Best Travel Destinations for Families with Children

April 12, 2019
Traveling with children is a substantially different experience than traveling alone or with other adults, and changes must be made to adapt to younger travelers. The first, and most fundamental change you’ll have to make, is the biggest of all: the location! Not all travel destinations will necessarily make the best vacation for kids, so compromises should be made. Consider your children’s age, interests, and maturity level. Can they handle a long plane or car ride? Do they prefer cooler or warmer climates? What are their interests or hobbies, and what activities do you think they’ll enjoy? Most importantly, will they have fun on the trip? There’s a lot to plan and many factors to consider when making a decision. Fortunately, there are many incredible places to experience a family vacation, and we’ve compiled a short list of some of our favorite spots in the United States. Don’t be discouraged if you’re flying in from abroad, each location is well worth your time and money, and some spots are quite affordable!


If you’re looking for a no-frills, relaxing beachside travel destination, look no further than the beautiful sandy shores of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This coastal city of about 33,000 inhabitants boasts miles of unbroken coastline hugging the Atlantic Ocean. While Myrtle Beach offers warm, sunny weather most months of the year (excluding the winter months and parts of autumn), the best time to go is in the summer. Do your kids enjoy physical activity and sports? Introductory lessons for surfing, paddleboarding, and other ocean-related activities are available, all in the warm, relatively shallow water close to shore. After a day of bathing and relaxing, hit the boardwalk to see extra attractions, and consider a trip to Alligator Adventure too, a zoo featuring hundreds of crocodilians, exotic birds, and wild cats, a great destination for any animal-loving kids.


Monterey, in Northern California, is the perfect West Coast alternative for a relaxing beachside vacation. It’s similar to places in Florida and South Carolina, offering a dry climate and warm weather rivaling East Coast hot spots, but notably differs with its gorgeous crystal-clear turquoise water you need to see to believe. Just like Myrtle Beach, the best time to travel here is in the summer. After relaxing in the water, you can grab some lunch in any of NorCal’s excellent Mediterranean and Mexican-inspired restaurants and explore the state’s scenery, including national parks (we’ll touch on one of these in just a moment). Also, make some time to take the family to Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the most impressive aquariums on the West Coast. Just like with Myrtle Beach’s Alligator Adventure, this aquarium showcases unique animals endemic to the state, a welcome experience for any nature-lover, and great for kids!


Monterey isn’t the only kid-friendly travel destination in California. Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains offers breathtaking views of Earth’s natural beauty. Go hiking, camping, and exploring with the backdrop of massive, 3,000 foot granite rock formations, interspersed with waterfalls, framing the landscape all around. When you want to take a break, relax and a family picnic or barbecue in any one of Yosemite’s many specialized picnic areas. Yosemite will offer natural sights your kids will remember fondly for years to come, but it may not be the best choice for all families, especially those with very young children. Prepare for your trip by bringing plenty of water and snacks, and don’t stray off any trails for the best family experience, especially if it’s your first time at the park.


New York City may seem like an unusual choice for our list, but it makes sense when you consider the sheer breadth of interesting places and activities to check out. Throughout the day, you can take your family to a broadway show, or a tour of the city by boat, or a tour through any number of world-renowned museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Modern Museum of Art, and American Museum of Natural History are some of the best in the city. Variety of cuisine is another way New York City shines, and you’re guaranteed to find a new restaurant offering unique food on nearly every block. From Thai noodles, to Russian pelmeni, to classic New York style pizza, you and your family will never be hungry—or bored—in NYC.


We’ve covered just four of our favorite vacations spots in the United States for kids, but there are many, many more. In any case, we hope our guide has inspired you to find the next vacation destination for you and your family. If it has, let us know, and get planning for your perfect summer vacation in 2019!
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