Traveling as a family poses a unique challenge. You want to find activities that keep the children entertained without boring the adults. Most parents want to sneak a bit of education into the trip, whether that is in the form of visiting a national landmark, a historic site, or an exciting natural formation. No matter the level of excitement you are looking for on a family vacation, you can easily find multiple cities in the United States that meet your needs. You can even take a road trip together and cover several of the top family friendly vacation spots in a single adventure.
When it comes to family vacations, few places are as well-loved as Walt Disney World. Made up of multiple different theme parks, it truly has something for everyone. The Magic Kingdom, which includes the iconic Cinderella Castle, walks you down Main Street, U.S.A. From there you can wander into such fantastical places as Adventureland, with its famous Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and Frontierland, where visitors can experience a romanticized version of the American West. In terms of iconic structures, EPCOT's Spaceship Earth is rivaled only by Cinderella Castle. Presented as a utopian "city of tomorrow," EPCOT symbolizes the imagination and inspiration that has become synonymous with Disney.
Address: 1180 Seven Seas Dr,
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
The breathtaking majesty of the American West is on full display at Yellowstone. There are gorgeous mountains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, and that's not all. Yellowstone is situated over a massive caldera, or supervolcano, which is what causes the park's geysers and other characteristic geothermal features. Families travel from far and wide to witness the reliable eruptions of Old Faithful, the park's most famous geyser. There is a Heritage and Research Center that explores the natural history of the area, but it is best experienced firsthand. Keep an eye out for wildlife including the American bison, pronghorn, and grizzly bears.
This unbelievable sandstone formation was carved out over millennia by the Colorado River. Over time, various layers of rock have been exposed, creating a captivating pattern on the landscape. The park is massive, and visitors can take in the amazing vistas on all four sides of the canyon. Walking tours are a great way to experience the natural beauty with your family, but car tours are also available for families with small children who might prefer not to walk great distances. Because of its overwhelming appeal, there are attractions and gift shops nearby to entertain people of all ages.
Address: Highway 64, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Nestled in eastern California, Yosemite National Park contains a wide variety of natural features, including a portion of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The granite cliffs that are prevalent here provide the perfect and most picturesque waterfalls. In fact, there are many famous landmarks here, including the popular Yosemite Valley and outcroppings like Sentinel and Half-Dome. Groves of sequoias give the illusion that the trees are trying to mimic the majesty of the mountains. Hiking and camping are just a couple of the family activities that are embraced here.
Address: PO Box 577, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
This picturesque stretch of coastal South Carolina attracts people from all over the world, at all times of the year. Its mild climate and sandy beaches make it a family destination that's hard to beat. In addition, the boardwalk, as well as the Ferris-type Skywheel, give Disneyland a unique allure. Because of this, Myrtle Beach hosts a wide array of events and festivals. Families flock here for the Fourth of July festivities, including a series of professional fireworks displays.
Niagara Falls is actually made up of three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Superlatives are not in short supply here: the cumulative output of the falls is the highest of any falls in the world, and Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful on the continent. In the dawn of the automotive age, Niagara Falls was the top honeymoon and summer vacation destination. Nowadays it still attracts millions of tourists every year. The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center provides details about the area's natural history, giving a more thorough understanding of this incredible sight.
Address: 24 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY, 14303.
This famous strip of land in the nation's capitol is the home of some of the most widely recognized structures in the United States. From the Capitol Building's neoclassical dome, to the stately obelisk of the Washington Monument, to the steps and columns of the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall runs almost two miles long and contains dozens of memorials and museums. Together they serve to educate all visitors on the history of the United States, as well as to let the public witness the workings of the government in the present day.
Address: Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20565
The capital city of Hawaii is the biggest city on the island, with history and natural beauty in equal measure. The tropical climate makes it an ideal year-round destination for a variety of family-friendly outdoor activities, including hiking and surfing. The history of the area, from its pre-annexation days on through the bombing of Pearl Harbor and up to the present day, is featured in local museums and attractions. Combined with the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium, people of all ages will delight in their experiences here.
Children and adults alike can't help but bubble with excitement at the idea of a trip to Disneyland. The original Disney theme park has Sleeping Beauty's castle as its icon, compared with the Cinderella Castle of its sister park, Disney World in Orlando. Adventureland features the jungle adventures of Tarzan and Indiana Jones, while New Orleans Square harkens back to a century old version of its namesake city, complete with a Haunted Mansion. Tomorrowland, constructed around the dawn of the Space Age, features such famed rides as Space Mountain and the Disneyland Monorail.
One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is rich with history and culture that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. While some of the sites, like the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, harken back to the brutal days of the American Revolution, a lighter side of Boston can be found in its superior parks system. This system includes Boston Common, Jamaica Pond, Franklin Park, and a string of well designed green spaces that form the city's so-called Emerald Necklace.