Are you in a rut for family vacations, going to the same place every year? Perhaps you are stuck with your lakeside cottage, a trip to your nearby state park or the same old Gulf Coast beach that you have visited for the last ten years. This list of five top vacation spots for families can give you a glimpse of what other families have done and enjoyed and may give you the inspiration you need to hop on the next plane and get some sun and some culture.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are the perfect distance from your home. They are not so distant that you have to get through a long flight with your children, yet they are far enough away that you feel completely removed from your everyday life. While the Cayman Islands may be known as more of a financial center than a beach-like vacation zone, several sandy areas provide the perfect places for even the youngest families to romp in shallow water.

Kids will love building towering sand castles on Seven-Mile Beach, which is long enough to allow families to spread out in comfort. Rum Point is also fabulous for toddlers and elementary-age children who will be able to play far out in the water and yet still be in the shallows. For something away from the beach, head for Cayman Turtle Farms or Stingray Cay where your kids can have a hands-on experience with turtles or stingrays respectively.


If your kids are a bit older, they may enjoy a trip to the heart of England’s social scene in London. Here you will all be able to learn more about history, visit castles and palaces, experience great shopping and check out numerous educational museums, such as the British Museum, the London Transport Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Air Force Museum. Look into staying in London vacation rentals rather than a hotel to get more of a taste for inner city living in a fun neighborhood, such as Marylebone, Fulham, Chelsea or Covent Garden.

The Grand Canyon

If you want to experience nature closer to home, drive down to the Grand Canyon. Along the way, you can experience many of the natural points of interest that the Southwest has to offer. A trip is best taken to the Grand Canyon when your kids are out of the toddler stage and can enjoy natural pursuits, such as hiking, biking and kayaking. However, if you are traveling with younger children, consider taking the Grand Canyon Railway to see the spectacular views of plummeting canyons without expending as much energy running after your kids.

Washington DC

Learn more about your country’s history as a family with a vacation to Washington DC. If you can score a budget-friendly hotel or a rental that is out of the city center, this can be a fairly low cost vacation because many of the national sites are free, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the numerous Smithsonian Museums and even the National Zoo. Head to Georgetown for some fun entertainment and dining experiences, or expand your children’s horizons with a trip to Madame Tussaud’s or the National Spy Museum.

Myrtle Beach

Although your first thought about Myrtle Beach is that it is a tired vacation spot, the resort-like atmosphere, low-price hotels and oodles of nearby attractions make it a budget-friendly spot for families who want to go on vacation but do not have enough money to travel far. Myrtle Beach is easily accessible by car for about half the people who live in the United States. Consider taking your family to Ripley’s Aquarium or Family Kingdom Amusement Park if you want to spend a day away from the beach. Older families may enjoy the Alabama Theater or the Carolina Opry for some evening entertainment.

This list is as varied as the many families across the United States are. From desert-like canyons and seven-mile long beaches to cultural epicenters and resort-style atmospheres, families of all budget levels and interests can find something new to do that is sure to become a fun family favorite. Consider something totally different than what you normally do each year to create new memories.

Where do you recommend going on a family vacation?