Have you ever worried about finding a travel destination that will actually impress your tweens or teens? There are so many wonderful places to visit in the United States, and it can be tough to narrow down the options when traveling, especially with tweens or teens in tow. Have no fear! You’ve finally found a guide for US vacation destinations that will impress even the pickiest or the coolest of teens. With the help of our family travel community (56K+ strong on Facebook), we’ve curated this list just for you. From stunning national parks oozing with adventure to vibrant cities filled with culture, there’s something for everyone on this list. So start planning your next family vacation – your tweens and teens will thank you for it (just maybe not out loud!). Keep reading to discover 21 Vacations With Teens and Tweens In The United States That Are Sure To Impress.
Best Vacations for Teens and Tweens on the East Coast
If you’re looking for ideas for East Coast vacations with teens and tweens, you have no shortage of options. Families will love traveling to these East Coast cities, from trendy New York City to historical Washington DC. Keep reading to discover some of the best vacations with teens and tweens on the East Coast!
Discover 11 Unique NYC Restaurants and Dessert Spots that teens will love!
New York, New York
There is no shortage of things to do in New York City with tweens and teens. No matter what your teens are into, they’re sure to find something to their liking here. From art, culture, and museums to shopping and age-appropriate nightlife, NYC has it all!
If your teen is into fashion, they’ll be in heaven shopping on Fifth Avenue. Here, they can discover new trends at stores like Louis Vuitton, Zara, and Sephora. Then, for art lovers, a visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA is a must. If you have history buffs in tow, Museum Mile is sure to please. Spend your days exploring museums like El Museo del Barrio. And if your teen is looking for a little bit of everything, a tour of Central Park is the perfect way to see some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Finally, don’t miss out on destinations like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. These iconic, Instagram-able destinations are sure to excite your teen travelers. Indeed, no matter what your teen or tween is interested in, they’ll have a blast in New York City!
Looking for more NYC inspiration? Read this Exciting 7-Day NYC Itinerary With Kids of All Ages.
Where to Stay in New York City with Teens and Tweens
Families looking for somewhere to stay in New York with teens and tweens have their fair share of options! In Lower Manhattan, we recommend the Millennium Downtown New York Hotel in the Financial District or the trendy Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca. In Midtown Manhattan, try the Loews Regency New York or Omni Berkshire Place. Or, for a true luxury experience, visit the nearby St. Regis New York. Remember to check out other NYC hotels with pools and spacious suites. NYC also has many affordable Airbnb and Vrbo options in and around the outer boroughs. With so many options for accommodations, NYC is undoubtedly one of the top destinations for teens and tweens in the US!
Boston is a great place to travel with your teens and tweens. From art to culture, there is so much to see and do in this historic Massachusetts city. Indeed, Boston is a haven for everyone, from foodies to sports fans. Here are the teen hot spots in Boston!
To start, museum-loving teens and tweens will love exploring the Freedom Trail. This 2.5-mile trail takes you to 16 different historical sites, including Boston Common and the USS Constitution Museum. Then, be sure to add visiting the Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum to your itinerary too. Alternatively, get a fright aboard the Boston Ghosts & Gravestones Night-Time Trolley Tour. Sporty teens can catch a baseball game at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Or, see the New England Patriots play at Gillette Stadium. Families with a foodie in tow can meander through “Little Italy,” where authentic Italian bakeries line the streets. Plus, Boston is filled with a scrumptious array of fresh seafood (including lobster!). Finally, there are plenty of trendy places to shop for your family’s fashionistas, from high-end Newbury Street stores to unique finds in the South End.
Don’t miss adding these 25 Amazing Things to Do in Boston with Kids to your itinerary!
Where to Stay in Boston with Teens and Tweens
As one of the best vacations for teens and tweens in the United States, Boston has plenty of family-friendly hotels! For the most convenient locations, stay at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel, or the Boston Marriott Long Wharf. All boast kid-friendly amenities such as pools and are located near the city’s best attractions. For more suggestions on where to stay at one of the top vacation ideas with teens, consult our list of the best hotels in Boston for families!
Tweens and teens love Washington, DC! Here, teens can witness history come to life before their very eyes. Certainly, tweens and teens will love exploring all the different monuments, landmarks, and museums in DC – especially on wheels! No wonder this is one of the best vacations for teens and tweens in the United States.
It is well-known that Washington, DC is a great place to learn about history. Tweens and teens will appreciate seeing information from their textbooks become more real with context, experience, and connection. Firstly, check out some of the Smithsonian museums to learn about different topics like science, art, and culture. Whatever your teen is interested in, the Smithsonian has you covered with its many museums and galleries. Afterward, families can also tour the White House or the Capitol Building to see where the President of the United States and other politicians work and make history in real-time. Families can book a bike or segway tour to explore Washington DC on wheels to add a little whimsy to their learning. Finally, don’t miss wandering around Georgetown. Here, teens can shop til they drop and munch on trendy eats.
Looking for more teenager vacation ideas in DC? Use this Exciting Washington, DC, Field Trip Itinerary For Families With Tweens and Teens.
Where to Stay in DC with Teens and Tweens
Washington, DC, is home to an array of family-friendly hotels that are perfect for trips with teens and tweens! For an indoor pool, consider The Watergate Hotel. Meanwhile, The Ritz-Carlton Washington DC includes fun activities like a scavenger hunt around the city. Families can also stay near famous attractions like The White House or the US Capitol Building by booking a stay at the Hyatt Place Washington DC. Or, venture to DuPont Circle and stay at The Darcy. For more hotel suggestions, check out our list of family-friendly hotels in DC. Or, if you want a home and apartment rental, check out our Airbnb, Vrbo, and our recommendations for the best neighborhoods to stay in while visiting DC.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor offers one of the most adventurous destinations for teens and tweens. This low-key but charming town is located on the coast of Maine and is home to Acadia National Park. Here, families will discover plenty of things to do, including hiking, biking, kayaking, and more.
Start your adventure in Acadia National Park. Teens can embark on exciting hikes like Beehive Loop and Cadillac Summit Loop. Exploring tide pools, kayaking, and wildlife tours are also available. Coastal Kayaking Tours is one option to get teens on the water and having fun! Then, Bar Harbor is also a great place for teens and tweens to learn about history. In fact, the town was once one of the busiest ports in the US and was a major shipbuilding center during the Civil War. Several museums in Bar Harbor tell the story of the town’s past, including La Rochelle Mansion and Museum. Finally, if your teen or tween is looking for a place to relax, Bar Harbor is the perfect spot. There are several beaches where they can sunbathe or swim. When they get hungry, plenty of restaurants also serve fresh seafood.
Don’t miss these Amazing Things to Do in Bar Harbor with Kids!
Best Vacations for Teens and Tweens in the South
While the South may not be the first trendy vacation idea with teens that comes to mind, don’t overlook it! From New Orleans to Sedona, there are a few places in the South that are sure to WOW your tweens and teens! Here are the top three Southern vacations for teens and tweens in the United States.
Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are two great Tennesse cities for trips for teens and tweens. Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, they both offer plenty of activities to keep teens from uttering the dreadful “I’m bored” line.
Start your Tennesse adventure in the Great Smokey Mountains. Outdoorsy teens will love hiking to view Grotto Falls and Laurel Falls. White water rafting is another popular itinerary item near Gatlinburg with teens. Then, teens who aren’t afraid of heights can get a bird’s-eye view at Anakeesta Theme Park. Have a country music fan in your family? You can’t miss a trip to Dollywood, where families can enjoy amusement park rides and unique musical acts. Alternatively, Mysterious Mansion offers teens a thrilling scare as Gatlinburg’s year-round haunted house. Another excellent opportunity for teens and tweens in this area is exploring the Titanic Museum to learn about the ill-fated ship and its passengers. Finally, parents will also love that these cities offer very affordable destinations! In fact, you can usually find several deals on hotels and attractions if you plan your trip in advance.
Looking for more teenager vacation ideas to fill your days in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg? Check out this Exciting Family Itinerary For Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Teens can often be fickle travel companions, preferring screens to scenes. However, New Orleans is sure to get them off their phones and enjoy a family vacation with you. Whether your tweens or teens are into foodie culture, haunted sights, or natural wonders, New Orleans has what you need for your next adventure together.
Start your family trip to New Orleans in the French Quarter, where foodie teens can munch on Cajun and Creole foods. Don’t miss the beignets at the iconic Cafe du Monde. After hours, meander the city at night on a haunted tour. Get your teen’s adrenaline pumping with spooky tales of vampires, pirates, and ghosts. Then, music lovers will adore hearing a show at Preservation Hall, which has been playing traditional New Orleans jazz since the 1960s. Looking for a change of pace? Airboat tours offer a thrilling day out for families. Alternatively, wildlife enthusiasts can embark on a bayou tour to see gators, birds, and more with Happiness Bayou Tours or Cajun Encounters.
Finally, there’s nothing New Orleans loves more than a great festival or party. Check their events calendar to see what unique upcoming events will pique your teen’s interest. Indeed, New Orleans ranks among the top vacation ideas with teens!
Add these 19 Exciting Things To Do In New Orleans With Kids to your itinerary!
Where to Stay in New Orleans with Teens and Tweens
Planning a trip to New Orleans with teens and tweens? Families love Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, for its central location in the French Quarter and luxury hotel amenities. Then, Loews New Orleans Hotel is another option near the French Quarter. Or, stay within walking distance of Jackson Square in a historic building at Grenoble House.
If you’re looking for pool vacation ideas with teens in New Orleans, try Omni Royal Orleans. We also love Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans, Bourbon Orleans Hotel, and The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. For more information, please read our article about family-friendly hotels in New Orleans. Families seeking additional room to spread out (with kitchen or outdoor space possibilities) can try Vrbo and Airbnb too.
Sedona is a great place for trips for teens and tweens. The area is filled with natural beauty, including its iconic red rocks and canyon views. Plus, there are plenty of activities to keep your teens and tweens entertained, from hiking and biking to exploring the local shops and restaurants.
Science-minded teens will have a blast in Sedona. Not only can they learn about the area’s unrivaled geology, but they can immerse themselves in pristine, natural beauty. Explore the area by hiking trails like Bell Rock Pathway, a 7-mile round-trip hike with up-close views of Sedona’s iconic rock formations. Don’t miss Palatiki National Heritage Site, the largest (and perhaps most famous) cliff dwelling in the area. Or, see Sedona with speed on a Pink Jeep tour. One of the most popular tours is the Scenic Rim Tour, a 2.5-hour adventure that teens will adore. Teens interested in astronomy will appreciate taking an out-of-this-world tour with Evening Sky Tours, a Sedona Stargazing Tour, or visiting Lowell Observatory. Plus, if you’re looking to broaden your adventures, you can take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. Finally, if your teens are into spiritual healing, Sedona is known for its many energy vortexes.
Use this Exciting 5-Day Sedona Itinerary For Families to plan your Sedona adventures!
Where to Stay in Sedona with Tweens and Teens
For somewhere to stay in Sedona with teens, check out the Enchantment Resort, a luxury hotel located in the heart of Boynton Canyon. In addition to an outside pool, a kids’ camp, and organized weekly activities for families, it provides an incredible view of Sedona’s stunning red rocks. Tucked in the red rock canyons, L’Auberge de Sedona offers a choice of rooms at its lodge or even more spacious cottages. We also recommend Adobe Grand Villas, Amara Resort and Spa, and Junipine Resort, among other hotels in Sedona, for fun vacations with teens.
The Florida Keys
For parents who really want to impress hard-to-please tweens and teens, a trip to the Florida Keys is an incredible option! From turquoise waters to friendly locals, there is a lot to love about this Floridian paradise. Here, active teens can swim, snorkel, go parasailing, and more!
The Florida Keys are a chain of islands off the southern coast of Florida. Key West is the most popular destination, but there are also many other smaller islands to explore. Teens interested in history can tour several historic lighthouse sites across the east coast of the Keys, including the Key West Lighthouse & Keepers Quarters. The Key West Shipwreck Museum is another great option for learning about local history. Then, adventurous tweens and teens can explore the area by water aboard kayaks, sailboats, jet skis, and more.
Don’t miss the chance to get in the water! Whether your teens love to wade in the ocean along pristine beaches, or snorkel with the fish amongst serene scenes of beautiful coral, you have many options here. Want to hear a few fishy ghost tales about pirates and treasure? Embark on a ghost tour with Ghosts & Gravestones Tour Key West. No wonder this is one of the best vacations for teens and tweens in the United States!
Where to Stay in the Florida Keys with Teens and Tweens
Enjoy fun in the sun during your stay in the Florida Keys! For family-friendly accommodations in Key West, consider Key West Marriott Beachside. With everything from simple guest rooms to three-room residences, it offers a bunch of activities like water sports. In Key West, families also love Parrot Key Hotel and Villas, the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, and the Hyatt Centric Resort and Spa. On Key Largo, families can stay at Baker’s Cay Resort, Key Largo, or at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key. As one of the top destinations for teens and tweens in the US, there are many more options to consider. You can find them on this list of the best hotels in Key West and the Florida Keys.
Best Vacations for Teens and Tweens in the Mountain States
The mountains are calling, and you must pack your bags for more of the best vacations for teens and tweens in the United States! There is nothing outdoorsy teens love more than mountain views. Take your adventurous teens on a vacation to remember to one of these mountain state destinations.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Perhaps one of the most underrated destinations for teens on this list, Sun Valley, Idaho, is also one of the best outdoor destinations for tweens or teens. In fact, there are plenty of activities to keep them busy, including hiking, biking, and skiing in the winter. Sun Valley also has a great selection of shops and restaurants. Best of all? It’s located in an absolutely stunning setting that will please everyone in your family.
Start your summer trip with a bit of hiking. Teens will love the four-mile loop trail at Taylor Canyon, which is filled with wildflowers and mountain views. Okay with a bit of climbing while you hike? The Bald Mountain Trail is a great option! Afterward, snag a free ride down the mountain by gondola. Bikers can traverse the paved Wood River Trail, where you can bike four miles to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. Families who love to ice skate will appreciate the outdoor skating rink (it’s open year-round!). Indeed, teens will adore moving across the ice under the warm summer sun. Alternatively, families can enjoy the Dollar Mountain ski area in the winter. Here families will find gentle slopes, as well as challenging terrain parks. More adventurous skiers can head to Bald Mountain. Other winter activities like ice skating, sledding, sleigh rides, and more.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mountain views and thrilling activities make Colorado Springs one of the top destinations for teens and tweens. This Colorado town is well known for its proximity to Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, as well as its wide array of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and more.
First, explore the many trails or outdoor rock climbing opportunities of Garden of the Gods. Would you prefer to explore on wheels? Adventures Out West offers an exciting segway tour within the park. On the 2-hour tour, guides will take families to several stops to soak in views of the ancient rock formations, as well as share information about area flora and fauna. Jeep tours and ATV tours are also available in the area. Want to explore Colorado Springs by air? Take a Royal Gorge Zip Line Tour. Alternatively, explore by water aboard a white water rafting experience.
Then, just an hour away from the city, Pikes Peak is a must for teens and tweens. When you require an indoor activity, there are also several museums in the city, such as the National Museum of World War II Aviation and the Money Museum. No wonder Colorado Springs is one of the best trips for teens!
Want to see more of Colorado with teens and tweens? Take a Colorado road trip with teens using this One-Week Colorado Itinerary For Families: Excellent for This Summer!
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs with Tweens and Teens
Colorado Springs is brimming with family-friendly hotels! To stay on the beautiful shores of Cheyenne Lake, book the iconic Broadmoor, which has summer activities for all ages. For a cozier feel, try the Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort, located on a private lake. The Gardens of the Gods Resort and Club offers guests a chance to stay inside a private country club near the best sights in town. Of course, tweens 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.
Looking for more adventure-filled vacations with teens and tweens in the United States? Moab is sure to please even your most persnickety of travelers! This small town is located in the heart of Utah’s red rock country and is a haven for outdoor activities.
While you’re here, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as canyoneering and rock climbing. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can even go river rafting on the Colorado River. Moab is also home to Arches National Park, where you can see some of the world’s most impressive natural rock formations. There are over 2,000 natural sandstone arches in the park, as well as hiking trails and scenic viewpoints. Moab is also perfect for taking an off-roading adventure, which you can do in Canyonlands or Arches National Parks and other locations. Have an aspiring paleontologist in your family, don’t miss the Paleosafari Moab Giants or Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trails (where you can see fossilized tracks!). Finally, there are plenty of places to stay in Moab with tweens and teens, everything from hotels to RV parks and camping sites.
Don’t miss these Adventurous Things to Do in Moab That Kids Will Love!
Where to Stay in Moab with Teens and Tween
If you need somewhere to stay in Moab with teens and tweens, you’re in the right place. For a typical hotel experience, try the Hyatt Place Moab, which has an outdoor pool and hot tub. Parents who want to stay close to Arches National Park will appreciate the convenience of the Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection By Hilton. For a more rugged experience in the wilderness, check out Base Camp Adventure Lodge, Under Canvas Glamping Tents Moab, and the Red Cliffs Lodge. Regardless of which spot you choose, you’re sure to have a fun vacation with teens!
There are plenty of reasons to visit Telluride, Colorado, with your teen or tween. The charming town is nestled in a beautiful mountain valley and is surrounded by picturesque scenery. Not to mention, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the area, too, including hiking, biking, and skiing in the winter.
The Telluride & Mountain Village Gondola is a gorgeous way to start your time here. This bird’s eye view of the area is sure to impress. Then, embark on a 5-mile hike in Bear Creek Preserve to see the 70-foot cascading waterfall, Bear Creek Falls. And, if your teen or tween is into adventure activities, they can even go zip-lining or try their hand at river rafting. Alternatively, winter visitors can hit the slopes at Telluride Ski Resort. Telluride is also home to several great museums and historical sites too. In fact, the Telluride Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful Victorian building and tells the story of the town’s mining past.
Have a foodie teen? Be sure to check out Brown Dog Pizza for some of the best local pizzas. Then, Baked in Telluride is great for a latte and a pastry to start the day. With so much to offer, this is undoubtedly one of the best vacations with teens and tweens in the United States.
Interested in fun vacations for teens with skiing? Here are the Best Ski-In/Ski-Out Resorts In Colorado For Families.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California
Lake Tahoe is an incredible destination for teens and tweens. Situated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is known for its beautiful scenery, as well as for offering fun vacations for teens. Whether you’re on the Nevada side or the California side, there are plenty of recreational activities to keep your teen or tween busy, including hiking, biking, swimming, and boating.
Few places in the United States can rival the beauty of Lake Tahoe. It’s no wonder it’s a popular destination for families! The lake itself is stunning, with crystal-clear water and towering mountains. Challenge teens to plan a fun day at the lake for the whole family. They can select from activities like lakeside picnics, beachside games, swimming, or kayaking and paddle boarding. You can even take a clear-bottom kayak tour! Then, sneak in an exciting day at Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks, offering a series of courses and zip lines to traverse. Plus, don’t miss the chance to go rafting down the Truckee River! The gentle 5-mile float offers stunning views and tons of fun in the sun. Consider booking with either Truckee River Raft Co. or Truckee River Rafting. Finally, those wanting to explore the area by horseback have several options, including Piping Rock Equestrian Center.
Traveling in the summer? Check out these Summer Activities in North Lake Tahoe That Kids Will Love.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Looking for a place that offers several diverse, adventurous teenager vacation ideas? Look no further than Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not only is it close to two national parks, but outdoorsy teens and tweens can spend their days hiking, biking, fishing, or kayaking.
First, head to Yellowstone National Park, home to various wildlife, including bears, bison, and elk. And, of course, no trip to Yellowstone National Park would be complete without seeing the geysers and other natural wonders. Next, Grand Tetons National Park provides miles of trails along the Snake River. Then, families can also try a thrilling experience like water-rafting, rock climbing, or horseback riding. If white water rafting is your jam, there are several options on the Snake River. If you’re looking to take in Jackson Hole from the skies, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Snow King Mountain Resort offer ropes course adventures that teens will love. Back in town, don’t miss catching the Jackson Hole Shootout. Looking for a truly unique experience that will impress teens? Head to Astoria Hot Springs, just 20 minutes from Jackson. Finally, don’t miss all the action at Jackson Hole Rodeo!
Planning to spend most of your time at the Grand Tetons National Park? Use our Ultimate Guide to Grand Tetons National Park with Kids.
Best Vacations for Teens and Tweens on the West Coast
If you want to impress your tweens and teens, go west! Along the West Coast, families will discover an array of fun vacations for teens and tweens. Here are two of our favorite West Coast options for vacations with tweens and teens in the United States!
Los Angeles, California
Next on our list of the best destinations for teens and tweens in the United States is Los Angeles. In this palm tree-lined teen utopia, there are plenty of activities to keep them busy and having fun, from sightseeing to shopping.
One of the most popular attractions in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Your teen or tween can explore the stars of their favorite movies and TV shows. Plus, they can also take a picture with their favorite star’s handprints! Film buffs will also enjoy checking out Universal Studios Hollywood. Indeed, Harry Potter fans can’t miss a chance to visit The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! For more thrills, check out nearby Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm.
Fashion icons in your family will find plenty of shopping in LA too. Many stores cater to teens, including Forever 21 and H&M. Then, trendy teens will also adore exploring Chinatown with its beautiful lanterns, historic architecture, and yummy restaurants. Finally, teens can also stroll the Venice Beach Boardwalk or take surf lessons. Other fun beaches near LA include Playa del Ray and Little Corona del Mar. Pleasing almost every travel style, it’s no wonder LA is one of the best vacations for tweens and teens in the United States!
San Diego, California
Just a few hours south of LA, San Diego is another great option for vacationing with teens and tweens in the United States. This California city offers beautiful weather year-round, and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained.
When you’re ready to start having fun, there are several famous attractions in San Diego, including SeaWorld, Legoland, and the San Diego Zoo. Plus, teens can leave San Diego sun-kissed and tan after lounging on one of the many nearby beaches, including Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. Active families can also rent bicycles from one of the many shops along Mission Beach and cruise the oceanfront bike path down to Belmont Park. If you really want to impress them in San Diego, embark on a sunset boat cruise around the harbor with Hornblower. Talk about Instagramable ocean views! Then, take nature-loving tweens and teens to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a hike along the beautiful jagged hills. In nearby La Jolla, you can even book a kayak tour through sea caves with La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks. Not to mention, spot sea lions while you meander the beach area.
Spending a week in the area? Use this Best 7-Day San Diego Itinerary with Kids.
Where to Stay in San Diego with Teens and Tweens
Wondering where to stay in San Diego with teens and tweens? 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, please read our article on the best waterfront hotels in San Diego for families.
Best Vacations for Teens and Tweens in Alaska and Hawaiʻi
Epic adventures await your family in Alaska or Hawaiʻi. While flights might be a tad longer than those in the Lower 48, teens and tweens can handle the distance in anticipation of these exciting destinations. If you’re still looking for some of the best vacations for tweens and teens in the US, keep reading.
While there are many great destinations for teens or tweens in the United States, Alaska is one of the best places to visit. Alaska is a great place to travel with teens and tweens because it offers so many different activities, including sea and land-based adventures. For example, your family can go hiking, fishing, canoeing, whale spotting, or even dog sledding. Plus, Alaska also has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country.
Start your exploration of Alaska at Denali National Park and Preserve. Consider hiking trails like the 3.2-mile McKinley Station Trail, great for birders, or the scenic 4.6-mile McKinley Bar Trail. Want to take a bird’s eye view of the park? Take a flightseeing tour of Denali National Park by floatplane. If eastern Alaska is on your itinerary, teens will be thrilled to try climbing on the ice faces of Root Glacier at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Other unique outdoor adventures in Alaska include glacial pools, ice caves, and hiking along the ice fields in Kenai Fjords National Park. Alaska also has several teen-friendly museums, such as the Anchorage Museum and the Iditarod Dog Sled Race Museum. And, of course, no trip to Alaska would be complete without seeing fantastic wildlife, such as whales, bears, and eagles.
If you’re looking for a tropical getaway with teens or tweens, look no further than Maui! The second largest of the Islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui offers plenty of teen-friendly activities like snorkeling, hiking, surfing, biking, and kayaking. Certainly, Maui is also a great place to relax and enjoy beautiful beaches.
Start your trip by soaking up the sun. There are many beaches to choose from in Maui, including Kapalua Bay, Launiupoko Beach Park, and Nāpili Bay. While you relax on the beach, let tweens and teens splash, swim, and snorkel. There are also many scenic hikes that the whole family can enjoy. Consider beautiful trails like Pīpīwai Trail (located above the Oheo Gulch), Twin Falls Hike, or Wai’anapanapa Coastal Trail. For more outdoor adventures, add Haleakalā National Park to your itinerary (it’s a great place to catch a sunset!). To learn more about Maui’s local cultures and history, you can visit the Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii, or the Royal Lahaina Luau. Regardless of how you fill your days, Maui is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in the United States with tweens or teenagers.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for more active teenager vacation ideas, consider spending a few days in Honolulu, on the island of Oʻahu. For a quieter holiday, consider spending time on the island of Kauaʻi. This is undoubtedly one of the best vacations for tweens and teens in the United States!
Don’t miss experiencing the Road to Hāna, Maui with Kids – Exciting Half-Day Itinerary.
Where to Stay on Maui with Teens and Tweens
Parents love the family-friendly hotels in Maui! In Ka’anapali 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 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 Wailea. Kīhei, 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 awesome hotels in Hawaiʻi!
Best National Park Vacations for Tweens and Teens
Budding naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts won’t find anything to complain about when visiting the best national parks for tweens and teens. Across the US, teen travelers will have a blast embarking on epic outdoor adventures at these national parks. Whether you want hiking, fishing, camping, or rafting, these national parks can please even the pickiest of teens. Indeed, they rank highly amongst the best vacations with teens and tweens in the United States.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Located in Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best national parks for tweens and teens. Part of the Appalachian Mountains, families will have the opportunity to learn about and observe a variety of local plant and animal life here. Plus, the mountains offer a variety of activities that will keep your tweens and teens entertained during the whole vacation! There are hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic drives – to name a few things. Plus, your family can also enjoy horseback riding, fishing, and camping within the park. Inside the park, consider hiking trails like Abram Falls Trail, a popular 5.2-mile trail with a waterfall. Alternatively, Mount LeConte (via the Alum Cave Trail) is a beautiful 11-mile hike (arguably one of the most exciting trails in the park!).
After long days exploring the park, nearby attractions include Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum and the Gatlinburg Space Needle (which offers a 360-degree view of the mountains). Finally, families can also explore one of the best vacations with teens and tweens in the United States by ATV with Bluff Mountain Adventures.
Here are the 10 Best National Parks in the United States for Families.
The Big National Parks 5 in Utah
Looking for a truly epic adventure for your active tweens or teens? Take a family vacation to the Big 5 National Parks in Utah! Teens and tweens are at a stage where they want to explore and have new experiences. What better place to do that than in some of America’s best national parks? The Big 5 encompasses Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands National Parks. All are known for their natural beauty and incredible outdoor adventures like hiking, rafting, camping, and more. Whether you visit one or visit them all, your tweens and teens are sure to be impressed! Here’s a brief breakdown of each park to learn more.
Zion National Park is one of the country’s most famous national parks, and it’s easy to see why. With its stunning red rock cliffs, hiking trails, and river rafting, there’s something for everyone in this park. Then, Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its beautiful hoodoos (rock formations that look like pillars or columns). It’s a great place to hike, take scenic drives, and stargaze. Arches National Park is home to more than 2,000 natural stone arches, making it a must-see for any teen or tween (and adults, too!). In addition to the arches, there are also hiking trails, canyoneering routes, and petroglyphs. Perhaps one of the most underrated parks, Capitol Reef National Park is worth visiting for its stunning canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold. Finally, Canyonlands National Park showcases a primitive desert vibe with out-of-this-world views.
Use this Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary For Families to help plan your trip!
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. And for a good reason! In fact, the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, stretching 227 miles long. It’s truly a sight to behold.
There are plenty of things to do at the Grand Canyon for families too. For teens and tweens, explore thrilling hiking trails, like the almost 13-mile Grand Canyon Rim Trail. Alternatively, another great option is the nearly 4-mile North Kaibab Trail to Supai Tunnel and Coconino Overlook. Then, you can also take a tour on a mule or go rafting down the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is also a great place to learn about American history and culture. Numerous Native American tribes have lived in the area for centuries. Families will certainly appreciate learning more about their unique histories and seeing their traditional dwellings. If you’re looking for a place to travel with your teens and tweens that is both beautiful and educational, the Grand Canyon is a great option.
Decided on the Grand Cayon? Try this Amazing Sedona and Grand Canyon Itinerary For Families.
Happy Traveling with Tweens and Teens!
There’s no doubt that traveling with tweens and teenagers can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you’re looking for fun places to travel with your teens and tweens, we hope you found a great idea or two from this list featuring the 21 Vacations With Teens and Tweens In The United States That Are Sure To Impress. From national parks and epic outdoor adventures to historic cities and trendy shopping destinations, plenty of exciting US destinations are sure to impress even the coolest of teenage travelers. Have a great time exploring some of the best vacations for teens and tweens in the United States!
*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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