Traveling as a single young adult is very different than traveling as a married mom. I probably don’t need to point out the differences, but I can tell you that traveling with kids is much more challenging. However, it’s really important to travel with kids, so if you want to plan a family vacation to a place with kid-friendly things to see and do, these cities are the ones to hit first. I’ve been to every single one of these cities, and I can say that you and your kids will have a great time!
1. San Diego, CA
With ocean views, moderate weather and a laid back lifestyle, what’s not to love about San Diego? For kids, there are several area attractions to visit, like Legoland, Sea World, The San Diego Zoo and The New Children’s Museum. Spend a day at Balboa Park, walk along Seaport Village or hit the beach. Older children will enjoy touring the USS Midway Museum. And if you’re able to, stay at the Hotel del Coronado, which is a historic beachfront hotel.
2. Washington, D.C.
Our nation’s capital is a great place to explore when your kids are old enough to appreciate the history of our country. There are many educational museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum, the Washington Monument and of course the White House. Even if you aren’t able to tour inside, your kids will love seeing the White House up close. There are also the U.S. Capitol building and the Lincoln Memorial.
3. Nashville, TN
I hold a bias towards Nashville because I live just outside the city. But this place is really incredible and there is so much to see and do! All across the city are parks, and there are tons of venues to check out live music. There is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Frist Center For The Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and the Adventure Science Center. Downtown there are plenty of honky tonks, shops and restaurants and the different Nashville neighborhoods all have their own unique atmosphere and offerings.
4. New York City, NY
With all the tall buildings to admire and the bustle of the busy New York lifestyle, kids will enjoy visiting the Big Apple. The Statue of Liberty is worth checking out, no matter how old your kids are. They will also think the Empire State Building is really cool. Spend some time at Central Park or Times Square and maybe catch a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Coney Island has tons of fun to offer or you could get tickets to see a show at Carnegie Hall.
5. Atlanta, GA
For kids (or moms) who love Coke, the World of Coca-Cola Museum is a must-see in Atlanta. There are also the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain Park and The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. One really cool attraction is SkyView Atlanta, which lets you look at the city from a 200-foot tall Ferris wheel.
6. San Francisco, CA
For a cooler (weather-wise) California experience, head to San Francisco. The city is known for having chilly, rainy, windy weather most of the time. However, you can still enjoy sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and places like Fisherman’s Wharf. Head to Pier 39 for some delicious seafood, and then hit Ghirardelli Square for some after dinner chocolate. Check out Alcatraz Island if your kids are older and would enjoy learning about some of the country’s most notorious criminals. And if you want to really give your kids a thrill, take them to see Lombard Street. It’s a steep, one-block section with eight incredibly sharp turns. It’s been called “the crookedest street in the world!”
7. Chicago, IL
Known as the “Windy City,” Chicago has some great things to do with kids. Navy Pier has shops, restaurants and carnival rides, as well as the Chicago Children’s Museum. The Lincoln Park Zoo is pretty great and Willis Tower is an amazing 110-story skyscraper worth going to if you’re not afraid of heights. Don’t leave without visiting the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.