Summer vacations are a great way to spend time together as a family. Not to mention a way to make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Wondering where to take the family this year for summer vacation? Well, there are so many wonderful places to choose from. For this reason I’ve put together this post to highlight some great summer vacation spots in the USA. Also, these locations offer a variety of options for fun things to do. Ultimately making it easy for everyone to enjoy the best summer vacation.
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Best Summer Vacation Locations for Families in the USA
Of course it probably comes as no surprise that Orlando is the top summer vacation for families. Not only do you have numerous Theme Parks, but multiple Water Parks as well. Even many of the hotels and resorts offer elaborate pools with slides and activities. Plus there is an endless supply of restaurants, Fun Centers and shopping. Surely you can’t go wrong with a family summer vacation in Orlando.
Estes Park, Colorado
If you’re looking for family fun in the great outdoors, then Estes Park, Colorado is the perfect place. Not only is Estes Park a great summer vacation spot, it’s also not as hot as some of the more southern options. Estes Park offers hiking, horseback riding, fishing and wildlife viewing. Additionally kids and parents alike will enjoy the Rocky Mountain National Park Junior Ranger Programs. Spectacular scenery, adventure activities and more make this a great option for your summer vacation.
Chicago is absolutely wonderful in the summertime. If you’re looking for a family friendly city vacation, then Chicago is a great choice. With so much green space, Chicago offers all sorts of parks to choose from. The whole family will love Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park. In addition to parks there are countless museums, such as the Field Museum, definitely a kid favorite. Not to mention Chicago is home to the Willis Sky Deck and the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. To top it all off kids and adults alike will love grabbing a Chicago hot dog or the signature deep dish pizza.
Outer Banks, NC
If you’re looking for a relaxed family summer vacation, then consider the Outer Banks, N.C. Notably one of the most unique vacation spots in the United States. It is a quiet destination, with little to no fast food or chain stores. Although it’s difficult to get bored here because the beach itself will keep you busy for hours. Plus everyone will enjoy the NC Aquarium and the Wright Brothers National Museum. Additionally there is Jockey Ridge State Park, home of the largest living sand dune on the east coast. Later in the evening families can play some mini-golf or hit the arcade.
Washington D.C. not only offers a plethora of family activities, but it’s also a great place for kids to learn more about U.S. history. It’s also a great summer vacation because outside of hotels, food and parking, many things are free. I highly recommend staying in D.C. because the metro is easy and you don’t have to worry about parking. Also take advantage of a Hop-On, Hop-Off Open-Top Bus Landmarks Tour, which is an excellent way for families to see Washington, D.C.
Families will also enjoy great museums such as the Air & Space and Natural History Museum, which kids adore. Then there is the National Zoo, Lincoln Memorial and U.S Capital, all at no additional charge. Definitely a wonderful adventure for everyone. Do make a plan in advance, so you can be sure to see everything on your list.
Austin is an ideal place to visit for summer vacation. Not only can you roam the Texas capital and learn about its history, but there is so much outdoor space to enjoy. Kids will love hiking and swimming in Zilker park. Additionally they can have a ball at McKinley Falls State Park or explore Dinosaur Park. Oh yeah and see the Austin bats. Indeed there is plenty to keep families busy in Austin.
Also don’t forget, Austin is located about an hour and half from San Antonio. There is plenty to do with the Spanish Missions like the Alamo, plus the Riverwalk and SeaWorld. Not to mention you pass by New Braunfels on your way and there you will find Schlitterbahn Waterpark!
Yellowstone National Park
Another great summer vacation for families is Yellowstone National Park. For one thing this is one of the premier national parks in the country. Adults and children alike will marvel at its natural beauty. In fact children can also have fun learning with the Junior Ranger program here as well. They will have lots of knowledge to share about the natural formations, hot springs, and wildlife in the park when they return to school in the fall.
Yellowstone can also be easy on the budget. Families can camp or find budget friendly hotels in West, Yellowstone. You can find great deal on hotels on Booking.com
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Indeed Virgina Beach is a perfect place for summer vacation. Not only do you have amazing beaches to enjoy, but there is also the Virginia Military Aviation Museum and the Virginia Aquarium. Families will also enjoy the Virgina Beach Boardwalk, the Museums and the Atlantic Fun Park. In addition to all this families will love being so close to Colonial Williamsburg. You can also visit the Jamestown Settlement and Busch Gardens Theme Park.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Did you think New Orleans was just for adults? Well it’s not! New Orleans is a whimsical, musical city with a long and rich history. Not only will children enjoy the street performers and live concerts, but they will have a ball in the numerous parks. Surprisingly there are quite a few cool activities for family summer vacations. Jackson Square will delight with its beautiful cathedral and cool museums on either side. Just across the square is Cafe Du Monde, which is a must for everyone. Children will love the fresh beignets. There is also the option to take a riverboat cruise on the Natchez. Or rent bikes to tour the French Quarter.
Additionally families will love City Park where you can hang out by the Singing Tree or see alligators. Additionally you can visit the botanical garden, and have ice cream. City Park is also home to the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, with a beautiful vintage 1906 carousel and other fun rides. Not to mention the Louisiana Children’s Museum recently moved to City Park as well. In addition to all this there is Audubon Park, which has the Audubon Zoo. With all this and more, New Orleans is definitely a great family vacation location.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
First of all Mrytle Beach is an amazing place for a summer vacation for anyone. Of course families will love the wide open beaches and activities that go with it. Kids will spend hours running, swimming and building sandcastles, which gives parents plenty of time to relax in the sun.
Later everyone can have fun at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Ripley’s Aquarium, or go-carting at Broadway Grand Prix. Myrtle Beach has a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment to meet most families budget.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic places in the United States. Not only is it one of the top destinations in North America, but probably the world. Definitely an incredible destination for your family summer vacation. The Grand Canyon is a must for your children to see. There are multiple activities for families to explore the Grand Canyon as well. In addition to hiking around the canyon, you can also ride a mule into the canyon or cycle on the Hermit Road Greenway Path. A surefire favorite for kids will be the Junior Ranger program and a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway.
Galveston Island is the perfect family friendly vacation getaway. In addition to having long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches, there is so much more. First of all the top two activities on families list should be Schlitterbahn Water Park and Moody Gardens. These were designed with family vacations in mind. Of course there is also fishing, putt-putt golf and Pleasure Pier to name a few. Families can also visit the historic district and enjoy a ghost tour. Additionally, Galveston offers many family friendly restaurants like the Rain Forest Cafe. There is something to make everyone happy on Galveston Island.
Southern California is one of the most picturesque and pleasant parts of the United States. Not to mention there is rarely a bad wether day in SoCal. Families will love spending their days playing in the sand and splashing in the ocean. Plus there are quite a few family friendly activities to choose from. For example, you can take a tour at Universal Studios. Or spend the day at the San Diego Zoo, one of the best zoos in the country. Then there’s always Disneyland! Another great option is to head to the Santa Monica Pier to watch the sunset. All this and more make SoCal an ideal family vacation destination.
New York City, New York
Another fantastic summer vacation idea for families is New York City. Just riding the subway is an adventure! Plus families can spend lots of time in Central Park and visit the Zoo. Or take a ferry ride to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty. Additionally everyone will love visiting the Freedom Tower or walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. New York is full of endless museums, pizza joints, street performers and curiosities. If you go, be sure to take your family to the Museum of Ice Cream. Families have so many choices to enjoy a wonderful summer vacation here.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico has got it all! The city is close to the Sandia Mountains and offers plenty of outdoor activity options. Plus there are numerous historical and cultural experiences as well. Kids will love the ABQ BioPark Zoo and exploring the Petroglyph National Monument. Adventurous families will enjoy a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway and climb to almost 11,000 ft for amazing views. Or take a magical Hot Air Balloon ride, which children will adore. Additionally families can learn more about Native American history at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Not only is Albuquerque the perfect summer vacation for families, but it’s also a great winter vacation as well.
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this post about the best locations for families in the USA for summer vacation. If you’re looking for fun summer outdoor activities then check out our Hiking in Tucson post. Or you might enjoy Family Friendly Galveston Island for more inspiration.
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