Must-See Destinations For Families
Wondering where to go on your next family vacation? We break it down based on age of child + interests.
I love going places I’ve never been before and am known to spend countless hours researching destinations with pretravel glee. But the minute I think I’ve figured it all out, my husband complains about my new hidden-gem-of-a-vacation not being on the beach or my daughter questions what we’ll be doing while we’re there — because there are only so many days a kid can relax in the sun. We took it all into consideration and discovered must-visit spots that offer something for everyone in your family.
1 Clearwater Beach, FLImage by rcgtrrz
What to do: Enjoy pristine beaches, walk Pier 60, or visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Clearwater is a family-friendly destination that works for young kids who might be more interested in toddling along the beach than riding the waves. It's a laid-back city boasting good food and a leisurely attitude, which works for families with little kids.
2 Flic en Flac, MauritiusImage by Aurelian Săndulescu
What to do: Relax at the calm beaches, or head to Casela Nature and Leisure Park. Really a respite for tired parents of budding tots, a trip to the gentle beaches of Mauritius offers a calm opportunity to get in touch with your sand-castle-building skills alongside your little one. And the waters are welcoming to kids just getting to know the wonders of the ocean.
3 Orlando, FLView GuideImage by traveljunction
What to do: Hit the beach, visit Walt Disney World, explore SeaWorld, or check out Universal Orlando Resort. We just took our 6-year-old to Disney this year, and it was wonderful — and overwhelming. If you're planning this vacation, take into consideration how many days you want to spend in the park — and the age of your child. Sure, a young tot can enjoy strollering through the park, but older kids will really enjoy the experience and be tall enough for the rides. But Orlando isn't all about theme parks; it's also known for its stunning beaches and fun atmosphere.
4 Nassau, BahamasImage by Stephanie
What to do: Walk historical downtown Nassau, or visit Ardastra Gardens and Zoo. Kids of all ages love visiting a zoo and having the chance to be up close and personal with live animals, which makes a trip to Nassau a memorable family vacation. There's something for everyone, including calm beaches for beginning swimmers and stunning golf courses for Mom and Dad. And this is also a destination for young swimmers just getting comfortable splashing in the waves.
5 Daytona Beach, FLImage by Ola Christian Gundelsby
What to do: Enjoy pristine beaches, explore Joyland Amusement Center, or spend the day at Daytona Lagoon Waterpark. And don't forget the Daytona International Speedway. Daytona is packed with family adventures. Spend the day lounging at the beach, or get adventurous and head to several of the various fun parks in the area. But a visit to Daytona International Speedway is a definite must for any kid who loves cars.
6 Honolulu, HIView GuideImage by Edmund Garman
What to do: Enjoy swimming at the calm beaches, try stand-up paddling through a lagoon, or eat at a traditional luau. The island of Oahu offers so much to explore, from the lush landscape to stunning waterfalls; it's a destination packed with something new to do daily. Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous around and perfect for water enthusiasts of all ages. Older kids can try out paddleboarding, try snorkeling for the first time, or trek local trails while photo-documenting the experience.
7 Virginia Beach, VAImage by Ole Bendik Kvisberg
What to do: Enjoy riding the waves, spend the day at Colonial Williamsburg, or explore the Virginia Aquamarine and Marine Sciences Center. Sure, Virginia is for all ages, but the attractions at this destination are fitting for older kids who are just learning about American history in school along with more about aquatic life. Virginia is a travel destination that mixes exploring interests with fun — and you can't beat the beaches.
8 Montego Bay, JamaicaImage by Evgenii Klebanov
What to do: Snorkel, go golfing, try paddleboarding, or just hang at the beach. Traveling with older kids can be tricky — and you might find you all have similar checklists for the perfect vacation. Indulge everyone's wishes with a trip to Jamaica, where you can walk (and shop) the historic city of Montego Bay, eat wonderfully fresh seafood, play golf on beautiful courses, or snorkel in the bluest lagoons. Preteens and up are old enough to check out their own interests, making this a vacation the whole family can enjoy.