As a mom of three, now expecting her fourth child; I plan all vacations to be fun for everyone. The goals are always to keep the children entertained and not have the adults feeling bored. With this goal, it is important to travel to places with amenities, trails and other ways to make the most of your get away. So check out the list of the places you absolutely must visit. A few of these are my personal faves and I hope they become your favorite as well!
With 15 locations across the United States, the Great Wolf lodge is one amazing resorts for the entire family and a definite must stay for your kids. My most recent visit to the Pocono Mountains location was incredible. This family water park features rustic decor suites feature balconies or patios, TVs and separate living areas with pull-out sofas, along with microwaves, mini fridges and coffeemakers. Upgraded camping-themed rooms add bunk beds. Some come with whirlpool tubs and fireplaces, making this a stay to remember for everyone. There's an indoor water park, as well as a casual bar, 4 restaurants and a Starbucks. Other amenities include a spa and free parking, while adventure activities and mini-golf are also available. So don’t wait another minute to join in this fun at Great Wolfe Lodge and book a visit there!
If you are looking for an alternate to Disney world and something less large but a lot of fun, visit Disneyland in California. This is actually my personal favorite for the family. Similar to its Disney sister city, Orlando, Anaheim has enough mouse-themed attractions to keep parents and kids busy and smiling. Plus, Anaheim has the added benefit of its California location, which sits in close proximity to the beaches and sights of Los Angeles and San Diego.
Last year was the first year in quite some time we did not visit Myrtle Beach and it was greatly missed. Myrtle Beach lacks the diversity of other destinations on this list. But in terms of accessibility and cost, Myrtle Beach offers an excellent family getaway. Ripley's Aquarium and Mount Atlanticus Miniature Golf are welcome distractions from the shoreline. This is a simple and fun vacation that I absolutely love!
On one of our family vacations we ventured to San Diego. For countless years people ranted and raved about this destination and I of course thought, how could any place be that great? Well they were right, it was my favorite destination and a blast for the entire family! San Diego offers 70 miles of sandy fun. When the waves start to bore little ones, the creatures at the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld are sure to hold their interest. And if you need some relief from the sun, head to the museums of Balboa Park.
If you are a US resident, you probably have visited Washington DC at some time. And if not, you are missing out. The key to D.C.'s family appeal is the National Mall, which is surrounded by free, kid-friendly museums and renowned monuments. If you have some extra time, spend a few hours at the National Zoo (which also offers free entry) or snag a treat at one of Georgetown's cupcake shops.
In Orlando, Florida, known for its timeless appeal, thrill rides and performances, Disney World is engineered specifically for families, and its formula is very successful. But if you aren't up for putting on mouse ears and having Cinderella sign your autograph book, Orlando hosts a slew of other theme parks that are sure to excite wee ones. And if you are in the mood to shop, head across the way to Downtown Disney for a great shopping adventure!
On my personal bucket list to visit and totally should be on your too is a trip to Hawaii. Honolulu — especially Waikiki — offers excellent child-friendly beaches and activities like snorkeling, swimming with dolphins and the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. Plus, many hotels sit along the shore, negating the need for public transportation or a vehicle. So bond while you enjoy nature with your family vacation to Hawaii!!
You can't really leave New York off a list like this. One of the busiest cities in the world, there's something to see on every corner: it is a mecca of iconic sights like the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building; there are world class museums; shopping on the grandest scale; and of course Central Park for some serious R&R when little feet are tired.
Head to Montana to drive along "Going-to-the-Sun" road to see and pristine lakes, alpine meadows and plenty of opportunities to view wildlife including grizzly bears. With 700 miles of hiking trails among spectacular scenery and loads of fun outdoor activities, this stunning national park will not disappoint any age.
Probably the most kid-friendly city in the Northeast, Boston is big but with a small town feel. There's the New England Aquarium and world class art science and history museums with many attractions for kids. Let's not forget the harbor and It's also a great pace to get in touch with some of the nation's early history.
So plan your family fun excursion away starting today and head to one of these destinations!