Ah, vacation... That one time of year where everyone in a family can enjoy themselves, whether it's the busy parents, the energetic toddlers, or the jaded teenagers.
Of course, the problem with travelling with families is that you can't always find hotels or lodgings that will accommodate your specific needs, whether that's rooms of a certain size, enjoyable activities for the kids, or reasonable prices for the amount of food you guys will need for a week.
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Fortunately, we've come to help provide some answers to the age-old question of where you can stay if you're travelling with your family, specifically in the US. In this article, you'll find several suggestions for all-inclusive, family-friendly resorts. These lodgings all offer entertaining activities for both kids and adults alike, and they offer rooms that are the perfect size for your family unit. Without further ado: from Pennsylvania to California, Florida to Texas, here are some of the best kids vacations in the US.
If you'd like to both have fun with your kids and recharge your batteries, then the Omni Bedford resort for you. This historic lodging space features a terrific golf course—among the best of those in Pennsylvania—and contains more than two hundred rooms for guests. Notably, this resort has recently undergone a restoration that cost well over a hundred million dollars. The restoration shows in every aspect of the resort’s amenities: the Springs Eternal Spa is highly equipped, measuring 30,000 full square feet, and the resort itself is equipped with restaurants. There are five in all, each offering perfect dining options for all kinds of tastes. The resort’s hiking trails run for 25 miles over the surrounding area, and its two pools will allow your family the perfect opportunity to swim and relax.
Aside from golf, spa activities, swimming, and hiking, other activities offered at this resort include tennis (there is a full-size court on-site), a warm and incandescent fire pit where you can heat up s'mores with your kids, Segway tours, off-road vehicle tours, and talks by Lester Wallack, the on-site horticulturist. In terms of indoor activities, so many options are available, from historic hotel tours to traditional afternoon tea. There's even a selection of hand-cut wooden puzzles, available at the resort library—perfect for challenging young, curious minds on rainy days.
True to its name, the Beach Club is located right by the Atlantic Ocean, allowing you easy access to the breathtaking views, beautiful warmth, and white sand of Boca Raton’s iconic beaches.This oceanfront property has been refurbished recently, allowing its high quality to shine through to guests from all over the world. In addition to the rejuvenating spa options and spectacular perspectives—rooms feature great views of the ocean, and the club itself boasts palatial architecture—you can eat delicious meals in your room, by the poolside, or even beside the ocean. As for things to do, the many activities on-site will ensure that this is one of the best kids vacations your children will experience. There's everything here: golf, tennis, a sculpture collection that doubles as an art gallery, and so on.There's also Quest Club, where kids can do all kinds of special activities: pottery workshops, a botanical garden, table tennis, remote-control boat racing, “surf school” and other water-sports—you name it.
Located by the picturesque Pacific Ocean, this five-hundred-acre resort has more than a hundred small villas, which are surrounded by charming views of the coast. There are also bungalow guest rooms, which have their own private terraces; a spa and restaurants—all highly rated—and a huge, circular pool affectionately known as the “Coliseum Pool,” complete with cabanas and tall, free-standing palm trees. The hotel itself, however, mimics the architecture of the Italian Renaissance—and, more specifically, that of sixteenth-century architect Andrea Palladio—which will make your trip all the more enchanting and authentic. Activities abound here: a coach ride to the nearby Crystal Cove, trails for jogging and hiking, bike tours, golf by the ocean, afternoon tea, a bubble show for kids... The list goes on. There's a class for learning how to make pasta, and even one to teach etiquette to children (so they can learn how to behave!). The resort also offers live music, golf lessons, and a helicopter tour of the vineyard.
One of the most exciting places you can visit as a family with kids is a water park. With their waterslides and other attractions, swimming pools, and lazy rivers, kids of all ages will be entertained by the visit. One interesting fact that you might not have known about water parks—I can guarantee to you that I didn't, before I started researching all of this—is that water parks can be both indoor and outdoor. Not only does this knock down any myths you might have in your mind about what a water park should be, but it also levels the playing field: there are hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing indoor water parks out there.
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If indoor water parks are what you're after, then you should check out Kahuna Laguna (North Conway, New Hampshire). Ideal for kids of all ages, this resort offers high-speed tubes, a dedicated area for body surfing, a wave-pool, water cannons, a play tower, a café for picking up lunch and snacks, and even a family fun center packed with arcade games.
If, on the other hand, you're looking for the best outdoor water parks in the US, then you should check out Noah's Ark, which is located in Wisconsin Dells. One of the largest water parks in the US, Noah’s Ark offers a wave-pool, exhilarating—and terrifying—water-slides, inner-tubing, surfing, a heated play structure with ziplining and cannonball chutes (appropriately named Paradise Lagoon), and an octopus-shaped structure for little kids to explore and discover. You can even reserve your own cabana on the lovely, forested Midwestern property (which spans a full 70 acres).
Video: Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells USA
Another outdoor water park to look into is the Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando’s Disney World. It's no surprise that a Disney water park would be one of the best in the country—there is probably no company more well-known for their amusement parks, after all—but the merit is well-deserved. This park features water-slides, a relaxing lazy river, and a surf pool with waves that go up to six feet high. You can even go snorkeling in the Shark Reef—which, yes, has real sharks (sure both to entertain and scare kids of all ages). The Crush ‘n’ Gusher resembles a real roller coaster (in the water), and Humunga Kowabunga is a terrifying body-slide down into dark depths. There's also an area meant for kids, with rafts sized for their little bodies, so that everyone in your family can enjoy themselves properly—even the smallest members.
As you would expect from a dude ranch, there are lots of horses on the property of this Texas resort. You'll both learn how to deal with horses (if you don't already know), as well as ride them over some of the most beautiful trails in the area. You can also ride a horse-driven wagon around this scenic area, looking at the amazing wildlife all the while. But something your kids will enjoy as much as—if not even more than—horse-riding is learning all kinds of cool cowboy skills. Whether it's lassoing a rope or learning how to use a whip, the Mayan Dude Ranch allows guests both old and young to partake in these time-honored arts. Not to mention, your family might even have the opportunity to take pictures with a beautiful longhorn steer.
Aside from horse-riding and cowboy skills, the ranch is also home to Hicksville, a Wild West-style town. There's also more typical hotel and resort fare, including on-site swimming, plays and musicals for entertainment (in addition to country dancing and film screenings), and big breakfasts (ranch style, of course).
This resort features everything you can expect from a luxury beach vacation, including spa treatments, gourmet dining at one of the three in-house eateries, and two pool decks perfect for swimming. Kid-friendly activities you can do onsite include hiking, surfing, bike tours, and stand-up paddleboarding. Your family can rent snorkels and take them out for a great afternoon under the waves, or you can explore the hidden, submerged coves of Laguna Beach during a full-day excursion. The resort has special deals with companies in the area, thereby allowing you great rates for sailing and watching both dolphins and whales.
Vacations with your kids: best of luck with future excursions
At the end of the day, it's your vacation, your way: it's up to you, after all, to decide everything, from the places your family will be staying to the activities you'll be doing, whether at your lodgings or at another location. Just keep this in mind: as long as you do your homework—that is, as long as you research those opportunities which would best fit your family’s tastes or needs—you can have one of the best kids vacations in your lifetime.