TRAVEL

Top 10 U.S. Getaways
For Your Next Family
Vacation

Courtesy of Hotel Engine

While international travel remains increasingly difficult, 2022 looks to be another year where families will opt for U.S. based family vacations.

However, choosing a destination while balancing budgets, options and everyone’s preferences can be a daunting task in any family.

Not to worry. We’ve got your trip-planning covered with these top 10 getaways for your next family vacation. Best part? They offer tons of outdoor activities that will make sightseeing safe and enjoyable.

1. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

With 3,000 miles of mountains, canyons, geysers and waterfalls, plus the chance to spot some exciting wildlife, Yellowstone is the perfect place to explore with family.

Things to Do:

  • Watch the Old Faithful geyser erupt and tour hundreds of colorful hot springs and pools such as the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring.
  • Camp at one of Yellowstone’s many affordable campgrounds.
  • Visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center to meet-and-greet with these rarely sighted animals in the park.
  • Book a horseback riding or whitewater rafting tour.
  • Hike, bike, kayak or canoe on one of the many lakes within the park.

2. Hershey, Pennsylvania

Known for some of the country’s best amusement parks, Hershey also offers tons of opportunity to explore while outdoors and is ideal for sweet-toothed families.

Things to Do:

  • Explore the Hershey Zoo, featuring over 200 animals.
  • Check out Hershey Gardens, 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum, including a butterfly atrium.

3. Sanibel Island, Florida

If your goal is to plan a low-key and leisurely family vacation, look no further than Sanibel Island. This secluded island in Florida offers relaxing activities that the whole family will enjoy from beach time to biking and beyond!

Things to Do:

  • Bike along the bike paths and many expansive trails throughout Sanibel Island.
  • Take a kayaking tour through mangroves.
  • Grab a homemade ice cream cone at the locally famous Pinocchio's Italian Ice Cream.
  • Go dolphin spotting on a marine mammal sightseeing cruise.
  • Visit the famous Sanibel Lighthouse.

4. San Diego, California

Sunny and vibrant San Diego will put anyone in good spirits. This vacation spot has a little bit of everything: beaches, nature and history.

Things to Do:

  • Walk the mile-long oceanside trail at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
  • Visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields or San Diego Botanic Garden.
  • Spend a day in the sun at La Jolla Cove.

5. Williamsburg, Virginia

If you’re a family of history buffs, you must visit Williamsburg where U.S. colonial history comes alive – literally!

Things to Do:

  • Visit Colonial Williamsburg, the largest outdoor educational living museum in the country, with immersive reenactments and activities.
  • Bike, hike, or check out the butterfly haven at the Williamsburg Botanical Garden.
  • Take the Williamsburg Ghost Tour or the Williamsburg Witches and Pirates Tour.

6. Sedona, Arizona

Looking for something different for your next vacation? To the desert!

Sedona will have you feeling like you’re vacationing in a less crowded desert oasis with beautiful red rock formations, hiking trails and a multitude of wellness resorts.

Things to Do:

  • Visit Red Rock State Park and take an off-roading Pink Jeep Tour.
  • Experience the natural slip and slide at Slide Rock State Park.
  • Hike Bell Rock.
  • Dine at the Cowboy Club restaurant for a truly western feel.

7. Cape May, New Jersey

Charming and whimsical Cape May is great for young children, older family members – and everyone in between! Stay by the beach and boardwalk or explore the local wineries and fine dining restaurants.

Things to Do:

  • Take a stroll through Cape May to admire the town’s roughly 600 preserved Victorian buildings, or ride in style on a trolley car or horse-drawn carriage tour.
  • Cape May county zoo 85 acres of wildlife exhibits year-round.
  • Explore 244 acres of lush forests, ponds, dunes, beautiful beaches, and freshwater meadows at Cape May Point State Park.

8. Ocean City, Maryland

With its pristine beaches and bustling boardwalks, it’s no secret that Ocean City is one of the best family vacation spots in the U.S. But the best part is that it’s both affordable and versatile in what it offers everyone in the family.

Things to Do:

  • Take a leisurely stroll along the Ocean City Boardwalk.
  • Visit the Assateague Island National Seashore with its famous wild horse population.
  • Learn about the region’s rich past at the Harriet Tubman Park and Visitor Center.
  • Experience the NASA Wallops Visitor Center.

9. Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu blends luxury and breathtaking scenery, making it easy to balance downtime and adventure on your next family vacation.

Things to Do:

  • Go beach-hopping to many of the island’s scenic spots like Kailua Beach Park and Lanikai Beach.
  • Hike to scenic overlooks like Diamond Head State Monument and breathtaking waterfalls like Lulumahu Falls.
  • Swim with sea turtles and other marine life on a snorkeling or scuba diving tour.
  • Visit cultural and historic sites, like the austere USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
  • Book a ziplining adventure on the North Shore.

10. Washington D.C.

Rich with history and activities for all ages, Washington D.C. is a city with endless possibilities for your next family trip.

Things to Do:

  • Walk the National Mall and sightsee famous U.S. landmarks like the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.
  • Rent paddle boats on Tidal Basin, outside of the Jefferson Memorial.
  • Visit the National Zoo or explore the Georgetown neighborhood with its charming cobblestone streets and home to its namesake University.

Ready to book your next vacation? As a Morgan Stanley Reserved member, you have access to use Hotel Engine, a free, members-only hotel booking platform. Save up to 60% off hotels at more than 700,000 properties worldwide! Log into your account or register to start booking today.

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