Planning a family vacation can be an overwhelming prospect, especially when the budget doesn’t allow for international travel. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots on American soil that can be ideal destinations, and won’t break the bank like touring a foreign country can. Whether your focus is on the great outdoors, sites of historical significance or great museums, these are 10 of the states that offer plenty of exciting spots for visiting families to check out.
- Massachusetts – From the rich historical significance of Boston to the unique retail offerings in Northampton, there’s definitely something for everyone in Massachusetts. Walk the Freedom Trail to get a real taste of American history, see the sights at the living history museum of Battleship Cove in Fall River and enjoy winter sports at Butternut in Great Barrington.
- Virginia – The close proximity of the nation’s Capital, as well as the wealth of history shared in Colonial Williamsburg make Virginia an ideal family vacation destination. Families with a hankering for history or an affinity for the civil sciences will revel in the many sites Virginia has to offer.
- Arizona – The Grand Canyon alone is reason enough to embark on a family vacation to Arizona, but there’s more to this great state than the Skywalk. A treasure trove of museums in nearby Phoenix offers plenty of cultural edification, while the many state parks provide ample opportunity to do a bit of hiking in the desert.
- Florida – Disney World may be the Happiest Place on Earth, but Florida also boasts a healthy selection of kid-friendly vacation diversions. Visit the Everglades for an up-close encounter with swamp creatures and get space-crazy kids in on the act with a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. Don’t forget to pack bathing suits and plenty of sunscreen; no matter where you are in Florida, you’re within driving distance of a beach.
- Texas – They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and there’s plenty of truth to that statement. World-class shopping in Houston’s Galleria area, rich culture in the Museum and Theater districts and nearby Galveston Island make Houston a great choice for family travel. And if historical sites are more your speed, there’s always the world-famous Alamo in San Antonio!
- New York – The Big Apple is certainly packed with more diversions than you’d be able to take in over the course of one vacation, and that’s not including all the wonders of New York State you can see before even entering the city. Niagara Falls and the changing autumn leaves in Upstate New York are reason enough to make the trek; when you factor in NYC sites like Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, it’s almost unbeatable as a family vacation destination.
- Tennessee – Outdoorsy families will love visiting Rock City outside of Chattanooga or the rustic charm of the Smoky Mountains. Music lovers can revel in the country sounds of Nashville or the wonders of Memphis. There’s more to Nashville than country music, too. World-class museums like the Frist Center, a booming culinary scene and plenty of nearby state parks make Tennessee an unbeatable choice for family vacations.
- California – From the wonders of Disneyland to the majestic redwood forests, California is a veritable goldmine of exciting sites for the visiting family. Wander through Joshua Tree, experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood or spend a day relaxing on the beach. Whatever your fancy, California certainly offers something that will please everyone.
- Pennsylvania – The Liberty Bell, Gettysburg and the wonder of Independence Hall are just a few of the can’t-miss attractions in Pennsylvania. Sports fans will love visiting Pittsburgh’s legendary Heinz Field, while every member of the family finds something to love at Hershey Park in Lancaster or the fascinating culture of Amish Country.
- Washington – While young fans of a certain vampire love story will clamor to visit Forks, the rich natural beauty of Washington State is reason enough to explore the area. Seattle alone is filled with an impressive array of family-friendly activities, with destinations all over the state to cater to any interest group.