Top 12 Destinations for Family Vacations

The best family vacation spots to take your loved ones this year

There is nothing like some quality time spent with the ones you love and a family vacation is the perfect opportunity to bring everyone closer together. So corral the kids, maybe bring along Grandma and Grandpa too, and set out to one of these top family-friendly destinations to build fond memories that will last a lifetime.

Orlando is a top city for family vacations for many reasons, but the strongest argument is that it's home to Disney World. The kids will be in heaven when they meet Mickey and Minnie, and Orlando has other attractions to keep adults happy too.

  • Opened in 1971, Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world. Take your family on fun rides and have an unforgettable trip!
  • For an adrenaline rush, take the family to Gatorland. Get up close to Florida's famous beast: the alligator. Zipline over the swamps and learn about wildlife.
  • Spend an evening gazing at the stars at the Crosby Observatory. Adopt a star to commemorate your trip while supporting their astronomy program.

Home of Hollywood, the Lakers, and sunny weather, Los Angeles is the perfect place for a family vacation. There are plenty of things to do that will keep your little ones happy and provide some relaxation for the grown-ups.

  • Disneyland is the originial Walt Disney resort and opened its doors over 60 years ago. The firework show at Sleeping Beauty's Castle is not to be missed!
  • If it's basketball season, cheer on the Lakers at the Staples Center. Even if they don't win, chances are you will see a few celebrities in the crowd.
  • Hit the surf and people-watch at the famous Venice Beach. With street performers and funny souvenir shops, you can soak up the sun while having family-fun!

Take the family for a fun and educational trip to Washington DC. With iconic landmarks, memorials, and museums, this capital city is ideal for families looking to immerse themselves in US history. Who knows, you might run into the President!

  • Head to the National Mall and stop at the Lincoln Memorial. Take a peek inside to read the words of President Lincoln's famous speech, the Gettysburg Address.
  • A trip to Washington would not be complete without seeing the White House! Contact the White House Visitor's Office a few months in advance to schedule a tour.
  • Do you have a future US astronaut in your family? Stop at the National Air and Space Museum for incredible exhibits about NASA and space exploration.

If the East coast is calling then Cape Cod is the place to take your family. A classic vacation town, there is plenty to do and see. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the great outdoors as you make memories with your family.

  • Go for a cruise on the water and look out for dolphins, whales, and seals that like to pop up to say hello. There are many different guided tours available.
  • This vacation will be a hole-in-one with an evening spent at one of Cape Cod's mini golf courses. Keep score and winners get treated to ice cream afterwards!
  • Spend a day relaxing at one of the beautiful beaches around the cape. Play in the sand, hit the waves, and check out one of the many lighthouses.

The Florida Keys are a hot spot for family vacations because of its perfect mix of fun things to do and amazing weather. With different islands to explore, your days will be spent in bliss as you have the time of your life with your loved ones.

  • Take an eco-tour! The charter tours offer a glimpse into the aquatic life that surrounds the islands. There are land options too like Jeep off-roading.
  • Head over to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and enter a magical world of butterflies. Meet a variety of over 50 species from all over the world.
  • Be a beach bum on one of the many breathtaking beaches the keys have to offer. Relax in the sand or rent a jet ski for an adrenaline fix.

One of America's most cherished historical cities, Williamsburg offers an exciting trip back in time. Founded in 1632, this city is home to some of the most important events leading up to the American Revolution.

  • Visit Colonial Williamsburg and walk amongst buildings dating back to the 18th century. Walk inside to get a feel for how town life was like so many years ago.
  • Make sure to stop by Historic Jamestowne, the original site of the first English settlement in North America. See real artifacts found here inside the museum.
  • Take a trip to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg's premiere theme park. Ride on rollercoasters, watch a theather performance, or view the zoo animals.

If a Southern escape is more your style, Savannah has plenty of attractions for the whole family. With sprawling lawns and trees covered with Spanish moss, Savannah's antebellum charm will sweep you off your feet and make it hard to leave!

  • Head to nearby Ossabaw Island to relax on the beach and splash in the ocean. Keep your eyes open for the feral pigs, an endangered breed native to the island.
  • How about a baseball game? Built in 1926, Grayson Stadium is a historic baseball stadium that is home to Savannah's minor league team, the Savannah Bananas.
  • Soak up some history at the Owens-Thomas House, a national landmark and museum. Learn about how families lived and decorated their homes in the 18th century.

The Hawaiian island of Kauai is not just for honeymooners. Families flock to this small island for a magical vacation in paradise. The tropical climate and beautiful scenery will keep you on the many beaches, trails, and parks.

  • Get a glimpse of Kauai's past at the Kilohana Plantation. Take a train ride over the 105 acre grounds and feed the wild pigs, goats and sheep.
  • Lumahai beach is a must-see while in Kauai. This massive beach has pristine white sand that leads visitors into clear blue waters. Bring a snorkel!
  • Stop over in Koloa, a fun section of Kauai that offers shopping, beaches, and ziplining. Glide over Hawaii and get a birds eye view of the lush nature.

The Windy City is a top destination for family vacations with countless museums, sports stadiums, and theaters. There is always something to do in this midwestern city! The world famous deep dish pizza doesn't hurt either.

  • Visit the Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the US. Ride up 103 floors to the SkyDeck to see a bird's eye view of the city below.
  • Head up to the North side for a fun-filled day at Navy Pier. Play mini golf, go through a glow-in-the-dark maze, and ride around the 260 ft. Ferris wheel.
  • Check what's playing at one of the city's many theaters for performing arts. Whether its a play, musical, dance performance, or comedy show, Chicago has it all!

The Wisconsin Dells is a popular midwestern tourist destination loved by kids and adults alike. Named after the Wisconsin River's characteristic dells, you will be mesmerized by these striking sandstone formations that surround the water.

  • Go to Wizard Quest to have a magical evening playing a live action role-playing game. This fantasy theme game sets you on a quest to free trapped Wizards!Go to Wizard Quest to have a magical evening playing a live action role-playing game. This fantasy theme game sets you on a quest to free trapped Wizards!
  • Noah's Ark Water Park is the largest waterpark in the US with 51 water slides. Open May through September, this park will cool you off in the hot summer.
  • The Dells of the Wisconsin River are not to be missed. Enjoy the midwestern nature and take a dip in the water, go for a hike, or go cliff-jumping.

NYC is the place to be for a family-friendly city escape. The energy of New York City is contagious, the food is delicious, and with so many attractions your family will easily create fun memories to look back on.

  • Learn about your family origins at Ellis Island, a museum and historical site in the bay. Built in 1900, it served as a gateway for immigrants coming to the US.
  • Have an evening out at Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center. This top enternatinment venue has hosted stellar performances including Cirque du Soleil.
  • If the weather is nice, have a picnic in Central Park. Find the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, visit the zoo, and burn energy at the Diana Ross Playground.

Branson is a city located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains and has old time charm that will appeal to all members of the family. With limitless possibilities for a memorable vacation, there is plenty to do and see in this entertaining city.

  • Spend time at Table Rock Lake, located just outside of Branson. Scuba dive in the lake, go parasailing, and end the day camping out in an RV.
  • Treat the kids to a celebrity-sighting at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Not to be confused with Madame Tussauds, this museum is dedicated solely to celebs.
  • Silver Dollar City is a famous theme park fashioned around life in the 1880s. Water rides, rollercoasters, cave tours and more family fun awaits!