5 Great Family Vacation Spots in the US

International travel is an eye-opening and beautiful experience, exotic and the more sought after option for us.  But the US has some incredible beauty and history of it's own and is worth not just one trip around but several.  Every state has something unique to offer.  We have been to most of states through several road trips from CT to CA and back and we are so grateful to have experienced so much of "home" before we left to travel internationally.

After much deliberation we came up with our favorite top 5 destinations in the US:

Washington DC
Plenty of grassy areas to enjoy
DC is one of the best spots to take a family.  Education abounds around every corner, where you can literally feel the history of the country!  The best time to go is late Spring or early Autumn, that way you avoid the summer crowds and heat but also avoid the snow and cold of winter.  Public transportation is fabulous and inexpensive.  All the museums along the National Mall are free to enter making it a great budget destination as well.  There are no shortages of grassy areas to relax, run around, or simply read a book.  Food and lodging are pricey but with all the savings on activities it evens out!

Don't miss the Air and Space Museum, National History Museum, National Zoo, and all the countless monuments around the mall.  Don't forget your good walking shoes, you'll need them!

The opportunities for learning are endless
Tips: Stay in Arlington rather than directly in DC, the costs are much lower and you can easily walk to the subway which will bring you directly up to the mall.  Arlington also has quite a few monuments of its own to enjoy while there.   


Florida is NOT a place we would consider living because of the heat and commercialization, but in a list of fun family vacations it just simply cannot be overlooked.  From beautiful beaches, the NASA Space Center, Disney to Sea World, Universal Studios, to Busch Gardens, you pretty much have it all.

It is a child's dream and an experience that will never be forgotten.  There is more to Florida than the theme parks, so be sure to look into alternative areas such as the everglades or the art deco scene of Miami beach - golf, lots of golf.

Miami Beach  (Wiki image)
Tips:  To save time you can get your Orlando theme park tickets online. Waiting in lines is something we like to avoid whenever possible!

To save money look into Florida vacation rentals, where you can find a house or condo oftentimes for the cost of a hotel but with the added benefit of a kitchen which will offset food costs.

Grand Canyon/Sedona, Arizona

Sunset is a gorgeous time in the canyon
The first time we went to the Grand Canyon in Arizona we were absolutely blown away by it's beauty.  We were enthusiastic about returning to show our children a few years later and they were just as impressed.  The great thing about bringing the kids was how much more we explored.  We realized that aside from the lookouts are some amazing trails, old ruins, picnic areas, and a lot of unique history to uncover.  You can couple it with a trip to Sedona.  Sedona is one of the most amazing and stunningly gorgeous small towns in America.  Just a short drive south of the Grand Canyon, it's known for its beautiful red sandstone mountains wedged in between lush forests and energy vortices.  These two destinations should be on anyone's must-see list in the U.S.

Red rocks cathedral in Sedona, Arizona  (wiki image)
Tips: Be sure to really explore the canyon.  Rent your own car so you can go at your pace and look down every side street.  We discovered 2 days worth of interesting things by going off the main tourist trail.  Also if you have the time the Painted Desert and Meteor Crater, off Rt 40 East, is also worth a visit for a day or 2.

Northern California/Redwoods/Southern Oregon

Crater Lake, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been
We easily could have spent months in this area of the country.  It is elegantly natural and seems to have a way of helping you feel connected to the Earth in a deep and meaningful way.  We spent a week driving down from Portland, Oregon through the Redwood forest and out the other side in California.  Crater Lake in Southern Oregon is one of the most stunning things I have ever seen.  Protected by the old crater walls the water inside is like glass offering a heavenly reflection.

The Redwood forest can be hiked for days and no one will ever complain of being bored.  The trees themselves are so massive that we actually drove our Honda minivan through a tunnel burrowed through the base of one of the trees. It seemed every time the forest gave way to a flowing meadow, dozens of elk appeared.  Truly breathtaking.  All together, the forest of 2000-year-old giants allows wonderful exploration of nature for every age.

That is one HUGE tree, and one nervous mom driving through:)
Tips: You'll want to spend more time than you would think here.  It is easy to imagine seeing it all in a day or 2, but honestly, a week wasn't even enough for us.  Marvel at the Crater, explore the Pacific Coast, and hike in the forest for as long as you can! 


There are no words to describe this type of beauty
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming (small sections extend into Idaho and Montana) is a UNESCO heritage site for good reason.  Covering over 3,400 square miles, it was one of the first national parks in the world.  Yellowstone is one of the few super-volcanoes in the world and because of this, the park offers many amazing geothermal wonders, such as Old faithful geyser.  Along with geysers, this national park is also home to bubbling mud pits, waterfalls, lakes, canyons, mountain ranges, rivers, and a vast array of wildlife.

Immediately you get the sense that this area is alive with steam pockets, sulfuric odors, and bubbling mud all around you.  Over the past several million years this volcano has erupted with intense strength.  It is said that over half of the entire worlds geothermal features are right in this one park.  Easy to believe when you see it!

In October, 2 weeks before official closing of the park.  We quickly realized why they close down.
Tips: Be sure to head to the park before its official closing date.  We never looked into it and almost missed the park entirely.  It can be very cold in October so bundle up.  For lodging, try the cabins that are at the Eastern entrance to the park.  A-framed, adorable, and complete with a lovely staff. There are even a few resident foxes that will get frighteningly close if you offer some food....and no, I would never do anything as brazen as that;)

Even better, go when it is warm and you can really get out and hike/explore the area.  We wish we did and know we will sometime in the near future! Be careful to watch forest fire reports though. 

Some honorable mentions go out to Niagra Falls area in New York, White Mountains in New Hampshire, Badlands/Mt Rushmore in South Dakota, and New York City!  What is your favorite family vacation spot in the US?

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  1. this is nice and information site

  2. The captures are attractive. I have been to the Grand Canyon in Arizona once, it is one of the most remarkable experience ever. But I missed to visit many of the remarkable places around, I wish if I could get another chance.