25 Amazing Family Vacation Spots in the USA and Canada
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The Grand Canyon
When I first saw the Grand Canyon as a twelve-year-old, I think it literally took my breath away. I couldn’t believe how spectacular it was, and it gave me an awe-inspiring sense of both nature and our place in it. Aside from just looking at the canyon, there are a ton of incredible activities to do from hiking, rafting to the Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon is definitely a top family vacation spot.
A little more exotic than other trips you take within the US, Kauai has the most beautiful scenic landscape and white sandy beaches imaginable. From hiking to luau to kid-friendly resort clubs, it is like leaving the real behind and finding Nirvana for everyone.
Yellowstone is a classic family vacation spot, with the ever-famous Old Faithful geyser as one of the main attractions.
San Diego, California
With 70 miles of sand, the world famous San Diego Zoo, popular theme parks and the museums of Balboa Park, there are a ton of options for family fun in San Diego. There are also a ton of family-friendly hotels, making San Diego a top vacation spot.
For beginner hikers to adventure seekers, the sites of Yosemite Park won’t be something that you kids will soon forget. Outdoor camping, fishing, and campfires are all on order. Your kids will love the cliffs and touristy things to keep them busy.
Disney Land, California & Disney World, Florida
There is nothing that will bring out the kid in everyone and make everyone lighten up more than Disney. From tween attitude to little one’s tempers, there is something for everyone to enjoy. A bit expensive, but it is worth every dime. Choose from either Disney World or Disney Land; they are both amazing destinations for the entire family.
San Francisco, California
Hit fisherman’s wharf, or go to the Top of the Mark to see the highest part of San Francisco, there are a ton of places to see that are rich in art, music, and just plain fun. Go any time of year to have the vacation of a lifetime. If you have the time, try driving down the coast for an epic road trip through Big Sur and Monterey.
The California coast has stunning scenery:
Take the family to see one of the most fascinating and historic places in the US. Take a trip to the White House or see the Lincoln Memorial, history comes alive, as does the many fun and exciting things to do, in this US Capitol city.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Dells may only be a good destination for the summer, but it is one of the best places to build family-fun memories for children of every age. Waterparks, Water Ducks and attractions on every corner, you won’t ever have a dull moment. (The photo above is of Witches Gulch, a narrow canyon in the Wisconsin Dells).
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is not only an excellent place to hit the waves and catch some sun; it is a family-friendly destination. Most resorts come equipped with “kids club” to keep your little ones entertained, and there are water parks, attractions and fun touristy things to do abound. Just for parents, there are also outstanding restaurants and spas to have a day to unwind.
Banff, Alberta, Canada
If hot springs, mountain tops, and snow tubing are what you are into, then Banff is like heaven on earth. Get the whole family together during the summer, winter, spring or fall, no shortage of indoor and outdoor adventures to be found.
New York, New York
If you can’t find something to do in New York, you may as well stay home. From shopping extravaganza to shows that are world class, try ethnic foods, walk through eclectic neighborhoods, or take a tour by bus. No one will be left feeling bored in the “Big Apple”.
New York’s Central Park is a mecca in the city.
The Ozarks, Missouri
A summer-time fun destination, enjoy the lake while on a jet ski or go miniature golfing. There are enough things to do to keep both little, almost adults, and big adults, entertained. A delight for the senses, from end to end, it is like one big amusement park.
Immerse the family in history in Williamsburg. You can also head over to Busch Gardens (shown below) for theme park fun nearby.
There is a reason why they call a part of Chicago the Magnificent Mile, because it is. Whether your little one is into American Girl Doll or you are all foodies, there is no shortage of museums to see, amusement to be had at places like Navy Pier, and nightlife to remember what fun used to be.
Niagara Falls, USA & Canada
Whether you decide to stay on the US side or peruse over to Canada, Niagara Falls is one of those amazing wonders of nature that you and your children will equally enjoy. A favorite hot spot since the fifties, there is something to accommodate everyone from baby to boomer.
Boone, North Carolina
If your family is into adventure, then Boone has it all. Hidden in the middle of nowhere, there may not be any water parks or five-star hotels, but what it is chalked full of is family time reconnecting with nature. From hiking to camping out under the stars, it won’t cost a fortune; family time is totally free.
Charleston, South Carolina
See history come alive in a small water town. Outdoor festivals, open-shop markets and old creepy cemeteries to tour, you can make your way through the city by foot. With some of the best restaurants in the US, everyone is bound to find something for their palate.
If you want to spend your time outdoors enjoying nature, then Anchorage is the place to be. From kayaking to fish excursions, there is something that will entice every family member. You will probably want to take some trips from Anchorage, such as a 2-4 day trip up to Denali National Park or a trip down to Alyeska (pictured below) or the town of Homer.
Indiana Dunes, Indiana
If you like sun and fun, the Indiana Dunes are amazingly exciting. A bouillabaisse of things to do from waterparks to just running up and down sand dunes, it is the best fun to be had in the Midwest.
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Around since the time that your parent’s parents went on vacation, Old Orchard Beach is home to an outstanding theme park and wonderful beaches. Feel like you are catapulted in time before iPads, iPhones and technologically super fantastic roller coasters. An old-fashioned good time, it is the perfect place for a safe and no hassle family-fun vacation.
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Not a crowded family getaway destination, if you are one that likes to be active, you can enjoy the great outdoors camping, go mini golfing, swim at the lake, or try one of the fun amusement parks that Lake Charles has to offer. With festivals every weekend, there is no shortage of things to do.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
From a miniature train to the Vancouver Aquarium, there are plenty of things to do. If amusement parks are your thing, Granville Island and Stanley Park are the places to be.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
For history buffs to sandy beach lovers, Prince Edward Island offers water sports and kayaking galore. Go from one lighthouse to the next, and see as far as the eye will take you.
If you are a ski enthusiast and want your children to try their hand at snowboarding, Vail is the place to be. Fun lodging-themed places to stay are kid-friendly, and there are a ton of classes to set the kids up to learn to make their way down the slope on one or two skis.
See historic sites and lighthouses that have stood for hundreds of years. There won’t be any bells and whistles, but you can swim in the water, see the historic sites, and spend some quiet time unplugged and engaged.