The 20 Best Family Vacation Destinations
Family vacations are the time to make memories with loved ones while getting away from the usual daily routine. However, any parent knows that traveling with kids is challenging. First, you have to look for family-friendly destinations with attractions to entertain everyone; then make sure there are lots of dining options; and book the perfect accommodation that won’t risk anyone’s’ comfort. No worries, because Owner Direct Vacation Rentals and these vacation spots understand and provide what families need. Here are some of the best vacation destinations for an unforgettable family trip!
Just minutes from Walt Disney World, Orlando Studios, and Seaworld, Kissimmee is a popular destination in its own right, especially for families. From finding thrills at theme parks to exploring Florida’s natural wonder from a hot air balloon, this is one of the places where families can make memories and the possibilities are endless! You can go to the Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park, Old Town Kissimmee, Kissimmee Lakefront Park, Fun Spot America, Disney Springs, and Orange World for some classic Florida souvenirs. Hungry? Stop by Chomp House Grill for their signature slushies and BBQ. Head to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament for a one-of-a-kind dinner-show. Cool off at Kilwins Celebration for the best confectionary.
Hawaii’s second largest island has plenty to offer. From thriving farm to table food scene, an adventure that will cater to kids of all ages, and some of the world’s most stunning beaches. Maui is a good choice for families seeking activities, cultural opportunities, and resort amenities while still experiencing a laid-back tropical getaway. Swim in waterfalls, hike dormant volcanoes, visit historic Lahaina town, take snorkel and whale watching tours, eat shaved ice while lounging at the beach and watching the kids play in the sand.
From gators to gold, Myrtle Beach has a lot of family activities and attractions that can keep each family member entertained. Myrtle Beach has the Grand Strand – 60 miles of soft white sand that stretches nearly from North Carolina border to Georgetown. If the kids and adults are up to it, go Ape Zip Lining or do the Treetop Adventure. Known as the “Seaside Golf Capital of the World”, there are lots of courses to try and miniature golf. For some fun, you can go to Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Beach Boardwalk, or the Sky Wheel. Let’s not forget Broadway at the Beach for entertainment, restaurants, and shopping galore. Kids will surely love Wonderworks, Ripley’s Aquarium, and Alligator Adventure. If you want to eat out, choose from Nacho Hippo, Bubba’s, Joey’s Doggs, and River City Cafe.
You don’t need to be a snow bunny to soak up the Whistler vibe. Easily a favorite Canadian destination, iIt’s a magical place for families who love outdoor activities in a picturesque setting. From toddlers to grandparents, it’s a year-round destination with amenities that make traveling with family a breeze. There are lots of dining options, kid-friendly venues, and spacious vacation rentals. Most of the vacation home rentals have heated pools, hot tubs, and fireplaces to make sure everyone can get cozy. For kids, there are activities like ski camps, tube park, ice skating, and indoor activities too. For teens and adults, there’s skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. In summer, choose from golfing, hiking, mountain biking, zip trekking, and many more!
This place truly puts families first but does so without sacrificing the guest experience for other visitors. While snow sports activities are the main focus, Big White has lots of on and off-slope activities geared for parents and kids. There’s on-mountain restaurants, cafes, delis, pubs, and nightclubs with kids menus and amazing options for any dietary restrictions. If parents and other adults want to enjoy some time on the slopes, kids from 18 months and above can stay at Big White’s Tot Town Daycare or Kids Centre to have some kiddie fun and individual skill lessons. No matter the season, there’s plenty to do at Big White as many activities and restaurants are available year-round.
From toddlers to teenagers, Kelowna can provide fun and create memories for all age demographics. It’s a family-friendly destination especially for summer vacations, surrounded by over 200 dedicated parks, pine forest, vineyards, orchards, and mountains. For outdoor fun, head to Myra Canyon Adventure Park, Wildplay Kelowna, or the Hoof Prints Barnyard Petting Zoo & Pony Run. Tired of the heat? Bring the kids to Fun Bugs Indoor Playground, H2O Adventure and Fitness Center, or do some bowling. Adults can have a little fun at the pubs, music venues, dance halls, and casinos. Grab some local goods and artisans from the Farmer’s Market.
As one of the best family vacation spots in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta’s mountains and sea offer a multitude of activities for families. Explore the cobblestone streets of Viejo Vallarta, view the Baroque-style of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and get serenaded by mariachi bands. Stroll along Malecon’s mix of shops, restaurants, beach, and sand sculptures. For watersports, choose from snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing, and sport fishing. There are also jungle and canopy tours! If the family is up to it, take a boat ride to Las Caletas to enjoy views of stunning vistas while relaxing in beach hammocks.
Long considered as the best-kept secret destination of the Canadian Rockies, Canmore is a gem of a mountain town that’s well suited for families. No matter what season you choose to visit, there are so many outdoor adventures that are perfect for kids, teens, and adults. During winter, the Canmore Nordic Center is the perfect starting point for a lot of snow adventures. In summer, have picnics at Quarry Lake, hike to Grassi Lakes, climb Ha Ling Peak, or take a road trip into the Smith-Dorrien Valley. You can also check out Canmore’s indoor playground called Elevation Place or take a trail ride at Cross Zee Ranch. Aside from affordable accommodation options and kid-pleasing activities, you can browse Main Street or dine in family-friendly restaurants like Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co., or the Market Bistro. It really is a go-to for families, locals and visitors alike.
Even though it’s a treasure few have discovered, Sun Peaks is one of Canada’s top family destinations. It provides a safe setting for families and has awesome children’s facilities. Not to mention the vacation rentals have kid-approved amenities like heated pools, hot tubs with views of the mountains. It also has balconies, living rooms, and fully equipped kitchens with plenty of space for the whole gang to get together or spread out and relax. In winter, families can explore over 125 runs that cater to all types of skiers. In summer, there are loads of activities for families minus the crowds. Get group golf lessons, enjoy free concerts, browse the Farmer’s Market, try wine tasting from Kamloops wineries, and do Mountain Cross Carts.
This ski resort in British Columbia may be small, but its gorgeous champagne powder packs a punch! There are 128 trails that can cater to all skill level and 18 restaurants, cafes, and bars on site to choose for dining options. Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, mini snowmobiles, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and more. In summer, Silver Star still welcomes families and travelers to hike the mountain trails and take in the wildflower show.
Aside from having the sea as its main feature, it’s also one of the most rewarding destinations to bring the entire family. It has a series of great waters that can rival some of the best in the Caribbean, with authentic towns and cities to explore. The stunning beaches can be a surfers paradise, windy and wild, and most have gentle waves and are family friendly. Any trip to Cuba with the family should include touring Old Havana, see museums like the Museum de la Revolucion, taking a stroll along the Malecon, and taking a ride in a 1950s American car. You can also visit the Bay of Pigs, Trinidad, and Playa Ancon. For food, you can try any of the government-run and privately owned restaurants.
Best for families who know there is more to the great outdoors than the beach, Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Isle” for a good reason. Much of the landmass is covered in lush tropical forest. For families who prefer hiking, there are many cliffs, canyons, and trails that dot the island. Add to the mix of easy-to-learn surf breaks, kid-friendly beaches, and playgrounds, the vacation rentals have resort-type amenities that can cater to the whole gang. It’s simply the kind of place where everyone can hang out while enjoying each other’s company and the island.
As a popular destination known for its beautiful emerald waters and sugar white sands, Fort Myers is a place for families eager to engage in watersports or to just relax on the beach while watching the kids play in the sand. Sign everyone up for a guided eco-tour and watch your kids squeal while they spot dolphins, manatees, and other native wildlife on the cruise. Paddle with the kids on a kayak or soar above the ocean on a parasailing adventure. There’s also biking, hiking, or pick up some extraordinary shells. You’ll never run-out of outdoor activities and beach excursions in Fort Myers Beach.
Shuswap is a great vacation spot for the entire family and is a true four-season destination. Known as the “Houseboat Capital” of Canada, Shuswap offers breathtaking scenery and family-friendly activities and attractions. Enjoy the lake by cruising on a houseboat, let the kids enjoy the Enchanted Forest or Jungle Mania. Older kids and adults can step it up by getting on high ropes, zip-lines, and white-water rafting. The whole family can enjoy waterslides, go-karts, mini-golf, and so much more! It’s the place to enjoy nature at its best!
As one of Maui’s best-kept secrets and with 6 miles of easy-to-access beaches, loads of affordable accommodations, and a variety of dining options, Kihei offers everything you’ll need for an enjoyable beach vacation. It lures visitors with its gorgeous beaches, family-friendly vibes, and world-class whale watching. The Cove Beach Park and Kalama Beach are dreamy in every way. Take a break from cooking at Kihei Caffe, the go-to-spot for locals. Beat the heat at Ululani’s Shave Ice and enjoy some fresh seafood at Nalu’s South Shore Grill. It’s definitely the beach destination that has endless sunshine and price tags that won’t break the bank.
One of the Sunshine State’s top destinations, Tampa is filled to the brim with beaches, amusement parks, and long sunny days. There’s no shortage of places for kids of all ages to learn and play here. There’s the Busch Gardens, Museum of Science and Industry, Dinosaur World, Lowry Park Zoo, the Canoe Escape, the inviting beaches like Clearwater and many more! It really does offer guests a wide array of activities and attractions, so a vacation here means adventure for the whole family.
Simply called “Kona” by the locals, this tropical paradise is for those seeking nature in its purest form. It’s the capital of Big Island when it comes to outdoor activities as it’s almost always sunny and outdoor fun is very accessible. Do some Kona coffee tasting, or whip up your own Hawaiian specialty with the ingredients you bought from the Kona farmers markets. Watch luau and hula performances and sign up for a Seahorse Farm Tour. Aside from the beautiful beaches, there are botanical gardens, helicopter tours, and water adventures like manta-ray night dive. You can also do some zip lining, golfing, horseback riding, biking, hiking, or take the kids for some scenic drives.
For several reasons, Panama City is a great choice for families looking for a tropical destination. The mix of lovely beaches, history, kid-friendly accommodations, and wilderness preserves, it’s a formula for an unforgettable family vacation experience. Visit the Panama Canal and its interactive museum at Miraflores Locks. Check out the BioMuseo, do some zip-lining, and white-water rafting!
This Central American hot spot is fun and perfect for families not only because of its affordability, it’s also known as one of the top destinations for adventure. The minute you land in Costa Rica, anyone can easily fall in love with the landscape, the people, wildlife, adventure, and the food. Not to mention that it’s rich in biodiversity and geography. Zipline through cloud forests, rappel down waterfalls in the jungle, and surf world-class beaches. It truly is paradise for adventure-seeking families!
The capital city of British Columbia is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. It’s conveniently located about 100 km from Vancouver and Seattle, making it the perfect weekend getaway for tourists and locals of the mainland. It’s a walkable and stroller-friendly city with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy for days. Wander around Inner Harbour, James Bay, or Beacon Hill Park. Join a whale watching tour or visit Butchart Gardens. Adults will enjoy grabbing drinks as there are many micro-breweries, they even have a Local Beer Museum! Bring the kids to Bug Zoo, Ocean Discovery Center, and the Butterfly Gardens. Then squeeze in the Royal BC Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, or watch a movie at the IMAX Theater.
Always remember that the perfect family vacation is a combination of excitement and relaxation. What are you waiting for? Outdoor adventures, infinite entertainment, and memories await you and your family!
This is a great collection, Karina! Although a bit disappointed to see Costa Rica towards the end, this will serve as a great bookmark! Do take a look at my works too, https://medium.com/@jennamorris70/