20 Best Destinations In The United States To Visit With Young Kids

A family of five stands together atop a rock formation in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Photo Courtesy: Sarah Casper

One of the best things about traveling in the United States with young kids is that there are so many great destinations to choose from! From the beaches of Florida to the mountains of Colorado, there are plenty of kid-friendly attractions and activities to keep even the youngest travelers entertained. Whether you’re looking for a beach vacation, a city break, or a nature getaway, there’s sure to be a perfect spot for your family. Of course, with so many incredible options can be tough to decide where to go, especially if you have young kids in tow. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with this list of the Best Destinations In The United States To Visit With Young Kids. Stay tuned to learn more! 

Best Places to Visit on the East Coast With Young Kids

If you’re looking for the perfect family vacation destination, you can’t go wrong with the East Coast of the United States. From the beaches of Cape Cod to the historical sites of Philadelphia, there are plenty of places to keep everyone in the family happy. Here are just a few of our favorite picks for the best places to visit on the East Coast with kids! 

Philadelphia, PA

With its rich history and abundance of kid-friendly activities, Philadelphia is the perfect destination for a family vacation. This charming city in Pennsylvania has kid-friendly attractions, from exploring historical sites to visiting excellent museums. Plus, it’s extremely walkable and easy to navigate via public transportation, making it ideal for visiting with young kids! 

One of the best things to do with young kids in Philadelphia is to visit the Philadelphia Zoo, home to more than 1,000 animals. Kids will love seeing all the different animals, and they can even feed some of them. Another great activity for kids in Philadelphia is to visit the Please Touch Museum. This museum is all about hands-on learning, and kids will love playing with all of the interactive exhibits. If you’re looking for something a little more educational, learn more about United States history at iconic landmarks like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Betsy Ross House, all of which are located within the city. Other unique sites are sure to please families, too, between Shane Confectionery, America’s oldest candy store, The Magic Gardens, and Fireman’s Hall Museum

Philadelphia also puts families close to other destinations like Sesame Place. No wonder it’s one of the best destinations in the United States to visit with young kids! 

Visiting during the winter? Here are the 14 Things To Do In Philadelphia With Kids During Winter!

Where to Stay in Philadelphia with Kids

Philadelphia has plenty of places to stay with kids! Families love The Sonesta Philadelphia because it has the largest heated outdoor pool in the city. Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Philadelphia has the highest pool – on the 57th floor. In the Old City, stay at the conveniently located Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. A bit further from downtown, consider the Chestnut Hill Hotel, in a great neighborhood for shopping and dining.

Lancaster, PA

Two boys look out the back of an Amish buggy while visiting Lancaster, PA.
Photo Courtesy: Megan Tucker

Lancaster County is home to some of the best family attractions in Pennsylvania! Located in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, there are a variety of activities and sights to see in this historic area, particularly for young children. Whether you’re looking for history, arts, or just some good old-fashioned fun, Lancaster has something for everyone in the family! 

The Amish Farm and House is a great place to start your visit to Lancaster. This working farm allows visitors to experience what life is like for the Amish community. Families can take a wagon ride, milk a cow, or even churn their own butter. Lancaster is also home to several family-friendly museums, including the Lancaster Science Factory and the Lancaster History Center. Art & Glassworks is another must-see, featuring whimsical pieces of glass from all over the world. Nearby, families will also find the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. The Lancaster Central Market is another great place to take kids. Explore the various stalls selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other goods. Lancaster also has several parks and playgrounds, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants that are perfect for young families. 

Of course, no trip to Lancaster would be complete without a visit to Hershey Park and Dutch Wonderland. These amusement parks are filled with rides, shows, and attractions that are perfect for young kids! 

Lancaster is also one of 9 Exciting Weekend Getaways Near DC for Families!

Cape Cod, MA

​​If you’re looking for a quintessential New England experience with your young kids, look no further than Cape Cod. This popular vacation destination in Massachusetts is home to miles of sandy beaches, charming seafood shacks, and quaint seaside towns. And there’s plenty for kids to do, from exploring the Cape Cod National Seashore to mini-golfing and more. Plus, when you want a quick and scenic day trip, you can take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket!

Families love making locations like Yarmouth or Barnstable their home base in Cape Cod. Both offer a variety of family-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and things to do. Lovely beaches line both the north and south coasts of Yarmouth. Here, the surf is quite also gentle and ideal for young swimmers. In Barnstable, families love Sandy Neck Beach and Covell’s Beaches, to name a few.

Though a bit more expensive, Provincetown is another great option. When the weather is nice, relax on Race Point Beach, which is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. Kids will also love the many museums and historic sites on Cape Cod, including Provincetown Lighthouse or Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument. In the summer, families can also whale watch at MacMillan Wharf.

Or, explore more of Cape Cod by renting a bike and riding along Rail Trail. Also, don’t miss Wellfleet Cinemas for a drive-in movie, Pirate’s Cove for mini-golf, and Monomoy Island for a seal cruise. Then, get a sweet treat at Sundae School Ice Cream or a lobster roll at Dennisport’s Sesuit Harbor Café. Seafood lovers will be in heaven at The Chatham Pier Fish Market or Hangar B Eatery in the Chatham Airport

Don’t miss adding these 15 Best Things To Do In Cape Cod With Kids to your itinerary!

Where to Stay in Cape Cod with Kids

For somewhere to stay on Cape Cod with kids, we suggest Chatham Bars Inn for its upscale, secluded setting. Another great option is Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, known for its scenic oceanfront location and kids’ program.

New Hampshire

Young kids will love exploring the beautiful state of New Hampshire! With its vast mountains and valleys, there is so much to see and do in this New England paradise. This state is also full of natural beauty, charming small towns, and plenty of attractions to keep kids entertained! Particularly in the summer or fall, New Hampshire has plenty of outdoor activities that kids will love, such as hiking and camping. 

White Mountain National Forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. With over 800 miles of hiking trails to explore, including easy hikes suitable for young children, it’s the perfect place to get some fresh air and exercise. From swimming and boating in the summer to ice skating and sledding in the winter, there’s also no shortage of things to do at Lake Winnipesaukee. New Hampshire is also home to many kid-friendly theme parks, such as Santa Land, a magical place where young kids can meet Santa Claus and his reindeer, visit elf school, and take a ride on the Santa Express Train. Kids can also meet their favorite characters like Jack and Jill or Humpty Dumpty at Story Land, an imaginative world of fairy tales and Nursery Rhymes that come to life. 

And don’t forget about the history and culture of New Hampshire – from the USS Albacore Submarine Museum to the Strawbery Banke Living History Museum, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the state’s rich past. Kids will especially love Castle in the Clouds, a 16th-century-style castle, which sits on 135 acres of beautiful grounds.

Take in the autumn views at these 19 Exciting Places to See Fall Foliage in New England with Kids!

Where to Stay in New Hampshire with Kids

New Hampshire boasts plenty of places to stay as a family! For a luxury resort, consider the upscale Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa, which is located mountainside in Whitefield. Then, there’s also the Omni Mt. Washington Resort, which features two golf courses, an indoor pool, and lots of summer amenities. Families can also rent homes on Airbnb or Vrbo.

Vermont

Vermont is a delightful destination for young families looking to enjoy nature without sacrificing any comforts of home. The Green Mountain State offers an array of kid-friendly activities, from hiking and biking trails to swimming holes and playgrounds. In the warmer months, families can explore one of Vermont’s many state parks. Or, take a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside to see the fall foliage. And in the winter, it’s also home to some of the best ski resorts in the United States for families!

No matter what time of year, Vermont features charming small towns to explore. Stowe is home to Stowe Mountain Resort and endless hiking and outdoor adventures. There’s also a gondola up Mt. Mansfield for stunning views of the surrounding area. For a truly unique experience, ride the Green Mountain Railroad through the scenic Green Mountains. If you’re headed to Stowe during the winter, be sure to read our Guide to Skiing in Stowe with Kids.

In Waterbury, families can visit the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. Little ones will love seeing how their favorite ice cream flavors are made and even taking some home! Waterbury Center State Park is also a great place to hike, picnic, and swim. Then, in Shelburne, enjoy a vast art collection at The Shelburne Museum. Or, learn how adorable stuffed animals are made by hand on a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company Factory

An aerial view of Lake Champlain, covered in fall colors.

Burlington is situated on Lake Champlain and has plenty to keep families busy too. Kids will love visiting the Burlington Children’s Space on a rainy day. Or the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain during warm weather, where they can learn about local wildlife and go on boat rides. And don’t forget to check out the farmer’s market – it’s one of the best in the country!

Those traveling to Vermont during the autumn will love these 14 Perfect Fall Foliage Vacations for Families.

Where to Stay in Vermont with Kids

Families searching for a kid-friendly place to stay in Vermont are in luck! You’ll be in good hands at Smugglers’ Notch Resort just outside Stowe, which features winter skiing, summer hiking, and everything in between! Another great option is The Lodge at Spruce Peak, which has amazing views and even better amenities. Families also adore the quaint and cozy Trapp Family Lodge overlooking Stowe. Other fantastic options for the best hotels in Vermont for families include Topnotch Resort, Woodstock Inn & Resort, and the Tyler Place Family Resort. Or, spread out by booking an Airbnb or Vrbo. Here is more information on some of the best Vermont hotels for families.

Williamsburg, VA

Virginia’s colonial capital of Williamsburg is a great destination for young kids! With its 18th-century architecture and old-fashioned charm, this historic city is full of Revolutionary War-era landmarks and sites, as well as kid-friendly museums, restaurants, and shops. And there is no shortage of things to do, from visiting one of the many museums or historic homes to taking a leisurely stroll through one of the beautiful parks.

For families interested in learning about the history of America, Colonial Williamsburg is a must-see. This living history museum allows visitors to experience what life was like in the 18th-century colonies. Families can explore historic homes and shops like Governor’s Palace, watch artisans at work, and learn about 18th-century life through interactive exhibits and numerous activities daily.

Then, Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown are also great options for families looking to learn about the history of the United States. These living history museums offer visitors the opportunity to explore early American life through hands-on exhibits and demonstrations. Families can also participate in historical reenactments, watch blacksmiths at work, and much more. In neighboring Newport News, there’s the Virginia Living Museum, which showcases the state’s natural heritage. 

Left Image: A family of three sits on a bench in Busch Gardens in front of a large Christmas tree. Right Image: A mom and her young son sit in a tea cup ride at Busch Gardens in Washington DC.
Photo Courtesy: Megan Tucker

Want something more fast-paced? Busch Gardens is a must-visit for any family looking for a thrill! With over 50 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and live shows, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Water Country is another great option for families looking to cool off in the summer heat, featuring over 30 rides and attractions, including slides, pools, and a lazy river! 

Best Places to Visit in the South with Young Kids

When traveling with young kids, the United States south has so much to offer! From the stunning beaches of Florida to the charming small towns of Tenessee, endless options exist for family-friendly fun. Here are just a few of the best destinations to visit in the South of the United States with kids! 

Houston, TX

Three kids huddle together, all smiling, in front of a colorful dripping paint street art mural in Houston.
Photo Courtesy: Amanda Sorena

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure with your family in Houston! This vibrant city in Texas has something for all ages, from world-class museums and attractions to great restaurants and shopping. And with its mild climate, Houston is a great place to visit any time of year. Of course, families can’t miss the chance to sample the delicious Tex-Mex cuisines the city is known for! 

One of the best things to do in Houston with kids is to visit the Museum of Natural Science. This interactive and educational museum features exhibits all about science and nature. Of course, kids will love learning all about space at the Space Center Houston or visiting The Children’s Museum of Houston. Another great option for animal lovers is the Downtown Aquarium or the Houston Zoo. The zoo has a variety of animals, plus several educational programs.

For families looking for outdoor fun, Houston also has many parks that are perfect for young kids. Hermann Park, for example, has a playground and picnic areas. Memorial Park is another great option and features a playground, walking trails, and a lake where families can go fishing. If your kids are into sports, they’ll enjoy visiting Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros baseball team! 

Families doing a multi-city itinerary can also check out these Fun Things To Do In Dallas That Kids Will Love!

Florida

There’s no doubt that Florida is a great vacation destination for families with young kids! From the world-renowned theme parks of Orlando to the beaches of the Gulf Coast, there’s something for everyone in the Sunshine State. Plus, the weather is usually warm and sunny, making it a great place to visit all year round.

Orlando is home to some of the most popular theme parks in the world, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando. These parks offer various attractions and rides for kids of all ages.

For a more laid-back vacation, consider the variety of museums, historic sites, and parks in Florida’s capital, Tallahassee. And, of course, no trip to Florida would be complete without spending some time at the beach. Whether you want to explore Amelia Island on the Atlantic Coast or enjoy Sarasota or Destin on the Gulf Coast, you’ll be rewarded with soft sand and crystal-clear waters.

Key West is also a great destination for families with young children who love the outdoors. Try water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, and more at Dry Tortugas National Park or Fort Zachary Taylor State Beach Park. Those headed to Key West can’t miss these Fun Things to Do in Key West with Kids.

Looking for an epic family adventure? The Everglades is a must-see when visiting Florida. You can take an airboat tour through the wetlands, go on a hike, or even try your hand at fishing!

Where to Stay in Florida with Kids

Families have so many choices when it comes to accommodations in Florida. If you want to stay near Disney, you can choose from Disney Deluxe Resorts for families, like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Disney’s Beach Club Resort. There are also more moderate options, like Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Then, on the gulf coast, families will also find plenty of hotels with a water park or lazy river! We suggest The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Tradewinds Island Grand Resort, and Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. Key West also has some fantastic hotels, like the Key West Marriott Beachside.

Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are both excellent destinations for families with young children. These two picturesque towns, nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, are home to some of the best attractions in the country and offer tons of family-friendly activities, attractions, and affordable lodging options. You can usually find several deals on hotels and attractions if you plan your trip in advance! 

Start your trip in Pigeon Forge by heading to Dollywood, an adrenaline-pumping amusement park featuring dozens of rides, shows, and attractions. Little ones will especially love exploring the park’s Wildwood Grove, as well as the two play areas on Owens Farm: Granny’s Garden and the Lil’ Pilots Playground. Not to mention, munching on yummy cinnamon bread. Then, visit the Titanic Museum to learn all about the ill-fated ship and its passengers.

Gatlinburg is home to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, featuring hiking to Grotto Falls and Laurel Falls. Or, visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which showcases over 10,000 exotic sea creatures. Other popular attractions in Gatlinburg include Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park, Anakeesta, and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. After a day of thrills, treat the family to some delicious southern cooking at one of the area’s many restaurants.

Looking for more things to fill your days in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg? Check out this Exciting Family Itinerary For Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge.

Atlanta, GA 

Most people think of Atlanta as a bustling city with a vibrant nightlife. However, there is so much more to Atlanta than that! This city is also home to some of the best destinations in the United States to visit with young kids! From world-class museums and historical attractions to outdoor activities and lots of fantastic food, your family will indeed have a memorable vacation in Atlanta.

One of Atlanta’s most popular tourist attractions is the World of Coca-Cola, where kids can find interactive exhibits about their favorite beverages. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world and is a must-see for any family visiting Atlanta. Kids will love getting up close and personal with all of the amazing marine life, and they will even have the opportunity to pet some of the animals! Zoo Atlanta is also worth a visit for young animal lovers to spot lions, tigers, gorillas, and more. Then, the Center for Puppetry Arts is another great option for families with young kids. This interactive museum offers puppet shows, workshops, and even classes so kids can learn about puppetry. They also have a giant puppet store on site where you can purchase your very own puppet! 

With many nearby parks and green spaces, like the Atlanta Botanical Garden or Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta is a great place to get some fresh air and stroll. Plus, there are plenty of things to do outside of the city limits as well. Try taking the kids to Stone Mountain Park or Six Flags Over Georgia for a day of fun! 

Plan your itinerary with these Best Things To Do In Atlanta With Kids

Best Places to Visit in the Midwest with Young Kids

There are so many great places to visit in the Midwest with kids! Depending on your interests, you can find everything from interactive museums to outdoor adventures. Below are some of our top picks for places to visit in the Midwest with kids – each one has something unique to offer your family! 

Bloomington, MN

When it comes to family-friendly vacation destinations, it doesn’t get much better than Bloomington, Minnesota! Located around 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis, this Midwestern gem is home to world-famous attractions that are sure to be a hit with your little ones. From outdoor adventures to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, Bloomington has it all!

Bloomington is known for housing the Mall of America, a huge indoor mall with many kid-friendly stores and attractions. Be sure to stop by for a day of shopping and check out the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium! Of course, young kids can’t miss the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, where they can meet all their favorite cartoon characters and enjoy fun rides. The Mall of America also offers endless shopping, as well as mini-golf, an arcade, restaurants, and more.

Beyond the big-name sights, Bloomington is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors, with plenty of green space to explore and go hiking, like places like the Hyland Lake Park Reserve (which includes one of the best playgrounds in the Twin Cities) and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. And don’t forget about the city’s kid-friendly museum scene, which you can experience at The Works Museum. Bloomington has a great selection of parks and playgrounds for families to enjoy, including the Hyland Play Area and Running Park.

Don’t miss adding some of these 18 Amazing Things to Do in Minneapolis Families Will Love to your itinerary.

Where to Stay in Bloomington with Kids

Bloomington is super kid-friendly and has lots of places to stay! For indoor fun at a water park, we suggest the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park | Minnesota. Families who want to stay near one of Bloomington’s biggest attractions, the Mall of America, can also book a stay at Radisson Blu Mall of America.

Looking to add a few more stops to your Minnesota itinerary? Here are 45+ Exciting Places To Visit Within 3 Hours Of The Twin Cities With Kids.

Chicago, IL 

If you’re looking for an exciting and educational destination to take your young kids to, Chicago is the perfect place! From world-renowned museums to interactive attractions, your children will love exploring this vibrant city in northern Illinois. Plus, Six Flags Great America isn’t too far away when families want a thrilling day trip from Chicago! 

From tasting deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s to parks or sports games, you’ll find endless ways to entertain your kids. One of the most popular attractions for young kids is the Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s home to all sorts of animals, from lions and tigers to penguins and polar bears. Families can visit the nearby Brookfield Zoo or the Shedd Aquarium for more animal adventures. Or, take kids to a family-friendly museum, like the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, or the Chicago Children’s Museum.

On a sunny day, wander Chinatown Square, Pilsen’s 16th Street Murals, and Navy Pier. Or, take a boat tour and spend the day at Chicago beach. Save time for Millennium Park, home to a famous sculpture, “The Bean,” aka Cloud Gate! Finally, don’t forget about these Fun Things to Do in Chicago with Kids.

Where to Stay in Chicago with Kids

Stay in the heart of downtown Chicago at the Palmer House, A Hilton HotelThe Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, and the Park Hyatt Chicago. Each has unique accommodations and extra perks for families, like a pool, spacious rooms, or rooms with kitchenettes. If you want to stay by the Navy Pier, check out The Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago Downtown / River North or Loews Chicago Hotel. Families also love The Langham, Chicago. Here’s why we think you should Stay at The Langham, Chicago, for an Exciting Chicago Vacation with Kids! Or book an Airbnb or Vrbo! Check out our list of family hotels in Chicago if you want more options.

Wisconsin Dells, WI

If your family loves the outdoors, Wisconsin Dells is the perfect destination! This city in southern Wisconsin has plenty to keep young ones entertained, from waterparks and river cruises to nature-focused adventures. Whether you want to go swimming, boating, fishing, or something else, it’s undoubtedly one of the best destinations in the United States to visit with young kids!

When you want to cool off, Wisconsin Dells showcases several waterparks, including Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, and the largest waterpark in America, Noah’s Ark Waterpark. The whole family can have a blast with slides, pools, and lazy rivers! For a different kind of outdoor adventure, take a river cruise to spot beautiful sandstone cliffs and plenty of wildlife along the way.

Several companies offer cruises on the Wisconsin River, including Dells Boat Tours, so that you can choose one perfect for your family. Or, hike through one of the many trails at Mirror Lake State Park. Additionally, you don’t want to miss taking your kids to the Wisconsin Deer Park! Visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium or tour the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory – an interactive science museum that all ages will love. 

Wisconsin Dells is one of the Best Places To Visit In Wisconsin For Families; find out who else made the list.

Where to Stay in Wisconsin Dells with Kids

You’ll find plenty of fun places to stay in Wisconsin Dells with kids! If you want one with an indoor or outdoor waterpark, consider Wilderness Resort. From lazy rivers to fast slides, it truly has it all! Some other great water park hotels in Wisconsin Dells include Kalahari Resorts & Conventions – Wisconsin Dells and Great Wolf Lodge Water Park | Wisconsin Dells. 

Branson, MO

When it comes to family-friendly destinations, Branson is hard to beat! Situated in the Ozarks, this welcoming Missouri city boasts more than 60 live music shows, seven theme parks, three water parks, and numerous museums and attractions. Whether your kids are into roller coasters or performances, they will find something to love in Branson!

Start your trip with a visit to Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed amusement park with over 40 rides, shows, and attractions. Kids will love riding the rollercoasters and exploring the many shops and restaurants. Then, head to Splash Country Indoor & Outdoor Water Park for a day of slides, swimming, and splashing around!

Adventure seekers can explore caves at Talking Rocks Cavern, while those who prefer a more relaxed pace can take a scenic riverboat cruise or Table Rock Lake (one of the Best Lakes in the Midwest for Families). Go fishing, swimming, boating, or enjoy a picnic lunch on the shore. Tour the Titanic Museum to see a selection of historical artifacts for educational fun. And no trip to Branson would be complete without seeing a live show! From country music to magic acts, there’s something for everyone at one of the many theaters in town. 

Find out why Branson is one of the most Magical Christmas Towns in the U.S. for Families!

Best Places to Visit in the Mountain States with Young Kids

When traveling in the United States, the mountain states, such as Colorado, are some of the most beautiful places in the country. From hiking through gorgeous scenery to wildlife encounters, they also offer plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. Here are some of the best destinations to visit in the United States with young kids! 

Estes Park, CO

A young boy sits among large boulders while looking off into the distance while explore the Rocky Moutain National Park.
Photo Courtesy: Tanya Buran

Estes Park is the perfect destination for young kids and their families! With its incredible mountain views, friendly people, and endless activities, this charming mountain town is home to Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most popular national parks in the country. It’s also the perfect base camp for exploring all that the park has to offer. And while Estes Park is beautiful to explore at any time of year, it’s especially magical in winter. Families will love enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains while spending quality time together! 

There are plenty of fun winter activities to keep kids entertained in Estes Park. Go tubing, skiing, or snowboarding at nearby resorts to soak up the scenery of this winter wonderland. ​​Winter sledding is also a popular family activity. The best spot for sledding is in Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park. Of course, no visit to Estes Park would be complete without spending some time in Rocky Mountain National Park. No matter the season, families can enjoy anything from hiking to wildlife watching. Some kid-friendly trails include the Bear Lake Loop and the Emerald Lake Trail.

In the summer, try white water rafting down the Big Thompson River or get a birds-eye view from The Estes Park Aerial Tramway! Additionally, the town of Estes Park itself is filled with charming shops and restaurants for the whole family. Check out local favorites like Elkhorn Avenue, The Estes Park Riverwalk, and The Stanley Hotel.

Want to explore more of Colorado? Use this One-Week Colorado Itinerary For Families: Excellent for Summer!

Where to Stay in Estes Park with Kids

Families who want somewhere to stay in Estes Park can book an upscale room at The Stanley Hotel, where The Shining was filmed. Or, for a more affordable option, check out YMCA Of The Rockies Estes Park, which features hiking, biking, and so many more activities!

Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs is a charming city in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It’s also a popular destination with families with young kids because of its many kid-friendly attractions, including zoos, museums, and amusement parks. And, since it’s located in the Rocky Mountains, there are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, like hiking and biking. No wonder it’s one of the best destinations in the United States to visit with young kids! 

One of the most popular attractions in Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods, a large public park with numerous hiking trails and stunning rock formations. You can explore via a trail or take a Jeep, ATV, or segway tour. Young kids will also love visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, home to over 750 different animals from around the world. Colorado Springs is also situated near the base of one of the most famous mountains in North America – Pikes Peak. The mountain offers stunning vistas and is perfect for a family hike. There are also great options for other outdoor activities, such as ziplining, white water rafting, and rock climbing.

For an indoor or rainy activity, the Pioneers Museum, the National Museum of World War II Aviation, and the Money Museum are all fantastic options. 

Where to Stay in Colorado Springs with Kids

Book the iconic Broadmoor, which has summer activities for all ages to stay on the beautiful shores of Cheyenne Lake. For a homier feel, try the Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort, located on a private lake. Want to stay inside a private country club near the best sights in town? You’ll like the Gardens of the Gods Resort and Club. Of course, kids will love the indoor water park at the Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs! For more suggestions on where to stay, read our list of hotels in Colorado Springs that families will Love.

Best Places to Visit on the West Coast + Hawaii with Young Kids

The West Coast of the United States is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. There are many beautiful places to see, and the weather is usually very mild. Enjoy theme parks in California or glittering beaches in Hawaii – the choice is yours as long as you keep reading. Here are the best destinations in the United States to visit with young kids!

San Diego, CA

San Diego is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States to visit with young kids, and for a good reason! Not only is the weather beautiful year-round, but this southern California city also offers a wide variety of big attractions, activities, and experiences that are perfect for young kids. Plus, San Diego is home to some of the best beaches in the country! 

Families can enjoy spending time at Mission Beach or Pacific Beach, showcasing swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, building sand castles, and more. Kids will also love getting up close and personal with the sea lions at La Jolla Cove! You can see them from a distance or, with older kids, take a kayaking tour. For a truly unique experience, ride on the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster at Belmont Park.

Or, explore Balboa Park, home to museums, gardens, and the iconic San Diego Zoo. This world-renowned zoo is home to more than 3,700 animals, making it one of the largest zoos in the world. Kids will love seeing all of the different animals and learning about their habitats! Animal lovers can also experience shows, rides, and more at SeaWorld San Diego. Here’s how to have a Fantastic 1-Day Guide to SeaWorld San Diego with Kids. Then, no trip to San Diego would be complete without visiting nearby LEGOLAND California! Finally, for a delicious, family-friendly dinner, remember to explore the quaint streets of Little Italy.

Use this 7-Day San Diego Itinerary with Kids to plan your trip!

Where to Stay in San Diego with Kids

Wondering where to stay in San Diego with your kids? Situated on 400 sprawling acres, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is centrally located, kid-friendly, and even has four pools. Families who want to stay directly on the beach will love Hotel Del Coronado, Curio Collection By Hilton. It’s housed on a Victorian property and is only five miles from downtown San Diego. For more San Diego hotel suggestions, read our article on the best waterfront hotels in San Diego for families.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles is a prime destination for travelers with young kids. From world-famous theme parks to kid-friendly museums and zoos, the city offers a wealth of wonderful activities and attractions for families. Plus, you can’t beat the weather in Los Angeles — it’s sunny almost year-round, so it’s the perfect place to beat the cold! 

Little ones can marvel at all their favorite celebrities on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and even take pictures with their stars. Your kids will also love touring Universal Studios Hollywood to see how some of their favorite movies come together. Indeed, Harry Potter fans can’t miss The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Other theme parks nearby include Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm, ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway.

Then, Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States, also features several attractions, including the Griffith Observatory. Here, enjoy stunning views of Los Angeles and beyond! Families can also spend a day at one of the many beaches in the area, such as Venice Beach or Santa Monica Beach. Or, spot exotic animals at the Los Angeles Zoo, home to species and habitats from all over the world! 

Seattle, WA

There are many great destinations in the United States to take your young kids, but Seattle is one of the absolute best. The Emerald City has a ton to offer families, from world-class museums and attractions to outdoor adventures and more. Summer boasts long days at the beach or hikes in the nearby mountains. Meanwhile, in the fall and winter, there’s no shortage of rain, but that doesn’t stop Seattleites from getting out and enjoying all the city has to offer. And springtime is when the tulips bloom in nearby Skagit Valley – a sight not to be missed! 

The Space Needle is the most iconic landmark in Seattle, and it’s a must-visit for any family vacation. The Observation Deck offers stunning city views, and kids will love riding the elevator to the top. More fun also awaits your family at the Seattle Aquarium. Located on Pier 59, it showcases over 800 species of marine life and daily penguin feedings. Woodland Park Zoo is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Seattle with young kids.

Additionally, Seattle is home to many great parks, such as Occidental Square Park and Volunteer Park, ideal for exploring and playing in. Of course, don’t forget to stop at Pike Place Market for delicious food ​​and fresh local produce. Kids will love the Gum Wall! 

Two kids look over the bay at Crater Lake, the young girl points to something in the distance.
Photo Courtesy: Diane Oliveira

For more outdoor adventures, enjoy a stunning sunset at Golden Gardens Park. Or, go kayaking, biking, and hiking in the nearby Cascade Mountains, Olympic National Park, or head east to Mount Rainer National Park. Families can also take a ferry to Bainbridge Island, only a scenic, 45-minute boat ride away. 

Discover more of the Best Hikes Near Seattle And Portland For Families!

Where to Stay in Seattle with Kids

Wondering where to stay in Seattle with kids? We love Fairmont Olympic Hotel – Seattle, which has babysitting services, as well as other amenities like kids’ menus and children’s bathrobes. Then, the Sheraton Grand Seattle offers standard rooms and suites, as well as a pool and fitness center. The Hyatt At Olive 8 is within walking distance of Pike Place Market, but they also have a pool, fitness center, and spa. Families also love Silver Cloud Hotel – Seattle Stadium and the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, featuring a special welcome for children. For more hotel suggestions in Seattle, read our list of the best hotels in Seattle for families. Or, check sites like Vrbo or Airbnb for home rentals!

Maui, HI

​​Maui is one of the perfect destinations in the United States for young kids! With its sandy beaches, tropical jungle landscapes, and active volcanoes, this Hawaiian island is a dream come true for many families. In addition to being a great place to learn about Hawaiian culture and history, Maui also has so much to offer in terms of exciting activities. Get the best of both worlds: relaxing at the tranquil pace of island life and epic adventures! 

Wailea Beach, Baby Beach, and Kapalua Bay Beach are great places to start your trip. There’s plenty to see and do, from swimming to sunbathing or playing in the sand. Maui Ocean Center is another great place to visit with young kids. They’ll learn about Hawai’i’s marine life, including turtles, sharks, and coral reefs. And they can even touch some of the animals!

Maui is also home to fantastic hikes, including the idyllic Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls. If you’re looking for some more adventure, Haleakalā National Park is a must-see. You can hike through lava fields and rainforests, see an inactive volcano, and even camp overnight in the park. Maui has many other thrilling activities for brave young kids, from flying over waterfalls in a helicopter to parasailing. Don’t forget to drive the famous Road to Hāna, experience a traditional luau dinner, or have other family adventures on Maui!

Where to Stay in Maui with Kids

Maui offers families a variety of accommodations. In Kaʻanapali Beach, there’s the Hyatt Residence Club Maui, Ka’anapali Beach, and The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. These oceanfront hotels in Maui make it easy to jump into the water, and maybe even swim with a turtle. Wailea, on South Maui, is home to Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, and Four Seasons Resort Maui at WaileaKīhei, between Ka’anapali and Wailea, is where most rental condos are located for those who would rather have space over amenities. Be sure to also check out these fantastic hotels in Hawaii!

Happy Travels!

Parents swing their young daughter while walking in a lush Hawaiian park filled with flowers and a waterfall in the backfound.
Photo Courtesy: Jen Grzenia

We hope this article on the Best Destinations In The United States To Visit With Young Kids inspires you to start planning your next adventure! From the theme parks of Florida to New England state parks, West Coast beaches, and so much more, there are endless ways to get your little ones out and about while appreciating this vast country. Enjoy exploring these destinations in the United States with your young kids! 

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.