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Top 10 Family-Friendly Summer Vacation Destinations for 2024

Over 60% of American families will take a summer trip in 2024. They'll be looking for a dream destination that fits their style. From beach escapes to mountain adventures, find the best 10 spots for a memorable family vacation. These places are picked for being budget-friendly and fun for everyone. You might look for a quiet beach hideaway, an exciting spot in the mountains, or a lively city visit. This list will guide you to the ideal summer vacation destinations for 2024

summer vacation destinations for 2024

 

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the top 10 family-friendly summer vacation destinations for 2024
  • Discover destinations that cater to a variety of interests, from beaches to national parks
  • Find accommodations and activities suitable for travelers of all ages
  • Plan the ultimate summer getaway that creates lasting memories for your family
  • Uncover affordable, accessible, and family-friendly vacation spots

 

Kiawah Island - Serene Coastal Escape

Kiawah Island is a private paradise. It's about a 25-mile drive from Charleston, South Carolina. This island is ideal for families seeking a peaceful break. It boasts 10 miles of beautiful Kiawah Island beach. Families will love water activities, beach biking, and hunting for seashells.

There are various things to do. You can take boat excursions, play tennis, and explore the Kiawah Island Nature Center. This center offers fun, educational activities like evening beach walks and nature hikes for kids.

The lodging on Kiawah Island is diverse. You can choose from simple rental homes to the luxurious Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Wherever you stay, you’ll enjoy the island's tranquil coastal setting.

On Kiawah Island, visitors can take long, peaceful beach walks. They might even see dolphins at play and enjoy kayaking in the Kiawah River.

Kiawah Island is perfect for a family vacation. It has over 10 miles of unspoiled beaches and quiet forests. Plus, it's a golfer's paradise with top-notch courses. Golf lovers will especially enjoy playing at the Ocean and Turtle Point Golf Courses.

Kiawah Island Beach Highlights

Details

10 miles of pristine shoreline

Ideal for families and toddlers with its wide, flat beaches

30 miles of scenic trails

Opportunities for biking, walking, and exploring the natural beauty

Over 200 species of birds

Attracting birdwatchers to observe the diverse coastal bird population

Marine life like horseshoe crabs, ghost crabs, and dolphins

Allowing visitors to experience the rich biodiversity of the island's ecosystem

Sea turtle nesting habitat

With volunteers protecting the nests from May to August

Water sports activities

Kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing in the calm ocean waters

 

Santa Monica, California - Beachside Bliss

Imagine sunny weather, golden sandy beaches for miles, and fun things to do. Santa Monica in Southern California is perfect for families. The Marvin Braude Bike Path spans 22 miles, offering a scenic route along the ocean for people to walk, run, skate, or stroll with their little ones.

The Santa Monica Pier has a famous Ferris Wheel and snacks to enjoy. Staying at places like the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Shutters On The Beach, or Oceana Santa Monica puts you steps away from the shore. This makes visiting Santa Monica's beaches easy at any time.

Package or Offer

Discount or Savings

5-night stay beach retreat

Up to 25% off best available rate

Coastal Concierge package

One-time use of beach chairs and umbrellas

Park and Play Package

Complimentary valet parking and $50 food/beverage credit daily

Weekend stays through Sunday

Save up to 30% off

Fairmont Moments experience

Up to 20% off for stays until April 30, 2024

Live Like a Local package

10% off from the Best Available Rate

Suite Escape

10% off best available rate, $100 daily F&B credit, waived Resort Fee

Stay More and Save offers

Up to 25% savings with a one-time $100 hotel credit

 

Aspen, Colorado - Alpine Adventures

Aspen is a top spot for family fun in the Rockies. It's full of lush trees and perfect for family trips. Here, you will find something for everyone, no matter your age or skills.

The Rio Grande Trail has beautiful paths for walking. It's great for families with small kids. For a peaceful break, head to the John Denver Sanctuary for a picnic. Don't miss taking an easy walk around the pond at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Looking for a place to stay? Check out Aspen Meadows Resort, The St. Regis Aspen Resort, and The Little Nell. They're close to fun outdoor activities and interesting sights. These hotels are perfect for families looking to enjoy Colorado's great outdoors.

 

Make sure you’ve packed your summer essentials.

 

Acadia National Park - Natural Wonders

Acadia National Park is a gem in Maine's coastal beauty. It's a perfect place for families who love exploring nature. The ideal months to visit are July and August. This is when the weather is at its best for outdoor fun.

In summer, the water might still be cold for swimming. But, it's great for other activities. Families can kayak, spot whales on boat tours, and do some fishing. You can also hike along the coast, check out tidal pools, and relax on beaches surrounded by mountains.

For those new to birdwatching, keep an eye out for bald eagles and other wonderful birds. When it comes to staying overnight, the park has great options. You can choose from glamping, cabins, or traditional resorts. These places will be great for your family's stay.

Acadia National Park Highlights

Details

Peak Visitation Months

July and August, with another peak in October for fall foliage

Recommended Activities

Kayaking, whale watching, fishing, coastal hiking, birdwatching

Lodging Recommendations

Under Canvas Acadia, Terramor Outdoor Resort, Salisbury Woods Cabin

Visit Acadia National Park this summer with your family. It's where the rugged coast meets stunning mountains and clear waters. You'll have a family adventure you won't ever forget.

 

Chicago, Illinois - Urban Exploration

Chicago is a top spot for Midwest summer vacation destinations. The city really shines from June to August. During this time, it's packed with fun events and things to do outdoors. These make it perfect for Chicago family vacations.

Families love seeing animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo. They also enjoy the Shedd Aquarium's amazing sea life. And don't forget Maggie Daley Park's Play Garden. It has a big ship, a small lighthouse, and a spot where kids can play in the water.

Chicago is unbeatable when it comes to cities for family travel. Here, luxury hotels like the Four Seasons and The Langham welcome families warmly. The Ritz-Carlton is another great choice. These places do their best to ensure families have a summer to remember.

 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts - Seaside Charm

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a top spot for families looking for fun by the sea. It has pretty beaches, charming towns, and many things to do outside. You can go kayaking, watch for whales, fish, or take a walk in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Lighthouses add to its charm, along with old sites and places where you can all eat together.

Looking for a place to stay? The Chatham Bars Inn, Wequassett Resort & Golf Club, and a Cottage in Dennis are great choices. These places offer nice rooms where your family will feel at home. They make sure your stay in Cape Cod is one you won’t forget.

Attraction

Description

20th Annual Provincetown Jazz Festival

This jazz celebration in August 2024 brings musicians from all over. Families can enjoy this special cultural event together.

Hyannis HyArts Artist Shanties

Opening on May 17th, this event has work from 85 artists. It's a chance for families to see and buy local art.

Pretty Picky Properties

Find your perfect vacation home here, from cozy cottages to big beach houses. They’re all over Cape Cod. So, you can see a lot of the area.

Cape Codder Resort & Spa

This resort in Hyannis has an indoor water park and a wave pool. It's a great place for families to stay.

Red Jacket Beach Resort

This resort in the mid-Cape has a kids club. It’s perfect for a family vacation.

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

In Brewster, this resort has a program for kids, too. It's a good choice for families.

Corsair and Cross Rip Beach Resort

Found in Dennis Port, it has a lot for families to enjoy.

The Bayside Resort

In West Yarmouth, this resort has special deals and is ready for family visits.

Cape Cod Creamery

Get ice cream with fun flavors like Cummaquid Coconut and more here. Families love it!

Four Seas Ice Cream

In Centerville, this shop is open until late December. It's a cool spot for families.

Paine's Creek

Head to Brewster for a calm river float. Families will have a good time here.

Skaket Beach

This Orleans beach is fun for exploring. Families can search for creatures among the tidal pools.

Hidden Hollow at Heritage Museums & Gardens

Visit this natural play spot in Sandwich for a fun time outdoors. Families can play and explore together.

Cape Cod is a perfect place for family getaways in summer. You can do a lot here, like kayaking, watching for whales, or exploring beautiful beaches. There’s plenty to make your vacation with family truly memorable.

 

Cape Cod family vacation

 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming - Western Adventure

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the place for a classic Western trip. It has beautiful mountains, lots of animals, and many things to do outside. You can visit Grand Teton National Park and go rafting on the Snake River. Don't miss a gondola ride up Rendezvous Mountain. You'll also find western towns, museums, and places to eat that are good for families.

It's a top spot for people who love the outdoors. You can ride your bike on many trails, with shops ready to help no matter your skill. There are special places to bike at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee. The Snake River is perfect for fishing from a drift boat, with top fishing spots nearby.

The Snake River Canyon is 18 miles south and perfect for wild rafting. Jackson Hole offers more, like paragliding over 3,200 feet, great for thrill-seekers. The Snake River is known for its fishing, too, being one of the best areas for it.

Jackson Hole gives a real taste of the West. You can climb the Tetons, ride horses, or go hiking. They also have fun Western events, like dinners and riding in real old stagecoaches. Many guides are available to help with climbing or hiking. There are horseback rides for every length of time, fitting any vacation plan.

Good places to stay include the Four Seasons Resort, The Cloudveil, and The Virginian Lodge. These are great for families on their Western adventure.

 

Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California - Lakeside Retreat

Lake Tahoe sits on the border of Nevada and California, offering a beautiful escape. This serene spot has clear waters, high mountains, and many things to do outside. You can swim, boat, hike, and see different ecosystems. There are also welcoming towns, places to eat with the family, and many places to stay, from fancy resorts to small cabins.

In summer, Lake Tahoe is alive with fun events for families. You'll find free music and events every week, and the Tahoe Music Alive event all the way from May to November. There are festivals like the lively Tahoe City Solstice Festival or the Tahoe City Food & Wine Classic. These events offer great food and wine, music, art, and help your local community too.

For those looking for an active holiday, Lake Tahoe has a lot to offer. There's the Broken Arrow Skyrace, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, and a bike race lasting 100 miles. Families will enjoy music at Classical Tahoe, the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival, and the Gambler's Run Music Festival. These events bring music and fun for everyone.

When it comes to places to stay, Lake Tahoe has many options. From the beach feel of Margaritaville Resort Lake Tahoe to the luxury of The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, everyone is covered. Families might prefer Tahoe Ridge Resort or Tahoe Beach Club for their views. For something closer to the lake and its fun, there's Marriott's Timber Lodge and Zephyr Cove Resort.

Looking for a calm lakeside spot or an action-packed adventure? Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada checks both boxes for families. It's a memorable holiday with its beauty, events, and varied places to stay. Why not plan your summer holiday for 2024 here?

 

Outer Banks, North Carolina - Coastal Escape

The Outer Banks in North Carolina are a classic pick for beach-loving families. It offers miles of beaches and historic lighthouses. Plus, there are many water sports and outdoor activities to enjoy. You can visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial, try surfing or stand-up paddleboarding, and learn about the area's maritime history. The place is also dotted with charming towns, welcoming eateries, and different places to stay, from beachfront houses to top-notch hotels. Some recommended spots for stay include Sanderling Resort, Nags Head, and Dune Haus.

In April, the Outer Banks have an average temperature of 69 degrees, making it perfect for a Spring visit. Most people choose to stay in rental homes, with many options available. Fall temperatures reach the mid-70s, offering a comfortable visit with fewer tourists.

The town of Corolla, at the Outer Banks' Northern End, stands out for its luxury homes and less-crowded feel, even in Summer. Just a short drive away is Duck, offering its own charm with lovely homes, eateries, shopping boutiques, and resorts.

Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are known for the Wright Brothers National Memorial. They provide easy beach access and a variety of accommodation, from rental homes to oceanfront hotels. Nags Head feels more like a city, but still offers plenty of options, including oceanfront homes, hotels, fishing spots, and tours.

The tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo are perfect for windsurfing and kiteboarding. Just a drive away is Avon, which boasts the island's main grocery store and shopping. This central spot serves well for those staying at Hatteras Island.

Buxton and Hatteras Village are known for their unique lure. Buxton has the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and great surf fishing spots. Hatteras Village offers marinas, restaurants, and a ferry to Swan Quarter NC and Ocracoke Island. Both are great options for a beach getaway.

Ocracoke Island is reachable by ferry and greets visitors with a quaint village vibe. It has rentals, B&Bs, hotels, and vibrant eateries. This makes for a memorable stop in the Outer Banks.

 

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina - Golfing Paradise

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is a top pick for families loving golf. It has top-notch courses and lots of fun outdoor activities. Families can enjoy long family vacations, journey through nature preserves, and try different water sports. The area also has a lovely seaside town and offers a variety of places to stay, from luxury resorts to more budget-friendly options.

For those passionate about golf, Hilton Head Island has over 25 places to play, including famous spots like Harbour Town Golf Links. The island's nice weather and beautiful nature are perfect for a family golf trip.

Resort

Highlights

Hilton Grand Vacations Club Ocean Oak Resort Hilton Head

Luxury accommodations with magnificent coastline or resort views, catering to guests seeking a sophisticated stay.

The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (Sea Pines Resort)

Classic family vacation experience for more than 50 years, emphasizing its long-standing presence in the market.

Harbour Town Sea Pines Condo

Offers guests access to 5 miles of unspoiled sandy beaches within the Sea Pines Plantation community.

Besides golf, Hilton Head Island is packed with activities for families. It has long stretches of beaches, nature preserves, and many water adventures. The island's 12 miles of beautiful beaches are among the best in the US and globally, perfect for relaxation and play.

 

Conclusion

When you start planning for your summer vacation in 2024, look at the amazing places in this guide. Places like Kiawah Island, Cape Cod, Aspen, and Acadia National Park are perfect for all families. These top destinations for family travel in 2024 promise fun for everyone, whether you love the beach, the city, or the wilderness. So, start planning the best summer trip for your family today.

There are so many great options for every type of family in 2024's best travel list. Think about Kiawah Island, Cape Cod, Aspen, and Acadia National Park. They offer great times for all. As you dream up your family's summer vacation, these places are great for making memories that you'll always treasure.

These destinations are perfect no matter what your family enjoys. You might be looking for a quiet beach, city adventures, or wild Western fun. This list has something for everyone. Start your planning now and get ready for an amazing family journey.



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