A family vacation can be a great way to bond through quality time and shared experiences. However, one mistake that parents sometimes make when planning a vacation is focusing so much on fun for kids that they don’t think about the things that they would like to do. The most family-friendly vacations offer something for everyone to enjoy. When planning your next family getaway, consider the following destinations.
Florida can be the start of the adventure with cruises from Miami. However, there are lots of things that you can do together as a family without ever leaving the peninsula. Of course, there are many theme parks in Florida, and while they may cater more to kids, there are things for parents to enjoy as well. However, if you’d like something slower-paced and less crowded, head to Sanibel Island. Here you can see birds and reptiles in their natural habitat at J.N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge or take a long walk on Captiva Island’s sandy shores. Kids enjoy shell picking on Bowman’s Beach, and you can either join in or lie back and relax.
If you and your family are enthusiastic about outdoor activities that are a bit challenging, Colorado Springs is the vacation destination for you. The scenic mountain landscape in and around the city is home to magnificent natural attractions, such as Seven Falls and the Garden of the Gods. You can try some hiking or biking or watch elite athletes train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Old Colorado City is a historic district featuring pioneer-style buildings that house souvenir shops and art galleries.
Family activities in Plymouth include building sandcastles on the beach, touring a cranberry bog, or taking a whale-watching excursion. However, most people come to learn about the early history of the colonies that eventually became the United States. Plymouth was where the Pilgrims first landed and established their colony. The spot where they first landed is now a monument in Provincetown, which you can reach by ferry. Plymouth Plantation features a life-sized Mayflower reproduction and costumed interpreters to give a realistic view of life in the colony that is educational and fun for everyone.
Park City, Utah
With skiing and snowboarding slopes to suit every age and experience level, Park City is a must-see destination if your family is passionate about winter sports or interested in learning more about them. The highest Nordic ski jump in the world is just one of the sights you can see on a guided tour of Utah Olympic Park, which covers 400 acres. However, there are plenty of things to do in Park City at all times of the year. Discovery Zone offers zipline and rope courses for teenagers while little kids enjoy climbing and the playground.
If you’d like to take in the shows in Las Vegas but don’t feel comfortable about taking your kids there, Branson is a family-friendly alternative. Best known for musicals and concerts, Branson also features attractions that appeal specifically to kids. Take a tour through the Ozark Mountains foothills on the Branson Scenic Railway or cool off at the White Water Branson aquatic park.
Ocean City, Maryland
If you’re interested in taking a classic American beach vacation on a budget, Ocean City is an iconic location that is also very affordable. The boardwalk has traditional activities, such as gaming arcades and amusement park rides, and of course, there are miles of beautiful sandy beaches. If the crowds get to be too much for you and your family, you can seek out some tranquility watching the free-roaming wild horses on a day trip to Assateague Island National Seashore.
Yosemite National Park
Sprawling Yosemite National Park covers 1,200 square miles of breathtaking majesty. Staying in the park brings you closer to nature, and among the wonders that you can see firsthand are ancient sequoia trees, towering waterfalls, and stunning rock formations.
Regardless of whether your family prefers historical landmarks, natural beauty, outdoor activities, or entertaining attractions, each destination on this list includes at least one of these features, and some offer several.