the Children's Museum of Memphis, and more of the awesome places in our Memphis city guide.
The Big Easy may be one big party during Mardi Gras, but the rest of the year, it's an awesome city to visit with kids. Visit the massive Louisiana Children's Museum, see animals at the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, explore the famous French Quarter, and more. It's all on our list of 45 fun things to do in New Orleans with kids.
These towns along Alabama's Gulf Coast boast white-sand beaches, back bays full of outdoor adventures like fishing and kayaking, water activities such as parasailing and bumper boats, and loads of mini golf courses. You can even stand in two states at once at the Florida-Alabama state line. Our writer shares more things to do in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores with kids.
Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are home to some of the best family-friendly beaches in Texas, but the island of Galveston offers plenty of other family fun as well. From Schlitterbahn Water Park to the Galveston Children's Museum, they're all on our list of 20 things to do in Galveston with kids.
San Antonio has attractions and activities to suit visitors of all ages and interests. The jewel in its crown is the famed River Walk. Then there's the Alamo, where you can see the site of the infamous 1836 battle that became a symbol of heroic resistance on the route to Texas independence. Here's our list of the best things to do in San Antonio with kids.
The Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus features 30 larger-than-life animal topiaries on display during Garden Safari. Photo courtesy of the conservatory
Best Family Vacation Destinations in the Midwest
Whether you’re looking for awesome metro parks, thrilling water slides, hands-on science museums, or nationally recognized animal conservation, the second-largest city in the Midwest has activities for everyone in the family. Find them in our list of 33 things to do in Columbus.
Your family will have a blast in the Windy City with our list of the 25 top attractions in Chicago. Some highlights are the Field Museum (home to the world's most complete T-rex statue), the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, and Navy Pier. Don't leave Chicago without trying some of its famous deep-dish pizza!
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are home to the legendary Mall of America, great museums like the Minnesota Children's Museum, the Minnesota Zoo, and so much more that you'll read about in our Minneapolis City Guide. Just don't visit in winter if you don't like to be really, really cold!
Meet your family in St. Louis to see the iconic Gateway Arch, visit the St. Louis Zoo and Science Center, catch a Cardinals game, and enjoy some of our other favorite things to do in St. Louis with kids.
John Steinbeck once wrote that Wisconsin is full of surprises, and Milwaukee is no exception with its cosmopolitan feel and midwestern charm. Whether you want to explore the arts and sciences, soak up the sun on the shores of Lake Michigan, or sample some of the country's best frozen custard, you'll find something for everyone on our list of 30 things to do in Milwaukee with kids.
With its gorgeous lakes, trees, and beaches, you can’t get much more picturesque than Northern Michigan. In Interlochen, nestled between Duck Lake and Green Lake, you’ll find the world-class Interlochen Center for the Arts. That's just one of the places to visit from our list of the 20 best things to do near Interlochen with kids.
Special events like Lunar New Year are a great time to visit Disney's California Adventure Park. Photo courtesy of Disney
Best Family Vacation Destinations in California
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are what draw most tourists to Anaheim, and there are so many great hotels near Disneyland for families. Once you've had your fill of the theme parks, you can cheer on the Los Angeles Angels, see kid-friendly live theater, and check off more items on our list of 25 things to do in Anaheim.
Though it's tempting to spend every day basking in the sunshine on LA's gorgeous beaches, don't miss our list of the top attractions in Los Angeles. From the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Sign to Rodeo Drive and the La Brea Tar Pits, there are so many things to do with kids in the City of Angels. Don't forget to take a studio tour!
This SoCal city and its surrounding areas boast gorgeous beaches like La Jolla Cove, where you can see sea lions, and Coronado Beach, where naval planes fly overhead. San Diego is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and near great amusement parks like Sesame Place, SeaWorld, and Legoland. Check out our list of 60 family-friendly things to do in San Diego.
This funky surfing mecca is home to miles of awesome beaches and a retro boardwalk full of rides and games. Check out the legendary Mystery Spot, see towering redwood trees at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, visit sea life at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and do some of the other activities on our list of 30 fun things to do in Santa Cruz with kids.
You'll certainly leave your heart in San Francisco when you check off some of the items on our list of 100 things to do in San Francisco with kids, like visiting Alcatraz (at night, if you're brave), riding a cable car, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, and hiking in Muir Woods.
Ride horses along the sand, take a whale-watching or dolphin-spotting cruise, and relax on Santa Barbara's four miles of pretty beaches. Don't miss visiting the animals at the Santa Barbara Zoo, enjoying the shops and restaurants at Stearns Wharf, or doing one of our other favorite activities in Santa Barbara with kids.
There's so much to explore inside Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs. Photo courtesy of the company
More of the Best Family Vacation Destinations Out West
Colorado Springs offers all of the beauty of the Rockies—majestic mountains, gorgeous hiking trails, and sparkling waterfalls—with a more laid-back vibe than Denver. There are historic western neighborhoods, amazing parks, the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and Museum, and the fantastic Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
See what made our DC and travel editor fall in love with Colorado Springs in her list of 35 things to do with kids there.
The Colorado Rocky Mountains are an ideal family vacation destination in any season, with tons of breathtaking hiking trails, awesome ski slopes, abundant wildlife, and more. And at the heart of it all is Boulder, which offers great museums, delicious restaurants, and family-friendly hotels. See why our writer and her family travel to the area so often in her list of the 35 best things to do in Boulder with kids.
Known as the Mile High City, Denver is a charming all-seasons destination for a family vacation. You'll find big-city attractions like art museums, the Denver Zoo, and the Downtown Aquarium, but its outdoor scene is also unparalleled. Plus, Colorado enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Read our list of 40 things to do in Denver with kids, written by a mom who was born and raised in the area.
"Kid-friendly" is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas, but Sin City is becoming an increasingly popular family vacation destination. While there are plenty of casinos and grown-up activities on the strip, there are also many fun family activities, including parks, museums, and fantastic shows. Don't believe us? Read our list of 50 awesome things to do in Vegas with kids.
Seattle is a great family vacation destination for so many reasons—it's very walkable, the public transportation is straightforward, and there are fun things to do for people of all ages, including museums, parks, and the famous Pike Place Fish Market. Our writer who grew up in Sea Town shares 35 awesome things to do in Seattle with kids.
Portland is a funky, weird, unique charmer of a town, packed with things to do that delight kids and the kid in all of us. Sure, it'll rain (unless you visit in the summer, when the sun shines until 10pm). But who cares about rain when you can duck into Powell's City of Books, explore the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or take a misty hike up Mount Tabor?
Read a local mom's list of the 50 best things to do in Portland with kids.
One writer, who grew up in Arizona's capital, shares 45 fun things to do in Phoenix with kids, from the SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium and the Children's Museum of Phoenix to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden.
With its magical, red-rock landscape and plethora of outdoor activities, Sedona is a great family vacation destination. Whether you want to explore the art and history of this rich cultural area, catch thrills in a backcountry Jeep or ATV tour, or conquer one of the many hiking trails, there is something for everyone on our list of the best things to do in Sedona.
The pristine and calm beach water at Grand Isle Resort and Spa in the Bahamas is great for kids. Photo courtesy of the resort
Best Family Vacation Destinations in the Caribbean
Our writers and editors have been to a ton of great resorts in the Bahamas, and we review them all in our Bahamas Family Travel Guide. You can't go wrong at Atlantis, Grand Lucayan, or Grand Isle Resort & Spa. You'll also be amazed when you read our review of CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private Bahamas isle.
72. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Families flock to Punta Cana for its abundant sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and multitude of activity-packed all-inclusive resorts. Read about some of our favorite Punta Cana all-inclusives in our reviews of Nickelodeon Punta Cana, Finest Punta Cana, and Club Med Punta Cana. Then hurry to book your family's stay at Nickelodeon, Finest, or Club Med today!
With its mix of beach beauty and easy-access family attractions—and a relatively protected location south of the main Atlantic hurricane corridor—Aruba is a great choice for a sunny family vacation. It also has a reputation for being a particularly friendly place. Read all about it in our list of the best things to do in Aruba with kids.
If you want the exotic feel of a foreign country without leaving the US, St. Thomas is the place to go. The US territory has its own unique charm with breathtaking beaches, crystal-blue water, friendly locals, and gorgeous red roofs climbing the hills outside its capital city, Charlotte Amalie. Our list of the 25 best things to do in St. Thomas will make your family vacation unforgettable.
There are so many great places to visit in Mexico that we put together an entire Mexico Family Travel Guide. It includes our list of things to do in Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya and our guide to visiting Puerto Vallarta, as well as reviews of fantastic resorts like the all-inclusive Hotel Xcaret Mexico. You won't be able to book your Hotel Xcaret stay quickly enough after reading about our writer's visit.
With its famous pink-sand beaches, unrivaled natural beauty, and unhurried atmosphere, Bermuda is perfect for family getaways. But even with its slower pace, there are still so many things to do in Bermuda, including sailing and boating, beaches and nature reserves, cultural sites, and more. See our list of the 25 best things to do in Bermuda with kids.
77. Turks and Caicos
With pillowy white sand, clear turquoise waters, and laid-back vibes, Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, is consistently voted one of the best beaches in the world. Our writer wrote a glowing review of Ocean Club Resort on Grace Bay Beach. Another great Grace Bay resort is the all-inclusive Beaches Turks and Caicos. You can't go wrong by booking a stay at Ocean Club or Beaches.
Jamaica is a popular Caribbean destination for families due to its plethora of all-inclusive resorts. We have reviews of several of them, including the Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay and the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, in our Jamaica Travel Guide. If you like what you read, book your stay at the Hotel Riu or the Grand Palladium today.
79. Puerto Rico
The US territory of Puerto Rico has the same tropical feel as any other Caribbean island, but you don't need a passport to visit. Our writer wrote a glowing review of the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve, which embraces its motto of "doing nothing means everything". Read the review, then book your own trip.
There are few things quite as magical as the Eiffel Tower. Photo by Jody Mercier
Best Family Vacation Destinations in Europe
From trekking through the Louvre Museum (home of the Mona Lisa) to climbing the Eiffel Tower to wandering along cobblestoned alleys, our NYC editor raved about her family's bucket-list trip to Paris. She shares many of the best family-friendly Paris activities in our Paris city guide.
Our NYC editor had a fantastic time in London with her family and compiled a list of over 60 things to do in London with kids. Live theater on the West End, Big Ben, the London Eye, the Harry Potter studio tour, double-decker red buses... we could go on and on!
Sweden's capital city of Stockholm offers an amazing blend of historic and modern things to do for all ages. Surrounded by water and made up of more than a dozen islands, Stockholm offering up stunning views. The streets are impeccably clean, and many are blocked off to cars. You're also likely to meet local families at the many playgrounds that dot this kid-friendly and outdoors-loving city.
Check out our guide to visiting Stockholm with kids.
Take your family to Iceland to swim in the Blue Lagoon, see waterfalls and geysers, go whale and puffin watching, and maybe even get a glimpse of the Northern Lights between September and April. Learn more in our list of 10 things to do on a family trip to Iceland.
Billy Joel once crooned, "Vienna waits for you"... but don't make it wait too long. Our editor-in-chief raves about the Austrian capital in our Vienna city guide, in which she writes of interesting museums and cultural sites, pretty palaces, boat rides along the Danube, and lots more.
With its placid canals, narrow cobblestone streets, and diminutive canal houses, Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's also a great city to visit with kids because playgrounds are plentiful, restaurants serve child favorites like pancakes and French fries, and museums are geared towards kids. And because every Dutch person learns English at a young age, language isn't a barrier.
Our list of the 30 best things to do in Amsterdam with kids will help your family have an epic vacation.
Barcelona is a city so gorgeous and lively that you’ll never run out of things to see or do with kids. See wildlife at the Barcelona Zoo and Barcelona Aquarium, marvel at Gaudi's fantastical Park Güell, chase and pop bubbles at the Arc de Triomf, and so much more. We detail it all in our list of 25 things to do in Barcelona with kids.
It would be impossible to visit Haines, Alaska without seeing a bear (or many)! Photo by Mommy Poppins
More Top Family Vacation Destinations
Alaska is on many families' vacation bucket lists, and it's also a popular cruise stop. Our Alaska Family Travel Guide will help you plan the perfect trip to Alaska. It includes tips on visiting Juneau and Haines from our founder, who has spent extensive time in Alaska, as well as what to know before taking a Disney cruise to Alaska.
Spectacular beaches, lush landscapes, a relaxed vibe... there's a reason the Hawaiian islands are such a popular vacation destination. The island of Oahu (home to Hawaii's capital, Honolulu) provides the perfect blend of family fun and relaxation, as you'll find in our list of 30 things to do in Oahu with kids.
Disney's Aulani Resort is one of the best Oahu resorts for families. Check out our founder's review of Aulani to learn why, then book your family's stay.
Want to feel like you're in Europe without the long travel time? Head to Quebec City, where you can walk cobblestone streets, sit in bistros, and order in French without a transatlantic plane ticket. As the only walled city in North America and a Unesco World Heritage site, Quebec City is full of history, but offers many modern attractions like museums, an indoor amusement park, and great parks.
Read our founder's list of 25 things to do in Quebec City with kids.
With the perfect mix of old-town charm and plenty of modern attractions, Montreal has something for everyone—museums, outdoor adventures, historic sites, and so much more. Plus, thanks to Montreal’s deep ties to France, it’s a great place to eat French favorites such as crepes and fondue. Check out our guide to visiting Montreal with kids.
South Korean culture has exploded in popularity through music, movies, and food, and Seoul (its capital city) is the best place to experience the culture firsthand. Seoul's top-notch public transportation system makes it easy to travel around the city with kids. The locals are very friendly, so even visitors with little or no knowledge of the language can easily find people to help them.
After two family trips to Seoul, our writer compiled a list of the 35 best things to do in Seoul with kids.
If you're looking for thrills and adventure for your next family vacation, consider a trip to an amusement park. There are so many theme parks across the country to plan a vacation around. Some are located near gorgeous beaches or fun cities. Others are destinations in and of themselves. You'll find the perfect one for your family in our list of the 40 best amusement parks in the US.
River water fuels the activity pools and slides at Schlitterbahn Water Park. Photo courtesy of the park
93. Water Parks
Some water parks are so amazing, they can be the travel destination themselves. Choose a park from our list of the best outdoor water parks in the US and find a hotel near it. Our favorite indoor water parks in the US are all part of fantastic resorts with lots of other activities to keep families busy. Or, check out our list of nearly 30 fantastic family resorts with water parks.
If you’ve always dreamed of roaming the open plains in a saddle, it might be time for a dude ranch vacation. Spending your day on horseback before indulging in a five-star meal is just the beginning when you book a dude ranch getaway. These resorts offer a wide range of activities designed for families, from fly fishing to campfire sing-alongs.
We share some must-try dude ranch vacations for families to help you pick the best one.
95. US National Parks
National parks are great destinations for families seeking an outdoorsy vacation. Our US National Parks Family Travel Guide explores some of the prettiest national parks to visit with kids, including Zion National Park, Acadia National Park, Yosemite, and more.
Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe is just what it sounds like... heavenly! Photo courtesy of the resort
Skiing is the perfect winter vacation activity for families, whether you have beginners who want to take lessons on the bunny slope or experienced skiers looking for a challenge. Many ski resorts also offer other activities like tubing, ice skating, and indoor pools. Even non-skiers will enjoy cozying up by the fire with a hot chocolate (or something a little, er, stronger).
Here are our picks for the best ski resorts in the US for family vacations.
97. Camping Sites
There are few greater bonding experiences for families than pitching a tent and roughing it in the great outdoors while telling ghost stories, playing camping games, and singing campfire songs. Our Camping Travel Guide details some of the best kid-friendly campgrounds throughout the US, from west coast beach camping sites to the 16 best family campgrounds in New Jersey.
All locations of glamping chain Huttopia offer plenty of amenities for kids. Photo courtesy of Huttopia
If you love the idea of camping—but not the idea of sleeping on the ground in a flimsy tent—then glamping may be the answer. Glamping is an elevated form of camping that gives families a true nature retreat with more luxurious accommodations—think glamping tents and cabins with beds, bathrooms, kitchenettes, electricity, and other amenities.
Check out our list of the best glamping spots in the US for families.
Hailed as one of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is a must-see destination for families. Its breathtaking beauty and wonder can't be overstated, and the pictures never do it justice. Read our tips for visiting Niagara Falls with kids so your family can see it in person.
Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours in Durango, CO offers gentle rafting trips for kids starting at age 4. Photo courtesy of Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours
River rafting is one of America's most adventurous pastimes and a great way to stay cool in the summer months. Whether you're looking for lazy-river vibes with your littlest adventurers or high-speed rapids for the thrill seekers in your life, there's a trip for you on our list of the best river rafting trips for kids of all ages.
This post was originally published in May 2010. It was updated in 2023.
This article contains some affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission if you book a hotel or activity. There is no extra cost to the reader. We only recommend hotels and services that we have personally used or have thoroughly researched.