The Top 25 Family Vacation Spots in the US, Ranked

Julie Ryan Evans | Aug 1, 2017 Big Kid
Image: iStock.com/Choreograph

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When it comes to childhood memories and the stories told over and and over throughout our lives, family vacations often play a starring role. Stepping outside daily life to explore the world is a chance for learning, bonding, relaxation, and fun. Of course, there may be some flat tires, sibling spats, and missed connections along the way, but that's all part of the journey.  

While the world is full of places to explore, you don't need to leave the country to see some amazing sites. From historic destinations that bring US history lessons to life to awe-inspiring natural wonders -- and some that are just plain old fun -- here are 25 incredible vacation spots in the United States that are great for families to explore together. 

  • 25. Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose, TX

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    Take a step back to prehistoric times at Dinosaur Valley State Park, where you can hunt for and even walk in the tracks left by dinosaurs. The park is located in Glen Rose, Texas, which is about 60 miles southwest of Fort Worth; there's also hiking, fishing, swimming, and junior ranger programs for outdoorsy kids.  

  • 24. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA

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    Home to what was one of the most famous prisons in the world, Alcatraz Island is chock-full of edgy history. You can check out the first lighthouse built on the US west coast, splash in gorgeous tide pools, spend some time bird watching, and, of course, check out the cells where notorious criminals were housed. While in San Francisco, there are plenty of other sights to see and places to explore, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Fisherman's Wharf.

  • 23. Sanibel Island, Florida

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    Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, this picturesque island is known for its lovely, seashell-covered beaches. Quaint and beautiful with a scarcity of chain businesses, it's a true escape from everyday hustle and bustle. Beyond basking on the beach, there's also bird watching, hiking, kayaking, and more to explore. 

  • 22. Colorado Rockies

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    Whether you want to ski in the winter or hike and bike in the summer, the Colorado Rockies provide a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor activities all year. From quaint towns like Telluride to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, there are plenty of options to explore.

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  • 21. Outer Banks, North Carolina

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    With miles of beaches and sweet little towns aplenty, North Carolina's Outer Banks are a fantastic family vacation destination. From climbing sand dunes to attractions like the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, adventure and relaxation await.