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Hidden Gems: Best Places To Visit in Idaho

must visit places with family

While Idaho may not top your list of vacation spots, its tourism is more engaging than most know. With feats of scenic beauty and hubs of art and culture across the state, Idaho has plenty of worthwhile attractions to visit. Check out these places to visit in Idaho that will make you want to journey through the Gem State.

Trek through the Sawtooth Mountains in Central Idaho

must visit places with family

Perhaps the most beautiful laces to visit in Idaho is the Sawtooth Mountains, a scenic marvel. The jagged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains spans 678 miles . The location was once a favorite spot for beloved author Ernest Hemingway to hang out. Now, it sees thousands of visitors turn out each year to hike its ranges in Sawtooth National Forest. 

Along the trails surrounding Sawtooth, visitors can expect to see glowing blue lakes, thick green vegetation, tall trees, and vast wilderness. The attraction draws in all types of outdoor adventurers and offers opportunities for backpacking, camping, climbing, and more. The Sawtooth Mountains are a must-see destination if you’re looking for an outdoor trip to restore your wonder in the world.

Passes are required to enter the Sawtooth National Forest via vehicle or bike. You may also need to purchase permits for camping or professional photography within Sawtooth National Forest. For overnight travelers, many guests look for lodging in the nearby towns of Ketchum and Stanley.

  • Allows you to stay active on your vacation
  • Stunning sights and scenery
  • Requires an extensive amount of walking, which may not be good for someone with physical limitations
  • Some trails are not accessible to beginner hikers

Adventure Through the Heart of Boise, Idaho

must visit places with family

About Boise

If you’re looking for a mix of nature and urban, Boise one of the best places to visit in Idaho. This buzzing tourist destination hosts Idaho’s most significant city population. It’s a great spot to try local cuisine, visit art and culture museums and check out the phenomenal architecture of the capital. 

Boise is between several scenic sites. This nature-friendly city allows you to bike the stunning Greenbelt, raft down the Boise River (or go north to raft the rapids of Payette River), and hike to local rock formations. Since it’s near Boise National Forest, traveling north of Boise offers winding roads through the landscape. 

Spend a fun day in the town, then enjoy pleasant drives through thick forests and alongside running rapids. Whether your ideal vacation day looks like a nature walk or a museum tour, Boise has you covered.

The attraction-filled setting offers a mixture of free and paid activities. You can expect to shell out money for food, hotel/rentals, and activities like water rafting. But scenic walks exploring the cityscape will only cost you energy.

  • A range of activities for every type of tourist
  • It offers a city-exploring adventure
  • Hard to do and see it all during a short trip
  • More expensive food/board than other Idaho destinations

Take an Intergalactic Journey Through Craters of the Moon National Monument

must visit places with family

About Moon National Monument

You’ll feel like you’ve entered another world at the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Central Idaho. The 750,000-acre park is an eerie cousin to the moon’s surface. Historic lava fields from the past have created a textured landscape covered in lava tubes, cinder cones, craters, and more. 

Visitors to this spot can walk through miles of fascinating formations from the past (though be careful not to fall into a crater!). Those interested in science, nature, or outer space will love this chunk of planetary greatness.

Entrance fees are the main cost. It costs $20 to bring in a vehicle, $15 for a motorcycle, and $10 to walk in. If you plan to bring in a passenger van (7+ people), you’ll be looking at a $40 charge. Camping costs $15 a night, and some days are fee-free .

  • A seven-mile trail through the park lets you observe the setting safely
  • Unique in its appearance/unlike any other spot like it in Idaho
  • First come, first serve camping; no reservations
  • Not accessible to those with limited mobility 

Boat Through One of the World’s Most Beautiful Lakes at Lake Coeur d’Alene in Northern Idaho

must visit places with family

National Geographic once cited this breathtaking lake in Coeur d’Alene as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. This is also one of the best places to visit in Idaho. This high honor is well-deserved, as its crystal blue waters, mountainous backdrop, and coastal beachfront draw in travelers from far and wide. Boating and swimming are encouraged in the open lake, with cruises frequently offered. 

The nearby town of Coeur d’Alene has a rich background in Native American history and French colonization. With tourism providing much of its current economy, visitors can find numerous theme parks, outdoor sports (including skiing!), and water-based activities. This charming lake town is a perfect retreat for couples, families, and solo travelers looking to get in touch with the wilderness.

Hotels and resorts in Coeur d’Alene vary in pricing, with chain hotels costing less than lodge-style resorts and rentals. Daily river cruises can cost approximately $20 to $30, while brunch/dinner and holiday cruises will increase from this base price.

  • Scenic lakeside views and countless outdoor activities
  • Positioned by walkable areas with food/lodging in close distance
  • Limited options for shopping outside of local businesses
  • Very busy during tourist season (summertime)
  • Very cold during winter

Hit the Springs and the Slopes in McCall, Idaho

must visit places with family

Can’t decide between soaking in a hot spring or riding the slopes? Why not both? McCall, Idaho is one of the best places to visit in Idaho, it offers the chance to engage with the outdoors every season. Skiiers, snowboarders, and tubers will love Brundage Mountain Resort , where McCall’s high winter snowfall has lent itself to a snow-centric tourism culture. 

Including areas for experts and beginners, this spot will satisfy travelers of all ages and skill sets. 

Once you’ve cooled off, there’s nothing more refreshing than slipping into the warm waters of the Gold Fork Hot Springs . The springs offer crystal clear pools with varying heat ranges, adding relaxation between your adventures.

Tickets to ride the lift at Brundage cost between $64 and $88 for adults. You’ll need to pay $10 a head (including children) to enter the Gold Fork Hot Springs.

  • It offers a range of recreational activities for all ages
  • One of the best spots in Idaho to visit in the wintertime
  • It may not be ideal for those looking to do things outside of a touristy lens.


must visit places with family

Full Suitcase Travel Blog

22 Best Family Travel Destinations Worldwide (Vacation Inspiration)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: June 24, 2023

22 Best Family Travel Destinations Worldwide (Vacation Inspiration)

Looking for some family travel inspiration ? This guide features some of the all-time favorite family vacation destinations by families that live and breathe travel. This list includes family-friendly vacation spots from all over the world.

We are always looking for nice destinations to visit with family. In this quest for new ideas for family travel destinations, I decided to reach out to other traveling families and ask them to share their all-time favorite, best family travel destinations worldwide.

I received a variety of responses covering an amazing variety of family-friendly destinations from all over the world. From winter holidays in the Arctic to desolate beaches in the Pacific, from city breaks to ski resorts – there is something in here for everyone.

I’m happy to say that some of the world’s most well-traveled families have helped with this article. These are one by one families that have seen a lot of the world and they share their absolute favorite places to travel with family that they keep on going back to . 

With their help, this guide to the world’s best family travel destinations was born. In this post, you’ll find some great family trip ideas and plenty of inspiration for family vacations for many years to come.

Read about the travel bloggers’ favorite family travel destinations and scroll all the way down to the bottom to find out our personal favorite as well!

Featured image by Eric Stoen from Travel Babbo

Best family travel destinations and family friendly vacation spots worldwide

Some of the best family travel destinations worldwide:

1. Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Recommended by Caz and Craig from YTravelBlog. 

One of our favorite destinations for families is the Port Douglas Daintree region in Tropical North Queensland .

Port Douglas has the largest reef system and the oldest rainforest in the world to explore. What more can you ask for? Our girls loved snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, zip-lining over the canopy of the Daintree Rainforest, playing on stunning beaches, searching for wild crocodiles on riverboat cruises, and enjoying delicious exotic ice cream made from the rainforest fruits.

It’s a relaxed and beautiful tropical destination with plenty for all members of the family to love.

TIP: You can also easily visit Daintree as a day trip from Cairns or Port Douglas. You can find the best selection of organized tours here .

Here you can find everything you possibly may want to know about visiting the Daintree Rainforest .

Snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef

Recommended by Kevin and Christina from Wandering Wagars.

There are few places in the world that offer the opportunity for a family adventure like Iceland .

Where else can you spot Blue Whales from a schooner, swim in ice-cold glacier water while continents tear themselves apart around you, and feel the roar of Europe’s largest waterfall, all within a few hours drive of each other. If that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world. You can even lookup the Prime Minister in the phone book.

Icelandic people understand the unique needs of children and families. It’s rare to find a restaurant that doesn’t have an area set aside for children to play.

Furthermore, Iceland is really easy to visit on your own. In summer, you can drive the entire Ring Road , or just focus on the South Coast attractions – there’s plenty to see and do, also with kids. If you don’t feel like driving in Iceland in winter , you can just stay in Reykjavik and make a couple of day trips.

You can read more about Kevin and Christina’s  family trip to Iceland on their blog.

Our experience: We have been to Iceland multiple times and in all seasons and indeed, it’s a great place for a more adventurous family trip! On our blog, you can find a huge selection of Iceland destination guides, itineraries, and practical tips. Check our Iceland travel guide for the complete overview.

Iceland - one of the favourite family travel destinations

3. Bali, Indonesia

Recommended by Eric from Travel Babbo. 

Bali has become one of our favorite family travel destinations the past couple of years. There’s a perfect mix of beaches and culture, and there’s always something to do, from attending festivals (which seem to take place all the time) to visiting water parks to hiking through rice fields.

The weather is warm year-round, although the rainy season (November through March) is exactly what it sounds like. The food is excellent and inexpensive. My 10-year-old’s favorite restaurant in the world is Cuca, near Jimbaran Beach.

Bali’s hotels are amazing, and virtually all welcome kids. We’ve stayed at hotels on the beach, but also in villas with private plunge pools overlooking river valleys and villas surrounded by rice fields. We always try to do activities through our hotels, like fish feeding, anti-gravity yoga, rice planting, ceramics, and local walks. We’re never ready to check out.

Even though there are more tourists every year, Bali never feels touristy. Ubud retains a really cool, artsy vibe. Plus there’s a monkey forest there – what kid doesn’t want to be surrounded by monkeys?

You can find more tips for visiting Bali with kids on Eric’s blog.

Bali - favourite family travel destination - Travel Babbo

4. Costa Rica

Recommended by various families

Costa Rica is one of the most recommended family travel destinations in the Americas. It has all the ingredients for a perfect family-friendly travel experience: tropical climate, beaches, rainforests, lots of sightseeing possibilities, fun adventurous activities, and a big variety of wildlife.

No matter what kind of a family travel experience you’re looking for, Costa Rica makes it all possible.

Looking for a relaxing family vacation at a beautiful resort? Head to one of the many coastal destinations.

Looking for adventure and action-filled vacation with teens? Check out the La Fortuna – Arenal area , aka the adventure capital of Costa Rica.

Or plan a road trip and see the best that Costa Rica has to offer, and add some relaxing pool time to make it fun for the whole family.

The good thing about Costa Rica is that it’s an extremely family-friendly destination. And – if you’re coming from the US, you won’t have to cross too many time zones. It’s also a place that you can visit the whole year round (a tropical rain shower is always possible, however).

Here you can find a sample 2-week Costa Rica itinerary that covers some of the best places, gives you plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, get to know the culture, try some fun activities such as zip-lining or wild water rafting, and also plan some relaxing time by the pool or at the beach.

Sloth in Costa Rica (one of the best family travel destinations in the world)

5. Crete, Greece

Recommended by Paul from A Luxury Travel Blog.

The Greek island of Crete is somewhere we’ve frequently holidayed as a family. Crete has everything we could possibly want – a lovely climate, pure relaxation, great beaches, excellent food, and a beautifully slow way of life. There are some superb hotels on the island too!

We’ve often been drawn to a small fishing town Elounda which has some excellent luxury accommodation and plenty to see and do.

If you are looking for a family-friendly destination in southern Europe, a place that has is all, then you can’t go wrong with the Greek Islands and especially Crete!

Check Paul’s blog for all things luxury travel .

Spinalonga Island Crete

6. Whitefish, Montana, USA

Recommended by Nicole – The Passport Kids.

If you are thinking about experiencing what a winter wonderland would be like, our recommendation is the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort in Montana, USA. The resort offers many family-friendly amenities and activities including daycare and kids ski & ride school directly on the resort.

Enjoy some outdoor winter fun with snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing or sledding; then cozy up by the fire with some hot chocolate.

The resort and city of Whitefish offer a small-town American feel where life slows down for a while but still offers a great selection of hotels, restaurants and shopping.

Check Nicole’s blog for more information about Whitefish ski resort .

Whitefish ski resort Montana

7. Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA

Recommended by Karen from Family Travels on a Budget.

Gulf Shores, Alabama is perfect for families because it’s got all the beach without all the crowds!

We love Gulf Shores for its white sand, seashells, sunsets, and seafood. But what makes it special is the space — wide beaches and smaller crowds mean we have more space to unwind.

Gulf Shores is more than a beach, though. We also enjoy hiking and biking the trails at Gulf State Park, catamaran day trips, paddle boarding and sunset dinners at local restaurants. It’s our home away from home — at the beach!

Read more about Alabama Beaches here.

Gulf Shores Alabama

8. Cape Town, South Africa

Recommended by Keri from Baby Globetrotters (and one of our personal favorites too).

Everything about Cape Town is simply breathtaking! Nestled beneath the unmistakable Table Mountain, many start their South African adventure at the lively V&A Waterfront.

Near to the city, you will find the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and Tree Canopy Walkway, the Table Mountain Cable Car or why not take a ferry and tour around the now infamous Robben Island?

Heading further out of Cape Town for a couple of days is a must – head to where the oceans meet at the Cape of Good Hope, visit the Penguins at Boulders Beach and spot the seals at Hout Bay.

Next head east to the Stellenbosch wine region – so many family-friendly wine farms it’s hard to choose where to start. Finish off your Cape Town adventure with a simply breathtaking sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from Signal Hill or Camps Bay.

Find out more about Cape Town family vacation on the Baby Globetrotters blog.

Our experience: We completely agree with Keri – Cape Town and the whole of South Africa is amazing with kids and one of our own personal favorite places in the world. Here you can find more tips for visiting South Africa with young kids and here you can find a list of the best places to see in South Africa .

Cape Town in South Africa is one of the favourite family travel destinations

Recommended by several families, including us.

If you are looking for a truly unique family vacation destination, then definitely consider Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It’s such a special place (and totally different from anything else on this list), but it has so much to offer for families!

From beaches to deserts, impressive skyscrapers, and sensational attractions for the whole family, there’s so much to see and do in Dubai that you can easily fill several family vacations here and never get bored.

Visit the world’s highest building, ride a camel in the desert, spend time at one of the many theme parks, or go swimming at some of the world’s most impressive water parks… These are just a few of the amazing things to do in Dubai with kids !

And while visiting a destination like this with the whole family can quickly get quite expensive, there are quite a few really nice free and cheap things to do in Dubai as well.

Furthermore, Dubai enjoys warm weather the whole year round (albeit a bit too hot in the summer months), and it’s a perfect family vacation destination for off-season travel as well.

What we also love about Dubai is that it’s extremely multicultural, and kids can get in touch with different traditions. We were pleasantly surprised by the food in Dubai as well! With so many cuisines and middle-eastern touches, the food is absolutely delicious. It’s also another great way to introduce your children to different cultures.

Here you can find more information and fun facts about Dubai , read more about the best tours in Dubai , and also find out how expensive Dubai is .

Dubai - one of the best family vacation spots in the world

10. Cambodia

Recommended by Alanna from The Travelling Hams.

Most people don’t think of Cambodia as a family-friendly destination, but we wholeheartedly disagree! The country is full of stunning nature and some of the most beautiful temple ruins in the world.

Our toddlers loved exploring the ruins as much as we did! For our kids, the ruins were the ultimate playground. Each equipped with crumbling stairs to climb, plenty of rocks and leaves to play with, and even some wildlife to watch. It’s a great way to challenge their senses and it gives you a chance to enjoy them yourself – a double bonus!

Cambodians are some of the friendliest people in Southeast Asia. They love to stop you and chat about your children and give friendly pats and pinches. For those with really young ones- they even help to watch your children while you get a few mouthfuls of food in!

Kids exploring temple ruins in Cambodia

11. Rovaniemi, Finland

Recommended by Erin – Travel with Bender.

If you ask our kids out of the 67 countries they have been to in their 6 years of life, which was their favorite, they would unanimously agree – Finland . More specifically Rovaniemi to the North of Helsinki. Why? So many reasons!

First, it’s where the real Santa lives. When you send a letter to Santa it goes here. You can see all the pigeon holes from around the world with letters to Santa. You can even post your own! You can spend an evening with the elves in the forest, decorating trees, baking cookies, and learning Santa secrets.

Santa's Village in Rovaniemi Finland

In addition, when you are not visiting Santa, you can spend days doing all kinds of fun winter outdoor activities. Ride husky sleds through a winter wonderland, take a reindeer sleigh through the forest, opt for a snowmobile safari that also visits reindeer and huskies, or go snow tubing down giant hills and through ice caves.

Top that with snowmobiles to capture a glimpse of the Northern Lights and a hot dinner of reindeer meat and what could be more perfect?!

Here you can read more about winter holiday in Roveniemi Finland .

Husky Sledge in Finland

12. Portugal

Recommended by Alex – My Life Long Holiday.

Central Portugal has been a family favorite for us since my parents emigrated there a few years back. The area has such a laid-back vibe, great food, culture, and beautiful scenery.

For adventurous families, there are activities like cycling, hiking, and kayaking. But my kids equally like exploring little old villages up in the mountains which haven’t changed for ages, so long as there’s ice cream at the end of it!

The Portuguese love children and you’re welcomed wherever you go with genuine smiles and warm hospitality. Add to this the warm sunshine and you have the formula for a relaxing, easy holiday.

Check Alex’s blog for more inspiration for a trip to Portugal.

Our experience: Inspired by Alex’s suggestion, we have visited Portugal with kids . And we were hooked – it’s one of the most beautiful and family-friendly travel destinations in Europe! In fact, we loved it so much that we went back to Portugal and the Portuguese islands several times. Nowadays, we go to Portugal a few times a year. Here you can find our Portugal travel tips .

Portugal with family

13. Philadelphia, USA

Recommended by Eileen – FamiliesGo!

Philadelphia is close enough to home that it has been a frequent day trip for us. Now that we travel with a child we have begun to stay for a night or two, which has given us a new appreciation for all that this city has to offer for families.

Federal Hall is a must-see on your first visit (the Declaration of Independence was signed here). The city also has a lot of family-friendly museums.

Please Touch Museum will be a hit with younger kids, while school-going children will appreciate the Franklin Institute and the sprawling Museum of Art.

Philadelphia is also known as a great city for eating out. I recommend Federal Donuts near Rittenhouse Square, Hawthorne’s near South Street and Reading Terminal. Great city break for families.

Here you can read more about Philadelphia with kids .

LEARN MORE: How to See the Best of Philadelphia in One Day

Philadelphia - great city destination for traveling families

14. The Canadian Rockies

Recommended by Melissa – Parenthood and Passports.

As a family who wants to see as much of the world as possible, it’s rare for us to visit the same destination twice. But there is one place we return time and time again: The Canadian Rockies .

The Canadian Rockies are one of the most naturally beautiful wonders on earth. The mountains have a rugged, majestic appeal. Nestled between them are glacial lakes that shimmer a vibrant shade of blue.

Banff National Park, located in the heart of the Rockies is one of the most family-friendly places we’ve ever visited. The establishments are very accommodating to children, and the area is great to explore with kids.

Banff is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. You’ll find everything from easy hikes to backcountry camping and winter mountain sports. We love exploring outdoors and hope to instill that same passion in our daughter. I can’t think of a better place to do so.

Read more about visiting Banff here.

Canadian Rockies is a great family travel destiantion

15. Cook Islands

Recommended by Karilyn – No Back Home.

One of our favorite family destinations is the Cook Islands in the South Pacific . For West Coast travelers it’s a short overnight flight with only a 3 hour time change.

The largest and main island, Rarotonga, is actually quite small with a ring road only 29 miles long! You will be welcomed to the island by beautiful white beaches with excellent snorkeling in calm lagoons and lush green mountains as your backdrop.

With plenty of adventure activities from hiking to buggy driving to kayaking to private islands, your family will have the time of their life in this island paradise!

Read more about the family-friendly Cook Islands here.

Family vacation on Cook Islands

16. Glacier National Park, USA

Recommended by Craig and Bryanna – Crazy Family Adventure.

Glacier National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in the USA and for a good reason. It’s also an amazing family travel destination! The views are out of this world, hiking is amazing, and there are so many fun activities for the whole family!

We really enjoyed driving the scary yet breathtaking beautiful Going to the Sun Road. You can see glaciers, waterfalls, and stunning mountains. There is also so much wildlife and you may even see a mountain goat, bighorn sheep, or a bear! We really enjoyed hiking to Hidden Lake, on the Trail of Cedars, and Apakuni Falls.

Each hike has something to offer from being able to step into the frigid cold glacier water, to seeing amazing waterfalls, or a lake surrounded by mountains. Everywhere you turn in Glacier National Park you are met with a view more beautiful than the last!

Read more about visiting Glacier NP . 

LEARN MORE: Glacier National Park itinerary suggestions

Apakunee Falls View Glacier NP

17. Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Recommended by Bethany – Flashpacker Family.

Our family’s new favorite destination is the Big Island of Hawaii . Hawaii is such a special place but the Big Island really takes the cake. You can do everything here!

You can swim with turtles , stay in beautiful resorts, enjoy a luau, go whale watching and snorkeling, hike to waterfalls, visit a volcano, and even sail in a submarine.

The Big Island is great for families because it’s easy to rent a car, drive around and enjoy something new every day. There’s no excuse to be bored on the Big Island!

TIP: If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, don’t miss Maui – one of the most beautiful islands. Here you can find Maui itinerary suggestions and here you can read about the very best Maui activities . It’s a wonderful destination for families as well!

Big Island Hawaii

18. Florence, Italy

Recommended by Scarlet – Family Focus Blog.

Our favorite family travel destination so far has been Florence in Italy . And yes, it’s a city, but Florence is wonderful for families because there is so much to do and see both indoors and outdoors!

It is a great city to walk around in and explore and make memories that will last a lifetime. The whole family will enjoy the delicious Italian food, culture, and attractions.

In addition, Florence is located in the heart of Tuscany region with the beautiful rolling hill landscapes, charming little towns, and the most friendly locals that absolutely adore children!

More tips for a family trip to Italy .

Our experience: It’s not a secret that Italy is one of our absolute favorite countries in the world and we have visited with and without kids countless times. Tuscany is indeed a wonderful region for a family vacation and Florence is the most beautiful of the Tuscan towns . Rent a villa or look for a nice hotel with a pool, and you can have the best family trip ever – a perfect combination of sightseeing and a relaxing vacation.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Florence & Tuscany Itinerary

Florence Italy is a great travel destination for families

19. Hamilton, New Zealand

Recommended by Nadine – Le Long Weekend.

Our favorite family travel destination is Hamilton in New Zealand . Hamilton is New Zealand’s best-kept secret when it comes to family holidays.

Our favorite activities include the Waikato Museum with its dedicated kid’s discovery areas; the Zoo where cheeky Kaka land on your shoulder in the walk-through aviary; and the themed Hamilton gardens which will transport you into a new civilization at every turn!

But what really sets Hamilton apart are the many ‘destination playgrounds’. These amazing parks have the usual fun fixtures, water features, in-ground trampolines, and multi-story playhouses. Great for keeping the little ones busy while you enjoy coffee from a nearby cafe!

Read more about Hamilton, New Zealand on Nadine’s travel blog.

Hamilton New Zealand

20. Florida Keys, USA

Recommended by Carrie Anne – Everything Mom.

When thinking about traveling to Florida with the kids the first place to pop into your mind is probably Orlando. Perfect if you’re looking for thrill rides, but the Florida Keys can offer families the chance to experience the more natural side of the state, specifically Marathon .

Take in a little history exploring the oldest home in the Florida Keys outside of Key West as well as remnants of the Flagler Railroad that connected all of the Florida Keys.

Kids, especially those too young to enjoy more adventurous water pursuits, will love a nature scavenger hunt, swimming with fish, or meeting rescued birds at the Wild Bird Sanctuary. You can even enjoy lunch under a large tiki hut restaurant just off of the scenic Seven Mile Highway.

Marathon also makes a great family destination due to how close it is to the other islands such as Key West and Islamorada. This amazing place proves that your Florida family vacation adventure doesn’t have to include any roller coasters.

Here you can read more about Marathon, Florida .

Family trip to Marathon Florida Keys

21. Dordogne, France

Recommended by Kirsten – Kids are a Trip.

The Dordogne region in France is one of our favorite places to explore as a family. With beautiful castles, rivers for canoeing, and medieval towns for exploring, it is the perfect place to get away from everything and spend some quality time with your kids.

We especially enjoyed the bucolic landscape and the friendliness of the locals and found there was plenty to do for families.

If you want to learn more, please read Kirstin’s post about her family visit to Dordogne .

Canoe ride in Dordogne France

22. Swiss Mountains

Our personal recommendation.

This list wouldn’t be complete without me sharing at least one of our personal favorite family destinations as well. And if I have to choose just one, it has to be Switzerland!

Switzerland in general, and the Swiss mountains , in particular, has been one of our favorite travel destinations for years. We just love the Swiss Alps!

We try to go to Switzerland at least twice a year: skiing in winter and hiking in summer , and every time we don’t want to leave. Kids have asked several times if we could just move to Switzerland…

Charming mountain villages and small towns have such an amazing atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Add to that stunning landscapes, great food, and a huge variety of things to see and do for families with children, and you cannot go wrong planning a family trip to Switzerland.

TIP: Some of our favorite places include the Lucerne area , Zermatt , Mt Titlis , Grindelwald , Jungfraujoch , and Schynige Platte , to mention just a few.

Here you can read more about some of our favorite places in Switzerland .

Swiss Alps is our favourite family destination

So, this is a small selection of great vacation destinations for families. I hope you found some inspiration for your next family vacation!

What’s your favorite family destination? Let us know – leave a comment below!

READ ALSO: Best Travel Gear for Kids – family traveler’s favorites.

TIP: For more family travel ideas, please check our guides to the best spring break destinations in the USA and the best spring break destinations in Europe .

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Best family travel destinations worldwide

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Chitra Gupta

Friday 23rd of June 2023

Hi, we are a family of 4, kids aged 19 and 14 and have been to switzerland, dubai, milan, honkong, paris, istanbul already. We are unable to decide our next travel destination for November. What would you suggest?

Saturday 24th of June 2023

Hi Chitra, that's a tough choice indeed. Purely season-wise, I'd look into Southern Hemisphere for November I suppose. South Africa is amazing for a family trip and Namibia as well. Also Thailand could be a great option or Australia if you have more time. There are so many options. It also depends on where you live and how much time you have. We have quite some articles about the destinations mentioned above on our website, you can use the search button for some inspiration. Good luck!

world nomad

Friday 19th of May 2023

What an amazing article Wish I could go to all these places Your suggestion for sightseeing that is not tropical for August around the world? Cities and sightseeing is the focus

Monday 22nd of May 2023

There are many places that are not too warm in August. UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, also pretty much anywhere in Poland or Baltic States. If you are looking for destinations around the world, consider South Africa or Namibia (more nature), and certain parts of Australia (also cities). There are plenty of options. :) Good luck!

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Beautiful locations, please share more.

Ha ha, I could easily add a few dozen other places to this list. There are so many amazing destinations all over the world, and more places are family-friendly than people tend to think. Our personal favorite countries to visit with kids are Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland. Happy travels!

Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Hi Jurga, thanks for all the suggestions. It's not easy to decide where to go next. We are a family of 4, kids age 8 and 11, and were thinking of Costa Rica, but are also considering Iceland. Thoughts?

Monday 7th of March 2022

Iceland vs. Costa Rica? They are so different... CR is warm, tropical, with beaches and pools, lots of fun outdoor activities, wildlife, and it's rather cheap compared to Iceland. Iceland is amazing but in a very different way - incredible vast landscapes, the most beautiful waterfalls, glaciers, great hot springs and geothermal pools to swim in... But - depending on when you travel - it can be really cold and - in winter - also dark. Even in summer, you'll usually need sweaters, jackets, etc. Iceland is also much more expensive... I think you should do a bit more research and see what interests you the most, or let it depend on the season - Iceland in summer and Costa Rica in winter. But if it's your first family trip, I honestly think that the entire family, and especially the kids will enjoy Costa Rica more, even if just for the weather. But after you do that trip, definitely do Iceland next - it's one of a kind!

Monday 27th of December 2021

So much inspiration in this article - hard to decide where to go next. We took the kids to Dubai recently and they loved it. Especially the waterparks, lol. We're now looking for some ideas for next spring and thinking of Italy. Any recommendations?

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

Hi Amelie, Italy is always a good idea, also with children. It is very family-friendly and the food is great, so no issues even with the fuzzy eaters. That being said, Italy is quite big. So - depending on how much time you have and the exact time when you travel - I'd just focus on a few areas rather than try to 'see it all'. In early spring, the cities will be great (I'd just avoid Rome at Easter), whereas, in the late spring, the coastal areas (Cinque Terre, Liguria, Amalfi Coast, etc.) are also very nice. Also Italian lakes (Garda, Como, etc.) can be quite nice in spring. We have been to Italy lots of times and in all seasons and you can find lots of destination guides and tips for various places all over Italy in our Italy travel guide. Happy travels!

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Wondering where to take the family next? Here are 40 vacation spots everyone will love

A mother and her son out hiking

Remember what a typical day in your childhood looked like? Probably not, but we bet you can vividly recall a family trip that blew your young mind. While many of us are contemplating our big travel plans for the next year, now might be an excellent time to let those long-dreamt-about family vacation ideas come to fruition.

If you want your child or teenager to experience the same magic on vacation , take them to any of these family vacation destinations. From glaciers to beachfronts , dinosaurs to Disney characters, there's something here for everyone — even the kid that's hard to please.

must visit places with family

Shop Best beach vacations for families, couples and more according to an expert — plus an exclusive discount

Best places to travel with kids, legoland, new york.

Best for ages: 2-12

Why go? Kids (and kids-at-heart) won't be able to resist the colorful attractions and hands-on exhibitions, all revolving around the iconic playset series.

What to do: Play all day! The theme park destination recently debuted their newest — and wettest — attraction, the Water Playground , allowing kids to splash, slide, build and get doused with a gigantic 318-gallon water bucket. (First come, first serve reservations are necessary to enter.) The park has also become a Certified Autism Center , partnering with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to train employees and providing low-sensory guidance and accommodations to children with cognitive disabilities.

Where to stay: The park's namesake resort — Legoland Hotel — extends the family fun everyone is having, from offering nightly entertainment to crafting the perfect build in the Creative Workshop. For something a little more low-key and affordable, Sleep Inn & Suites Monroe provides free breakfast every morning and is in close proximity to sites like Bear Mountain and Woodbury Common .

More info: l egoland.com/new-york

Glacier National Park, Montana

Mother and Son walking in Glacier National Park

Best for ages: 8-18

Why go? Thanks to climate change, North America’s few remaining glaciers are disappearing.

What to do: Hike! The Going-to-the-Sun Road (one of the most scenic in the world) is also fun to bike, but it's best ridden early or late in the season when car traffic is minimal. The open-top Glacier Park Red Bus Tours allow kids to see wildlife from a safe distance. To get out on the glacial lakes, rent canoes or kayaks or book a boat tour with Glacier Park Boat Co .

Where to stay: Spend a few nights in a cabin at the no-frills Apgar Village Lodge . Then, splurge at the luxurious, all-inclusive and dog-friendly The Resort at Paws Up located on the edge of the scenic Flathead National Forest.

More info: NPS.gov/glac

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Image of the Riviera Maya

Best for ages: 4-14

Why go? Snorkel in freshwater cenotes (natural pools), swim with manatees and climb ancient Mayan ruins all before the sun sets.

What to do: Fly into Cancun and then head to Playa del Carmen, the perfect launching point for all of Quintana Roo’s adventures. Float the underwater river at Xcaret Eco Theme Park and stay late for the musical show, “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular.” Then, taxi or bus to Dolphin Discovery in Puertos Aventuras where the kids can splash and play with dolphins, manatees and even sea lions! Finally, explore the clifftop ruins in Tulum. Further inland, take a day trip to Chichen Itza . For beach time, check out Aloha Paddle Club's water sport rentals in Playa del Carmen or take the ferry to nearby Cozumel.

Where to stay: Panama Jacks Resort Playa del Carmen is located on prime beachfront real estate and home to the Camp Jack kids club. Outside of town, Barcelo has everything from its impressive Barcelo Maya Grand Resort (five family-friendly hotels in one) to its more intimate Allegro Playacar where babysitting is always available. In Cozumel, Allegro Cozumel has a pirate-themed water park on site.

More info: VisitMexico.com

Miami Beach, Florida

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 8-12

Why go? Although it’s often associated with a party crowd or retirees, Miami Beach also has plenty of kid-friendly activities.

What to do: Miami Beach has the most tropical beaches in the continental United States. As you drive to Miami Beach from Miami, you hit your first two must-see attractions. Indoors, the Children’s Museum shares an island with Jungle Island .

Where to stay: At the north end of the island, Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour has the best kids’ beach club. At the south end, Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach has direct beach access and sits between two public parks.

More info: MiamiandBeaches.com

Mother and Son running on beach in St. Lucia

Best for ages: 10-18

Why go? This Caribbean Island has the world’s only “drive-in” volcano.

What to do: Rent a car and head for the crater! After hiking around La Soufriere Volcano’s hot springs, let the kids throw mud at each other in a mud bath. (You can relax in the mineral waters beneath a waterfall.)

Where to stay: Zoëtry Marigot Bay St. Lucia has a kids' activity program and a tween-driven mani-pedi spa. Harmony Suites also ranks high for its boutique atmosphere and on-site dining.

More info: StLucia.org

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Family Walking in Jackson Hole

Best for ages: 6-16

Why go? Jackson Hole is home to Grand Teton National Park and a world-class ski resort.

What to do: Jackson Hole boasts more outdoor activities than there are hours in the day. You can raft the scenic Snake River , tube down the runs at Snow King Resort in Jackson or explore the magical ice castle and ice skate in Teton Village.

Where to stay: Hotel Terra Jackson Hole and Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa , both Noble House Hotels, are within walking distance of the chairlifts. Both properties have ski packages in the winter and national park packages in the summer.

More info: VisitJacksonHole.com

Millennium Park, Chicago

Image of people sitting at Millennium Park

Why go? It's an amazing green gathering place.

What to do: Strike a pose in the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture (affectionately known as The Bean). Splash around in the animated Crown Fountain, which literally makes faces at you. Join one of the free activities (family yoga, anyone?) on the big lawn or rent bikes from Bike and Roll Chicago or Divvy Bikes Millennium Park to ride to nearby Navy Pier .

Where to stay: Both the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel and the Swissotel Chicago on the Riverwalk are within three blocks of Millennium Park.

More info: ChooseChicago.com

Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Best for ages: 5-11

Why go? This state park just 75 miles southwest of Dallas boasts some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world.

What to do: In addition to walking in the humongous footprints left in the Paluxy River, take a covered wagon tour, mountain bike the trails, borrow a fishing pole from the park’s Tackle Loaner Program and visit the museums in downtown Glen Rose , the Dinosaur Capital of Texas.

Where to stay: Pitch your tent or park your RV at Dinosaur Valley State Park, or consider Best Western Dinosaur Valley Inn Suites .

More info: Texas.gov

Denver, Colorado

Family Walking in Downtown Denver

Best for ages: 8-16

Why go? The Mile High City has tons of experiences for the 48-inches-and-under crowd.

What to do: Denver’s top attraction is The Denver Zoo . It’s more than 100 years old! At the Children’s Museum of Denver , younger kids can experiment in a test kitchen, cool off in an outdoor splash zone and dance in a room of bubbles. Older kids will appreciate the exhibits and the Phipps IMAX 3D Theater at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science . When they get tired, ride in the free open-air Denver Trolley.

Where to stay: The Kimpton Hotel Born is in the heart of downtown (a stone’s throw from Union Station). The Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center is just one block from the 16th Street pedestrian mall and has an indoor pool.

More info: Denver.org

Disney World

Statue at Walt DisneyWorld on Orlando at Magic Kingdom

Best for ages: 2-14

Why go? You'll never forget the first time your princess-loving child catches their first glimpse of the real Ariel or Belle or watches fireworks explode over Cinderella’s Castle. Disney is fun for parents, too!

What to do: Check the Magic Kingdom classics off your list first, then head over to Disney's Animal Kingdom . At Disney Springs , experience the Vintage Amphicar and Aerophile.

Where to stay: Good times at Disney’s properties — including Disney’s Beach Club Villas — are always a given, or try the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld for rooms at half the price.

More info: DisneyWorld.Disney.go.com

The Black Hills, South Dakota

Little girl in Black Hills looking at Mount Rushmore

Best for kids ages: 5-15

Why go? Mount Rushmore ! Plus, these mountains and badlands are some of the most underrated destinations in the country.

What to do: The kids will love the hands-on American history lessons offered at Mount Rushmore. (Stay for the evening flag ceremony during the summer.) There’s also buffalo to be seen, gold to be panned , ghost towns to be explored and the world’s largest collection of reptiles .

Where to stay: Stay at the KOA camping resorts in Rapid City , Mount Rushmore or Bad Lands/White River or find modern rooms at the Hampton Inn Deadwood at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort in historic Deadwood.

More info: TravelSouthDakota.com

Sesame Place

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 2-5

Why go? The world's best park for toddlers and preschoolers is scaled to young fans of Elmo and the gang.

What to do: Spend half your time on water attractions like The Count's Splash Castle, Big Bird's Rambling River and the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave pool. Then dry off and do the rest: Take a dizzying ride in Flying Cookie Jars, ride Flyin' Fish and Peek-A-Bug (in Elmo's World) and explore Sesame Neighborhood via Oscar’s Wacky Taxi.

Where to stay: The pet-friendly Red Roof Inn Philadelphia Oxford Valley is affordable, or get a little more space at Langhorne’s top-rated hotel, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Philadelphia Langhorne .

More info: SesamePlace.com

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 8-13

Why go? Your Potter lovers will go Hog(warts) wild to see Hogsmeade and Hogwarts recreated in amazing detail.

What to do: Get there first thing in the morning. Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey first: Muggles meet Dumbledore, join a Quidditch match and encounter a Whomping Willow. Next, conquer the ultra-fast Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure coaster and the tamer Flight of the Hippogriff; then go wand shopping at Ollivanders (if you're lucky, the wand will choose you).

Where to stay: On-site properties like Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offer guests free Universal Express Unlimited passes to skip lines. Or, for about half, you can stay at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes — the kids' club has a 500-acre scavenger hunt.

More info: UniversalOrlando.com

must visit places with family

Shop Why aren't people taking vacation? Expedia's Vacation Deprivation Report explains - plus an expert's trip tips

Cedar point amusement park.

Cedar Point Amusement Park

Best for ages: 6-18

Why go? It’s the roller coaster capital of the world with more than 10 miles of track!

What to do: Ride the Blue Streak — a historic wooden roller coaster dating back to 1964. Or, opt for more modern thrills like the Millennium Force (rated one of the best steel coasters around), suspension coasters (your feet dangle from the floorless Raptor) and the maXair, one of the world’s biggest pendulum rides. Younger kids will find fun at Snoopy’s Space Race and the Kite Eating Tree.

Where to stay: Cedar Point’s Hotel Breakers , located on Lake Erie beach, offers early entry into the park. Five miles inland, Great Wolf Lodge has an indoor water park.

More info: CedarPoint.com

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Mother and Son on volcano rocks at Hawaii National Park

Best for ages : 11-16

Why go? Two massive volcanoes are here, including Kilauea — one of the world's most active. Trails take you past smoking steam vents, black lava rock and enormous craters.

What to do? Stop at the Kilauea Visitor Center to pick up maps, check current conditions and learn how the volcano came to be. Ask if rangers are leading walks or set out on your own hike. The Earthquake Trail (Waldron Ledge) is an easy hike with great views of the Kilauea Caldera. Don't miss the Thurston Lava Tube, an underground tunnel where the hot stuff once flowed. (Drive there, then hike in, through a mossy fern forest.) Return to the park at night to see the gorgeous glow from the Halema'uma'u Crater.

Where to stay: For a dramatic crater view from your room, stay across the street from the Visitor Center at the Volcano House . If you don’t mind staying 27 miles outside of the park and want to be closer to town, Hilo’s number one hotel is Arnott’s Lodge .

More info: NPS.gov/havo

Waikiki Beach

Girl standing on paddle board in Waikiki Beach

Best for ages: 11-16

Why go? Thanks to warm, shallow and relatively calm waters, there’s no better place to take your first surf lesson.

What to do: Sign up for a lesson at one of the Star Beachboys stands , located on the sand in front of the statue of Duke Kahanamoku. (This Hawaiian hero is considered the father of modern surfing.) Or try one of the local surf schools, like Big Wave Dave and Surfer Girl Academy . While on Oahu, visit the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites including the USS Arizona Memorial .

Where to stay: With its airport transportation, on-site pool and free breakfast, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach could not be more convenient. Further inland, the Aqua Oasis offers boutique vibes.

More info: GoHawaii.com/Islands/Oahu

Yosemite National Park

Mother and Children at Yosemite National Park

Why go? This national park is a scenic superstar: Think thundering waterfalls in spring and early summer and seriously steep granite cliffs.

What to do: Get your bearings on the free park shuttle around Yosemite Valley — home to famous sights like the Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls; hopping on and off as you please. Set aside a half day to hike the Mist Trail alongside majestic Vernal Falls, climbing 600 granite steps to the top. (Pack a waterproof poncho!) Tube the whitewater with Zephyr Whitewater .

Where to stay: The charming mountain town of Mammoth Lakes makes a great home base, or check out the highly-rated Juniper Springs Resort or The Village Lodge . Both properties have a pool!

More info: TravelYosemite.com

Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts

Woman dressed up at Plimoth Plantation

Why go? It’s like stepping back in time to the 17th century, when the pilgrims arrived here from England.

What to do: Get a look at Plymouth Rock, where colonists first set foot on American soil. You won’t believe how tiny it is. Costumed actors recreate what it was like on the crossing and in the settlement. Learn about Native American cooking, crafts and culture at the Wampanoag Homesite. Visit the nearby Plimoth Grist Mill where you can see how they grind corn and even buy it to take home!

Where to stay: Pilgrim Sands on Long Beach has views of Plimouth Plantation and a waterfront view of Warren Cove. In colder months, consider the Hilton Garden Inn Plymouth , which has a great indoor pool.

More info: Plimoth.org

Buckingham Palace

Kids at Buckingham Palace

Best for ages: 6-12

Why go? When you tell kids a real king lives here, their ears will perk up!

What to do? Start monitoring flights months in advance and consider European airlines. (Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air often has round-trip, nonstop London flights from several major U.S. cities for less than $500.) On your first full morning in London, check out the Changing of the Guard where the soldiers march out in their trademark red coats and fuzzy black hats. It starts at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. on Sundays) but get there at least a half-hour early so the little ones can see. If the royal flag is flying, the Queen is in residence. St. James Park is a stone’s throw away and has a lovely playground.

Where to stay: Located opposite the Royal Mews, The Rubens at The Palace could be to London what the Plaza Hotel was for Eloise. The Nadler Victoria is just steps from Buckingham Palace.

More info: Royal.uk

Tenerife, Spain

Mother and Son sitting on rock in Tenerife

Why go? This Canary Island is home to Europe’s No. 1 water park, its most visited national park and world-class beaches featuring sand imported from the Sahara!

What to do: Head to Siam Park , voted the best water park in Europe. Ride the water slide that travels through a shark tank or relax at the world’s biggest wave pool. Drive a rental car across the island to paddle board, kayak and snorkel with Teno Activo at Los Gigantes . Also check out Loro Parque — voted Best Zoo in the World by TripAdvisor — and visit the volcano in Teide National Park .

Where to stay: In between Siam Park and the beach, Iberostar Anthelia has a free breakfast buffet and a kids club. Or, rent a poolside apartment from Apartamentos Casablanca .

More info: WebTenerife.com

San Diego Zoo

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 1-11

Why go? It’s one of the world’s best zoos — and one of the few places in the U.S. to see the world’s smallest bear.

What to do: Don’t miss Elephant Odyssey , and Northern Frontier, to see polar bears and arctic foxes. Also noteworthy is the Africa Rocks exhibit (baboons, leopards, blue-eyed lemurs, etc.).

Where to stay: In October, “Kids Free San Diego” features dozens of hotel deals. Year-round, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa has great water sports rentals and Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego is practically next door to The New Children’s Museum .

More info: SanDiegoZooWildlifeAlliance.com

Redwood National & State Parks

Children in the Redwood Forest in California

Best for ages: 5-12

Why go? The California parks are home to the tallest, most majestic trees on earth.

What to do: Stroll through the mile-long Lady Bird Johnson Grove, a mossy jungle of sky-high sequoias — some of them 2,000 years old (kids can crawl through the hollow ones). See if Roosevelt elk are grazing in Elk Meadow, then pick up the path to Trillium Falls. On coastal trails, take guided tide pool walks. You may spot whales from December through April.

Where to stay: The Best Western Plus Northwoods Inn is located right off of Redwood Highway and includes breakfast. View Crest Lodge has cozy cottages for less than $200 per night.

More info: NPS.gov/redw

Florida's Space Coast

Kennedy Space Center

Best for ages: 5-15

Why go? Where else do you get to be an astronaut for a day?

What to do: You can feel what it's like to rocket into the stratosphere on the Shuttle Launch Experience flight simulator . Take mission control tours, have lunch with an astronaut and even train with one in a family Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) program.

Where to stay: Both the Homewood Suites by Hilton Cape Canaveral and the waterfront Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach have pools and breakfast. The Radisson at the Port isn’t oceanfront, but there's a pool with a built-in playground!

More info: VisitSpaceCoast.com

Wisconsin Dells

must visit places with family

Why go? It's the water park capital of the world, year-round!

What to do: Get a day pass for Noah's Ark Waterpark (America's largest) and race down the Raja, which ends in the mouth of a king cobra. Or book one of the wet and wild resorts, like the African-themed Kalahari (the Sahara Sidewinders looping slides literally drop you through the roof) or Mt. Olympus (the Lost City of Atlantis water fortress has slides, geysers and monster dump buckets).

Where to stay: In addition to the resorts with indoor water parks, there are quieter options like Day’s End Motel , Alakai Hotel and Suites and Hilton Garden Inn .

More info: WisDells.com

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

Best for ages: 5-17

Why go? It’s got beaches, boardwalks, American history and a military aviation museum.

What to do: First, take a ride in an open cockpit biplane at the Military Aviation Museum . Then, hit the beach and Neptune’s Park where the kids could compete in a sandcastle building contest if your timing is right. Finally, drive to Fredericksburg to walk in the footsteps of our first president at his boyhood home, Ferry Farm .

Where to stay: The top-rated hotel choice is the Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront , which is within walking distance of boardwalk attractions. Barclay Towers Resort Hotel is a bit farther, but every room is a suite.

More info: VisitVirginiaBeach.com

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Why go? North Dakota just may be the most underrated and understated state!

What to do: Sleep under the stars in the national park named for Theodore Roosevelt , who once lived here. These dramatic badlands are home to the Painted Canyon; see who can spot the most bison or elk. Prairie dog barking is audible and just outside of the park is Medora , a town where horses are still a form of transportation.

Where to stay: Lodging is pretty limited, but it’s got character! The Rough Riders Hotel in Medora has a pool and a two-story rock fireplace. The Badlands Hotel , also in Medora, is further from downtown but the rooms are slightly bigger and it’s only two blocks from the Medora Children’s Park.

More info: NDTourism.com

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Why go? You'll never see sand dunes like these! Some are nearly 500 feet high, with views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands from the top.

What to do: Climb the dunes, of course! Run (or roll) down these majestic sand mountains. Cool off with a swim at Esch Road Beach where the pristine Lake Michigan water is brisk but refreshing. There's great kayaking and tubing on the warmer Platte River (gear up with Riverside Canoe Trips ). Or, sign the kids up for a freshwater surf lesson from Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak .

Where to stay: Duneswood Resort is a short walk to the Dune Climb, and they rent bikes, buggies and strollers. If you're based in Traverse City , stay at Great Wolf Lodge for its indoor water park.

More info: NPS.gov/slbe

New Orleans' French Quarter

French Quarter New Orleans

Best for ages: 3-17

Why go? The Mardi Gras spirit lasts all year long in this family-friendly city.

What to do: There's lots of free PG-rated fun in Jackson Square , where magicians, jugglers, mimes and jazz bands make the street their stage. Grab an outside table at Café du Monde , famous for its sugar-covered beignets . A stroll along the Mississippi River leads to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium . Hop the St. Charles streetcar to the lovely Garden District and the Audubon Zoo where kids can feed giraffes.

Where to stay: The Homewood Suites by Hilton in the heart of the French Quarter has free buffet breakfast. The pet-friendly Quarter House rents suites with fully equipped kitchens.

More info: NewOrleansOnline.com

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Best for ages : 8-13

Why go? This great gorge is 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep in some spots, with rocks that are millions of years old.

What to do: Don't just stand there! Bike along the South Rim (rent from Bright Angel at the visitor center) or hike into the canyon on free ranger-led tours. To explore by mule with Xanterra , reserve at least a year in advance.

Where to stay: The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon is only one mile from the popular South Rim entrance. At the bottom of the canyon, check into a cabin at the historic Phantom Ranch .

More info: NPS.gov/grca

must visit places with family

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Yellowstone national park.

Yellowstone National Park

Why go? It's America's very first national park and has the highest concentration of geysers in the world!

What to do: See Old Faithful , which shoots steam sky-high every 90 minutes, and then move on to the other geysers, stinky mud pots and multicolored hot springs within walking distance. Bison, elk, bears, wolves and Bighorn sheep all hang out here. In winter (when it’s easiest to spot wildlife), take the kids on their first snowcoach tour . In summer, fly high at West Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park .

Where to stay: The Summit at Big Sky puts you just outside the park. A more rustic option is Chico Hot Springs .

More info : NPS.gov/yell

Cooperstown, New York


Best for ages: 8-17

Why go? It’s home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum .

What to do: After learning all about the game, take the younger kids to The Farmers’ Museum . Then, practice those swings at Barnyard Swing Miniature Golf . Climb aboard the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad or cruise Otsego Lake on the Glimmerglass Queen .

Where to stay: Stay on the water at Lake ‘N Pines Motel where guests have an outdoor pool, an indoor pool and a video arcade room. Downtown, The Railroad Inn has lofts that comfortably sleep families of six.

More info: ThisIsCooperstown.com

The Strong National Museum of Play, New York

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 4-12

Why go? It’s devoted to every kid’s favorite thing to do!

What to do: Celebrate superheroes at the museum’s American Comic Book Heroes exhibit or walk through the world’s largest pop-up book in Reading Adventureland. Visit the Toy Halls of Fame and play your way through the history of video games at eGameRevolution.

Where to stay: Book a room at the Hyatt Regency Rochester , which is a five-minute drive or short walk to the museum. Other family-favorite hotels include the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Rochester , which features a large indoor pool, and the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester University & Medical Center which is connected to the new College Town shopping complex.

More info: MuseumOfPlay.org

Colorado Springs

Father and Son Looking out in Colorado Springs

Best for ages: 7-13

Why go? Nestled at the base of America’s peak, this town showcases Colorado for kids.

What to do: Watch athletes train for upcoming events at the Olympic Training Center . Then, hand-feed the giraffes at the country’s only mountain-top zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo . Older kids can hike to the summit of Pikes Peak — the mountain that inspired the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” — and cross North America’s highest suspension bridge at The Royal Gorge. Finally, explore the geological wonders of Garden of the Gods .

Where to stay: Ride mules up to your cabin or fire tower accommodations at Cloud Camp , part of The Broadmoor Resort . Down in Colorado Springs, the Great Wolf Lodge boasts the state’s first indoor water park.

More info: VisitCOS.com

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 4-18

Why go? Between its four different mountains, Aspen Snowmass has something for all skiers and snowboarders.

What to do: First, sign up for the Very Important Kids Snowmass program to see the resort’s daily child-friendly programming and packages. Then, drop the 2-4-year-olds at The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center for their lessons and then head to Camp Aspen with the older kids and preteens. In the afternoon, meet up to ski together, go tubing or take a free naturalist tour. End the day with a Snowcat dinner or a family Chuckwagon Dinner at a remote cabin.

Where to stay: If you don’t want to rent a car, stay at Stonebridge Inn , a Destination Hotel where everything Snowmass-related is within walking distance. Or reserve a room at the town’s only ski-in, ski-out property, The Little Nell . Sometimes you can get two complimentary ski passes for each night you stay!

More info: AspenSnowmass.com

The National Mall

must visit places with family

Why go? If there’s ever a place to instill a sense of American pride in your young one, it’s here.

What to do: In spring during the famous Cherry Blossom festival, The National Mall is where most of the action and colors are. Hit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History , the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History . There are also several art museums — ideal for older kids — and the International Spy Museum .

Where to stay: With a No. 2 ranking on TripAdvisor, The River Inn near Foggy Bottom metro station is a great affordable option. Closer to the National Mall, you a comfortable room at Sofitel Washington, D.C.

More info: Washington.org

An Alaskan Cruise

View of Alaskan City

Best for ages: 9-16

Why go? Besides heli-tours, cruising is the closest you can get to Alaska’s calving glaciers.

What to do: Crystal Cruises , the first cruise company to complete the entire Northwest Passage, has several options. For example, its Glacier & Gold Cruise visits the Inside Passage where it parallels the tallest coastal mountains in the world. On port days, kids can learn about the historic Gold Rush in the frontier town of Skagway or go dogsledding or take a floatplane to fish in a remote inlet.

Where to stay: Book a stateroom on the luxurious, all-inclusive Crystal Serenity or Crystal Symphony . If you extend your trip and check out Denali National Park where you can see Mt. McKinley, consider Motel Nord Haven/Aurora Denali Lodge .

More info: TravelAlaska.com

Niagara Falls, New York

Child looking at Niagra Falls

Why go? Six million cubic feet of water thunders over the massive falls every minute.

What to do: Bring your passport so you can view them from the Canadian and American sides; to visit both, cross Rainbow Bridge. Board the Maid of the Mist boat from either shore to get right up to the raging water (they give you ponchos). By day you'll see rainbows; at night, the falls are dramatically lit, and there are fireworks, too! Kids who aren’t afraid of heights will love the view from Skylon Tower .

Where to stay: The most exciting option is the Sheraton Niagara Falls with its family suites complete with bunk beds! Its Reef Beach Club has a shark tank and a coral reef lagoon, and is attached to the Rainforest Café .

More info: Niagara-USA.com ; NiagaraFallsTourism.com

must visit places with family

Best for ages: 12-17

Why go? Hailed as “the next Costa Rica,” this Central American country is enjoying a transformation.

What to do: Fly into Managua , and from there, head to the Spanish colonial town of Granada on the shores of Lake Nicaragua — the 19th largest lake in the world and home to two island volcanoes you can hike. In Cerro Negro near Leon, kids can sandboard (basically snowboard) down the volcanic ash sides. End your trip at One Love Surf School in the Pacific coastal town of San Juan Del Sur or head to the Caribbean side to explore the Corn Islands.

Where to stay: With its private beach, private farm and resident monkeys and sloth, there’s no place on earth quite like Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge . At Jicaro Island Ecolodge Granada , you feel like you have the island to yourself — until the birds wake you up in the morning.

More info: VisitNicaragua.us

Pacific Coast Highway Drive

Overhead view of the Pacific Coast Highway in California

Why go? Curvy Highway 1 winds along California's craggy coastal cliffs, high above the ocean.

What to do: Take it slow and make lots of stops — whether you conquer the whole thing (about four days) or just tackle small portions. Kids will be wowed by the Santa Cruz Boardwalk (ride the wooden coaster!); Monterey (go kayaking and see the Aquarium ); Carmel's Pt. Lobos State Natural Reserve (otters, seal lions and whales hang here); Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (great hiking and camping); Hearst Castle , in San Simeon, and the elephant seals on the beach just north.

Where to stay: The pet-friendly boutique Laurel Inn is in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood. In Southern California, stay within walking distance of Disneyland at The Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim , which is pet-friendly and has a pool.

More info: CentralCoast-Tourism.com

Canada's Rockies by Rail

The Rockies by Rail

Best for ages: 8-15

Why go? If your kids haven't outgrown their fascination with trains, you'll be parent of the year in their eyes.

What to do: Book Fresh Tracks Canada's Vancouver to Toronto train trip. It's an 11-day itinerary stretching across the Canadian Rockies. Begin in Vancouver on a drive along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Then, travel by rail across the country, watching the glaciers turn into cowboy country, wheat fields and finally, the city of Toronto. Older kids will demand extra time to see the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame and get their hearts rate up at the Stingray Experience at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada .

Where to stay: Spend all 14 nights in a Prestige cabin on VIA Rail's flagship transcontinental train, The Canadian. If you just want to explore Western Canada, Rocky Mountaineer makes a great home away from home.

More info: CanadianTrainVacations.com

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  • 13 Best Places To Visit In India With Family For A Unforgettable Vacation In 2023

places to visit with family

23 Mar 2023

A magnum of places, people, culture, traditions, colors and religion, India is a country that will surprise you with its never-ending allures. Witnessing the trails of the architectural pasts to experiencing the serenity of valleys, drenching in the salty sea waters or soaking in the religious rituals, India can delight you in more ways than you imagine! So get ready to witness surprises at every turn by exploring these places to visit in India with family. Read on, to know what the list holds for you!

Top 13 Best Places To Visit In India With Family

Dotted with innumerable charms, a journey across these 13 best places to visit with family in India will bond you with your loved ones like never before. All these places have something or the other to do for every kind of family. What are you waiting for? Start planning now!

  • Kerala: God’s Own Country
  • Andaman And Nicobar: Exotic Islands
  • Himachal Pradesh: Serenely Adventurous
  • Kashmir: A Heaven On Earth
  • Rajasthan: The Royal Land
  • Haridwar And Rishikesh: Spiritual Lands
  • Nainital And Jim Corbett National Park:  Nature And Wildlife
  • Coorg, Ooty, Kodaikanal:  Kashmir Of South India
  • North East:  The Unexplored
  • Delhi, Agra, Jaipur: The Golden Triangle
  • Banaras:  The Holy City
  • Mumbai:  The City That Never Sleeps
  • Puri:  Architectural Rich

1. Kerala – God’s Own Country

Kerala - for elephant bathing, kathakali, temples, coffee plantation

Kerala, the land of coconut trees and backwaters, is one of the top places to visit in India with family . This narrow strip of land along the Arabian sea boasts of its natural vegetation, rich flora and fauna, beaches and backwaters and romantic views. Visiting Kerala would prove to be completely relaxing and rejuvenating trip for your parents and children alike.

Must Visits:

  • The beautiful hill station – Munnar
  • Backwaters of Alleppey
  • Kovalam Beaches
  • Thekkady and Wayanad for natural experiences

Tip: Go only to those ayurveda centers that are approved by the Ministry of Tourism Best time to visit: September to April Hotels to stay: Emerald Resort, Diga Vista Resort Things to do: Stay in a houseboat, watch snake boat race

Must Read: 16 resorts in Kerala you will yearn to be with your sweetheart

2. Andaman And Nicobar – Exotic Islands

Enjoy scuba diving, white sandy beaches, elephant of Andaman and Nicobar

The once known ‘Kaalapani’ is now a popular tourist destination and one of the best places to visit with family in India . The tropical environment, white sandy beaches and coral reefs, lush green rainforests and active volcano make a trip to Andaman an adventurous and mesmerizing one.

Must Visit:

  • Havelock Islands for Scuba Diving
  • Cellular Jail for the light and sound show
  • Andaman water sports complex for sea water swimming and more water sport activities

Tip: Avoid locations with high tribal density. Nicobar Islands are out for bound of tourism activities because a majority of tribes reside there. Best time to visit: Mid November to April Hotels to stay: Hotel Value Luxury Stay Andaman, Shagrilas Beach Resort Things to do: Scuba diving, Snorkeling

3. Himachal Pradesh – Serenely Adventurous

Breathe the fresh Himalayan breeze by paragliding & mountaineering in Manali

Traveling with family and planning to miss the state, you could lose out on a lot! Right from river rafting to trekking expeditions to scenic landscapes, Himachal is an apt choice for a traveler with kids. Soak yourself in the mild sunlight and breathe the fresh Himalayan breeze while your kids go paragliding, mountaineering, jeep safari and more. One of the places to visit in India with family in low budget,  Himachal should definitely make to you

  • Manali and Rohtang Pass for snow clad mountains
  • Shimla for the scenic beauty
  • McLeodganj for trekking trails
  • Kufri for Yak rides
  • Solang Valley for adventure sports

Tip: Avoid trekking trips with children below 10 years and elderly. Temperature at Rohtang Pass is usually very low, hence heavy woollen clothing is advised. Best time to visit: In Spring, April – June and In winters, November to February Hotels to stay: Shimla Nature Ville, Hotel Amar Villa Things to do: Paragliding, trekking, hiking

Suggested Read: 11 Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Visiting Himachal Pradesh

4. Kashmir – A Heaven On Earth

Kashmir - famous for Shikara weave, srinagar textile, Kashmir valley

Kashmir is one of the best places to visit in India with family . The abundance of breathtaking scenic beauty makes this paradise loved by travelers of all ages. This mini Switzerland of India attracts tourists from all over the world, across various age groups and is always on the list of every Indian. You definitely need to visit this paradise on earth and meditate in the flower valley hearing the laughter of your loved ones. Among of the best family vacation places in India, Kashmir is a traveller’s all time favourite destination when it comes to planning a holiday.

  • Srinagar for houseboats and shikara rides
  • Gulmarg for Skiing
  • Pahalgam for Baisaran Valley

Tip: You can opt for skiing classes at the Skii Institute Best time to visit: In spring, April – June & In winters, December – March for Skiing. Hotels to stay: Taj Palace Houseboat, Hotel Alpine K2 Pahalgam, Hotel Mount View Things to do: Shikara riding, Gondola ride, skiing, river rafting

5. Rajasthan – The Royal Land

Explore the majestic palaces, vast deserts, lake palace, wildlife in Royal Rajsthan

One of the best places to travel in India with family, the royal Rajasthan and its luxury is worth experiencing. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels offers a chance to explore the vast deserts, majestic palaces, glimpses into the wildlife and the beautiful havelis of Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Ranthambore & Jaipur.

  • Udaipur for its royalty
  • Jodhpur for Mehrangarh Fort
  • Chittorgarh for the treasure trove of Rajputana history
  • Jaipur for exquisite handicrafts

Tip: The train makes a trip to Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh. Select your locations as per your choice. Best time to visit: October – March Hotels to stay: The Atara, Hotel Pol Haveli Things to do: Visit lakes and temples, experience wildlife

Suggested Read: 11 Ancient Yet Famous Religious Places In Rajasthan One Must Definitely Visit While In The Land Of Deserts

6. Haridwar And Rishikesh – Spiritual Lands

Famous Laxman Jhula in Haridwar and river rafting in Rishikesh

Planning a religious-fun family tour this year? Haridwar and Rishikesh is the place for your family! Visit one of the holiest cities of India and bathe in the Ganges, wash your sins away. Walk on the swaying Laxman Jhula with your kids and travel to Rishikesh for some adventure. If you want to spend your holiday amid serene surroundings and pleasant weather then these are one of the best places to visit in India with family in summer.

  • Mansa Devi temple in Haridwar
  • Laxman Jhula – the swaying bridge
  • Rishikesh for adventure sports
  • Har-ki-pauri Ghat for the evening Maha Aarti

Tip: There’s no alcohol or non-vegetarian food available in the holy city. If you can’t deal with a strict vegetarian diet, you might not enjoy the place. Best time to visit: February – June, August – October Hotels to stay: Hotel Mayur, Hotel Queen, Hotel Trishul Things to do: Visit Rajaji National Park and Har ki Pauri Ghat

7. Nainital And Jim Corbett National Park – Nature And Wildlife

Tiger at Jim Corbett National park, Naini lake Nainital, deer fawn nesting Uttarakhand

Nestled amidst seven lush valleys of Uttarakhand, Naini lake is believed to be found by Tri-Rishi (lake of three sages) and was explored by the Britishers as a holiday getaway spot. Located about three hours away from Nainital, Jim Corbett is a popular wildlife resort. Over 70,000 tourists visit the national park all-round the year.

  • Naini lake for a peaceful boat ride
  • Govind Ballabh Pant Zoo for Siberian tiger, wolves, hill fox and more
  • Tiffin top for a panoramic view of Himalayas
  • Stop by and have fresh bhuttas on the way
  • Jim Corbett for an adventurous wildlife tour

Tip: Thrill yourself with a stay in the jungle at the wildlife resort within the park’s premises and you might even get to see a tiger! Best time to visit: Nainital: March – June and September to November Jim Corbett National Park: November – June Hotels to stay: Hotel Mount and Mist Nainital, Hotel Paradise Homestay Things to do: Visit Nainital Lake, Snow view point

Suggested Read: 49 Beautiful Places To Visit In North India For A Refreshing Vacay

8. Coorg, Ooty, Kodaikanal – Kashmir Of South India

Coorg, Ooty, Kodaikanal for a serene scenic getaway in South India

Planning a trip down south and looking for a serene scenic getaway. Coorg, Ooty, and Kodaikanal serve as a perfect destination for a relaxing holiday. The lush green hills, dense forests, beautiful rivers and lakes, winding roads on the mountains, amazing weather and many other features make these some of the best places to visit in South India with friends.

Hotels to stay: Radisson Blue Kochi, ITC Windsor Bengaluru Things to do: Visit National Parks

Experience the abbey waterfalls, monastery, wildlife sanctuaries in Coorg

Located in the Western ghats, Coorg is locally known as the Kashmir of Karnataka. With over three wildlife sanctuaries and one national park, gorgeous sunset points, waterfalls and plenty of coffee plantations, Coorg makes an ideal getaway with family.

  • Raja’s seat for a gorgeous sunset view
  • Coorg’s most popular waterfalls – Abbey Falls
  • Bylakuppe near Kushalanagar is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in south India

Tip: In winters, the temperature can drop below 8 degrees. Hence, woollen clothing is advisable. Best time to visit: October to June

Explore the tea plantation, trains, rose garden in Ooty

One of the most popular hill stations of south, Ooty has been referred to as the queen of hill stations, since ages because of its breath taking kaleidoscopic visual treats and soul stirring experiences. Lush green well maintained lawns, rare flora species, tranquil atmosphere are some highlights of this picturesque destination

  • Botanical Garden for a 20 million-year-old fossilized tree
  • Lake Garden by for the fiberglass dome
  • High altitude deer parks of India

Tip: In winters the temperature might drop down to 5 degrees or less and hence, woollens are recommended.

Suggested Read: 43 Famous Historical Places In India To Visit

C. Kodaikanal

Visit Kodaikanal for pillar rocks, creeks, long stretches of forests

The mighty rocks, bowers, creeks, long stretches of forests and the meadows define the charm of Kodaikanal. This princess of hill stations has started gaining popularity recently and offers a perfect getaway resort from the city bustles. Among the best places to visit in India with family in October, this should definitely make to your list for your next getaway.

  • Climb to the jutting rocks of Kodai and the Pillar rocks for a delighting view
  • Coaker’s walk for thrilling views
  • Telescope House for the panoramic view of the valley

Tip: Children are advised to walk carefully on steep trails. Best time to visit Kashmir of South India: In Spring, April to June; In Winters, September – November

9. North East – The Unexplored

The tea estates of Darjeeling, monastery, highest peaks & deepest valleys, North East

Experience living in the foothills of Himalayas and wake up to the highest of peaks & deepest of valleys. Away from the hustle bustle of the city, reside in the tranquil hills. A trip to north east definitely invites you to the tea estates of Darjeeling. Taste the authentic momos and Darjeeling Tea!

  • Tsomgo Lake for Red Panda, migratory ducks and other species of fauna
  • Yumthang valley for breath-taking scenic grandeur
  • Rumtek Monastery for unique religious art objects
  • Darjeeling for the toy train ride and authentic tea flavours

Tip: Heavy woollen clothing is advised for children and elderly in higher altitude areas. Hotels to stay: Magpie Pachhu Village Resort, Pine Hill Homestay Things to do: Visit Kaziranga National Park, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre

Suggested Read: 31 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit North East India

10. Delhi, Agra, Jaipur – The Golden Triangle

Visit the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur) with your family

If you don’t know where you should begin your India tour the Golden Triangle of India is the best option for places to visit in India with family. The Golden Triangle is a tourist circuit connecting the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. The name is also suggestive of the shape formed by their locations on the map. All these major cities of India have iconic historical sites to visit, including India Gate, Red Fort and Qutab Minar in Delhi; Taj Mahal in Agra; and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur.

Hotels to stay: Taj Palace, Ajanta Hotel, The Grand Uddhav by Staybook Things to do: Visit temples, India Gate, Forts

Explore Akshardham temple, Humayun tomb, street food of Delhi

From the ancient Mughals to Afghans, experience the phenomenal monuments to unique restaurants, bustling bazaars of Old Delhi to fascinating malls of New Delhi, street shopping at Janpath or Sarojini to the street food at Chandni Chowk, Delhi has something for every traveller.

  • India Gate as a tribute to the country
  • Connaught Place for amazing food
  • Old Delhi for Chandni Chowk & Asia’s biggest mosque- Jama Masjid
  • Janpath or Sarojini Market for bulk shopping!

Tip: For a comfortable sightseeing tour, book a Delhi Darshan trip via HohoDelhi.

Suggested Read: 37 One Day Road Trips From Delhi

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must visit places with family


Galtaji temple, street market colors textiles, amberfort elephant ride in jaipur

Further ahead lies the journey to the traditionally colourful city of Jaipur , inviting you to the majestic architectures and hand crafted souvenirs. The city boasts of its royal Rajput influence, lifestyle intricacies, and rich art & cultural history.

  • Hawa Mahal for its architecture
  • Nahargarh fort for an enticing city view
  • Johri Bazaar for impressive gemstone work and jewellery
  • Chokhi Dhani for the ultimate Rajasthani experience.

Tip: A trip to Chowki Dhani is a must if you’re short on time and want to have to real Rajasthani experience.

Taj Mahal, boat ride in the bank of Yamuna, Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra

Finally, stop by at the city of love – Agra and immerse in the beautiful Taj Mahal . Situated by the banks of Yamuna, this symmetrical monument took about 22 years to complete and is celebrated as an epitome of love all across the world.

  • Fatehpur Sikri for the amazing glassware
  • Agra fort for the marvelous architecture
  • Agra markets for Inlay work on marvel and traditional carpets.

Tip: Taj Mahal is closed on Friday. Plan your trip accordingly. Best time to visit the Golden Triangle: October to March

Suggested Read: 25 Mesmerizing Hill Stations In South India That Are A Must Visit

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Sightseeing. Monasteries. Trekking. And beauty all along

11. Banaras – The Holy City

Visit Varanasi for a splendid religious experience of aarti at the Ganga ghats

Varanasi or Banaras is the oldest city in the world. Located by the ghats of the holy river Ganga, the city is a must visit for a splendid religious experience. Symbolizing spiritualism, philosophy & mysticism for thousands of years, Varanasi hypnotizes the tourists with its magical chants and echoing aartis.

  • Jnana Vapi or the Well of wisdom believed to have been dug by Lord Shiva himself
  • Boat ride along the Ganges river for the real Banaras experience
  • Kashi Vishwanath temple for its gold plated towers
  • Ramnagar Fort for its museum displaying vintage cars, royal palkis and more
  • Banaras Emporium to buy your wife or your mom the Banarasi Silk Sari

Tip: This city of temples, gallies and ghats will lure you to explore more. Plan your destinations according to the time you’ll have. Best time to visit: October – March Hotels to stay: Alka Hotel, Stay Banaras Things to do: Visit historical Fort, Experience Arti at the ghat

12. Mumbai – The City That Never Sleeps

Gateway of India, Marine Drive, and Juhu chaupati in Mumbai

Home to most of the Bollywood celebrities, Mumbai, the city of dreams, literally never sleeps. Be it the mandis preparing for early morning customers or marine drive for a walk by the see any time, places near Mumbai attracts tourists like crazy.

  • Siddhi Vinayak Mandir to witness the religious madness of the city toward Lord Ganesha
  • Gateway of India for the view of the majestic Taj, by the sea and ferry rides
  • Bandra for a great street shopping experience and stop by at Band Stand, in front for Shah Rukh Khan’s residence Mannat for a peaceful seaside time.
  • Juhu for its choupati consisting of tapris serving lip-smacking chaats, pani puri or pav bhaji.
  • You may also wish to travel to Lonavala, Shirdi, and Nashik. Plan your travel wisely.

Tip: If you’re traveling to Mumbai in summers, you may not enjoy much, due to high humidity levels. Best time to visit: September to March Hotels to stay: Ginger Mumbai, Atlas Grand Hotel Mumbai Things to do: Visit the gateway of India, Elephant caves

Suggested Read: Top 20 Things To Do In Agra To Explore The True Beauty Of Home Of Taj

13. Puri – Architectural Rich

Visit the beautiful city Puri for Jagannath Rath Yatra and beaches, Odisha

This beautiful city mostly remains untouched throughout the year until the Jagannath Yatra begins. The city welcomes you with a cool breeze even on the most summery days and the majestic temple adds an aura of peace to your leisure travel.

  • Walk by the beach and enjoy the calmness amidst the noisy atmosphere
  • Explore the local shops selling alluring age old arts and artefacts
  • Chilka Lake for the biggest salt water lagoon and migratory birds
  • Sun Temple at Konark for its magnificent architecture

Tip: If you wish to attend the ‘Rath Yatra festival’ plan your trip for the months of June-July Best time to visit: August to March Hotels to stay: Mayfair Heritage, Puri, Mayfair Waves Puri Things to do: Visit the temple

Further Read: 38 Romantic Honeymoon Places In South India That Cast Utter Magic

There are several exotic places to visit in India with your family, did you find the right place? If yes, plan a trip to Puri right away, pack your bags and set out on a trip with your loved ones. Explore the locations and make some of the most priceless memories to treasure for a lifetime. Happy holidays!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In India With Family

Is it safe to travel around in India in the upcoming weeks or months?

The tourism industry is slowly reopening, and you can visit most of the above-mentioned places and more if travelling in a small group while following all the guidelines released. But don’t take our word for it: check up on the latest travel advisory, Covid-19 measures, and the number of cases before your departure.

Which is the best place to visit in India with your family?

You are in luck because there is not one but many places to visit in India with family. Whether you want a beach excursion or getaway to the hills, you will be pampered with choices. Andaman and Pondicherry in the South are perfect for long, luxurious beach vacations. Kashmir is always a great choice for families. Himachal and Uttarakhand are the other two popular destinations where families like to take a trip. Expect to have a good time in Rajasthan with your family.

Where can I go with kids in India?

You could go to Rajasthan, especially a wildlife safari in Ranthambore National Park where your kids can meet elephants and tigers. You could book a resort in the hills of Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand to enjoy a luxurious getaway. Take them to Agra to see the Taj Mahal or for a Mumbai Darsha.

Is it safe to travel to India with a baby?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel within India with a baby. Nowadays most hotels provide facilities for kids like a play area and other things to make the stay of a family comfortable. Most public places like malls have nursing stations for mothers.

Which are some family vacation destinations on a budget in India?

Manali, Nainital, Dehradun-Mussoorie are some of the places where you can enjoy a family vacation on a budget in India. Jaipur and Jaisalmer are also perfect for taking a short getaway trip on a budget. Rajasthan may be the city of royals but you can definitely enjoy a holiday on a budget.

Which are all the places to visit with parents outside India?

If you are planning a trip with your elder parents, you could take them to Singapore or Sri Lanka. Even Bali is an amazing place to plan a family trip. These places are not costly, the weather is nice, and there are experiences for all age groups.

Which place is best to travel to for 2-3 days in India?

The best place for a 2-3 days trip in India would depend on your location. If you are located in North Delhi, then Shimla and Jaipur would be a good choice. For people living in South India, Mysore and Coorg must be on the list. For West India, head to Alibaug or Mahabaleshwar. Northeast Indians can head to Pelling or Darjeeling. And East Indians would love to visit Sunderbans or Puri.

How much does a meal cost in India?

A meal in India costs INR 100 at street joints, INR 250-500 at medium-level restaurants, and over INR 1,000 at upscale restaurants. Make sure you taste the local street food while you’re in India. The flavour and the aroma of Indian cuisine is distinct and usually hits all your senses.

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written by Lottie Gross

updated 11.07.2023


To help you find destinations that are as much fun for children as for grown ups Rough Guides' family travel experts have put their heads together and come up with the top 30 best places to go with kids. So whether you want a relaxing beach break or something a little more adventurous, we've found somewhere in the world for every child and parent in 2023.

1. Places to go with kids in Maribor, Slovenia

2. reserva monteverde, costa rica, 3. bali & the gili islands, indonesia, 4. family activities in havana, cuba, 5. places to go with kids in rosario, argentina, 6. movie magic in north island, new zealand, 7. fun family holidays in san ignacio, belize, 8. explore the great outdoors in colorado, usa, 9. experience family-friendly kerala in india, 10. nairobi, kenya, 11. places to go with kids in puglia, italy, 12. family days out in the west midlands, england, 13. go vampire hunting in bran, romania, 14. find family festivals in edinburgh, scotland, 15. family seaside fun in brittany, france, 16. astronauts and alligators in florida, usa, 17. explore kid-friendly toronto, canada, 18. have a seaside break on isle of wight, uk, 19. reykjavík, iceland, 20. go wild in zion national park, usa, 21. show kids lake retba in senegal, 22. activity packed antalya in turkey, 23. take family time in tokyo, japan, 24. adventure together at cape tribulation, australia, 25. kids will be wild about wales, uk, 26. the maldives, indian ocean, 27. winter sun breaks in ko lanta, thailand, 28. cape town, south africa, 29. galápagos islands, ecuador, 30. explore kid-size tobago, caribbean, the places to go with kids guide top travel tips.

You might also want to take a look at our list magical places to visit with children . And if you're travelling with older kids finding ways to keep them wowed is easier with inspiration from our gallery of seriously weird places around the world .

best places to go with kids Maribor, Slovenia

Slovenia is a small but brilliant country, especially for places to go with kids. Rent a car and head north from the capital to Maribor , a compact city that's just a stone’s throw from active entertainment for all ages.

There’s canoeing on the river Drava in summer and skiing in the nearby resort of Pohorje in winter. In spring, try the resort’s single-track toboggan run that hurtles down the ski slopes at up to 30mph.

What to do in Slovenia

Try a half-day rafting tour on the Soča River . It's a thrilling adventure for the whole family and kids can learn about the sport of rafting from experienced local guides.

Spend a day at Canyon Učja , the biggest zipline park in Europe. Fearless teens will love flying on the 250 to 600 meters long ziplines which rise to 200 meters above the canyon of the river Učja.

Tailor-made trips in Slovenia

Plan and book family breaks with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Slovenia . Take a look at sample itineraries like Treasures of Slovenia and use the details to create a personal itinerary for you and your kids.

  • Where to stay
  • For nature stays: Chateau Ramšak - Vineyard Glamping Resort
  • For apartment stays : Hotel Maribor, City Apartments
  • For winter stays : Luxury Apartments Bolf

Find more accommodation options in Maribor

MONTEVERDE-COSTA RICA-cloud-forest-shutterstock_257399221

Costa Rica is a world leader in eco and adventure tourism, with Monteverde as a prime example. About half of this protected area is conserved as the Bosque Eternal de los Niños ("Children's Eternal Forest"), a huge stretch of lush cloud forest, rainforest and montane evergreen forest threaded with trails and full of wildlife-spotting opportunities.

As you'd expect, there are plenty of outdoor activities: hiking, camping, zip lines, canopy tours and horse riding. Nearby Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Reserve offers yet more pristine forests and adventure activities, while Reserva Santa Elena even has pushchair-friendly trails.

What to do in Monteverde

Let kids explore the lush Monteverde cloud forest with a ride on the Sky Tram and an unforgettable hike over the Sky Walk Hanging Bridges. Stop to spot monkeys and other rare animals, then gaze out over the beautiful Nicoya Gulf.

Try the Mega Mix Adventure Tour in Monteverde for its combination of ziplines, high rope courses, rappelling and jungle swings. This is another experience that includes stunning views of the Nicoya Gulf, but this one ends with a typical Costa Rican lunch.

Tailor-made trips in Costa Rica

See sloths, toucans, monkeys and more on Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Costa Rica . Take a look at sample itineraries like Beaches and Volcanoes and Tropical Costa Rica and use them to personalise your own itinerary.

  • For B&B stays : Camino Verde B&B Monteverde
  • For nature stays : Chira Glamping Monteverde
  • For luxury stays : Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

Find more accommodation options in Monteverde


Bali has an enchanting Hindu culture and jaw-dropping tropical landscapes which will leave any family spellbound. But there’s also no shortage of fun activities to keep kids interested, from Ubud’s monkey forest and shadow puppet shows to waterfall swimming at Gitgit and dolphin-watching off Bali’s north shore.

When it’s time for tranquillity, the idyllic Gili islands are a short boat ride away. With white sands and still waters, Gili Air is the perfect place to enjoy the irresistibly slow pace of island life, although the turtle hatchery at Gili Meno is also worth a day trip.

What to do in Bali

Let kids learn to surf on Kuta Beach, one of the best beaches in Bali . Fully qualified instructors are English speaking and surfing lessons last for two hours and include pick up from local hotels. And don't forget to explore Bali travel tips to make your holiday with kids here even better.

Sail from Lombok and find out why Gili Nanggu is called Paradise Island on a full-day private snorkelling tour which also includes visits to the islands of Gili Sudak and Gili Kedis.

Tailor-made trips in Bali

Discover Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Bali. Take a look at itineraries like Rest and Relaxation in Bali and Lombok and use them to personalise the ideal family trip for your kids.

  • For Ubud stays : Meruhdani Boutique Hotel
  • For Gili Air stays : Manta Dive Gili Air Resort
  • For Gili Meno stays : Kura Kura Resort

Find more accommodation options in Bali


Beyond experiencing the faded grandeur of this exciting city, Havana has a host of places to go with kids.

A tour of the planetarium walks you around four floors of rooms, charting a journey through the cosmos, from the Big Bang (represented by a light and sound display) onwards. Or try Parque Almendares. As well as being a welcome expanse of greenery, it's also a perfect picnic spot and offers rowing on the river and crazy golf.

Tailor-made trips in Cuba

Plan and book a family trip with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Cuba . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like the active family adventure or a family, beach and culture trip , then personalise the details to suit your own family.

  • For family stays : Ocean Breeze and Suites
  • For beach stays : Casa Giraldilla
  • For budget stays : La AKDmia Cuba


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harvest vineyards © Shutterstock

While Argentina isn't too well known as a family destination, it has a lot to recommend it. The food is delicious and kids will particularly appreciate the traditional heladerías , or ice cream parlours. There's also a stunning variety of landscapes and outdoor activities and the wildlife-spotting is second to none.

If you want to venture away from Buenos Aires , Rosario makes a good base. Not only does it have child-focused attractions like the Jardin de los Niños and the Museo de los Niños, but you can head out on river tours or rent a car and work your way north to the awe-inspiring Iguazú Falls.

What to do in Argentina

Give your kids the incredible experience of the full force of Iguazu Falls on a boat tour of Gran Aventura before going on an adventure through the surrounding jungle in a 4×4.

Alternatively, go guided horseback riding in the Puerto Iguazú jungle , tour the historic missionary country, then pay a visit to the local Guaraní community.

Tailor-made trips in Argentina

Think about planning a family holiday with Rough Guides Tailor Made Trips to Argentina . Have a look at sample itineraries like Magical Patagonia and Buenos Aires for inspiration, then create your own family trip.

  • For city center stays : Holiday Inn Rosario
  • For value stays : Roberta Rosa de Fontana Suites
  • For luxury stays : Esplendor by Wyndham Savoy

Find more accommodation options in Rosario


New Zealand is top of the most beautiful countries in the world , as voted by you. And while the country's North Island might not have snowcapped mountains, it doesn't skimp when it comes to dramatic scenery.

Kids will be enthralled by the sulphur stink at Rotorua, the tiny living lights in the glowworm caves of Waitomo and the bubbling pools at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula . If you hire a motorhome you can explore at your own pace.

These days it's impossible to separate New Zealand from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and young fans will love the hobbit holes at Hobbiton , as well as Wellington's Weta Workshop, the centre of New Zealand's film industry, where kids can learn all about prop building and prosthetics.

What to do in North Island

Experience the magic of a guided Hobbiton Movie Set tour . Immerse yourself in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the Shire as featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

Explore the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a 45-minute guided tour. Glide by boat and marvel at the sight of magical glowworms above you.

Tailor-made trips in New Zealand

Plan and book a family trip with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to New Zealand . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like a self-drive trip to Auckland , then personalise the details to fit your own family.

  • For Rotorua stays : Prince's Gate Hotel
  • For Waitomo stays : Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge
  • For Wellington stays : Oaks Wellington Hotel

Find more accommodation options in North Island


Belize is one of the best of the world's smallest countries and one of the safest and easiest in Central America countries to explore with children. Apart from its colorful marine life and beautiful beaches, its malaria-free rainforest interior Belize provides tropical excitement.

At Caves Branch Jungle Lodge near San Ignacio you can float downriver in an inner tube through luxuriant forests full of cheeky spider monkeys and squawking toucans, then wake up to a dawn chorus of chirping cicadas.

What to do in San Ignacio

Take a half-day canoeing tour with kids. Drive through a Mennonite community to the remnants of an ancient Mayan civilization then explore the cool watery underground caverns of Barton Creek by canoe.

Spend a half-day tubing in San Ignacio . Enjoy a cool swim in the refreshing waters of a natural pool, formed between cave entrances, before floating downstream to relax as you learn about Mayan culture and see stunning cave formations.

Tailor-made trips in Belize

Think about planning a family holiday with Rough Guides Tailor Made Trips to Belize . Have a look at sample itineraries like highlights of Guatemala and Belize for inspiration, then create your own family trip.

  • For nature stays : Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve
  • For central stays : San Ignacio Resort Hotel
  • For luxury stays : The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Find more accommodation options in San Ignacio

USA, Colorado, Maroon Belles, mountain lake

You won't find finer views and cleaner air than in Colorado and if you're looking for a family trip that embraces the great outdoors, this state begs to be explored.

Start in the compact, mile-high city of Denver, from where it's a short drive to the sparkling alpine lakes and majestic peaks of the Rockies. Hidden further east is Colorado's answer to the Grand Canyon, the dramatic Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of America's most overlooked national parks .

Older kids with an interest in history will also be fascinated by the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde in state's southwest corner.

What to do in Colorado

Connect with nature on a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver. See the Flatirons rock formations and Stanley Hotel from "The Shining" film, then stop for a picnic lunch.

Uncover Denver’s dark history on a haunted walking tour of the city’s oldest neighborhood, Capitol Hill. Choose between a 1-hour tour or a 1.5-hour extended tour, both with local guides.

  • For boutique stays : Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver
  • For family stays : Hyatt House Denver/Downtown
  • For luxury stays : Four Seasons Hotel Denver

Find more accommodation options in Denver


Kerala offers the Indian experience at a more manageable pace for families with babies or small children.

Start in quaint Fort Cochin , a small, chilled-out quarter of Kochi with good hotels and restaurants. The peaceful backwaters can easily be reached on a day trip from here, but if you want to overnight along serene waterways on a houseboat made of wood and palm leaves, start out from Alappuzha (Alleppey) or Kumbakonam.

Kids will also love the state’s national parks, with elephant spotting in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary , and for teenagers, there’s bamboo rafting.

What to do in Kerala

Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey on a private houseboat tour from Cochin. Discover the famous inland waterways of Kerala, see traditional villages and learn about backwater life.

Enjoy a trip to the hill station of Munnar , 1700 meters above sea level. This private full-day tour from Kochi includes visits to a tea museum as well as tea and spice plantations with mountain views.

Tailor-made trips in India

Discover Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to India . Take a look at itineraries like the Indian wildlife safari and use them to personalise the perfect family trip to work with ages and stages of your kids.

  • For Cochin stays : Le Meridien Kochi
  • For Alleppey stays : Marvel Cruise
  • For Periyar stays : Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club

Find more accommodation options in Kerala

On the surface, this sprawling city doesn’t seem like one of the most sensible places to go with kids. But Nairobi has access to some wonderful child-friendly attractions . Nairobi National Park, where lions, leopards, giraffes and zebra roam free within sight of the city, is the perfect day trip for wildlife-watching.

For a more hands-on experience, try the Giraffe Center where you can feed these elegant, long-necked beasts from a raised gallery. Alternatively, visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where orphaned elephants are rehabilitated and prepared for life in the wild.

What to do in Nairobi

Tour Nairobi National Park on a full-day game viewing drive and discover the elephant orphanage and giraffe centre before visiting the Bomas of Kenya to learn about traditional culture and dance.

Experience spectacular natural beauty and legendary elephant herds on an overnight safari in Amboseli National Park discovering a range of unique Kenyan flora and fauna along the way.

Tailor-made trips in Kenya

Plan and book a family wildlife experience with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Kenya . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like the family safari in Kenya , then personalise the details to suit your own children.

  • For convenient stays : Swiss Lenana Mount Hotel
  • For luxury stays : Villa Rosa Kempinski
  • For Amboseli stays : Tawi Lodge

Find more accommodation options in Nairobi

Trulli houses in Puglia, Italy © Shutterstock

Puglia , in the heel of Italy’s boot, is a great choice for a family holiday in the sun. With no end of pristine beaches, the Salento peninsula is a highlight and the seaside town of Otranto, with its hulking castle, also has family-friendly appeal. To see more of Puglia's coast take a look at 20 best beaches in Italy .

Inland Puglia is charming too, not least the fairytale trulli houses. Kids will love spotting these pint-sized limestone dwellings with conical roofs, which are dotted throughout the region. Head to UNESCO-protected Alberobello for a town full of trulli. For added fun, you can even spend a night in one.

What to do in Puglia

Book a full day Salento tour with professional guides and discover the beautiful peninsula and get a local perspective on the historic towns of Galatina, Otranto, Santa Maria di Leuca and Gallipoli.

Go on a two-hour guided trulli trail and explore World Heritage Listed Alberobello with a local guide. Wander pretty streets, visit the famous houses and learn about the town's extraordinary history.

Tailor-made trips in Italy

Plan and book your next family holiday Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Italy . Our local experts can create customised itineraries packed full of places to go with kids and designed specifically to suit your family.

  • For Otranto stays : Vittoria Resort Pool & SPA
  • For Alberobello stays : Tipico Resort
  • For Lecce stays : Balbo Suite & Apartment

Find more accommodation options in Puglia

Old car in the Black Country Living Museum, best places to go with kids

The West Midlands are perhaps not the most obvious destination for a family holiday in England , but the region has tons of amazingly good fun activities for kids.

You can see big game at the West Midlands Safari Park or visit the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley to go back in time to the 1930s and eat the best chips ever. The secret is frying them in beef dripping.

Then there's Birmingham , which has an excellent Sea Life Centre. Or you could head to Derby, a pleasant gateway to the Peak District . And let's not forget the Severn Valley Steam Railway, which runs between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth.

What to do in the West Midlands

Take kids on a self-guided smartphone treasure hunt in Birmingham . Solve clues at the most famous city sights and discover lots of hidden gems too.

Book family tickets for Alton Towers Resort and try 40 rides and attractions including world-first rollercoasters and the UK’s only CBeebies Land.

Tailor-made trips in the UK

Discover Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips round England. Take a look at itineraries like the Great British Road Trip and use them to personalise the perfect family trip to work with ages and stages of your kids.

  • For cosy stays : The Coach House
  • For city stays : Hotel du Vin Birmingham
  • For Peak District stays : The Duncombe Arms

Find more accommodation options in the West Midlands

Bran castle in autumn, Romania ©  Zamfiroiu Dragos Marian/Shutterstock

For older children, Transylvania in Romania is a feast of freaky folklore. The historic city of Brasov is one of Rough Guides best things to do in Romania and it's near neighbour Bran Castle is one of the reasons it's a must-do with kids.

With its grim facade, turrets, ramparts, and precarious position, teetering atop a rocky bluff against a mountain backdrop, Bran Castle is the quintessential vampire count’s lair.

The historical figure behind Romania’s Dracula legend (Vlad Țepeş) is as terrifying as Bram Stoker’s fiction: he wasn’t known as “the Impaler” for nothing. There are countless other atmospheric sites linked to the legend, not least Poenari Castle, where Vlad once lived, and the country’s “cult of the dead” is never far from the surface.

What to do in Transylvania

Book a Bran Castle guided tour with your kids to learn the infamous history as you explore its many rooms and hear real and fictional tales.

Go on a small-group brown bear watching tour in Brasov where kids can see these amazing animals in their natural habitat from a specially-designed observation hide in the Transylvanian forest.

  • For family stays : Green Resort Bran
  • For Bran Castle stays : Transylvanian Inn
  • For Brasov stays : KOA - Memo Haus

Find more accommodation options in Transylvania

Street view of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland ©  f11photo/Shutterstock

The capital of Scotland has a small enough city centre to stroll around and hosts a number of fun and educational attractions for the whole family. And it also happens to be one of the most beautiful places in Scotland as voted by Rough Guides readers.

But what makes Edinburgh really stand out are its festivals. There are 12 major festivals throughout the year from a storytelling event to a science festival and not forgetting the famous Fringe .

If you don't go during festival season, the Camera Obscura makes for some ridiculous family photos. Then of course, there's the Museum of Childhood , where you can get nostalgic and the kids can get hands-on.

What to do in Edinburgh

Don't miss the Harry Potter magical guided walking tour round Edinburgh, the city where the world of Harry Potter was born. Kids can test their knowledge with an audio-visual quiz, find their Hogwarts' House, and visit Tom Riddle’s grave.

Take an Edinburgh underground vaults tour with older kids to explore beneath the Old Town. The vaults date back to the early 18th century and are packed with tales of murders, witches and other sinister happenings.

Tailor-made trips in Scotland

Book your family holiday in Scotland with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips. Take a look at itineraries like the Highland Tour and use them to personalise the perfect family trip for you and your kids.

  • For luxury stays : Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh
  • For budget stays : Novotel Edinburgh Centre
  • For boutique stays : Kimpton - Charlotte Square

Find more accommodation options in Edinburgh


For a European bucket-and-spade holiday, it's hard to beat Brittany the ruggedly beautiful northwest region of France . For families it offers everything from charming seaside resorts and friendly campsites to remote coves and rocky promontories.

For a first visit, base yourself in Saint-Malo , where a strip of gorgeous beaches stretches east from the winding streets of the old walled town. Older kids can try windsurfing or catamaran sailing at the Saint-Malo surf school, while grown-ups will find fresh oysters to feast on and local ciders to sample.

What to do in Brittany

Visit the Grand Aquarium of Saint-Malo with kids for 2 hours of total immersion and discovery in the company of the 10,000 fish and other marine creatures.

Take a full-day tour of Mont Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo and learn, about the amazing history and architecture of both. Kids will love stories of pilgrims, pirates and famous explorers.

Tailor-made trips in France

Plan and book a family break in Brittany with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to France . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like the Northern France Tour , then personalise the details to suit your own family and the ages of your children.

  • For beachy stays : Hotel Kyriad Saint Malo Centre Plage
  • For budget stays : Hotel Eden, Saint-Malo
  • For luxury stays : Grand Hôtel Des Thermes

Find more accommodation options in Brittany

USA, State of Florida, Davie town, Flamingo Gardens Botanical Collection and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, many flamingos walking through gardens

Of course Florida can't be beat on theme parks , but even if Orlando isn't your idea of a holiday, don't discount the Sunshine State. In the Northeast you can drive on the beach at Daytona, or have your bones rattled on the Shuttle Launch Experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex .

For something a little more serene, kids will be fascinated by gators in the subtropical wilderness of Everglades National Park , or you could head further up the coast to Tampa Bay and the northwest to swim with manatees in the Crystal River.

What to do in Florida

Skip the line with kids and book Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex tickets in advance. Then enjoy a full day of unique experiences at the world's most authentic space attraction without any waiting around.

Ready for an up close gator encounter? Try an Everglades National Park Airboat Tour , see the extraordinary wetlands with guides and take in a wildlife show where kids have the chance to hold a baby alligator.

Tailor-made trips in the USA

Plan and book a family break in the US with Rough Guides recommended US itineraries . Have a look at itineraries like the National Parks Loop or the Deep South and Florida, then personalise the details to suit your own family and the ages of your children.

  • For fun family stays : Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Orlando
  • For budget stays : Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, Miami Beach
  • For Everglades stays : Vacation Village at Bonaventure

Find more accommodation options in Florida


Toronto is a-buzz with kid-friendly activities, from cheap thrills like marvelling at the slick skyline and crisscrossing town on a streetcar to splashing out on a ticket to ascend the famous CN Tower or seeing dinosaur bones and Native Canadian headdresses at the Royal Ontario Museum .

Chinatown and nearby Kensington Market are great browsing and wandering territory, and the Toronto Islands are only a ferry ride away, but a world apart from the city's hustle and bustle. You can also venture south to the spectacular Canada side of Niagara Falls or north to the rocky islets of Georgian Bay.

What to do in Toronto

Take a Niagara Falls day tour from Toronto . Stopover in Niagara-on-the-Lake and view attractions such as the Floral Clock and Whirlpool Rapids, then enjoy up to 3 hours free time at the falls.

Plan ahead and book tickets for the Royal Ontario Museum . Canada's largest museum, it contains a world-class art collection and artefacts ranging from dinosaurs to mummies.

Tailor-made trips in Canada

Plan and book a family break in Canada with Rough Guides recommended Canadian itineraries . Have a look at itineraries like Classic Canada or Best of the Maritimes, then personalise them to fit your family.

  • For luxury stays : Fairmont Royal York Hotel
  • For city stays : Radisson Blu Downtown Toronto
  • For boutique stays : The Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel Toronto

Find more accommodation options in Toronto


For the kind of nostalgic, bucket-and-spade holiday that brings back rosy memories of your own childhood, look no further than the Isle of Wight .

There’s plenty to keep kids entertained here, from rockpooling and playing on safe sandy beaches to a raft of old-school attractions, including a model village and a steam railway.

Don't miss Blackgang Chine, the UK’s oldest amusement park. Set in rambling cliff-top gardens, it's a child’s fantasy of pirates, cowboys and princesses, though the star turns are the life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.

To enjoy a spectacular view of the South Coast, visit the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Then drop in on Shanklin, it's one of our top 30 best seaside towns UK .

What to do in Isle of Wight

To see how Victorian royalty lived, book tickets for Osborne House . Reportedly Queen Victoria's favourite home, kids will love exploring the private beach and rambling round the adventure playground.

Alternatively book tickets for Carisbrooke Castle , another of the island's royal residences and quite a bit older than Osborne House. This visit comes with some sinister tales and the bonus of cute Carisbrooke Donkeys.

Tailor-made trips in England

Discover Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips round England. Take a look at itineraries like England Historical Highlights and use them to personalise the perfect family trip to work with ages and stages of your kids.

  • For seaside stays : The Hambrough, Ventnor
  • For budget stays : Charter House, Newport
  • For family stays : Clarence House Apartments, Ventnor

Find more accommodation options in Isle of Wight

This landscape of rare geological youth feels utterly alive – the earth belches out gasses, waterfalls cascade as if bursting forth for the first time, and the Northern Lights dance around the skies . You can easily experience much of the wonder on day-trips from the pint-sized, child-friendly capital, Reykjavík .

The “Golden Circle” circuit is well established, while the otherworldly Blue Lagoon is also a simple excursion. Bathing in the Lagoon's warm waters with steam rising all around, children will feel like they’ve entered another realm. If you want to know more take a look at the best places to stay in Iceland: an expert's guide .

You can also remind them, that Iceland is home to the Huldufólk, or “hidden folk”, magical creatures invisible to the human eye. Local residents believe in them so strongly that building projects have been diverted to avoid their supposed habitats.

What to do in Reykjavik

Take a full-day tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle . Experience the stunning natural scenery and see the see the legendary Geysir area as well as spectacular Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park.

Head out from Reykjavik on a whale watching cruise of Faxaflói Bay . Keep your eyes peeled for dolphin and if you or your kids don't spot a whale you get another trip, free of charge.

Tailor-made trips in Iceland

Plan and book a family break with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Iceland . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like Landscapes and Lagoons , then personalise the details to suit yourself and your kids.

  • For central stays : Kvosin Downtown Hotel
  • For marina stays : Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina
  • For luxury stays : Black Pearl Apartment Hotel

Find more accommodation options in Reykjavik

Beautiful scenery in Zion National Park in autumn, along the Angel's Landing trail

If you’re looking to introduce young kids to the joys of the outdoors in Utah , spectacular Zion National Park is one of the most accessible places to start.

Shuttle buses and well-marked trails (starting at just half a mile long) make getting to the stunning waterfalls and wildlife of Zion Canyon a breeze. Add in horseback rides, ranger-led youth tours and s’mores by the campfire in one of the park’s three campsites and you’ve got the makings of an unforgettable family trip.

What to do in Mount Zion National Park

Take kids on a Crimson Slot Canyon tour of Zion National Park . Experience a thrilling UTV ride followed by a stunning hike in the backcountry of East Zion to see the famous Slot Canyon formations.

Book a sunset ATV adventure near Zion National Park . See spectacular Southern Utah and Sand Hollow State Park on a thrilling ride with views of the desert and its iconic red rock formations.

Tailor-Made Trips in Utah

  • For authentic stays : Cable Mountain Lodge, Springdale
  • For outdoorsy stays : Zion View Camping, Hildale
  • For luxury stays : Zion Glamping Adventures, Hildale

Find more accommodation options in Utah


Senegal in Africa has a lot to offer families, from wide open beaches on the wild Atlantic coast to some seriously curious natural wonders.

There's the pink-hued Lake Retba, which, at its brightest, is a startling sight. There are undulating sand dunes ripe for you and your 4X4 to explore, and don't miss Ile de Fadiouth – a small island in the south made entirely from shells.

What to do in Senegal

Go on a Senegal family safari with your local guides and you and your kids will have the opportunity to walk with lions at Fathala Wildlife Reserve , one of the country's most famous parks.

Take a half-day tour of the Pink Lake from Dakka or Saly and let kids see the wonderful waters of Lake Retba up close in the company of expert local guides.

  • For luxury stays : Lamantin Beach Resort & Spa, Saly Portudal
  • For beach stays : Beachhouse MIMA, Saly Portudal
  • For bungalow stays : Hotel Royam, Saly Portudal

Find more accommodation options in Saly Portudal


Antalya , in southern Turkey , is packed with activities to keep the whole family entertained. Behind Konyaaltı beach lies the Antalya Aquarium (complete with 4-D cinema), the Wildpark (devoted to insects and reptiles) and – for when the kids really can't bear the heat – an indoor snow park.

Next door is Antalya Minicity, which has 1:25 scale re-creations of some of Turkey’s most iconic landmarks. The Toy Museum at Antalya’s harbour also provides a fun distraction from the beach.

What to do in Antalya

Try a quad bike safari in the Taurus Mountains from Antalya . These jagged peaks divide the coastal region of southern Turkey from the Anatolian Plateau and make a thrilling adventure for older kids and teens.

Have a day out with younger kids at The Land of Legends theme park close to Antalya. The park is packed with thrilling rides, roller coasters, animal encounters and spectacular shows and your book-ahead tickets include return transfers.

Also check our list of the best things to do in Turkey and find some more ideas for your future trip.

Tailor-Made Trips in Turkey

Plan and book a family break in Turkey with Rough Guides recommended Turkey itineraries . Have a look at itineraries like The Turquoise Coast, then personalise the details to suit your own family and the ages of your children.

  • For fun stays : Titanic Deluxe Lara
  • For beach stays : Sealife Family Resort Hotel
  • For villa stays : Bayou Villas Ultra-All-Inclusive

Find more accommodation options in Antalya

Japan, Tokyo Prefecture, Odaiba, low angle view of the Daikanransha ferris wheel at Palette Town amusement park, night

There are loads of kid-friendly destinations in Japan , but when it comes places with activities all the family will enjoy – as with everything – you're spoiled for choice in Tokyo .

The Ghibli Museum and Odaiba are highlights, and the city has plenty of huge parks and interactive museums to explore together. Tokyo Disneyland is also nearby, while Yokohama (for Chinatown and yet another ferris wheel), Kamakura and Nikkō (more nature and history, less neon) are all doable on a day trip.

What to do in Tokyo

Book ahead for Tokyo Legoland Discovery Centre and let kids immerse themselves in an indoor world of play and learning surrounded by over 3 million LEGO bricks.

See Tokyo from the water on a river cruise from Asakusa to the city's Odaiba district. Sail along the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay and take in views of the Tokyo Skytree, Hamarikyu Garden, Rainbow Bridge and more.

Tailor-made trips in Japan

Plan and book a family break with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Japan . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like Japan Highlights: Tokyo to Osaka , then personalise the details to suit yourself and your kids.

  • For budget stays : Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
  • For luxury stays : Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
  • For Disneyland stays : Hilton Tokyo Bay

Find more accommodation options in Tokyo

Mount Sorrow

Cape Tribulation in Queensland is an amazing adventure for children, and adults too. With both lush forests and palm tree-lined beaches, there are plenty of activities on offer.

You can also take a boat trip from the cape to the Great Barrier Reef or trek through Daintree Rainforest on the look out for prehistoric cassowaries, avoiding crocodiles, spiders and snakes along the way. The brave might want to try a night-time rainforest walk, or a thrilling tree top jungle zip wire.

What to do in Queensland

Thrill kids with a Cape Tribulation ocean safari off the Daintree Coast. It's an out of this world half-day cruise which includes snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef with experienced local guides.

Take a tour of Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation by 4WD with friendly and expert guides. Spot wildlife in their natural habitat, enjoy spectacular views and learn about the extraordinary environment.

Tailor-made trips in Australia

Plan a family adventure with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Australia . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like Explore South Australia and the Northern Territory , then personalise the details to suit yourself and your kids.

  • For rainforest stays : Heritage Lodge, Daintree
  • For beach stays : Cape Trib Beach House
  • For family stays : Whitsunday Sands Resort

Find more accommodation options in Queensland


It's hard to choose one place to base yourself in Wales because the country is brimming with family-friendly holiday locations.

Pembrokeshire has beautiful beaches and a rugged coastline ripe for exploration, whether you want to take a walk on the Coast Path or get a bit more hands-on with some coasteering and kayaking.

Up in North Wales , adventure hubs like Zip World, where a four-person zip line is capable of speeds up to 100mph, and Bounce Below, a series of trampolines inside underground caves, are bound to keep kids happy.

What to do in Wales

See Snowdonia National Park from the water on a Llyn Padarn guided kayaking adventure . Paddle the glacial lake, enjoy fresh mountain air, see historic Welsh castles and even go for a swim.

Explore the stunning south east of Wales on a full day tour of the Wye Valley and Brecon Beacons . Kids will love the friendly local guides and you get to see everything from Tintern Abbey to the Upper Wye Gorge.

Tailor-made trips in Wales

Discover Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips in Wales . Take a look at itineraries like the Great British Road Trip and use them to personalise the perfect family trip to work with ages and stages of your kids.

  • For country stays : Beggars Reach Hotel, Milford Haven
  • For coast stays : The Globe Angle, Pembrokeshire
  • For Snowdonia stays : Gwydyr Hotel, Betws-y-coed

Find more accommodation options in Wales

Amazing bird view in Maldives

The Maldives might seem like a honeymoon-only destination, but don’t be put off. Most resorts are child-friendly, although it’s best to check first, to avoid being surrounded by just-married couples.

Rent a hut on the beach and children will spend hours playing in the white sand, jumping in waves and snorkelling in the shallow waters. Many islands have swimming pools and offer beach games, kayak hire, and dolphin-spotting trips too, with diving courses for older children.

Tailor-made trips in the Maldives

Plan and book a family break with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to the Maldives . Have a look at our family-friendly itineraries, like Luxury Sri Lanka and the Maldives , then personalise the details to suit your kids.

  • For budget stays : Meeru Island Resort & Spa
  • For luxury stays : Velassaru Maldives
  • For cool stays : LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas

Find more accommodation options in the Maldives

Palm Trees on Ao Kha, Palm trees on Ao Kha, Ko Wua Talap, Ang Thong Marine Park, THAILAND

Ko Samui or Ko Lanta are great options for family holidays, with plenty of facilities and lots of distractions for kids. If the thought of resorts makes you shudder, Thailand has a well-developed traveller infrastructure making it fairly easy to head to a more secluded island or part of the mainland.

Thailand is especially great for kids in January – National Children's Day (second Saturday of the month) means free activities and public transport for children throughout the country.

What to do in Ko Samui and Ko Lanta

Book an ethical elephant sanctuary tour in Ko Samui and your kids can spend time with elephants in their jungle home, learn all about these wonderful animals and make some of the best holiday memories ever.

Join a half-day mangrove kayaking tour in Ko Lanta and explore an eco-paradise of wild jungle, incredible birds and untamed nature. Older kids and teens will love this adventure. Family Time

Tailor-made trips in Thailand

Plan and book a family trip with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to Thailand . Have a look at our sample itineraries, like Thailand's Islands and Highlands then personalise the details to suit your own family.

  • For luxury stays : Pimalai Resort & Spa, Ko Lanta
  • For beach stays : So KohKoon Beach Resort, Ko Samui
  • For kid-friendly stays : Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort

Find more accommodation options in Ko Samui


The outdoors is never far away in Cape Town , which makes the city a particularly great destination in South Africa for children.

It's hard to beat the city's fabulous beaches, the highlight of which for most kids is Boulders, home to a resident penguin-breeding colony. The beach at Fish Hoek, a little further north, boasts a playground alongside its beautiful beach and gentle waves.

Cape Town also offers an abundance of parks and open spaces – perfect for picnicking in fine weather, while for rainy days there's a handful of good, interactive museums.

What to do in Cape Town

Take a Cape Point and Boulders Beach full-day tour with your kids, visit the famous penguin colony and possibly even spot whales at the right time of year.

Older kids will be fascinated by a Robben Island tour from Cape Town. Take a ferry to visit the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, then learn about South Africa's history from one of the former prisoners.

Tailor-made trips in South Africa

Plan and book a family break with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips to South Africa . Have a look at our family-friendly itineraries, like Complete Cape Town: Wildlife, Wine and Whales , then personalise the details to suit your kids.

  • For central stays : The Westin Cape Town
  • For luxury stays : The Table Bay Hotel
  • For penguin stays : Tintswalo at Boulders

Find more accommodation options in Cape Town


The fearless wildlife of the Galápagos Islands make adults feel like kids – and make kids feel like they just can't believe their luck. They’ll tiptoe in between giant tortoises, have birds land inches from their nose, splash around in the shallows with playful baby sea lions, and snorkel near hammerheads and enormous turtles.

When they tire of the wildlife one-on-ones, regale them with tales of 16th and 17th century pirates who hid out on the islands. The landscape remains (almost) exactly as those old sea dogs would have found it and there’s even some ancient pirate graffiti to boot.

What to do in the Galápagos Islands

Take a Bartolome Island and Sulivan Bay day trip with kids to see the exraordinary landscape of the Galápagos, play on beaches and go snorkelling with penguins.

Book a full-day yacht tour in the Galápagos Islands and visit Tortuga Bay Beach, La Lobería, Canal del Amor and Playa de los Perros to see sea lions, marine iguanas, reef sharks, and other marine animals.

Tailor-made trips in Ecuador

Discover Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips in Ecuador . Take a look at itineraries like, Wild Ecuador: from the Amazon to the Galapagos , and use the details to personalise your own perfect family trip.

  • For luxury stays : Galapagos Casa Playa Mann
  • For budget stays : Galapagos Verde Azul
  • For beach stays : Hotel Miconia

Find more accommodation options in the Galapagos Islands


Tiny Tobago is perhaps the most laid back place in the Caribbean for kids as it provides dozens of activities and wildlife experiences, from beachside horse-riding to hummingbird spotting.

Instead of high-rise hotels you’ll find small-scale guesthouses accustomed to catering to families. Kids will love steel bands and street eats, fresh juice and safe swimming beaches. Just remember, once you've been "Tobagoed" you will want to go back.

What to do in Tobago

Take a half-day highlights tour of Tobago with kids and visit the city of Scarborough and Fort King George. Then take a cross-island drive and discover the Atlantic coast.

Tailor-made trips in Trinidad & Tobago

Plan a family break with Rough Guides recommended Trinidad & Tobago itineraries . Have a look at itineraries like A Week in Tobago, then personalise the details to suit your own family and the ages of your children.

  • For budget stays : Lillibets
  • For ocean stays : SeaScape on Heavenly Bay
  • For luxury stays : Castara Retreats

Find more accommodation options in Tobago

OK so you've read all the way through the article and you're now armed with a list of places to go with kids in tow. But what about getting there?

We've all been on an airplane with a crying baby or unruly toddler and felt the parent's pain. And we're not going to lie: long-haul travel with the whole clan can be challenging, but there are some ways to make family travel go more smoothly.

  • If your children are old enough, get them involved in trip planning. Talk to them about where you're going and ask them to think about a special day out or activity that they'd like to do while you're there.
  • If your kids are creative, think about a scrapbook they can start to work on before you leave, then add to it while you're away.
  • Let your kids pack their own mini suitcases or backpacks with games and favourite toys. And don't feel guilty about letting your kids watch movies on the flight!
  • Traveling with a baby or toddler? First of all, give yourself a break. Many of your fellow travellers will have been in your position and understand the stresses and strains.
  • Get to the airport early so you don't have the additional stress of being late for your flight.
  • Different airlines have different rules about free seats or discounts for children, so do your research and you could save yourselves money.
  • Be realistic about what you can see or achieve in a day and enjoy the downtime as much as your exploring time.
  • Young children will take a while to adapt to new timezones, temperatures and cuisines, so be patient with them (and your partner!).

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Lottie Gross

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49 Best Family Vacation Ideas on a Budget for 2023

From all-inclusives in the Caribbean to quick getaways in the U.S., there's something for every traveler in your group.

family running and splashing into sea together with body boards

Whether you're looking to chill out at an all-inclusive resort , get active in the great outdoors , check out new attractions at a theme park, hit the beach or cozy up in a cabin, there's a destination or experience here to match every mood. And, since intergenerational travel remains more popular than ever, we've also included options that will please everyone in your crew, from the youngest traveler to the oldest.

One thing to note: With the COVID-19 pandemic still an ongoing concern, travel activities and offerings are ever-changing. It's smart, especially when you're traveling with kids , to verify with your resort or destination that everything you want to do is open and available before booking your trip. But once you've confirmed your plans, be sure to check out the Good Housekeeping Institute 's tried-and-tested list of essential travel gear and accessories to get ready for your trip. Bon voyage!

Mexico and the Caribbean

a slide with a shell that says"mexico and the caribbean"

Spend your days rolling in the waves, relaxing by the pool or enjoying some quiet time (thanks to some superior kids' clubs) at these island resorts.

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Riviera Maya, Mexico)

a paw patrolthemed water park at the nickelodeon hotels  resorts, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

Sure, the kids have it made at these sister all-inclusive resorts — both with massive waterparks, daily slimings and Nickelodeon characters galore. But grown-ups aren’t left out of the fun. Tequila tastings, spa treatments and romantic dinners can be on your agenda thanks to the supervised club for kids ages 4 to 12. And while you probably wouldn’t be booking a SpongeBob-themed room if you didn’t have the kids in tow, the decor is as mod and classy as it can be.

All the accommodations are suites that sleep up to five and have two bathrooms. In the Riviera Maya location, all suites have direct access to a pool from the balcony. (Yes, even on the top floor!) All-inclusive rates that are part of the brand's Summer of SpongeBob promotion start at $193 per person per night.

RELATED: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana Is the Best Place to Travel With a Baby and a Sibling

Atlantis (Paradise Island, Bahamas)

view of atlantis hotel in the bahamas, good housekeeping's pick for best family vacation destinations

One of the most talked-about resorts in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, Atlantis is a top choice for families of all ages looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure. This luxurious resort, a Good Housekeeping 2023 Family Travel Award winner, features three beaches and 14 pools where parents and kids can spend the day relaxing in the sun. There's also a casino for adults and a variety of restaurants on the property to make dining easier.

But what really makes Atlantis stand out is its extravagant 141-acre Aquaventure park , featuring limitless water activities like high-speed slides and the Bahama’s longest river where you can go white water rafting. The resort is also home to a stunning aquarium , where guests can observe more than 50,000 animals and exotic sea creatures in their habitat. For those seeking even more adventure in this Bahamian paradise, you can book fun activities like swimming or kayaking with dolphins at Dolphin Cay , playing with sea lions, snorkeling and more. Rates start at $500 per night.


Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda (Dominican Republic)

the sunset at club med michès playa esmeralda, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

Movies under the stars, trapeze lessons, windsurfing — with cool activities like these, kids will never want to leave this newish resort in the lush, away-from-it-all part of the island. Supervised clubs for babies through teens keep the good times rolling while you’re at the adults-only Zen pool or doing treetop yoga. (Yes, that’s a thing.) Solar panels, recycling, plastic-free water bottles and other sustainable initiatives are part of the eco-minded resort culture. All-inclusive rates start at $173 per person per night, $77 per night for each child ages 4 to 11.

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa (Negril, Jamaica)

a sparsely attended white sand beach at beaches negril, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

While this all-inclusive resort on the island’s idyllic 7-Mile Beach genuinely caters to all ages, toddlers and preschoolers will be star-struck. Sesame Street characters entertain them with story times, dance parties and even puppet-making! That’s on top of the mini water slides, splash areas and a playground that makes little ones squeal with glee and wears them out, so they’ll hit the sack early.

Private childcare and supervised kids’ clubs (for babies through teens, including those with special needs) are an option when you want a spa treatment, a quiet dinner or just to read a book on the beach. All the rooms and suites got a glow-up in 2020, so they’re thoughtfully designed for families. All-inclusive rates start at $356 per person per night for adults and $68 per night for each child ages 2 to 15.

Fairmont Mayakoba (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)

an aerial view of the beach at fairmont mayakoba, a good housekeeping pick for best family resort

When it comes to baby and kid gear, this luxury resort has you covered. Need a bottle warmer? They got it. How about a step stool for a toddler to reach the sink? Yours for the asking. With these worries aside, you can concentrate on the beauty of the surroundings (the resort is surrounded by a lush mangrove forest) and incredible bucket-list activities, like kids’ carnivals and night kayaking. Half of the 400 guest rooms are already renovated, and the rest will be complete by the end of the year. Rates start at $361 per night.

Rock House Resort (Turks & Caicos)

the infinity pool at the rock house resort, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

Your family may never leave the water at this Mediterranean-inspired oasis , which opened in May 2022. In addition to a full kitchen and roomy living room, many of the villa-style accommodations feature a spacious private pool. (No way! Yes way!) And if your crew ever tires of it, fun awaits at the resort’s oceanfront infinity pool and stretch of white-sand beach, which is exclusive for resort guests. Just note that while a cliffside setting makes the resort incredibly picturesque, it’s impossible to navigate with a stroller — so bring the tweens, teens and even grandparents if they don’t have trouble climbing stairs. Rates start at $655 per night.

New England Cozy

a slide that says "new england cozy" with a whale tail new england provides many great family vacation destinations

Lakes, lighthouses and hiking trails make New England a great place to visit in almost any season.

Quisisana Resort (Lovell, Maine)

two friends frolic in a lake at the quisisana resort, a good housekeeping pick for family vacation destinations

Kids will get a digital detox at this all-inclusive lakefront resort , but they’ll be too busy playing to miss their devices. Without TV or a Wi-Fi signal in the comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and cabins, they’ll be fully immersed in the slew of included activities — from paddle boating to tennis to sandcastle-building. They might even learn to kayak or catch their first fish.

At night, music fills the resort. Broadway-style shows, held in a new outdoor theater, entertain all generations. There’s something about the fresh air and a choice of lollipops that keeps most kids from getting too wiggly and the caliber of the performances is at least on par with good community theater.

The three included daily meals — with menu items like lobster rolls and Maine blueberry pie — will leave your crew’s bellies happy and full. And if you do need Wi-Fi occasionally, you can pop in the main lobby for some signal. Shh: The kids will be fine without it. All-inclusive rates start at $470 per night.

Hidden Pond (Kennebunkport, Maine)

campfire at hidden pond in maine, good housekeeping's pick for best family vacation destinations

Escape the daily hustle and bustle at this New England refuge and GH 2023 Family Travel Award winner nestled among the wilderness in Maine. During the summer months, you can soak in some sun at one of the two pools or enjoy a swim in the ocean at Hidden Pond ’s sister property, Tides Beach Club .

Guided nature walks, golfing, deep-sea fishing and biking trips are just some of the daily outdoor activities to participate in throughout your stay, while evenings can be spent by the campfire roasting marshmallows, eating gooey s’mores and stargazing. If you’re bringing the little ones, they’re in for a treat with a new activity every day, like tie-dyeing t-shirts, outdoor art classes and a marine science camp where they can learn about the ocean.

Also, don’t forget to check out Kennebunkport, a quaint New England town just 10 minutes away that’s known for its clam shacks and fresh lobster, galleries and beaches. If you’re eager to venture even further out and discover Maine’s natural beauty, consider organizing a sailing trip for the family or a whale-watching excursion. But if you'd rather cozy up by the fireplace in your gorgeous cottage, we won’t judge! Rates start at $600 per night.

Smugglers' Notch Resort (Jeffersonville, Vermont)

a family goes biking through green hills at smuggler's notch, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

Nestled in the Green Mountains, this resort is just as fun in the summer months as it is during prime ski season. Besides eight heated pools (some with waterslides!), the action-packed lineup of family activities has plenty to do whether you’re traveling with a toddler, teen or both. Sing-a-longs, magic shows and scavenger hunts keep little ones entertained while older kids will welcome the chance to take a guided hike, design and launch a water rocket or play glow-in-the-dark volleyball. A GH 2023 Family Travel Awards winner, condos at this property accommodate up to five bedrooms, making it possible for extended family and friends to stay together. Rates start at $174 per night.

Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club (Brewster, MA)

the boardwalk to the beach bar at the ocean's edge resort  golf club, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

Beach, pool, eat, repeat — that’s how your crew will spend laid-back days at this Cape Cod gem . The private beach has gentle surf and at low tide, kids can spy little sea creatures in the tide pools. When the tide changes, head to the heated outdoor or indoor pools. Outdoor movies are the perfect wind-down to bedtime. And if you can pry the kids out of the water, activities like scavenger hunts, curated by the resort’s new director of fun (for real!) await. Just make sure to stay in the “mansion” section of the resort because that’s the part with private beach access. Rates start at $279 per night.

Sebasco Harbor Resort (Phippsburg, Maine)

the kids' club at the sebasco harbor resort, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destination

Kids will never forget sleeping in a lighthouse next to the ocean. The resort’s 1945 lighthouse contains recently renovated guest rooms with amazing views, sea breezes and conveniences like a fridge and microwave. The lighthouse rooms are also near the resort’s iconic oceanfront saltwater pool, which got a makeover this year. A vintage bowling alley, weekly pirate cruise and old-school kids’ club add to the New England charm. Rates start at $299 per night.

California Dreamin'

a slide that says "california dreamin'" with a picture of a palm tree california provides many family vacation destinations

Choose your California adventure: You can find bustling cityscapes, tranquil trails, beautiful beaches and even a fairytale castle.

Los Angeles

morning scenery of griffith observatory and downtown la los angeles is good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

Tweens and teens won’t roll their eyes if you suggest a vacay in L.A. — where, trust us, they’ll ask you to eat at In-N-Out-Burger (look cool and say you already had it on the list). Some more must-dos: Visit the Griffith Observatory for the out-of-this-world exhibits and a stellar view of the Hollywood sign, and if you're an outdoorsy family you can hike down from the observatory to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and famous TCL Chinese Theaters . The newish Academy Museum of Motion Pictures , where anyone 17 and under gets in free, is convenienly located near the classic La Brea Tar Pits and the cool LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Some outdoor shopping at The Grove L.A. and a beach day in Santa Monica with a spin on the iconic wheel at the Santa Monica Pier will get you more well-deserved parent cred. Or, you can take a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood , where, for now, you can find the only Super Nintendo World open in the United States. After a day of sightseeing, the new Thompson Hollywood hotel exudes a laid-back California chic vibe — don’t be surprised if your teen wants to make TikToks from the rooftop pool. Rates start at $289 per night.

an overhead shot of the loews coronado bay over the water in san diego, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destination

Can’t decide between heading to the beach or exploring a big city? San Diego has the best of both worlds, with near-perfect weather to boot. Make your home base a beach resort like the Loews Coronado Bay . It’s a short walk or resort shuttle ride to Silver Strand Beach — the spot is named for the silvery oyster shells that cover the beach and dune. Intersperse ocean side fun with short drives to the city’s famous zoo and cultural attractions. New this year: The San Diego Zoo ’s Wildlife Explorers Base Camp has four nature play areas, the highly anticipated Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park wows superhero fans and a newly opened Sesame Place entertains toddlers. Rates start at $250 per night.

RELATED: The Best Things to Do in San Diego With the Whole Family

guests wearing face coverings and enjoying the kelp forest exhibit at the monterey bay aquarium monterey is a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destination

The No. 1 reason to book a vacation in this coastal town: the aquarium. Yes, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is that good. It levels up the typical touch tank experience by letting little kids crawl through tunnels surrounded by tropical fish displays and use squirt toys to learn how animals stand up to big waves. There’s even a padded zone with eye-level exhibits for toddlers! And the whole family will be wowed by the aquarium’s newest exhibition, "Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean." Some of the creatures in the 21 live exhibit areas are newly discovered and haven’t even been named yet. Mind blown! Stay at the hotel next door, InterContinental The Clement Monterey . Rates start at $343 per night.

Disneyland Resort and California Adventure (Anaheim, California)

the ferris wheel at disneyland california adventure disneyland is a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinations

If you're looking for a Disney trip with young kids, Disneyland may have the edge over an Orlando vacay. Here are some reasons why it's a winner of the Good Housekeeping 2023 Family Travel Awards: You can get on more rides without as much walking in California, so that means fewer tired and cranky kids. Summer weather is also usually better in Anaheim than hot-and-humid Florida. And rides like Radiator Springs Racers, which looks like it’s right out of the movie Cars , are a Cali-exclusive. If you're coming with little ones in a stroller or don't want to deal with transportation, consider staying at the new Westin Anaheim , which is just a quick walk to the parks. Rates start at $330 per night.

Redwoods National and State Parks (Crescent City, California)

hiking through the redwoods

The fairytale-like setting and beginner trails at Redwoods National and State Parks make this a great spot for hiking and getting some fresh air. For instance, you can hop on the stroller-friendly Prairie Creek/Foothills Trail Loop where kids will be in awe of giant Redwoods and a babbling creek. Junior Ranger programs, for children ages 7 to 12, take place from mid-May to mid-September. If you don’t want to camp, stay at the nearby Hotel Arcata . On Saturday mornings, Arcata hosts the oldest farmers’ market in California. Rates start at $185 per night.

Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California)

view from cavallo point, good housekeeping's pick for family vacation destinations

Nothing says California Dreaming like waking up to views of the Golden Gate Bridge from your hotel room! Located on the San Francisco Bay, this Good Housekeeping 2023 Travel Award winner is both family and pet friendly. In addition to spacious contemporary and historic rooms, it hosts a variety of activities for all styles, including hiking, biking and exploring Golden Gate National Park. Guests can visit Rodeo Beach, take a history tour of Fort Baker or simply spend the day playing bocce ball on the lawn. And once you’ve checked out all the local attractions in the Bay Area and have hopped on a ferry to explore San Francisco, you can take a class at the Cavallo Point Cooking School, a top-rated culinary school in the country. Kids will love visiting the Bay Area Discovery Museum , Slide Ranch and the Exploratorium . Rates start at $400 per night.

Headshot of Karen Cicero

Karen Cicero is a seasoned journalist who specializes in food, travel, home and new product coverage; she has visited almost every state — look out, Alaska, she's coming for you next! A mom who goes overboard for all the holidays, she lives in the Christmas city itself: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Headshot of Olivia Lipski

Olivia (she/her) is a media and tech product reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute , covering tech, home, auto, health and more. She has more than five years of experience writing about tech trends and innovation and, prior to joining GH in 2021, was a writer for Android Central, Lifewire and other media outlets. Olivia is a graduate of George Washington University, with a bachelor's degree in journalism, political science and French, and she holds a master’s degree in communications from Sciences Po Paris.

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15 World’s Best Places To Visit With Family

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Looking to spend quality time with family? That means a vacation that has something for everybody. With plenty of family-friendly places to visit around the world, we just need to filter the ones that are the best places to visit with family and also the safest ones too. Read on to know about the 15 globe’s best places to visit with family. These are beautiful, dreamy, and so much FUN!

1. Dubai, UAE

must visit places with family

Dubai, a playground for families, caters to all and is one of the best cities to visit with family, kids, and even solo. The holiday destination offers water parks, beaches, aquariums, museums, architectural splendors, a stunning nightlife, and so much more. Head to Dubai, the best holiday destination in January, during the Dubai Shopping Festival for your next vacay.

Top Attractions: Legoland, Ski Dubai, Motiongate, Jumeirah Beach Park, Dubai Creek, Bollywood Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Desert Safari, Kidzania, Atlantis The Palm

2. morocco, africa.

must visit places with family

Morocco lets you experience ancient cities, rugged mountains, sprawling deserts, traditional souks, and rich culture. Hence, it is also one of the top places to travel with family. Morocco is a great destination as it offers easy travel logistics as well. Find yourself charmed by alleyways of lively kasbahs and luxury chic boutique hotels that offer good family all-inclusive deals.

Top Attractions: Jardin Majorelle, Jemaa el- FnaBahia Palace, Koutoubia, Hasan II Mosque, Ouzoud Falls, Todra River, El Badii Palace

3. australia, oceania.

must visit places with family

One of the best places to visit in the world is Australia. The place has exotic beaches, arts, culture, spectacular landscapes, extraordinary flora and fauna, world-class museums, modern cities, and more. Hence, owing to its vibrant versatility, the world’s largest island promises to be among the best places to visit in summer with family.

Top Attractions: The Gold Coast, Rottnest Island, Kakadu National Park, Coffs Harbour, The Great Barrier Reef, Blue Mountains, Taronga Zoo, Mount Hotham

4. greece, europe.

must visit places with family

The country of Greece is a great family holiday destination with panoramic vistas, idyllic beaches, long coastlines, and beautiful islands. Greece also is a family-friendly place to visit. Discover and retrace ancient culture, old towns, authentic Greek cuisines, and romantic getaways. 

Top Attractions: Santorini Island, Acropolis of Athens, Temple of Apollo, Parthenon, Meteora Monasteries, Acropolis Museum, Temple of Olympian, Mykonos Island, Corfu Island, Lake Plastira

5. thailand, asia.

must visit places with family

Splendid Thailand is a fantastic destination and hence, one of the best places to visit with family. The country lures with charming rural villages, temples, beaches, jungles, caves, rivers and waterfalls. The extremely friendly and delightful Thai culture make this a popular place to travel with family.

Top Attractions: The Grand Palace, Koh Phi Phi, Railay Beach, Wat ArunKhao Yai National Park, Historic City of Ayutthaya, Doi Suthep – Pui National Park, Similan Island

6. kenya, africa.

must visit places with family

Kenya is among the best places to visit for a family vacation. The place is known for its incredible customized safaris, snow crest mountains, palm-fringed coastlines, sprawling deserts, and UNESCO Heritage Sites. The guided tours offered in the best family holiday packages help you discover migration safaris in the soul-stirring diverse land.

Top Attractions: Victoria Falls, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru, Nairobi National Park, Mount Kenya, Tsavo East National Park

7. bali, indonesia.

must visit places with family

Bali is yet another family-friendly place to travel with iconic rice paddy fields, beaches, temples, and natural beauty. The Island of Gods is a never-ending adventure to suit every soul with incredible things to do and unique offerings.

Top Attractions: Seminyak, Uluwatu Temple, Sanur, Mount Batur, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Nusa Dua, Museum Pasifika, Gili Island, Tegalalang Rice Terrace

8. canada, north america.

must visit places with family

Canada, with its natural wonders and exceptional grandeur, is also among the top 10 places to visit with family. Traverse the world’s second-biggest country to explore fascinating park tours, sightseeing, attractive cities, and more. This is an ideal destination for your next vacation to enjoy multigenerational entertainment, rodeos, zoos, and amazing nature.

Top Attractions: Banff National park, Moraine Lake, Niagara Falls, The Butchart Garden, Jasper National Park of Canada, CN Tower, Stanley Park, Rocky Mountains, Athabasca Falls, Whistler Mountain

9. sri lanka, south asia.

must visit places with family

One of the best places to visit with family, Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country in the Indian Ocean. The country offers plenty of family island vacations all-inclusive tours. Explore beautiful beaches, lush green tea fields, old forts, rich traditions, and wildlife safaris. So, make your time with the family count in the lap of serenity and nature.

Top Attractions: Yala National Park, The Historic Triangle, Galle Beaches, Nuwara Eliya Tea Fields, Adams Peak, Golden Temple of Dambulla, Citadel of Sigiriya, Sinharaja Forest, Kandy to Ella Train Journey

10. singapore, asia.

must visit places with family

Singapore is a popular travel destination with kids and among the good places to go for a family vacation. Feel the thrill in bungee jumping. Later, visit electrifying night clubs, entertainment parks, wander around the gardens, or encounter wild animals at night. Not just that, this is also a place recognized for being one of the cleanest countries on earth.

Top Attractions: Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa, Gardens by the Bay, Merlion, Marina Bay, Universal Studios, Singapore Zoo, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Cloud Forest, National Orchid Garden

11. florida, usa.

must visit places with family

The Sunshine State with awe-inspiring skylines, amusement parks, museums, landmarks, and cultural highlights is a great travel destination with kids. Home to some of the kid-friendly cities to visit such as Orlando, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Miami, and more. 

Top Attractions: Walt Disney World Resort, Everglades National Park, Magic Kingdom Park, Universal Orlando Resort, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, SeaWorld, Universal Studios

12. vietnam, asia.

must visit places with family

One of the best places to visit with family is Vietnam because of its abundant natural attractions and serenity. Enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine, towns brimming with skyscrapers and experience the war-torn history for a wholesome experience. 

Top Attractions: Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hoi An, Cu Chi Tunnel, Hoan Kiem Lake, Cat Ba Island, The Marble Mountain, Ben Thanh Market

13. peru, south america.

must visit places with family

A holiday in Peru will keep the whole family happy. From visiting floating villages of Lake Titicaca, sandboarding on the slopes of Huacachina, or hiking to Machu Picchu, Peru offers the best places to travel with the family. Not only that, but the place is also studded with stunning views, great trek expeditions to the Andes, and more.

Top Attractions: Sacred Valley, Temple of the Sun, Moray, Saqsaywaman, Qorikancha Ruins, Colca Canyon, Legends Park, Taquile Island

14. iceland, europe.

must visit places with family

The Nordic island country, Iceland is ideal for family adventures. You can spot the Blue Whales and swim in ice-cold glacier water. Also, feel the roar of Europe’s largest waterfall or relish delicious cuisine to satisfy your appetite. Iceland continues to be the safest and the best place to travel with family. 

Top Attractions: Haifoss Waterfall, Retreat Spa, Thingvellir National Park, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall, Geysir, Kerid Crater, Viking World

15. the bahamas, caribbean.

must visit places with family

The Bahamas is a popular family destination due to the family-friendly places, activities, and attractions it hosts. The archipelago promises to be a spectacular family beach holiday destination. There are over 700 islands, about 2000 rocks over a huge stretch of the ocean here. Enjoy leisure swims, scuba dives, and exotic water sports adventures in this quintessential island.

Top Attractions: Pink Sands Beach, Atlantis Casino, Paradise Island, Harbor Island, Pig Beach, CocoCay, Castaway Cay

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America’s 20 most kid-friendly places for a family vacation (plus top attractions they’ll love)

Kids under water feature at Kalahari Indoor Waterpark

Family vacations are the ultimate way to explore the world with your kids. Travel is the perfect excuse to be there when they catch their first fish, see their first mountaintop view, or watch penguins waddle and swim that very first time. America’s most kid-friendly attractions go way beyond waterparks, museums, and zoos, making it easy to create a trip as unique as your family. Whether you’re looking for educational fun, wild roller coaster thrills, or laid-back beaches, you’ll find family-vacation magic in these cities, islands, small towns, and wild places.

San Diego, California

Big bronze lion sculpture and visitors outside zoo

San Diego is a warm-weather wonderland packed with kid-friendly experiences and fun places to go. Budding wildlife biologists can spot everything from pandas to polar bears at the San Diego Zoo . Or look beneath the waves at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps . Legoland California , a 45-ish-minute drive up the coast, is a must for Lego-obsessed kids (and adults). And for the perfect excuse to learn something new with your kids, take a surf class and catch your first waves in the warm water and gentle breaks off pretty La Jolla .

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dinosaur sculpture attached to building

Indianapolis is bursting with kid-friendly attractions sure to delight both little ones and grown-ups. Find endless chances to learn, build, and explore alongside your kids at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis , the world's biggest children's museum. Team up with older kids to test your wits with an escape room game. Find your groove at the Rhythm! Discovery Center , the world's only interactive drum and percussion museum. And get the whole fam in on the action while exploring Indianapolis on a tour or scavenger hunt .

Washington, D.C.

Child in front of exhibit

Introduce your kids to the Founding Fathers on a family vacation to Washington, D.C., mixing a dash of history with plenty of kid-focused attractions and tours . Hop-on, hop-off bus tours are a flexible way to take in D.C. highlights at your family’s pace. All the Smithsonian Museums are free to visit, so you can sample them or jump in and out without breaking the bank (or needing to stay all day). Raising a future James Bond or Mata Hari? The kid-friendly International Spy Museum is a favorite with would-be double agents.

Atlanta, Georgia

Aquarium tank with two whale sharks and a lot of fish

Kids can go eyeball-to-eyeball with enormous whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium , an underwater universe that singlehandedly secures Atlanta a spot among the best family vacation destinations in the South. Beyond the aquarium, Atlanta continues to hold plenty of appeal for families. Games, food, music, and shopping are all on offer at Ponce City Market (don't miss the rooftop area). And the World of Coca-Cola is packed with interactive and multimedia exhibits to keep kids hooked from beginning to end.

Los Angeles, California

Castle-like structure made to resemble Hogwartz

Kid-friendly vacations in Los Angeles mean beach time, theme parks, and even a few celebrity selfies (in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum , that is). Kids can practice their wand work in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter , and from Downtown LA, Anaheim and its famous theme parks are only about an hour away by car. Because whether you're meeting Mickey, dodging stars on Space Mountain, or wandering through Galaxy's Edge, Disneyland remains one of the most magical and memorable places to go with your kids in California.

Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii

Two children looking into shark tank

With surfing, scenery, and a laid-back pace, Maui is among the top kid-friendly vacations in Hawaii. Touch tanks at the Maui Ocean Center let kids get hands-on experience with the wonders of the underwater world, and snorkeling trips from Wailuku give the chance to see sea turtles and colorful fish swimming in their natural habitats. Don’t leave Maui without swaying your way through a traditional luau , an amazing cultural immersion for kids of all ages.

Branson, Missouri

Exterior of museum flanked by two huge toy soldiers

Since it's home to the World’s Largest Toy Museum , it’s no surprise that Branson is a favorite for kid-friendly vacations. But the children’s attractions here go way beyond Lincoln Logs and toy trains. Some favorite family vacation ideas include visiting Branson’s water parks and amusement parks, taking in a family-friendly show or reeling in fish in one of the nearby lakes or streams.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Adults and children on two kayaks

Sun, sea, and sandcastles make Virginia Beach a favorite for kid-friendly beach vacations, and a trip to the shore can be as active or relaxed as you want. Slip and slide through the Ocean Breeze Waterpark , or double up in a kayak for a dolphin-watching tour along the coast. For indoor activities, children will get a kick out of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center or Military Aviation Museum , about which one TripAdvisor reviewer raved: “My grandson loved all the planes!”

Empire, Michigan

Ocean against sandy coastline

At the doorstep of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore , Empire is among the best family vacation spots on Lake Michigan—especially for junior outdoor adventurers. While hiking through sand dunes and forests, you could spot Lake Michigan shipwrecks, swim in a vast lake, then introduce your kids to nights spent under the stars. And since Lake Michigan’s freshwater, kid-friendly waves are just the right size for beginning surfers, the entire family can paddle into the waters and hang-ten just off one of Empire’s sandy beaches.

Huntsville, Alabama

Outdoor rocket ship

Launch a lifelong fascination with space at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, a kid-friendly vacation spot that’s perfect for aspiring astronauts. A series of interactive exhibits keeps kids engaged with the science and pure adventure of the universe. So strap into the g-force simulator, try out space walking in a zero gravity chamber, and watch space footage on a towering IMAX screen.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Kid going down colorful waterslide

Planning a family vacation to the Wisconsin Dells is all about getting wet: this kid-friendly getaway is packed with award-winning destination water parks . Enjoy the outdoor parks to cool off in the heat of the Midwestern summer or opt for an indoor water park when you need some mid-winter bathing suit time. If you'd rather to stay dry, there are other great things to do, too, like the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater and kid-friendly zip lining tours .

Bloomington, Minnesota

Signage for FlyOver America

The Mall of America combines kid-friendly attractions, fabulous shopping, and theme park attractions under one enormous roof, making it one of the easiest-to-plan family vacations in the U.S. Meet the fish at SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium , get an eagle’s-eye view of the world in the multi-sensory Fly Over America , or see if your family can work together to beat an escape room challenge , all without leaving the mall.

Orange Beach, Alabama

Family sitting on and standing around jet ski

White-sand beaches shelter a maze of bays and bayous in Orange Beach, a relaxed family-vacation spot on the scenic, sunny Gulf Coast. It’s one of the best places to go with kids who love to play in the sand and salt water. Dive in and get ready to spot dolphins , teach your kids to bait a hook on a private fishing charter , and level up their sand-castle game on the picture-perfect beaches.

New Braunfels, Texas

Dozens of people riding colorful inner tubes down river

Kid-friendly vacations in New Braunfels are all about keeping cool: The Comal River and the Guadalupe River flow right past the town at a pace that’s perfect for a day-long inner tube float. Once you dry off, though, you've got a lot more exploring to do. The San Antonio region overflows with kid-friendly attractions, from feeding the animals at the San Antonio Zoo to picnics in the rolling landscape of Texas Hill Country. Right in New Braunfels, don't miss the McKenna Children’s Museum and the always-a-kid-favorite Schlitterbahn Waterpark .

Williamsburg, Virginia

People riding in a horse-drawn carriage

Rich with American history and heritage, Williamsburg is also packed with kid-friendly attractions that help the past come alive. Costumed actors and reenactments at Colonial Williamsburg invite kids to imagine life in the early United States. And the “working” milliners, printers and blacksmiths are fascinating for visitors of all ages. Family-vacation ideas don’t stop with the past, though, since Williamsburg also has two exciting theme parks: Busch Gardens , with its rides; and plenty of slides, pools, and lazy rivers at Water Country USA .

Phoenix, Arizona

Exterior of museum with pink and blue sky above it

Calling all musical families: With more than 15,000 musical instruments, the Musical Instrument Museum is one of Phoenix’s best places to go with kids. Listen to instruments from around the world, then try playing a tune of your own in the museum’s experience gallery. For a different kind of noise altogether, take your kids on an off-roading adventure through the Sonoran Desert, learning about desert plants and animals as you zoom along the sand.

San Francisco, California

Exterior of California Academy of Sciences surrounded by trees

Plenty of kid-friendly attractions make San Francisco a favorite spot for any type of family vacation. Don’t miss exploring the infamous prison on Alcatraz Island , cruising across the Golden Gate Bridge , or firing up your kids’ sense of wonder at the California Academy of Sciences , where you’ll find a planetarium, aquarium, and a four-story indoor rainforest.

Grapevine, Texas

Tunnel leading through aquarium with sharks and fish

With two world-class kid-friendly attractions—the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Sealife Aquarium —Grapevine is a family vacation spot that has the added benefit of easy access to both Dallas and Fort Worth. After your family explores the worlds of LEGO characters and undersea creatures, make a day trip into Dallas to see the sights , which include the enormous Dallas Zoo , an open-air collection of sculptures at the Nasher Sculpture Center , and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium , a bucket-list experience for kids who love football.

Boston, Massachusetts

People throwing fake bags of tea off ship

Bursting with rich history, Boston boasts classic experiences that captivate kids. Catch the Red Sox at Fenway Park , cruise Boston Harbor aboard the USS Constitution, then head to Boston Public Garden for a ride on the iconic Swan Boats . The city overflows with historic sites, and there are plenty of kid-friendly attractions that introduce youngsters to America’s revolutionary past. They can even get in on the action by tossing bales of tea into Boston Harbor at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum .

Orlando, Florida

Bright yellow and green exterior with fake crayon box

Packed with kid-friendly attractions and theme parks, Orlando is arguably the ultimate kid vacation destination. There's so much to choose from in Orlando, from the many parks of Walt Disney World to Universal Orlando , home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter . Delight the whole family with space-themed memorabilia at the Kennedy Space Center Shop , then get creative in the Crayola Experience Orlando , a colorful playground of art, fashion, and fun.

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The best family vacations in the U.S. for a unique holidays

The best family vacations in the U.S. are chock full of activities and thrills that will satisfy kids and adults alike.

Scott Snowden

If you haven’t started planning your next family vacation in the U.S, this list will help you whittle down the options. You may have to put up with an "are we there yet" or two, but that’s just because the kids won’t be able to contain their excitement.

Treating your kids to one of the best family vacations in the US is easier than you think. Unless it’s your first rodeo, you know you have to pick a destination that offers an endless variety of entertainment options so you avoid dreaded meltdowns and tantrums. We’ve done the research to find the best family vacations in the U.S. Among the best places to visit in the country , these destinations on our list will please kids and parents alike.

Florida and California, with ever-popular Disney properties, are obvious choices. Parents can relive their youth while kids can mingle with their favorite characters. If you’re looking for non-stop entertainment but not keen on amusement parks, we suggest towns like Gatlinburg, TN and Branson, MO. Pack in hiking, tram rides, animal encounters, and a show all in one day. Heading for an outdoor adventure , or visiting one of the national parks like Yellowstone or the Smoky Mountains, means reconnecting with nature and a chance for the kids to burn off tons of energy. For good measure, we’ve added a few under-the-radar options, like a lesser-known beach and a dude ranch.

RECOMMENDED: Check out these fun and cheap family vacations in the U.S . RECOMMENDED: The best glasshouse Airbnbs in the U.S . RECOMMENDED: The Airbnbs with the craziest amenities.

An email you’ll actually love

Top family vacations in the USA

San Diego, CA

1.  San Diego, CA

With sunny beaches, fantastical theme parks, and the world’s largest comic book convention, there's no such thing as bored children in sunny San Diego . Plus, like a good Pixar flick, the best kid-friendly activities won’t leave adults gaping at their phones. We promise parents will love mingling with exotic animals, splashing through waterfront fountains, and marveling at towering Lego sculptures right alongside the kids. Avoid rowdier crowds and embrace calm waves alongside other families at Mission Beach, Coronado Beach or La Jolla Shores.

Yellowstone, WY

2.  Yellowstone, WY

No other place on earth is like Yellowstone National Park . The massive, natural sanctuary (3,471 square miles of green) mesmerizes all visitors with its mountains, canyons, geysers and subalpine forests (and don’t be surprised if you spot buffalo). With challenging hikes into the backcountry as well as handicap-accessible wooden boardwalks, the wonders of Yellowstone are for everyone. Plan a trip to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center to see animals without having to hike for it. Bring a tent and get here early to take advantage of the affordable campgrounds (seven are first-come, first-served and five require reservations ). Pack the car with a cooler of campfire meals and snacks to get you through the weekend.

Grand Canyon, AZ

3.  Grand Canyon, AZ

One mile deep, 277 miles long and visible from space, the Grand Canyon is right up there on the cool chart for kids. Explore it from the rim on foot (the guided hikes are perfect for children six and older) or by bike, or ride a mule to the bottom. The kiddos might complain when you get out of Wi-Fi range, but they’ll remember hiking these trails forever. Don’t miss the spectacular Skywalk at Grand Canyon West, which juts out 70ft from the canyon rim—there’s nothing but glass between you and the Colorado River 4,000ft below.

Los Angeles & Anaheim, CA

4.  Los Angeles & Anaheim, CA

You're going to need way more than a weekend for this SoCal vacation filled with attractions from Santa Monica to Anaheim. Want to spot celebs? Take the Starline Tours Movie Stars’ Homes Tour or book a backlot studio tour for behind-the-scenes moviemaking magic. Hire bikes in Santa Monica to explore the beach and the old-school Santa Monica Pier with its carnival games, vintage carousel and aquarium. Then head south to Anaheim for amusement park gold like  Disneyland . Looking for a Disney alternative? Knott's Berry Farm is a great option for thrill-seekers (we're taking real roller coasters) and fans of Snoopy and Peanuts (the park's mascots). 

Tucson, AZ

5.  Tucson, AZ

A dude ranch vacation is ideal for families and Tanque Verde in Tucson , Arizona, is one of the best, with spectacular trails that wind their way through desert and mountain scenery. This is a great place for kids with a horsey inclination to improve their riding skills, but novice equestrians can learn their stirrups from their saddles here too. The daily kids’ club offers activities from horsemanship to arts and crafts and there’s a spa to soothe aches and pains from too much time spent in the saddle. Venture into the city to   discover museums, local coffee roasters and microbrewers and a gorgeous landscape of saguaros, barrel cactus and prickly pear. 

Orlando, FL

6.  Orlando, FL

Resort complexes don’t come bigger than the 43-square-mile Disney World in Orlando , Florida, comprising four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), two water parks, golf courses and 36 hotels. For full theme-park immersion, add a day or two at Universal Orlando Resort , home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Allow at least two days (multi-day tickets are the way to go) and stay on-site as it gives you extended hours in the parks and early access to Fast Pass reservations, essential for skipping the lines. For a non-traditional hotel experience, The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are nestled in the woods, frontier-style, and sleep up to six.

Oahu, HI

7.  Oahu, HI

There’s no better place to learn to surf than the long rolling breaks of Oahu ’s Waikiki Beach, but other family-friendly activities include paddling an authentic outrigger canoe, or learning the graceful movements of hula. Explore the island’s most scenic and historic sights on a Waikiki Trolley tour , and swim with dolphins at Sea Life Park. The secret for families to get the best out of Hawaii is to try to split your time between busy, urban Honolulu  and another more laid-back area, like Oahu's north shore or family-friendly Maui .

Yosemite, CA

8.  Yosemite, CA

Famed for its sweeping valleys, towering granite cliffs, giant sequoias, waterfalls and plethora of wildlife, Yosemite , in California’s Sierra Nevada, is simply awesome. Hiking, swimming, rafting and fishing are just some of the many family activities available in the 1,169-square-mile national park. Reservations for the 13 campgrounds are fiercely competitive and you need to book months in advance, but  Curry Village  (open April to October) gives you the camping experience without the hassle of set-up in cabins and tented cabins that sleep up to six. 

Destin, FL

9.  Destin, FL

Known for its fishing spots and sprawling white sand beaches, Destin is full of family fun in the sun. Kids will love the calm shorelines, especially along Henderson Beach State Park and the shores at Crystal Beach Park , and the amusement parks—head to Big Kahuna's for waterslides and a lazy river and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park to see dolphins and penguins. A boat tour is a must. Destin offers everything from dolphin-spotting excursions and pirate-themed cruises to glass-bottom boats and high-speed racers.

Branson, MO

10.  Branson, MO

You'll find family-friendly fun without the crowds and the soaring price tag in Branson, Missouri.  Enjoy classic family fun in the great outdoors, from hiking and biking in Table Rock State Park to kayaking on Lake Taneycomo. Plan to spend some time at Silver Dollar City , too, with offers rides, attractions, shows, and food for families of all ages and interests.  Perched on a bluff overlooking the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake, Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve  features a cave and nature trail, a golf course, a natural history museum, four restaurants, a clifftop wedding chapel, and a Civil War-era cabin. It’s considered one of the best entertainment spots in the state.

Gatlinburg, TN

11.  Gatlinburg, TN

Asheville gets a lot of credit for being the 'gateway city' to the Great Smoky Mountains, but Gatlinburg , a  mountain town in eastern Tennessee, is actually the closest city to the national park—and it was practically made for families. When you're not exploring the national park,  take a ride on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway to reach the amusement park of the same name. Or, head to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies to view a wide variety of marine animals. The area   has developed a reputation for vacation kitsch and there’s a ton of it in Pigeon Forge , Gatlinburg’s neighbor to the north, where you'll find no shortage of old-time photo booths and believe-it-or-not attractions. 

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