It’s finally time to start thinking about your family vacation! Amongst so many other responsibilities, you, as a mom might wonder “what are the best places to visit in the USA for vacation?”. Well, look no further!
We’ve selected some of the most popular states in the country and digged deep in order to find some of the best options for the best family vacation in the USA!
How to plan a family vacation?
Planning activities and deciding which cities to visit during a family vacation with young children can be both exciting and challenging.
In order to make this decision a bit easier, here’s some advice on how to make the most of your school vacation time while still considering the needs of your children:
1. Choose family-friendly destinations
Usually, one of the first steps when planning to travel is to decide the destinations. Once you have this figured out, it’s easier to look for attractions that suit your family’s favorite activities.
When looking for the best places to visit during your family vacation, prioritize destinations that offer family-friendly attractions and activities suitable for a wide age range: this will help so that both adults and youngster are entertained!
Make sure you look for places with parks, zoos, and museums that cater to young children’s interests.
2. Consider the type of accommodation
The fewer surprises you have to deal with during the getaway, the better.
So while still planning the trip, choose family-friendly accommodations that offer amenities that are adjusted to your family’s needs, such as cribs, high chairs, and childproofed rooms.
This can make your stay more comfortable and convenient.
3. Planning as a family activity
Involve your children in the planning process!
You can turn this step of the trip into a family activity by learning ahead of time about the place you’ll visit: read out loud about the place you’re headed to. Make sure to present some places that will get the children excited, like parks, beaches, playgrounds and so on.
You can also engage your older children by asking for their input on activities and destinations. How would they like to spend their time during the vacation? What are they excited about in the place you’re visiting?
Having these conversations can create excitement and anticipation for the trip!
4. Safety is always first
Ensure your children’s safety by childproofing your accommodation.
Look for sharped table or chair edges, make sure they can’t lock themselves in the room, and check if the place you’re staying offers first aid assistance in case of need.
Also, don’t forget to keep a close eye on them in crowded places.
If you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep them safe, consider using child harnesses or backpacks for added security.
Traveling with children
Vacation time is always anticipated because it’s the time you can get to unwind and relax a bit.
Although this might be a little more difficult to get when you have children traveling alongside, it doesn’t mean you won’t have a great time with your loved ones!
Understand that being far from home with young children can be unpredictable: they can get hurt, feel scared, not engage as much in an activity… so the way to avoid any unnecessary stress is being flexible with your itinerary, allowing breaks and downtime.
Remember: it’s okay to adapt plans as needed.
Combining grown-ups and children’s activities
Quite often, children and age-suited activities for them are the priority of the trip. But don’t forget that you’re also part of the traveling crowd!
Whenever possible, try to combine activities that entertain both the little ones and also the adults participating of the jaunt.
Also, try to find options that allow children to play while also being supervised – like playgrounds with monitors.
This can give the grown-ups some time to enjoy themselves, like visiting stores or enjoying something to drink.
Choosing the best places for family vacation
Family trips in the US mean one thing: you can always find the right entertainment to what you’re felling like doing.
When looking for places to spend your vacation with the family, try to find those that offer a mix of combinations and experiences.
That way, you get to choose different activities, stay away from boredom and improvise in case you are caught by bad weather.
Places to visit in the USA for family vacation
We live in an enormous country and there is no shortage of options for all kinds of travelers.
We’ve put together a list of states and regions that offer a variety of family-friendly attractions and activities.
Have a look!
Naturally, the Sunshine State would figure at the top of the list. Florida is known by its beautiful beaches, theme parks, and endless adventures for children of all ages!
When thinking of Florida, think of theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and LEGOLAND Florida.
If you’re concerned about children’s safety around theme parks, you should know that most of them have areas designed specifically for young children, ensuring a fun and safe experience for all ages.
As far as weather, the warm climate and abundance of family-friendly activities make Florida an excellent choice.
However, remember to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and take breaks during the hotter months, especially when you have little ones joining you.
You can also enjoy beautiful beaches, wildlife encounters, and interactive museums like the Orlando Science Center.
Orlando, Miami and Tampa are some of the most popular (and crowded) cities of the state, but families can find amazing entertainment a little deeper into the countryside of the state – like the picturesque Lake Mary.
Have a look at the most appealing attractions of Lake Mary, Florida:
- Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens: Located just a short drive away in Sanford, the Central Florida Zoo is a perfect family destination. Kids can get up close and personal with a variety of animals, including giraffes, rhinos, and kangaroos. The zoo also features a splash park to cool off during hot Florida days.
- Wekiva Springs State Park: Nature-loving families will adore Wekiva Springs State Park. Enjoy swimming, picnicking, and canoeing in the crystal-clear springs. You might even spot some local wildlife along the trails.
- Seminole Wekiva Trail: Rent bikes and explore the scenic Seminole Wekiva Trail. This family-friendly path winds through lush greenery, making it an excellent choice for an active outdoor adventure.
- Zoom Air Adventure Park: Located in Lake Mary itself, Zoom Air Adventure Park is an aerial adventure park that offers thrilling zip lines, treetop challenges, and rope bridges, all in a safe and controlled environment suitable for older children.
- Cranes Roost Park: Right in the heart of Lake Mary, Cranes Roost Park features a picturesque lakeside promenade, a playground, and a splash pad – perfect for family picnics and leisurely strolls
Now this is a place where beauty and nature meet. North Carolina is a state that has less of a cosmopolitan vibe as Florida, but it’s still worth the visit during a family vacation.
Whether you’re planning a spring picnic, a summer splash in Jordan Lake, a colorful autumn stroll, or a cozy winter retreat, North Carolina has something that fits into everyone’s taste every season.
The Tar Heel State is known for its rich history (which is connected with our country’s history as well), stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities. It offers a wide range of attractions and activities for travelers of all ages, including those with small children.
In North Carolina, visitors can expect to be dazzled by beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountains, thriving cities and a special historic charm.
Besides the city capital, Raleigh, you can also find great options of entertainment in different cities of North Carolina.
If you’re looking for something more laid back, Pittsboro might be an option: the city in the heart of the state offers a mix of history, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences that are perfect for children and family bonding.
While in Pittsboro, make sure to check options that include up close interaction with nature – agricultural fairs and outdoor activities at Jordan Lake State Recreation Park.
Speaking of attractions, here are some other options if you want to enjoy your time in Pittsboro, a lovely city in North Carolina that houses one of AEA’s units:
- Chatham County Fairgrounds: Kick off your family adventure with a visit to the Chatham County Fairgrounds. They host various events throughout the year, from fairs to festivals. Check their schedule for family-friendly happenings like agricultural fairs or craft shows.
- Carolina Tiger Rescue: Take your little animal lovers to the Carolina Tiger Rescue. This nonprofit organization provides a safe haven for rescued big cats. Guided tours are available, offering fascinating insights into these majestic creatures.
- Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store: Enjoy a scrumptious meal at the Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store. Their menu caters to all ages, and you can savor Southern classics while soaking up the historic atmosphere.
There’s no chance that the busy, noisy and stimulating state of New York would be left out of this list!
New York is the place that has it all, especially if we think of its capital. There’s a reason why it’s known like The City That Never Sleeps, right?
New York State offers a diverse range of family-friendly attractions and activities. From hands-on museums to scenic parks, there’s something for everyone.
It’s true that you don’t have to step away from the state capital to enjoy New York. But if you’re interested in more entertainment options that are perfect for children, there are other destinations in the state of New York you might be interested in.
Have a look of some entertainment options that will please the little explorers by providing a learning experience while they’re having fun:
- Rochester: home of the Strong National Museum of Play and the Rochester Museum & Science Center – perfect for family outings!
- Albany: if you’re interested in interactive learning experiences, this is your chance: head out to the New York State Museum and have a look at the dozens of activities hosted throughout the year!
- Buffalo: nature all around: visit The Buffalo Zoo, Buffalo Museum of Science, and Buffalo Botanical Gardens if you want to experience a mix of education and fun for kids.
Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or a family with small children looking for a great time, Texas has something in store for everyone. Welcome to the Lone Star State, where everything is bigger, and the hospitality is even bigger!
While Texas is famous for its food and musical tradition, there’s so much more to it.
In terms of natural beauty, Texas boasts different landscapes – including stunning deserts, lush forests, and picturesque coastlines. Big Bend National Park and Padre Island are must-visit destinations for nature lovers.
Since we all know that learning through play is such a valuable strategy, children visiting Texas might still learn something while they’re on vacay: Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where you can learn about the history of space exploration and even see astronauts in training.
Here’s an expansion of cities worth visiting in the state of Texas:
- Austin: The vibrant capital city offers live music, a thriving food scene, and outdoor activities like kayaking on Lady Bird Lake. Families can explore the Austin Children’s Museum and enjoy the city’s welcoming atmosphere.
- Dallas: Home to the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas State Fair, Dallas is a sports and entertainment hub. Don’t miss the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for an educational adventure.
- Houston: Besides the Space Center, Houston boasts the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo, perfect for families with children.
If you’re thinking of changing the scenery a bit, Galveston might be a great option: this coastal location offers to its visitors sandy beaches, an amusement park and the historic Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.
Texans are known for their warm hospitality: when you add that to kid-friendly museums, parks, and outdoor adventures, it’s clear why Texas is an excellent destination for families with small children.
Bonus: Yellowstone National Park (Montana)
It wouldn’t be right to miss the opportunity to talk about why this 2.2 million acres park is spread around 3 different American states.
One of the reasons why Yellowstone is famous is because it was one of the first national parks to offer to the public the opportunity to delve and enjoy the geysers and other natural features.
Yellowstone is not just any national park: it’s an iconic natural wonderland that’s filled with one of a kind features and rich history.
Up there you’ll find more than 900 miles of hiking trails, diverse wildlife, hot springs and mud pots that are open to public appreciation.
And it’s still a great place for children: Yellowstone National Park provides numerous learning experiences for children – including Junior Ranger programs, guided walks, and interpretive exhibits.
Also, while children will likely be fascinated by geysers, you can all enjoy family hikes, picnics, and even easy-access boardwalks that lead to some of the park’s most famous features.
Last thoughts on family vacation in the US
By this point, you already know where to head during your family vacation. There are lots of places in the US that can provide you and your loved ones a wonderful time while traveling.
Here’s a quick recap before you start your vacation:
- Look for destinations that offer educational and interactive experiences. Children can learn while having fun, which makes for a fulfilling vacation.
- When deciding which cities to visit during your family vacation, research each of the cities’ offerings and consider factors like weather, travel distances, and your family’s interests.
- Make sure to create an itinerary that balances fun and relaxation, and don’t forget to prioritize the comfort, safety and enjoyment of everyone involved – yourself and your young children.
- Remember to check off these boxes while still planning your trip:
- Look for information on how’s the weather in the cities you’re visiting, and pack accordingly;
- If you’re traveling by plane, keep extra clothes In your hand-on luggage to prevent you from spending more money and buying clothes if your baggage gets misplaced;
- In your personal items case, add entertainment gear (like toys and books) for the kids, as well as clean up material (wipes, sanitizer etc.) and food.
With careful planning and a flexible mindset, you can create wonderful vacation memories for your family to treasure!
Now you have a detailed list of some of the most interesting places to visit in the USA. If you’re excited about planning your family vacation and want to continue this exploration, we invite you to learn these Summer activities for children!