Heading out on vacation with the kids is a great way to make lifelong memories and bond as a family. Finding the right destination for the whole family can be tricky, because you want to make sure all ages are entertained. The easiest way to do that? Pick a place that has a lot of different attractions so you can find something for everyone.
From major cities that are all about the hustle and bustle, to smaller, low-key family-friendly destinations, here are the best places to travel that the whole family can enjoy.
Orlando is bursting with fun for people of all ages. Walt Disney World is timeless, not to mention absolutely magical for the younger crowd and, well, frankly for the older crowd as well. There are four main parks to explore: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Magic Kingdom is the original Disney park, where all the Disney princesses and characters live and roam around for the kids to meet. Animal Kingdom is home to over 250 species of animals, so be sure to take a safari ride to see them all. Epcot is full of themed pavilions based on various countries from around the world, so the whole family can get a taste of lots of different cultures in one place. Finally, Hollywood studios are perfect for bringing the movie magic to real life, where you can explore movie sets and watch stunt shows. Of course, all the parks have tons of rides and thrilling attractions to enjoy as well.
If theme parks aren’t your idea of fun, there’s plenty else to do in or near Orlando. Head out to some of the country’s most picturesque beaches, venture through the Florida Aquarium, tour the Kennedy Space Center, or spend the day shopping and end it with a dinner show or theatre show.
Not to be confused with Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Carlsbad is brimming with major attractions suitable for families with kids of all ages. There is plenty of things to do in Carlsbad including walking tours, helicopter tours, visiting LEGOLAND®, seeing the Sea Life Aquarium, or a variety of watersports. As you can see, there’s no shortage of fun to be found in this California city.
Carlsbad is also a coastal town, so if you want to spend some time relaxing and unwinding after all those activities, the South Carlsbad State Beach is rather secluded and quite scenic. You can also camp nearby if you want to spend more time outdoors.
New York City, New York
The Big Apple is chock full of landmarks, activities, and amazing food that everyone in the family will enjoy. Even young kids will remember visiting places like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. For families with older kids, there’s plenty of art and culture to take in at the many museums and art galleries, like the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s just scratching the surface of what to do while in New York City—take in a Broadway or off-Broadway show, spend a day in Central Park, go on studio tours, or wander around and stumble upon various markets and street festivals.
For a more easygoing vacation, why not head to Portland? It’s urban enough that it counts as a city vacation, but without the noise, expense, and hustle and bustle. There’s the Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, the Portland Japanese Garden, and as many food carts as you can dream of.