1. Live your Disney dreams in Orlando
Orlando’s an absolute paradise for kids of all ages. For starters, the city’s home to not one but four action-packed Disney theme parks. The fun doesn’t stop once you’ve explored Disney World, as the Kennedy Space Center is just a short drive from Orlando. The kid-friendly museum displays America’s space rockets and even lets you touch a piece of moon rock! The museum’s located on Florida’s Space Coast, which boasts tons of gorgeous beaches. However, when it comes to nature, it’s not just sandy shores that impress children and parents alike. Florida’s famous for its marshlands, and the whole family can glide through the swamps on an airboat. Be sure to keep an eye out for gators!
2. Soak up the sun in San Diego
San Diego has everything you need for an unforgettable, sun-powered family vacation. Its zoo is one of the best in the world and is home to over 4,500 cute, cuddly, and roar-some animals. The city’s coastline is also packed with a wide variety of family-friendly activities. You can go dolphin and whale watching or stay closer to shore with a visit to the USS Midway, a historic aircraft carrier turned museum. There are plenty of family-oriented things to do onboard, like realistic flight simulators that let kids pretend they’re a fighter pilot! And the best part about visiting San Diego? Year-round sunny weather.
3. Get to know America’s past in Washington, D.C.
What D.C. lacks in Disney parks, it sure makes up for in history with iconic sites like the White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial. The U.S. capital is a great place for kids to learn about important topics, including the history of African Americans and the first president of the United States. Once you’ve looked at recent history, take your family waaaay back in time at one of the most celebrated and fun museums in the world, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. It’s the perfect place for little (and not so little) ones to get to know all sorts of intriguing time periods.
4. Go back in time in Boston
Boston’s the place to visit for history hunters. The city’s teeming with seminal landmarks, especially along the Freedom Trail. The 2.5 mile (4 km) route encompasses 16 historical sites, like Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, and Massachusetts State House. This family-orientated walking tour is led by 18th-century costumed guides and takes you to 11 of the most important sights on the trail. What’s more, one of the most iconic stadiums is also located in the city. Home of the Red Sox since 1912, Fenway Park is the ideal location for baseball fans of all ages. With so much to see and do, a Boston Go card will save you big bucks on 40 attractions and tours, including the Boston Duck Tour.
5. See San Francisco’s icons up close
Swap SoCal for NorCal and experience all the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. San Diego may have a pretty epic zoo, but NorCal more than matches that animal awesomeness at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Once you’ve finished mingling with the fishies, take a tour of the Bay Area to see sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the towering redwoods in Muir Woods. If you’re traveling with teens, consider a visit to Alcatraz (we guarantee it’s more interesting than their phones). Located on an island some 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the mainland, this former prison housed some of America’s most notorious criminals. Nowadays, it’s home to a fascinating museum.
6. Visit America’s biggest aquarium in Atlanta
Atlanta might not be the first name that springs to mind when you’re planning a family getaway. However, the capital of Georgia is packed with loads of fun-filled family experiences, including the biggest aquarium in the US. Over 100,000 animals swim around the Georgia Aquarium, and a visit here is guaranteed to put big smiles on small faces. Atlanta’s also steeped in history. You can deepen your family’s knowledge of one of the city’s most famous sons, Martin Luther King Jr, on this walking tour. Elsewhere, you can learn about Atlanta’s famous sights and companies (like Coca Cola and CNN) during this top-rated city tour in a funky electric car.
7. Get adventurous in Hawaii
Hawaii’s dreamy beaches and volcanic landscapes combine to create a vacation like no other. This is especially true in Kauai, which is packed with memory-making experiences for the whole family — especially if you have a head for heights. Start your vacation by hopping in a sightseeing plane and taking to the skies over the Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon. You’ll gaze down (probably open-mouthed!) upon crystal-clear water and the island’s lush interior. Next up, be sure to try this zip line adventure that whizzes across three picture-perfect valleys. Once your feet are back on the ground, visit a top-rated Luau and enjoy delicious local dishes and traditional festivities.