Planning a family getaway? You’ve got lots of options, whether you’d prefer sticking closer to home or jetting off to an exotic destination. From budget-friendly trips to adventures in Europe, these are some of the top vacation spots for families to consider.
Amelia Island, Florida
Situated just off Florida’s northern coast, Amelia is an island that offers more than a dozen miles of gorgeous sandy white beaches and lots of family-friendly activities. You can enjoy horseback riding at the edge of the Atlantic, paddling through marshes and tidal creeks, and biking on miles of paved, scenic trails. Learn about history at Fort Clinch State Park with its well-preserved 19th-century forts, and take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the historic downtown in Fernandina Beach.
Vancouver, British Columbia
One of the world’s greatest, and most beautiful cities, Vancouver is surrounded by mountains and water, offering something for everyone. Stanley Park covers 1,000 acres right in the city and has a 5.5-mile-long paved path along the waterfront for walking and biking while enjoying stunning views, and it’s home to a number of attractions, including a miniature train, water park, and the Vancouver Aquarium. In the summer, enjoy beaches like Kitsilano, or Kits, which has a grassy area for picnics and Frisbee tossing as well as a massive heated outdoor saltwater pool. If the weather isn’t cooperating, take the kids to Science World, with lots of interactive, hands-on exhibits.
With all the breathtaking scenery and so many fun things to see and do, many visitors find themselves falling in love with British Columbia’s largest city. If that’s you, you might want to include some time to tour the Vancouver houses for sale too.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
A great spot to visit outside of the summer months, Joshua Tree National Park is ideal for a camping trip from around mid-fall through mid-spring, although you’ll find a good variety of accommodation options in the village of Joshua Tree just outside the park. It’s home to the unique Joshua Tree along with many bizarre plants like the teddy bear cactus, and there are lots of boulder formations for climbing, including smaller boulders for the little ones to scramble over. After dark, the stargazing is out of this world.
Consistently rated as the safest country in Central America, Costa Rica is the perfect spot for the family to play. It offers lush jungles with scenic trails for spotting monkeys and all sorts of colorful birds and other wildlife, the chance to swim under waterfalls, whiz across a zip line, kayak, and more. Kids as young as six can take a “safari float,” a gentle ride across the rapids. Of course, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to enjoy too.
Costa Rica is also the place to be for thrill-seeking families. It could offer a wide array of adventure sports including rafting, surfing, scuba diving, hiking, and many more. If you happen to be someone interested in exploring these activities, you may be able to find plenty of local companies like Los Suenos Marina fishing charters that could take you to shallow or deep waters for you to fish or dive, depending on what you would like to do.
If you want the kids to experience Europe for the first time, London is a great pick. While the language won’t be foreign, older kids and teens will be fascinated with the world they’ve probably seen in films like Harry Potter. The Tower of London is sure to thrill with the ghoulish tales told on a tour, while Buckingham Palace offers the chance to visit the home of a real queen, Queen Elizabeth, and watch the Changing of the Guards too.
Punta Cana, Dominica Republic
If you’re looking for an affordable, family-friendly resort-style vacation in the Caribbean, Punta Cana has lots of options and all sorts of fun things to do with the kids. There are powder sugar-like beaches edged by shallow turquoise water for swimming along with many other outdoor adventures, from snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and river rafting to dolphin and whale watching tours.