Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel

June 11, 2014

Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel - like swimming with dolphins

Looking for great family vacation ideas for last-minute summer travel planning?


School's out so this is the best time for kid-friendly destinations with multi-generational appeal that both parents and children/teens can enjoy, learn,relax and be entertained.

Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel


This year take the family on a vacation you'll never forget, be it beautiful beaches, magical mountains, amazing national parks or fabulous big-city adventures!

After almost 9 years of non-stop, affordable, around-the-world family travel, here are some of our favorite places for family vacations that should appeal to most Americans modern families.


For American families, Hawaii is one of the premier family vacation destinations and for good reason. It is a lot like international travel with a distinct culture as well as stunning beaches, tropical nature, volcanoes, plus perfect place to learn to surf, enjoy food great food and sail.


Stunning Santa Fe is also like an internationl destination in many ways with it's rich American Indian and Hispanic cultures. It's like no where else in this world, yet affordable with something for everyone from nature lovers, to art lovers, to history/science/opera/flamenco/food buffs.


Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel- Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and  among the country's oldest national parks, so an iconic American experience that more than five million people visit each year. Wild life and hiking adventures are plentiful, rich in history with more than 4,800 archeological sites, spectacular sunrise and sunsets, plus it will never fail to impress no matter how many times visited.


Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel -like SF

California is a magnificent destination for a vacation and no place on earth can match it with diversity and beauty. It is our home state, so we've seen much of it's spectacular wonders from San Francisco to San Diego, from Yosemite to Death Valley, from Mendocino to Los Angeles and from Lake Tahoe to Big Sur. Don't miss driving the gorgeous scenic coast from north to south on the world's most stunning road, Highway 1.


Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel - Florida

On our Florida road trip, we explored the best of this sunshine state from Universal's famous Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney World to Key West, South Beach Miami, Everglades, Kennedy Space Center, historical St Augustine, Pensacola's awesome white-sand beaches and more!


Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel- NYC

Looking for a big-city adventure? You can't beat New York City for families, exploring a sky's-the-limit urban hub. Don't miss the Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, where there's a zoo, and see a Broadway show. Other can't-miss, kid-friendly perks are the American girl store and FAO Schwarz.



London is another grand big-city adventure capital for the the whole family. Mozart found the trains in Europe are part of the fun, not to mention Paddington Station and the famous Platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station for wannabe wizards. Don't miss Hamley's, High tea, London free Museums, Shakespeare at the Globe, London Eye and other highlights from our London with kids post.


Top 10 Summer Vacations for Family Travel

One of the most popuar destinations in Europe, Barcelona is one of our favorite places and we have been over 18 times, usually for over a month each. Don't miss Antonio Gaudi's wonders like La Sagrada de Familia and Parc Guell, or La Rambla, Gothic Quarter, Montjuïc, Catalan food, beautiful beaches, perfect paella,tapas,Cava Caves etc.. And take a day trip to nearby Costa Brava , Montserrat and Andorra.



 Paris is divine, but Provence is perfect for families and this magical corner of Southern France is filled with diverse delights. Sizzling coastlines, fragrant lavender fields, hill-top villages and cobbled streets bewitch. Not just the glamourous Cote d’Azur and French Riviera, but the lovely Luberon like Gordes and romantic Rousillon, or Arles, Nimes, Narbonne and Avignon's archaeological treasures, captivating wild Camargue, or canoeing at Pont du Gard and exploring the Valley of the Fairies.



 China is not your typical family vacation destination, but since this is the Asian century, planning a trip to this country with a rich 5000 year history is well worth the effort. Bustling Beijing, sublime Shanghai and historical Xi'an will blow you away. Yummy food, temples, traditional Chinese medicine, imperial palaces, Peking Opera, Forbidden city, Tiananmin square, silk road, fast trains, terra cotta warriors, water villages will make history come alive and dazzle.

Where are YOU headed to for a summer family vacation or holiday this year?

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Jayesh Pau

Great Blog Post, Thank you for your efforts to create awesome post, it will help to many travellers. I love to spend happier moments in Iceland, London and California. You've provided great info.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Jayesh, happy to hear you liked it!


I love these tips and ideas! We are going to the Grand Canyon this year and really looking forward to it!

Lukasz Basisty

Planning a summer vacation is a tricky job, which gets even trickier if you have to plan it with your family. Your article gives a clear idea about the top destinations for family travel, clearly mentioning the highlights of every destination. Following your article, I have planned to go to The Grand Canyon, because my kids love wildlife and adventurous hiking. Thanks

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Happy to hear you liked it Lukasz!


I absolutely loved this post! Specially because you went off of the ordinary tips by mentioning places like China and London, which aren't normally the places people take as a "family trip type" :) but I really think you missed one really important: ITALY! For me, there's no better place to go with the family on vacation, specially on summer!
Keep posting, I love your blog!! <3

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Beth- I hope you have a grand time at the Grand Canyon!! ;)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Hana for appreciating our out-of-the-ordinary choices! And you are right, Italy is a fabulous place for a vacation and I have written a lot about it and will go again!

Similar to Provence, it will be hard not to have a grand time in Italy and I do think it is best if one only has 2 weeks to do slow travel and stick to one country or region rather than trying to see all of Europe in a short vacation.


Wonderful places as top destinations, I agree with you but I think Italy is missing from the list.

plan trip to europe

Thanks for the great read. I’m getting “Reise Fieber” as they say in German, just watching the gorgeous pictures … such a beautiful world !

Rob Vela

Great Infomation thank you so much

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