One goal many families may have in the new year is to travel more and visit new and exciting destinations. Maybe you’re stuck in a travel rut, visiting the same city year after year.
Or perhaps, you’re just looking for inspiration for new places to add to your bucket list. Brought to you by the experts at Travel Pulse, here are 25 fun family destination ideas that are the perfect mix of approachable and once-in-a-lifetime.
For families that like to vacation in big cities, Lisbon, Portugal is an up-and-coming destination with so much to offer. Beyond riding the yellow trams up and down the sloping streets, kids will enjoy the Oceanario Aquarium, the largest aquarium in Europe, taking in the sights from a cable car above the Vasco de Gama bridge and relaxing on the nearby beaches.
Charleston, South Carolina
There are so many reasons to love Charleston, South Carolina! The city boasts historical sites, beautiful beaches, great weather, charming antebellum homes and a thriving culinary scene. Take the kids to Fort Sumter to delve into some Civil War history and visit the Old Slave Mart or a historic plantation. You’ll find no shortage of museums and parks for the kids to enjoy and you’ll love taking a day trip to one of the many barrier islands just off the coast of the city.
U.S. Virgin Islands
With three islands to choose from, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a great spot for families looking for relaxation and exploration in the Caribbean. Fly into St. Croix or St. Thomas, as St. John is only accessible by ferry from one of the other two islands. In St. Croix you can follow the St. Croix Heritage Trail to discover the historical sites of the island, relax on the beaches and explore plantations at Estate Whim Museum. In St. Thomas, check out Coral World Ocean Park to learn about marine life and ride the St. Thomas Skyride for panoramic views of the island. Head to St. John to visit U.S. Virgin Island National Park. [If you need assistance or recommendations in a pinch, stop by the Del Sol store, where the friendly local staff is happy to help.]
If you’re looking for affordable family fun along with Midwestern charm and friendliness, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a great option for your next getaway. Wander through the botanical gardens of the Mitchel Park Domes, get hands-on at Discovery World science and technology center, enjoy Bradford Beach and check out the Milwaukee County Zoo. The whole family will love Milwaukee’s famous frozen custard from Kopps!
Head down under for some family fun in Brisbane. With hot summers and moderate winters, it’s a great place to visit year round. Enjoy a cruise on the beautiful Brisbane River, great city views from Kangaroo Point Cliffs, a day at South Bank for the man-made beach and play in one of the many parks throughout the city. Kids will go crazy for the Koala Sanctuary just outside of Brisbane, or try a day trip to Moreton Island located just off the coast.
Los Angeles, California
Though Los Angeles can seem overwhelming with kids thanks to the traffic, the spread-out nature of the city and the Hollywood glamour, there’s actually a lot for families to enjoy, including the amazing Southern Californian weather. Find some Hollywood stars at the Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater, hike to the Hollywood sign, visit the beach at Santa Monica Pier, explore the Griffith Park Observatory and check out the Los Angeles Zoo. Don’t forget about Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood!
Kyoto is a stunning international destination with numerous interesting attractions for families—and it also happens to be incredibly safe. One of the more famous spots in Kyoto is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove where you can enjoy a leisurely walk through the towering bamboo. If your kids love transportation, be sure to check out the Kyoto Railway Museum. You’ll also love the Kyoto City Zoo, playing in the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, riding bikes along the Kamo-gawa Riverside and visiting one of the many temples. You can even take a bullet train to Tokyo for a day trip!
See the rest of the family fun destinations recommended by Travel Pulse here.