The Best Vacation Spots for Families

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Best Vacation Spots for Families

Summer is the perfect season to spend quality time with family. We love planning our vacations together and when thinking of our fondest memories a few destinations rise to the top. If you are looking for a quick, last-minute getaway this summer, I’ve compiled a list of some of my family’s favorites. Bringing the kids does not mean you need to forgo luxury! On the contrary, some of these vacation spots offer the most incredible amenities and top tier service.

HERE ARE 8 OF THE BEST VACATION SPOTS FOR FAMILIES THIS SUMMER:

1. JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

Leaving the bustle of the city may be just what your family needs. Jackson Hole, Wyoming is easily one of the best vacation spots for families. The outdoor activities are endless, and I guarantee you will not hear, “I’m bored” the entire trip. 

The Jackson Hole area is home to the The Teton mountain range, and will serve as the ideal playground for a variety of family activities. The rugged terrain is perfect for hiking and mountain biking. Choose from a number of winding trails around the base of the mountains or explore a more robust route towards the peaks. If you’re an animal lover like I am, try horseback riding.  Picturesque scenery engulfs the vista with towering mountain peaks met with rolling pastures. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of a classic Western! On days when you need a rush of adrenaline, I recommend taking the family for a paragliding adventure. Although not as wild as skydiving, you will still feel your stomach dance as you glide through Teton’s peaks. For accommodations, Amangani can serve as an exquisite base camp for your getaway.

2. ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

Asheville, North Carolina, is a trendy haven placed in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is yet another destination on our list of the best vacation spots for families. Here, the hilly topography is home to numerous waterfalls and great opportunities for hiking at a low degree of difficulty. As a family you can also explore the famous Biltmore House. These extensive grounds include a winery and an option to traverse the property on horseback. My family loves to infuse our vacations with a bit of adrenaline! If your family operates similarly, I would recommend ziplining and whitewater rafting. Asheville has several great rafting and ziplining options to see the Appalachian Mountains from a different perspective.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

3. WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON

Given my profession, my daughters are blessed to travel frequently. Traveling with them is always an adventure. Several summers ago, we spent time at Double Bluff Beach, which ended up being one of my daughters’ favorite trips.  Just a short ferry ride from Seattle, Double Bluff Beach graces the shore of Whidbey Island, Washington. This island is pet-friendly and allows families to let their dogs run loose at the dog beach – so go ahead and bring your furry friends along! Double Bluff State Park allows oyster and clam digging year round. Keep your kids occupied searching the coast for mollusks in the dark, gritty sand. When your muscles ache from a day of clamming, relax at the Four Seasons Seattle spa. A hot stone massage is just what you’ll need to end a fabulous day by the water.

Looking for more fun spots in the Seattle area? Spend a day or two on Bainbridge Island  or Orcas Island.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

4. MARCO ISLAND, FLORIDA

Sitting just off the coast of southwest Florida is Marco Island. The Barrier Island is connected to the mainland with a series of bridges and roadways. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy the warm waters lapping placidly along the sandy shores of Florida’s Gulf Coast. In addition to offering world class golf courses, it’s also in close proximity to the Everglades National Park. Here, the mangrove estuaries will delight your family with the abundant wildlife that prowls near the shore. A guided airboat ride is a great way to explore this national park. If you are lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of alligators or the endangered Florida Panther.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

5. UPSTATE NEW YORK

A visit to Upstate New York provides a stunning summer backdrop for a family vacation. Vibrant greenery will tempt you to unplug, unwind and relax in the lushness of the forest. Summer in upstate New York marks blueberry season. July through August the bushes are covered in ripened berries waiting to be plucked. U-pick farms dot the region, and make for a fun afternoon of sampling. 

Not to be missed, are several excellent waterfalls that offer safe swimming for the whole family. Venture out to Split Rock Falls where there are deep crevices for cliff-jumping. Another spot sure to please is Peekamoose Blue Hole in the Catskills. Choppy, blue water will offer a delicious chill against the warm summer weather. Most of the area’s waterfalls are accessed via a short hike, so make sure you have appropriate shoes for the trek. With a abundance of wildlife it’s no surprise that this East Coast gem has made the list of best vacation spots for families across America.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

6. VANCOUVER, CANADA

Crossing back to the west coast, seaside Vancouver is a perfect destination for a family summer vacation. Despite being an urban mecca for technology and commerce, the coastal city  may surprise you with the abundance of parks and outdoor activities within the cityscape. Capilano Suspension Bridge serves as great place to start your family’s exploration. Known as the oldest tourist attraction in Vancouver, the bridge sits suspended 250 feet over the Capilano River. You can rest assured knowing that visitors have been safely crossing the swinging bridge since 1889. 

To keep your family moving, opt for a steep climb up Grouse Mountain. (There’s also a gondola for those of you who prefer to keep to exercise in the gym.) On a clear day, the view from the peak reveals a beautiful view of the city. Directly in the center of Vancouver, the VanDusen Botanical Garden blooms in radiant hues of purple, red and yellow. For a quiet day, meander the peaceful paths on a self-guided tour of the flora and fauna.  If you want to explore the scenery outside the city (and I highly recommend you do!), read up on some of my other favorite summer activities across Canada.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

7. MOAB, UTAH

Images of fiery orange arches against a crisp blue sky dance in my mind when I dream of the wonder that is Arches National Park. When searching for the best vacation spots for families, a requirement for mine is an abundance of outdoor activities. This region’s national parks will have daily adventures pouring out of your itinerary. 

There are a number of ways to see the geological rock formations. First catch a glimpse of a bird’s eye view from a passenger plane. Second, keep your feet on land as you explore the sandstone spires of canyonland in an ATV. Finally, on foot you can explore another fun aspect of this mesmerizing landscape. Hike the region during different day parts to see the changing colors of the rock formations. The sun’s positioning alters the hues of the spires and sends dancing shadows along the footpaths. Let the fresh air infuse your lungs as you and the kiddos traverse the uneven terrain. When you’re exhausted from a day of desert exploration, retire to the rustic luxury of the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa. The fire pits are a beautiful place for evening s’mores with the whole family!

Excited to explore other desert destinations? Discover some of my favorite arid vacation spots.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

8. BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA

Nothing says family vacation better than a road trip. Big Sur, California, is one of the best vacation spots for families looking to take a leisurely drive along the rocky California coast. There are numerous state parks and hidden beach coves to discover along Route 1. Once your family is exhausted by the view of crashing waves along the coast (kidding!), detour over to Old Coast Road. Adopt a snail’s pace, as you all stare in  wonder at the ancient Redwood trees that line the narrow roadway. When you’re ready to stretch your legs, embrace the serenity of the McWay Falls Trail.  It’s a short family-friendly hike to a secluded waterfall, which spills into an emerald pool.  Back in the car, head for the unique accommodations of Post Ranch Inn. The view from the pool provides an new perspective on the route you just covered.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

A family that vacations together stays together! I absolutely love bringing my family along on my travels. Plus, it is a passion of mine to uncover some of those vacation spots with both family fun activities and luxurious amenities. There is still plenty of summer sun left! I hope you can use these destinations to create some excellent memories this summer with the whole family.

Best Vacation Spots for Families

Looking for international family-friendly vacation spots? Check out my experience visiting one of the best Costa Rican family resorts. Or test the waters with the whole family on a private yacht vacation!

Misha Gillingham
Misha Gillingham

Misha Gillingham is the owner and operator of Wildluxe. Fascinated by luxury hotels and all of the details that go into creating that perfect guest experience, Misha focuses her creative efforts on showcasing only the most exclusive properties in the world. Follow along and discover the travel destinations you’ve been dreaming of.

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