Best summer vacation spots for families

If you are traveling with small kids this summer and want to visit the best summer vacation spots for families, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve scoured the web and found the best family vacation spots. Whether you are a beach bum or prefer exploring historic sites, there’s a memorable vacation spot for you.

If you’re looking for interesting, exciting and relaxing vacation spots then you’ve come to the right place! Our blog will tell you everything you want to know about top summer tourist attractions, such as amusement parks and water parks. You will surely be amazed by the sheer number of cool places in United States! We are sure you will find something for both your family members and yourself.

Your idea of the perfect family vacation is likely very different from that of your spouse. Who wants to go shopping, who wants to go sightseeing, who wants to go hiking, and so on. Distinguishing between all the options and deciding on the best spot for families can be a real challenge. Luckily, that’s what this blog is for! By the end of reading this article, you’ll know where you should take your family on their next trip.

As a mother of three, I’ve gone on a lot of family vacations. While traveling with my kids can be full of adventures and excitement, it’s also very important to choose the right destination. From your location, to the activities available, to entertainment options — there are multiple considerations to think about before booking a summer vacation spot.

Summer is the time of year when families get together and enjoy each other’s company. For many parents, it’s also the time of year when they have to plan a vacation for their kids. That can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some great summer vacation spots for families:

  1. The beach
  2. A national park
  3. An amusement park
Sicily Italy

Sicily, Italy

Best for: Families seeking a less-hectic Italy vacation

Why we love it: Packing in a huge diversity of landscapes, ancient ruins, and culture, Sicily is like mainland Italy in microcosm. While Italians will cry blasphemy over that statement, what it really translates into for families is a less-hectic Italian getaway. Hand over the orchestrating to the excellent local guides at Trip to Sicily, and get ready for highlights and bragging rights. See the mesmerizing ancient ruins in Agrigento at the UNESCO-designated Valley of the Temples as well as at the Roman Villa del Casale, a well-preserved ancient Italian villa with mind-blowing mosaics. Then, live out la dolce vita with gelato in Taormina and swims in the bay of Ortigia, followed by onshore meals filled with arancini and cannoli, a true Sicilian original. Finally, soak in all of buzzy, modern Palermo with its Teatro Massimo and glittering Norman Palace, alfresco lunches, storied fountains, and lively piazzas at night.

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Where to stay: Opened in April, the new Verdura Rocco Forte promises a serious luxury option in Sicily with a prime position on a secluded hilltop. There are 168 rooms, 32, suites and three over-the-top villas, each with their own private pool.


Best for: Bucket-list-motivated families 

Why we love it: Volcanic and glacier-clad, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is somewhat off the tourist radar. But at 13.2 million acres, and home to four mountain range including the 18,008-foot Mount St. Elias, it’s the biggest national park in North America—larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland combined. It also offers families a chance to go off the grid in largely untouched wilderness. Getting here is part of the adventure, and best accomplished by a gobsmacking flight over the park’s snowcapped peaks; from Chitina to McCarthy. A true frontier town at the edge of Alaska’s wilderness, pedestrian-only McCarthy is a fun living-history experience of mining backstories and lively local establishments. Hike right off McCarthy’s main dirt road and deep into the Alaskan bush, high into Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, for a look at 20th-century copper mining (you won’t believe the staggering heights here). Or take crampon-booted glacier hikes with St. Elias Alpine Guides to ice-cold streams that are the best water source you’ll ever find.

Where to stay: Historic Ma Johnson’s Hotel, a former miner’s boarding house right in the middle of McCarthy, preserved as it was with shared bathrooms and no outlets in the rooms (embrace the adventure).

Image may contain Mountain Outdoors Nature Art Painting Valley and Canyon

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Best for: Active families and budding geologists 

Why we love it: Southern Utah is home to the state’s Mighty Five national parks. The least-visited one—only because it’s a little harder to get to—is easily one of its best. Capitol Reef National Park’s defining geological phenomenon is essentially a wrinkle in the earth’s crust that lifted and folded over some 50 to 70 million years ago. Today, the towering “Waterpocket Fold” is made up of 19 different layers of rock formations and extends for nearly 100 miles. Hike through its rugged, spectacular mashups of colored rock, spying ancient American Indian petroglyphs, winding through iconic slot canyons, and scrambling to the top of jaw-dropping formations like Cassidy Arch—where the infamous Butch Cassidy was known to hideout with his posse. Kick your family hike up a notch on an expertly guided canyoneering experience with Capitol Reef Adventure Company. Canyoneering is the technical descent into a slot canyon; after hiking an off-the-beaten path trail to the top of slot canyons like Pete’s Dragon, you’ll descend on fully supported rappels that reveal the beauty of these spaces in a totally new way. No matter the adventure in the park, you’ll also be surrounded by some of the most spectacular rocks on the planet, including black basalt, glass-like gypsum, and selenite crystal.

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Where to stay: Primely situated in Torrey, Utah, and just minutes from Capitol Reef, Cougar Ridge is an excellent home base with comfortable luxury casitas that include two spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchenette, a deck with a Traeger grill, and plenty of room to spread out in.

Michigan’s west coast

Best for: Road-tripping families

Why we love it: Pack the beach umbrella and head off on a road trip along Michigan’s west coast, which will win the family over with its ocean-like lake views. The route is dotted with Americana beach towns with all the trimmings—ice cream shops, breweries, lighthouses—to outline your itinerary with well-timed stops. In New Buffalo, try sand-boarding lessons with Third Coast Surf; spread out in Saugatuck at pretty Oval Beach, then nosh on locally-sourced homestyle dishes in the courtyard at Pennyroyal Café & Provisions; visit Grand Haven for the Coast Guard Festival from late July to August; and hop on the scenic M22 highway to atmospheric Glen Arbor, the gateway to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Once you recover from Sleeping Bear’s stunning Lake Michigan views, check out the Maritime Museum, run down Dune Climb, and comb Good Harbor beach for fossilized stones.

Where to stay: Stop in coastal South Haven for a midwestern glamping experience that’s also dog-friendly at The Fields of Michigan. Set on a working 30-acre blueberry farm, this is the place for upscale tents poised around an idyllic pond, complimentary breakfast and bike rentals (ideal for getting to the beach), and a new spa tent with forest-inspired treatments. Young farmers will also love Goldberry Woods, a modern farmhouse inn with a pool and from-scratch breakfasts, wrapped in 30 acres of organic farm, gardens, woods and river, and just 10 minutes from Warren Dunes State Park.

Galapagos safari camp

The Galápagos, Ecuador

Best for: Wildlife fanatics

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Why we love it: The volcanic Galápagos Islands, home to an abundance of unafraid and gentle wildlife, and are a perfect place to introduce kids to such wonders of the world. The most popular way to experience the archipelago is by boat, and though there are a few posh options for 100-plus passengers, like Silversea Origins and Celebrity Cruises’ Flora, a more relaxed and intimate option for families is a small adventure yacht with Abercrombie & Kent. Not a fan of cruising? Immersive land-based options exist—along with Galápagos famed giant tortoises—in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island. At Galapagos Safari Camp, days can be as flexible or tailored as you wish, with private activities that include surf lessons, art classes with a local artist, tastings of the first-ever Galápagos chocolate, and full-day boating excursions. You’ll feel like you stepped into a fairytale where tortoises amble out of ponds and into an organic coffee farm at Montemar eco luxury villas, a modern vision of sustainability and harmony with the natural world. Set on 43 acres of private land, Montemar was designed by husband-and-wife team Roberto Plaza, a naturalist guide in Galápagos since 1994, and Reyna Oleas, a passionate conservationist. They’ve also raised their own family here and know a thing or two about plotting meaningful family adventures.

Where to stay: Flora has all-suite accommodations, but families who want more space can book one of two glass-wrapped, 1,288-square foot Penthouse suites. At Galápagos Safari Camp, the Family Suite is ideal for up to six, while Montemar’s Villa Tortuga accommodates larger families of up to eight; expansive outdoor decks are winning at both.


Best for: Fans of kings, queens, and Harry Potter 

Why we love it: Take your family road trip on an adventure in Scotland, where you can combine dramatic landscapes in the Highlands with bustling cities. Harry Potter fans should start in Edinburgh, where J.K. Rowling wrote her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Visit the Elephant House café, where she frequently wrote, and wander Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery in search of the tomb of Thomas Riddle. See royal regalia and the oldest-surviving crown jewels at the hilltop Edinburgh Castle, and drive up to Perthshire; from there, the scenery keeps getting better. Stop in Glencoe for babbling brooks and pink-hued skies, in Inverness to scan the surface of Loch Ness for its namesake monster, and in coastal Aberdeenshire to explore its 300 castles.

Where to stay: The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, which offers activities like falconry and archery, and has three championship golf courses.

Park City Utah

Park City, Utah

Best for: Families who want mountain-light, summertime nirvana

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Why we love it: Ask any local in Park City and they’ll tell you: the best time of year to visit is summer. Why? The lack of national park or ski crowds, no bugs at this pleasantly dry altitude, low-season rates, and abundant outdoor activities. A designated gold-level destination by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), mountain biking is a big deal here, but families shouldn’t be afraid that it’s all steep and challenging: let the pros at White Pine Touring level up your crew with lessons, steer you to rail trails and paved roads, and get you set up with e-bikes to ride all the way to Utah Olympic Park, where you can bobsled on a real Olympic track. The list of outdoors activities goes on—guided rock climbing tours, fly fishing, horseback riding, and paddle-board and sailboat rentals—at the reservoir at Jordanelle State Park. On historic Main Street, outdoor dining on car-free Sundays is the way to go (try Riverhorse on Main with its excellent wine cellar) and in July, lookout for family friendly outdoor concerts, like this summer’s Magical Music of Harry Potter.

Where to stay: Reserve a room for half of what you’d normally pay during peak winter season at the posh St. Regis Deer Valley. Return from action-packed days outdoors that can be arranged by your concierge, and enjoy the pool, spa, beer garden, and best steak dinner you may ever have at RIME, helmed by Chef Austin Hamilton (splurge on the off-the-menu A5 Japanese Wagyu).

Vancouver and Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Best for: Young explorers eyeing the Pacific Northwest

Why we love it: Ready for an adventure of discovery in a lesser-known corner of the Pacific Northwest? Vancouver is a diverse and stunning metropolitan wonderland, infused with First Nations culture and Asian influences, and fronted by a rich coastal wilderness. Encourage the kids to step out of their comfort zones to experience it to the fullest. Start with the city’s exciting food scene, which spans everything from Asian street food, like grilled octopus and raindrop cake at the Richmond Night Market, to hot donuts at the Granville Market and nitrogen-chilled ice cream alongside off-the-charts sushi at Minami. Ride bikes in beautiful Stanley Park past totem poles, or hike trails on Grouse Mountain, where you can visit a grizzly bear refuge. Push the envelope further with a quick floatplane jaunt to the rugged coastlines and temperate forests of Vancouver Island, where you can surf in Tofino, the self-proclaimed “surf capital” of Canada.

Where to stay: The Fairmont Waterfront lays out Van City with a rooftop pool and views over the harbor and mountains. For a splurge, Nimmo Bay Resort in the Great Bear Rainforest is the place for guided coastal safari tours, heli-fishing, and intertidal cabins right on the water.

Safari in Botswana & Kenya

Best for: Big family celebrations (and fans of “The Lion King”)

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Why we love it: Of Africa’s many safari destinations, Botswana and Kenya standout for once-in-a-lifetime family excursions. Flush with some of Africa’s best wildlife diversity, void of tourism overload, and renowned for exclusive lodging, Botswana is a dream for animal-loving adventurers. Zero in on a special swath of the country’s Okavango Delta at the Moremi Game Reserve, where the reintroduction of rhinos makes the region home to all of Africa’s Big Five: elephants, lions, leopards, Cape buffalo, and rhinos. The original inspiration for Disney’s “The Lion King,” East Africa’s Kenya is also home to the Big Five, plus the Great Migration, fascinating Masai culture, and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy‘s rare black rhinos and Grevy’s zebras. Abercrombie & Kent safaris to Kenya tie it together nicely with screenings of the movie right in the bush, followed by walking safaris and African survival lessons with Maasai warriors.

Where to stay: In Botswana at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, spread out in roomy pavilions and watch animals wander by from your own private plunge pool. Lewa Wilderness in Kenya offers six hillside cottages and three garden cottages with a spacious open living plan; each is in a private setting at the edge of the protected Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, where it feels as if you have the African bush all to yourself.

The Resort at Paws Up

Montana’s dude ranches

Best for: Cowboy-loving, national park enthusiasts

Why we love it: Montana has no equal come summer. Its ranches are basically summer camp for families who love the Wild West—and a good National Park. A Readers’ Choice Awards winner Resort at Paws Up, is 37,000 acres that feel like an upscale national park, with river floats and fly fishing, electric fat-tire biking trails, ATV tours, hot air balloon rides, horseback riding, and dozens of other activities. For family reunions and groups seeking privacy and a splurge, go for a total buyout of Paws Up’s new green o and score 12 modern tree-house accommodations in your own neck of the woods. If you’re dreaming of a visit to Yellowstone National Park, all-inclusive Lone Mountain Ranch offers tours of Yellowstone (just 18 miles away), guided hikes with naturalists, a robust equestrian program, fly fishing, and an Outdoor Youth Adventures Program for ages four to 12 that includes rodeo games and archery. Skiers and daredevils should head to Big Sky Resort for a rare summertime expedition to the top of 11,166-foot Lone Peak, Montana’s highest scenic overlook.

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Where to stay: Along a river—whether in a modern, comfortable cabin fronting the river that flows through Lone Mountain Ranch, or above the Blackfoot River at Paws Up’s Cliffside Camp, where the rushing waters double as a nighttime noise machine.

Quebec, Canada

Best for: A European-style vacation close to home

Why we love it: This mainly French-speaking province offers families a taste of Europe that’s close to home, with its own fun mix of Quebecois culture, Canadian wilderness, and, in non-pandemic times, incredible summer festivals. Start in metropolitan Montreal, where highlights include the legendary Montreal Jazz Fest, Osheaga Music Festival, Montreal Cirque festival, and Festival des Arts de la Rue, the largest street theater event in North America with hundreds of performances for every age. In Quebec City, the Wendake International Pow Pow offers a glimpse of First Nations culture. Toss in a good dose of outdoor adventure by heading west to Abitibi-Témiscamingue to Canada’s Parc National d’Opémician, where you can canoe and hike amid towering pines and cliffs.

Where to stay: Overnight in Parc Omega in Outaouais, where gray and Arctic wolves roam—you’ll get to observe them from the comfort of a guarded cabin equipped with an observation lookout.

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