Now that you know what to look for in a hotel when traveling with your motley crew, here are my top picks for family-friendly fun this summer.
Summer and the great outdoors go hand in hand, and that’s why a visit two some of our National Parks should definitely be on your to-do trip list. Most have campgrounds as well as nearby hotels and the price is right for entrance at just a few dollars per car. Take advantage of the junior ranger and nature education programs going on all summer long. In fact, National Geographic has 25 new and improved National Parks Guides online that you will love. Check them out here.
Even if Florida didn’t have Orlando, with miles of beaches and affordable pricing it would still be a top tourist draw. Here are just a few of my favorite Florida beaches: The Florida Keys, Tampa/St. Petersburg, shelling on Sanibel Island and The Space Coast beach towns of Cocoa, Melbourne Beach and Vero Beach.
Your family can experience it all with a visit to Denver from big city culture, sports, and nightlife to majestic mountain escapes, whitewater adventures, to western towns like Golden, and even desert vistas. There is no shortage of activities for all ages and abilities.
With tons of free summer concerts (see last week’s blog post), parks, parades, Broadway, museums, historic sites and of course, shopping; New York City is a great vacation spot to visit with kids this summer. You can find tons of coupons and discounts to make site-seeing and dining out affordable. I, personally, like to grab lunch from a local market and head to Central Park, SoHo or Tribeca to take in some local flavor and relax.
Maine offers numerous recreational activities and breath-taking sight-seeing. Visit charming Kennebunkport, try a Maine Lobster boat adventure, play and enjoy Old Orchard Beach and eat at the famous Clambake restaurant, or whale watch in Bar Harbor.
Wisconsin Dells, WI
With a population of just 4000, Wisconsin Dells is the indoor water park capital of the world. Over twenty resorts, such as the Great Wolf Lodge, offer an indoor water park to their guests; some sell passes to outsiders too. A number have outdoor facilities in summer also.
This southern part of the Golden State offers the chance to combine a beach vacation with theme park fun at Disneyland, Sea World and Universal Studios Hollywood in Anaheim. Be sure to check out the tide pools, Balboa Park, and Coronado.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
The Riviera Maya feels safe and removed from the more tourist-laden areas of Mexico (it’s in the Yucatan Peninsula, south of Cancun). I like that it has many family-friendly all-inclusive resorts for budget-conscious families and usually includes a bevy of water sports. Plus there’s much to explore in the area such as Mayan ruins, the second largest barrier coral reef, beautiful lagoons and an “eco-archeological” theme park.
Typical of San Francisco, events come in all flavors, which makes a great spot for families. Ride a street car, tour infamous Alcatraz Island at night, play at Golden Gate park, visit China Town and zig zag on Lombard Street. Be sure to pack your jackets, too; summers in San Francisco can be surprisingly chilly.
Home to so many favorite theme parks, Orlando is a smorgasbord of fun. What’s new in Orlando this summer? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens June 18th and early previews say it’s fantastic! And, Hotels.com is having a great sale on Orlando hotels with saving up to 40% off.