Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Family Vacations in the USA

In order to provide recommendations for a family vacation in the USA, U.S. News gathered a list of destinations that have been praised by experts for offering kid-friendly entertainment and reasonable rates. We then asked our readers to help us pick the top places in the country to visit as a family. The list below includes a variety of family vacation ideas based on votes from thousands of travelers; we hope you find these ideas helpful when planning your next trip, and we invite you to cast your vote for your favorite places below.

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Why go: 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. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Honolulu - Oahu

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Why go: Kids will get a kick out of watching Old Faithful erupt, and there's nothing quite like an afternoon hike to bring the clan together. Hotels inside the park can be expensive, so make this a BYOB (bring your own bed) vacation. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yellowstone

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Why go: What makes Yosemite an excellent family destination? Its numerous outdoor offerings, from hiking and camping to mountain climbing and rafting. And, unlike other parks, Yosemite boasts relatively easy accessiblity (San Francisco is only a few hours away by car). Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yosemite

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Why go: 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. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Washington D.C.

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Why go: The Grand Canyon is a universally admired family destination. You'll find lots to do here, including hiking, kayaking, rafting and riding the Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon also manages to be budget-friendly. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Grand Canyon

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Why go: 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, Orlando hosts a slew of other theme parks that are sure to excite wee ones. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Orlando-Walt Disney World

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Why go: The simple truth: 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 interst. And if you need some relief from the sun, head to the museums of Balboa Park. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Diego

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Why go: 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. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

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Why go: 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. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Anaheim-Disneyland

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Why go: San Francisco is home to some excellent family-friendly attractions — Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, to name a few. The city is also close to great outdoor areas, including Yosemite National Park and Muir Woods. The only downside: It's a bit pricey. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Francisco

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Why Go: Colonial Williamsburg allows youngsters to immerse themselves in history. If you're visiting in the summer, don't deny the kids a chance to cool down at Water Country USA or to ride the coasters at Busch Gardens. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Williamsburg

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Why go: The miles of sandy beaches and activities surrounding the boardwalk draw families to Ocean City, Maryland, and the affordable options for lodging and dining keep them coming back year after year. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Ocean City

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Why go: Family photo ops abound in Colorado Springs. From Pikes Peak to the Garden of the Gods, there's no shortage of opportunities to take in all that nature has to offer. And when you need a break from soaking up the great outdoors, pop into the eclectic art galleries scattering Manitou Springs. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Colorado Springs

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