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Are you looking for some fresh and exciting ideas for your next family vacation? Do you want to create a bucket list for your family travels? Here are 30 of the best family travel experiences in the United States that every family should see and do at least once!
- 1. Disney World
- 2. Arches National Park
- 3. Hawaii
- 4. Alaska
- 5. Seattle
- 6. Golden Gate Bridge
- 7. Phoenix
- 8. New York City
- 9. Savannah, Georgia
- 10. Grand Canyon
- 11. Great Lakes
- 12. The Florida Keys
- 13. Washington, D.C.
- 14. Niagara Falls
- 15. Route 66
- 16. Mount Rushmore
- 17. Glacier National Park
- 18. Carlsbad Caverns
- 19. Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
- 20. Redwood National Park
- 21. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- 22. Philadelphia
- 23. Chicago
- 24. New Orleans
- 25. Boston
- 26. Yellowstone National Park
- 27. San Antonio Riverwalk
- 28. San Diego Zoo
- 29. Arlington National Cemetery
- 30. White Sands National Park
1. Disney World
Going to Disney World is a rite of passage for almost every family. It’s the ultimate American vacation destination! And it’s the perfect place for parents and kids to play together!
Not sure when to take your kids? Find the perfect age to take your kids to Disney World.
2. Arches National Park
There are lots of national parks throughout the United States, but one of the best is Arches National Park. While it may be small, this park is definitely one of the best family travel experiences in the United States!
It’s beautiful, awe-inspiring, and small enough to see the best parts in one day!
You can’t talk about the best family travel experiences in the United States without talking about Hawaii! From hiking volcanoes to splashing around at the beach, Hawaii has something for every family! You definitely should take your family to this tropical paradise at some point!
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Hawaii is Alaska. Yet, this winter wonderland state has just as much to offer families on vacation as any other state.
Alaska is a great destination for families who love outdoor adventures and those looking to unplug and get back to nature for a little while.
Seattle is such a fun and beautiful city! Puget Sound and Mount Rainier offer lots of outdoor activities. And the city itself offers sports, museums, music, shopping, and so much more.
This is definitely a great choice to experience the best of the Pacific Northwest.
6. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of those landmarks that are just iconic. It is definitely one that you should share with your kids. And combined with Alcatraz Island and the other San Francisco sights, it is the perfect family vacation idea!
To experience the best of the Southwest, head to Phoenix! It offers so much for families to do! There really is something for everyone here! Plus, it have great food options! And, best of all, you can’t beat the weather in Phoenix!
8. New York City
New York City is the city that never sleeps. And it is the perfect destination for families that want to experience the vibrancy, diversity, and energy that this city brings.
A trip to New York is the ultimate big city experience! And if you have theatre lovers in your family, you have to take them to see a show on Broadway!
9. Savannah, Georgia
Want to give your family a dose of Southern charm? Then Savannah, Georgia is the perfect location for your next family vacation! This small city oozes charm, grace, history, and hospitality.
You will love the delicious comfort food and beauty of the city, while your kids love the ghost stories, movie locations, and the nearby beaches of Tybee Island.
10. Grand Canyon
When most people think of natural wonders in America, the Grand Canyon is usually one of the first places that come to mind. And rightfully so! You just can’t comprehend how massive the Grand Canyon is until you see it for yourself.
This is a great national park to visit with your family. And for some extra fun, take the Grand Canyon Railway!
11. Great Lakes
Next on my list of the best family travel experiences in the United States is the Great Lakes. There may be five different Great Lakes, but they all provide you with tons of natural beauty and outdoor activities to explore with your family.
The Great Lakes are especially wonderful vacation destinations in the summertime when you will find the best weather all around them.
12. The Florida Keys
If you prefer warmer water and island vibes on your water-focused vacations, then consider heading to the Florida Keys. While Key West may be the most popular key, you can find lots of family friendly activities and some hidden gems among the other keys as well.
For an extra sense of fun on your trip, take a road trip down through the keys, checking out several or all of them!
13. Washington, D.C.
Looking for something a little more educational for your next family vacation? Then Washington, D.C. should be high on your list of places to visit.
This city is full of fun learning opportunities, including the Smithsonian Museum, numerous monuments and memorials, and the various government buildings.
14. Niagara Falls
Another classic family vacation destination is Niagara Falls. This favorite location in New York is always a great place for families to find adventure.
There are multiple ways for you to explore the falls, including by water and by air.
15. Route 66
Nothing says Americana more than a family road trip on Route 66! This is the best of the best when it comes to road trips!
Whether you drive the entire route from Chicago to California or just do a portion of it, you will love getting your kicks on Route 66!
16. Mount Rushmore
Want to combine outdoor adventures with a history lesson? Then Mount Rushmore is the perfect location for your next trip. Here, you can hike with the family while teaching your kids about some of the country’s beloved presidents.
17. Glacier National Park
Speaking of hiking, if your family loves to hike, then head to Glacier National Park in Montana. This park offers more than 700 miles of hiking trails, photogenic landscapes, and abundant wildlife. It all works together to give your nature loving family the perfect trip!
18. Carlsbad Caverns
Next on my list of the best family travel experiences in the United States is Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Even the most skeptical and rebellious teenager will find themselves in awe of the out-of-this-world sights found in this expansive cave system.
And if you want to get really adventurous, strap on a head lamp and pay for a guided tour through some of the caves not normally seen by the public!
19. Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Do you have one or more budding photographers in your family? Then you must take a trip to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! This is the most photographed event in the world!
This international hot-air balloon festival is held every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is nothing short of awe-inspiring and is one of those things that you just have to see in person!
For more information, see the Fiesta website.
20. Redwood National Park
Another national park that should be on your list of the best family travel destinations in the United States is Redwood National Park.
In this Northern California forest, your kids will stare in awe at these giant trees. There are tons of opportunities for hiking, camping, and scenic drives with your family during your time in the Redwoods.
21. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Yet another national park that is full of gorgeous views is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park, which sits on the Tennessee/North Carolina border, is a favorite destination for millions of visitors each year.
And sitting just outside of the park are the small Tennessee towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Both of these towns are bursting at the seams with fun things to do when your family tires of exploring the national park.
Philadelphia is another great city for families to visit. It has history, museums, zoos and aquariums, awesome playgrounds, and more!
Younger kids will love exploring the Please Touch Museum, while teens will have a blast at the Treetop Quest aerial adventure park. Plus, you can take a tour to make American history come alive for your kids!
Looking for a place to take your family in the Midwest? Then look no further than Chicago! This classic American city will be a hit with any family.
Catch a game at Wrigley Field. Check out the marine animals at the Shedd Aquarium. Do some shopping. Marvel at the views from the top of Sears Tower. Have some fun at the Navy Pier. Let your little ones play at the Chicago Children’s Museum.
There are definitely more than enough things to do in Chicago to keep your family busy during your entire trip!
24. New Orleans
Another city on my list of the best family travel experiences in the United States is New Orleans! This laid back Southern city offers a unique vibe and cultural experience that you can’t find anywhere else in the USA.
Stroll through the French Quarter. Head to Cafe du Monde for some beignets. Explore the Garden District. Catch some live music. Grab some delicious Cajun food. There is so much to enjoy here!
One of the oldest cities in the United States is Boston. It is also one of the best places to visit for families. This city may be compact in size, but it packs a punch in terms of activities and experiences.
Like Philadelphia, Boston has a lot of historic locations where your kids can witness history come alive. Have sports lovers in your family? Boston is a fabulous city for sports fan. There is also tons of art, culture, and outdoor experiences to take advantage of.
26. Yellowstone National Park
One of the most famous national parks in America is Yellowstone National Park. It is the ultimate American family road trip destination.
Watch Old Faithful erupt and spew. Go hiking. Take in the amazing views. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife. Whatever you choose, your family will have a great time here.
27. San Antonio Riverwalk
Want to experience a unique destination with a dynamic cultural element? The San Antonio Riverwalk is the answer!
This is an large dining and entertainment district on the banks of the river. The unique part of this is that the entire thing is below street level and runs through the middle of downtown! It’s amazing that from the street, you can’t see any of it!
And to make it even better, the Riverwalk district has a huge Mexican cultural element to it. This is the perfect place to see Tex-Mex on full display. Your family will love it!
Pus, during your trip to the Riverwalk, you can visit the nearby Alamo!
28. San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is world famous for a reason. It cares for a large variety of animals. Many of these animals can’t be seen anywhere else in America! Your kids will have more than a few opportunities to learn about some of these amazing creatures during your visit.
This is a must-do trip for any animal lover!
29. Arlington National Cemetery
Give your kids a new appreciation for the sacrifice some of our military members have made over the years for their freedom by taking them to Arlington National Cemetery.
After taking in the neat and orderly rows of headstones, take some time to watch the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Afterwards, stop by and see the final resting places of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert.
30. White Sands National Park
Last but not least on my list of the best family travel experiences in the United States is White Sands National Park. This park in southeastern New Mexico is unlike any other you will find in the country.
Once you get into the heart of the park, you will see nothing but white sand dunes as far as the eye can see in all directions. Your family will love sledding and playing in the cool white sand! Don’t forget to bring some sand toys!
Sometimes you need fresh ideas to find a new and amazing destination for your family vacations. The above locations are the best family travel experiences in the United States. I highly recommend adding all of them to your family’s bucket list! Enjoy!
For more family travel tips, see my guide to happy travel with kids, how to take amazing vacations on any budget, how to plan an epic vacation, how to improve your vacations, must have items for successful road trips with kids, and must have items when flying with kids.
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