From the wonders of theme parks to the wonders of Mother Nature to the wonders of urban adventures, Traveling Moms know the best places to vacation with kids. This list will have your family biking, walking, swimming, sunning, thrill riding and eating your way around the world in 2016. Get the insight and the insider tips you need to make the most of these great family vacation spots.
Best Vacation Spots for 2016
Silver Valley (Kellogg), Idaho
Little children, grandparents and non-outdoorsy travelers should pedal the not-to-miss Route of the Hiawatha, a 15-mile ride on a slight downhill decline.
Silver Valley, Idaho, is a Winter / Summer Family destination. Bucket List bike trails for the entire family, indoor waterpark, 2 ski resorts, historic mining town, river float trips – great family getaway.- Mary Heston, World Traveling Mom
TRAVEL TIP: Pack a turtleneck and layers as the weather can vary, but Silver Valley, Idaho is always beautiful!
Walt Disney World, Florida
Mention Walt Disney World to your grandkids and you instantly become The Best Grammie Ever.
It wouldn’t be a family vacation without the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation when traveling with your multigenerational family! This thrill seeking Grandmom is all about rollercoasters — even better Disney After Dark with the grandkids. Walt Disney World simply takes a boring vacation and adds laughter. From character dining experiences to nonstop theme park adventures, Walt Disney World is a memory worth making with your grandchildren. – Diana Rowe, Traveling Grandmom
TRAVEL TIP: To take full advantage of the Disney experience, stay at a Walt Disney World resort, such as Disney’s Art of Animation. Spend a little more, but gain free transportation with close proximity to the parks, early access to FastPass, and extended theme park hours.
With so many new additions at Walt Disney World, including Star Wars themed areas, night show at Animal Kingdom, new Frozen-themed ride in Epcot, plus Disney Springs, where do you start? That’s the beauty of traveling to Walt Disney in Florida: 500 acres, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, AND two water parks and Disney Springs. – Karyn Locke, Road Trip TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Travel to Walt Disney World during off season and always look for special deals before you book!
Family friendly resorts offer more to love in Orlando than theme parks.
Home to multiple amusement parks, you can have fun on your own or with family in Orlando. The resorts are amazing, too, from the Four Seasons Orlando to the Omni Champions Gate to Legoland a short drive away. – Desiree Miller, Family Fun TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: It rains almost every afternoon in Florida in the summer, but the showers are over fast and the Orlando fun can continue.
Panama City, Florida
The Panama City beach destination is affordable and family friendly, with plenty of condo rentals and plenty of free things to do.
There are beautiful beaches all over the world, but few can top the 27 miles of white sand beaches in Panama City Beach, Florida. Don’t miss a chance to visit Shell Island, a 700-acre nature preserve with nothing but white sand and turtle hatching spots. Grab dinner one night at Schooners on the beach. Arrive just before sunset. At the moment the setting sun kisses the sea, Schooners fires a mini cannon with a major sound. Cover the kids’ ears. (And yours.)” – Cindy Richards, Empty Nest TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: To make the most of your Panama City, Florida, vacation, drive or rent a car.
From inexpensive taco spots, to spicy Thai and Vietnamese, to upscale Italian fine dining, Philly has your family’s tastes covered.
And come hungry. Successive waves of immigrants have brought Italian, Asian, Mexican, and other delicious food traditions to Philadelphia. Philly has a thriving farm-to-table movement. Plus, Philadelphia has a quirky tradition of Bring Your Own wine to restaurants (BYO), since lots of restaurants cannot sell liquor. The good news for diners is you can spend the money you saved on wine by buying better food. – Sarah Ricks, Philadelphia Traveling Mom
TRAVEL TIP: The secret is out: Philadelphia is a foodie destination.
New York City, New York
Family fun in New York City doesn’t have to be expensive!
I lived in New York City for years, and my family has loved visiting New York since my teens were tiny tots. Lots of the fun is free. Visiting Central Park’s boat pond or climbing on its Alice in Wonderland statute, watching ice skaters at Rockefeller Center, gawking at basketball gear at the NBA Store, experiencing the glitzy charm of the neon light show of Times Square – all free. New York department stores put on magical window displays from November – January, also free. Broadway shows are a splurge, but you can buy half-price tickets at a TKTS booth on the day of the show. – Sarah Ricks, Philadelphia Traveling Mom
Quebec Province, Canada
Canada’s Quebec Province is a experiential introduction to the French culture.
If you’re looking to experience French culture without crossing the Atlantic, make a trip to the Quebec province of Canada. Montreal and Quebec City are the two main cities that you can explore on foot that offers lots of great food, art and history. The Eastern provinces are another part of Canada that offers more a bucolic experience with cycling, hiking and water activities. A road trip through this region was a great way to introduce French culture to our pre-school aged son.” – Anuja De Silva, Cosmopolitan with Kids TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Lots to do in Quebec City, so plan ahead! Try lots of poutine and other local foods.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
The village of Mont Tremblant is home to restaurants, shops and more activities than you can imagine getting done.
No matter what season you visit Tremblant, located an hour outside of Montreal, Canada, there is plenty to do and see. In summer, families flock to the area for time off in the lake and the world famous birds of prey show. In Winter, hit the ski hills, strap on snowshoes or ice skate in the centre of the village before warming up in one of the many hotel hot tubs. – Sarah Pittard, Solo Travelingmom
TRAVEL TIP: Take a few days off midweek to enjoy the village of Tremblant without the crowds.
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
An adventure in Niagara Falls is truly a travel bucket list experience for all ages.
Experience Niagara Falls four ways with your family: on the ground at Niagara Falls Park, underground at “Journey Behind the Falls Tour;” ride into the heart of the falls on the Hornblower Niagara Cruise; and in a helicopter above the epicenter of the falls. – Diana Rowe, Traveling Grandmom
TRAVEL TIP: Stay at the Radisson Hotel & Suites Fallview in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, with its heart-stopping view of Horseshoe Falls.
No U.S. passport needed to experience Puerto Rico’s beaches, cuisine, natural wonders, and history.
There are many activities to enjoy with kids in Puerto Rico, it is the perfect destination for families. The island is easy to reach from the United States, no passport is necessary, and there is no need to exchange currency. With 270 miles of coastline there are endless beautiful beaches, including ones where you can snorkel, surf, and simply relax. Throw in delicious cuisine, natural wonders, a rich history, and friendly people, its easy to see why this tropical island is a popular destination. Families will not be disappointed because Puerto Rico offers something for everyone. – Kirsten Maxwell, Teaching TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Puerto Rico is all about adventure, embrace it!