Looking for the best places to visit in the USA with kids? We, with the help of fellow travel bloggers’ expert opinion, have worked up a list of travel destinations in the USA that offer a perfect family-friendly experience.
We sincerely hope that this list of best places to travel in the US for a family vacation helps you plan your next trip.
Best Places to Visit in the USA with Kids
Ashville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina is a small, quirky city with big mountain views and lots for families to do! It’s easiest to get around with a car; parking isn’t hard to find and the best things to do are scattered around the city and surrounding areas.
Kids can take an audio tour with Cedric the dog to explore the famous Biltmore Estate, Well Played Board Game Cafe, visit the art or science museums, as well as explore a fun downtown full of street musicians and public art. If you’re visiting a local, ask them to check out free passes for local attractions from the library with a Zoom! pass.
Drive the winding roads out of town in order to discover lots of trail options with both long-range views & beautiful waterfalls (pick out a favorite from this list of kid-friendly easy hikes near Asheville NC!), or the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is just a day trip away.
Fun places in Asheville to stay include the Omni Grove Park Inn, which has special goodies for kids checking in and Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, that have on-site playgrounds to keep kids busy before bedtime.
Contributed by Stephanie Woodson from Explore More Clean Less
Astoria is a quaint little town in the far northwest corner of Oregon. Famous from the movie Goonies and Kindergarten Cop, this little town has much to offer for families visiting with their kids. My family loves the nostalgic air and exploring the variety of activities the town has to offer.
Navigating Astoria is easy with GPS if you have a vehicle, but you can also easily get around using NW Oregon Transit. When looking for activities to entertain kids, the Oregon Film Museum is a sure hit. There are a variety of interactive exhibits inside the museum as well as small sets to create your own short movie clips.
Another place kids will enjoy is the Astoria Column. While there are a lot of stairs, kids will enjoy throwing small wooden glider planes from the top and watching them drift and spiral to the ground. Fort Stevens State Park is also a great option to see the Peter Iredale shipwreck while running around on the beach.
A great hotel for your stay in Astoria would be Holiday Inn Express & Suites Astoria. The hotel is within half a mile of downtown and offers bike rentals if you don’t want to walk or take the nearby trolley.
What gives this hotel the edge up on others is the video game room and the array of board games available to borrow during your stay.
Contributed by Erin Tracy from Traveling Thru History.
A city by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Charles river on the other is a perfect blend of history with modernity. The juxtaposition of historic monuments with high rise modern buildings makes the city special.
There’s an umpteen number of things to do in Boston for every kind of traveler.
Boston boasts of the first public park in the USA, the Boston Common built way back in 1634 and still holds its charm and is a must-visit with kids. The kids love the green spaces and playgrounds.
The Boston Public Garden right next to the Boston Common is a beautiful well-manicured park with a pond in the middle. Take a stroll or do boating in the famous swan boats or chase the ducks, the kids are gonna have a fun-filled day.
Don’t miss the famous statue ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ of mother duck followed by her ducklings and the kids will surely recollect the popular book Make way for the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
There are some amazing museums that the kids will love all the time – Boston Museum of Science for the budding scientists in all of us, Boston Children’s Museum for unlimited entertainment.
The New England Aquarium lets kids dive into the colorful marine world and look at the sharks and the colorful fishes.
Boston without a touch of history would be incomplete. And for older kids interested in the history, Boston tea Party ship & museum recreates the historical event of the Boston tea party. Or walk the 2.5 miles long Freedom Trail with historic sites and tons of stories.
Are your kids LEGO fans just like mine, then you can’t leave without visiting the Legoland Discovery Center.
If your family loves the outdoors they will love a visit to Boulder, Colorado. The city has over 45,000 acres of designated trails, which are perfect for hiking or riding a bike.
Chautauqua Park is a great place to take the kids. It is located at the base of the Flatirons rock formations, there is a children’s playground and an interpretive center known as Rangers Cottage. If it’s too hot for a hike, the Boulder Reservoir is a great place to go for a dip.
When it’s time to head back into the city, the Pearl Street Mall will provide endless entertainment for the whole family. There are plenty of street performers and playgrounds to keep the little ones engaged and a plethora of restaurants and shops to explore.
If you are looking for a place to lay your head, we would recommend Boulder Inn for its long list of sustainable practices. Plus, they have a pool on-site that your family will love, a bike loan program, and complimentary breakfast.
Contributed by Oksana & Max St John from Drink Tea & Travel
Chicago is one of the best US cities to visit with kids of every age. One of the top Chicago attractions for kids is Navy Pier where you will find fun rides, a large Ferris wheel, an IMAX theatre, a children’s museum, and family-friendly restaurants.
Families will enjoy visiting Millennium Park (which is home to the famous Bean and a water fountain to splash in during the summer) as well as neighboring Maggie Daley Park (a large park with different play areas for kids of various ages).
Chicago also has many educational attractions for children including several museums, an aquarium, a planetarium, and a free zoo. Chicago is an easy city to get around. Downtown Chicago (where most tourist attractions are located) is very walkable.
Families do not need to rent a car – taxis and ridesharing are plentiful and there is also an extensive public transportation system including buses, trains, and water taxis.
Chicago has many family-friendly hotels to choose from for every budget. One of the best hotels for families is Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North which offers free breakfast, an indoor pool and rooms with fully-equipped kitchens. There are also a few Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels which are also good options for families.
Contributed by Matilda from The Travel Sisters
Cincinnati is chock full of great things to do with kids when traveling. From one of the world’s best zoos (home to the internet-famous prematurely born hippo: Fiona!) to a great, kid-friendly food scene (don’t miss Holtman’s Donuts!), Cincinnati is perfect to explore with kids.
The highlights of Cincinnati when traveling with kids are the Museum Center, a converted art deco train terminal that houses multiple excellent and family-friendly museums as well as an Imax theatre.
Other notable museums in Cincinnati include the Cincinnati Art Museum, home to a recently renovated art-making and play area for children open daily and free. For older children, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a beautiful tribute to those who traveled the Underground Railroad and crosses the Ohio River.
Kids also love walking across the beautiful Roebling Bridge to Kentucky, visiting the Newport Aquarium, seeing Kentucky’s own Notre Dame at the Covington Basilica, and exploring Cincinnati’s famous murals (hint: there’s a Toy Story themed mural downtown!).
Favorite parks include Smale Park, complete with an indoor carousel and lots of interactive climbing elements, and Washington Park, with an excellent multicolored splash pad in the summers.
On the weekends, start your day at Findley Market to pick up some picnic items and enjoy some Dojo Gelato before hopping on the Cincinnati Bell streetcar to zip the whole family downtown
Stay a bit north of Cincinnati at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, OH or the Ramada Plaza in Sharonville, OH, connected to Splash Cincinnati Waterpark.
Contributed by Cate from Sacred Wanderings
One of the best cities in the US to visit with kids is Honolulu, Hawaii. The mix of stunning beaches, beautiful gardens, tasty food, and cultural history leaves plenty for families with children of all ages to fill their days with amazing activities.
Waikiki Beach is the city’s popular and beautiful area with restaurants along the sand, swimming areas, outrigger canoes rides, and free activities such as hula shows, ukulele lessons, and lei making in the outdoor International Marketplace.
Just east of Honolulu (best reached by rental car) is our favorite area on the island. Hanauma Bay is perfect for gentle snorkeling. Lanikai and Kailua Beaches offer the best sunrise views and are our favorite beaches for early morning battles with jetlag.
Just north of these sugar-white beaches is Kaneohe which has sweet farm tours at the Tropical Macadamia Nut Farm, and adventure tours at Kualoa Ranch, with its film scenes from popular movies.
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens is also nearby and is the perfect place for an easy hike in nature with paved stroller-friendly paths and even fishing at the pond.
Families love the amenities at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with its beachfront property and calm saltwater lagoon for little ones. The Aston Waikiki Sunset is the perfect budget-friendly option complete with a full kitchen.
Contributed by Sierra Schmidt from Free to Travel Mama
Indianapolis, the capital of Midwestern state Indiana, is another city you should consider visiting with your kids. Located smack in the center of the USA, it plays a hub for several major interstate highways, giving it the moniker of Crossroads of America.
If you’re planning a cross country road trip, you will drive by it. So you might as well know the best things to do in Indianapolis with kids. Indy is a big city with a small-town feel. It’s perfect for those who want to explore a new city without feeling overwhelmed, which you get from visiting a bigger metropolis like Chicago or New York.
Even so, there’s plenty of family-friendly attractions worth seeing. Four words: the world’s largest children’s museum. If you only have room for 1 attraction in your itinerary, visit The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Whatever your kids are interested in, they have it—dinosaurs, superheroes, trains, Hot Wheels, history, sports, and so on. Another good one is the Indy Canal Walk. You can stroll with the family, ride a gondola, or rent a pedal boat or surrey while admiring public art made by local artists. Have a family picnic. Bring your own lunch or buy food from nearby restaurants.
For hotels, we enjoy staying at the Sheraton Keystone Crossing which is adjacent to the Fashion Mall. We like how you can conveniently access affordable food options in the mall. Try Shapiro’s Deli! If you want a more downtown location, try the JW Marriott. Its sleek and bright blue building is hard to miss. It’s near the Canal Walk and downtown museums too.
Contributed by Yamy Hartsough from Gofamgo
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is the perfect city in the USA for traveling with kids. Why? Because it definitely won’t get boring. There are countless activities that can be done. A visit to Disneyland in Anaheim must be at the top of the list.
The amusement park is ideal for both children and parents. There is almost everything from simple carousels to a water slide and pleasant roller coasters for the older ones. Of course, when visiting Los Angeles with kids, a trip to Hollywood (at least half a day) is a must.
The search for the star of your personal favorite superstar on the Walk of Fame is big fun. Even Mickey Mouse can be found here. Another idea is the California Science Center that is definitely worth a look, especially for kids that are technology enthusiasts, with military aircraft as well as various spaceships.
Other highlights include the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Six Flags Magic Mountain, a roller coaster amusement park with a high thrill factor, or Pacific Park in Santa Monica with tons of activities. Your kids will love it!
The best way to get around is by car, you can’t do without it. A hotel in the city center, like Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills near Rodeo Drive, is particularly recommended to combine as many highlights as possible. This is where great fun begins!
Contributed by Clemens Sehi from Travellers Archive
Mammoth Lakes, California
Mammoth Lakes has so many activities for the whole family in any season. During the winter months, your whole family can go snowboarding, skiing, sledding, tubbing or even build a snowman.
Mammoth Mountain has family-friendly events throughout the resort all winter with Wooley (the Mammoth Mountain mascot) making appearances on the kid slopes. If you or your kids are new to winter sports, Mammoth Mountain offers adult and kid classes for all levels and ages.
During the summer months, you can rent a kayak, a boat, or a stand-up paddleboard and hang out around Lake Mary. Or there are so many hiking trails. Out of Devil’s Postpile National Monument, you can see Devils Postpile, or do one of the many other hikes from that area.
If you’re up for something more challenging and possibly a backpacking trip, you can hike to Ediza Lake, Minaret Lake or Thousand Island Lake.
If you’re looking for hotels, there are many options in the area! It’s perfect for a last-minute trip, you’ll always find a hotel or a campground open. Or if you want to plan ahead, there are lots of hotels, cabins and campground options. It’s also very easy to get around by car, or Mammoth’s shuttle.
Contributed by Jenny Kotlyar from Campsite Vibes
What is your first thought when we say Miami? Beaches, late-night parties, pubs? But I promise that Miami is beyond this and a fun destination with kids as well.
Miami being in the Sunshine state gets the advantage of beautiful sunny weather all year round. So head out to the beaches –North beach or South beach with the kids and build castles with them.
Miami Trolleys and Miami beach Trolleys are a great way to explore the city and the beaches and that too free. So no hassle to worry about parking.
Miami Children’s Museum and Philip and Patricia Frost Science Museum have interesting exhibits to tinker the kid’s imagination.
Children love the colors and Wynwood Walls at Miami’s Art District would blow them out with the burst of colors. There are multiple vibrant murals and graffiti’s on the walls that are worth exploring.
Miami is also the best destination to begin an adventurous Road trip to Florida keys.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is a city on the East Coast in South Carolina. It’s a fantastic destination for families traveling with children, as there are many different activities for all ages to enjoy! Our family has kiddos ranging in age from 1 1/2 years old to teenagers, college-aged kids, and adults – and everyone has a great time visiting Myrtle Beach.
Some of our favorite activities as a family are mini-golfing (there are so many fun courses in Myrtle Beach), visiting Alligator Adventure – which has over 200 different types of animals to see and visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. Ripley’s is a very interactive aquarium that was one of our best “rainy day” activities in Myrtle Beach!
Our teenagers will say that parasailing is their favorite thing to do in Myrtle Beach, though. No trip to Myrtle Beach would also be complete without spending some time on the beach!
I highly recommend staying at a hotel or resort right along the Atlantic Ocean. The Westgate has direct access to the beach and has many family-friendly swimming pools. It is also located just across the street from the Family Kingdom Amusement Park – which all ages also enjoyed visiting!
It’s best to have a car while in Myrtle Beach, as some of these activities are quite spread out.
Contributed by Lindsey Puls from Have Clothes, Will Travel
New York City, New York
With myriad famous landmarks, museums, playgrounds, and open urban spaces make New York a great destination for a family trip. Just strolling the pedestrian-friendly streets of NYC is a delight in itself.
Talking of iconic landmarks and attractions, New York has many – Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, High Line, One World OPbservatory, 9/11 Memorial, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Broadway, and the Theater District…Phew! See, kids gonna have an overwhelming range of choices.
NYC is home to world-class museums and cultural institutions. While I love the Metropolitan Museum of Art, mini-me finds the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Intrepid Museum the best.
While in NYC, make sure your kids try the country’s best bagels at Ess-a-Bagel and the best pizza at Di Fara Pizza. Climb the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for an awe-inspiring view over New York.
If you’ve never been to Madame Tussauds wax museum, New York has its own at Times Square. You can choose the attractions and activities as per your kids’ interests and the number of days on hands. You can get ideas from our New York itinerary to explore the best of NYC in 2 days.
When it comes to best family-friendly hotels in New York, I always recommend three of my favorites – citizenM New York Times Square in Midtown, Lowell Hotel in Upper East Side, and Hotel Beacon in Upper West Side. All three are located in the best-rated areas in New York and are super kid-friendly.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is a great place to visit with kids. There are lots of family-friendly things to do, from the Science Museum to the world-class zoo. You can also ride the Wheeler Ferris Wheel and enjoy a boat trip down the canal in Bricktown.
If you have kids who love sports, you can go to an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game or an Oklahoma City Dodgers Baseball game, depending on the time of year. For kids who are interested in history, make sure to stop at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
The best way to get around the city is by car, though there is some public transportation available, including the city’s new streetcar.
If you visit OKC as part of a larger southwestern road trip, there are tons of great options to take for road trips from Oklahoma City when you’re done. For an Instagrammably gorgeous hotel that the kids will love, check into the historic Skirvin Hotel.
Contributed by Stephanie Craig from Oklahoma Wonders
Orlando is one of the most celebrated family vacation destinations in the USA.
You’d agree when I say Orlando has become synonymous with Walt Disney World. It’s mandatory to visit the Disney World when in Orlando with kids. You can’t go wrong with it.
But, Orlando is much more than just Disney World. From famous theme parks, museums, beaches, to natural springs – Orlando has endless fun things to do with kids.
Universal Studios has something for all ages in your family. Celebration: The Town that Disney Built is an amazing live-in Disney experience that kids will adore, Gatorland Wildlife Park and SeaWorld Theme Park are worth a visit with family.
You can head to Downtown Disney District for one of the finest shopping and dining experiences with family.
A visit to Kennedy Space Center is a unique experience for kids where they can visit NASA, meet astronauts, and marvel at rockets, launch pads, learn so much from interactive exhibits.
WonderWorks, the upside-down museum and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! bring bizarre and quirky fun to kids. For outdoor-loving families, Blue Springs State Park and Wekiwa Springs State Park offer canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming, camping, scuba diving, wildlife watching, and much more.
If you fancy staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts, I’d recommend Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. For families looking for budget or mid-range accommodation, there are some lovely accommodation options in Lake Buena Vista, just a mile away from Downtown Disney.
We love The Courtyard by Marriot on Palm Parkway. It’s conveniently located about 2 km from Walt Disney, moderately priced, and great for families.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Outer Banks, an archipelago of islands in North Carolina is sure to touch a chord in the hearts of everyone. Outer Banks or colloquially called OBX is a perfect destination to visit with kids.
It not only has mesmerizing beaches but a plethora of things to do in Outer Banks, NC. This is the place where dreams were chased and dreams came true. The brothers Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright created history by successfully flying an aircraft. Take the inspiration by visiting the Wright Brothers memorial.
Outer Banks can boast of having the largest natural sand dunes of the East coast at the Jockey Ridge State Park. And don’t forget to fly a kite that seems to be a ritual there. So, get a kite and let it soar high.
If you are an adventure lover, then you have the option to drive on the beaches and I can vouch that the thrill to ride the AWD vehicle on the beach is unmatched for. Corolla and Cape Hatteras do allow driving, but a permit is required for Cape Hatteras.
Driving the 138-mile long Outer Banks Scenic Byway is the best way to immerse in the gorgeous views of the ocean with ferry available from Cape Hatteras to the lovely village of Ocracoke.
There are many Vacation rentals and resorts in Outer Banks to choose from. Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks is a great kid-friendly option while we loved our stay at the suites on the beachfront at Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Kill Devil Hills-Mariner.
Palm Springs, California
If you are looking for a family vacation in southern California, consider the desert city of Palm Springs. Located two hours away from Los Angeles, it makes a great weekend destination.
We recommend driving to Plam Springs or renting a car as when you reach there as the attractions are spread out and you need to drive to most of them.
There are many awesome things to do in Palm Springs with kids. Start your trip at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage. Here kids can shop in a pretend play grocery store and play with legos.
Then take a stroll along the Palm Canyon Drive and spot your favorite actors on Walk of the Stars. Drink the famous date shakes and buy some fudge and saltwater taffy.
Another of our favorite activities is to take the Palm Springs Aerial Tram to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains. The kids love the views from the tram and at the top, they can go hiking or even enjoy the snow in winter.
Another fun place to visit with the kids is the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. The kids can see a variety of wild animals, birds, as well as desert plants including cacti. Consider staying at the Hilton Palm Springs for a relaxing getaway.
Contributed by Ketki from Dotted Globe
Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida, makes a wonderful destination for families traveling with kids. Imagine the crystal blue water of St Andrew’s Bay slowly washing up onto snow-white sugar sand beaches. It sounds like a distant tropical paradise, but the Florida Panhandle is less than a day’s drive for most of the South.
Once you arrive, you’ll most likely be staying in one of the large oceanfront condos, like the Edgewater. They offer freshwater pools, easy access to the ocean, and a fully functional kitchen.
You’ll find beaches everywhere, but you’ll want to check out the sand dunes and alligator ponds of St Andrews State Park. Perhaps you’ll want to board a boat for scuba diving or snorkeling, dolphin cruises, deep-sea fishing, or just a run over to Shell Island.
If the kids get tired of salt water, they’ll love the waterslides of Shipwreck Island or shopping at Pier Place. Between the sun and the sand, the water and waves, your kids will love Panama City Beach, and you’ll love driving your own car and cooking in your beachfront condo.
Contributed by Jenn and Ed Coleman from Coleman Concierge
Another city that holds a pivotal place in the American independence chapter is Philadelphia or Philly. But the city will mesmerize the kids equally as the history buffs. The city boasts of having the first zoo of America, the Philadelphia zoo.
Please touch museum, a hit among the small kids has some amazing role play exhibits to tinker their imagination into space.
Philadelphia is the best place to delve into American history. Be it the iconic Liberty Bell or learn about the U.S. Constitution at the National Constitution Center, creation of American flag at Betsy Ross House, or interactive exhibits at the Museum of American Revolution.
Don’t worry there is a lot of fun stuff for the kids to indulge in. Logan Square, Franklin Square, Penn’s Landing are some of the places where kids can have fun in open.
Do your kids know where are the coins manufactured in the US? If not then the U.S. Mint is the place to be. With self-guided tours, they can learn and see the live production of coins as well.
There are so many things to do in Philadelphia with kids, that they’ll fall in love with it.
Our recommendation would be to stay in the downtown at the family-friendly Double tree by Hilton and The Logan Philadelphia and explore all attractions on foot.
Pittsburg, PA is a great family-friendly city to visit with kids. Some of our absolute favorite Steel City attractions include the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
The Egyptian hall with real mummies and the extraordinary dinosaur collection are favorites from my childhood and are simply awe-inspiring for kids. For a truly unique Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvanian experience, the Heinz History Center is a must-do.
Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, this interactive attraction includes Kidsburgh – a kids-only, interactive play zone, antique vehicles, and collections from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. If you are visiting in the summertime, a day trip to Kennywood Park is a must for a day at one of America’s oldest amusement parks and a ride on some of their famous wooden roller coasters.
Our kids also love a ride up the Duquesne Incline, a must-do activity to take in a panoramic view of the city, the “point” where the three rivers meet, and the city’s iconic bridges. You can also take a riverboat ride on the Gateway Clipper!
If you are a sports fan, Pittsburgh is home to the Steelers, and a visit to Heinz Field is a must-do for any black and gold fan.
Transportation around Pittsburgh is mainly by car, which you can rent at the airport if you fly into the city. There are city buses, and a T (subway), but it is not as big as many other cities. Usually, a car is the best way around.
For family-friendly accommodations in the city, Kimpton Hotel Monaco and Hotel Fairmont Pittsburgh are family-friendly and located near to some of the city’s top attractions, like the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Embassy Suites is also a kid-friendly option in the area and includes an indoor pool. If you care to have a more resort experience, Nemacolin Woodlands is about an hour and a half drive from Pittsburgh in the Laurel Highlands mountains. From there, you can easily day trip to historical sites, day hikes, recreational spots like Ohiopyle State Park, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water.
Contributed by Keri from Bon Voyage with Kids
One of the best cities in the US to visit with kids is Portland, Oregon. There is an abundance of things to do with kids in Portland including an awesome zoo, children’s museums, science museum and some amazing stores that kids will enjoy.
From Finnegan’s Toy Store to Powell’s City of Books, kids will enjoy popping into these places for an hour or two. The Oregon Zoo is one of the best we’ve visited around the world and we had to drag our son away from the Portland Children’s Museum.
As well as these great places, there is a waterfront along which you can walk or cycle, numerous parks to enjoy some wide-open spaces and lots of great places for a treat in the form of donuts at Voodoo or ice cream at Salt & Straw.
Portland has a great public transport system, is easy to navigate by car and sidewalks in downtown Portland is wide and stroller friendly.
There are numerous family-friendly hotels and we loved the two-bedroom suite we had at the TownePlace Suites in Hillsboro for our stay in Portland. Comfortable beds, two bathrooms and a kitchenette too. We loved Portland and plan to return one day soon.
Contributed by Cath from Passports and Adventures
Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii
One of my favorite places to explore with kids is Poipu, on the South Shore of Kauai. It’s a small resort town with kid-friendly beaches, amazing food, and it’s a great jumping-off point to explore the entire island of Kauai.
You’ll definitely want to rent a car and head to Poipu Beach Park. It has calm waters perfect for swimming or teaching kids how to snorkel. Plus, there are usually sea turtles and sometimes even monk seals on the beach!
Spouting Horn is another fun place on Kauai with kids, as families can watch water shoot up through a natural blowhole. I also suggest heading to The Shops at Kukui’ula to check out the boutiques and dine at some of the best restaurants on Kauai.
My top pick for kid-friendly resorts in Poipu is the Grand Hyatt Kauai. They have several awesome pools, a water slide, and even a saltwater zero-entry pool. Parents will appreciate the kids club and lobby activities.
Contributed by Marcie Cheung from Hawaii Travel with Kids
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a great weekend destination, especially for families. The city has so many cool places your kids will love, ranging from the sea lions at Pier 39 to the California Academy of Sciences and Exploratorium museums.
Pier 39 is located near Fisherman’s Wharf and is home to a population of year-round sea lions. Beginning in the 1990s, the sea lions began to make their home on K-Dock at Pier 39 and during the winter there can be as many as 900 sea lions hanging out on the docks.
San Francisco is also well-known for its science museums with the California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum, and the Exploratorium, a science and technology museum. Your kids will love the giant t-rex statue that greets them at the door and the albino alligator.
Exploratorium is famous for its interactive exhibits that will teach your children about science while keeping them interested and engaged.
Hotel Zephyr is a great hotel for families, they have a great outdoor area where your kids can make s’mores and hang out. There are also games in the lounge area for entertainment purposes.
Contributed by Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear
San Deigo, California
With sunshine and gorgeous coastline, San Diego has so much to do with kids from state parks to beaches to the zoo to amusement parks, the list is a long one for sure.
San Diego won’t disappoint the animal lovers. La Holla Cove is the place to see hundreds of sea lions in their natural habitat relaxing by the ocean. Scripps Birch Aquarium in La Holla gets kids fascinated to see the aquatic world and its colorful creatures.
Sea World always fascinates kids, especially with the Dolphins and whales. One of the biggest and best zoos in the US is the San Diego Zoo with over 3500 animals which even includes the Giant Pandas and Koalas. It is a sight to watch these animals.
For all the LEGO lovers, there is Legoland at Carlsbad with even a water park and aquarium.
The Waterfront Park, a huge park by the harbor with many water fountains is a hit with kids and the best part is it is free.
Balboa Park is not just a park, but a mini-city with 17 museums, gardens, playgrounds, zoos and much more. The New Children’s Museum is one of them with interesting exhibits and activities to keeps kids engaged. San Diego zoo is also located in Balboa Park.
When we are talking about the long coastline, then how can we miss the sandy beaches and a relaxing family day.
When visiting Seattle with our kids, we love love LOVE staying near the Seattle Center. It’s a beautifully designed massive area with tons of green space, walking trails, and so many fun things to do! Hyatt House at Seattle Center is perfect for families with affordable suites, including a full kitchen in a great location, just steps away from the heart of the Seattle Center.
You won’t want to miss the Pacific Science Center. Children can spend an entire day there exploring endless hands-on activities for kids of all ages. Then, head into the Armory for an upscale food court experience. Once you’ve picked up your food, the lawn out front is perfect for a family picnic.
Take the Seattle Monorail to downtown Seattle to check out Pike Place Market. Teens (and perhaps their parents) will also love seeing the very first Starbucks! Next, walk back towards the waterfront and see the disgustingly fun gum wall on your way to the Seattle Aquarium and the Waterfront Park, where you can ride the Seattle Wheel and walk the boardwalks.
If you are willing to drive outside the city center, the Museum of Flight and the Ballard Locks are two huge hits for our family!
Contributed by Amy Martin from Two Little Pandas
Washington D.C. is rich with history, vibrant culture, and fun! Our family loves the Nation’s Capital because of the extensive kid-friendly activities at our fingertips. The city is laid out by eclectic neighborhoods, giving it a small city feel with big-city adventures.
Each area has unique characteristics and charm. Our favorite neighborhood is Woodley Park. This green section of D.C. borders historic Rock Creek Park, a 1,750-acre outdoor haven with walking trails, a Nature Center and Planetarium.
Our preferred hotel is Marriott Wardman Park. The tree-lined streets nearby are filled with diverse dining options and cafes. It is conveniently positioned near Smithsonian’s National Zoo where you can see giant predators like the powerful Sumatran Tiger or stroll through the Reptile Discovery Center. The zoo has free admission 364 days a year!
If you want to explore more, the Metro is just steps from this hotel for easy access to the rest of the city. The Metro opens the door to the iconic National Mall, historic landmarks, and a wealth of outstanding museums throughout D.C.
While there is no shortage of exciting things to discover in our Nation’s Capital, check out what we did with just 24 hours in Washington DC. We were able to see much more than we thought possible!
Contributed by Lee Anne Hable from The Hable Way
Is your favorite family-friendly American destination included in the list? Share in the comments!
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