25 family travel destinations for a great family vacation, including locations in the Caribbean, New England, and Europe.
Planning a vacation with your kids? There are so many different places to visit – it can be hard to narrow down to just one. We try to visit new places all the time, because my kids love experiencing new destinations (although I do often want to return to my favorites). Here are 25 family travel destinations, along with some great tips and reviews from our sister site, Family Travel Magazine. We experienced some of these destinations as part of media trips or individual hosted stays, but all opinions are my own.
Home to gorgeous beaches and beautiful weather year-round, a visit to San Diego can be so much fun with your family. You can read all of our recommendations for what to do in San Diego with kids here. You may also choose to combine with a trip to nearby Anaheim for a visit to Disneyland.
I love Phoenix – it’s one of my favorite places in the world. Travel in the very early spring or late fall for the best weather. We especially love visiting during baseball spring training. There are also some great Phoenix suburbs to check out – including Temple and Chandler.
San Antonio is a great option if you’d like to experience delicious food, history, water parks, and a fun environment. Stay by the River Walk, and be sure to take the short walk to the Alamo. Other nearby attractions include Schlitterbahn and Seaworld Antonio.
The Music City offers so many great things for families. Whether you want to try some great food, learn more about country music, or tour a presidential home, check out these family things to do in Nashville, TN.
We just recently visited Clearwater, FL for the day, and are eager to return for a longer visit. Although we didn’t stay in Clearwater (we were in nearby Tampa), we did get a chance to check out the amazing beach, as well as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Every family should consider visiting Orlando at least once. Whether you are visiting Walt Disney World, or any of the other theme parks, you could easily spend weeks and still not see everything. There are loads of great hotels in the area, although many families like renting vacation homes. You could also combine an Orlando vacation with a cruise out of nearby Port Canaveral.
Atlanta has some fun things to do with kids, including visiting the American Girl store, catching an Atlanta Braves game, and exploring the World of Coca-Cola. Check out this post for some ideas.
Our nation’s capital is a must-visit for families. Although hotels are pricey (like most city hotels), you’ll be able to experience most of the museums at no cost. I definitely recommend waiting until your kids are old enough to appreciate history – maybe when they are about 8 years old. Check out our things to do in Washington DC with kids.
Cleveland, Ohio, home to many championship sports teams and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a fun city to explore. Here are some recommendations of things to do in Cleveland with kids.
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, Missouri, is filled with loads of great things to do with kids. During the TMS Family Travel Conference a few years ago, we stayed at the Westin in Crown Plaza, and enjoyed checking out the Sea Life Aquarium, the Legoland Discovery Center, and Hallmark Kaleidoscope. Here’s our overview of things to do in Kansas City with kids.
Greater Williamsburg is home to several different family-friendly attractions, including Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, and Water Country USA. There’s also a Great Wolf Lodge that’s perfect for a family vacation. Learn more about things to do in Williamsburg with kids.
Of course, I had to include my home city of Boston, MA on any list of family travel destinations! There’s so much for families to do in Boston, including museums, sporting events, and historical attractions. You could also combine a trip to Boston with a stay on Cape Cod, or in our next destination, Newport, RI.
I used to spend my summers during my college years working in that beautiful mansion pictured above, so I definitely have a soft spot for Newport, RI. It’s such a great place to visit with a family, and due to its proximity to Cape Cod and Boston, can definitely be part of a longer New England vacation. Be sure to check out a few of the mansions as well as the fun shops and gorgeous beaches.
See our review of the Newport Mansions here.
White Mountains, NH
The White Mountains of New Hampshire, which includes the towns of North Conway and Lincoln, offers loads of activities for families. Whether you enjoy skiing, hiking, shopping, water parks, or theme parks, you’ll definitely enjoy your stay. We have some tips for your White Mountain family vacation here.
New York City
New York City is definitely a spot that all families should consider visiting. There’s so much to do, from taking in a Broadway show to exploring Central Park. Check out our review of things to do in NYC with kids.
Portland, Maine is a short drive from our home in Massachusetts, and it’s one of my favorite places for a quick weekend away. In addition to charming shops and delicious restaurants, there are also boat trips to take and several museums to explore.
See our things to do in Portland, Maine here.
Mystic Connecticut is another destination that is a short drive from our home in MA. It’s home to one of my favorite aquariums, the Mystic Aquarium, and there are also lots of great shops and restaurants nearby. You can see all of the things to do in Mystic CT with kids here.
New Haven, CT
New Haven, Connecticut is best home at home to Yale University, but there are also some great restaurants and museums to explore with kids. I especially love the Yale University Art Gallery, which offers free admission. You can see all of our things to do in New Haven here.
I went to college in Rochester, NY, but I didn’t realize how kid-friendly it was until I returned on a press trip years later. It’s home to the National Museum of Play, which is one of the best children’s museums in the country. Check out the things to do in Rochester with kids here.
I absolutely love Grand Cayman. The beaches are gorgeous, and there are so many fun things to do with kids. Don’t miss a trip to Rum Point, a public beach that’s located on the opposite side of the island from Seven Mile Beach. You can see all of our things to do in Grand Cayman here.
Turks and Caicos
You’ve probably heard all about the amazing turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos, and everything you’ve heard is true. In fact, it’s almost worth traveling there just for the water. It’s a more relaxing vacation, and kids will love exploring the beaches and participating in water sports and nature activities. Learn more about things to do in Turks and Caicos with kids here.
Atlantis, Paradise Island, The Bahamas
Atlantis is a resort, rather than a destination, but it feels like a city. There are several resorts, and epic resort water park, an aquarium, a few beaches, and so much more. See our Atlantis Resort – Bahamas review here.
You’ve probably heard a lot about Lisbon in recent years, because it’s definitely an up and coming destination. I was only able to spend a day there during a recent press trip, but definitely would like to return. Here’s a review of my one day in Lisbon, Portugal.
We stayed in Sorrento for four days during our recent Adventures by Disney trip, and loved every part of it. Sorrento is a good central location for an Amalfi Coast vacation, and you can easily access Capri and other popular destinations in the area. Check out our overview of things to do in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We were there on the second half of our Italian trip last year, and the kids absolutely loved it. You can also see Pisa, Siena, and Luca with short day trips.
See our review of things to do in Florence here.