Looking for your next vacation spot in the USA? If you haven’t visited these places with the kids you’ll definitely want to start planning! From vibrant New York to museums of Washington DC, planning a family vacation can be fun.
#1- New York City
If you don’t live in New York City then you’ll just have to take a trip with your kids to do all those exciting things to do in New York that you’ve seen in the movies.
Take the ferry over to Liberty Island to gawk at the Statue of Liberty. As one of the USA’s most iconic symbols of freedom, it’s a landmark that embodies the soul of America. Visiting Ellis Island is also an educational experience, as it was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the country.
One of the best ways to experience any city is to check out the places where locals like to hangout. It’s no different in New York City and the good news is you can explore the Big Apple eve if you’re on a tight budget. Here’s an insider’s guide to things to do in NYC if you’re on a budget.
Your kids have learned about 9/11 at school, so a visit to Ground Zero is a chance for you to help them connect to all the things they’ve heard about that tragic event.
It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, you won’t have any trouble finding things to see in New York City. In fact, there’s so much to do, you’ll need to get organized before your trip to make sure you fit in all the best spots. Read this post for everything you need to know to plan your first trip to New York City.
#2- Washington DC
Home to the world’s most famous buildings, United Sates Capitol, and the White House (who hasn’t heard of the White House right?) makes Washing DC a great choice for a meaningful vacation with the kids. A tour of the monuments will make their history lessons at school come to life. Visiting DC is both educational and exciting, as many of Washing DC’s landmarks also feature in TV shows and the blockbuster movies. DC also has some of the best museums in the world, such as the Smithsonian. There’s no shortage of things to see in Washington DC! Here’s a good Washington DC guide to check out.
#3- Yellowstone National Park
The USA’s first national park is a geyser wonderland. The entire family will be thrilled to see Old Faithful shoot steam up into the sky. Yellowstone National Park is littered with geysers, mud pots and technicolored hot springs.
Many of the geysers are within walking distance and for families that love wildlife, this is the place to go. Yellowstone National Park is home to bison, elk, and bears. Wolves slink in the forest and Bighorn Sheep are often spotted.
#4 Yosemite National Park
The landscape of UNESCO World Heritage Yosemite National Park is breathtakingly beautiful, with valleys, waterfalls and mountains. It’s a popular national park for a family vacation with plenty of activities. Hiking is the number one activity and the park rangers offer fantastic talks that the kids will love.
There are a number of hikes to suit the whole family, from short hikes to longer more challenging hikes.
For a fantastic time, make sure you go camping (if you’ve camped before you’ll understand why camping in Yosemite is an experience the family will always remember). Yosemite is also home to an assortment of wildlife and the chance of spotting a bear is pretty high.
#5 – New Orleans
While New Orleans might be known around the world as the place to go for Mardi Gras, you’d be surprised at how kid friendly NOLA actually is.
Outdoorsy types will love New Orleans’ many parks and nature-focused destinations,. With the kids, you can kayak across the bayou and discover a storybook playground. And just because you are with kiddos does not mean that you need to lose out on Cajun culture. There’s a bunch of tours, music venues and even bookstores that appeal to the under-18 audience.
Your New Orleans itinerary could include the National World War II Museum and New Orleans Museum of Art, there’s a lot for both adults and children to do from the town’s museums.
Another fantastic thing about New Orleans is the climate. With the exception of July and August (when it’s hot and humid), the rest of the year is lovely. Expect a mild temperatures in the winter-and perfect weather in the spring and autumn.
#6 – Savannah, Georgia
If you’re considering Savannah, Georgia, for a family holiday, don’t hesitate as you’ll have no trouble finding things for the kids to do. There are tons of attractions in Savannah for Mom, Dad and the kids, from fun outdoor parks to interactive kid-friendly displays in museums, not to mention wildlife centers and aquariums.
The Savannah Children’s Museum has loads of displays and mind-bending exercises to stretch those young and curious minds, including a fun maze, gardens and kids reading corner.
Other attractions the young ones might love include seeing the trains at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, learning about history at Old Fort Jackson or Fort Pulaski and seeing wildlife at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Use this Savannah city guide to help you with your planning.
#7- Disney World and Disneyland
When it comes to choosing a vacation for the family, of the many things to do in Orlando, Disney World in Orlando is a sure winner. A trip to Disney is not only fun for the kids but parents will love it too. Just keep your eye out for the reactions on your kids’ faces when they see the characters they love wandering around. You’ll be hard-pressed to tear the kids away from the Magic Kingdom.
Make sure you spend some time in Fantasyland and go on the classic rides, like Dumbo, and It’s a Small World. As there are four parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios), you’ll want to put aside lots of time to explore.
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is also fun for families. Disneyland is much smaller than Disney World and has two parks (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventures). Both Disney World and Disneyland have several rides in common, such as Space Mountain and It’s a Small World. Rides you’ll find only in Disneyland include the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Here’s more information about Disneyland California’s Disney Maxpass.
#8- Pacific Coast Highway Drive
The Pacific Coast Highway Drive is a beautiful drive between San Francisco and Los Angeles (check out this post for things to do in Los Angeles with kids). Pack the family up in the SUV and head off on a road trip of a lifetime. The scenery is amazing, with coastal cliffs and lovely beaches.
In Monterey, go kayaking and spend a few hours in the Aquarium. The animal shows are fun to watch. Pt. Lobos State Natural Reserve is the place to spot sea lions and whales while Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is perfect for hiking and camping. Don’t forget Hearst Castle too!
#9 – Las Vegas
Stay away from the gaming tables and you’ll find a heap of things to do for kids in Las Vegas, from magic shows to roller coaster rides to swimming with sharks. If you plan your vacation, Las Vegas can be so much fun for the whole family. You could spend a week or two exploring the attractions of the Las Vegas Strip, where the glitzy resorts and hotels are concentrated, but look beyond The Strip for other attractions such as Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Here are some fun things to do off the Las Vegas strip.
#10- Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon in Northwestern Arizona is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the USA. The enormous 277-mile long gorge will take your breath away and 6,000 feet deep drops will have your head spinning. It’s the perfect spot for a geology lesson, as the rocks are millions of years old.
With older kids, you could bike along the South Rimor hike into the canyon on a free tour, where a ranger will tell you all about the fossils and wildlife of the area. Another fun way to explore is on the back of a mule, which is pretty popular! You’ll have to reserve your spot on this excursion well in advance.
USA Travel Tips
Are you inspired to visit the USA? Traveling around the United States is not as costly as you might think it is. Here are some practical money-saving tips to help you plan your trip to the USA.