When choosing the best vacation spot for your family, you’ll want to consider everything from your budget to the activities your family enjoys. To help make planning easier, here are four vacation ideas in different destinations across the United States — plus, a kids’ packing list for each destination.
1. On the water: San Diego, CA
When your family wants maximum relaxation, nothing beats the beach. A vacation spot on the water provides coastal access along with a variety of delightful family-friendly activities.
Known for its spectacular year-round weather, San Diego places at the top of many recommended family vacation spots. You can take advantage of the temperate climate by visiting LEGOLAND or the beachside amusement park attractions at Belmont Park.
Head to Balboa Park for more family fun, where you’ll find 17 museums for kids of all ages, theaters where the whole family can catch a show, and multiple gardens to enjoy a picnic. Take the animal lovers to the Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld or the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Plus, what vacation would be complete without a whale-watching cruise on the sea?
2. In the desert: Scottsdale, AZ
Want to avoid crowded beach towns while getting as much sunshine as possible? The desert might be up your alley. Desert destinations offer expansive spaces, picturesque photo opportunities and activities to please everyone — just be sure to pack extra sun protection for the kids.
For city life and desert landscapes, Scottsdale offers the best of both worlds. Take your family for a morning hike or take a tour in a Jeep in the Sonoran Desert. When the afternoon heat sets in, cool off at one of Scottsdale’s excellent waterparks. End the day with a visit to the Old Town district which holds an art walk of galleries every Thursday night.
Scottsdale is also less than 30 minutes away by car from Phoenix, giving you easy access to all of the state capital’s attractions. These include an aquarium, zoo and botanical garden.
3. High in the mountains: Aspen, CO
While some vacation spots are best experienced during certain times of year, mountain destinations offer unique activities every season. The mountains are the best place for winter skiing, but the summer months open up new opportunities for your family to connect with the terrain.
Aspen is a terrific example of a year-round destination. In winter, the city turns into a bonafide wonderland. In addition to downhill snowboarding and skiing, you can take a gondola up to the mountaintops and experience Aspen’s Nordic Trail System, which provides over 60 miles of cross-country ski trails.
In the warmer months, you can explore Aspen’s many hiking and biking trails. The mountain town also has some of the best fly fishing conditions in North America.
4. In the city: Austin, TX
Cities are jam-packed with options for everyone in the family. There’s education, amusement and plenty of easily accessible activities.
Known for its slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” Austin has all the oddities and entertainment any vacationing family will love. The Cathedral of Junk shows kids how imagination can turn trash into a work of art. The Salt Lick has mouthwatering barbeque with a side of live music. Congress Avenue Bridge offers kayakers the chance to watch more than a million bats fly at sunset.
For more adventure, take your kids for a swim in the spring-fed pool at Barton Springs, pick your own produce at Boggy Creek Farm, and get up close with all the animal rescues at the Austin Zoo.
The best family vacation spot?
Ultimately, the best vacation spot will depend on the ages of your kids and your preferences. Find a destination with the accommodations and activities that best suit your family’s needs. Who knows — with a second home, this location could even turn into a permanent part of your family’s life. Co-own a luxury second home in your vacation destination today with Pacaso.
Family-friendly destinations can be fun for adults, too. Need a sitter for the kids while on vacation? You can find a trusted local babysitter through UrbanSitter.