Eastern US

Letchworth State Park in Upstate New York Is a Must-See

Letchworth State Park in western New York is called the "Grand Canyon of the East" thanks to the 600-foot deep-river gorge that runs the length of the park, which is dotted with some of the state's most magnificent waterfalls.

An hour outside of Buffalo, a trip to Letchworth is a commitment but well worth the effort. The 17-mile-long park runs along the Genesee River gorge, offering spectacular sights at every bend and turn. Letchworth is a New York state park but has the feel of a national park with amenities that include lodging, fine and casual dining, ranger-led programs, a slate of seasonal outdoor activities, a new, state-of the-art nature center and a major WOW factor. With so much to see and do, it's a fantastic outdoor destination with something for everyone to enjoy, no matter how passive or rugged you like to spend your downtime.  

This popular park was on my family's camping bucket list for many years. We're already fans of local camping and familiar with Hudson Valley hikes a bit closer to home. After it was voted the best state park in the country by USA Today in 2015, we decided to make the six-hour drive from our home in New York City to see what the hype was about. 

Peruse our Family Weekend and Getaway Guide for more travel ideas.

SplashDown Beach: Family-Friendly Water Park in Hudson Valley

A water park is hard to beat on a hot summer day. My family and I headed to SplashDown Beach in Fishkill, New York, during the recent heat wave and hardly noticed the blazing temperature as we coasted along the lazy river and enjoyed the waterslides and other thrill rides. Dubbed “America's Biggest Little Water Park,” this Hudson Valley park about 90 minutes north of NYC offers all the fun of its larger counterparts, with a solid family-friendly vibe, attentive staff, and fun rides for all ages. There's a reason we included SplashDown in our roundup of best water parks for toddlers, but really the fun extends to big kids, teens, and parents, too. 

Don't forget to check out the Mommy Poppins Theme and Water Park Guide for more amusement park fun—and waterslides.

Stone Harbor Beach with Kids: What you Need to Know Before you Go

If your children love playing in the warm sand and cool waves, take the drive to Stone Harbor, one of the most beautiful and family friendly beaches on the Jersey Shore. Located in Cape May County, Stone Harbor has many wonderful qualities, but what some people like most about it is what it isn’t. It isn’t a beach town dominated by a boardwalk with loud music and flashy rides; it isn’t casinos and all-you-can-eat buffets. This South Jersey shore is a quiet town where nature takes center stage. Grab the kids and the beach umbrella and take a great family trip down the shore.

Visiting Philly: A Basic Guide of Things To Do for First Time Visitors

Philadelphia is walk-able, easy to navigate, filled with kid-friendly attractions and museums, gardens and parks, restaurants and activities. It's full of rich history, and is the perfect destination for families. Whether you're planning a day trip or a long weekend (even a whole week) there's plenty to entertain and inspire the whole family. With so many awesome places to see, adventures to take, and things to eat, planning a trip to Philly can be overwhelming, so here's a few tips and ideas to get you started.

While you're in town, be sure to check out our event calendar to see a listing of all the special events happening.

Niagara Falls: Family Bucket List Vacation Spot

If you breathe oxygen, it's on your bucket list. Heck, there are probably even some alien life forms out there that want to take their kids to Niagara Falls. It would be hard to overstate the breathtaking power and natural beauty of this international landmark, the first of our national parks, but I'll do my best.

I was lucky enough to stumble, with a little good advice, onto an itinerary as easy as a vacation should be, allowing our family to see Niagara Falls from above and below, from in front and behind, by day and by night, from the US and from Canada without waiting more than a few minutes in any line or spending a lot of money. To be fair, we pulled off this feat in June; repeating our movements in July or August might be more crowded, but I still think it will be the path of least resistance.

And if you have time to explore a few fun things beyond the waterfalls—of which there are overwhelmingly many—I'll highlight some great free options. You'll run out of time before you run out of things to do in Niagara.

25 Things to Do With Kids on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH

Summer is the season for road trips, and we’re lucky because in New England  there are so many wonderful spots to visit that are only a few hours away by car. One of my personal favorites is Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. It has so much to offer families with kids of all ages. There’s plenty of recreation, casual restaurants, and scenic views you’ll never forget. Here are 25 of the best ways to get on lake time with your kids.

5 Great Theme Parks For Families in New England

For a memorable family outing jam-packed with fun, head to a theme park. We have some great choices here in New England, and we've rounded up our five favorites for families with kids ranging from toddlers to teens. Some are close enough to Boston for a daycation and others are better suited for a weekend getaway, but they all make for a quick escape from the every day blahs.  

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