Family vacations can supply lifelong memories, but to ensure that every family member is satisfied, it’s important to travel to the perfect locale. With the help of reader votes and expert opinions, U.S. News compiled this list of travel destinations that offer reasonable rates and activities the whole family can enjoy. We hope you find this ranking of the best family vacations in the USA helpful when planning your next trip, and we invite you to cast your vote below for your favorite places.
Orlando-Walt Disney World
Known for its timeless appeal, thrill rides and fun performances, Walt Disney World Resort is engineered specifically for families. But if you aren’t up for donning mouse ears, this Florida city hosts a handful of other theme parks that are sure to excite youths, including Universal Orlando Resort, where you’ll find The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Discovery Cove, where you can swim with dolphins and snorkel around the park’s coral reef. Because of this destination’s immense popularity, you’ll likely want to plan a visit for a less-crowded month like June, October or November. READ MORE
Kids will love watching Old Faithful erupt, and there’s nothing like a hike for family bonding. Hit up the Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail for a light stroll to its namesake natural wonder. For a longer trek, combine the Mystic Falls, Fairy Creek and Little Firehole trails into a nearly 4-mile loop. Keep an eye out for bison, or visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center to guarantee some animal interactions. Hotels within this Wyoming, Montana and Idaho national park are expensive, so make this a BYOB (bring your own bed) vacation and take advantage of the park’s well-equipped campsites. READ MORE
This Arizona national park is a universally admired family destination. With so much to see and do here, there’s no chance anyone in your family will be bored. Enjoy one of the park’s many light hikes, take a mule ride down the North Rim, admire the view from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, raft the Colorado River or go for a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon is pretty budget-friendly considering its low admission rate ($20 per individual or $35 per vehicle and its passengers), but know that nearby accommodations book up quickly in the peak summer season.
The key to Washington’s family appeal is the National Mall, which features loads of free attractions, renowned monuments and kid-friendly museums, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Beyond the mall, a stop at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute is also a must (the zoo is home to approximately 2,700 animals). To cut down on vacation costs, consider booking a hotel in a nearby suburb, such as Arlington or Alexandria in Virginia, and relying on the easy-to-use and affordable public transportation system.
These are the four best vacation spots in the US you must travel to with your family members.