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Take a Break: Best Family-Friendly U.S. Travel Destinations for Spring

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This is a terrific time of year to travel with the family, especially after school vacations are officially over, as some of the best deals around are available immediately following spring break. Booking a trip in April or May affords you and your family the chance to take advantage of post-break savings as well as enjoy less crowded destinations during your stay. Depending on where you're located, how far you're willing to travel and the size of your vacation budget, there are currently many wonderful family-friendly escapes all over the country. Here are some fantastic suggestions in different parts of the U.S. that make for enjoyable and memorable vacation spots.

San Diego, California: Southern California is the perfect place to visit during spring because the weather is tremendous, especially in San Diego. Sunny but not too hot, it's so enjoyable to be outside and visit all of the wonderful attractions the city has to offer. Two family stops definitely need to be the world renowned San Diego Zoo and the famous Sea World, which kids absolutely love. Be sure to check out Lego Land for kids who love to play with these timeless building blocks. Another fabulous place to take the family is the Maritime Museum, filled with historic aircraft carriers and submarines. And after you've seen the attractions, there's nothing quite like hitting the beach. San Diego has some of the loveliest beach cities along the Pacific for some surf, sand and fun in the sun.

Los Angeles, California: Venture a little further up the coast and enjoy a visit to La La Land. Los Angeles has wonderful family attractions like California Disneyland Adventure Park, Universal Studios Hollywood and The Getty Museum. 

Flagstaff, Arizona: There is simply nothing like an awe-inspiring visit to Grand Canyon National Park. Hike, camp out, white water raft or enjoy a guided tour with an expert. However your family decides to see the Grand Canyon, no doubt its breathtaking views will surely be a sight you won't soon forget.

Phoenix, Arizona: Further south in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area there is also plenty for the family to see and do. Wear a visor, pack the sunscreen and take in views atop several of the city's beautiful mountains, all of which have family-friendly hiking trails. About an hour outside of Phoenix is the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, one of the best wildlife parks in the country. Phoenix is also home to fabulous aquatic parks and fantastic family resorts for swimming, relaxing and of course, golfing. (Travel tip: If you plan on renting a car for your Southwest adventure, use PC# 150533 at Hertz for one free car class upgrade when you rent an economy through full-size car.)

Sea Island, Georgia: If privacy, relaxation and long overdue quality time together is what your family seeks, then a stay at one of the beautiful cottages on Sea Island is just the right place for an escape. Located off Southeastern Georgia's Atlantic coast, Sea Island inhabits five miles of pristine private beaches. It offers luxuriant, world class accommodations, fabulous golf courses, horseback riding, swimming, delicious dining and so much more. But above all, it affords you and your family a quiet, tranquil retreat in a beautiful backdrop in which to spend memorable, treasured time together away from the hustle and bustle of daily life back home.

Orlando, Florida: Every kid should get to see Disney World at least once! The most family-friendly park in the country, Walt Disney World has so much to see and do. Watch the fireworks in the fairytale-like Magic Kingdom, visit Future World in Epcot, hit up the water parks in Typhoon Lagoon see exotic animals in Animal Kingdom. (Travel tip: Book a flight + hotel Walt Disney World Resort vacation package through Southwest Vacations, and save up to $200 per reservation using code “WDWSAVE200”)

Chicago, Illinois: After the long, cold winter, the City of Chicago comes alive during the spring. There is an infectious energy buzzing in the city and so much to see and do when visiting. Take in a Cubs game at the famous Wrigley Field and partake in the singing tradition with the whole family during the seventh inning stretch. Tour Chicago's fantastic Field Museum or see an amazing aquatic show at the famed Shedd Aquarium. The Lincoln Park Zoo is wonderful and so is the Children's Museum at Navy Pier that overlooks Lake Michigan. One of the coolest things to do in Chicago is to take the family on the Architectural Boat Tour, which is a truly unique and beautiful way to view the city. And of course there are fantastic restaurants in Chicago and endless shopping options all along the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. (Travel tip: Get up to 45% hotels when you book with Express Deals)

St. Louis, Missouri:  Known as the Gateway to the West, St. Louis is the quintessential Midwest town. Like, Chicago, springtime is beautiful there. The weather is warm and sunny with all the flowers in bloom, but the awful summer humidity hasn't arrived yet so it's a very pleasant time to take in the sights, some of which include a ride up the famous St. Louis Arch, a visit to the St. Louis Zoo, one of the best in the country and absolutely free. Plus, there is the St. Louis Science Center, The Magic House and Boathouse of Forest Park, where families can rent pedal boats and enjoy the warm springtime weather on Post-Dispatch Lake.

North East
Washington D.C.: Touring the many sights in our nation's capitol always makes for some family fun. There is so much to see, do and learn in Washington, D.C. including visits to the Smithsonian, The White House, The U.S. Capitol Building, The Supreme Court and our national monuments and memorials such as the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Washington Monument, the MLK Jr. Memorial and the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

New York City: Take a bite out of the Big Apple with the family this spring and enjoy all this exciting, bustling metropolis has to offer. Visits to NYC are so much fun because there is so much to do and there is something for everyone. Start with the classic New York City tourist attractions like a visit to the Statue of Liberty or up to the top of the Empire State Building. Then perhaps enjoy some more cultural outings like touring the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the largest and most impressive museums in the world. Then hit the Guggenheim or Museum of Modern Art as well. Finally, hop the subway over to Times Square and get tickets to any of the amazing shows currently running on Broadway. Kid-friendly plays showing this spring include "The Lion King," "Cinderella" and "Matilda." There is simply nothing like taking the kids to see their first Broadway show! And, of course, a stroll through the magnificent, scenic Central Park is a wonderful way to see the city also. Finally, foodies will rejoice at the amazing restaurant offerings. But be sure to grab a slice of NY pizza and some bagel and schmear when you're not hitting up fancy restaurants. (Travel tip: Browse local deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial for food offers near your destinations, or use to find thousands of deals on local restaurants)
Acarone posted Apr 11, 2013

The Grand Canyon looks amazing!

jake_ucb (rep: 127) posted Apr 11, 2013


It's been a long time since I was in Calif. would love to go again. Just the word vacation sounds great to me. I live 1hr away from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park & when it gets hot & humid around here thats when I head to the creeks in the mountains, the air & water are so cool. Great photos, thanks.

grandma5 (rep: 57.8k) posted Apr 11, 2013


If you are planning a vacation, be sure you always check around quite a few sites to make sure you are getting the best deal. I usually check travelzoo, groupon, livingsocial, priceline and hotwire

bbattag (rep: 7k) posted Apr 11, 2013


Yay, already in San Diego. Still warming up. Moved here from San Francisco. I'm surprised San Francisco isn't on the list up there, people seem to love it. It's just different when you're an actual resident :-(

cid681 (rep: 1.1k) posted Apr 11, 2013


What an excellent post,I have family all over the country and I'm going to share this with them as we'll!

xptrish (rep: 101k) posted Apr 11, 2013


Thank you!!

Charlkoff (new user) posted Apr 16, 2013


I will go anywhere that's not hot and humid.

lilywow (rep: 8.7k) posted Apr 16, 2013


Lilywow, you want to stay away from the eastern half of Texas in the Summer. Its so humid here in the summer that I once saw a fish climb out of the pond and walk to the river down the street, not once gasping for air.

nthsll (rep: 12.5k) posted Apr 17, 2013


Thanks nthsll. I know to stay away from Florida too :)

lilywow (rep: 8.7k) posted Apr 17, 2013


seems great

zentaiway (rep: 4) posted Jun 03, 2013


Sounds good

coolanne (rep: 28) posted Dec 03, 2013


I love those pictures

bbbaby (rep: 81) posted Dec 04, 2013


These places are lovelyt! Oh how I wish I can go to all of them. whew!

alicepattinson (rep: 130) posted Dec 04, 2013


Great Job, Good post

earltaylorjr (new user) posted Jan 22, 2014


wow amazing

Joel06 (new user) posted Apr 07, 2014