The Best Family Vacation Destinations: From Mexico and the Caribbean to Europe and Asia

2023-11-22 00:34:56 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.
Table of contents

Looking for the best family vacation destinations to create lasting memories with your loved ones? Look no further! From the sun-soaked beaches of Bali and the Caribbean, to the majestic landscapes of Europe and the thrilling adventures of North America, this article will take you on a whirlwind tour of the most incredible places to visit with your family. Get ready to embark on a journey filled with laughter, excitement, and unforgettable experiences as we explore the world's top family vacation destinations. Let's dive in and start planning your dream getaway!

Mexico and the Caribbean

a slide with a shell that says 'Mexico and the Caribbean'Indulge in blissful moments of beachside bliss, as you immerse yourself in the warm embrace of the Mexican and Caribbean shores. Let the gentle waves lull you into tranquility or bask in the serenity of poolside relaxation. Take solace in the remarkable childcare services provided by these exceptional island resorts, allowing you to savor some well-deserved moments of peace and quiet.

Europe Family Vacations

Visiting Santa in Lapland

By Victoria

Lapland vacation tips - Jaakola reindeer farmIf children were creating a travel bucket list, they would certainly include visiting Santa in Lapland. It's a dream come true for little ones, offering more than just a meeting with the big man himself. It's one of the most enjoyable vacations for families.

Experience the thrill of riding sleds pulled by huskies or sleighs pulled by reindeer, zip around the forest on snowmobiles, explore an amethyst mine, and play in the powdery snow. You can even stay in a glass igloo beneath the stars or witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights!

We personally went on this trip before having kids, and it was magical even for us as adults. We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to take Otis and Arlo, and we believe that ages 4 and 6 would be perfect. Check out our comprehensive 4-day Lapland itinerary.

London

By Victoria

Walking around London with a toddlerEvery time we visit London, it never fails to captivate Otis. The sheer size of the city and the endless excitement of things to do make it an exhilarating destination.

London caters to all age groups, from toddlers to teenagers to grandparents, and we highly recommend it for any family. Take advantage of the free entry to museums and immerse yourself in history by strolling along the South Bank of the River Thames. Explore art galleries, enjoy the vast parks, watch captivating theater shows, and indulge in incredible food.

As Samuel Pepys once said, "If you're tired of London, you're tired of life." Don't miss our guide on how to spend 7 days in London with kids. It's a city where you could easily spend weeks, but it's also perfect for a weekend family trip with toddlers.

Iceland

By Victoria

Vatnajökull, Iceland Ice CaveIceland is one of those awe-inspiring destinations that feels like stepping onto another planet. It offers something for both kids and adults. Above all, it's a place to immerse yourself in the grandeur of nature, from waterfalls to glaciers to ice caves.

We recommend visiting Iceland with slightly older kids who can handle icy hikes. It's perfect for teenagers who will enjoy zooming around on snowmobiles and relaxing in the steamy lagoons.

We visited during winter, giving us the chance to witness the Northern Lights and explore the ice caves. However, summer is also a fantastic time to visit when you can drive along the ring road and discover more of the country.

Iceland may be an expensive destination, but it's worth every penny. It's a trip that you should definitely save up for. Check out our guide on how to spend five days in Iceland in winter.

Barcelona

By Victoria

Sagrada Familia - Things to do with KidsBarcelona is a fantastic city for kids. They will love the fantastical architecture of Gaudi, the delicious "churros con chocolate," and the beachside location. Plus, the city offers numerous playgrounds in every neighborhood and a family-friendly culture.

You'll often see kids playing in the squares while their parents enjoy tapas and conversation at local bars. It's a holiday destination that both kids and adults will enjoy.

We have compiled a guide to the best things to do in Barcelona with kids. Some highlights include visiting the Science Museum, taking a gondola ride, and exploring the magnificent Sagrada Familia. You can also combine your trip with a visit to the Costa Brava, where you'll find plenty of family-friendly seaside villages like the picturesque Calla de Palafrugell. If you're up for it, consider embarking on one of the epic Spanish road trips.

Spain, as a whole, is one of the best vacation spots for families with younger children due to its family-friendly culture and numerous vacation resorts offering a wide range of kids' activities. Majorca, in particular, is another brilliant option (we especially loved Puerto Pollensa).

Italy Adventure

By Chontelle at Mom's Little Explorers

Colosseum RomeItaly is one of the most popular family vacation destinations, perfect for those who love good food, culture, and history. And let's not forget how much kids adore pizza, pasta, and ice cream!

From vibrant cities to charming towns, stunning lakes, beautiful beaches, and majestic mountains, Italy offers something for everyone, regardless of age.

You could spend a few weeks or even months exploring Italy and still not see everything (but you can certainly try!).

There is so much to do in Italy with kids. Some of the main attractions that families will love include the Colosseum in Rome, gondola rides in Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Uffizi Museum in Florence.

If you visit during the warmer months, the coastal areas like the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are perfect for beautiful beaches.

For mountain lovers, the Dolomites in the north provide great hiking opportunities in summer and fantastic skiing conditions in winter.

Italy is great to visit year-round, but the best time to go depends on your preferences and activities. The summer months from June to August offer warm weather and are great for beach holidays, although city explorations may be less comfortable. Winter from December to February can be cold, with snow in the north and mountain regions, providing fantastic snow trips and Christmas markets.

Spring and autumn are ideal for milder weather, allowing you to move around Italy comfortably. Our favorite time to visit is September – warm enough for beach days yet cool enough for sightseeing.

[Note from Victoria: We have traveled extensively in Italy (although not yet with kids). Check out our guides to the best Italy road trips, and itineraries for an Amalfi Coast road trip and a road trip including Lake Como and Cinque Terre.]

Backpacking Europe

Family of backpackers on London undergroundBy Bryanna at Crazy Family Adventure

If you're seeking an ultimate bucket list family trip, we highly recommend backpacking around Europe. We embarked on a magical three-month journey, exploring 13 countries with our four kids aged 15, 12, 12, and 10. This adventure allowed us to see and experience so much as a family while learning to live with just backpacks, staying in family rooms in hostels, and using public transportation.

Even if you can't spend three months, go for as long as you can! We recommend planning your trip during the off-season when there are fewer crowds and milder weather. Carrying backpacks can become heavy and hot, so cooler weather is more comfortable. We did our trip from March to June, and it was perfect.

During our trip, we covered Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Our youngest turned 10 on the trip, and our oldest was 15. The age range was perfect as they could carry their own bags and walk long distances every day (which we did!).

For tips on planning your trip, be sure to check out our guide on how to plan a trip to Europe.

Ireland Road Trip

By Janelle at Make the Trip Matter

Cliffs of MoherIreland is a stunning country with picturesque views and a rich history, making it the perfect destination for a road trip. You can explore everything the Emerald Isle has to offer, from breathtaking coastlines to rolling green hills and ancient ruins. It's easy to customize the trip to cater to every family member, from toddlers to grandparents.

Ireland offers countless outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking, as well as urban attractions such as museums and art galleries. And don't forget the relaxing beaches!

Make sure to stop in Galway, one of the most kid-friendly cities in Ireland. It boasts attractions like the National Aquarium Galway and Loughwell Farm Park.

Driving through Ireland for a week or two allows you ample opportunity to explore the gorgeous countryside and visit popular natural attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Skellig Islands. For a unique experience, consider staying at one of the ancient Irish castle hotels, where the whole family can feel like royalty for a night or two!

The best time of year to visit Ireland is from spring through early fall when the weather is warmest and the days are longer.

France

By Annabel at Smudged Postcard

Ile de Re, France family vacationFrance is a fantastic country for travel enthusiasts and one of the best places for a family vacation. There is so much to see, from the beautiful capital city to the chateaux of the Loire, the enchanting towns of the Alsace region, and the stylish resorts of the south.

Summer is an ideal time for a family holiday in France. The 14th of July is celebrated nationwide to commemorate the French Revolution, and it's a fantastic time to visit the coast. Enjoy the stunning rocky scenery in Brittany, experience excellent surfing on the Atlantic coast, and explore lovely islands by bike. Ile de Re is particularly fun to explore on two wheels.

France offers some amazing theme parks, including Parc Asterix near Paris and Puy du Fou near Nantes, where history and pyrotechnics bring France's turbulent past to life. And of course, there's Euro Disney too.

For a winter city break, Paris is especially exquisite during Christmas time when its streets and squares sparkle. Winter is also the time when the French hit the ski slopes, and there are excellent resorts for families like Meribel and Alpe d'Huez.

[Note from Victoria - We're going to Ile de Re this year, so we'll be sure to share our experiences. We've also spent some lovely time in Colmar and on the French Riviera while embarking on the most colorful road trip in Europe!]

European Christmas Markets

By Jenn from ThoseJohnsonBoys.com

Christmas market in Prague, family vacationLooking for the ultimate holiday trip with your family? Planning a European getaway to enjoy the Christmas markets is a perfect way to celebrate. Europe comes alive with the magic of Christmas, and kids of all ages will be captivated. Think of quaint towns, mulled wine, hot chocolate, and fairy tale art brought to life.

Your trip can be as short or as long as you desire, as there are plenty of Christmas markets to visit throughout Europe. You can choose just one or follow a two-week itinerary that takes you across three countries and five cities in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria.

While most Christmas markets are open from late November to Christmas, planning your trip around Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th makes it even more special. On this day, many European countries celebrate the holiday, offering you and your family a unique experience.

Family Vacations in Asia

Japan

By Victoria

Japan offers a unique and exciting destination for family vacations. It combines historic culture with futuristic attractions, making it an interesting choice for families. There are numerous kids attractions that will leave a lasting impression.

At the top of the list is Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, known as Disney's best theme park. Another must-visit is Ghibli Park, a theme park that immerses visitors in the world of Studio Ghibli. Don't miss out on the Ghibli Museum and Universal Studios Tokyo.

We went on a kid-friendly trip to Japan for 10 days, which we recommend for children around 8 years old who can appreciate the culture more. Highlights of our trip included seeing the snow monkeys, staying in a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya-San, observing deer in Nara, and riding on a bullet train.

Borneo

By Pete at The Backpacking Family

Sabah in Borneo is a top bucket list destination for families, offering a blend of nature, adventure, and wildlife. Begin your trip in Kota Kinabalu with an island-hopping adventure. You can buy tickets at the jetty and explore multiple islands.

Next, head to Kundasang and enjoy a mountain homestay at Pogimpaan Homestay for stunning views of Mount Kinabalu. Don't miss out on the Poring hot springs, canopy walkway, and the chance to see a rafflesia flower at Vienna Rafflesia Garden.

Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary in Sandakan to witness feeding sessions and get up close to orangutans. Consider a wildlife boat trip on Kinabatangan River to see Proboscis monkeys and wild orangutans. For diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, Marbul island offers some of the best underwater experiences.

Booking trips and tours can be expensive, so it's budget-friendly to explore independently. A car rental is convenient for getting around, especially in the Kinabalu area. Long-distance buses and domestic flights with Air Asia are also available for travel between cities. Keep in mind that this adventurous trip is more suitable for families with older kids (over 5 years old).

Visit an Ethical Elephant Sanctuary

By Babs at Mums on Flip Flops

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand offers a unique and unforgettable experience for families. Interacting with elephants up close is a great addition to your family's bucket list.

Located outside the city, Elephant Nature Park is easily accessible and offers day visits, overnight stays, and volunteering opportunities for visitors of all ages, including babies. With over a hundred elephants at the park, each with their own story, you'll learn about conservation efforts and gain a deeper understanding of these remarkable animals. The park also houses other animals like horses, water buffalos, dogs, and cats.

What makes Elephant Nature Park special is its commitment to ethical practices. Riding, bathing, and petting the elephants are strictly prohibited. The park prioritizes the animals' well-being and aims to educate visitors on the importance of their protection.

With a clear conscience, you and your children can observe and learn about the elephants, creating lasting memories. Visiting Elephant Nature Park is truly a memorable experience for families.

Bali

By Asha Bhatia from HomeTravelGuide

Our family fell in love with Bali and ended up extending our stay to six months. This tropical paradise offers something for everyone, from snorkeling and surfing to exploring temples, rice paddies, night markets, and nearby islands.

One of the highlights was visiting Uluwatu Temple during sunset and enjoying a kecak dance performance. We also indulged in delicious Indonesian cuisine at local warungs. To fully explore the island, plan a two-week trip and visit places like Ubud, Sanur, Uluwatu, Amed, and Nusa Lembongan.

The best time to visit Bali is between April and October, during the start or end of the dry season when the weather is most pleasant for families with children. The island is known for its vibrant ceremonies and festivals, with Galungan and Kuningan as well as Nyepi (New Year's Day in the Balinese calendar) being particularly captivating.

For a unique experience, consider staying in a homestay or renting a private villa with a pool. We highly recommend road trips in the island's center and beach visits to make the most of your Bali adventure.

Jordan

By Emma at Wanderlust and Wet Wipes

Jordan is a destination that often surprises families with its family-friendly atmosphere. While many may not initially consider it, Jordan has a range of attractions that cater to all ages.

A visit to Petra is a must. This ancient city, annexed to the Roman Empire and now one of the seven wonders of the world, offers breathtaking views and incredible archaeological artifacts. Other highlights include floating in the Dead Sea, exploring Wadi Rum on a Bedouin tour, and visiting historic sites like Jerash and Madaba.

In Amman, you can explore impressive Roman ruins, and Aqaba on the Red Sea is perfect for snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. The best time to visit Jordan is during spring and autumn, avoiding the scorching summers and colder winters.

Kids of all ages are welcome in Jordan, although younger children may struggle with long journeys on bumpy roads. Itineraries can range from 5 to 14 days, allowing ample time to explore this remarkable country. The Entertainer App offers 2-for-1 deals on accommodation and is worth considering for cost-conscious travelers.

Mongolia

By Sinead at Map Made Memories

While Mongolia may present certain challenges, the rewards of exploring this country make it worthwhile for families. One of the most exciting experiences is trekking in the Gobi Desert, the world's sixth-largest desert. A visit to Ulaanbataar, the capital, offers world-class museums and impressive sculptures.

Explore the picturesque Mongolian steppe, meet the Takhi (wild horses) in Hustai National Park, or visit historic Kharkhorin, which was once Mongolia's ancient capital. Late spring or early autumn is the best time to visit Mongolia, as summers can be extremely hot and winters very cold.

Allow at least two weeks to fully explore this incredible country, and if possible, plan your trip around the popular Nadaam festival in early July. Mongolians adore children, so kids of any age will feel welcome. However, older children may handle the long journeys on bumpy roads better.

Consider a family-friendly hostel like Legends Mongolia in Ulaanbataar and spend a night in a ger on the steppe to witness unforgettable starry nights.

United Arab Emirates (Dubai & Abu Dhabi)

By Sarah Vanheel at CosmopoliClan

The United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are fantastic and safe destinations for family travel. While Dubai is often associated with luxury, it also offers numerous family-friendly activities.

Take a ride on the world's tallest ferris wheel, enjoy musical fountain shows, experience thrilling water parks, and soak in the view from Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Don't miss the opportunity to ride camels in the desert or visit an aquarium. The options for kid-friendly activities are endless.

Many accommodations in Dubai cater to families of all ages. For example, Atlantis The Palm has its own water park. Abu Dhabi offers attractions like Ferrari World and various zoos, as well as opportunities to experience the scenic Jebel Hafit Desert Park and go sandboarding in the desert. Don't forget to visit the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for a cultural excursion.

Plan your trip between October and April to avoid the scorching desert summers. If you visit in early December, you can witness the national day festivities.

Note from Victoria: During our time in Dubai, we stayed in various great places. I suggest this road trip in the center of the island and this trip to the southern beaches.

International Family Vacation Destinations

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the few places where you can relax on the beach while being surrounded by a lush jungle and playful monkeys swinging overhead.

The author posing for a photo during sunset in Costa RicaHere's a picture of me posing in the ocean during sunset in Limon📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Costa Rica Hotels on Expedia

Costa Rica is a radiant country filled with calm-water beaches, lush tropical foliage, mouth-watering fruit, and adorable wildlife like sloths and macaws. It offers something for everyone, whether you prefer lounging on the beach or going on thrilling adventures like ziplining.

There are so many amazing destinations in Costa Rica, from the Pacific Tamarindo side to the Limon Caribbean coast and everything in between. If you're looking for an international family vacation, Costa Rica is worth considering.

London

London, the main metropolitan hub of Europe, is famous for its pubs, landmarks, and other iconic sites.

Aerial view of big ben in LondonHere's an aerial view of Big Ben in London📍 Check it out on Google Maps | Find the Perfect Place to Stay in London | 👉 Browse London Hotels on Booking

London is a world-famous city with a rich history and iconic landmarks like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Tower Bridge. It offers a wide range of entertaining activities for the whole family.

While the British Pound is strong, it is still possible to visit London on a budget by using local transit, staying outside of Central London, and visiting during the low season.

Puerto Vallarta

Experience the beauty of remote Mexican coastal paradise in Puerto Vallarta, an affordable beach getaway.

The author's family enjoying their day on an infinity pool in Puerto Vallarta during sunsetHere's my family enjoying the remainder of the sunset from an infinity pool

McKenna posing for a photo in front of a colorful building in Puerto VallartaHere's a picture of me posing in front of a colorful building in Puerto Vallarta

📍 Check it out on Google Maps | Find the Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta | 👉 Browse Puerto Vallarta Hotels on Booking

I've been to Puerto Vallarta multiple times and I can confidently say that it is a stunning coastal Mexican town with a vibrant seaside culture. You can enjoy bustling downtown areas, popular public beaches, secluded jungle resorts, and private abodes.

Puerto Vallarta offers a variety of top family activities, including ziplining, whale watching, boat tours to nearby islands, delicious local cuisine, and of course, lounging on the beach.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a rich island country that offers an eclectic cultural experience by the beach.

Aerial view of an island in Dominican RepublicHere's an aerial view of an island in the Dominican Republic📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Dominican Republic Hotels on Expedia

The Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination known for its Latin island cultural experience, colonial architecture, sandy white beaches, and Indigenous customs.

While Santo Domingo and Punta Cana are the most popular tourist destinations, I recommend exploring further into the country for a true local experience in places like Semana or La Romana.

Jamaica

Jamaica is a relaxation haven that you won't want to leave.

A local totem in JamaicaHere's a picture of a local totem in Jamaica📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Jamaica Hotels on Expedia

Jamaica is a highly visited Caribbean Island known for its rich culture and stunning blue waters. The laid-back vibe of the island culture is mesmerizing. Whether you spend your vacation relaxing on the beach or indulging in the local cuisine, you'll feel a sense of family vacation accomplishment.

Sometimes, family vacations don't need to be go-go-go. Even kids enjoy relaxing on the beach or taking a dip in the refreshing island waters. Most family-style resorts can be found in Kingston, where the jungle meets the cosmopolitan and nightlife paradise.  

👉 Read Next: 50 Family Vacation Travel Tips

Croatia

Croatia's pristine clear waters make it a top European getaway.

Blue waters of Dalmatia and the blue sky over it in CroatiaHere's a picture of the blue waters of Dalmatia in Croatia📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Croatia Hotels on Expedia

Croatia offers pristine clear waters that rival the tropical Caribbean islands. Its idyllic Mediterranean coast attracts travelers from all over the world, providing breathtaking views with its combination of rustic terracotta roofs and vibrant blue sea. Don't forget to explore the fairytale-like towns of Hvar, Mljet Island, or Dubrovnik from above by taking a hike.

Croatia is a great destination to visit at any time. Whether you're interested in island hopping, exploring historic sites, or enjoying fun oceanic activities, this country has it all.

Hungary

Escape the tourist crowds with a retreat to Hungary, a unique architectural Eastern European country.

The Courtyard Royal Castle in Budapest from the outsideHere's a picture of a courtyard in Budapest📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hungary Hotels on Expedia

Hungary is an architectural paradise in Eastern Europe, with unique Wes Anderson-style buildings scattered throughout the country. Budapest, the most popular town in Hungary, is known for its architectural tours, cruising on the Danube at night, and historic sites. Make sure to explore smaller towns like Eger and Tihany for a glimpse of their cobblestone streets and ancient charm. Hungary is a great choice for a family vacation without overwhelming tourist crowds, and it's also incredibly affordable!

Portugal

The dramatic coastal cliffs of Portugal make it a coveted destination in Latin Europe.

Overlooking view of the Algarve BeachHere's a picture of the stunning Algarve Beach in Portugal📍Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Portugal Hotels on Expedia

Portugal is a hidden gem in Europe, attracting backpackers and family travelers alike. Its stunning coastal cliffs and top beaches make it one of the most sought-after destinations on the continent.

Whether you want to explore rugged beach wilderness, surf the intense waves, visit charming colonial cities, or indulge in mouthwatering petiscos (the tapas of Portugal), this country has something for everyone.

Vietnam

Discover the lesser-visited country of Vietnam, where warm locals and unforgettable attractions await.

Beach view from a balcony in JW Marriott Phu Quoc ResortHere's a picture of a beach view from a balcony at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Resort📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Vietnam Hotels on Expedia

Vietnam is an underrated family vacation spot that offers both bustling cities and isolated island beauty. Visit Ho Chi Minh City to experience Vietnam's culture and cuisine, and explore the rice terrace countryside surrounding Hanoi. Don't miss the opportunity to take a cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay and wake up to breathtaking views.

For a unique family vacation, consider visiting Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. There's a famous family-friendly resort there that is themed like a university. Read Nate's review of JW Marriott Phu Quoc Resort to learn more about this special place and why it's worth planning a trip to Vietnam around.

Sri Lanka

Experience the magnificent beauty of Sri Lanka before it becomes overcrowded with tourists.

Panoramic view of elephants in Sri LankaHere's a picture of an elephant safari in Sri Lanka📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Sri Lanka Hotels on Expedia

Visit Sri Lanka before its booming tourist economy takes over. This magnificent country offers isolated stretches of beach, dense jungles teeming with local wildlife like elephants, and rich cultural sites and temples. It's a safe and colorful destination that appeals to family members of all ages, and the outdoor activities and affordable prices make it a top choice.

Malaysia

Malaysia, with its golden shrines and deep forests, is a Southeast Asian gem.

A Tao temple from the outside at the Genting HighlandsHere's a picture of a Tao temple at the Genting Highlands📍 Check it out on Google Maps | 👉 Browse Malaysia Hotels on Expedia

Malaysia may be overshadowed by its neighbor Thailand, but that's one of its strengths. It is less traveled, preserved, and authentic, offering similar stunning beaches, lush jungles, and a rich cultural history. Don't miss the chance to visit the mountaintop temples and see the giant golden statues that line the country. 

Bali, Indonesia

Recommended by Eric from Travel Babbo.

Bali has become one of our favorite family travel destinations in recent years. It offers the perfect combination of beautiful beaches and rich culture, ensuring that there is always something to do. From attending festivals that seem to happen constantly to visiting water parks and hiking through rice fields, there is no shortage of activities.

The weather in Bali is warm all year round, although the months of November through March bring the rainy season. But the food in Bali more than makes up for any occasional showers. In fact, my 10-year-old's favorite restaurant in the world is Cuca, situated near Jimbaran Beach.

The hotels in Bali are incredible and cater to families. We have stayed at beachfront hotels as well as private villas with plunge pools overlooking breathtaking river valleys and rice fields. We always try to take part in activities organized by the hotels, such as fish feeding, anti-gravity yoga, rice planting, ceramics, and local walks. It's these unique experiences that make it difficult for us to leave when it's time to check out.

Despite the increasing number of tourists each year, Bali never feels too touristy. The town of Ubud, in particular, has managed to retain a cool and artistic vibe. Plus, there's a monkey forest in Ubud that is sure to thrill any child who wants to be surrounded by monkeys.

For more tips on visiting Bali with kids, you can visit Eric's blog [here](http://travelbabbo.com/2015/03/bali-with-kids/).

Bali - favourite family travel destination - Travel Babbo

Costa Rica

Recommended by various families

Costa Rica is one of the most highly recommended family travel destinations in the Americas. It offers everything you could want for a perfect family-friendly vacation: a tropical climate, beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, numerous sightseeing opportunities, thrilling adventurous activities, and a wide variety of wildlife.

No matter what kind of family travel experience you are looking for, Costa Rica has it all. Whether you desire a relaxing vacation at a luxurious resort by the coast or seek an adventure-filled trip with teenagers, the La Fortuna – Arenal area, known as the adventure capital of Costa Rica, is the perfect destination. You can even plan a road trip to explore the best that Costa Rica has to offer, while still including some relaxing pool time for the whole family to enjoy.

One of the best things about Costa Rica is that it is a very family-friendly destination. And if you are traveling from the US, you won't have to deal with too many time zone changes. Additionally, Costa Rica can be visited all year round, although a tropical rain shower is always a possibility.

You can find a sample 2-week Costa Rica itinerary [here](https://fullsuitcase.com/costa-rica-itinerary-2-weeks/) that covers some of the best places to visit. It provides plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, experience the local culture, try exciting activities like zip-lining and whitewater rafting, and also allows for some relaxing time by the pool or at the beach.

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

Florida's Space Coast

Kennedy Space CenterKennedy Space Center

Best for ages: 5-15

Why go? Where else can you experience being an astronaut for a day?

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

Where to stay: Both Homewood Suites by Hilton Cape Canaveral and Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach offer pools and breakfast. The Radisson at the Port may not be oceanfront, but it boasts a pool with a built-in playground!

More info: Visit [VisitSpaceCoast.com](http://www.visitspacecoast.com/)

Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA

Recommended by Karen from Family Travels on a Budget.

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the perfect beach destination for families who want to avoid crowded beaches. We love Gulf Shores for its stunning white sand beaches, the abundance of seashells, breathtaking sunsets, and of course, the delicious seafood. But what truly sets Gulf Shores apart is the space it offers. The wide beaches and smaller crowds give us plenty of room to relax and unwind.

Gulf Shores is not just about the beach though. We enjoy exploring the hiking and biking trails at Gulf State Park, going on catamaran day trips, paddleboarding, and having sunset dinners at local restaurants. It truly feels like a home away from home when we're at the beach.

To learn more about the beautiful Alabama Beaches, you can visit [here](http://familytravelsonabudget.com/beach/alabama-beaches/).

Gulf Shores Alabama

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

Best for ages: 5-17

Why go? It offers beaches, boardwalks, American history, and a military aviation museum.

What to do: Start by taking a ride in an open cockpit biplane at the Military Aviation Museum. Then, head to the beach and visit Neptune's Park, where your kids can even participate in a sandcastle building contest if the timing is right. Finally, take a trip to Fredericksburg and walk in the footsteps of our first president at his boyhood home, Ferry Farm.

Where to stay: The Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront and Barclay Towers Resort Hotel are both great choices, offering pools and being close to boardwalk attractions.

More info: Visit [VisitVirginiaBeach.com](https://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/)

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

myrtle beach, south carolina

If you're looking for a beach getaway this summer, Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination. With miles of sandy shores ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and playing in the waves, it has something for everyone. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a popular attraction, featuring numerous shops, restaurants, and arcades. It's also worth checking out the free events, such as live music and fireworks shows. Additionally, Myrtle Beach offers plenty of affordable and family-friendly activities, including miniature golf and water parks. There are also welcoming resorts, like The Strand, where you can have a wonderful stay.

[VISIT](https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g54359-Myrtle_Beach_South_Carolina-Vacations.html)

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. It offers beautiful castles, opportunities for canoeing on the rivers, and medieval towns to discover. It is the perfect place to escape from it all and spend quality time with your kids.

We especially enjoyed the picturesque landscape and the friendliness of the locals. There is plenty to do for families, ensuring that everyone has a great time.

If you want to learn more about our family visit to Dordogne, you can read Kirstin's post [here](https://kidsareatrip.com/family-travel-in-the-dordogne-region-of-france/).

Canoe ride in Dordogne France

Cook Islands

Recommended by Karilyn - No Back Home.

One of our top family destinations is the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. It is a relatively short overnight flight from the West Coast of the US, with only a 3-hour time change.

The main island, Rarotonga, is small with a 29-mile ring road. It offers stunning white beaches, calm lagoons perfect for snorkeling, and lush green mountains as a backdrop.

There are plenty of adventure activities to enjoy, such as hiking, buggy driving, kayaking, and even visiting private islands. Your family will have an unforgettable time in this island paradise!

If you want to learn more about the family-friendly Cook Islands, you can read more [here](http://nobackhome.com/guide-to-the-cook-islands-with-kids/).

Family vacation on Cook Islands

Hamilton, New Zealand

Recommended by Nadine - Le Long Weekend.

Our favorite family travel destination is Hamilton in New Zealand. It is a hidden gem when it comes to family vacations.

There are several activities that we love, such as visiting the Waikato Museum with its dedicated kid's discovery areas, exploring the zoo where Kaka birds may land on your shoulder in the walk-through aviary, and strolling through the themed Hamilton Gardens that transport you to different civilizations.

What sets Hamilton apart are the many destination playgrounds. These incredible parks offer various fun fixtures, water features, in-ground trampolines, and multi-story playhouses. They are perfect for keeping the little ones entertained while you enjoy a cup of coffee from a nearby cafe.

To learn more about Hamilton, New Zealand, you can visit Nadine's travel blog [here](https://lelongweekend.com/top-10-things-to-do-with-kids-in-hamilton-new-zealand/).

Hamilton New Zealand

San Antonio, Texas

usa, texas, san antonio, san antonio river and river walk at duskAdam Jones//Getty Images

San Antonio is a city rich in Texas history and offers plenty of free and educational attractions for visitors of all ages. One of the most popular attractions is the historic Alamo, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The city is also known for its scenic River Walk, a network of walkways along the San Antonio River, featuring street performers and live music. Additionally, there are numerous parks and green spaces to explore, such as Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Many museums and cultural institutions, like the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Institute of Texan Cultures, can also be found in the city. And let's not forget the delicious Tex-Mex cuisine!

[VISIT](https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g60956-San_Antonio_Texas-Vacations.html)

Philadelphia, USA

Recommended by Eileen - FamiliesGo!

Philadelphia is a city we frequently visit for day trips, but since we started traveling with our child, we have discovered that it offers so much more for families. On your first visit, make sure to see Federal Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. There are also many family-friendly museums to explore. The Please Touch Museum is a hit with younger kids, while school-going children will appreciate the Franklin Institute and the expansive Museum of Art. Philadelphia is also known for its fantastic dining scene, so be sure to try out places like Federal Donuts, Hawthorne's, and Reading Terminal. It's a great city break for families.

To learn more about visiting Philadelphia with kids, you can visit [here](https://www.familiesgotravel.com/2015/04/philadelphia-kids-fun-activities/). You can also learn how to see the best of Philadelphia in one day [here](https://fullsuitcase.com/one-day-in-philadelphia/).

Philadelphia - great city destination for traveling families

Note: The original text contains two images for each destination. The images have been combined into one image in the rewritten text for the sake of simplicity.

Portugal

Recommended by Alex – My Life Long Holiday.

Central Portugal has become a beloved destination for my family ever since my parents relocated there a few years ago. The region offers a wonderful blend of relaxation, delicious cuisine, rich culture, and stunning landscapes.

For families seeking adventure, there are plenty of activities to enjoy such as cycling, hiking, and kayaking. However, one of our favorite things to do is explore the charming, ancient villages nestled in the mountains. The untouched charm of these villages is something our children adore, especially when there's ice cream waiting for them at the end of our journey!

The Portuguese people are incredibly warm and welcoming towards children, ensuring that wherever you go, their genuine smiles and hospitality make you feel right at home. Combined with the warm sunshine, Portugal is the perfect destination for a relaxing and stress-free family vacation.

Check out Alex’s blog for more inspiration and tips for your trip to Portugal.

Our experience: Inspired by Alex’s recommendation, we decided to visit Portugal with kids. We were immediately captivated by its beauty and family-friendly atmosphere! In fact, we fell in love with Portugal to such an extent that we now visit the country multiple times a year. For our travel tips and insights on Portugal, visit this page.

Portugal with familyPortugal – © MyLifeLongHoliday

Crete, Greece

Recommended by Paul from A Luxury Travel Blog.

The Greek island of Crete is a place where my family has spent many wonderful vacations. Crete offers everything we could ask for: a delightful climate, relaxation, beautiful beaches, exquisite cuisine, and a leisurely way of life. Additionally, the island boasts a selection of exceptional hotels!

One of our favorite spots in Crete is the charming fishing town of Elounda, which offers fantastic luxury accommodations and a variety of fun activities for the whole family.

If you're searching for a family-friendly destination in southern Europe that has it all, look no further than the Greek Islands, especially Crete!

For more luxury travel advice, check out Paul's blog here.

Spinalonga Island CreteSpinalonga Island Crete – © Luxury Travel Blog

Redwood National & State Parks

Children in the Redwood Forest in CaliforniaGetty ImagesBest for ages: 5-12

Why visit? The California parks are home to the most magnificent and tallest trees on the planet.

What to do: Take a leisurely walk through the enchanting Lady Bird Johnson Grove, a moss-covered forest of towering sequoias, some of which are over 2,000 years old (kids can even crawl through hollow trees!). Keep an eye out for Roosevelt elk grazing in Elk Meadow, then follow the trail to Trillium Falls. Don't miss the chance to explore the coastal trails and join guided tide pool walks. If you're lucky, you might even spot whales from December through April.

Where to stay: The Best Western Plus Northwoods Inn, conveniently located off Redwood Highway, offers comfortable accommodations with breakfast included. Alternatively, you can opt for the cozy cottages at View Crest Lodge for less than $200 per night.

More information: Explore the official website here.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Mother and Son walking in Glacier National ParkGetty ImagesBest for ages: 8-18

Why visit? Due to climate change, North America's few remaining glaciers are rapidly disappearing.

What to do: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the breathtaking trails! The Going-to-the-Sun Road, known as one of the world's most scenic drives, is also perfect for biking (preferably during quieter seasons). Embark on the open-top Glacier Park Red Bus Tours to view wildlife from a safe distance. Experience the glacial lakes by renting canoes or kayaks, or join a boat tour with Glacier Park Boat Co.

Where to stay: Enjoy a rustic cabin experience at Apgar Village Lodge. To indulge in luxury, opt for The Resort at Paws Up, an all-inclusive and dog-friendly resort located on the outskirts of the picturesque Flathead National Forest.

More information: Visit the official website at NPS.gov/glac.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

the grand prismatic spring in yellowstone national park, wyoming, north americaRoland Zeller//Getty ImagesWith its affordable admission fee, reasonable camping and lodging costs, and stunning natural wonders, Yellowstone National Park is a perfect destination for a budget-friendly family vacation. Explore the park's numerous campsites, such as the picturesque Bridge Bay Campground, and take advantage of the park's many free activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and ranger-led programs.

VISIT

2

Yosemite National Park, California

yosemite tunnel viewKenny McCartney//Getty ImagesIf you and your family love the great outdoors, Yosemite National Park is a must-visit destination. Explore the park's iconic waterfalls, such as Half Dome and Yosemite Valley, which offer breathtaking scenery and hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Take a scenic drive along Tioga Road, visit the Mariposa Grove to see the giant sequoia trees, and stargaze from Glacier Point.

VISIT

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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

paddle raft on colorado river, grand canyonMerrill Images//Getty ImagesWith its array of free activities and attractions, the Grand Canyon is a classic choice for a family vacation. Hike along the popular Bright Angel Trail, or simply admire the breathtaking canyon views from the scenic viewpoints along the South Rim. Affordable camping options are available within the park, with campsites starting at just $18 per night. Nearby towns like Flagstaff and Williams offer additional lodging and dining options at reasonable prices.

VISIT

8

The Canadian Rockies

Recommended by Melissa – Parenthood and Passports.

As a family that loves to explore the world, it's rare for us to revisit the same destination. However, there is one place we keep returning to: The Canadian Rockies.

The Canadian Rockies truly are one of nature's most remarkable wonders. With their awe-inspiring mountains and shimmering glacial lakes, it's a sight to behold.

Banff National Park, situated in the heart of the Rockies, is an incredibly family-friendly destination. The locals are welcoming and accommodations are well-suited for children. Exploring the great outdoors and engaging in various activities is a joy in Banff.

For us, it is the ultimate playground for outdoor enthusiasts, and we hope to instill our love for nature in our daughter. There's no better place to do so than here.

For more information on visiting Banff, check out Melissa's blog here.

Canadian Rockies is a great family travel destiantionCanadian Rockies – © ParenthoodAndPassports

Mackinac Island, Michigan

mackinaw island bike path© Owen Weber (www.owenweberlive.com)//Getty ImagesMackinac Island, located in Michigan's charming Upper Peninsula, is a quintessential family vacation destination. The island offers a range of activities suitable for the entire family, whether you prefer exploring on foot, bicycles, or horse-drawn carriages. Make sure to visit Fort Mackinac and the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory, and don't miss the chance to indulge in some delicious fudge. A must-visit spot for sweet treats is the family-owned May's Candy Shop.

VISIT

20

Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas

Dinosaur Valley State ParkGetty Images Best for ages: 5-11

Why visit? Located just 75 miles southwest of Dallas, this state park is home to some of the world's best-preserved dinosaur tracks.

What to do: Besides walking in the massive footprints left in the Paluxy River, you can take a covered wagon tour, go mountain biking, borrow fishing gear from the park's Tackle Loaner Program, and explore the museums in downtown Glen Rose, known as the Dinosaur Capital of Texas.

Where to stay: Enjoy camping at Dinosaur Valley State Park or consider the Best Western Dinosaur Valley Inn Suites.

More information: Visit the official website at Texas.gov

Custer State Park, South Dakota

sylvan lake, custer state park, in the black hills of south dakotaGreg Vaughn / VWPics//Getty ImagesCuster State Park, spanning 71,000 acres, offers a wide range of activities for the whole family, including hiking, fishing, swimming, and wildlife viewing. During your visit, you might spot bison, pronghorns, and elk, which are abundant throughout the park. Scenic drives and hiking trails provide opportunities to observe these magnificent creatures. Affordable lodging options, such as campsites starting at $19 per night, make it an accessible destination for families.

VISIT

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National LakeshoreBest for ages: 5-12

Why go? The sand dunes here are unlike anything you've ever seen before! Some reach nearly 500 feet in height, offering sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands.

What to do: Get ready for an adventure on the dunes! Climb up and then run (or roll) down the magnificent sand mountains. Take a refreshing swim at Esch Road Beach, where the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan await. For a thrilling experience, explore the Platte River through kayaking and tubing with Riverside Canoe Trips. Kids can even try a freshwater surf lesson with Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak.

Where to stay: Stay at Duneswood Resort, located a short walk from the Dune Climb and offering bike, buggy, and stroller rentals. Alternatively, if you're based in Traverse City, consider staying at Great Wolf Lodge for its indoor water park.

More information: Find out more on the official website NPS.gov/slbe.

The Black Hills, South Dakota

Little girl in Black Hills looking at Mount RushmoreGetty ImagesBest for kids ages: 5-15

Why visit? Visit Mount Rushmore and experience the underrated beauty of the Black Hills and badlands.

What to do: The kids will enjoy the interactive American history lessons at Mount Rushmore. Don't miss the evening flag ceremony during the summer. You can also see buffalos, pan for gold, explore ghost towns, and visit the world's largest collection of reptiles at the Reptile Gardens.

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

More information: TravelSouthDakota.com

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National ParkBest for ages: 6-16

Why visit? Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park and has the highest concentration of geysers in the world!

What to do: See the famous Old Faithful geyser, which erupts every 90 minutes, and explore other geysers, mud pots, and hot springs within walking distance. Keep an eye out for bison, elk, bears, wolves, and Bighorn sheep. In winter, take a snowcoach tour to spot wildlife. In summer, enjoy the thrilling West Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park.

Where to stay: Stay at The Summit at Big Sky just outside the park or choose the rustic option of Chico Hot Springs.

More information: NPS.gov/yell

Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California)

view from cavallo point, good housekeeping's pick for family vacation destinationsCavallo PointExperience the California Dreaming at Cavallo Point. This Good Housekeeping 2023 Travel Award-winning resort offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and is both family and pet friendly. Enjoy contemporary and historic rooms, as well as activities like hiking, biking, and exploring Golden Gate National Park. Visit Rodeo Beach, take a history tour of Fort Baker, or relax with a game of bocce ball on the lawn. Don't miss the top-rated culinary classes at the Cavallo Point Cooking School. Kids will love the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Slide Ranch, and the Exploratorium. Rates start at $400 per night.

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Headshot of Karen CiceroKaren Cicero

Karen Cicero is a seasoned journalist who specializes in food, travel, home, and new product coverage. She has visited almost every state, with Alaska being her next destination. Karen is a dedicated mom who goes all out for holidays and is proud to call Bethlehem, Pennsylvania her home.

Headshot of Olivia LipskiOlivia Lipski

Media & Tech Reviews Analyst

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

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Sebasco Harbor Resort (Phippsburg, Maine)

the kids' club at the sebasco harbor resort, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinationSebasco Harbor ResortCreate lasting memories by sleeping in a lighthouse by the ocean at Sebasco Harbor Resort. The recently renovated rooms in the 1945 lighthouse offer stunning views, refreshing sea breezes, and modern amenities. The lighthouse rooms are conveniently located near the resort's oceanfront saltwater pool, which has been renovated this year. The resort also features a vintage bowling alley, weekly pirate cruises, and an old-school kids' club. Rates start at $299 per night.

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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 destinationsOcean's Edge Resort & Golf ClubSpend laid-back days at Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod. Enjoy the private beach with gentle surf and tide pools to explore. Take a dip in the heated outdoor or indoor pools. End the day with outdoor movies. The resort offers activities like scavenger hunts and is guided by a new director of fun. Stay in the "mansion" section for private beach access. Rates start at $279 per night.

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Smugglers' Notch Resort (Jeffersonville, Vermont)

a family goes biking through green hills at smuggler's notch, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinationsSmuggler's Notch/Craig OrsiniEnjoy both summer and ski season at Smugglers' Notch Resort in the Green Mountains. The resort offers eight heated pools with waterslides and a variety of family activities suitable for toddlers, teens, and everyone in between. Sing-a-longs, magic shows, guided hikes, water rocket launches, and glow-in-the-dark volleyball are just some of the activities available. The condos at the resort can accommodate up to five bedrooms, making it perfect for extended family stays. Rates start at $174 per night.

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Hidden Pond (Kennebunkport, Maine)

campfire at hidden pond in maine, good housekeeping's pick for best family vacation destinationsHidden PondEscape the hustle and bustle at Hidden Pond, a Good Housekeeping 2023 Family Travel Award-winning resort in Maine. Nestled in the wilderness, the resort offers sun-soaked days at two pools or the nearby ocean at Hidden Pond's sister property, Tides Beach Club. Participate in guided nature walks, golfing, deep-sea fishing, and biking. Spend evenings by the campfire roasting marshmallows, making s'mores, and stargazing. Kids can enjoy activities like tie-dyeing t-shirts, outdoor art classes, and a marine science camp. Don't forget to explore Kennebunkport, a quaint New England town known for its clam shacks, fresh lobster, galleries, and beaches. Rates start at 0 per night.

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Quisisana Resort (Lovell, Maine)

two friends frolic in a lake at the quisisana resort, a good housekeeping pick for family vacation destinationsQuisisana Resort/Matt CosbyAt Quisisana Resort, enjoy a digital detox and a wide range of outdoor activities. Play on the lake, paddleboat, play tennis, build sandcastles, and more. At night, watch entertaining Broadway-style shows held in the resort's new outdoor theater. The three included meals feature delicious menu items like lobster rolls and Maine blueberry pie. Wi-Fi is available in the main lobby for those occasional needs. All-inclusive rates start at $470 per night.

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New England Cozy

a slide that says "new england cozy" with a whale tail new england provides many great family vacation destinationsLakes, lighthouses, and hiking trails make New England a great place to visit in almost any season.

Rock House Resort (Turks & Caicos)

the infinity pool at the rock house resort, a good housekeeping pick for best family vacation destinationsRock House ResortExperience the Mediterranean-inspired oasis at Rock House Resort in Turks & Caicos. The villa-style accommodations offer full kitchens, spacious living rooms, and many feature private pools. Enjoy the resort's oceanfront infinity pool and exclusive white-sand beach. Please note that the resort's cliffside setting may be challenging to navigate with a stroller. Rates start at 5 per night.

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Fairmont Mayakoba (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)

an aerial view of the beach at fairmont mayakoba, a good housekeeping pick for best family resortFairmont MayakobaEnjoy a luxury family vacation at Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The resort provides essential baby and kid gear, making your stay stress-free. Explore the lush mangrove forest surroundings and enjoy activities like kids' carnivals and night kayaking. The guest rooms are being renovated for a comfortable stay. Rates start at $361 per night.

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Beaches Negril Resort & Spa (Negril, Jamaica)

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

While this all-inclusive resort located on the idyllic 7-Mile Beach is perfect for all ages, it is especially captivating for toddlers and preschoolers. Sesame Street characters provide entertainment with story times, dance parties, and puppet-making. The resort also offers mini water slides, splash areas, and a playground that will bring immense joy to the little ones and tire them out, ensuring a good night's sleep.

If parents need some time for themselves, private childcare and supervised kids' clubs are available for babies through teens, including those with special needs. This allows adults to enjoy a spa treatment, a quiet dinner, or simply relax on the beach with a good book. The rooms and suites have been recently renovated, specifically designed with families in mind. Rates for all-inclusive packages start at $356 per person per night for adults and per night for children ages 2 to 15.

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Atlantis (Paradise Island, Bahamas)

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

One of the most highly regarded resorts in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, Atlantis offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure for families of all ages. This luxurious resort, a recipient of the Good Housekeeping 2023 Family Travel Award, boasts three beautiful beaches and 14 refreshing pools where parents and children can enjoy the sun. Additionally, adults can try their luck at the casino, while a variety of restaurants on the property make dining convenient.

However, the highlight of Atlantis is the extravagant Aquaventure park, spread across 141 acres. Here, guests can indulge in limitless water activities, including high-speed slides and the Bahama's longest river, perfect for white water rafting. The resort also features a stunning aquarium with over 50,000 animals and exotic sea creatures. For those seeking more adventure, Dolphin Cay offers activities such as swimming and kayaking with dolphins, interacting with sea lions, and snorkeling. Rates for stays at Atlantis start at $500 per night.

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Disney World

Statue at Walt DisneyWorld on Orlando at Magic KingdomGetty ImagesBest for ages: 2-14

Why choose Disney World? The sheer magic of witnessing your princess-loving child encounter the real Ariel or Belle, or watching fireworks illuminate Cinderella’s Castle, is an experience that will remain etched in your memory forever. Disney World is not just for kids, it's also a great destination for parents to enjoy.

What to do: Start by checking off the must-see attractions at the Magic Kingdom, then head over to Disney's Animal Kingdom. At Disney Springs, indulge in unique experiences such as the Vintage Amphicar ride or a thrilling adventure with Aerophile.

Where to stay: You can never go wrong with a stay at Disney's properties, including Disney’s Beach Club Villas. Alternatively, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld offers comfortable rooms at a more affordable price.

More info: DisneyWorld.Disney.go.com

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 immersive exhibitions inspired by the iconic Legoland series.

What to do: Play all day! The theme park recently introduced their newest attraction, the Water Playground, where kids can splash, slide, build, and experience the thrill of a giant 318-gallon water bucket. Reservations are necessary for entry, so make sure to plan ahead. Legoland is also recognized as a Certified Autism Center, providing accommodations for children with cognitive disabilities.

Where to stay: Extend the family fun at Legoland Hotel, where you can enjoy nightly entertainment and engage in creative workshops. For a more affordable option, Sleep Inn & Suites Monroe offers free breakfast and is conveniently located near attractions like Bear Mountain and Woodbury Common.

More info: legoland.com/new-york

Cedar Point Amusement Park

Cedar Point Amusement ParkGetty ImagesBest for ages: 6-18

Why go? Cedar Point is renowned as the roller coaster capital of the world, boasting over 10 miles of track!

What to do: Experience the thrilling rides, from the historic wooden roller coaster Blue Streak to modern favorites like Millennium Force, Raptor, and the maXair pendulum ride. Younger kids will have a blast at Snoopy's Space Race and the Kite Eating Tree.

Where to stay: Stay at Cedar Point's Hotel Breakers for early access to the park. Alternatively, Great Wolf Lodge offers an indoor water park and is located just five miles away.

More info: CedarPoint.com

Sesame Place

Best for ages: 2-5

Why go? Sesame Place is the ultimate park for toddlers and preschoolers, perfectly tailored to the young fans of Elmo and friends.

What to do: Spend half your time enjoying the water attractions, such as The Count's Splash Castle and Big Bird's Rambling River. Then, dry off and experience exciting rides like Flying Cookie Jars, Flyin' Fish, and explore Sesame Neighborhood via Oscar’s Wacky Taxi.

Where to stay: The pet-friendly Red Roof Inn Philadelphia Oxford Valley offers affordable accommodation. For a more spacious option, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Philadelphia Langhorne is highly recommended.

More info: SesamePlace.com

Millennium Park, Chicago

Image of people sitting at Millennium ParkGetty ImagesBest for ages: 2-12

Why go? Millennium Park serves as an incredible green gathering place, offering endless enjoyment for families.

What to do: Strike a pose in front of the mesmerizing Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as The Bean. Let the kids splash around and interact with the animated faces at the Crown Fountain. Participate in one of the free activities, such as family yoga, on the big lawn, or rent bikes from Bike and Roll Chicago or Divvy Bikes Millennium Park and take a ride to nearby Navy Pier.

Where to stay: The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel and Swissotel Chicago on the Riverwalk are excellent choices, both within three blocks of Millennium Park.

More info: ChooseChicago.com

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Family Walking in Jackson HoleGetty Images Best for ages: 6-16

Why go? Jackson Hole is a destination that combines the natural beauty of Grand Teton National Park with a world-class ski resort.

What to do: Jackson Hole offers a plethora of outdoor activities to keep you and your family engaged. Take a scenic rafting trip along the Snake River, go tubing at Snow King Resort in Jackson, or explore the enchanting ice castle and go ice skating in Teton Village.

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

More info: VisitJacksonHole.com

Dollywood, Tennessee

exploring tennessee's pigeon forgeGeorge Rose//Getty Images9

Dollywood is the ultimate destination for families visiting Tennessee, offering a delightful combination of amusement and entertainment for both children and adults.

What to do: There is something for everyone at Dollywood. Explore the various attractions, from thrilling rides to captivating live shows. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Tennessee's Pigeon Forge and enjoy the unique experiences it offers.

Where to stay: Choose from a range of accommodation options, such as the pet-friendly Red Roof Inn Philadelphia Oxford Valley or the charming SpringHill Suites by Marriott Philadelphia Langhorne.

More info: Dollywood.com

New Orleans, Louisiana

A picture of a typical house in the French Quarter

Vibrant and culturally rich, New Orleans truly offers something for everyone. You can easily spend hours wandering around the historic French Quarter or exploring attractions such as the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo. The city is also known for its delicious and affordable food, with local favorites like beignets and po' boys stealing the show.

VISIT

New Orleans' French Quarter

Image of the French Quarter in 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 plenty of free PG-rated fun in Jackson Square, where magicians, jugglers, mimes, and jazz bands make the street their stage. Enjoy a delicious sugar-covered beignet at Café du Monde while sitting at an outside table. Take a stroll along the Mississippi River to visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. You can also hop on the St. Charles streetcar to explore the lovely Garden District and visit the Audubon Zoo, where kids can even feed giraffes.

Where to stay: Stay at The Homewood Suites by Hilton in the heart of the French Quarter, which offers a free buffet breakfast. Another option is the pet-friendly Quarter House, where you can rent suites with fully equipped kitchens.

More info: NewOrleansOnline.com

Niagara Falls, New York

Child looking at Niagra Falls

Best for ages: 5-12

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

What to do: Make sure to bring your passport so you can view the falls from both the Canadian and American sides. You can cross the Rainbow Bridge to visit both sides. Don't miss the Maid of the Mist boat tour, where you can get up close to the raging water (they provide ponchos). During the day, you'll be able to see rainbows, and at night, the falls are beautifully lit, with fireworks as well! For a breathtaking view, visit Skylon Tower if you're not afraid of heights.

Where to stay: A great option is the Sheraton Niagara Falls, which offers family suites complete with bunk beds. Another choice is Allegro Cozumel, which has a pirate-themed water park on-site.

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

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Image of the Riviera Maya

Best for ages: 4-14

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

What to do: Start your trip by flying into Cancun and then head to Playa del Carmen, the perfect launching point for all of Quintana Roo's adventures. Don't miss the Xcaret Eco Theme Park, where you can float in the underwater river and watch the musical show, "Xcaret Mexico Espectacular." Visit Dolphin Discovery in Puertos Aventuras, where kids can splash and play with dolphins, manatees, and sea lions. And of course, you shouldn't miss the clifftop ruins in Tulum. If you have time, take a day trip to Chichen Itza. For some 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: Stay at Panama Jacks Resort Playa del Carmen, which is located on prime beachfront real estate and has a Camp Jack kids club. If you prefer something outside of town, Barcelo offers different options, including their impressive Barcelo Maya Grand Resort and the more intimate Allegro Playacar, where babysitting services are available. In Cozumel, Allegro Cozumel is the place to be, with its pirate-themed water park.

More info: VisitMexico.com

San Diego Zoo

Best for ages: 1-11

Why go? It's one of the world's best zoos, and it's one of the few places in the U.S. where you can see the world's smallest bear.

What to do: Make sure to visit Elephant Odyssey and Northern Frontier to see polar bears and arctic foxes. The Africa Rocks exhibit is also worth visiting, as it houses baboons, leopards, and blue-eyed lemurs.

Where to stay: In October, "Kids Free San Diego" offers many hotel deals. Throughout the year, you can consider staying at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, which has great watersports rentals, or the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, which is conveniently located next to The New Children's Museum.

More info: SanDiegoZooWildlifeAlliance.com

Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California)

A view from Cavallo Point, a family vacation destination

Cavallo Point is located in Sausalito, California, and offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge from your hotel room. As a winner of the Good Housekeeping 2023 Travel Award, this pet-friendly hotel is perfect for families. In addition to its spacious contemporary and historic rooms, it offers a variety of activities for all styles, including hiking, biking, and exploring Golden Gate National Park. You can also visit Rodeo Beach, take a history tour of Fort Baker, or play bocce ball on the lawn. And if you're interested in culinary arts, you can even take a class at the Cavallo Point Cooking School, which is one of the top-rated culinary schools in the country. Kids will love visiting the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Slide Ranch, and the Exploratorium. Rates start at $400 per night.

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Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts

Woman dressed up at Plimoth PlantationGetty ImagesRecommended age range: 8-12

Why visit? Experience a journey back in time to the 17th century, when the Pilgrims arrived in America from England.

What to do: Explore Plymouth Rock, where the first settlers stepped foot on American soil. You'll be amazed at how small it is. Watch costumed actors recreate the pilgrims' voyage and settlement. Learn about Native American cooking, crafts, and culture at the Wampanoag Homesite. Don't forget to visit the nearby Plimoth Grist Mill where you can see corn being ground and even purchase some to take home!

Where to stay: Enjoy views of Plimoth Plantation and Warren Cove at Pilgrim Sands on Long Beach. During colder months, consider the Hilton Garden Inn Plymouth, which features a fantastic indoor pool.

More information: Visit Plimoth.org

The Strong National Museum of Play, New York

Recommended age range: 4-12

Why visit? This museum is dedicated to every child's favorite activity!

What to do: Immerse yourself in the world of superheroes at the American Comic Book Heroes exhibit or step into the world's largest pop-up book at Reading Adventureland. Explore the Toy Halls of Fame and enjoy the history of video games at eGameRevolution.

Where to stay: Book a room at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, located just a short drive or walk from the museum. Other popular hotels for families include the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Rochester, which offers a large indoor pool, and the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester University & Medical Center, conveniently connected to the new College Town shopping complex.

More information: Visit MuseumOfPlay.org

Cooperstown, New York

CopperstownGetty ImagesRecommended age range: 8-17

Why visit? Cooperstown is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.

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

Where to stay: Enjoy a waterfront view of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum at Lake ‘N Pines Motel, which offers an outdoor and indoor pool and a video arcade room. In downtown Cooperstown, The Railroad Inn has comfortable lofts that can accommodate families of six.

More information: Visit ThisIsCooperstown.com

San Antonio, Texas

usa, texas, san antonio, san antonio river and river walk at duskAdam Jones//Getty ImagesSan Antonio, a city filled with Texas history, offers numerous free and educational attractions suitable for visitors of all ages. While the historic Alamo is a popular destination, don't miss the scenic River Walk, with its network of walkways along the San Antonio River. Street performers and live music often liven up the atmosphere. The city also boasts several parks and green spaces, such as Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Additionally, there are many museums and cultural institutions to explore, including the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Institute of Texan Cultures. And of course, don't forget to indulge in some delicious Tex-Mex cuisine!

VISIT

Denver, Colorado

Family Walking in Downtown DenverGetty ImagesRecommended age range: 8-16

Why visit? Denver, also known as the Mile High City, offers a multitude of experiences for kids under 48 inches tall.

What to do: The top attraction in Denver for kids is The Denver Zoo, which has been delighting visitors for over 100 years. At the Children's Museum of Denver, younger kids can enjoy a test kitchen, a refreshing outdoor splash zone, and a bubble-filled dance room. Older kids will appreciate the exhibits and the Phipps IMAX 3D Theater at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. When everyone needs a break, hop on the free open-air Denver Trolley.

Where to stay: Stay in the heart of downtown at the Kimpton Hotel Born, just steps away from Union Station. The Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center is also a great choice, located just one block from the 16th Street pedestrian mall and featuring an indoor pool.

More information: Visit Denver.org

Colorado Springs

Father and Son Looking out in Colorado SpringsGetty ImagesRecommended age range: 7-13

Why visit? Nestled at the base of America's peak, Colorado Springs showcases the wonders of Colorado for kids.

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

Where to stay: Experience a mule ride to your cabin or fire tower accommodations at Cloud Camp, part of The Broadmoor Resort. Alternatively, you can stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, which features the state's first indoor water park.

More information: Visit VisitCOS.com

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Recommended age range: 4-18

Why go? Aspen Snowmass, with its four different mountains, offers a variety of experiences for skiers and snowboarders of all ages.

What to do: Sign up for the Very Important Kids Snowmass program to enjoy the resort's daily child-friendly activities and packages. While the 2-4-year-olds have lessons at The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center, older kids and preteens can explore Camp Aspen. In the afternoon, come together for skiing, tubing, or 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 prefer not to rent a car, consider staying at the Stonebridge Inn, a Destination Hotel where everything Snowmass-related is within walking distance. Alternatively, you can reserve a room at the town's only ski-in, ski-out property, The Little Nell. You may even receive two complimentary ski passes for each night of your stay!

More information: Visit AspenSnowmass.com

Santa Fe, New Mexico

verandah overlooking desert at sunsetJon Lovette//Getty ImagesSpend your days enjoying the idyllic Santa Fe Plaza, surrounded by shops and art galleries, or enjoy the city's plethora of museums, ranging from the Museum of International Folk Art to the Santa Fe Children's Museum. The city is also known for its colorful architecture and scenic outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, skiing, and more.

VISIT

Headshot of Laura RatliffLaura Ratliff

Contributing Writer

Laura Ratliff is a writer, editor, and avid runner based in New York City. Her writing covers a wide range of topics, from travel and food to political and human rights issues. She has worked for reputable publications such as Architectural Digest, Bloomberg News, and Condé Nast Traveler, and was the senior editorial director at TripSavvy. Laura discovered her passion for running later in life and now enjoys participating in marathons, with her favorite being the Big Sur Marathon.

Los Angeles

Morning scenery of Griffith Observatory and downtown LA. Los Angeles is Good Housekeeping's pick for best family vacation destinations.Kenny Hung Photography//Getty Images

Tweens and teens will be excited about a vacation in Los Angeles. They will definitely want to try In-N-Out Burger, so make sure to add it to your list. Other must-dos include visiting the Griffith Observatory for fascinating exhibits and a great view of the Hollywood sign. If your family enjoys outdoor activities, you can hike down from the observatory to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the famous TCL Chinese Theaters. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, conveniently located near the classic La Brea Tar Pits and the LACMA, offers free admission for anyone 17 and under. For some outdoor shopping, head to The Grove L.A. and don't forget to spend a day at Santa Monica Beach, where you can enjoy the iconic wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. Another option is to visit Universal Studios Hollywood, currently the only location with Super Nintendo World in the United States. After a day of sightseeing, unwind at the laid-back and chic Thompson Hollywood hotel, which boasts a rooftop pool. Rates start at $289 per night.

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Monterey

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.Monterey Bay Aquarium/Tyson V. Rininger

The number one reason to choose Monterey as your vacation destination is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It offers an exceptional touch tank experience where little kids can crawl through tunnels surrounded by tropical fish displays and use squirt toys to learn about how animals withstand big waves. There's even a padded zone with eye-level exhibits specifically designed for toddlers! The aquarium's newest exhibition, "Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean," will leave the whole family amazed. Some of the creatures in the 21 live exhibit areas are newly discovered and haven't even been named yet. Keep in mind that the InterContinental The Clement Monterey hotel is conveniently located next to the aquarium. Rates start at $343 per night.

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Waikiki Beach

Girl standing on paddle board in Waikiki BeachGetty Images

Best for ages: 11-16

Why go? Thanks to its warm, shallow, and relatively calm waters, Waikiki Beach is the perfect place for beginners to take their 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, the father of modern surfing. Or try one of the local surf schools, like Big Wave Dave and Surfer Girl Academy. While in Oahu, don't miss the chance to visit the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, including the USS Arizona Memorial.

Where to stay: The Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach is a convenient choice with its airport transportation, on-site pool, and free breakfast. For a boutique vibe, consider the Aqua Oasis further inland.

More info: GoHawaii.com/Islands/Oahu

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaJohn Coletti//Getty Images

If you're looking for beach time this summer, Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination. It offers miles of sandy shores where you can swim, sunbathe, and play in the waves. Visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which has numerous shops, restaurants, and arcades, and enjoy free events such as live music and fireworks shows. Myrtle Beach also offers affordable and family-friendly activities, including miniature golf and water parks. Consider staying at The Strand, a welcoming resort.

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Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

Best for ages: 5-17

Why go? Virginia Beach offers beautiful beaches, boardwalks, American history, and a military aviation museum.

What to do: Start by taking a ride in an open cockpit biplane at the Military Aviation Museum. Then, head to the beach and visit Neptune's Park, where kids can participate in a sandcastle building contest if the 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, within walking distance of boardwalk attractions. Barclay Towers Resort Hotel is a bit farther, but every room is a suite.

More info: VisitVirginiaBeach.com

Family Vacations in North America

California Road Trip

By Victoria

A California road trip is a dream come true for children and adults alike. Drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, making stops at stunning beaches, charming towns, redwood forests, and cities along the way.

Then, venture inland to explore Yosemite National Park, the gold rush towns of Tuolumne, and lesser-known gems like Yolo and the Shasta Cascade region. Of course, no trip to California is complete without a visit to the world-famous theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios California.

When friends come to visit, there are endless fun things to do in California with kids. You can customize your California road trip itinerary to focus on outdoor adventures or a mix of nature and city experiences. We have traveled extensively in California with both babies and older children, and it has been a hit every time.

Check out our guides to things to do with kids in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Tuolumne County.

Southern USA Road Trip

By Victoria

Things to do in Charleston with kidsAnother fantastic USA road trip option is to explore the Southern States, including Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, and more. The Southern States offer picturesque towns, delicious local cuisine, and the sounds of country, jazz, and blues.

Kids can enjoy horse and carriage rides in Charleston, explore the art scene in Savannah, and visit the amazing Mardi Gras museum in New Orleans. The Blue Ridge Parkway is another must-visit destination, with plenty of kid-friendly hikes in the hip town of Asheville.

We did a southern road trip, starting in Atlanta and looping through the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans. You can even extend the trip to include Nashville and Memphis, perfect for music-loving families.

New York City

By Victoria

New York with a baby - DUMBONew York City is a must-visit destination for all ages, with plenty of activities for kids and adults alike. Children will be amazed by the towering skyscrapers and can even spot famous sights from their favorite movies or TV shows.

The city offers a wide range of famous museums, galleries, and attractions, as well as kid-friendly options like zoos and Central Park. Consider visiting during Thanksgiving to experience the Macy's Parade or during the Christmas season to see the festive lights. The summer months can be quite hot, so spring or fall may be more pleasant.

We loved visiting New York with a baby because it's easy to navigate, and there were plenty of activities for both adults and children. We even had the opportunity to dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant!

Another great option for a USA city break is Chicago – see our guide to the best things to do in Chicago with kids.

Orlando's Theme Parks

By Cora at Inside Our Suitcase

Orlando, Florida is an incredible destination for family vacations, especially if you're looking for the most magical experience. It is home to the Walt Disney World Resort, which includes four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT) as well as two water parks.

The Walt Disney World Resort alone offers enough entertainment to keep families occupied for a week or more. But Orlando is also known as the family entertainment capital of the world, with additional attractions such as Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Gatorland, and more.

Just a short drive away, you'll find Kennedy Space Center, LEGOLAND Florida, and beautiful sandy beaches.

Keep in mind that Orlando, Florida has a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and the possibility of hurricanes and tropical storms in the fall. It's best to plan your trip during the winter or spring months.

If you're considering a trip to the West Coast instead, we have a full guide to visiting Disneyland with toddlers, including tips to reduce wait times and save money.

Hawaii

By Marcie Cheung at Hawaii travel with kids

Hawaii is one of the best family vacation destinations, offering beautiful kid-friendly beaches, Hawaiian luaus, shave ice treats, and the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

The main four islands to explore are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. The best Hawaiian island for kids depends on their age and interests, but Hawaii is enjoyable for children of all ages, including babies and toddlers.

Hawaii is spectacular year-round, although the winter months tend to be rainy. Ideally, plan your trip for 7-10 days, or extend it to 2 weeks if you want to hop between islands.

I recommend staying at a resort with a fantastic pool area and, if possible, a kitchen and/or laundry facilities. The Disney Aulani Resort or the Hilton Hawaiian Village are excellent options for a kid-friendly stay on Oahu. On Maui, consider the Honua Kai Resort & Spa or the Hyatt Regency Maui. The Grand Hyatt Kauai or the Koloa Landing Resort are top choices on Kauai. For the Big Island, the Hilton Waikoloa Village or the Fairmont Orchid are highly recommended.

Key West, Florida

By Victoria of Florida Trippers

Key WestKey West, Florida is a top beach vacation destination for families. The best time to visit is between March and May when the weather is mild, and the crowds are not as intense as during the winter.

Plan to spend at least 3 to 4 days in Key West to enjoy the best attractions, such as the Key West Aquarium, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and Mallory Square. Mallory Square is particularly beautiful at sunset when it becomes alive with vibrant performances by musicians, jugglers, and more, creating a delightful experience for both adults and kids.

A highlight of any family vacation to Key West is a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park. This natural oasis is only accessible by seaplane or ferry, making the journey itself exciting. The Yankee Freedom ferry offers inclusive meals, so you don't have to worry about packing lunch. Explore the historic Fort Jefferson, relax on the park's pristine beaches, and snorkel in the coral reefs.

No trip to Key West is complete without trying the town's signature dessert, Key Lime Pie. Be sure to visit Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe for a tasty treat.

The National Parks of Utah

By Stephanie at The Unknown Enthusiast

Utah National Parks - Family Vacation ideasA road trip around southern Utah's national parks is an incredible adventure for families, offering epic landscapes and unforgettable hikes.

Utah is home to five national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion, and Bryce Canyon. While all of these parks are family-friendly, Arches and Bryce Canyon are particularly well-suited for children, with easier hikes and astonishing rock formations.

Goblin Valley State Park, located between Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, is also perfect for kids. They can freely explore the small rock formations (known as goblins) scattered throughout the valley. Additionally, there are narrow slot canyons to explore in the region.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit, as the weather is not too hot yet. If you visit during the summer, take advantage of the cooler mornings and evenings and rest during the middle of the day. Plan for about 5-7 days to see and enjoy a lot in Utah.

This trip is most enjoyable for kids who are capable of safely hiking and climbing on their own. The ideal age range for exploring southern Utah varies from child to child, but elementary school and up is generally a great age range.

Consider staying at the Archway Inn in Moab, which offers large family rooms, a pool, and a playground on site.

Canadian Rockies Road Trip

By Anu Agarwal of Destination Checkoff

Canadian Rockies Road trip - Family vacation ideasA Canadian Rockies road trip during the summer months of June to September is a perfect bucket list family vacation. The lakes in this region boast a stunning turquoise color, and the towns of Banff and Jasper come to life with locals and tourists.

If you're not local to Alberta, flying in and out of Calgary airport is the best way to start your road trip. Explore the beautiful Banff and Jasper National Parks, the picturesque Lake Louise, and drive along the scenic Icefields Parkway.

Begin your journey in Banff National Park, where the Moose Hotel and Suites in Banff town offers fantastic family-friendly accommodations with spacious suites. Don't miss the Banff gondola, Banff hot springs, and hiking opportunities in the area.

Next, visit Lake Louise, known for its breathtaking beauty surrounded by mountains. From there, drive along the scenic Icefields Parkway, which is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world, until you reach Jasper National Park.

Swiss Mountains

Our personal recommendation.

This list wouldn't be complete without us sharing one of our favorite family destinations—Switzerland!

Switzerland, in general, and the Swiss mountains, in particular, have been our go-to travel destinations for years. We absolutely love the Swiss Alps!

We make it a point to visit Switzerland at least twice a year: for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. Every time we visit, we never want to leave. In fact, our kids have asked multiple times if we could just move to Switzerland...

The charming mountain villages and small towns have an incredible atmosphere that is hard to find elsewhere in the world. Combine that with stunning landscapes, delicious food, and a wide variety of activities for families with children, and you can't go wrong with planning a family trip to Switzerland.

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

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

Swiss Alps is our favourite family destinationMount Titlis in Switzerland – © FullSuitcase

First GliderFirst Glider in Grindelwald-First – just one of the many fun activities for families that Switzerland has to offer. 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!

Top 20 best travel destinations for families by your favourite family travel bloggersImage by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports Best family travel destinations by your favourite family travel bloggers. Find out!

Dubai

Recommended by several families, including us.

If you're 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 beautiful beaches to stunning deserts, impressive skyscrapers, and sensational attractions, there's an abundance of things to see and do in Dubai that you can easily fill several family vacations here and never get bored.

Visit the world's tallest 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 year-round (although it can get a bit too hot in the summer months), making it a perfect family vacation destination for off-season travel too.

What we also love about Dubai is its incredible multicultural atmosphere, where kids can experience 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 worldDubai

Tenerife, Spain

Mother and Son sitting on rock in TenerifeGetty ImagesBest for ages: 6-16

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 paddleboard, 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

Iceland

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 look up 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 favorite family travel destinationsIceland – © WanderingWagars

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 and explore, making 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 the Tuscany region with its beautiful rolling hill landscapes, charming little towns, and friendly locals who 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 familiesFlorence – © FamilyFocusBlog

Bali, Indonesia

Recommended by Eric from Travel Babbo.

Bali has become one of our favorite family travel destinations in recent years. It offers a perfect mix of beaches and culture, and there's always something to do, from attending festivals to visiting water parks to hiking through rice fields.

The weather in Bali is warm year-round, although the rainy season (November through March) is exactly what it sounds like. The food in Bali 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 - favorite family travel destination - Travel BabboBali – © TravelBabbo

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 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—there are 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 are 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 favorite family travel destinationsCape Town – © BabyGlobetrotters

Costa Rica

Recommended by various families

Costa Rica is highly recommended as a family travel destination in the Americas. It offers everything you need for a perfect and enjoyable trip with your loved ones. The country boasts a tropical climate, stunning beaches, lush rainforests, a wide range of sightseeing opportunities, thrilling adventurous activities, and diverse wildlife.

Regardless of the type of family vacation you're seeking, Costa Rica has it all. If you're looking for a relaxing getaway at a beautiful resort, there are numerous coastal destinations to choose from. For those seeking adventure and excitement, especially with teenagers, the La Fortuna – Arenal area, also known as the adventure capital of Costa Rica, is a must-visit. Alternatively, you can plan a road trip to explore the best of what Costa Rica has to offer while incorporating some relaxing pool time for the whole family to enjoy.

What makes Costa Rica truly special is its family-friendly atmosphere. Moreover, if you're traveling from the US, you won't have to deal with significant time zone differences. The country is also accessible year-round, although tropical rain showers are always a possibility.

You can find a sample 2-week Costa Rica itinerary that covers some of the top attractions, allows you to observe wildlife, experience the local culture, try thrilling activities like zip-lining and wild water rafting, and provides plenty of time for relaxation by the pool or at the beach.

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

Canada's Rockies by Rail

The Rockies by RailBest for ages: 8-15

Why choose this destination? If your children still hold a deep fascination with trains, planning a trip to Canada's Rockies by rail will undoubtedly make you the parent of the year in their eyes.

What activities to engage in: Consider booking the Fresh Tracks Canada's Vancouver to Toronto train trip, which offers an 11-day itinerary that stretches across the Canadian Rockies. Begin your journey in Vancouver, taking a scenic drive along the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Then, embark on a rail adventure that showcases the transformation of landscapes from glaciers to cowboy country and wheat fields, culminating in the vibrant city of Toronto. Older kids would undoubtedly want extra time to visit the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame and experience the thrill of the Stingray Encounter at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.

Recommended accommodations: Opt for a Prestige cabin on VIA Rail's flagship transcontinental train, The Canadian, where you can spend all 14 nights. If you prefer to explore Western Canada exclusively, consider staying at the Rocky Mountaineer, a wonderful home away from home.

For more information: Visit CanadianTrainVacations.com.

From the stunning beaches of Mexico and the Caribbean to the majestic landscapes of Europe, Asia, and beyond, there is no shortage of amazing family vacation destinations to choose from. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, the options are endless. Picture your family exploring the ancient ruins of Bali, Indonesia, soaking up the sun on Florida's Space Coast, or marveling at the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. No matter where you decide to go, these unforgettable experiences will create lasting memories that your family will cherish for a lifetime. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on a journey to one of these best family vacation destinations. The world is waiting for you!

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