Plan an Exciting Cape Cod Family Vacation with This Trip Primer

Less than two hours away from Boston by car, Cape Cod makes an exciting and easily accessible destination for a family getaway. As you plan an upcoming Cape Cod family vacation, be sure to include all the best activities and attractions on your itinerary so everyone has an enjoyable time. With a wide array of both natural attractions and fun-filled entertainment in the area, your vacation promises to be filled with unforgettable memories.

Things to do in Cape Cod

When the kids are looking for amusement, Cape Cod delivers with style. The whole family will love spending the day at the local amusement park. You’ll find zip-lines, batting cages, bumper boats, climbing walls and other exciting options. Multiple miniature golf courses test everyone’s golfing abilities, and an on-site arcade promises excitement for the gang, too.

Who wouldn’t love a chance to venture out on the water for some whale watching? A number of charter companies offer exciting opportunities for vacationers to experience the thrill of seeing humpback and finback whales in the ocean. As long as you’re in the area, take a short drive up the coast to see Pilgrim Memorial State Park. This park features the historic Plymouth Rock and a museum with exhibits and educational programs.

Visiting the Cape Cod National Seashore

The whole family will love spending time at the Cape Cod National Seashore. With about 40 miles of shoreline, you can explore beaches, wild cranberry bogs, marshland and other spots. The beaches and trails throughout the park are open year-round. Over-sand beach driving is permitted in the park with the proper permits. Ranger-guided activities help visitors learn all there is to know about the park. You can hike, canoe and try other watersports with the rangers on staff. Hunting and fishing are also permissible in the park.

You’ll also find two visitor centers within the park. The Salt Pond Visitor Center is usually open year-round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hours extend between late spring and early fall to accommodate more visitors. The Province Lands Visitor Center keeps daily hours between mid-April and mid-October. As for beaches, you have your pick of six different swimming beaches within the national seashore. Coast Guard Beach is a great beach for families, and many like to hang out at Herring Cove Beach.

The Best Beaches in Cape Cod for Families

It would be nearly unheard of to go to Cape Cod and not spend at least one day on the beach enjoying the sand and sun. Along with those located inside of Cape Cod National Seashore, you’ll also find additional beaches in the area that are worth a visit. Chapoquoit Beach, also known as “Chappy Beach” by the locals, is a great spot for beachcombing and windsurfing. Families won’t want to miss spending a day at Craigville Beach, either. The shallow water and calm breakers make this an ideal beach for youngsters, and it’s fun to fill buckets with beautiful shells you find in the sand. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Concessions are also available, and lifeguards even provide swimming lessons.

Dowses Beach is another destination to put on your list of places to visit. This beach area may be somewhat small, but you’ll actually find two separate sides to the beach. There’s a jetty for fishing, shells are plentiful and the views are stunning. Nauset Beach features pristine sand, a boardwalk and concession stands for snacks. First Encounter Beach is a favorite spot to visit when the tide goes out thanks to the wide expanse of sand and delightful tide pools awaiting exploration.

Tips for Visiting Cape Cod with Kids

Cape Cod seems to have something for everyone, including the kids. As you plan your family vacation, let everyone have some input in the things you’ll do to make sure you’re all happy and excited about the trip. Plan some downtime into your vacation to just relax and enjoy your time together. Spending these hours with loved ones is part of what makes magical memories during family vacations.

Don’t miss a chance to catch a sunrise from a beach facing the east. Nauset Beach in particular is known for its fantastic sunrises. If you can catch a sunset from a western-facing beach, you won’t regret it either. First Encounter Beach is a good beach for sunsets. Renting bicycles and meandering your way along the 22-mile-long Cape Cod Rail Trail is a day well spent, too. You’ll find restrooms along the way, and you can easily stop to enjoy the views at various spots.

With the wide array of things to do and see in Cape Cod, it may become your family’s favorite destination for exciting getaways. You can fit as much or as little into your vacation as you want to create your dream trip. Kids can even learn about history in many of the museums that are open while you’re there.

11 Ocean Beach San Diego Vacation Ideas

Ocean Beach, San Diego vacation rentals are popular with thrill-seeking vacationers. Ocean Beach is just across the bay from SeaWorld and close to other attractions as well, such as Old Town San Diego. This neighborhood also has its own draws; it has a charming historic core, one of the most popular beaches in the city and lots of local businesses to check out. If you’re looking to spend some time close to your rental during your vacation, consider these ideas.

  1. Learn How to Surf
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    Surfing is one of the most popular activities in the area. If you want to get the full Ocean Beach experience, rent a board and take a lesson.

  2. Wander the Ocean Beach Cottage Emerging Historic District
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    Ocean Beach is filled with Craftsman-style bungalows. Walk around and admire architecture ranging from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. You can get self-guided walking tour brochures through the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association.

  3. Go for a Walk on the Pier
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    Ocean Beach’s pier is one of the longest on the West Coast. Be sure to stroll its entire length and treat yourself to a bite to eat when you get to the end.

  4. Pick Up Some Food at the Farmers’ Market
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    Ocean Beach has a farmers’ market each Wednesday. This is the place to grab some produce to cook meals in your San Diego vacation rental kitchen, and you can also try street food delicacies from around the world.

  5. Look Out for Tide Pools
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    When the tide goes out, you can find lots of tidal pools around the pier. If you’re willing to explore further, head south to Point Loma to see pools teeming with sea life.

  6. Hike Around Sunset Cliffs
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    Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is just south of Ocean Beach, and it’s an ideal place to go for a short hike. These rocky cliffs offer coastal views, giving you lots of memorable photo ops.

  7. Go Shopping on Newport Avenue
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    Newport Avenue is the business district in town, so you’ll find lots of local businesses. Stock up on your beach gear or pick up something comfortable to wear in the southern California heat.

  8. Lounge on the Beach
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    Ocean Beach offers long stretches of sand, making it a great place to set up a chair or towel and relax for an afternoon. After busy days of vacation sightseeing, you should treat yourself to some rest and relaxation during your San Diego trip.

  9. Check Out Some Live Music
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    Ocean Beach was a big draw during the counterculture movement of the 1960s, and it still maintains a lot of its bohemian flair. Several bars and clubs in town have live music, so you should see at least one concert while you’re in town.

  10. Grab Some Mexican Food
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    If you go out for one meal while you’re staying in Ocean Beach, make sure it’s at a Mexican food joint. San Diego is just across the border from Mexico, so Ocean Beach boasts various restaurants with this style of cuisine.

  11. Antiques and Hippie Shops
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  12. Ocean Beach has a nice collection of antique stores along Newport Avenue, where you can find everything from chairs and lamps to garden statues. Many other little clothing and creative shops have a distinct 1960s and 1970s feel, as they feature glass beads, handmade clothing, woven items, records and smoking paraphernalia.

Top 10 Things to Do in San Diego

San Diego is a diverse city with beaches, mountains, deserts and a vibrant downtown area. Not many cities can boast that many options. This is one reason why San Diego is a popular tourist destination for California vacations. For those who prefer to explore, this West Coast city has plenty of attractions to keep you busy during San Diego getaways. Here are a few of the best destinations to consider on your San Diego trip.

  1. Hit All The Beaches
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    The beaches are the biggest draws in San Diego. These stunning strands offer so much more than just lounging in the sand and playing in the waves. The city’s beaches offer world-class surfing, sea kayaking and body boarding. There are also lots of boardwalk areas filled with shops and restaurants, so you have everything you need in one place. If you want easy access to the beach, look for accommodation in waterfront areas. You can find plenty of San Diego beach vacation rentals in and around Coronado Beach, La Jolla Beach, Solana Beach, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.

  2. Experience Little Italy
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    Visit Little Italy for some food and drinks. It’s a close drive from downtown San Diego. Many Top Chef alums and award-winning chefs come here to share their art of cooking with the locals and the visitors. India Street is full of restaurants that serve traditional foods from Southern and Northern Italy. Craft brewpubs abound as well as wineries where you can grab a light libation or two. A waterfront Italian market and deli make you feel as if you’ve stepped into Italy without leaving California. The market carries fresh, local produce. Check out the art galleries while you’re there and shop in the boutiques. Make sure to snap pictures of the Italian architecture of many of the buildings. Amici Park is an ideal place to take the family. The park has a dog park, an amphitheater for movies and bocce ball courts.

  3. Venture Over to Baja
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    Baja is only 17 miles from downtown San Diego. It’s located south of the U.S. Mexican International border. Two regions in one give you a taste of the culture and the food of California and Mexico. The terrain is beautiful with ocean and steep cliff views. More than 100 wineries are nearby for some wine tastings. A lot of the restaurants offer local foods and fresh seafood. This is a fun, vibrant area with lots of shops and outdoor activities. You can find clothing, handmade baskets, jewelry and leather items usually at very good prices. Sportfishing, beaches and horseback riding are options for those who prefer to be outdoors.

  4. Nine Arts Districts
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    You’ll find an arts district at just about every turn in the city. San Diego has an abundance of talented artists and artisans with different ethnic backgrounds. So, the art expression covers a spectrum of possibilities and genres. You’ll find outdoor murals painted on buildings, dancing in the street and music being played for entertainment. Music will vary from a classical symphony to local bands performing. Public art is displayed in many parks and other green spaces, which adds to the character of this amazing place. The Mesa Art Gallery at San Diego Mesa College showcases new artists and talented faculty artwork. Throughout the arts districts, you can find ethnic foods to enjoy, including Indian, Filipino, Ethiopian and Korean cuisine. Don’t forget to catch a play or a musical at one of the 150 theaters. Grasp some of the history at the Old Town State Park, which is said to be California’s birthplace. Art is abundant in this modern city.

  5. Potato Chip Rock
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    For the adventurous at heart, consider a 6.5-mile hike with an extraordinary panoramic view as a reward at the end. Woodson Mountain has a Mt. Woodson Trail that leads to a thin precipice of granite that sticks out of the side of the mountain. Visitors wait in line on a typical day for a rare opportunity to get a photo-op with a view overlooking San Diego. Potato Chip Rock juts out precariously in an odd shape, which no doubt gives it the potato chip name. The hike is about a three-hour uphill climb followed by a one-hour downhill trek through boulders, making it a challenging, invigorating hike. But it’s a one-of-a-kind experience and crowds gravitate to this spot for the sheer novelty of the view. Be sure to take plenty of water for the hike, especially if you make the trek in warmer weather.

  6. Coronado Island
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    Take a ferry across the Big Bay and spend a day touring Coronado Island. You can enjoy time on the beach, shopping in gift stores or take a tree tour in Spreckels Park. You have the opportunity to bike or Segway around the island at your own pace, visit the Coronado Museum of History and Art or catch the farmers’ market on a Tuesday afternoon to get fresh, local produce. The Bay Area is an ideal spot to paddleboard, canoe or kayak in the crystal blue water. If you prefer lots of time on the sand and in the surf, you’ll love the five beaches on Coronado Island. The island also has a few spas if you prefer to ease back into total relaxation with a massage, pedicure or skin treatment. There are lots of restaurants offering fabulous options for foodies, so you won’t go hungry while visiting the island.

  7. Balboa Park
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    Balboa Park is a huge expanse of culture and history wrapped into one giant park. You can spend days here and still not see all it has to offer. It is the largest urban cultural park in North America with 1,200 acres of land. It’s full of history, culture, shops, architecture, varied museums and multiple gardens. The museums include an automotive museum, a railroad museum and a veterans museum. Walk through the formal botanical gardens or visit the popular San Diego Zoo too. You can hike a canyon trail or try lawn bowling. The sports complex within the park has tennis courts, a swimming pool and a disc golf course. There’s an Old Globe Theater with three stages that hold multiple performances throughout the year. Take in the serenity of the Japanese Friendship Garden. Picnic areas and dog parks are also available.

  8. Torrey Pines State Reserve
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    San Diego is famous for its pristine beaches, but its coastline has plenty more to offer. Explore the rugged wilderness of the Pacific at Torrey Pines State Reserve, which has hiking trails along sandstone cliffs and plenty of chances to take a look at local wildlife and plants. When you’re ready to take off your hiking boots, head over to Torrey Pines State Beach for some rest and relaxation in the sand.

  9. Old Town San Diego
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    San Diego is home to the oldest European settlement in California, and you can trace the city’s roots in Old Town San Diego Historic Park. Originally founded as a Catholic mission in 1769, this area is now a historic site that boasts preserved adobe buildings and stunning brick structures dating from the 19th century. Once you’re done exploring Old Town, take a walk closer to the water and check out the Gaslamp Quarter. This area is filled with beautiful Victorian buildings and is a great place to go shopping.

  10. San Diego Zoo
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    Staying in a San Diego vacation rental gives you lots of time to lounge on the beach, but it also gives you plenty of space in your schedule to see other local attractions. The San Diego Zoo is one of the biggest and most famous zoos in the world, boasting over 3,500 endangered species in excellent recreations of their natural habitats. To see animals roaming as they would in the wild, you can also check out the Safari Park, where elephants, zebras, lions and cheetahs enjoy ample space and open air.

Insider’s Tips to Pick the Perfect Park City Cabin Rentals

Park City’s gorgeous mountain views, incredible skiing trails and hills, cute Main Street with historic homes, decadent restaurants and cozy ambience make it a wonderful place for a winter vacation adventure. Check out these tips to pick the perfect Park City cabin rental for your family vacation.

Get to Know Park City

Before you pick the perfect Park City cabin rental, you need to get to know the area. Make a list of all of the attractions and adventures that interest you and your family, and get an idea of where you’d like to be located for your vacation. Wander historic Main Street and taste craft whiskeys, dine at some amazing restaurants or enjoy the Park Silly Market’s crafts and live music on Sundays from June until the end of September. Park City’s Victorian architecture, adorable bookstores and shops and Sundance Film Festival make it a city filled with adventure. Pick the perfect cabin rental near your favorite attractions to ensure you have plenty of time to enjoy the town without spending all day driving.

Celebrate the Great Outdoors

Park City is best known for its outdoor activities, including skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking and even bobsledding. Cabin rentals are available within walking distance of many of the top skiing areas, with some even offering ski-in and ski-out access. If you’re planning on spending much of your time on the slopes, a cabin in these areas make sense. Look for cabins that suit your needs by positioning you close to the most exciting attractions.

Look for Value-Added Amenities

Although most of the cabins in the Park City area offer excellent amenities like full kitchens, lovely views of the mountains, and pretty covered porches for dinner overlooking the beautiful Utah scenery, your Park City cabin rental might also provide you with a game room, a theater room or a hot tub for steaming the chilly day away. Cabins in the Park City area offer two, three or even more bedrooms to keep everyone comfortable, and lovely wood-burning fireplaces make for cozy evenings spent warming up after a day on the slopes.

Pick the Perfect Area

Check out a Park City cabin rental in each area of the town to get a little diversity when it comes to your yearly ski vacation. Old Town, Resort Center, Town Center, Canyons and the Colony area all offer a variety of lovely cabins in styles to suit any needs. Gorgeous cabins offer access to different areas of the slopes, or you can catch the bus and trolleys that take you around town.

12 Fun Things To Do In Austin, Texas With The Whole Family

While Austin is known for its vibrant art, music and food scenes, it also has much to offer young families. With an array of beautiful parks, farms, preserves, animal attractions and museums, there are always things to do in Austin with kids. If you’re traveling to the Texas capital city, check out these twelve exciting family-friendly activities.

  1. Texas State Capitol

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    While you’re in the capital city of Texas, stop by the actual State Capitol building, which was once the seventh largest structure in the world. Take a free guided tour through the gloriously appointed rooms to hear about the building’s history and past political characters who worked there. You may also take a self-guided tour through the Capitol to explore the rooms for yourself.
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    Guided tours begin in the Capitol’s South Foyer and end in the Capitol Extension. Stop by the Capitol Visitors Center, then head outdoors for a walking tour of the Trail of Trees and the rest of the 22-acre grounds surrounding the Texas State Capitol.

  2. Lady Bird Lake

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    See Austin from the water when you and the family visit Lady Bird Lake. Two dams on the Colorado River form the ends of the lake, which is popular with tourists and locals for its outdoor activities. There are 10 miles of easy hiking trails on both sides of the lake. Enjoy the incredible views of the water and the Austin skyline from the Lady Bird Lake Trail.
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    Rent a kayak, canoe, electric boat or stand-up paddleboard to cruise the calm waters of Lady Bird Lake. After your water adventure, head out to the trails and find the restaurants in downtown Austin that are close to the footpaths. Rent bicycles for a wheel around the nearby bike trails to visit even more of the area including Deep Eddy Pool and the Botanical Gardens.

  3. Make a Visit to Pioneer Farms

    Located in northeast Austin, Pioneer Farms offers families a chance to learn about south-central Texas history with themed exhibits dedicated to Texian farmers (residents of Mexican Texas before statehood), cotton planters, German immigrant farmers and the Tonkawa Indians. More sights to see include Sprinkle Corner, a replica of a rural village, and Scarborough Barn, where kids can pet their favorite farm animals.

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  4. Spend the Day in Zilker Metropolitan Park

    Within walking distance of many downtown hotels, Zilker Metropolitan Park is the home of popular Austin events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Spanning 351 acres, this beautiful park offers loads of amazing amenities.

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    Visitors can kayak, canoe or paddle board on Lady Bird Lake or walk or ride the trail that surrounds it. Barton Springs Pool is a top place to cool off on a hot Texas day, and the open green space is ideal for picnicking or a game of Frisbee. In the summer, there’s usually a concert series in the park and attendees can bring kids, dogs, blankets, chairs and umbrellas.


  5. Experience the Austin Aquarium

    Families always enjoy a visit to the Austin Aquarium located in the northwest part of the city. Favorite stops include the stingray touch tank, the reptile rain forest, the parakeet aviary and visits with the ring-tailed lemurs and coatimundis. More animals to see include sharks, jellyfish, bearded dragons, tarantulas, scorpions and others.

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  6. Connect with Nature at Mayfield Park and Preserve

    When you’re traveling to Austin with kids, Mayfield Park and Preserve makes for a popular stop. Located in the center of the city, this attraction is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Donated by local resident Mary Mayfield Gutsch, the site features a historic cottage, six ponds and beautiful gardens that are home to dozens of peacocks, peahens and their chicks. Extending beyond the home and gardens, the natural preserve features 21 acres with walking trails and wildlife.

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  7. Interact and Learn at Thinkery

    Families looking for attractions that foster imagination, learning and creativity in children can enjoy a visit to Thinkery, formerly the Austin Children’s Museum. Located near the University of Texas in the Mueller Tower District, this facility features 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space designed especially for kids. Through various interactive exhibits, kids can build, invent, create, experiment, jump, tumble, crawl, read, learn and pretend to their heart’s content.

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  8. Channel Your Wild Side at the Austin Zoo

    With a mission to rescue and rehabilitate animals and educate the public, the Austin Zoo makes a fun stop for families. Located in southwest Austin, this 15-acre facility invites visitors to have up-close encounters with many of the inhabitants. After viewing the big cats, monkeys, birds, reptiles and other animals, take a 20-minute tour of the zoo by train.

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  9. Visit Dinosaur Park

    For kids and kids at heart with a fascination for all things prehistoric, Dinosaur Park is the place to go. Although it’s 12 miles east of Austin, this fun park is worth the trip. Walking along a mile-long path, visitors encounter full-scale replicas of dinosaurs, from the Compsognathus measuring a mere two feet to the Brachiosaurus measuring 85 feet from nose to tail. For more enjoyment, kids can dig for “fossils,” check out the playground, have lunch at the picnic area and visit the gift shop.

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  10. SFC Farmers’ Market

    Browse the farm-fresh foods at Republic Square Park at the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers’ Market in downtown Austin. Held every Saturday, the SFC Farmers’ Market offers you an abundance of meats, produce, cheeses and baked goods. Best of all, it’s free to wander around and check out the endless stands of food including homemade jellies and salsas.

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    You can find a wide array of local crafts and artisan goods like goat-milk soap, artwork and honey at the SFC Farmers’ Market. Enjoy the free samples and buy some ready-to-eat foods for a picnic lunch in Republic Square Park. Local musicians provide plenty of tunes while you shop and dine on your goodies. Kids can enjoy the Imagination Playground at the park.


  11. Esther’s Follies

    Grab some popcorn and cold drinks from the bar and settle in for one of the funniest vaudeville-style shows you’ve ever seen. Esther’s Follies is an Austin tradition that’s been playing to packed audiences for over 40 years. Enjoy Vegas-style magic acts, political satire and comedy skits with the eclectic Sixth Street as the backdrop to the stage action.

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    Esther’s Follies is close to a wide variety of restaurants in downtown Austin from upscale to casual establishments, so you can enjoy a meal before or after the hilarious show. The humor in Esther’s Follies’ sketches is suitable for older teens in your group. The shows are not raunchy, but the jokes may go over the heads of kids younger than 16 or 17.


  12. Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History

    Bob Bullock was Texas’ 38th Lieutenant Governor and a devoted fan of Texas. His love of the state’s history led to the creation of the Bob Bullock Museum, located between the State Capitol and the campus of the University of Texas. Exhibits feature 500 artifacts from 13,000 years ago to the present age. The displays showcase the struggles, victories and cultures of Texas past and present.

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    See historical documents, photographs and a restored 17th century ship in the Bob Bullock Museum. If the kids get bored with the displays, mosey on over to the Texas Spirit Theater where you can watch the latest hit movie on the IMAX theater screen complete with multi-sensory special effects. An on-site cafe offers snacks and other food items for the hungry people in your group.

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If you’re looking for a fun vacation with the kids, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Texas capital. Consider one or all of these activities for a memorable family getaway.

Top 4 Cities to Host a Destination Wedding for the Books

‘Tis the season for wedding festivities! If you’re newly engaged and in phase one of your planning stage first off, congratulations! Next, it’s time to find your dream venue. Weddings are the perfect reason to have all your favorite people in the world come together to celebrate love. Destination weddings on the other hand, are the perfect excuse to have all your favorite people explore a new city together in honor of your special day. On top of that, destination weddings weed out the wedding crashers, and limit your guests to the ones who truly matter most.

If a destination wedding is an idea that you’d love to incorporate in your own personal fairytale, we are in full support because it’ll be an incredible experience that you, your wedding party, and your guests will enjoy. To help you zone in on a few possibilities, we asked over 1,000 wedding-goers which four cities are the best location for a destination wedding in the U.S.

Get the full rundown on VacationRenter‘s survey results with a trusty infographic here, and keep reading for a recap on our findings for the best wedding destinations throughout the country below.

#4: Newport, Rhode Island

Starting off in the city of Newport on the south end of Rhode Island, this waterfront town is primarily bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, giving you various country clubs, hotels and resorts to scout for your big day. One of Newport’s largest and most well-known venues is Fort Adams, which serves as both a National Historic Landmark and an official State Park. This coastal fortress alone has six beautiful locations to host your day of matrimony, including The Eisenhower House, also known as 34th U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Summer White House.”

If you want to live like The Great Gatsby for a day, you can also book a wedding at the Rosecliff Mansion, just fifteen minutes away from Fort Adams. Aside from Great Gatsby, other movies that have turned this space into a movie set are 27 Dresses and True Lies.

Across the water from Fort Adams is Goat Island, a secluded area in Newport that’s home to Belle Mer, a glamorous oceanside venue with equally stunning indoor and outdoor spaces. If we could describe this location in one sentence, it would be your ideal vision of an elegant East Coast wedding. The private venue is surrounded by seven acres of immaculate greenery and a panoramic view of Narragansett Bay’s blue waters. Get a virtual tour of this gorgeous location here.

For anyone looking for an all-inclusive venue that can host all your wedding events and accommodate your guests onsite, we have two delightful options for you. The first is the OceanCliff Resort, a waterfront estate with a luxurious grand ballroom and 24 guest rooms to house your closest loved ones. OceanCliff was awarded “2019 Top Pick – Best of Weddings” by The Knot and “Best Reception and Ceremony Venue” by Newport Wedding Magazine. Another hotel that can provide everything you need for your special day is the Castle Hill Inn. This space has several types of rooms to accommodate your guests, a boutique spa for a little pampering, and they even pride themselves on their world-class dining experience.

Once you’ve found the right venue, you can relax and unwind over a glass of wine at Newport Vineyards. If you’d like to bring your guests with you, you can also inquire to host a private event at their facility. Their website clearly lists all their availabilities for the remainder of 2019. If you’re more of a beer lover, then you can also check out the newest addition to Newport Vineyards: the Taproom Brewing Company. Aside from a tasty selection of local beer, on Wednesday nights, the Taproom hosts live music from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.

Ready for an extravagant East Coast wedding? Find a waterfront escape in Newport now.

#3: Charleston, South Carolina 

For any hopeless romantics who are fans of the famous film The Notebook, take a seat and start researching because Charleston, South Carolina might be the perfect wedding destination for you. Many of The Notebook‘s scenes were filmed in the city of Charleston itself. Relive the love story of Allie and Noah with your soon-to-be life partner by taking a boat ride through Cypress Gardens, or visit the Boone Hall Plantation, where Allie spent her summers. You can also take a stroll down Charleston’s King Street, where the pair exchanged a dance outside the American Theater on their first date.

Charleston houses over one hundred wedding venues to scope out. Some of our favorites include The Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory, the Instagram-worthy Mills House at the Wyndham Grand Hotel, and the historic, yet modern Founders Hall located near the Old Town District. All three of these spaces are incredibly unique locations that surround you with Charleston’s timeless charm.

Your guests are in for a treat because there’s tons of places to explore in between all your wedding festivities. For starters, show up with an empty stomach to Lewis Barbecue for beef brisket by the pound that’s made to perfection by barbecue master, John Lewis. Lewis began his culinary career in the home of American BBQ good ol’ Texas and took his talents to Charleston to introduce South Carolina to mouthwatering Texan barbecue.

Once your bellies are satisfied with southern-style meats, you can find your way to one of Charleston’s many rooftop bars! Three bars we’d recommend are within a twelve minute drive from one another. If you’re on the north end of Charleston, you can start at Revelry Brewing Company, a dog-friendly bar with house-brewed craft beers. A short drive down Meeting Street is Citrus Club, an exclusive rooftop bar with phenomenal views of the city. They typically prioritize reservations for The Dewberry’s hotel guests, but limited slots are available for non-hotel guests if you make a reservation 14 days in advance.

Saving the best for last is The Rooftop at Vendue, located on top of Charleston’s Art Hotel. Dubbed as “The Best Rooftop Bar” by the Charleston City Paper since 2007, the space is so in-demand that they do not accept reservations. Be sure to stop by if you get the chance!

Reserve a beautiful rental for your wedding party in Charleston.

#2: Key West, Florida 

If you’re in search of a breathtaking beach wedding, Key West in Florida is your answer. Located on the furthest end of the Florida Keys strip, and within seven square miles of this tiny town, are a plethora of jaw-dropping seaside venues to choose from. It would be an absolute dream to have all your wedding guests spend a couple nights in paradise together, and at Key West, you can turn that dream into a reality.

We’re all familiar with the saying “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” and when you’re at Margaritaville Resort & Marina, it’s 5 o’clock (aka Happy Hour) all the time. Yes, there is actually a place called Margaritaville   and yes, it’s basically a slice of paradise. At this heavenly resort, you can choose to have a sunset wedding by the beach, a reception in a tropical garden, a catamaran celebration to explore Key West’s tropical waters, and more! The best part is, the resort itself can accommodate up to 300 people, so if you plan ahead, you’d be able to have all your guests stay at Margaritaville.

Another enchanting location is the Southernmost Beach Resort, where you can get a taste of the glamorous island life. Before all the wedding madness ensues, you and your fiancé can treat yourselves to a couples cabana massage with a view of the ocean right in front of you. By the end of your 80 minute massage, any stress that tries to take over will melt away completely. On your wedding day, you can exchange vows right on the beach with palm trees and beautiful shades of blue as your backdrop. As you stand at the end of the aisle, with the tropical breeze passing by, and the love of your life right in front of you, we hope you take a mental picture and embrace that ethereal moment forever.

For an experience you and your entourage will never forget, why not get a helicopter tour of the island? If you and your friends are thrill seekers who aren’t afraid of heights, Air Adventures is a unique tour that allows you to see Key West from a completely different perspective. They offer six different types of packages that vary in price range, but you can book an Air Adventures tour for as low as $69 per person. Talk about taking your destination wedding to the next level.

Interested in a tropical celebration? Find the perfect rental Key West for all your loved ones.

#1: Napa Valley, California 

Last but not surely not least, our final wedding destination is none other than Napa Valley, home of California’s most world-renowned wineries! People from all over the globe travel here to get a taste of the region’s award winning wines, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Napa Valley takes the cake as the #1 location for a destination wedding in the U.S.

Once you drive into Napa Valley, you will notice lush mountains and vast vineyards as far as the eye can see. It’s a remarkable sight that can dazzle anyone who gets to witness it for the first time. Napa’s landscapes will be a warm welcome for your guests, but to top it all off, you can savor a wine tasting together at one of Napa’s 400 wineries! 

We understand that it may be a challenge to choose the right one, so if you ask us, two must-see wineries are the famed Castello di Amorosa pictured below, and Hollywood Director Francis Ford Coppola’s own personal winery. Coppola’s winery even has a movie gallery where you can catch a glimpse at props from some of his most prominent films including Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather.

There are just as many wedding venues in Napa Valley as there are wineries, so you’ll definitely have to dig in to find the venue that impresses you the most. One noteworthy location is the Meritage Resort and Spa right on the edge of Napa Valley. At this establishment, you can book spa packages for your bridal party, or spoil them with a wine tasting at one of Meritage’s nine tasting rooms. At Meritage, you can select to have your ceremony at a variety of locations, including a Vineyard Deck with a gazebo, an intimate Estate Wine Cave, or several ballrooms and terraces.

After exploring Napa’s beauty for your wedding, your guests will leave with happy hearts, smiling faces, and most likely a suitcase filled with a few bottles of wine. We can’t blame them though, because we would do the same.

Book a gorgeous wedding getaway in Wine Country today!

Family-Sized Cabin Rentals For Your Smoky Mountains Trip

The Great Smoky Mountains cover land in both Tennessee and North Carolina. This subrange of the Appalachian Mountains makes it an ideal vacation destination. When you want a find large enough to accommodate the whole family, look for a big and rustic cabin in the mountains. With many options for cabin rentals, Smoky Mountains in Tennessee has everything you need for your upcoming family vacation.

Cabins In The Smoky Mountains

Many cabins in the Smoky Mountains are located near Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee. These three tourist towns are centrally located amidst many attractions. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a five-minute drive from Gatlinburg, approximately 20 minutes from Pigeon Forge by car and about a 30-minute drive from Sevierville. Cabins are located within these cities, on the outskirts and in more remote forested areas. Great Smoky Mountains National Park even has a lodge perched near the summit of Mount LeConte. These accommodations feature a central lodge and several cabins surrounding it that can normally accommodate up to 13 people.

Finding Large Cabins

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Finding large cabins that will accommodate a big family may seem challenging. The good news is that this area is particularly well-suited for large groups, so finding sizable cabins is not difficult. A number of resorts and rental companies actually specialize in offering large and oversized cabins for big groups. These cabins are ideal for extended families, church or school groups and professional groups planning work retreats in the Smoky Mountains.

Cabin Amenities

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Cabins in the area typically feature numerous bedrooms to provide all guests with just the right amount of privacy. You’ll also find multiple bathrooms and seating areas, plentiful storage and closets, oversized kitchens with all the appliances and equipment you’ll need to feed everyone, home theaters and game rooms, hot tubs, multiple patios and decks, propane grills and even indoor pools in some cabins. Cabins located on resorts will have additional amenities to enjoy, such as miniature golf courses, tennis courts, shuffleboard, hiking trails, fitness centers and more.

Know What You Need

If the kids can squeeze into sleeping bags on the floor, a big family can get away with a two- or three-bedroom cabin with breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains. When extended family and friends become a part of your vacation plans, you need to get an idea of exactly how many bedrooms and what amount of kitchen and dining space suit your brood. If a three-bedroom cabin won’t cut it, look into the huge rental cabins that sleep up to 40 guests in as many as 10 bedrooms.

One Cabin Or Several Cabins?

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Big cabins or several cabins are both options that are available to anyone who is searching for Smoky Mountain cabin rentals. Stick to one large cabin to keep the family together and have cozy dinners, games by the fireplace and shared coffee in the morning on the veranda. Choose to book several cabins if you prefer a little privacy while keeping your family close. Families with older children even rent cabins just for the kids to enjoy while the adults stick together in separate accommodations. Cabins located around a picnic area or along a lakefront are superb choices for families with many children.

Do The Research

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When searching for the perfect vacation rental, doing a little homework makes the choices less intimidating. Talk to the rental manager or the cabin owners to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want for your vacation stay. Make sure you know about any extra fees that can include resort fees, parking charges and cleaning fees or damage deposits. Get information about the cancellation policy if your plans are subject to sudden changes so you’re not stuck paying for a cabin you can’t use.

Budget For The Best

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A giant cabin that sleeps 30 people and has an incredible view of the mountains is going to cost quite a bit more than a little cottage by the lake. Use the location to haggle your pricing or take an off-season vacation to save some big bucks. The busy season begins in mid-June and goes through August. Skip this time of the year to save money on that huge cabin that houses the whole family. October is also very busy because of the fall foliage tours. Head over to the Smoky Mountains in September or November and avoid higher rates.

Compare The Perks

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Compare the perks to help you choose between two similar large cabins. One cabin might offer tons of fun amenities like a pool, tennis courts, volleyball pits and access to the river while another cabin might be more limited. Comparing the perks makes it simple to choose between similar vacation rentals. Don’t forget to include the view in your review.

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Round up the whole family for an unforgettable family reunion in the Smoky Mountains. The cabins located throughout this rugged area are especially well-suited for large groups, and you may be astonished at how comfortable and upscale the cabins can be. You’ll be settled in no time and ready to enjoy everything there is to see and do in the Great Smoky Mountains.

5 Tips To Choose The Perfect Orlando Vacation Rental

Renting a vacation home is a great way to stretch your budget for a family theme park vacation to Orlando. Let this advice guide you toward the ideal rental so your family can have the vacation of a lifetime.

    1. Widen Your Search

      Orlando isn’t the only city near Disney, Universal and other attractions in the area. Kissimmee is a neighboring town that isn’t quite as renowned as Orlando. That can often translate into a better deal for a rental. If you plan correctly and choose the right location, you might not end up that far away from your park of choice. In fact, Kissimmee is closer to Disney World than downtown Orlando, so this alternative choice can actually be the best option for families who plan to visit this one park exclusively.

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    1. Be Efficient With Space

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      Rentals with more bedrooms do tend to be more expensive, so lowering your total bedroom count might help maximize your budget. If you have young kids, they might be able to share a bunk bed or a room with two twin beds rather than having their own space. Plus, some rentals offer pull-out sofas in living rooms or even roll-away beds or trundles that you can use to make sure everyone has his or her own bed, but maybe not a private room. If you plan to spend most of your days out of the rental and at a park, this might not be such a bad compromise, especially if it enables you to buy more souvenirs or spring for some park snacks.

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    1. Look Into the Details

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      Look at more than just the pictures and number of rooms and bathrooms when you’re checking out vacation rentals. If the rental is within walking distance of a grocery store and has a kitchen with plenty of equipment to actually make meals, for example, you can save money on both gas and restaurants. Some Orlando rentals may even come with amenities like coolers that you can use to bring a lunch with you on your outing. Just make sure to check what the rules are for each specific park or event so you don’t end up paying for and spending time making food that you’ll have to leave at the security check-in.

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    1. See What’s Included

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      In addition to small or functional amenities like kitchen equipment, some vacation rentals in Orlando may also have extras that can help your family have fun while also cutting some costs from your budget. For example, if you’re deciding between two rentals, see if one of them has free or cheaper parking than the others. You can also prioritize features like a pool or balcony if you know that your family will use them. Just keep in mind that if your rental is near a lake, that’s not a good place to go swimming. It’s best to stay away from fresh water in south Florida due to the potential presence of dangerous reptiles. Warning signs aren’t required, so don’t let the absence of a warning fool you. Stick to pools to keep it safe.

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  1. Map Your Location

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    If budget is less of a concern for your family, you might want to stay closer to the theme parks you plan to visit. Before booking, take the time to examine available maps, and try to pinpoint how long your car or bus commute might be from the location you’re considering. The closer you are, the more time you’ll have to explore the parks. You can get in earlier and beat crowds without having to wake up super early and stay as late as you want without worrying about getting the kids in bed.

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Exploring Oahu | 12 Fun Activities for Kids

Oahu isn’t just Hawaii’s third-largest island. It’s also home to Hawaii’s capital and largest city, it’s a place to explore history and it’s a popular vacation spot, whether you select one of its luxury resorts or a quiet beach away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s also a family-friendly place to visit. Take a look at these exciting things to do on Oahu with kids.

  1. Check Out the Honolulu Zoo

    The 42-acre Honolulu Zoo at Waikiki should be the first item on your list. Family members of all ages will enjoy getting to know over 1,230 animals, many of which are native to Hawaii. See hippos, giraffes, Komodo dragons, cheetahs, lions, hyenas and a couple of orangutans. There’s also a kiddie zoo with a playground and animals you can pet.

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  2. Eat Shaved Ice

    On those warm Hawaiian days, you can’t go wrong with one of Oahu’s most beloved treats: shaved ice. There are several spots around the island to grab shaved ice in your favorite flavors, including a little cafe that is frequented by President Obama (he likes cherry, lime and passion fruit). Best of all, shaved ice isn’t going to break the bank.

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  3. Explore Hanauma Bay State Park

    If you prefer to spend your vacation exploring nature, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Hanauma Bay State Park. What was once a volcano crater is now a unique and beautiful marine ecosystem where you can spot over 400 species of fish, sea turtles and other awesome marine creatures. It’s a hot spot for swimming and snorkeling, so don’t forget your bathing suit.

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  4. Visit the Waikiki Aquarium

    If you like to see marine life but you aren’t crazy about swimming with them, opt for the Waikiki Aquarium instead. It opened in 1904, and it’s become one of the most beloved things to visit in Oahu. See creatures like Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, sea snakes, coral reefs and dozens of species of colorful fish.

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  6. Spend a Day at the Beach

    For something a little more relaxing, you can’t go wrong with one of Oahu’s 125 beaches. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe, surf or build sandcastles at some local favorites, such as Lanikai Beach, which looks like a scene from a postcard. It’s also popular with families because of its calm, gentle waters. The five-mile Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is one of Hawaii’s largest beaches, and it’s been called one of the best beaches in the United States. The waters are a bit rougher here, which makes it a favorite for surfing, fishing and boogie boarding.

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  7. Swim With Dolphins

    There are a few places in Oahu that allow you to get up close and personal with dolphins, and doing so is an absolute blast. Sea Life Park is one option, and it’s a top choice for family things to do in Oahu. Not only can you swim with dolphins here, but you can also take part in sea lion encounters, enjoy a luau, learn about Hawaiian reefs and spend time with penguins, native Hawaiian birds, sea turtles and other wild creatures.

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  8. Wet’n’Wild Hawaii

    Things to do in Oahu include a trip to Wet’n’Wild Hawaii, home of the Chief’s Luau and attractions like Island Racer, Raging River, Waianae Coaster and Big Kahuna. The water park has lush tropical landscaping and natural cliffs, a well as several thrill rides, such as the four-story-high Volcano Express racing slide. The Water World Kids Playground is a multi-level complex that has slides, a tipping bucket, a lily pad walk and water cannons. You can rent a private cabana or thatched roof umbrella.

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  9. Atlantis Adventures

    Dive 100 feet below the surface of the sea with Atlantis Adventures. The kids will have a blast on the high-tech recreational submarine as they watch green sea turtles, eels and sharks swim by. For added fun, combine your deep-sea adventure with the island style buffet cruise. You can explore the two air-conditioned decks and open-air top deck of the cruise vessel (called the “Majestic”), and see Honolulu’s colorful sunset and skyline views. The whale watch cruise and the Friday night fireworks cruise are also popular.

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  10. Kualoa Ranch & Zipline

    Kualoa Ranch & Zipline is a working cattle ranch, nature reserve and filming location for movies like “Kong – Skull Island” and “Windtalkers.” The ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and strives to preserve Kualoa’s sacred lands and celebrate its history. Activities at the ranch include ATV, kayak, UTV, jungle jeep and horseback tours. All ages can enjoy the farm trolley tour, Hollywood movie site tour, ocean adventure tour and secret island beach activities. All adventures are guided tours.

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  12. Dole Plantation

    Dole Plantation is found on every Oahu tourist map. The site provides Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” with activities for the entire family and informational displays and presentations. The Pineapple Garden Maze features two and one-half miles of paths designed from 14,000 Hawaiian plants. The Pineapple Express Train Tour and Plantation Garden Tour are additional attractions. The Plantation Grille features island favorites.

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  13. Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center

    Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is located near Kaka’ako Waterfront Park in Honolulu. There’s no beach, but the park sits on the Honolulu seashore and offers plenty of space to play. The three-story children’s museum houses high-tech, interactive exhibits, and The Tot Spot is an exhibit area for children who are five-years-old or younger. The Fantastic You! exhibit provides an inside look at the human body, while Your Town lets kids be a grown-up for a day. Special events are offered throughout the year.

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  15. Coral Crater Adventure Park

    A 60-foot Adventure Tower is the focal point at Coral Crater Adventure Park. The tower is a two-level jungle gym Challenge Course that requires you to navigate through ropes, surf on a rail and walk across wobbly bridges while suspended in the sky. The Climbing Wall, King Swing, Freefall and a 6-line Zipline Course are also found on the tower.

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The Very Best Summer Vacation Ideas for Families

Planning a family vacation is a multifaceted venture. You want the children to be entertained and happy, but you also want to have some R&R, some time to yourself and some enjoyable moments with your partner. When it comes to planning a family vacation, location is everything. The beach is perhaps one of the most popular destinations, but there are plenty of other places that make great summer vacation idea for families, with tons of vacation rentals available to make your stay a pleasant one.

  1. Yosemite National Park

    With breathtaking views, Yosemite is definitely a place for nature lovers. But one of the best things about this national park in California is its close proximity to the bustling hub of San Francisco, where there is no shortage of places to stay or things to do.

  2. Maui, Hawaii

    If you don’t mind hopping on a plane as part of your family vacation, Maui is an excellent destination. Wonderful weather all year round allows you to head to the beach, even in January.

  3. Walt Disney World Florida

    Perhaps the most well-known family vacation in the world, heading to Disney World remains at the top of most must-do lists. This is one destination that will keep the kids entertained, which means it’s a great trip for the whole family.

  4. Disneyland Anaheim, California

    Disneyland is located on the opposite side of the country from Walt Disney World, making it a great option for those who are close to the West Coast and looking to minimize travel. Anaheim is also close enough to San Diego and Los Angeles for separate day trips during your stay.

  5. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

    The Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking natural features in the entire world, so planning a camping trip there or staying close to Grand Canyon National Park offers a wonderful trip for the entire family. You can opt for up to a seven-day pass to make your visit worthwhile.

  6. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    An idyllic setting for a New England beach excursion, Cape Cod offers fun in the sun, great food and no shortage of other things to do. Take a day trip out to Martha’s Vineyard for some breathtaking views.

  7. Arches National Park

    Located in Utah, Arches National Park’s sheer natural beauty rivals that of the Grand Canyon, but it is not nearly as crowded. You can spend an entire day exploring all of the park’s roads, as well as the natural arch formations.

  8. New York City, New York

    Even though New York City experiences a cold and snowy winter season, there’s no bad time to go. Explore Times Square in the summer, or watch the tree being lit in Rockefeller Center at Christmas.

  9. Washington, DC

    Both scenic and educational, a jaunt to the nation’s capital is a fine idea, especially in the summer. The nearby Atlantic Ocean allows for time at the beach, and you can plan another day around a visit to the Lincoln Memorial or Smithsonian Institute.

  10. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    For those wanting to shy away from the regular summer beach vacation, Gatlinburg is a great option. Located at the foot of the Smoky Mountains, this friendly town has no shortage of beautiful nature, hiking trails, camping and cabins for the whole family.