To determine the most family-friendly vacation destinations, vacation rental platform KOALA recently analyzed dozens of top destinations across the country, looking at a variety of key factors for family friendliness, such as kid-friendly attractions, nature and parks, child-friendly restaurants, crime rates, the average accommodation price per night, average annual temperature, and average rainfall. Here are the top ten places to visit in 2021.
Nantucket, Massachusetts (#10)
Nantucket, a popular summer resort in Massachusetts, finishes out the top ten with a family friendliness score of 6.83 out of ten. Only Las Vegas and Nashville have a lower average lodging price per night ($83) than the other places studied by KOALA, based on the average cost of a one-night hotel stay gathered from KOALA’s own internal data.
Estes Park, Colorado (#9)
Estes Park, located 90 minutes northwest of Denver, gives easy access to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park for visiting families. According to TripAdvisor, more than a third of the town’s attractions (34%) are rated as “excellent for kids,” while three-quarters of restaurants (75%) are rated as “child-friendly.” It also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with 10.6 incidents per 1,000 inhabitants, and reasonably priced lodging at $185 per night on average.
Williamsburg, Virginia (#8)
Colonial Williamsburg, home to the world’s largest living history museum, is a popular destination for families looking for kid-friendly attractions (24.4 percent) and reasonably priced lodging ($122 per night on average). Williamsburg’s overall family friendliness score of 6.92 out of 10 places it ninth in the country.
Durango, Colorado (#7)
Durango, another Colorado city in this year’s top ten for families, provides a variety of activities for visitors of all ages, including the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and ziplining adventures. The interactive Powerhouse Science Center and MakerLab, where guests young and old may unleash their creativity, are also highlights.
South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island (#6)
The award-winning Hilton Head Island, located in the South Carolina Lowcountry, provides visitors with ideal weather (an average annual temperature of 67.4 degrees) and affordable accommodations ($170 per night on average), as well as a variety of family-friendly activities such as beaches, kayaking, tubing, skiff adventures, guided tours, scenic bike rides, and more.
California’s Lake Tahoe (#5)
Lake Tahoe is tied for fourth place in family friendliness, with an overall score of 7.02 out of ten. It has the second-highest number of attractions labeled as “nature and parks” (21 percent) among the top ten most family friendly U.S. destinations. Furthermore, more than one-fifth of Lake Tahoe’s attractions (22.4 percent) are rated “excellent for kids,” and the average lodging cost ($154 per night) is roughly half that of the top-ranked resort.
Sedona, Arizona (#4)
According to KOALA’s research, Arizona’s Red Rock Country is a must-see trip for families. According to TripAdvisor, Sedona has a little more than 17 inches of yearly rainfall, relatively low crime rates (11 offenses per 1,000 people), and six out of ten restaurants are regarded “child-friendly,” tying Lake Tahoe for fourth place in total family friendliness. Furthermore, “nature and parks” account for 13.6 percent of all attractions.
Sanibel Island, Florida (#3)
Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida gets high grades for weather (average annual temperature of 74.6 degrees) and crime (6.4 offenses per 1,000 inhabitants), and approximately 70% of the island’s eateries cater to families. Sanibel’s magnificent beaches with enticing sand and surf are among the many fascinating things available to families.
Wailea, Hawaii (#2)
Wailea, on the Hawaiian island of Maui, receives an 8.27 out of ten for family friendliness. According to KOALA’s research, the area has more luxury beachside resorts and attractions labeled as “nature and parks” (27.4%) than any other destination in the top 10. More than 37% of Wailea’s attractions are rated “good for kids,” while more than 80% of eateries are rated “child-friendly.”
Waikiki Beach in Hawaii (#1)
Honolulu’s Waikiki district is the most family-friendly vacation destination for 2021, with 83.3 percent of attractions rated “excellent for kids” and 84.2 percent of local restaurants rated “child-friendly” on TripAdvisor. It receives an 8.38 out of 10 rating for family friendliness. The Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Zoo, according to KOALA, are just two of the many things to see and do for families in the area.