For a growing family, vacations don’t seem to happen too often for a lot of reasons. The couple of years as a family may be the most hectic, especially with the little ones coming along. Because families have to put certain priorities first, such as work and taking care of babies (and the chaos that comes with them), family vacations have become less of an option for a long time.
Now that your children have grown up a bit, can tolerate car rides (and maybe flights as well) and can do fine with overnight trips out of the house, a vacation might be a possibility very soon. As your children are growing, you’ve probably been thinking about different destinations that you’d like to visit. Ideas may vary from California to Tokyo, Japan to Paris, France.
The fact that there are now children makes planning vacations a bit more challenging, especially for first-time families. But worry not, because many tourist destinations guarantee you and your family a great time and lifelong memories.
While there are many hundreds and thousands of options, here are some of the fantastic kid- and family-friendly vacation destination options in the USA:
Jackson Hole in Jackson, Wyoming – Jackson Hole is home to Grand Teton National Park and a world-class ski resort, which means that it offers several fun outdoor activities that your kids get lost in them for hours and makes them forget about gadgets for a while. Raft in the scenic Snake River, ski down at Snow King Resort, or explore the magical ice castle and ice skate at Teton Village. An excellent destination for both kids and teens alike.
Miami Beach, in Miami, Florida – Although Miami is often associated with party crowds and retirees, Miami Beach can also be kid-friendly. Florida has the most tropical beaches in the US mainland, so it’s the best place if you want to take your family to a tropical beach getaway. You can take your kids to Miami Children’s Museum, which shares an island with Jungle Island. It offers fun and interactive exhibits, programs, and learning materials connected to arts, culture, community, and communication.
Theme parks in Orlando, Florida – It’s Florida once again! The Walt Disney World Resort is known for its timeless appeal. For many years, it has delighted both kids and kids-at-heart. So, this will be a no-brainer choice, especially if you want to take your little kids out to a theme park for the first time. But if you’re not up to wearing Mickey Mouse ears, Orlando has a handful of other theme parks that are sure to excite older children. Suppose you and your kids are fans of Harry Potter in particular? In that case, you’re going to pin Universal Orlando, where you’ll find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with Hogwarts Castle and Gringotts Park (which houses Harry Potter and the Escape of the Gringotts). The Discovery Cove, operated by SeaWorld, offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim alongside dolphins and snorkel around the park’s coral reef. Tip: because of Orlando’s immense popularity, you may want to plan for a visit in less-crowded months like June, October, or November.
Hershey, Pennsylvania – Families and kids with sweet teeth are going to have a super-sweet time in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Named after the founder of chocolatier Milton Hershey, the town draws thousands of tourists to its famous Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hersheypark offers numerous attractions, entertainment, a zoo, and themed areas like Hershey’s Chocolatetown and “The Hollow,” the oldest operating roller coaster in the park. Hershey’s Chocolate World offers attractions like Hershey’s Chocolate Tour, consisting of a dark ride and simulation of the chocolate-making process, and Create-Your-Own Candy Bar, which provides a hands-on factory experience for visitors of all ages.
Sesame Place, Langhorne, Pennsylvania – Since Sesame Street first went on air in 1969, every American preschool kid has learned ABCs, 123’s, different types of shapes and colors, and identified every iconic Sesame Street’s Muppet and human characters. Sesame Place is the only theme park in the country based entirely on the beloved children’s TV program. Even though Sesame Place is basically geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, it may prompt parents into finding themselves reminiscing their childhood days, too. Several attractions include The Count’s Splash Castle, Oscar’s Wacky Taxi, Big Bird’s Tour Bus, Peek-A-Bug, Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave Pool, and Sesame Place Furry Express.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – Although Yellowstone National Park is mainly located in Wyoming, it spreads into Montana and Idaho. Kids and adults alike will get wide-eyed at the Old Faithful’s majestic eruption. A hike against a scenic backdrop makes a family bonding like no other. Start at the Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail for a light stroll to witness the country’s largest hot spring of the same name. Combine the Mystic Falls, Fairy Creek, and Little Firehole trails for a longer hike into an almost four-mile loop. As you go along, don’t forget to keep an eye out for animals such as bison, grizzly bears, and wolves.
Grand Canyon, Arizona – This national park in Arizona is one of the most popular and universally admired family destinations. With so many things to see and do there, there’s little chance that you and your family will get bored. Enjoy one of the light hikes at the park, go for a mule ride, relish the breathtaking views from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, go for a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, or raft the Colorado River. While entrance fees are incredibly cheap, nearby accommodations fill up quickly during the summer months, where tourism hits its peak.