Summer Family Vacation Destinations

Turn up the Heat with These Summer Family Vacation Destinations for 2024

Are you looking to turn up the heat this summer with an unforgettable family vacation? Look no further!

From the thrill of Orlando, Florida to the natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park, there are plenty of amazing destinations to choose from.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, these summer family vacations have something for everyone.

Our family likes to make the most of our summers by traveling as much as we can. Some years we are fortunate to take international trips and most of the time we are happy to explore the United States.

This is a list of our top favorite Summer Family Vacation Destinations, that we think you and your kids will love too!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The Magic of Orlando, Florida: A Dream Come True for Every Age

Orlando, Florida is a dream destination for families of all ages. With world-famous theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, there is no shortage of excitement and entertainment.

From thrilling rides to character meet and greets, Orlando offers a magical experience that will create lasting memories for your family. I mean, what kid grows up without the chance to go to Disney World at least once?

And while you can visit Disneyland in California, Disney World in Florida is just way better.

Things like Animal Kingdom and Epcot can only be found near Disney World in Florida. And trust me, Animal Kingdon is everyones favorite.

But besides Disney, Orlando offers some other really great attractions. You are only a 1.5-hour drive to Cocoa Beach where you can have a fun beach day with your family.

Or even check out some fun and unique activities like going on an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades and looking for alligators!

Airboats tours in Everglades National Park, Florida.
Airboat tour in Everglades National Park, Florida.

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Yellowstone National Park

For families who love the great outdoors, Yellowstone National Park is the perfect summer family vacation destination.

With stunning landscapes, geothermal features, and abundant wildlife, Yellowstone offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery, Yellowstone is sure to leave you in awe.

I was a little worried about taking my teen daughter to Yellowstone and thought she might be bored. But we both ended up loving it and going back more than once.

Yellowstone is located not far from Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is also a great place to visit. There are tons of resorts and campgrounds, restaurants, and shopping in this cute little western town.

You can spend a few days in Yellowstone alone, looking for bison, hiking, chasing waterfalls, or checking out the geysers. Or check out nearby Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons for fishing, hiking trails, and a boat ride.

Epic Yellowstone Adventure: Snake River Scenic Float Trip with Teton Views in Jackson Hole

Yellowstone national park with kids
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Cultural Immersion in Washington, D.C.: A Historical Adventure

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the United States with a family vacation to Washington, D.C.

Visit iconic landmarks like the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian museums. Take a stroll through the National Mall, explore the historic neighborhoods, and learn about the nation’s past through interactive exhibits and displays.

Washington, D.C. is the perfect destination for families who love history and culture. Even if you’re not sure if your kids will like a more cultural vacation, visiting Washington DC can be a lot of fun!

You can even take them on a dinner cruise on the Potomac River to see the sites at night.

Washington Monument during the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Washington Monument during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Washington, D.C.

Fun Under the Sun: California’s Best Beaches for Families

California is known for its beautiful beaches, and there are plenty of family-friendly options to choose from.

Whether you prefer the bustling boardwalk of Santa Monica, the picturesque cliffs of Big Sur, or the laid-back vibe of San Diego, California’s beaches offer something for everyone.

Spend your days building sandcastles, playing in the surf, and soaking up the sun with your loved ones.

Some of our favorite California Family Vacations include:

  • San Diego: Hit the zoo, visit SeaWorld, or spend a day on the beach. This town offers tons of shopping, restaurants, and activities for your entire family.
  • Los Angeles: You’ve got Disneyland, Universal Studios, Californian Adventure, and even tons of beach towns. Or visit downtown and see the Walk of Fame, RIpelys believe it or not or take your teen shopping at luxury stores along Rodeo Drive.
  • Newport Beach: This small coastal town has laid-back vibes perfect for kids who love the beach and parents who need to relax. Rent bicycles and stroll along the boardwalk, watch surfers in the morning, and go swimming in the afternoons. Check out Balboa Island for more fun.
  • Yosemite National Park: Looking for more outdoor adventures? Yosemite has camping, amazing mountains, rafting, horseback riding, and more. One of the best National Parks in the country, it’s the perfect place for a summer family vacation.
Balboa Pier at Newport Beach, California
Balboa Pier at Newport Beach, California

Adventure Awaits in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains

For families who love outdoor adventure, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are a summer family vacation must-visit.

Explore hiking trails, go whitewater rafting, or take a scenic drive through the breathtaking mountain scenery.

Whether you’re seeking thrills or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of nature, the Rocky Mountains offer a wide range of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Two of our favorite places in Colorado to visit are Durango and Pagosa Springs. These smaller Colorado towns are the perfect place to spend your summer vacation!

You can take a dog sled ride (on wheels) in Pagosa Springs, go white water rafting in either town, or ride the historic Durango to Silverton train ride. Or even check out the natural hot springs in Pagosa. You can get a day pass to explore their numerous hot springs and a few man-made pools as well.

You can read more about our adventures in Durango here: What To Do In Durango, Colorado, with Kids

Historic steam engine trains Durango to Silverton
Historic steam engine trains Durango to Silverton

Unwinding in the Serene Beauty of the Alaskan Wilderness

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a family vacation to Alaska.

With stunning mountain vistas, crystal-clear lakes, and charming mountain towns, Alaska offers a peaceful and rejuvenating retreat for families. Spend your days hiking, biking, or simply relaxing in the serene beauty of the mountains.

Explore in Anchorage and then take an open-ceiling train ride to Denali National Park. Watch for bears, moose, and bald eagles.

Go on a fishing excursion, take hikes, or even enjoy an old-fashioned cookout under the stars.

Places like Juneaa and Skagway have a historic feel with buildings that date back to the 1800s. And you can go on some serious excursions like taking a helicopter ride to a glacier where you’ll go dog sledding.

Or enjoy the Mount Roberts Tramway that takes you high up on a mountain and overlooks the entire city.

Denali National Park and Preserve Alaska
Denali National Park

Discovering New York City: A Big Apple Adventure

For families who love big city excitement, New York City is the ultimate summer family vacation destination.

Explore iconic landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the city that never sleeps.

New York City offers endless opportunities for family fun and adventure. We spent 4 days there last summer and still felt like we missed out on a million things.

Besides the countless museums, there is shopping galore. And the excitement of times square at night is something every kid will be mesmerized over.

Dont forget to visit Central Park. You could spend an entire day there visiting the zoo, going on a carriage ride, or exploring one of the many trails.

Read More: A Weekend In New York City with a Teenager

Central Park, New York City with kids
Central Park with New York City Skyline

Summer Family Vacation Destinations

Whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teenagers, any one of these destinations will be sure to please the entire family.

My daughter and I have persoanlly been to each and every one of these places in the summer and these are our favorites. So much so that weve visited a few of them more than once.

Sp take the stress out of trying to decide where to go for your next family trip, and plan an exicting adventure in one of these great places!

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Looking for some great family vacation ideas? Here are 6 of the best summer family vacation destinations in the US, your family will love.

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