We love asking travel writers to share their favorite destinations to visit with kids. This year we are sharing 23 new places to add to your family travel list. Covering everywhere from the United States to Central America to Africa, we are sure you will find somewhere new to explore in 2023 and beyond. These are the 23 best places to visit for families in 2023.
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Table of Contents
Best Family-Friendly Places to Visit in the US
Big Island of Hawaii
One of the best places to visit in 2023 is the Big Island of Hawaii. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds of Oahu and Maui, this is the place to be. You’ll get a much more laid-back vacation.
The Big Island is home to some pretty spectacular experiences you won’t find on the other islands. You can do night snorkeling with Manta rays, see lava (if the volcanoes are erupting), and explore an authentic Kona coffee farm.
If you really want to fully experience the Big Island, it’s smart to split your time between Kona, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Hilo. If you don’t know where to begin, you’ll need this Big Island itinerary.
There are a ton of places to stay on the Big Island with Kids. A popular choice is the Hilton Waikoloa Village because they have an experience where you can swim with dolphins right at the resort. But it’s also fun to spend a night or two at Volcano House right on top of the volcano. Marcie of Hawaii Travel with Kids
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is one of those places that surprises you from the moment you arrive. The city occupies an enviable position in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is easy to reach from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Charlotte, and Columbia, SC. If you haven’t heard of this family-friendly destination, then this is your sign to visit in 2023.
The Reedy River runs through the heart of downtown Greenville, and it is surrounded by a greenbelt, walking trails, and gardens. At one point there is a waterfall, and a suspension bridge spans across it, providing some epic views. Families can easily spend an afternoon exploring the park, restaurants, and shops nearby.
There are several attractions families are sure to enjoy, including the Greenville Zoo, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, and the Upcountry History Museum. Sports fans shouldn’t miss the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and a minor league baseball game at Fluor Field (which is modeled after Fenway Park in Boston).
When the kids get hungry head to Gather GVL, an upscale outdoor food court, or Grill Marks for burgers and milkshakes that are out of this world! Sidewall Pizza Company is great for a slice and biscuit lovers shouldn’t miss Biscuit Head.
We recommend staying at the AC Hotel by Marriott. The hotel has the perfect location between Falls Park on the Reedy and downtown. It’s also located next to a plaza with several restaurants making it very convenient for families. Kirsten
Boise, Idaho is a fun family-friendly city to visit with kids. From gorgeous parks and hiking trails along the Boise River to a safe and bustling downtown filled with delicious restaurants and fun shops, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time visiting Boise with kids.
Start your Boise vacation out by getting the family outdoors. Start with a hike along the popular Camel’s Back Trail. Once you get to the top, you’ll have a beautiful view of downtown Boise and the entire valley. Finish the hike off with a chance for the kids to play at the large playground in Camel’s Back Park.
After your hike, grab a bite to eat at 13th Street Pub and Grill in Hyde Park, just a few blocks away. If you’re looking to treat your kiddos to some ice cream, you’ll find delicious concoctions at Goody’s Soda Fountain Shop around the corner.
You can then head over to Zoo Boise, located in Julia Davis Park in Downtown Boise. Spend an hour laughing at the monkeys or feeding the giraffes.
Then enjoy the afternoon biking or walking along the Boise Greenbelt trail,. This is a 20-mile-long paved path that runs along the banks of the Boise River.
For dinner, consider visiting The Warehouse Food Hall, with over a dozen independently owned food and drink establishments all located under one roof.
When you’re ready to settle down each night, consider staying at the Home2 Suites by Hilton in downtown Boise. They offer a great indoor family-friendly pool with a splash pad and small slides for the kids. Jill of Thrive in Idaho
Lake Tahoe, California
Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is one of the best places for families to visit in 2023.
This pristine alpine lake has so much to offer. From hiking and paddle boarding in the summertime to skiing and snowshoeing in the wintertime, Lake Tahoe is a year-round destination for families.
There are many activities not to miss when visiting Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay State Park is one of them. There is a nice viewpoint where you have breathtaking views of the lake and Fannette Island.
Adventurous families will want to use the Vikingsholm Trail. This is a 1.7-miles out-and-back hiking trail to reach the lakeshore and the Scandinavian mansion. Eagle Falls is another fun place to stop nearby.
Pope Beach located in South Lake Tahoe is a good spot to relax and enjoy the water. There are some shaded spots, a large parking lot, and restroom facilities. If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are a ton of good vacation rental options in Lake Tahoe. Emilie of Love Life Abroad
Upon returning from an impromptu family vacation to Alaska this summer, a friend remarked to me that “it wasn’t the vacation we planned, but it turns out that was the vacation we needed.”
As families around the world have charged full-steam back into life without restrictions, a visit to Alaska offers the combination of adventure, tranquility, and wonder that they need to reconnect with each other and nature. While there were some challenges to visiting Alaska in 2021 and 2022, tourism will hopefully run more smoothly in 2023.
There are so many things to do in Alaska with kids that one trip certainly won’t be enough, but you can get a great sampling with a week on the ground.
Be sure to take a hike to a glacier (or two!), go on a wildlife viewing excursion by land, plane, or boat, and go on a cart ride with racing huskies.
Plan for at least a week, but ideally closer to two weeks to explore southcentral Alaska – including Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula, and four different National Parks. You can find out how to put it all together with this done-for-you Alaska itinerary.
You’ll likely split your time in Alaska across several different destinations and drive between them. But to start your trip off on the right foot, book two nights at the Captain Cook Hotel in the heart of Anchorage.
It’s a lovely place to unwind after a long travel day and you can take advantage of the midnight sun on the multi-use Tony Knowles Coastal Trail just down the hill. Melissa of The Family Voyage
Family-friendly getaways in Canada
If you’re looking for a charming town to use as a base while touring Alberta, Canada (included in National Geographic’s places to visit in 2023) then Canmore is an excellent choice.
Canmore hosts its own spectacular mountain scenery and is often cheaper to stay in than nearby Banff. There are plenty of things to do in Canmore throughout the year.
In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking or a fun day playing in Quarry Lake. For a more relaxed pace, enjoy the many walking trails around Canmore or visit the shops on main street.
In the winter, Canmore is close enough to all the ski hills in Banff and Kananaskis. Alternatively, rent some snowshoes for some incredible days playing in the snow.
Where to Visit in Mexico with kids
For families looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, head to Oaxaca City, Mexico! This city is an amazing place for a family vacation as it’s full of historical and cultural landmarks, as well as plenty of parks and green spaces to enjoy.
Oaxaca is a great jumping-off point to explore the region’s artisan crafts, including weaving and pottery. And of course, the food in Oaxaca is some of the best in Mexico. Families can enjoy taking cooking classes and food tours to learn about Oaxacan cuisine.
Oaxaca is also near the archeological sites, Monte Alban and Mitla, where families can learn about Mexico’s pre-Columbian history.
A top-rated hotel for families that’s close to the action is Marialicia Suites, which is located just east of the city’s historic center. With so much to see and do, Oaxaca City is the perfect place to take your family for a truly memorable vacation. Astrid of Mexico Family Travel
Where to Go in Europe with Kids in 2023
Amsterdam is a fun destination for a family city trip. The city is quite compact and easy to navigate, with plenty of family-friendly activities and great child-friendly restaurants.
When visiting Amsterdam with kids go on a pancake cruise on the canals, do like the locals do and discover the city by bike, visit one of the many playgrounds and petting zoos or choose from a variety of children’s museums. There are also some hidden gems in Amsterdam if you want off-the-beaten-path experiences.
If you’re looking for a hotel with family rooms check out the NH City Center or Amsterdam Marriott Hotel. For a truly unique stay and awesome experience renting a houseboat is a great option. Lisa of FlipFlop Globetrotters
The Dolomites mountains in northern Italy are one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Towering peaks, emerald-green lakes, and quaint mountain villages all come together to create a truly stunning landscape. And while the area is best known for its winter sports, there’s plenty to do in the Dolomites during the summer months as well.
During the summer months, the mountain lakes of the Dolomites are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply taking in the stunning scenery. Some of the best lakes in Italy are located here including Lago di Braies.
One of the best things about the Dolomites is that they aren’t overly touristy – meaning you can really get a feel for what life is like in this corner of Italy, which was originally part of Austria before World War I.
You’ll find many locals who also speak German, and food that is definitely more Austrian than Italian. Spend an afternoon exploring one of the many mountain villages, and you’ll quickly understand.
If you enjoy being outdoors, then you’ll love hiking in the Dolomites. There are trails for all skill levels, so everyone can find a hike that’s perfect for them. And because the Dolomites are part of Italy’s vast network of National Parks, you can be sure that any hike you go on will be well-maintained and offer truly stunning views.
If you’re looking for a central location to base yourself in the Dolomites, try Albergo Gader. It’s a quaint little hotel with a fantastic restaurant serving authentic Austrian and Italian homemade food.
Whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery, charming mountain villages, or ample hiking opportunities, you’ll find it all in the Dolomites of Italy. So next time you’re planning a trip to Italy, be sure to add this beautiful corner of the country to your Italy itinerary! Vanessa of i Heart Italy
Lake Bled, Slovenia
The country of Slovenia is somewhat of a hidden gem in Europe. With mountains that rival the Swiss Alps, some of the clearest and most beautiful lakes on the continent, plus castles that will make any kid feel like a prince or princess, Slovenia is a spectacular place for family travel.
One of the most popular destinations in the country, Lake Bled has a lot of things to do for families. From swimming and canoeing to stunning hikes and adrenaline-pumping mountain toboggans, Bled is a blast for kids and adults alike.
Hike to Bled Castle for epic views of the turquoise-colored lake, then indulge in a Bled Cream Cake, a delicious layered puff pastry that gets its origins in the resort town.
Be sure to rent a canoe and boat out to Bled Island, where kids will love ringing the bell inside the small island chapel called the Church of the Mother of God.
Be sure to make a wish as you ring the bell. Legend has it that your wishes resound toward heaven when you pull the rope to ring the wishing bell inside the church. Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
Consider a stay at Sava Hoteli Bled which offers a variety of family vacation packages, a stunning location on the lake, and an indoor swimming pool.
Families will be pleasantly surprised by a visit to this southwest German city. Stuttgart is home to the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums, a fabulous zoo and botanical gardens, and it’s surrounded by forests and rolling hills that are perfect for hiking.
Spend some time people-watching at Schlossgarten or learning about the area’s history at the History Museum of Württemberg. For epic city views, try the Fernsehturm, the world’s very first television tower, or the Sepulchral Chapel on Württemberg Hill.
Families should book a stay at the Waldhotel. It’s a quick tram ride to the city center, but the property is surrounded by forest and sports fields. Perfect for hiking and burning off energy! Kirsten
York, England is the most charming city that families should visit in 2023. From satisfying your sweet tooth at the York Chocolate Story to finding your inner warrior at the Jorvik Viking Museum, York delights kids and adults alike.
Be sure to stroll down the Shambles to experience the enchanting inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley (hop into the Potions Cauldron for some magical elixirs too), and let children’s imaginations run wild with a walk on the medieval walls of the city.
Betty’s Tea Room serves up an elegant and adorable high tea for a mid-afternoon snack.
Hampton by Hilton York offers delicious free breakfasts, modern rooms, and friendly staff that is located near the train station and easily accessible to the rest of town. Kyleen of The Bonnie Traveler
Best Places to Visit in Africa with Kids in 2023
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi is one of the richest and fastest-growing cities in the world. It also happens to be one of the most family-friendly destinations with a vast array of experiences for every interest.
This includes tropical beaches, desert safari, indoor sky diving, and theme parks such as WarnerBrothers World, Ferrari World, and Yas Waterworld.
While it can be an expensive destination there are tons of free things to do as well. Visit the Grand Mosque or the mysterious long salt lake in the desert.
Kayak around the mangroves protecting Abu Dhabi’s coastline or go on a safari at Al Ain zoo.
It is simply an incredible destination for families well worth a visit, often overshadowed by nearby Dubai. It is somewhat of a well-kept secret, less busy than its neighbor.
Accommodation options range from lavish beachfront resorts to Bedouin glamping and themed children’s hotels with floating cinemas.
The best time to visit is from November through to March for cooler more enjoyable weather to explore the outdoors. Karen of Secret Abu Dhabi
Egypt’s array of ancient sites provides the perfect space for outdoor exploration. When traveling with kids, having the option to search, discover and play outdoors makes for the perfect family destination. Egypt’s ancient history is interesting for people of all ages which is part of the reason why it is so popular.
There are an array of activities in Egypt for kids as well. There is riding on a felucca on the Nile (there is even an overnight boat option). Or maybe the kids would prefer hot-air ballooning. There is camel or horse riding.
The major cities have indoor activities for those who need to get out of the heat. City Stars Mall in Cairo has an arcade that gives kids a break from ancient sites (and gives parents or teens the chance to shop too!).
Egypt is also pretty easy for the picky eater. There is abundant bread, fruits, and meat depending on what your kids like to eat.
Where to Stay in Egypt
For those who wish to spend a few days at the beach on the Red Sea, there are many all-inclusive options. Whether or not you plan on some beach time, make sure you have a bathing suit on your list of things to bring to Egypt because many hotels have pools and kids always love a great hotel pool!
Overall there is so much to see and do in Egypt, all you need to do is get started on the perfect family itinerary. When in Cairo, consider staying in nearby Giza and get a hotel with a pyramid room view like the Marriott Mena House.
In Luxor, opt for a midrange hotel with a pool or a luxury hotel on the Nile like the Steigenberger Resort Achti.
In Sharm el Sheikh, you can’t go wrong with any beach hotel, they all have kids’ clubs, we liked the entertainment at Movenpick and the fact that they grow local produce at the resort. They also had an equestrian center with excellent horses. Lindsay of Step Into Jordan
Where to Go in Central America with Kids
Belize is an amazing place to add to your 2023 bucket list. With ancient historic sites, jungles, waterfalls, wildlife, and beautiful beaches, it’s an incredible trip for the whole family.
Be sure to head out to the San Ignacio area, one of our favorites with younger children. The Mariposa Jungle Lodge is a fantastic option for families in the area – much less expensive than some of the other jungle lodges, but in a gorgeous setting with foliage-surrounded cabins and a pool on site.
While in San Ignacio, put a cave tour at the top of your list. If you have older children, consider swimming and hiking through the ATM cave.
With younger kiddos, the Barton Creek Cave is a great option without a minimum height requirement, and you can explore with a guide and a gentle canoe ride.
While in this area, make sure you also spend some time exploring an ancient Maya site – Xunantunich is a great close-by option, or head further afield into Guatemala to visit the renowned Tikal. Finish out your time in the area with cliff jumping, chocolate making, ziplining, and visiting the green iguanas.
After spending some time in western Belize, head back out to the coast. Ambergris Caye is a great option for families to enjoy calm, warm waters and plenty of marine life.
Traverse the island in a rented golf cart and head out to Secret Beach. Plan some time to get out on the water, either on a boat ride over to Caye Caulker, or if you have older kids, on a snorkel tour of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Whatever your family setup, it’s an amazing opportunity to view the beautiful country from the sea! Preethi of Local Passport Family
Costa Rica is best known for its ruggedly beautiful outdoors and coastlines on both the Pacific and Caribbean. While the Capitol, San Jose, sits nestled in the center of the country and is a well-developed city, almost a quarter of the rest of the country is made up of protected jungle.
As a matter of fact, there are 28 designated National Parks across the country, 3 of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites! Costa Rica’s rainforests and jungles have 2 species of sloths, 4 species of monkeys, 6 species of Toucan, 225 species of reptiles, and endless opportunities to interact with this amazingly diverse wildlife.
While many tourists head straight for the gorgeous beaches, Costa Rica’s biodiversity includes gorgeous waterfalls, stunning volcanos, mountains, lush jungles, and rainforests.
Costa Rica makes the 23 amazing destinations to visit in 2023 because you will find something for every person in your family: from resort lovers to adventure seekers.
Where to stay in Costa Rica
One of the absolute best places to get the full Costa Rican experience is by staying at the full-service, 33-acre Tulemar Resort located in Manuel Antonio. This resort reaches all interests by offering the only private beach in the region, on-site hiking trails, fully serviced accommodations, 4 pool options, 2 onsite restaurants, spa services, a tour desk, and a shuttle service. If your group loves nature, you’ll love Tulemar.
From our villa, we were able to spot 3 different species of monkey, 3 different species of Toucan, Scarlet Macaws, Iguanas, and even sloths! All of the animals on the property are wild and free to roam wherever they want. Our family loved being immersed in the Costa Rican jungle from our balcony!
Whether you are traveling as a couple or a large family, Tulemar offers accommodation for any party size too. While staying at Tulemar, you’ll be within walking distance of downtown shops. Be sure to head down to El Avion for a dining experience inside of an airplane; an experience your family won’t soon forget!
Costa Rica is a country that needs to be experienced by everyone. For thrill-seekers, there are 4×4 adventures, waterfall hikes, ziplining opportunities, surf lessons, kayaking, and even white-water rafting!
For those who want a more laid-back experience, check out one of the many Coffee and Chocolate tours where you can see how coffee and chocolate are made!
Another unique, but not strenuous activity is to hire a guide to take you through one of the National Parks to spot wildlife and learn more about the ecology of Costa Rica.
All guides in Costa Rica go through extensive schooling and must be licensed, so you are hearing from the actual experts! No matter how you spend your time in Costa Rica, you’ll come away wanting more of this magnificent country! Tavia of Big Brave Nomad
With its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and unique landscape, Antigua Guatemala is a great destination for families seeking a mix of fun and adventure. This Central American city is full of family-friendly gems for everyone to enjoy.
Explore your family’s adventurous side by climbing one of the city’s most active volcanoes. Don’t worry – the Pacaya Volcano is totally safe and makes for a special family excursion while in Antigua Guatemala. You can even roast marshmallows right there in the lava!
Or you can keep it cool with a guided ATV tour around the city. Expert locals can guide you and your family to the top sights in the city and its surrounding villages.
You can opt for more relaxing activities in Antigua too! The family can learn to make chocolate at the ChocoMuseum of Antigua (Guatemala is, after all, the birthplace of chocolate).
Their special workshops are designed with children in mind and everyone leaves with their own specially crafted chocolate souvenir. You can also take pictures at the infamous Santa Catalina Arch, shop for artisan wares at the local markets, and commune with the locals at Central Park.
Whatever your itinerary, you’ll be sure to see why Antigua Guatemala is one of the top cities to visit with kids in 2023. Check out even more things to do in Antigua Guatemala here!
Hotel Casa Santo Domingo is frequently referred to as the best hotel in the city of Antigua. Not only is the 5-star hotel luxuriously appointed but its expansive suites are very accommodating for families.
The kids will love their outdoor pool while the parents can indulge in the on-site spa. This hotel is also home to one of the city’s largest museums making it an attraction unto itself. Montoya of The Spring Break Family
South America Travel Idea for Families
Medellin, Colombia, is one of the best places to travel for families. With mild weather, it is a destination that can be visited year-round.
The city has come a long way since its violent past. Locals have embraced their history and moved forward.
You can visit Comuna 13 and learn the story that graffiti tells. Take the cable car to see breathtaking views of the city. There are also day trips to Guatape and San Basilio de Palenque.
The most popular tourist neighborhood is in El Poblado, but the best local area is Laureles. We recommend a stay at Hotel Dann Carlton for families traveling to Medellin. Cee from Itz A Family Thing
Best Places to Visit in Asia with kids in 2023
If you’re looking for something unique, Antalya, Turkey is the perfect destination for families wanting to visit the Mediterranean coast.
With 300 days of sunshine a year, you can enjoy hiking, canyoning, rafting, and lazy beach days swimming in the sea. We recommend a minimum of 2 – 4 days depending on how much time you have and what you want to do.
Located off the west coast of Malaysia, Penang has it all when it comes to traveling with kids.
Adventure: check. Beaches: check. History: check. Incredible architecture: check. And some of the best food on the planet: check!
Penang’s main city, George Town, is UNESCO World Heritage Listed for its fascinating history and beautiful buildings. It’s also incredibly walkable – while you can hire a trishaw to take you around, walking means you can stop to look at everything (for example, the street art or markets).
Penang is a world-renowned foodie destination, so be prepared to eat. And when you need to rest from all the sightseeing and eating, the resort town of Batu Ferringhi is the place to be. WHERE TO STAY Amelia of A Winter Escape
Vietnam is the ideal family road trip destination because children are welcome everywhere and great public transportation makes it easy to travel through. Cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City have loads to offer families. But also make sure to check out Sapa for its lush rice fields and Ha Long Bay for a multi-day cruise through stunning limestone mountains and emerald waters.
The town of Hoi An is highly influenced by Japanese, Chinese and French culture, which makes it a true gem.
End your family road trip through Vietnam with a little beach vacation on Phu Quoc island, which is nothing short of a paradise. Saskia of SAS Crossing Countries
Check out the JW Marriott on Phu Quoc for a fabulous stay!
Best Places to Visit for families in Oceania
Moorea, French Polynesia
French Polynesia has a reputation as a destination for honeymooners, but it’s also welcoming to families.
Don’t let the 118 islands overwhelm you. If you have to pick one, go with Moorea. It’s an inexpensive and short (30-minute) ferry ride from Tahiti.
While you can drive the whole island in an hour, there’s no need to rush the experience. You can stay busy for days.
Fun activities include snorkeling, glass bottom kayaks, ATV tours, waterfall hikes, and even swimming with whales.
You’ll feel the French influence, especially in the food you eat – and the tourists you’ll meet. Moorea’s also full of vibrant island vibes.
Be sure to grab a bite at one of the many unassuming roadside snack shops. Our favorites are Snack Rotui, Snack Didier, and the Instagram-famous Snack Mahana. La Macaroulotte is also a must-stop for kids.
While many view French Polynesia as a “once-in-a-lifetime” destination, consider that there are non-stop flights from many West Coast cities. It’s really not much farther than a flight to Hawaii. KyAnn of KidTripster
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is a great option for families!
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is one of the most exciting places to explore in New Zealand with kids. It’s a cute mountain and lakeside town filled with adventurous activities such as jetboating, gondola and luge rides, paragliding, and more.
If you are looking for more peaceful exploration, there are scenic walks, beautiful cycle trails, and boat cruises perfect for all members of the family.
The best Queenstown family accommodation can be found at Driftaway Queenstown. This lakeside property has family villas with full-sized fridges as well as campsites, but the best part is their big play area. An indoor games room plus an outdoor play area will keep the kids totally entertained in your downtime. Jennifer of Backyard Travel Family