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U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Best Family Vacations in the USA

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Family vacations can supply lifelong memories, but to ensure that every member of the family is satisfied, it's important to travel to the perfect locale. U.S. News, with the help of reader votes and expert opinion, gathered a list of travel destinations that offer reasonable rates and activities the whole family can enjoy. 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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#1 Orlando-Walt Disney World

#1 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Known for its timeless appeal, thrill rides and performances, the Walt Disney World resort is engineered specifically for families, and its formula is very successful. But if you aren't up for putting on mouse ears, this Florida city hosts a slew of other theme parks that are sure to excite wee ones. Read More »

Disney Parades View 20 photos
Belongs on List? Yes No

#2 Yellowstone

#2 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

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 and take advantage of the park's well-equipped campsites. Read More »

Inspiration Point View 32 photos
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#3 Grand Canyon

#3 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

This national park is a universally admired family destination. You'll find lots to do here, including hiking, kayaking, rafting and riding the Grand Canyon Railway. Despite its popularity, the Grand Canyon also manages to be budget-friendly. Keep in mind: If you're planning a summer visit, you'll have to contend with massive crowds. Read More »

Grand Canyon at sunset View 35 photos
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#4 Destin

#4 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Along with its pearly white sands, Destin offers a variety of kid-pleasing entertainment. Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park is a hit for its long slides and lazy river, while the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is popular for its variety of animals, including tropical birds and bottlenose dolphins. Read More »

Boating View 17 photos
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#5 Washington, D.C.

#5 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

The key to D.C.'s family appeal is the National Mall, which is surrounded by free, kid-friendly museums and renowned monuments. Beyond the mall, a stop at the National Zoo is also a must. To cut down on vacation costs, consider booking a hotel in a nearby suburb, such as Arlington or Alexandria in Virginia, and relying on public transportation. Read More »

Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool View 46 photos
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#6 Yosemite

#6 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

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

Glacier Point View 29 photos
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#7 Anaheim-Disneyland

#7 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Similar to its Disney sister city, Orlando, Anaheim has enough mouse-themed attractions to keep parents and kids busy and smiling, along with Knott's Berry Farm and Adventure City. 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 »

Partners View 20 photos
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#8 Maui

#8 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

This Hawaiian island has plenty of sights for kids of all ages. Travel to Haleakala National Park to see the world's largest dormant volcano or splash around the calm waters of Wailea Beach. If you're faced with a rainy day, take a trip to the Maui Ocean Center to learn more about Hawaii's underwater ecosystems. Read More »

Hula Dancing View 44 photos
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#9 Gatlinburg

#9 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

This mountain town in eastern Tennessee was practically made for families. When you're not exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park (for free), take a ride up the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram to reach the amusement park of the same name or head to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies to see their resident mermaids. Read More »

Gatlinburg Main View 14 photos
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#10 San Diego

#10 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Travel to San Diego for 70 miles of sandy fun. When the waves start to bore the kids, 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 attractions housed within Balboa Park – home of the popular San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Read More »

San Diego View 49 photos
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#11 Honolulu - Oahu

#11 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Honolulu – especially Waikiki – offers excellent child-friendly beaches and activities like snorkeling, swimming with dolphins and the Wet'n'Wild Hawaii water park. Plus, many hotels and resorts sit along the shore, negating the need for public transportation or a vehicle. For a fun introduction to Hawaiian culture, consider a luau. Read More »

Wakiki Beach View 46 photos
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#12 Outer Banks

#12 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Families looking for a simple beach vacation should consider renting an oceanfront house or cottage on the coast of North Carolina. If the kids tire of playing in the sand, you can visit one of the many lighthouses or sneak in a history lesson at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Read More »

Outer Bank beaches View 24 photos
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#13 Ocean City

#13 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

The miles of sandy beaches and activities surrounding the boardwalk draw families to Ocean City, Maryland, every summer – and the affordable dining and lodging options keep them coming back year after year. If you've got a big crew, save some coin by opting for one of the many vacation rentals instead of several hotel rooms. Read More »

Ocean City boardwalk View 24 photos
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#14 Chicago

#14 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

The Windy City offers a wealth of activities for family fun. Visit Millennium Park to snap a photo with the "The Bean," head to Shedd Aquarium to see everything from beluga whales to bullfrogs, or cheer for the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Plus, Chicago's signature eats – hot dogs and pizza – are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Read More »

Chicago Skyline View 50 photos
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#15 Sanibel Island

#15 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

Little ones will love searching for shells on Bowman's Beach and spotting crocodiles, alligators and numerous birds at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, parents will love the affordable prices and laid-back vibe that's become synonymous with Sanibel Island. Read More »

Shelling View 16 photos
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Hilton Head

Aerial Harbour Town

Hilton Head

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Gettysburg

Gettysburg

Gettysburg

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New York City

Buzzing Times Square

New York City

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Myrtle Beach

Myrtle's Morning Pier

Myrtle Beach

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