Kid-Friendly Vacations In The US: 25 Places To Take The Kids This Year

When you look back you may find that some of your most precious memories were when you were on vacation with your family. No matter where you went, you explored, ate some delicious food, and most importantly, had fun!

Kid-Friendly Vacations - Places To Take The Kids in the USA

Now that you have your own family, you may be looking to take them on their own adventure and create memories that can be treasured forever. Although, finding kid-friendly vacations can be a little tricky.

Below are 25 of the best kid-friendly vacations in the USA. Pack the suitcases, load up the van and get your passport. You and your family are going on an adventure!

Let’s get into it!

1. Walt Disney World, Florida

Of course, when you have kids of any age, Disney World simply has to be the number one vacation destination. Millions of families from all over the world travel to experience the magic that can only be found at Walt Disney World.

Little ones can experience their favorite characters in real life while older kids and adults can get their hearts racing with the incredible rides and rollercoasters.

Teens and young adults are sure to love the other theme parks including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you can taste the famous Butterbeer, snorkel at the coral reef of the park, swim with the dolphins at the Discovery Cove, or experience the spectacular aerobatics at the One Ocean show.

Numerous things make Magic Kingdom famous. Frontierland, Space Mountain, and of course, Disney cuisine. Within these enchanted walls, there are art galleries, shops for everything under the sun, and much more.

You can spend days exploring the Magic Kingdom, and the different attractions that it provides. Meaning you are going to need somewhere to stay.

You can really splash the cash and stay at the Walt Disney Resort, or find somewhere nearby. And trust us, there is no shortage of accommodation.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona

When researching places to take the family, Arizona may not be high on the list. But seeing the Grand Canyon is something that every American should experience at least once in their life.

Many describe the natural wonder as ‘breathtaking’ and are simply in awe of this incredible landscape. However, the kids may not be convinced so easily.

There are loads of things for families of all ages and sizes to do at the Grand Canyon.

Family treks along the Bright Angel Trail, ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, mule rides along the North Rim, or simply admiring the breathtaking views from the Grand Canyon Skywalk are all options.

Joining a junior ranger program allows kids to embark on their own adventure while learning about the history of the park and exploring its rare plants, animals, and geological formations.

Through the program, kids can also learn how to preserve the environment.

A trip to the Grand Canyon is sure to become a wonderful memory for you and your family. It will also make sure you hit your step goal!

3. Niagara Falls State Park, New York

Keeping the children occupied and having fun can be the hardest part of a trip. However, when you take them to see Niagara Falls, they will be too mesmerized to even think about their iPads!

Give your kids the chance to see and appreciate Niagara Falls’ magnificence and splendor. There are lots of entertaining activities you may do with your family in addition to getting your pictures taken at the viewing deck.

For the ultimate water park experience, register for the Cave of the Winds Tour.

Three blocks long Old Falls Street is another fantastic visit. Check out the stunning entrance at Prospect Park if you and your loved ones are headed that way.

You can also climb aboard the Maid of the Mist boat ride. You will be taken right into the falls and experience the water landing on your skin as it crashes down from above. It truly is a mind-blowing experience.

Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants and don’t forget to take a ton of photos in front of the magnificent natural attraction.

4. Yosemite National Park, California

Ready to go off-grid this summer? Yosemite is the perfect place to get some much needed offline time with the family.

In Yosemite, you may go fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and rafting down the Merced River, among other activities.

The Yosemite National Park, which covers an area of 1,200 square miles, is home to magnificent rock formations, enormous waterfalls, fearsome cliff faces, and old sequoia trees.

You can explore the paths in Yosemite Valley or ascend to Glacier Point for panoramic views of the park.

Stay at one of the park’s accommodations and spend a peaceful night under the stars. Waking up early to get ready for a day of action and adventure. Just watch out for bears!

Yosemite National Park has endless activities to keep you all entertained, and when you are in need of a refuel, find some tasty food in the dining hall. You can also stay hydrated with the various water fountains located throughout the park.

5. Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii is a gorgeous place that is often visited by travelers and honeymoon couples. It is also an excellent place for families to vacation together.

Maui is located between Lokolai and Big Island, making it perfect for tourists to get a true feel of the land.

Napili Beach, Wailea Beach, and the unusual black sands of Waianapanapa State Park are great places to spend a sunny day.

You may visit the world’s largest dormant volcano in the Haleakala National Park or do beautiful hikes at the Lao Valley State Park.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the crystal clear waters by boating or snorkeling. You can also experience the traditional Hawaiian luau at the Old Lahaina Luau. Here everyone can dance with Hula dancers and experience a night in Hawaii.

With loads of activities to keep the kids entertained, mom and dad can finally take a moment to breathe in the ocean air and relax. You may even be able to indulge in a cocktail or two.

Maui is best visited from April to September before the storms and iconic ‘hurricane season’ begins.

6. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks are a group of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that provide a unique fusion of history, adventure, and relaxation.

When you visit Outer Banks, exploring the Roanoke Island Festival Park and Maritime Museum should be at the top of your list.

The Park is an interactive attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America. Discover Elizabeth II, a recreation of one of the seven English ships that participated in the 1585 Roanoke Voyage.

You can also enjoy a simple yet relaxing day at the beach. With activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, kiteboarding, and other adrenaline inducing water sports, the kids will be entertained for the entire day.

In order to fully enjoy the beaches, head over to WaterBoy if you’re close to Hatteras Island.

If the kids love wildlife then you must visit Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Kids can see and even interact with over 350 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Learn about the environment, wildlife observation, and fishing.

Outer Banks is the perfect blend of history and relaxation, allowing the kids to explore while the parents take a break.

7. Ocean City, Maryland

Unbeknown to most, Maryland has some of the best attractions in the entire US. And Ocean City is one of the greatest.

Ocean City, which is synonymous with a traditional American beach holiday, features miles of lovely, sandy beaches and summertime activities around the Boardwalk. Kids can go wild on the various rides and then fuel up on some sugary treats.

For those on a tighter budget, there are various free activities for the family to enjoy. Throughout summer there are endless activities at the beach, including a movie night and beach games!

Or enjoy the OC Beach Dance Party that takes place every Monday evening. Have a boogie and enjoy live entertainment from local DJs.

Prefer to explore through food? Ocean City has a Foodie Tour. Take this 3 hour culinary walking tour with tastings at 6 to 8 local restaurants. Learn about the city’s culture and history as you enjoy the flavors of this incredible city.

You can also take a day trip to the serene Assateague Island National Seashore to escape the heat and the ocean, where you can observe wild horses wandering free in the National Park.

8. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Go to Hilton Head in South Carolina if you want a simple and relaxing holiday far from the throngs of tourists.

The region offers a number of tranquil, clean beaches with lots of kid-friendly amenities, making it ideal for family vacations.

Hilton Head is known for its scenic beaches and incredible water sports. Set sail on a fishing charter or climb aboard a dolphin-watching cruise, or get out on the water with kayaking or paddle boarding.

You can also try surfing, sailing, or water skiing. There truly is something for everyone.

The entire family can learn about the history of Maryland at the various museums and then enjoy lunch at some of the tastiest restaurants.

Hilton Head is somewhere where everyone can find something they enjoy and take a moment to relax.

From watching a magical sunset to spiritual retreats, become one with your inner self and take a break from the stresses of everyday life.

With its abundance of lively clubs and diverse nightlife culture, which features everything from comedy shows to jazz concerts, this town is also the ideal place to indulge your desire to be a party animal.

However, with stunning, serene nature paths and top-notch spas, it’s also the perfect location for a holiday that moves a little more slowly.

9. Branson, Missouri

Branson is a rather unusual place for families to go on vacation but it is full of scenic views and some of the best attractions. Covered in the Ozark Mountain foothills, you never know what to expect when in Branson.

Branson, which has been called “family-friendly Las Vegas,” boasts a ton of attractions and activities suitable for both children and adults.

Spend the day exploring the waterslides and rollercoasters at Silver Dollar City theme park or enjoy a relaxing float along the lazy river at White Water Branson water park.

You can also go boating at Table Rock Lake to watch the sunset and enjoy some incredible views.

One of the newest attractions in Branson, Missouri, is the Aquarium at the Boardwalk, which is unlike any other aquarium you’ve been to.

With 250 species of marine animals and various interactive experiences, kids and adults alike can be immersed in this underwater world.

There is also Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park. The Best Aerial Adventure Park in America, according to USA Today, recently went to Shepherd of the Hills.

This family amusement park is practically unequaled because of its outdoor ropes course, zip lines, live shows, café, petting zoo, and other features.

10. Park City, Utah

Are you a lover of skiing, snowboarding, and all things winter sports? Then Park City has to be a place you visit.

With the largest ski terrain in North America, Park City is visited by winter sports lovers from all over the country.

Check out the snow tubing lanes, indoor and outdoor BMX, scooter, and skating facilities, and a variety of trails at the Woodward Park City sports and ski resort.

If you are looking for something slightly less adventurous and dangerous, you can visit the Park City Museum.

Located on the historic main street, you can learn about the lucrative history of Park City as workers dug in the mines.

Park City rebuilt itself as a ski resort town once silver prices fell. Interactive exhibits provide an entertaining way to learn about Park City.

Interact with incredible horses that you can then take for a stroll through the trails of Boulder Mountain Ranch and Deer Valley. This is great for riders of all levels and is sure to create some unforgettable memories.

11. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is a fantastic destination for active families who like to maintain their health while vacationing because it has so much to offer all year round.

Colorado Springs’ beautiful mountain scenery is a mecca for outdoor pursuits like biking and hiking.

Visit the Garden of the Gods, the red sandstone rock formations, or the flowing Seven Falls, or simply stroll through the open expanses.

Colorado Springs is the perfect place for those with a little more energy and looking to really push themselves to the limit.

However, if you prefer to take things at your own pace you can visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Enjoy hand feeding the animals, watching bears swim with trout, and hopping along with red-necked wallabies.

You can also visit the United States Air Force Academy. Tour the modern campus where air force recruits are trained and explore the Falcon Stadium, Arnold Hall, and the Air Force personnel museum.

Colorado Springs is the perfect place for showing your wild side or enjoying the time to smell the roses. Perfect for family fun!

12. Plymouth, Massachusetts

Learn about the history of the Mayflower journey and the founding of the Plymouth Colony in Plymouth.

With costumed interpreters, cattle, and a life-size replica of the Mayflower, Plimoth Plantation provides a genuine look into Pilgrim life.

You can also visit Plimoth Patuxet Museums which is a protected 17th Century English village. See homes in their original form and how the town would have functioned all those years ago.

After taking in the history of the area, you can go on an excursion to see whales or catch lobsters, visit a petting zoo, go on a tour of a cranberry bog, or just play on Plymouth Beach and construct sandcastles.

You might also take a ferry to Provincetown to witness the breathtaking views of the Cape and see the monument where the Pilgrims first set foot before traveling on to Plymouth.

If visiting during the month of August, be sure to enjoy the Plymouth Waterfront Festival.

There are endless stalls, food vendors, and activities to be explored. Kids are also encouraged to take part in the Duck Race at the Brewster gardens pond.

13. Orange County, New York

Orange County is fantastic for families.

With over 50 shows, rides, and attractions, the largest Legoland theme park is sure to thrill Lego lovers.

After your visit to Legoland is over, you may take the kids to one of the many farms that offer tours and educational opportunities.

For those who enjoy being out on the water and catching some waves, Huntington City Beach is a must-visit. Known as ‘Surf City USA’, it is one of Orange Counties’ most famous beaches.

You can also entice the kids into a fun game of beach volleyball!

The OC is also filled with hiking trails, especially Laguna Beach’s El Moro. With its fun loop design, families can easily get around the trail and be back in time for lunch.

You can spend the day at the U.S. Military Academy in addition to visiting the Trailside Museums and Zoos to see the natural wildlife of New York State.

On the Hudson River, you may take a leisurely boat tour, and on the Delaware River, you can go rafting and canoeing.

14. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio has a lot to offer to keep your kids entertained and is a fantastic blend of history and modernity.

The Alamo stories at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are guaranteed to enthrall, and the dinosaurs and mummies at the Witte Museum will leave your little ones in awe.

San Antonio has become a truly glorious place for a quick weekend getaway. Starting by exploring the Pearl District, you can see some historic buildings, stunning restaurants, and wholesome boutiques and stores.

The San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium, home to more than 700 species of animals, is a “must visit” if you enjoy wildlife.

The renowned River Walk’s slow pace or the San Fernando Cathedral’s calm beauty are both enjoyable.

For the adults, the perfect place to unwind is Hopscotch. An artistic activity that can get a little boozy.

This immersive experience showcases some incredible art over a variety of mediums with a full-service bar. The perfect way to see the talent of Texas.

Then head for some delicious treats at La Panaderia to help cure that hangover and get you prepared for a day full of activities.

15. Williamsburg, Virginia

For those that are more into keeping their kids educated and showing them something new, Williamsburg, Virginia is the perfect place.

Williamsburg is full of places and opportunities to learn about the Revolutionary War and how it changed the life of America forever.

See the memorials of well-known historical people including George Washington, John Smith, Patrick Henry, Pocahontas, and more.

And then when you need a break from all of the history information, take the time to dine in colonial taverns.

Some of them are still in operation in Williamsburg, where you may sample genuine foods that Jefferson or Washington might have enjoyed while experiencing 18th-century social life.

You can also visit the city’s extremely popular amusement parks Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Spend the day on rides that really get your blood pumping.

Busch Gardens also has a zoo, playground, and entertainment stage to keep everyone busy and with a smile on their faces.

16. Chicago, Illinois

It’s time to visit the ‘Windy City’! Everyone, American or not, has to try the iconic Chicago deep dish pizza, and what better place than in the city itself?

You can go to the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Shedd Aquarium, or Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play.

Your kids will adore the Chicago Children’s Museum at the Navy Pier as well as the playground and mini-golf course at Maggie Daley Park.

If you are looking to enjoy a fusion of cuisines, then you have to visit the Time Out Market.

With 18 kitchens, 3 bars, and a jaw-dropping rooftop terrace, everyone can find something they enjoy and watch as the city rushes by below.

Once you are fed, visit the Garfield Park Conservatory. This is the perfect place to escape the cold and enjoy the incredible plants.

Visiting during winter? Enjoy a family moment of ice skating at the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon. It is the perfect place to enjoy each other’s company to make some incredible memories.

17. Sanibel Island, Florida

Take a trip to the sunshine state and visit Sanibel Island. This is a tiny slice of heaven. Especially during the summer months.

The main draw of this unassuming location is its lovely beaches. Bowman’s Beach is a great place for your kids to go shell hunting where they will be occupied for hours.

Additionally, Captiva Island’s sandy sands are the ideal location for leisurely, extended hikes.

No matter your age or skill level, there is something for everyone to do. From kayaking to a round of golf, everyone is encouraged to relax in their own way at Sanibel Island.

You can also play tennis to get rid of any excess energy. You may perfect your game on courts surrounded by lush vegetation and lovely sunshine thanks to superb landscaping, cutting-edge netting, and a number of lighting settings that let you tailor your game to your preferences.

Also, don’t forget about the brand-new sport of pickleball!

One of the biggest attractions at Sanibel Island is the Sanibel Causeway. The 2.8-mile-long Causeway Road crossing connects Punta Rassa on the mainland with Sanibel.

Causeway Island Park includes two little islands that are used as well-liked public beaches.

18. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

If you have little ones that never seem to run out of energy, then Myrtle Beach is the perfect vacation spot.

They can run about the beach or make sandcastles for hours, and if they get bored doing that, you can take them to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Ripley’s Aquarium, the Broadway Grand Prix, or take them to play mini-golf at one of the numerous nearby courses.

The Broadway Boardwalk spans for 1.2 miles and is welcomed by the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

You can easily find various activities for the entire family to do and even enjoy some lunch and ice creams at one of the many cafes and restaurants.

When it is time to wind down for the night, take a stroll through Myrtle Beach State Park located at South Kings Highway.

It’s a terrific place for activities like hiking along nature paths, learning about marine life, surf fishing, summer camps for kids, and more because it’s quite calm and serene.

If you want to stay here for a few days, there are also camping grounds and cabins available (Also check out these Camping Games For Kids and Adults), so if you’re searching for something to do this weekend to enjoy the great outdoors, think about it!

19. Yellowstone, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its stunning peaks and clear lakes.

Hot springs are surrounded by colorful pools, lush woods that wind through wide-open meadows, and erratic geysers that shoot streams of scorching water into the air.

Yellowstone is the perfect place for natural-born explorers.

Explore some of the park’s hiking routes and basins for breathtaking views of the waterfalls, woods, and alpine lakes.

Yellowstone is famous for its red-tinged canyon walls and breathtaking natural wonders like Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs.

Trails in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone are particularly well-liked by intrepid tourists.

Other park activities range from fishing at the lake to horseback riding in the wilderness, so make a point of visiting the locations that interest you.

When you are ready to take a load off, make your way to Yellowstone Lake and enjoy a soothing boating expedition across the lake. Or head north to Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley for some relaxing wildlife watching. You never know what you will see!

Don’t worry if you forget to pack a lunch, Yellowstone has various dining options throughout the park and even has some bars for a quick refreshment.

20. Lake Tahoe, California/ Nevada

Cradling the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is utterly jaw dropping. Lake Tahoe is an extremely popular vacation spot, welcoming over 15 million visitors a year.

With heart-dropping cliffs, towing mountains, and some of the clearest waters in the country, you know that it is going to be stunning.

Skiing? Check. Swimming? Check. Golfing? Check. Purchasing, dining, and entertainment? Check again and again. The greatest of all worlds are combined into one holiday spot at Lake Tahoe.

Spend your days hiking through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, skiing down Palisades Tahoe’s slopes while admiring the lake from above from the Heavenly Gondola, or kayaking in Emerald Bay.

When night falls, proceed to the renowned casinos along the southern beach, including Harrah’s, by following the brilliant lights.

Lake Tahoe is the perfect spot for a girls’ trip or a family vacation. You can create memories that will follow your children all the way through their life. Plus, you can do some relaxing while they explore the waters.

With various restaurants and bars, there are plenty of places to grab some lunch or go on a romantic dinner with your special someone.

21. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu has an almost limitless selection of activities that families with various interests can enjoy.

Famous stretches of sand including Waikiki Beach, Lanikai Beach, and Kailua Beach are perfect for sunbathers and sandcastle builders.

Of all the Hawaiian islands, Oahu blends metropolitan luxury with magnificent scenery the best. Honolulu, the state’s capital, exemplifies the island’s metropolitan attraction.

Take the youngsters swimming and surfing, on a hike around Manoa Falls, or visit the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and Iolani Palace to learn about the history of the area.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial are just a few of the several World War II attractions on the island.

However, no trip to Oahu would be complete without spending time at some of the island’s internationally known beaches.

A few of the more well-liked choices are the water sports-oriented Kailua Beach Park, the family-friendly Lanikai Beach, and the resort-lined Waikiki Beach.

Take a guided tour of the island’s valleys, mountains, and historical landmarks from the air in a helicopter.

Whatever you decide to do on your trip to Honolulu, it will be magical.

22. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine, is well-known for being the entrance to Acadia National Park and has a long-standing reputation as a picturesque retreat that encapsulates all the state’s best attributes.

Its location along Frenchman Bay affords visitors a wealth of tranquil water vistas to their left and right, as well as rugged coasts that seem to have been plucked from a landscape painting.

One of the most popular things to do in Bar Harbor is boat tours. There are various boat tours with most offering the experience of whale watching. If you are a seafood lover then you have to book a trip with Lulu Lobster Boat.

This fascinating tour enables guests to board and discover everything there is to know about Maine lobsters, including where they come from and how they get to your plate.

You can also visit Bar Island which is within eyeshot of Shore Path. It can only be reached at low tide to create a temporary pathway for guests to walk. Unique and perfect.

There are various places to enjoy your time eating and drinking at the various bars and restaurants in Bar Harbor. Ideal for keeping little ones fed and on the go.

23. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Have a big family who enjoys the outdoors? The entryway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the mountain town of Gatlinburg (three park entrances are conveniently located right downtown).

The area offers miles of trails ideal for hiking, strolling, mountain biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and kayaking, as well as all the other outdoor activities your family might desire.

Be prepared with your cameras to capture images of the area’s wildlife, which includes elk, deer, and even the occasional black bear.

You can locate a ton of family-friendly activities closer to the city. Enjoy a live concert at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theater, or visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to see penguins, sting rays, and sharks.

Look through the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community’s galleries and studios to find regional handcrafted goods and artwork to bring home as gifts.

Take the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway above the trees or the 407-foot Gatlinburg Space Needle up for the greatest views in town.

24. Glacier National Park, Montana

Forget about traveling to the Swiss Alps, Glacier National Park has all of the views, lakes, and wildlife you need.

Mountains and valleys sculpted by glaciers stretch for miles in this area.

The more than 700 square miles of day hiking paths, camping, cycling, wildlife viewing, and, of course, driving the legendary Going-to-the-Sun Road are all available in this picturesque park.

Speaking of Switzerland, Glacier National Park also offers hut-to-hut hiking in the European tradition.

After a hard day of trekking, Sperry Chalet and Granite Park Chalet provide hot meals and comfortable beds.

Try hut-to-hut hiking through Glacier National Park with certified backcountry guides if your kids are 10 or older. Additionally, you can make direct reservations with the chalets.

Glacier National Park has some of the most incredible views and experiences available. Allow your kids to explore the outdoors and enjoy the sun on their faces as they make their way through the various trails.

25. Hershey, Pennsylvania

Do you and your family have a massive sweet tooth? You are going to love Hershey. The birthplace of the classic chocolate bar, you can take a tour around the factory.

Take a tour of Hershey’s Chocolate World and discover how your favorite treat is created.

Or spend your time on the various rides at Hersheypark. With over 70 different rides and attractions, including an incredible waterpark, everyone can find something to get their heart racing.

Final Thoughts

Finding a kid-friendly vacation has never been easier. While many places offer alcoholic beverages and activities that have an age limit, you have to be a little crafty when you have kids.

Above are 25 kid-friendly vacation spots throughout the USA. From the iconic Disney World in Orlando to exploring the wilderness in Montana, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

So, plan your vacation for the family and begin creating memories that they will cherish forever. You never know what may become a family tradition.

Alex Kallen
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