Top 5 Family Vacation Destinations

family vacation

A family vacation is more than just a time off from the day-to-day grind: it’s a chance to reforge family bonds and make memories that last a lifetime. Whether your kids are in elementary school, tweens or teens, we’ve got the best family vacations to help you recharge and create meaningful shared experiences that will last.

A visit to the Grand Canyon is on most everyone’s bucket list, and this world-famous destination offers plenty of opportunities for adventure. Whether you opt to hike, ride a mule, or take in the views from the Skywalk at the rim of the canyon, there’s no doubt that you’ll leave with lasting memories.

The Big Apple is an iconic choice for a big city family vacation, especially with its accessible, often affordable nonstop flights from most major cities. There’s no shortage of things to do in this cultural mecca, from a Broadway show to a visit to one of the world’s finest museums to strolling through Central Park, where you can see iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art or hit the playgrounds and conservatory at the park. You can also catch a baseball game or go to Coney Island, one of the most famous boardwalks in the world.

New York isn’t the only big city that’s great for a big city family vacation: San Francisco is another top pick, offering a rich history and plenty of kid-centric attractions, such as Union Square and Ghirardelli Square (famous for its chocolate treats). The city’s beach and boardwalk offer postcard views, while Central Park offers rolling lawns, walking trails, a castle, a conservatory, and a zoo. You can even catch a ferry to Staten Island for a trip that’s equal parts urban and island-like.

If you love the idea of a big city, but prefer to stay closer to home, consider turning your backyard into a family vacation. Set up a tent in the yard, roast marshmallows around the fire pit, and go for day trips to local museums and parks.

If you’d rather travel to a warmer climate, the tropical islands of the South Pacific are an easy and affordable option. The Cook Islands are a quick overnight flight from the West Coast, and their gorgeous beaches and lagoons provide excellent snorkeling. Or you can visit Lapland in winter to experience the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights at Rovaniemi, or head to Ounasvaara for summer husky sled rides or ski slopes.