Summer might be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! There are still enough warm days to plan a quick family summer vacation with kids. After all, summer break is all about making memories together. And what better way to do that than a spontaneous, kid-friendly getaway?
Not sure where to take the fam? Pack your bags and check out our top five spots for an end-of-summer vacation.
Cue the “Jaws” soundtrack! Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium is the go-to spot for budding marine biologists. The biggest aquarium in the US is also the only one with a whale shark on display. How cool is that? And their newest interactive exhibit allows you to get up close and personal in the water with your new besties: sharks and rays.
Prefer to stay dry? There are plenty of other activities in Atlanta that will keep kiddos – and parents – entertained and educated: Zoo Atlanta, the Atlanta Children’s Museum, and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
Best Family Summer Vacation Spot for: City Explorers
Boston is also home to some of the coolest spots in American history. We recommend taking in the Freedom Trail. The 2.5 mile walk will take you to a whopping 16 of Boston’s historic sites… including the Old North Church, of the “one if by land, two if by sea” fame.
Pro Tip: If the kids are little, skip the walking and take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour instead. You’ll see the sites while a local guide narrates it for you.
And you can add to the patriotic feel of your summer trip with America’s favorite pastime. Fenway’s one of the top ballparks in the US. Catching a ball game and seeing the Green Monster in person is a can’t-miss.
Best Family Summer Vacation Spot for: History Buffs
Are you and the kids ready for a more adventurous summer vacation? Then the Grand Canyon is calling your name! There’s an activity to please almost everyone. Bikers can hit the paved portion of the Rim Trail. Walker can hike the kid-friendly Bright Angel Rim Trail or take the more mellow approach to Shoshone Point.
But the ultimate fun for kids is the Grand Canyon’s most iconic experience. Yes, we’re talking about a mule ride! Your “taxi” will take you on a guided ride down into the Canyon or along the rim for an unforgettable memory.
Not afraid of heights? Then be sure to check out the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West. Clear glass, extending 70 feet out from the rim, and looking 4,000 feet down into the canyon. We’ll watch from over here, thanks.
Best Family Summer Vacation Spot for: Intrepid Explorers
Hilton Head Island
If you’re looking for a last minute family summer trip to a beach, Hilton Head Island’s got you covered! The ocean is the main draw, of course. And Hilton Head, despite being on the Atlantic, is suitable for all ages. Think swimming, boating, wading in tide pools, even dolphin watching.
When the kids start feeling a little water-logged, head over to nearby Harbour Town for some fun on land. Top on our list: climb the Harbour Town Lighthouse, only 100 steps and well worth it for the amazing view. If they still have energy after that (they will!), let them run around and climb the treehouse at the adjacent Gregg Russell Playground.
And bonus! If you want to visit another cool city, Savannah is well within driving distance. Hit up the candy stores for locally-made pralines while you stroll along the waterfront.
Best Family Summer Vacation Spot for: Water Babies
One of our favorite national parks was begging to be included in our list of family summer trip suggestions. And with good reason!
Yellowstone is its own world. Big and little kids alike will be dropping their jaws as they enjoy some of the most stunning natural sights in the country. Everyone knows about Old Faithful and the rest of the geysers. But be sure to add Grand Prismatic Springs and a hike along Yellowstone’s 900+ miles of trail for some of nature’s best artwork.
Not sure where to stay? There are plenty of nearby hotels, but consider one of the campgrounds instead. There’s nothing like marshmallows and ghost stories ‘round the campfire to end the day!
Best Family Summer Vacation Spot for: Nature Lovers
When you’re planning a quick summer vacation, the last thing you’ll want to do is juggle kids and luggage! LugLess can help. We’ll ship your suitcases directly to your hotel or Airbnb, making traveling with kids a breeze!