Grand Canyon National Park
sumikophoto/Shutterstock Why visit: To be dazzled by the 277 miles of deep canyons.
What to do: Although you can view the immense depths from viewing points on the North and South rims, to full appreciate the enormity of the natural wonder, consider hiking or taking a mule ride down to Phantom Ranch, or rafting down the Colorado River for sky-staggering views. Or let someone else do the driving, or flying, by taking the Grand Canyon Railway (one of the most scenic train rides in America) or a helicopter tour for totally new views of one the earth’s oldest wonders. Then explore the most underrated travel destinations in the world.
Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock Why visit: The Paris of the Prairie offers outstanding culture and arts in the Midwest.
What to do: Highlights of the Windy City for families include the Art Institute, Navy Pier, and the Museum of Science and Industry (with a replica coal mine and real German U-boat from WWII), not to mention it’s the home of deep dish pizza. Take a river cruise for expansive views of the city’s architectural highlights; be sure to take in a Chicago Cubs game while you’re here to get the home team spirit.
New Orleans, Louisiana
f11photo/Shutterstock Why visit: Experience the unique Cajun and Creole culture found only here.
What to do: Its nickname, The Big Easy, says it all when it comes to carefree days for families. Take in some Jazz at the Preservation Jazz Hall, look for alligators on a bayou tour, and indulge in hot, powdered sugar-covered beignets any hour of the day at Café du Monde. Visit during Jazz Fest in the spring, when the whole city grooves to big name performers such as Aaron Neville or for Mardi Gras (we recommend watching from the family-friendly Garden District).