The Best “Non-Disney” Places to Travel with Children
Traveling with kids can be tough (they’re bored, they’re hungry, they’re singing “Old Macdonald” at full volume for 45 minutes straight). But you still want to take them places—and not just Orlando. Here: seven awesome spots that are perfect for the whole family.
There are plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained in this gorgeous city. Walk through the Medieval Tower of London, tour the dinosaur exhibits at the Museum of Natural History, paddleboat in Hyde Park, take a ride on the London Eye and make sure to visit Harrod’s Toy Kingdom (complete with an enchanted forest and candy store). Got a precocious little girl? Stop by a tea parlor, then watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
Where to stay: The Montague on the Gardens (from $250 per night)
Stockholm may be pricey, but it’s walkable and pristine--and a remarkably easy city to get around with kids. The public busses cater to people traveling with strollers, and it’s difficult to find a restaurant that doesn’t offer a children’s menu. Start in Old Town Stockholm, which looks like a fairy-tale village, before visiting Skansen, an open-air park and living-history museum that also houses a zoo.
Where to stay: Hotel Skeppsholmen (from $160 per night)
While Honolulu, Kauai and Oahu are popular among surfers, honeymooners and solitude-seekers, Maui is the most family-oriented of the Hawaiian islands. Its gorgeous, calm beaches are ideal for swimming, and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities like snorkeling and easy hiking trails. Bonus: Kids are everywhere. (Meaning your screaming four-year-old is unlikely to ruin somebody's romantic adult getaway.)
Where to stay: Grand Wailea (from $450 per night)
San Francisco, California
For a family-friendly day in the City by the Bay, we suggest hopping aboard an old fashioned cable car, then flying kites on Crissy Field and watching the sea lions at Pier 39. Finish up with a short ferry ride to Alcatraz, which will terrify your children into behaving for the rest of the trip.
Where to stay: Argonaut Hotel, (from $160 per night)
Beaver Creek, Colorado
This ski town has plenty of family-friendly resorts, plus mountains that cater to any type of skier. (We love the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, which offers complimentary ski nannies, who can transport kiddos to and from lessons.) Not into skiing? You can also take the clan tubing, ice-skating, snowmobiling and dog sledding. There’s even a free chocolate chip cookie giveaway every day at 3 p.m. in Beaver Creek village.
Where to stay: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek (from $250 per night)
Got a budding scholar on your hands? She’ll love walking the Freedom Trail--a path though downtown Boston that hits 16 important sites from the American Revolution--then visiting the Boston Tea Party Museum and Paul Revere House. Pop into Quincy Market for authentic New England clam chowder and stroll along the idyllic Charles River, where you’ll find playgrounds and boats to rent.
Where to stay: Marriott Long Wharf (from $170 per night)
The Galapagos Islands
Calling all nature-lovers: Sign up for a Galapagos trip with Metropolitan Touring, and the staff will accompany your kids on various educational activities (stargazing, trivia, journal-writing) while you and the hubbie get some alone time. Then, once you’ve decompressed, the whole family can reconvene to swim with sea lions, meet giant turtles and explore volcanic caves. There are also gorgeous beaches--if you’re into that sort of thing.
Where to cruise: Metropolitan Touring (four-day cruises from $1,590 per person)