Deciding where to go on vacation can be difficult, particularly when you have children to consider. How far is too far? How will your kids cope with the journey? Just how are you going to keep them entertained once you get there? The trick to a perfect family vacation is to choose your destination wisely, and we think we’ve got it nailed: America. Why go abroad when there’s an expanse of amazing destinations within your own country? While there are plenty of years ahead to enjoy the types of getaway you may crave as an adult, your kids are only little once – tailoring your vacation around their needs and the types of activities you enjoy doing together is going to make for an amazing break. You may worry about how your children will behave once they get there, dread mealtimes and the attack of the fussy eater, or worry that your kids will get bored, but when you’ve chosen the perfect destination and planned your itinerary carefully, virtually nothing can go wrong.
Ideal vacations: a top three
There are a number of considerations when planning a family vacation: where you’d all like to head to, the types of activities and attractions you’d like to find there, and the fun factor – that is, the types of entertainment on offer, and how easily your children will be kept amused. If you’re an outdoorsy family, you may be looking for an adventure in some of the wilder parts of the country, while adrenalin junkies might be searching for the biggest theme parks, and families with younger children may want a city break with museums, or a beach vacation.
Columbia, South Carolina
While you’ve no doubt read about this blogger’s experiences of Myrtle Beach, a coastal city in South Carolina, there are hundreds of other places that you could explore within this state. Columbia – SC’s capital and largest city – is just one of those destinations, and it’s perfect for a family break, with attractions and sights including Riverbanks Zoo, The EdVenture Children’s Museum, Finlay Park, the Columbia Museum of Art, and Frankie’s Fun Park. If you’re one of those outdoorsy families, you’ll adore Congaree National Park, a sprawling area that remains one of the country’s most expansive, and intact, hardwood forests; adventures aplenty are to be found here, while children of every age will adore getting back to nature, discovering the local wildlife, and having an excuse to climb, forage, and wander. In terms of accommodation, you will be pleasantly surprised; from camping outdoors to boutique hotels and spa resorts, this city can keep you as comfy and cozy, or at one with nature, as you desire.
It’s impossible to talk about family breaks in the US without discussing Orlando, Florida. Home to Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, Epcot, Wet ‘n Wild, Discovery Cove and SeaWorld, Orlando is America’s ultimate family destination, and we’re sure it’s on your list already. However, there is so much more to the Sunshine State than theme parks – take, for example, Harry P. Leu Gardens, the Science Center, and Orlando Museum of Art, as well as the Everglades, which is an area of tropical wetlands not too far from where you could be staying. The nightlife and dining, as well as its aforementioned attractions, ensure that Orlando remains an attractive tourist destination; just last year, the city broke a world record and welcomed more than 66 million visitors. As you’d expect, Orlando is blessed with numerous family-friendly resorts, including the Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa. Within easy reach of a wealth of sights and activities, and with recreational opportunities to inspire the whole family, the resort is ideal for anyone visiting the city for the first time. If you’re impressed by Westgate Lakes, we recommend that you check out other Westgate Resorts locations, many of which are ideal for family vacations.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon, with its impressive red rock slopes, expansive desert backdrop, and incredible treks and trails, may not seem like an ideal family vacation at first; surely, it’s better suited to older children and adults? Hear us out though, as the park is frequently listed among those capable of taking the whole family’s breath away. For starters, there’s the skywalk, which overlooks some of the world’s most astonishing scenery, while shorter hikes, the potential to earn a Junior Ranger badge (4-14 years), and an opportunity to drink it all in via helicopter are just too good to pass up. The Grand Canyon and its surroundings are blessed with some truly fantastic resorts, including those with lodges, traditional inns, and campsites. Of course, any of America’s National Parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, or Olympic, would make a perfect family vacation destination for those in search of adventure, but we’re sure you’ll agree that the Grand Canyon takes some beating – 5 million visitors per year can’t be wrong, after all.
From beach vacations and city breaks, to getaways within the most striking mountain landscapes imaginable, America has some of the most perfect family destinations that you could think of. Whether you’re planning on introducing your children to the great outdoors, hoping to catch a rollercoaster or two, or keen on taking in a little culture, be sure to check out the destinations we’ve listed – or create an inspiring list of your own.