Best Weekend Getaways For Families
Top 8 Family Weekend Getaways in the United States
Once the weather gets nicer, it's time to start planning the perfect family weekend getaway. Fortunately, in the United States, there are tons of fun and exciting destinations within relatively close reach. Whether you prefer beachside amenities, mountain climbing, or urban city life, you have so many options that the entire experience can get overwhelming.
To help you narrow down your search, we've compiled a list of the top eight weekend getaways for families. No matter your preference, you're sure to find a destination that speaks to your sense of adventure and excitement. So, with that in mind, let's break down our top eight family weekend getaway options.
8 Incredible Locations for Unforgettable Family Getaways
Kicking things off is a trip to our nation's capital, Washington, DC. This city is unique in the United States because it doesn't belong to any state, so it's almost like its own sovereign territory. However, as the cradle of modern American civilization, there's a lot of history and prestige that comes from visiting this historic locale.
Most of the fun activities to do in Washington, DC , involve museums or exhibits, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian. So, if your little ones prefer to learn about history or experience their American heritage up close, DC has it all. Also, an official tour of the capitol building and the White House will make the trip even more memorable and life-changing.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Next, if you and your family love going to the beach, the Outer Banks has some of the best beaches in the country. With over 100 miles to explore, you won't run out of sand and surf during your visit. The Outer Banks is also perfect for beachside camping, as there are some incredible tent and RV camping sites in the area - some of which are literally on the sand.
The other great thing about visiting the Outer Banks is that it's a series of barrier islands, so you can visit water on both sides for a unique experience. For kids, you can book a pirate tour, visit one of many parks and playgrounds, or get some mouthwatering seafood caught fresh from the Atlantic.
Yellowstone National Park
Family weekend getaways can vary greatly, depending on everyone's preference. If you like the idea of hiking and exploring nature, you can't do much better than Yellowstone National Park . As one of the largest and most well-known national parks in the country, Yellowstone has a lot to offer for adventurers of all ages and skill levels. Think about spending more time here with your kids at the national park during Spring Break to fit in more activities.
No trip to Yellowstone would be complete without viewing the natural hot springs and geysers (including Old Faithful), but the park has much more to explore, especially if you're staying for several nights in a row. As with the Outer Banks, Yellowstone offers a mix of hotels, resorts, and campsites. If you're looking to save money on accommodations, camping or RVing at Yellowstone is a one-of-a-kind experience, and much more affordable than you might expect.
Disney World/Orlando, Florida
Orlando is easily one of, if not the most visited, family-friendly city. Of course, the main attraction is Disney World , but you can also find other theme parks like Universal Studios, Sea World, and Legoland. If you venture a little way north, you can visit Cape Canaveral and see the Kennedy Space Center .
One of the great things about Orlando is that there is so much more to do than just go to a theme park and wait in line for hours. The city has tons of other smaller attractions, like gator farms, mini golf, souvenir shops, orange groves, and much more. Also, if you're into dining and entertainment, you can book dinner and a show at one of the numerous venues.
If you're flying into Orlando, keep in mind that there are toll roads to get out of the airport, so plan accordingly.
When it comes to east coast cities, many people don't realize that the City of Brotherly Love is a family-friendly paradise. One of the primary highlights is the Philadelphia Zoo, but there are tons of other attractions, including children's museums, Franklin Square, and the Adventure Aquarium.
Taking your kids to interactive museums ensures they have fun and learn all about the world around them. These places make learning fun, and those memories will last a lifetime.
Another point to consider when planning a family weekend getaway in Pennsylvania is that there are many family farms around the major cities. So, you can pick fresh fruit, go on hay rides, pet animals, and get in touch with the natural world. Plus, nothing tastes better than freshly-grown fruits and vegetables, especially when you're able to cook them at your hotel or resort later.
South Padre Island, Texas
Usually, when planning a family weekend getaway in Texas, most people assume Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio are the best places to visit. However, a little-known gem at the southern tip of the Lone Star State is South Padre Island . There are actually quite a few barrier islands protecting the mainland from storms originating in the Gulf of Mexico, but South Padre is one of the most family-friendly options.
Not only is the island gorgeous and balmy throughout the year, but it's also home to numerous bird and wildlife species, including sea turtles. So, if you and your kids love animals, you'll appreciate how close you can get to the local fauna. There are various sanctuaries and wilderness trails on the island, so make sure to take lots of pictures during your stay.
Plus, the island borders Mexico, so if you want to travel to another country, you only have to hop over to the border town of Matamoros, which crosses both Mexico and Texas.
Do you want to experience a resort town where history comes alive? If so, Williamsburg, Virginia, is an excellent choice for a family weekend getaway. In Colonial Williamsburg, you and your children can interact with actors dressed in period clothes and ask them all about what life was like during the 1700s.
If you want a more modern experience, the city also hosts theme parks , including Great Wolf Lodge and Busch Gardens. Or you can take a spooky ghost tour and learn more about these historical locations and how they affected the people living in them throughout the centuries.
Last but certainly not least is Savannah, Georgia. As one of the only southern cities untouched by the Civil War, Savannah is a window back in time. While it's not as interactive or immersive as Colonial Williamsburg, it's still pretty impressive to see how the city must have looked in the 1700s and 1800s. This town makes for a very enjoyable Halloween getaway with endless amounts of haunted history.
If you're visiting for reasons unrelated to Halloween, you should start with a trolley ride that takes you through the various hotspots. You can also experience world-class southern cooking, as well as decadent desserts. The city moves at its own pace, so don't try to rush through anything. Plus, there are nearby islands, including Tybee Island and Wilmington Island. There are also many wildlife refuges nearby (including in neighboring South Carolina), so you and the kids can see lots of animals up close.
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Read the other Articles in our Family Travel Manual
- Spring Break ideas for families.
- Tips for planning a family vacation.
- Where are kid play areas inside the airport?
- Ideas for keeping kids busy while flying.
- Tips for traveling with children.