The hustle and bustle of family life can be hectic. With work, extracurriculars, and social obligations pulling everyone in different directions, finding time to spend together as a family can be hard. Make family time a priority in the new year and plan a family vacation that your kids will talk about for years to come. Below are four of the best travel destinations for families in the U.S. to help you plan the family vacation of your dreams.
Pigeon Forge, TN
It may seem a bit obscure, but Pigeon Forge is without a doubt one of the best travel destinations for families in the U.S. Pigeon Forge is a relatively small town located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, but don’t let this city’s diminutive size fool you. The town is bursting with exciting events and entrancing attractions at every turn. One of the most popular attractions in Pigeon Forge is Dollywood, a Southern-themed amusement park owned by country music star Dolly Parton. Visitors to Pigeon Forge can also embark on a rip-roaring white water rafting trip or soar high above the Great Smoky Mountains on a zip line.
For families with younger children, Indianapolis is the place to be. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s museum in the world, touting three stories of immersive exhibits that are perfect for children of all ages. Visitors can uncover fossils and walk among their favorite dinosaurs at the Dinosphere exhibit, or they can stop by the ScienceWorks exhibit and experience a day in the life of a geologist or botanist. Indianapolis is also home to White River State Park and Conner Prairie, an open-air museum that recreates Midwestern life in the 19th century. Visitors can learn a trade, taste a traditional pioneer dish, and experience life exactly as it was in the late 1800s.
Washington, D.C. is one of the best travel destinations for families with curious kids. It’s home to dozens of award-winning museums, so you’re sure to learn something new every day. The Smithsonian Institution consists of 20 museums in D.C., so no matter where your interests lie, you’ll be able to find something appealing. Some of the best Smithsonian museums for kids include the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian. Be sure to also stop by the National Zoo, one of the only zoos in the United States with giant pandas.
San Francisco, CA
For a family vacation that combines history, culture, and coastal views, consider a trip to San Francisco. San Francisco is a hub of activity with cultural experiences and historical sites around every corner. One of the best places for families to visit in San Francisco, besides the iconic Lombard Street and Golden Gate Bridge, is Pier 39. Located just off the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Pier 39 is chock-full of exciting attractions and events, including a mirror maze, live musicians, and the Aquarium of the Bay. There’s even a musical staircase that allows you to truly march to the beat of your own drum.