The 50 Best Family Travel Destinations In Each State
From Disneyland to Yellowstone to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, here are the best tourist attractions for families in each state.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park—Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
Yes, we’re talking active volcanoes! Head to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see geologic change in action as lava flows into the sea from multiple different vents and volcanoes. Kids and adults alike will be amazed at the beauty and power of the bubbling, steaming lava. Check the volcano conditions before you head to the park to make sure it’s safe to visit.
Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark—Kellogg, Idaho
Photography by Matt Vielle Courtesy Silver Rapids
Whatever the season is, the Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark is a great place to take the whole family to have some summer-style fun in the water! Adults can float down the lazy river (with a beverage in-hand, if you choose) and kids will love the pools, play structures and the Flowrider endless wave. After a long day of fun, you can stay the night right at the Silver Mountain Resort—and go skiing the next day!
Wrigley Field—Chicago, Illinois
Seeing a baseball game in the historic Wrigley Field is a quintessential American bucket list item. Get yourself a Chicago-style hot dog and a beer and some foam fingers for the kids to wave around, then root, root, root for the home team. Try to avoid the train immediately after a game, as Cubs fans can be a little rowdy—especially after a win! Find out how the Cubs—and 24 other MLB teams—got their name.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis—Indianapolis, Indiana
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the perfect place for kids to learn, play, and get inspired with dozens of interactive exhibits. Between the dinosaur exhibit, the hands-on science and cultural exhibits, and dozens of live events each week, kids of all ages will find something entertaining. Who knows? You my discover that you’re raising a junior scientist!
Fenelon Place Elevator Co.—Dubuque, Iowa
I know what you’re thinking. Elevators? This is really a tourist destination? Absolutely. The Fenelon Place Elevators—also called the Fourth Street Elevator—is actually the steepest, shortest railroad in the world. The rail was first built in 1882 by a banker who lived at the top of the hill, then made public in 1884. Ride from 512 Fenelon Place up the hill to an observation deck where you can see parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin all at once.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead—Overland Park, Kansas
Courtesy Kansas State Tourism
One part theme park, one part educational resource, and one part real, operating farm, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is must-see in Kansas. Kids can learn to milk a cow, bait a fishhook, and bottle-feed baby goats, while parents will enjoy the beautiful landscaping and the old time charm. The farmstead is totally free, but bring small bills to take a wagon ride and to feed some of the animals.
Louisville Mega Cavern—Louisville, Kentucky
You may not have known that ziplining through an underground cavern was on your bucket list, but you’ll realize it once you’ve crossed it off. In the Louisville Mega Cavern underneath the Louisville Zoo, you can bring the whole family for a one of a kind experience in the huge cavern that was once a limestone quarry. Here, you can clamber through an underground obstacle course, take a guided tram tour, and yes, even a zip line tour! Be aware, though, that kids under 7 are not allowed on the zip line.
Cafe du Monde—New Orleans, Louisiana
Although New Orleans is typically more of a playground for adults than for kids, there’s certainly plenty to entertain the little ones too! Get some of Cafe du Monde’s world-famous beignets and a cafe au lait, sit in the open-air patio, and listen to music drift down the streets of the French Quarter. In addition to the sweets, your kids will love the performers who typically hang around outside the cafe—especially the notorious “Silver Man!”
Marginal Way—Ogunquit, Maine
Courtesy Allyson Lupovich
The coast of Maine is notorious for being stunningly beautiful, and the Marginal Way footpath along Israel’s Head is no exception. On this walk you’ll see a peaceful harbor filled with sail boats, waves crashing against the rocky cliffs, and—if you get there at the right time—a priceless sunset. Consider this a must-see on your New England coastal road trip.
The Walters Art Museum—Baltimore, Maryland
Courtesy Walters Art Museum
With interesting collections from all over the world, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is an excellent place for kids to learn about art and history, and with the admission fee of zero dollars, it’s one you’ll want to visit over and over. Come during off-hours to avoid large crowds, and grab a bite at one of the many nearby restaurants on Charles Street.