Not every dream vacation destination is a great fit for your entire family. It’s important to find a location that offers a mix of entertainment, dining and accommodation options to keep kids and parents happy. Often, families assume that theme parks, cruises designed with kids in mind or beach-front resorts are their best vacation options. However, there are plenty of cities across the US that make great vacation destinations for families.

These three cities are great for families looking to explore a unique destination!

Asheville, NC

Asheville offers families a convenient central location for daytrips through the Blue Ridge Mountains and visiting the historic Biltmore Estate. There are plenty of activities indoor and out that will keep the whole family entertained!

Biltmore Estate

Built as a country home for George Vanderbilt in the late 1800s, this beautiful estate is surprisingly family friendly. Acres of gardens, guided tours and special holiday events are all part of the Estate’s attraction.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville is surrounded by beautiful Appalachian Mountains, with the Pisgah National Forest just an hour drive outside the city. Follow the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to Sliding Rock waterslide and spend hours going down the natural rock!

Emerald Village

Head towards Little Switzerland, NC during the summer and experience the thrill of finding a gemstone or gold nugget near a historic mine.  A mining museum, mine tours and more are the perfect daytrip for families visiting the city of Asheville.

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo is emerging as a family friendly medium-sized city that you can fit into a long weekend. The rich history of the city is on display in museums, parks and architecture, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find activities for all ages!

Buffalo Bisons

Buffalo’s lesser-known sports teams, including the Buffalo Bisons (Minor League Baseball), Buffalo Bandits (National Lacrosse League) and Buffalo Beauts (National Women’s Hockey League) provide family-friendly entertainment at a reasonable price.

Canalside

No matter what time of year it is, Canalside offers something fun to do! There’s ice skating and curling during the winter, or enjoy a sandy play area and kayak rentals in warmer weather. Explore and More Children’s Museum, currently located south of Buffalo in East Aurora, will be moving to Canalside later this year.

Niagara Falls State Park

This natural marvel is located just a short drive from Buffalo. Go behind, above and below the Falls on various tours available in the park. Kids will love the nearby Niagara Power Vista, a collection of interactive exhibits based on the hydropower gathered from the rushing water of the Niagara River.

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans offers a surprising number of activities that make it a great family vacation city. Check out vibrant neighborhoods, temperate weather and lots of outdoor areas to explore.

Audubon Insectarium

North America’s largest museum dedicated to insects is a must-see if your kids are fans of creepy crawly critters. There’s also a garden home to thousands of butterflies for great family photo ops.

Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World

For a kid friendly take on a New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, visit this museum in the Lower Garden District.  Go behind the scenes of the larger-than-life floats and intricate costumes that fill the streets of New Orleans every February.

Storyland

City Park’s Storyland is a great place to take a break from a day filled with museums or shopping. Twenty storybook characters come to life in this corner of the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

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