Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati
Summer is almost here, which means it’s time to start planning a getaway with the kids. With plenty of options to suit different travel types and budgets, here are six summer vacation ideas for families to get you thinking about sunshine and livin’ easy. (And, they’re all within North America so you can take a quick, affordable getaway without sacrificing any of the fun!)
Washington, D.C. has more free attractions than anywhere else, so you really just have to budget for flights, a hotel, and food. Your days can be spent popping in and out of the 19 free Smithsonian museum and galleries – plus the zoo. Families can schedule historical visits to the White House and the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and enjoy picnics along the food-truck-filled National Mall. This vacation is jam-packed with learning, ideal for kids who like museums, history, and art – and it’s easily walkable.
Cedar Point, Ohio
For the active kid who loves theme parks, a visit to Cedar Point promises the time of their lives. Known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” Cedar Point boasts 16 record-breaking “scream machines.” With thrilling rides, four kids’ areas, and a Soak City waterpark, this summer vacation spot attracts those looking for adventure. There are also live shows to be enjoyed, like Snoopy on Ice for the little ones, stunt shows at Extreme Sports Stadium for teens, and classic rock and country tunes at the Palace Theatre for mom and dad. There are five onsite accommodations to choose from, ranging from the historic Hotel Breakers to Lighthouse Points cabins, cottages, and campsites.
Good for the young or young-at-heart, Orlando is the place for a family vacation. It offers a plethora of attractions from Disney World and Universal Orlando to Gatorland and Discovery Cove to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Hit the theme parks or just relax by the hotel pool. There are many affordable hotel options in Orlando or even in Kissimmee. Kissimmee is a great location for larger families, groups of friends, or people who want to vacation for longer (don’t we all?) because of the comfortable and spacious accommodations. Find condos or hotels with multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and even laundry facilities to create a relaxed home-away-from-home. Summer is always a popular time to visit Walt Disney World, but be wary of steep admission prices and longer wait times.
Vacation in your own backyard and discover the country’s capital. Kids can explore the Byward Market and search for treasures in food and crafts, wander the streets and enjoy the buskers and Beaver Tails, and visit the love locks along the Corktown Footbridge. If you like to enjoy nature, a picnic in front of the Parliament Buildings or long walks or bike rides along the Rideau Canal are great ways to pass the time. Tours of the Parliament Buildings, Supreme Court, and the Royal Canadian Mint are both educational and enjoyable.
Simply building a sand castle under the sun or taking part in exciting water sports could be the highlight of your Virginia Beach vacation, but there are tons more things to enjoy and discover. The three-mile café and sculpture-lined boardwalk is often full of rollerbladers passing by, while The Virginia Aquarium provides some fun indoors. Grommet Island oceanfront park features sand tables for sandcastle building, shady areas for picnics, soft play sculptures, and accessible play equipment for those with wheelchairs. For visitors seeking the beauty of nature, head on over to First Landing State Park for hiking, biking, and picnicking with the family. You’ll find swamps, lagoons, and maritime forest, as well as plants and wildlife to explore. Be sure to stop by the Chesapeake Bay Center for historical and educational exhibits.
You wouldn’t know it, but San Diego is the ultimate playground, full of attractions like Aquatica Seaworld Waterpark, the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND California Resort, and the USS Midway Museum. It makes for a busy getaway full of both nature and attractions. Its beaches, bird-watching, and whale watching are incredible. Surf, sun, play beach volleyball or soccer, or just relax on one of San Diego’s seaside spots. At Mission Beach, spanning over three kilometers of oceanfront, ride the historic Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster with the beach as your view. For the less adventurous, rollerblading or fishing along the boardwalk can be just as fun.
Interested in any of these summer vacation ideas for families, or have another one in mind? Call one of our travel experts at 1-800-665-4981.