25 Best East Coast Family Vacations
The East Coast’s reputation as being “quick-paced” is not surprising given the thriving metropolis of New York City and Chicago.
Though the East Coast is bursting with things to see and do, tourists are also busy here, so it’s not only about busy lifestyles!
The East Coast offers an outstanding selection of locations, with plenty to offer for every family member, from Broadway to New England to Florida.
Here is a list of the top family getaways along the east coast!
- Philadelphia, PA
The birthplace of America is a no-brainer when it comes to family vacation places on the East Coast because it is brimming with family-friendly activities.
You can easily access all the excellent family activities in this city whether you stay at a boutique hotel or one of the best family resorts on the East Coast.
Philadelphia is a great option for families with toddlers because it can be best explored on foot, allowing you to see many attractions without worrying about stroller logistics.
Visit the Philadelphia Art Museum for your “Rocky” moment or the Betsy Ross House to learn some history; the Please Touch Museum is a great place to take young children.
Visit the Reading Terminal Market for mouthwatering sandwiches, the renowned Philly cheesesteaks, and soft pretzels—enough to please even the pickiest eater!
- Bar Harbor, ME
Acadia National Park, with its breathtaking beauty, is located in Bar Harbor, another fantastic East Coast holiday destination.
Drive up Cadillac Mountain to see some of Acadia’s best views, and don’t miss Thunder Hole, so named because of the thunderous roar of the waves that crash there.
Many nature lovers travel to Bar Harbor for viewing tours, which allow visitors to see Atlantic Puffins, seals, and even whales.
The downtown area of Bar Harbor is like something out of a fairy tale, with many cute restaurants, boutiques, and ice cream shops to keep the kids happy.
- New York City, NY
Every family must include New York City on any list of East Coast locations, am I right?
There are countless activities to do in New York, a city that is included on the bucket lists of the majority of people.
Broadway, Times Square, and Central Park are all must-see attractions.
The entire city is well connected by public transportation; strolling, using the train, or hiring a taxi are all simple, inexpensive ways to experience the city.
It’s a good idea to travel to New York during the holiday season because, with events like the Rockefeller Center tree lighting, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and stunning Christmas markets, to name a few, the entire city looks to have come straight out of a storybook.
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- Jersey Shore, NJ
From Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May in the south, Jersey Shore is peppered with a ton of stunning seaside villages.
The Jersey Shore is excellent for a family summer vacation because so many affordable, spacious vacation rentals are available.
The boardwalks’ amusement parks, games, and delectable food are just a few of the family-friendly activities available at Jersey Shore, all of which are great family vacation activities.
With so much to offer, taking the family to the “Shore” has become a tradition.
- Newport, RI
If seeing opulent properties attracts you and the family, Newport, Rhode Island, is “the” place to be. Newport is the location of the Vanderbilts’ summer villas.
After you tour the estates, continue along the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk to take in the breathtaking vistas.
Get on a helicopter and go on the surprisingly inexpensive Newport Helicopter Tour for even better vistas!
The cost of helicopter trips varies with how long they are; selections range from 12 to 35 minutes.
Check out the lively downtown area for many entertaining restaurants, boat cruises, shopping, and year-round festivals.
- Delaware Beaches, DE
One may find beautiful beaches all along Delaware’s coastline, which stretches from Lewes to the Maryland state line.
Families may find many family-friendly East Coast locations along this trail, from Cape Henlopen State Park to Bethany Beach to Fenwick Island.
Don’t forget to check out Dewey Beach for its laid-back atmosphere and Rehoboth Beach for its exciting boardwalk and rides, which are ideal for kids of all ages (including mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma!) and tweens and adolescents.
- Washington D.C
Free monuments and museums, like the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian, abound in Washington, D.C.
One of the most historically significant locations in the nation, you can combine fun and education for the kids here while also brushing up on your knowledge of the country’s history!
The city is a pink, peach, and white riot in the spring when tourists swarm here to enjoy the lovely cherry blossom season.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival, held in April in the city, is a beautiful excuse for a family trip to Washington, D.C.
- Boston, MA
Like Washington D.C., Boston is another fantastic destination that is very affordable. It has a wealth of free attractions as well as a fascinating history.
However, because of its smaller size, you can visit more sights in less time.
Take a stroll down the Freedom Trail to see Paul Revere’s House in the distance.
You can also inspire your youngster by taking them on a free campus tour of Harvard, the center of high-caliber education.
Don’t drive in Boston; it can be challenging to find your way around.
Take the city’s public transportation system, the “T,” instead.
Cheap, simple, and clean all add up to success!
- Cape Cod, MA
Cape Cod has long been regarded as the ideal summer vacation destination because it is only an hour and a half away from beautiful Massachusetts and two hours from busy Boston.
It’s all “relaxed, laid-back vibes only” at Cape Cod; visitors can enjoy the peaceful appeal of New England-styled coastlines like Chatham, Provincetown, and Hyannis, which are all filled with adorable beach cottages.
Don’t forget to stock up on the wildly popular Cape Cod Potato Chips while you’re there and enjoy ice cream at the legendary Four Seas, New England’s third-oldest ice cream shop.
- Annapolis, MD
This town is on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay and is home to the U.S. Naval Academy (which you would know if you’ve ever drooled over Tyrese Gibson and James Franco in “Annapolis”!).
The Sailing Capital of the United States, Annapolis, offers beautiful sunset cruises and more than enough mega yachts anchored in the marinas to satisfy any boating enthusiast. If your family enjoys sailing, Annapolis is a must-consider vacation destination.
Annapolis is one of the most exciting destinations to travel with kids because portions of the Naval Academy are also open for family tours.
- Ocean City, MD
You wouldn’t believe how much one can squeeze family-friendly activity into Ocean City, a 10-mile barrier island in Maryland.
Ocean City is brimming with things to do from the beach to the bay!
Play a round of mini-golf or tear up the track at a go-kart track. When one finishes that, check out the exciting boardwalk attractions or head to the beautiful beaches to soak up the glorious sun.
Finding lodging in Ocean City is not too difficult because of the city’s abundance of multi-bedroom condos, high-rise hotels, and some single-family homes (some of which are oceanfront).
- Williamsburg, VA
Walking into Williamsburg, one of the most historic places in the country is like entering a time tunnel and emerging in the 17th century!
Colonial Williamsburg, a 300-acre living history museum where people dress up and wander the streets in period costumes, is one of the area’s top attractions. You can also eat where George Washington once ate there!
Reward the kids with the thrilling roller coasters and water slides at Busch Gardens Williamsburg once they’ve had enough of the history lesson.
- Charleston, SC
Charming On the East Coast, weekend family excursions to Charleston are a great option because of its renowned Southern hospitality.
Teenagers will adore the abundance of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities nearby, while parents will love the city’s charm!
As well as the Joe Riley Waterfront Park, which you can visit if you want to take a stroll or a cruise around the port, Charleston is home to magnificent, opulent residences that make for excellent settings for getting likes on social media.
Visit a former prosperous plantation for a unique experience, or have the kids gasp wonder at the variety of marine life at the South Carolina Aquarium.
- Asheville, NC
Asheville, a well-liked mountain hideaway, once housed The Biltmore Estate, the biggest privately owned residence in the nation.
The Blue Ridge Mountains surround the estate, which is accessible to the public for tours.
If your family enjoys being active outside, from ziplining and hiking to kayaking on Lake Lure, you’ll adore the range of outdoor activities available.
The hub of activity in Asheville is downtown, where there are a ton of street performers, beautiful restaurants with even better food, and kid-friendly breweries.
- Savannah, GA
Savannah is an excellent option if you and your family want to strike a balance between being close to nature and enjoying city life.
There are 24 parks or squares in the City of Squares, where it derives its name.
Many moss-covered oak trees in Savannah form warm welcome arches; for Halloween, these oak trees transform into something entirely different.
There are a ton of ghost tours available during Halloween; teenagers will enjoy the thrills and chills of the excursions to the haunted plantations and cemeteries.
- Amelia Island, FL
Amelia Island, located in Florida’s northeastern corner, is renowned for its immaculate white sands and the Atlantic Ocean’s emerald-green seas.
Thirteen miles of beaches and a wide variety of outdoor activities are available to visitors at Amelia Island.
Families may enjoy boat tours, water sports, and kayaking on Amelia Island because it is a resort-barrier island. It is especially true in Fernandina Beach, a seaport town with a rich history dating back 200 years.
Families can also go horseback riding and bicycling or enjoy the beautiful beaches to the fullest!
- The Palm Beaches, FL
The Palm Beaches, a group of beaches in southeast Florida, are fantastic choices for an East Coast beach fam jam.
Visit the Flagler Museum, a Flagler’s estate turned museum, for a comprehensive look at Florida’s history. Henry Flagler built his renowned Palm Beach to Key West railroad in Palm Beach County.
Of course, visiting the Palm Beaches isn’t just for history buffs; you also want to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand!
There are numerous locations to enjoy both beaches sunbathing, and endless days of water activities on the Palm Beaches.
- Maine Coast, MA
With almost 3,500 miles of coastline, it should be no surprise that Maine is a well-liked beach destination.
The Maine Coast is dotted with charming seaside villages, each with unique charms, from Kittery to Bar Harbor.
Kennebunkport is home to several lovely inns and charming cottages, while Old Orchard Beach is a historic town with many classic attractions like rides and a pier.
Popular features of Casco Bay include its rugged shoreline, which has lighthouses dotted throughout, gorgeous restaurants and breweries, and of course, the company’s flagship store in Freeport.
- White Mountains, NH
For families that enjoy being outside and being active, White Mountains is a fantastic alternative to take into consideration.
Families visiting the White Mountains can go trekking, rock climbing, and play in Diana’s Baths waterfalls.
You can cross off two more bucket-list items by taking the Mount Washington Cog Railway or ascending in your car and earning a sticker.
In addition, families can take advantage of attractions like the seasonal shows and events at Flume Gorge, Santa’s Village, and Storyland amusement parks, as well as the Attitash Mountains.
- Green Mountains, VT
Green Vermont is a fantastic option for family vacations in the northeast because it can provide a relaxing or active getaway.
One of Vermont’s well-known mountain resorts is the perfect summer place. You may also spend hours relaxing on the shores of Lake Champlain.
Spend your days swimming and hiking, or opt for more laid-back pursuits like learning about Vermont’s culinary culture, sampling the state’s famous cheddar cheese, touring Ben & Jerry’s factories, or sipping craft beer at local breweries.
It’s also good to visit adjacent places like Manchester and Woodstock.
- Niagara Falls, NY
The days when honeymooners were the only visitors to Niagara Falls are long gone; now, the region is a booming family holiday destination.
You can visit our Canadian friends by crossing the border or stay on American soil and visit as many of the 22 breweries and wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail as possible.
The Niagara Gorge, the 11 New York State Parks, and the boat ride across the river are all enjoyable for “outdoors” families.
Aside from these, the family can also visit the Old Fort Niagara, the Niagara Aquarium, and the must-see Cave of the Winds.
- Clearwater Beach, FL
With its powder-soft sands and serene, crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach is the epitome of a beach paradise.
The scene is set for a full-blown family beach vacation when you combine this with the abundance of hotels and resorts!
Clearwater Beach’s family-friendly amenities, including dolphin tours, pirate ship adventures, sunset festivals, outdoor movie nights, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, are among its best features.
Make a day trip to Tampa or St. Petersburg to explore Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium. Tampa and St. Petersburg are nearby.
- Virginia Beach, VA
The 24-foot King Neptune monument that greets tourists to the area is perhaps Virginia Beach’s most recognizable feature, but it’s not the only thing the city has to offer.
Families should visit the Chesapeake Bay, which has long shorelines and beautiful waterways. Young children can play in the bay’s tranquil waters, while older children who are more daring can swim and surf in the Atlantic.
Ocean Breeze Water Park is excellent for family entertainment, with a lazy river, ten slides, a wave pool, and a reasonable entry fee.
With its abundance of parks, aquariums, and opportunities for whale- and dolphin-watching, Virginia Beach is also a fantastic choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Lake Lure, NC
Lake Lure offers a lot of exciting things to offer, plus gorgeous mountain vistas wherever you turn!
It’s essential to visit famous landmarks like Chimney Rock State Park, Lake Lure Flowering Bridge, and Chimney Rock Village, which also provides many food and retail options and lovely creekside strolls.
Check out the eight hiking routes at Chimney Rock if you enjoy trekking, especially the hike to the summit and the Hickory Nut Falls Trail for beautiful vistas.
The beach at Lake Lure Inn and Spa or a pontoon boat ride on Lake Lure are great places to relax.
- Hilton Head, SC
The picturesque town of Hilton Head provides:
- Countless bike routes.
- Plenty of equestrian riding.
- The chance to kayak around the rivers and marshes.
- Picnics at the Pinckney Nature Preserve.
It is full of gorgeous oak trees draped in soft Spanish moss.
There are some modern amenities as well; for example, you can play golf and eat in upscale establishments that provide a variety of cuisines.
You may find everything served up, from regional cuisine to mouthwatering barbecues to the catch of the day, all against the backdrop of the renowned Southern friendliness and charm.