Top 10 USA Family Holidays

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With 50 states and countless towns each offering a different experience, choosing where to spend a holiday in the USA is hard enough. And we know it’s no easy feat to plan a family holiday. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of locations with lots of child-friendly attractions to help you. Whether it’s an educational city trip you’re aiming for, or one that’s full of adrenaline-inducing fun.

1. New York

In New York, the American Museum of Natural History houses a plethora of exhibits – from prehistoric skeletons to the mysterious Dark Universe Space Show, which will fascinate curious, young minds. Evenings can be spent treating the family to shows on Broadway, most of which are kid friendly – The Lion King, Aladdin (from February 2016) and Finding Neverland, for example. In summer, head to Coney Island where you’ll find an aquarium, amusement parks and a sandy beach popular with picnicking locals.

2. Anaheim

Most recognised for being home to the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim is an alternative to Los Angeles, but is still within reach of the home of Hollywood. It’s also on the coast so whale watching tours can be organised. The abundance of themed restaurants makes going out in the evenings fun for the whole family – you can become a spectator at a dramatic jousting match or go for a spine-chilling meal in the company of vampire pirates!
Image © Juan Camilo Bernal

3. Colorado

The Centennial State boasts a hugely diverse landscape. Valleys and hiking trails appeal to the more actively inclined, while its snow-capped Rocky Mountains provide some of the best skiing conditions in the country. Vail and Copper Mountain are great winter sports locations for families because they have fairgrounds and ice rinks, but if you’re looking for somewhere with more bearable temperatures, spend your holiday at one of the dude ranches at the base of the mountains. Here you can try your hand various cowboy pursuits including horse riding, fly fishing and cattle drives!

4. San Francisco

San Francisco sits on the western coast, and its Pier 39 is popular not only with tourists, but with sea lions who gather to bask under the afternoon rays. At the California Academy of Sciences, you can visit the four-storey rainforest, featuring Madagascan, Costa Rican and Bornean plant life. And if you drive across the Golden Gate Bridge you’ll end up in Muir Woods and be greeted by gargantuan redwood trees which dwarf everything around them, then to the east is Yosemite National Park, home to the sensational El Capitan and Half Dome cliffs.

5. Orlando

Orlando has one of the largest concentrations of theme parks in the USA, with Disney World Resort, LEGOLAND Florida and Universal Orlando Resort being among the firm favourites. Families who fancy a break from the parks will discover a wealth of entertainment opportunities in International Drive, where indoor skydiving, glow in the dark mini golf and the bizarre WonderWorks Upside Down Museum are just a few of the fun activities on offer.
Image © Kamira

6. Charleston

You may have heard of the playful, high-spirited dance. The town it originated from shares its name, but that’s where their similarities end. The sleepy, attractive beach town presents a laid back destination for a family holiday, but it still has plenty to see. There’s the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, the South Carolina Aquarium and, possibly for parents more than for the kids, The Notebook Charleston Tour which will take you to some picturesque filming locations. This will see you weaving through tall trees in Cypress Gardens and frolicking in the captivating bucolic Boone Hall Plantation, also where Gone with the Wind was filmed.
Image © Sean Pavone

7. Washington D.C

Washington D.C. is where you go if you want your kids to learn something on holiday. It’s not a coincidence that it’s home to the Smithsonian Institution, which is one of the largest museums in the world. It’s so huge, it’s impossible to see everything in it in a day or even a week! For a more hands on day out, the National Museum of Natural history houses fun interactive exhibits for kids and adults. And trips to the White House, or outside it at least, Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial are not to be missed at any age.

8. Florida Keys

Take a drive down the Seven Mile Bridge which runs directly over the ocean and you’ll find yourself in the tropical archipelago known as the Florida Keys, home to the largest concentration of coral reefs in the country. Add in a trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park to explore the hexagon-shaped fort. Take a ride on the Conch Tour Train, which is free for kids by the way, and visit to the former home of Earnest Hemingway. Top it all off with a slice of key lime pie – it originated here after all.

9. Utah

The Grand Staircase in Utah is full of spectacularly memorable sights. Its bizarre rock formations include Willis Creek, a crevice enclosed by bumpy limestone walls, and Metate Arch, a column of rock connected to the edge of a cliff. In 2002, a 75-million-year-old dinosaur’s remains were found here, and many others have been since. Seeing the skeletal remains of a dinosaur in a museum is one thing, but you may find walking in the footsteps of them an altogether more immersive experience!

10. Tampa

Tampa’s many zoos and wildlife centres attract a large number of the families that flock to the Sunshine State every year. You can visit rescued tigers and lions at Big Cat Rescue and drift down the Hillsborough river for some turtle, bird and alligator spotting. There’s also an aquarium with over 20,000 marine animals and Lowry Park Zoo where you can stroke a stingray, take a walk with friendly wallabies and watch macaws swoop over your head!