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7 Family Vacation Ideas Perfect for Summer Getaways

Summer is the perfect time for families to travel. The kids are out of school, and the weather’s sunny and warm. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a road trip that lasts a week or two, there are plenty of vacation destinations where you can find activities the whole family will love. Below, we share seven family vacation ideas that are great for families with kids of all ages!

Estes Park, CO

Does your dream family getaway include time spent in nature? Estes Park is an ideal place for a Colorado family vacation if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and slow down a little this summer. But don’t be fooled by this quaint town. There are lots of activities and sights to see!

Where to Stay

If you’re dreaming of truly disconnecting, unhitch the RV or set up your tent for the night in the Rocky Mountains. Not ready to rough it? Rent a cabin or cottage in Estes Park for amazing views of the river—some even come with a private hot tub! If you’re looking for a historic (and paranormal) atmosphere, you can book a stay at The Stanley Hotel, which famously inspired author Stephen King to write The Shining.

What to Do

Show the children something unique with a glass blowing demonstration at Patterson Glassworks Studio & Gallery. Explore the colorful downtown area and grab an ice cream cone, homemade chocolate, or taffy at Caramel Corn. Catch a movie or live performance at Historic Park Theatre and Cafe, the oldest movie theater in America. Get a souvenir for the kids and pick up fresh produce at the Estes Park Farmers Market at Bond Park between June and September.

Not far from downtown sits Lake Estes. Stop by the marina to rent paddle boats, fishing poles, or bikes. Looking for an adrenaline rush? Spend 90 heart-racing minutes with a view as you and the kids move through the obstacle course at Open Air Adventure Park. Go geocaching, birding, or check out the summer constellations at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. Or keep exploring nature and try horseback riding at Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Myrtle Beach, SC

Searching for cheap vacations in the U.S.? Myrtle Beach offers plenty of things to do and beautiful sights for families looking for budget-friendly vacations. Temperatures in the upper 80s will keep you warm as you dip your toes in the sand by day and roam the Apache Pier by night.

Where to Stay

Looking for Myrtle Beach resorts with water parks? There are several kid-friendly hotels across the beach with outdoor pools and indoor waterparks. A favorite budget-friendly spot is Dunes Village Resort. Splash around inside or get outside for a game of sand volleyball. If your kids are hoping for a pirate adventure, head to Captain’s Quarters Resort. Here, kids can swim at Shipwreck Lagoon, float down the lazy river, or spend the afternoon bowling.

What to Do

Myrtle Beach is one of the best family beach vacations for a reason! Miles of shoreline means never-ending swimming, jet skiing, and parasailing. Family of fishers? Cast a line on Voyager Deep Sea Fishing and Dolphin Cruises. If you’re looking for more heart-racing fun, go ziplining or try a ropes course at WonderWorks.

Experience one-of-a-kind southern sights at Alligator Adventure. Once you’ve checked out 200 different species of predators, spend the day with celebrities who won’t bite at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Add a little healthy competition to your day at Broadway Grand Prix Family Race Park for go-karts and mini-golf. Round out the day with a unique variety show at The Carolina Opry Theater.

San Antonio, TX

If you can brave average summer temperatures rising above 90 degrees, San Antonio is one of the best family vacations in the South. This vibrant Texas city is a cultural oasis of sights and sounds that everyone in your family will enjoy!

Where to Stay

Seeking a San Antonio hotel with a pool? The Hyatt Regency San Antonio River Walk offers the utmost luxury with rooftop swimming. Not only will kids enjoy the view, but they’ll love deciphering the scavenger hunt provided for their stay as well. Looking to sleep away from the buzz of the River Walk? Enjoy scenic views at JW San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. The waterpark here is complete with a lazy river and waterslides for everyone to enjoy!

What to Do

Remember the Alamo! Hear the story behind this famous line when you visit this historic destination. Stop by South Alamode Panini & Gelato Company for dinner and dessert the whole family will love! Make sure to plan enough time for The DoSeum. This interactive museum is designed specifically for kids to learn through hands-on experiences.

Explore the San Antonio River Walk on foot or by riverboat. Even toddlers will appreciate the bright colors and luscious greenery! Catch a thrill and cool off at the waterpark at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. There’s also the San Antonio Botanical Garden, which is full of breathtaking flora and interactive play areas for little ones.

San Diego, CA

Mission Bay in San Diego, CA. Photo by Instagram user @adamhahn

Photo via @adamhahn

If you’re looking for family getaways with endless adventures, look no further! San Diego is one of the best family vacations on the West Coast for young kids, teenagers, and parents alike. Not only are there beautiful beaches, museums to visit, and delicious restaurants to try, but the 70 degree weather during the summer months makes San Diego an ideal stop.

Where to Stay

Stay right on the shores of Mission Bay at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa. Let your kids loose in the arcade, rent paddleboards, or visit nearby SeaWorld San Diego. If you’re looking for a resort that you won’t have to leave, check out Omni La Costa Resort & Spa located just north of the city. Watch movies from the water, roast s’mores with the family, or head out to the tennis courts and golf courses. Searching for somewhere to stay in Downtown San Diego? The Manchester Grand Hyatt is near all the hottest attractions and offers rooftop movies. Not to mention the kids will enjoy special activities at Camp Hyatt!

What to Do

The whole family will love the countless animal species and beautiful landscaping at the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. Go next door to learn about flight at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Those enchanted by aquatic life can’t miss the Birch Aquarium! Kids can splash around at Waterfront Park while parents take in views of the city and local art. You could even plan a stop at Petco Park to watch the San Diego Padres!

Spend an afternoon or a few days chasing the waves, having picnics, and enjoying the playground equipment at Coronado Beach. Active families can get their fill of hiking or discover the best family trails for biking all around the city. Kids can even earn prizes for discovering treasures along the way!

Sandusky, OH

Cedar Point Beach in Sandusky, OH. Photo by Instagram user @cedarpoint

Photo via @cedarpoint

Planning vacations for teens can be tricky! But if you’re a family looking for an adrenaline rush, Sandusky could be your next great Midwest family vacation! Whether you want to spend the day riding rollercoasters or seeing the city via segway, Sandusky offers a perfect family weekend getaway in Ohio.

Where to Stay

On a family road trip? Unhitch your travel trailer for the night with camping options close to the lake. Families looking to stay steps away from Cedar Point will find endless things to do and places to eat at Hotel Breakers! Plus, guests enjoy early admission into the theme park! Traveling with water babies? Plan to stay at Castaway Bay. This kid-friendly resort style hotel has a giant indoor waterpark.

What to Do

As a top-rated amusement park, Cedar Point is a prime destination for families who love thrill rides! Go 120 mph on the Top Thrill Dragster, or opt for a two-minute rush on Millennium Force. Searching for a totally unique way to spend the day? Head over to the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Afterward, grab a sweet and local treat at Toft Dairy Ice Cream Parlor.

You don’t have to leave the amusement park to enjoy the water! Cedar Point Shores Waterpark has splash zones perfect for toddlers, big slides for older kids, and cabanas for the whole family. Even more activities for all ages await on the west shores of Lake Erie! Rent jet skis, hop in a kayak, or stick to building sandcastles on the shores with your little ones.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA skyline. Photo by Instagram user @jameswhelan88

Photo via @jameswhelan88

Take your kids to the Pacific Northwest for one of the best family vacations in the U.S. Skyscraper-views, mountain hikes, and awesome food are all reasons to spend summer in this lush green city.

Where to Stay

Are your kids dreaming of sleeping in a tent on your West Coast vacation? Those looking to rough it can camp at Olympic National Forest. Families seeking a sophisticated yet playful option in bustling Downtown Seattle should consider Hotel Monaco. Complimentary bikes will make seeing nearby sites a breeze! Plus, kids get to choose a treasure from the chest at check-in. Or stay right by Lake Union at Residence Inn by Marriott, where you can enjoy an indoor waterfall and suite-style rooms.

What to Do

You don’t need a golden ticket to tour Theo Chocolate! Families with children over the age of five can indulge their sweet tooth while seeing how it’s made. Even the smallest kids will be mesmerized by the vibrant sea creatures at the famous Seattle Aquarium. Traveling with film and music-loving teens? Head over to MoPOP to explore the latest in pop culture! Younger kids can run free just outside of the museum at the Artists At Play playground.

Go searching for gold at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57, or catch a view of the whole city on the Seattle Great Wheel. Hop on paddleboards at Lake Union or take a serene kayak ride. If you’re looking to get out of the city, the views at Olympic National Park are well worth the two-hour drive! Younger children will love watching for elk and owls as you hike. Older children can fish, kayak, or relax at the nearby hot springs.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC national mall. Photo by Instagram user @thongchai_si

Photo via @thongchai_si

Looking for a trip that’s just as educational as it is fun? A family trip to Washington, DC offers unlimited activities for children of all ages! Plus, free museum access can make this an inexpensive vacation spot for families on a budget!

Where to Stay

Give your kids a one-of-a-kind experience at Kimpton Rouge in Downtown DC. Spend the night lounging in animal print robes or playing Xbox at this modern getaway in the heart of the city. If you’re looking for an outdoor pool, book a stay at the conveniently located Omni Shoreham Hotel. At check-in, your kids will even receive a complimentary backpack complete with stickers, binoculars, and more!

What to Do

Visiting Washington, DC means museums galore! You could spend days exploring all that the Smithsonian has to offer. Check out exotic animals at the National Zoo, or take a tour of the National Air & Space Museum. Of course, no trip to our nation’s capital is complete without a stroll by the White House or an afternoon at the gorgeous Library of Congress.

Make sure to pack good shoes for this East Coast family vacation! Take the kids for a walk around the National Mall, then stop by Tidal Basin for a paddle boat ride. Go to Mount Vernon to see where George Washington lived before hitting the trail for a family bike ride. Looking for interactive fun? Glen Echo Park offers a beautiful setting to take an art class, catch a live concert, or ride the carousel!

Give one of these family vacations in the U.S. a try this summer! If you’re looking for a more outdoorsy trip, check out this guide to the best road trips in the U.S.

7 Vacation Ideas for Families

San Antonio river walk lit up at nighttime with people each outside
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