A family vacation is an opportunity for parents and kids to spend quality time together, relax and recharge. But it can be challenging to find a resort that offers the right mix of relaxation, excitement and learning opportunities for every member of your family. That’s why Good Housekeeping has created the Kid-Friendly Travel Awards to honor the best hotels and resorts that know how to create an unforgettable experience for all ages.
Whether you prefer a relaxing beach getaway, an adventure in nature or a cultural exploration, there’s a place for everyone to enjoy on our list. These resorts, all winners of the Good Housekeeping 2023 Kid-Friendly Travel Awards, used the pandemic to rethink and revamp, making them even better for families than before. And they have plenty to offer, from water slides and pirate-themed cruises to dolphin-spotting excursions and interactive art classes.
For a relaxing beach vacation, the beautiful shores of Destin in Florida provide the perfect setting for families. Kids can play in the sand or swim in the calm waters of Henderson Beach State Park and Crystal Beach Park, while adults can take a break from the sun at Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.
If your family wants to explore a natural wonder, nothing tops the Grand Canyon. Hiking, mule rides and awe-inspiring views will ensure your whole family has a trip to remember. For a similar “wow factor” but less expensive, consider South Dakota’s famous national parks and monuments.
Beaches are the obvious choice for many families, but not all beaches are equal. The sand at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is a hit with families thanks to its calm shorelines and kid-pleasing attractions, including Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and Family Kingdom Amusement Park. For an added dose of fun, book a stay at a resort that offers onsite activities for kids like tie-dye t-shirt sessions and outdoor arts classes.
Hawaii’s islands are a favorite for families, and for good reason. From the bustling shores of Waikiki to the gentle waves at Lanikai Beach, these Pacific gems are a beach lover’s paradise. But the fun doesn’t stop at the sand; visitors can also snorkel with sea turtles, visit the Honolulu Zoo and ride horses at Kualoa Ranch.
If your family loves to rock out and sing-along, Branson, Missouri is a great place to visit. The area is home to live musical entertainment at venues like Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, while the pristine natural landscapes of Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park provide a dramatic backdrop for a hike or a family photo. And of course, there are the world-famous theme parks in Orlando and Anaheim.