Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway close to home with the family or planning your once-in-a-lifetime travel bucket list trip, we polled our travel-savvy TravelingMoms and asked them to share their best places to travel in 2016 — and personal been-there-done-that tips to help you make the most of their favorite destinations.
Best Places to Travel in 2016
From Prague to Portland, Walt Disney World to Detroit and many places in between, we’ve got 35 TravelingMom approved destinations from all over the world for your next vacation. We’ve been there. We were inspired to pack up the whole family, escape with our girlfriends, or count the days to a romantic vacation with our special someone. Shake your road map out, and read all about these exciting and diverse best places to travel in 2016 (listed in no particular order).
Downtown Napa, California
Culinary, wine and active adventures.
Downtown Napa is the perfect getaway for foodies, wine lovers, the active, girlfriends or romance. Downtown Napa has it all plus more.- Dana Zucker, Luxe TravelingMom – Downtown Napa, California
TRAVEL TIP: Book a few Downtown Napa adventures ahead of time like a bike tour, kayak trip or the famous Wine Train.
Say yes to tax-free shopping, budget friendly hotels, beer, wine, distilleries, and a walkable downtown.
Taking the kids takes on a a new meaning when your little birdies have long left and made their own nests with their own little ones (=grandkids!). Hip, charming and kitschy, Portland is the perfect meet up for family travel vacaton — sans little kids. Our extended and blended family of 7 adults walked, sipped, dined, shopped, and even bowled our way through downtown Portland, while staying at the Hotel Rose. – Diana Rowe / Traveling Grandmom
TRAVEL TIP: With so much to do in downtown Portland, the best way to explore is to grab a map, pick a direction and walk. You’ll find many brew pubs along the way to reward the thirsty traveler, including Paddy’s Bar & Grill, the oldeset Irish pub in downtown Porltand.
San Juan Island, Washington State
Whales, Sea Lions, Seals, Birds and more!
San Juan Islands in Washington are a must for everyone. There is so much to do or do nothing at all! Lakedale Resort offers everything from camping to beautiful cabins. – Dana Zucker, Luxe TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Make sure you contact San Juan Outfitters to plan your exploring on and off this Washington State Island, they are the best!
Take me to the ballgame! Wrigley Field, museums, bicycling, and pizza.
It’s been more than 100 years since the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series, but many expect 2016 to be “the year” they do! See the team play at historic and fun Wrigley Field (or, if the team’s out of town, take a tour of the ballpark). Downtown Chicago has a developing riverfront area to dine, drink or walk. Plus, there are a bunch of new luxury hotels, culture, world-class museums, deep dish pizza, and so much more! – Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Get out and enjoy Chicago by bicycling the new lakefront “606” path.
Doing the locomotion in downtown Detroit with the new downtown railway.
With the all new downtown railway, new restaurants, hotels and growing economy, Detroit is a fun and eclectic place to travel. – Mary Moore, Retro TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Check out the new places, but don’t forget to see the history of Detroit. Many of the old, vintage buildings have group tours on a daily/weekly basis. This is a must do!
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Boating, golfing, shipping, fishing — so much to do at this picture-perfect, all ages, family destination.
TIP: Wind down and relax at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. Lake wear is a necessity – forget the formal wear and give in to a good time with the famly. Photo Credit: Becky Davenport / Budget Traveling Mom
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri has something for every member of your family. Grandpa can enjoy his golf while grandkids can enjoy the indoor waterpark. Music, outdoor activities, water sports, everything you can imagine. Becky Davenport, Budget TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Wind down and relax at Lake of the Ozarks. Lake wear is a necessity – forget the formal wear and give in to a good time with the famly.
The Lake of the Ozarks region area is both beautiful and adventurous, with caves, waterparks, and lots of hiking. Lake of the Ozarks is a family playground and a classic choice for a starting a new family tradition getaway. – Amanda Williams, Rural Travelingmom
TRAVEL TIP: The Lake of the Ozark’s heat and humidity can be oppressive–plan in lots of water fun!
Stand in the jail cell of infamous gun slingin’ outlaws, walk in the footsteps of Harry Truman, or step onto the trails of the Old West.
Learn History the fun way. Who said educational travel has to be boring? Independence, Missouri brings history to life. Take a step back in time and learn how the pioneers lived. – Becky Davenport, Budget TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: If you are going to take a walk through history in Independence, Missouri, you must wear good walking shoes!
Angel Fire, New Mexico
Angel Fire is a beautiful and tranquil vacation getaway with year-round activities from skiing to mountain biking.
Angel Fire Resort in Northern New Mexico is a quiet, family friendly destination, perfect in all seasons. Skiing for all levels during the winter months, the resort offers a top-notch ski school, tubing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports. The summer months are filled with world-class mountain biking, zip-lining, golfing, hiking, and more. – Rebecca Darling, Texas TMOM
TRAVEL TIP: Angel Fire, New Mexico is a gorgeous, family-friendly vacation destination for all seasons.
Music, museums, Jack’s BBQ — and celebrity sightings. Yes, you’re in Nashville.
Nashville is called Music City for a reason. Great live music everywhere you go starting at 10 am. There are even boxes on the street that play music as you pass by! Also great museums like RCA Tour of Studio B and the Hatch Show Print shop. And Jack’s BBQ mmmm, I can smell it now! Stay at the Hotel Indigo Printers Alley. Cool back story, walkable to everything. – Sue Rodman, TravelingMom with Teens
TRAVEL TIP: Songwriters in the round at Nashville’s BlueBird Cafe — great music, awesome stories, lots of laughs in an intimate setting.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Camping, bicycling, snowshoeing, hiking and wildlife watching are just a few of dozens of things to do with your family year-round in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Estes Park, Grand County and Fort Collins surround a vacation at Rocky Mountain National Park with art, craft beer, culinary excellence and community engagement. Gateway city charms! – Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom
TRAVEL TIP: Connect both sides of Rocky Mountain National Park with overnight stays on either side of the mountain in Estes Park and Grand Lake.