The 10 Best Vacations for Kids in the US

With so many places to go and so many attractions to see, planning a vacation can be a difficult task, especially when you’re looking for a trip that’s guaranteed to be absolutely amazing for the whole family. Don’t worry, we’ve narrowed down the options for you and compiled a list of the 10 best vacations for kids in the US.

Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.Looking for the best vacations for kids in the US? Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.

10. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg. Photo: Stephen Goodwin
Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg. Photo: Stephen Goodwin

Based on extensive research into the lifestyles of the Williamsburg’s 18th century inhabitants, the Great Hopes Plantation is literally a living history site and one of the best vacations for kids today. Complete with education, fun, and hard work, kids can perform 18th century household chores such as fetching water from the well, or hoeing the soil, which are sure to make any household chore today seem like a piece of cake! Kids can also play dress-up while they learn and work, complete with tricorne (three-pointed) hats for boys and mop caps (bonnets) for girls. This old-fashioned experience is sure to be a fun way for kids to appreciate today’s lifestyle.

Where to Stay:
The Marriott’s Manor Club at Ford’s Colony has it all: beautiful décor, full kitchens, screened-in porches, fireplaces, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a championship 54-hole golf course, and more! Located within the award-winning private community of Ford’s Colony near famous attractions like the Busch Gardens and the College of William and Mary a short distance away, your entire family is sure to love this luxury resort.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

9. Washington D.C.

The Washington Monument in Washington DC. Photo: Emanuel Kaplinsky
The Washington Monument in Washington DC. Photo: Emanuel Kaplinsky

The key to D.C.’s family appeal is the National Mall, which is surrounded by kid-friendly museums and renowned monuments. At the National Air and Space Museum, kids can explore the mysteries of space while checking out flight simulators, huge planes, fun experiments, and a moon rock you can even touch! Teens can head to the National Museum of Natural History for an interactive learning experience as they find out more about nature, the planet, and the universe. With tons of activities like Washington National Cathedral, the National Geographic Museum, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the International Spy Museum, National Harbor, and of course the National Zoo, D.C. is a place full of adventures for all ages! It’s no wonder D.C. consistently ranks as one of the best vacations for kids in the US.

Where to Stay:
Stay in high style at The CarlyleThe Carlyle! Complete with modern amenities such as an in-room spa to an amazing dining experience at The Riggdby from Chef Michael Schlow. Tucked away on a tranquil, tree-lined street, The Carlyle is also perfectly positioned to explore the District’s finest. Take a short walk to Dupont Circle’s iconic fountain, or adventure to the 14th corridor, one of the city’s hottest zones.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Borges Samuel
Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Borges Samuel

You can go on a tour of Independence Hall to see where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted, or a candle-lit stroll through landmarks like the Powel House, the 238-year-old City Tavern, “haunted” graveyards, as well as Independence Hall on a spooky Ghost Tour. With tons of other attractions like the Franklin Institute, the Please Touch Museum, Franklin Square, Independence National Historical Park, and so much more, Philadelphia is sure to be an awesome vacation for kids.

Where to Stay:
Advertised as “the luxury hotel in Philadelphia”, The Rittenhouse is exactly that. With a treasure chest for children, in-room movies and popcorn for teens, a spa for adults, and discounts on tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo, Adventure Aquarium, and the Please Touch Museum, this hotel really has everything you could ever want.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

7. San Antonio, Texas

Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Antonio Texas. Photo: Wasin Pummarin
Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Antonio Texas. Photo: Wasin Pummarin

The place for fun, San Antonio is home to amazing theme parks like ZDT’s Amusement Park, carousels at the Kiddie Park, museums like the DoSeum and Witte Museum with educational fun for kids, animal encounters at the San Antonio Aquarium, and non-stop entertainment like the Laser Legend Entertainment Center or Ripley’s Haunted Adventure! Take a stroll through the San Antonio Botanical Garden or check out the “Cowboy Capital of the World” at dude ranches just 50 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Where to Stay:
After your days adventure, relax at Mokara Hotel and Spa. Complete with a heated rooftop pool overlooking the city and San Antonio’s only four-star spa, you’re guaranteed to restore both your mind and body. Located at the River Walk, this hotel is just steps away from entertainment as well.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

6. Tucson, Arizona

Photo: snehit
Photo: snehit

If you’re traveling with young children, stop at one of Tucson’s star attractions, the Arizona-Sonoma Desert museum, which is part zoo, part botanical garden, and part natural history museum, or Old Tucson Studios to see where classic films like The Three Amigos were filmed. Full of fun learning activities, check out the Tucson Children’s Museum where kids can explore Dinosaur World exhibits, the green approach in the “Electri-City” exhibit, paint in the art studio, or whatever their little heart’s desire!

Where to Stay:
The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort combines the serenity of the southwest desert with sophisticated luxury. Winner of Wine Spectator’s “Best Of” awards and innovative cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, The Grill, has definitely earned its AAA Four Diamond rating.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

5. Branson, Missouri

Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Photo: Silver Dollar City
Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Photo: Silver Dollar City

Kids are sure to have the best vacation in Branson with places like the Hollywood Wax Museum, a Rick Thomas Master Illusionist show, the Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show, and of course Silver Dollar City featuring amusement rides, attractions, over 40 shows daily, and tons of unique shops and restaurants. Play miniature golf at Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf, with themes from pirates to dinosaurs, or explore the “must see” Titanic Museum. Then, head over to the biggest outdoor water park, White Water for thrilling rides or relaxation time in the Lazy River.

Where to Stay:
Located on a forested hillside just 10 miles from downtown, the Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa & Convention Center has breathtaking views of Table Rock Lake. Relax at the high-end spa or check out the scenic outdoor pool, but be sure to try their first-class cuisine.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

4. Winter Park, Colorado

Photo: kasto
Photo: kasto

Known for being a family-friendly ski escape, Winter Park contains 3,000 acres of slopes for every ski level. There are also places perfect for sledding like Hideaway Park for younger children. But if Winter Park only had snow activities, it wouldn’t rank as one of the best vacations for kids in the US. In the summer you can take a paddle boat or bumper boat out on Grand Lake or visit children’s play areas like Wolf Park.

Where to Stay:
Only 150 yards from the slope and just steps away from the base area of Winter Park Resort, Fraser Crossing and Founders Pointe is in the perfect location no matter what activity you decide to do that day! These deluxe condominiums feature gas heated fireplaces perfect to snuggle by with the whole family.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

3. Takilma, Oregon

Photo: Out 'n' About Treehouse Treesort
Photo: Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort

Do you have a kid that’s been begging for a treehouse? Out’n’About Treehouse Institute of Takilma is a fun and educational adventure in the trees. With classes in “treeminology”, kids can have an incredible vacation learning to build treehouses, go on a horseback ride, climb some really big trees, or even try out the Giant Tarzan Swing and zipline all over the meadow!

Where to Stay:
The Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort has 18 different treehouses to stay in, and if that’s not cool enough, they also have a fresh water swimming pool, performance stages for entertainment, and a huge campfire site perfect for barbecues. There may not be any locks on the doors, but this four star Treesort is truly one of the most fascinating and unique places to stay in the U.S.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor)

2. Anaheim, California

Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park, Anaheim, California. Photo: Marco Rubino
Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure Park, Anaheim, California. Photo: Marco Rubino

Home to Disneyland, with enough mouse-themed attractions to keep everyone smiling, Anaheim is sure to be one of the best vacations for kids. Since this park is jam-packed with rides and activities for children of all ages, you might not even leave, but if you do be sure to check out Adventure City for more amusement park fun, see how high you can climb at Rock City Climbing Center, sit in a Boeing 737 fighter pilot jet at Flightdeck, or go skateboarding at Brookhurst Park.

Where to Stay:
Immerse yourself in the wonders of Disney at Disneyland Hotel. You can stay in either the Adventure, Fantasy, or Frontier tower, or even a Signature Suite with special Disneyland themes and décor. As a guest at this hotel, you even get convenient entrance to Disney California Adventure Park, early admission to the parks, a water play area, and the park attraction waterslide, the Monorail Slide.
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

1. San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. Photo: Somchai Jongmeesuk
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. Photo: Somchai Jongmeesuk

Home to some great family-friendly attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the city is also close to great outdoor areas like Yosemite National Park and Muir Woods. Go for a ride on a cable car, find out all about San Francisco Bay’s history on the water with the Bay Voyager, let your imagination run wild at the Children’s creativity Museum, or go swimming at Ocean Beach. With so much to do and experience, San Francisco is definitely the best vacation destination for kids in the U.S.

Where to Stay:
As grand and legendary as its name suggests, The Argonaut, inspired by the Greek legend and Gold Rush-era, is absolutely iconic. On the edge of Fisherman’s bay, the location is perfect for any and all activities you choose to do. But with a 4 Diamond Award for the past 10 consecutive years, you may never want to leave!
(Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here)

There You Have It – The Best Vacations for Kids in the US

From 18th century colonial living to playing at the beach, the U.S. has some amazing vacations fit for the whole family. With this list of the 10 best vacations for kids in the US, your children are going to have a vacation they will never forget. Now hit the road!

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Check out this list of US-based destinations, plus our recommendations for luxury hotels in each place.

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