8 Amazingly Affordable Family Vacations
8 Amazingly Affordable Family Vacations
8. Destin, Florida
7. Williamsburg, Virginia
6. Ocean City, Maryland
5. Outer Banks, North Carolina
4. Washington, D.C.
3. Yosemite
2. Grand Canyon
1. Yellowstone
|

Family vacations are all about spending quality time together and creating memories that will last a lifetime. But once a family coordinates schedules to take a vacation, it can be difficult to find a place with multigenerational appeal that won't destroy the set budget. That's where U.S. News comes in. Using a combination of reader votes and editor analysis, we compiled a list of destinations that offer family-friendly attractions, lodging and dining options to determine the Best Affordable Family Vacations for 2015Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

8. Destin, Florida
The sandy beaches and emerald-tinted waters draw families in droves to this small city on the Florida Panhandle. Plus, with 13 public beach access points hugging the Gulf of Mexico, Destin's shoreline is never too crowded. When families aren't splashing around in the waves, they can enjoy other attractions like golf courses and water parks, or see if the town lives up to its namesake as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Destin
The Best Things to Do in Destin Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

7. Williamsburg, Virginia
Older generations will appreciate the chance to show the youngsters how their American ancestors once lived in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, while kids will love burning off energy at amusement parks like Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. And since Williamsburg is located about halfway between Richmond and Virginia Beach, room rates are more affordable than its big city and beachfront neighbors. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Williamsburg
The Best Things to Do in Williamsburg Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

6. Ocean City, Maryland
If your family is full of beach bums, Ocean City will please the whole gang. The Maryland beach town is packed with affordable summer rentals and hotels that can accommodate families of all sizes. Plus, the 3-mile-long boardwalk and mini-golf courses can provide hours of entertainment that won't break the bank. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Ocean City
The Best Things to Do in Ocean City Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

5. Outer Banks, North Carolina
For a more low-key beach getaway, consider renting a house or cottage in the Outer Banks. The area has multiple islands, each with its own unique attractions, but the quiet, clean shoreline (miles and miles of it) is the main draw here. Families can participate in water sports like windsurfing or fishing, or take lighthouse tours for little to no cost. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in the Outer Banks
The Best Things to Do in the Outer Banks Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

4. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., is a living lesson in American history, making it a great choice for parents who don't want the learning to cease as soon as the school year ends. The city is full of monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial, as well as 18 museums (and the National Zoo) that make up the Smithsonian Institution — all of which are free to visit. Families can also save a few bucks on lodging by bedding down in nearby Arlington, Virginia, which is just a metro ride away. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.
The Best Things to Do in Washington, D.C. Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

3. Yosemite
Every member of the family will likely be in awe of the natural wonders at Yosemite National Park. For $25 to $30 per car (depending on when you visit), the whole crew can enjoy sights like the Glacier Point overlook or walk among the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. Meanwhile, athletic daredevils in the family can hike the Half Dome. Nearby lodging is cheap, but a stay at one of the 13 on-site campgrounds is even more wallet-friendly. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Yosemite
The Best Things to Do in Yosemite Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

2. Grand Canyon
There's no better way to expose the family to nature than with a visit to the Grand Canyon. Adventure-seeking clans can hike the Bright Angel or Rim Trails or take a rafting trip down the Colorado River, while less active groups can board the Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic ride north to the South Rim. The best part? Once you get there, experiencing this UNESCO World Heritage site is cheap. The South Rim and hiking trail shuttle buses are free, and camping permits cost as little as $18 per night. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in the Grand Canyon
The Best Things to Do in the Grand Canyon Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

1. Yellowstone
Like the other national parks on this list, Yellowstone is a top pick for families thanks to its rock-bottom entrance and campground fees. But here's what stands out about America's first national park: Yellowstone features diverse natural wonders that will please kids of all ages. Whether your family watches the clock to witness Old Faithful erupt or retreats to Hayden Valley for a look at fascinating wildlife, they'll be making memories together. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Yellowstone
The Best Things to Do in Yellowstone Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

8. Destin, Florida
7. Williamsburg, Virginia
6. Ocean City, Maryland
5. Outer Banks, North Carolina
4. Washington, D.C.
3. Yosemite
2. Grand Canyon
1. Yellowstone

Family vacations are all about spending quality time together and creating memories that will last a lifetime. But once a family coordinates schedules to take a vacation, it can be difficult to find a place with multigenerational appeal that won't destroy the set budget. That's where U.S. News comes in. Using a combination of reader votes and editor analysis, we compiled a list of destinations that offer family-friendly attractions, lodging and dining options to determine the Best Affordable Family Vacations for 2015Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

8. Destin, Florida
The sandy beaches and emerald-tinted waters draw families in droves to this small city on the Florida Panhandle. Plus, with 13 public beach access points hugging the Gulf of Mexico, Destin's shoreline is never too crowded. When families aren't splashing around in the waves, they can enjoy other attractions like golf courses and water parks, or see if the town lives up to its namesake as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Destin
The Best Things to Do in Destin Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

7. Williamsburg, Virginia
Older generations will appreciate the chance to show the youngsters how their American ancestors once lived in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, while kids will love burning off energy at amusement parks like Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. And since Williamsburg is located about halfway between Richmond and Virginia Beach, room rates are more affordable than its big city and beachfront neighbors. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Williamsburg
The Best Things to Do in Williamsburg Read More: 
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

6. Ocean City, Maryland
If your family is full of beach bums, Ocean City will please the whole gang. The Maryland beach town is packed with affordable summer rentals and hotels that can accommodate families of all sizes. Plus, the 3-mile-long boardwalk and mini-golf courses can provide hours of entertainment that won't break the bank. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Ocean City
The Best Things to Do in Ocean City Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

5. Outer Banks, North Carolina
For a more low-key beach getaway, consider renting a house or cottage in the Outer Banks. The area has multiple islands, each with its own unique attractions, but the quiet, clean shoreline (miles and miles of it) is the main draw here. Families can participate in water sports like windsurfing or fishing, or take lighthouse tours for little to no cost. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in the Outer Banks
The Best Things to Do in the Outer Banks Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

4. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., is a living lesson in American history, making it a great choice for parents who don't want the learning to cease as soon as the school year ends. The city is full of monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial, as well as 18 museums (and the National Zoo) that make up the Smithsonian Institution — all of which are free to visit. Families can also save a few bucks on lodging by bedding down in nearby Arlington, Virginia, which is just a metro ride away. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.
The Best Things to Do in Washington, D.C. Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

3. Yosemite
Every member of the family will likely be in awe of the natural wonders at Yosemite National Park. For $25 to $30 per car (depending on when you visit), the whole crew can enjoy sights like the Glacier Point overlook or walk among the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. Meanwhile, athletic daredevils in the family can hike the Half Dome. Nearby lodging is cheap, but a stay at one of the 13 on-site campgrounds is even more wallet-friendly. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Yosemite
The Best Things to Do in Yosemite Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

2. Grand Canyon
There's no better way to expose the family to nature than with a visit to the Grand Canyon. Adventure-seeking clans can hike the Bright Angel or Rim Trails or take a rafting trip down the Colorado River, while less active groups can board the Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic ride north to the South Rim. The best part? Once you get there, experiencing this UNESCO World Heritage site is cheap. The South Rim and hiking trail shuttle buses are free, and camping permits cost as little as $18 per night. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in the Grand Canyon
The Best Things to Do in the Grand Canyon Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

1. Yellowstone
Like the other national parks on this list, Yellowstone is a top pick for families thanks to its rock-bottom entrance and campground fees. But here's what stands out about America's first national park: Yellowstone features diverse natural wonders that will please kids of all ages. Whether your family watches the clock to witness Old Faithful erupt or retreats to Hayden Valley for a look at fascinating wildlife, they'll be making memories together. Find out more about:
The Best Hotels in Yellowstone
The Best Things to Do in Yellowstone Read More:
When to Splurge and When to Save on a Family Vacation

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By Gwen Shearman | Staff Writer May 12, 2015, at 9:26 a.m.


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