Home Family 7 Unforgettable Family Vacation Ideas for Toddlers in the US That Are Sure to Make Exciting Memories

7 Unforgettable Family Vacation Ideas for Toddlers in the US That Are Sure to Make Exciting Memories

by victoriavadenking
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Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida Boogie Water Sports Dolphin Tour

If you’re scrambling to find family vacation ideas for toddlers, you’re probably experiencing several mixed emotions that might be questioning your sanity at this point.

On the one hand, there’s the excitement and anticipation of getting away from it all, exploring a new place, and spending time with your family. On the other hand, there’s the stress and anxiety of organizing everything. As a mom of three small children, I know all too well the stress of planning a vacation.

Not only do you have to figure out where you’re going to go, but you also need to determine what you’re going to do and where you’re going to stay while being mindful of everyone’s needs, wants, and desires. If you’re like me and you happen to be traveling with small children, I’m sharing some family-friendly vacation ideas we have traveled.

This post is all about 7 US Cities to consider for those unforgettable family vacations that will leave exciting memories for years to come.

family vacation ideas
disney magic kingdom in orlando, florida

Thankfully, the United States is home to several cities that are perfect options for you to consider when mapping out your own family travels. These locations offer a wide variety of family-friendly activities and attractions that are sure to excite and entertain your entire family – thereby, making your travel planning that much easier.


#1 The GOAT of All Family Vacations: Orlando, Florida

It should come as no surprise to see Orlando on this list! With a variety of theme parks to choose from, such as Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, and Legoland, this city is without a doubt one of the best destinations in the U.S. – especially if you plan to travel with kids.

Aside from its famous theme parks, Orlando is also home to an assortment of museums, including the Orlando Science Center, Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, and Wonderworks, the famous upside-down museum.

Other favorites in the city include the Kennedy Space Center, Central Florida Zoo, and Gatorland, which is home to over 2,000 alligators! There are even several beaches and natural springs that you can visit, all within driving distance from the city.

#2 Family-Friendly City: Washington D.C.

As the capital city of the U.S., Washington D.C. is not only an exciting destination, it’s also an educational one! Here you’ll find the Smithsonian Institution, a collection of 19 different museums, as well as the National Zoo, all of which are open and free to the public.

Among these museums, your family will have the opportunity to learn about the country’s history, view incredible works of art, check out a real-life spaceship, and walk amongst extinct animals.

In addition to this, there are several city tours you can sign up for that provide transportation to the most important landmarks, monuments, and attractions in the capital. Some of the most popular tours for this include trolley tours segway tours, bike tours, and walking tours.

san diego, california

#3 Family-Friendly City: San Diego, California

Offering endless sunshine, incredible beaches, and a variety of kid-friendly attractions, San Diego is an excellent destination for your family vacation.

Here you’ll find a variety of theme parks, including SeaWorld, Legoland, Inflatable Park, Aquatica San Diego, and, opening in March of 2022, Sesame Place San Diego.

In addition to this, there’s Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre cultural park in the middle of the city. This park features 25 museums and performing arts centers, as well as a plethora of spacious gardens, and iconic landmarks and attractions, including the San Diego Zoo.

And, of course, for those looking to play in the waves, there are countless beaches where you can swim, snorkel, paddleboard, surf, or go for a boat ride!

#4 Family-Friendly City: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

A tropical getaway is always a great idea for a family vacation, and there’s no better island to visit than Oahu.

Offering stunning beaches, explorable jungles, delectable cuisine, and a plethora of cultural experiences, Honolulu is perfect for families with kids of all ages!

For those who love the ocean, there are several beaches you can venture to for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing.

Meanwhile, the jungle is home to several hikes, both easy and strenuous, that provide incredible views of the island, as well as a few hidden waterfalls that are simply unforgettable.

And we can’t forget about the hula shows and luaus that Hawaii is known for! These cultural shows are sure to delight your entire family!

family vacation ideas
boston is beautiful at wintertime

#5 Family-Friendly City: Boston, Massachusetts

As one of the country’s oldest cities, Boston offers a variety of fun and historical activities for the entire family!

From the Children’s Museum to the Legoland Discovery Center, the New England Aquarium, as well as the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Not to mention, there are several public parks and green spaces to explore – many of them filled with playgrounds and duck ponds that are sure to delight younger children! And we certainly can’t forget about the waterfront.

Located right off the Atlantic Ocean, Boston Harbor offers several water activities, including kayaking, whale watching, and boat cruises.

In addition to this, there are several islands situated just outside the harbor, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit the beach, go hiking, and explore historical forts!

#6 Family-Friendly City: Portland, Oregon

With a plethora of green spaces, parks, and nearby forests and mountains to explore, Portland is the ultimate destination for any family looking to incorporate the outdoors into their vacation.

One of the city’s most famous parks is Forest Park. Located just within the city limits, this park is one of the largest urban forests in the country, spanning more than 5,200 acres.

Here you’ll find more than 80 miles of trails to explore, many of them offering incredible views of the city and surrounding area.

In addition to this, Portland is home to several noteworthy attractions, including the Portland Children’s Museum, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Oregon Zoo, and the Portland Farmers Market, a spacious local market renowned worldwide.

family vacation ideas
I had a very short experience in chicago, but the architecture always amazed me

#7 Family-Friendly City: Chicago, Illinois

The windy city is a great destination, not just because of the attractions it offers, but because it’s so compact and easy to navigate!

With several activities only minutes apart, it’s possible to fill up your itinerary with little to no driving time required. Some of the city’s most famous sights include the Children’s Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean or Cloud Gate sculpture.

In addition, there’s the famous Navy Pier, a must-visit for anyone traveling to Chicago for the first time.

Stretching a total of 3,300 feet out into Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is home to a variety of unforgettable attractions and amusement rides, including the Centennial Wheel, the FunHouse Maze, and an IMAX theater.

This post was all about family vacation ideas for toddlers in the US.

A visit to any of these destinations is sure to delight your entire family. Whether you are traveling with small children or teenagers, these cities offer a wide variety of activities, events, and attractions that are sure to keep everyone engaged and entertained! Now comes the hard part – deciding which one to visit first!

If you found this post helpful, make sure to check out our penthouse stay at the Emerald Grande in Destin, Florida, and over on Instagram to see what we do on the daily.

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victoria vaden

a diaper duties mom blog


victoria vaden king

Victoria Vaden

Original YouTuber when ‘viral’ was just a flu symptom. My English degree qualified me to tell stories (the good kind). So, I'm sharing the not-so-normal reality of motherhood and marriage.

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DYEM is for the not-so-perfect, spit-up-stained, smile-through-anything moms out there looking for sanity. Motherhood is messy and full of mistakes. You'll find plenty of that here.

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