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16 Best Family Resorts in the U.S That Everyone Will Love

Traveling with family offers both gratification and inherent challenges, resembling a complex puzzle where various personalities and preferences need to coexist harmoniously. Drawing from a decade of experience as a parent who frequently embarks on journeys, I’ve distilled my most valuable insights into family resorts in the U.S. First and foremost, flexibility is an absolute necessity, requiring a willingness to adjust, postpone, or even discard plans when someone in the group is feeling irritable, hungry, or simply too fatigued to soldier on. Second, irrespective of the destination, it’s imperative that everyone has the physical and metaphorical space to be themselves.

As I curated the list of exceptional properties below, it reaffirmed the significance of these principles, as each establishment, in its own distinctive way, fulfills these criteria. With summer just around the corner, I hope the following family resorts in the U.S. aid you in planning your upcoming family getaway, free of stormy disruptions.

Best U.S. Resorts for Families

When searching for exciting new family vacation ideas, why not kick off your journey by selecting a family resort that is an adventure in itself? After countless years of family getaways spanning the breadth and depth of the United States, here’s my compilation of the finest family resorts in the U.S., offering the ideal backdrop for your upcoming memorable family excursion.

1. The Hotel Hershey | Hershey, Pennsylvania 

The Hotel Hershey | Hershey, Pennsylvania

What sets The Hotel Hershey apart as one of the premier family resorts in the United States? This historic AAA Four Diamond hotel, dating back to the 1930s and nestled in the heart of “Chocolate Town USA,” holds the distinction of being one of the official resorts affiliated with Hersheypark. As a result, it showers guests with an array of exclusive benefits, including discounted park tickets, convenient shuttle services to the theme park, and extended park hours for resort guests. Families are in for a treat from the moment they arrive, with a dedicated check-in process for kids and a delightful chocolate greeting for all.

Even the hotel’s spa embraces its sweet side with treatments like cocoa-infused facials and massages. Hotel guests can extend their adventures to include a visit to the picturesque 23-acre Hershey Gardens, a journey through the history of the beloved chocolate bar at The Hershey Story museum, and take advantage of special pricing for a visit to the ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park.

2. Big Cedar Lodge | Ridgedale, Missouri

Big Cedar Lodge | Ridgedale, Missouri

Big Cedar Lodge provides a diverse selection of accommodations, ranging from private luxury cabins to family-friendly guest rooms. Dining options are equally varied, with choices to suit both younger and more discerning palates. Plus, the resort’s close proximity to Branson, a renowned vacation destination, allows for a seamless combination of your stay with live entertainment and visits to the Silver Dollar City theme park.

If you’re seeking a more rustic experience, explore Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge. Here, you can choose from unique accommodations such as shepherd’s huts, cozy camp cabins, and glamping tents. Camp Long Creek is just a short drive from the main lodge and is situated right on the picturesque shores of Table Rock Lake.

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3. The Winnetu Oceanside Resort | Edgartown, Massachusetts

The Winnetu Oceanside Resort | Edgartown, Massachusetts

Embarking on a family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard is a true bucket-list adventure, and this resort is the ultimate place to call home during your stay. During the summer, you can savor the quintessential experience of a clambake, and afterward, follow a private path leading you to the idyllic South Beach, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the sandy shores. One not-to-be-missed highlight is a water taxi ride across Katama Bay, which drops you off in the charming heart of downtown Edgartown. Here, you can explore a variety of shops to find souvenirs, indulge in delicious snacks, and savor delectable sweets, making your Martha’s Vineyard family getaway truly unforgettable.

4. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa | Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa | Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani is a haven for multigenerational travel, offering spacious villas capable of accommodating up to 12 guests. Nestled along the beautiful Ko Olina waterfront, its location is simply spectacular. Here, you can immerse yourself in the crystal-clear Hawaiian waters, either by snorkeling in the ocean or within the resort’s private lagoon. Families can enjoy the Keiki Cove Splash Zone, and for a more leisurely adventure, there’s the Waikolohe Stream, Aulani’s tropical take on a lazy river. You can float along in inner tubes, explore cool caverns, and relish spots with rushing water. After all the fun, indulge in a Mickey-shaped Spam musubi, a delightful fusion of Disney magic and Hawaiian flavors.

5. South Seas Island Resort | Captiva, Florida

South Seas Island Resort | Captiva, Florida

South Seas Island Resort, while currently in the midst of extensive renovations following damage caused by Hurricane Ian, is set to welcome guests once again later this year. Guests can look forward to a range of accommodation options, including hotel rooms and spacious multi-room condos. What’s even more exciting are the brand-new amenities the resort has in store. These additions include a sparkling pool for relaxation and a 12-hole short golf course for recreation. The resort also plans to reimagine its cherished candy shop and the casual beachside eatery, offering guests a refreshed and enjoyable experience.

6. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort | Vero Beach, Florida

Disney's Vero Beach Resort | Vero Beach, Florida

Vero Beach, a beloved destination for golfers, water-sport enthusiasts, and fishing aficionados on Florida’s Atlantic coast, becomes an even more delightful family vacation spot when you stay at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. The resort offers direct access to pristine sandy beaches just steps away, and it features a massive pool complete with a thrilling two-story, pirate-themed water slide that kids adore. For those looking for more entertainment, there’s a convenient on-site 9-hole mini golf course. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to book a loggerhead turtle conservation outing, making this resort an ideal choice for families seeking a mix of beachfront fun and educational adventures.

7. Under Canvas Moab |  Moab, Utah

Under Canvas Moab |  Moab, Utah

Nestled just seven miles from the remarkable Arches National Park, this Under Canvas location offers a unique and winning experience for families. The safari-inspired accommodations provide a touch of luxury with West Elm furnishings, private bathrooms, and the convenience of communal grills. Additionally, guests have access to a welcoming lobby tent stocked with grab-and-go snacks. For adventurous families, there are opportunities to book guided hiking, rafting, and canyoneering excursions, adding an extra layer of excitement to the stay. Keep in mind that this is a seasonal property, typically open from late winter to mid-fall, making it an ideal choice for enjoying the great outdoors during that time.

8. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel |  Anaheim, California

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel |  Anaheim, California

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa is a remarkable tribute to American parkitecture design, seamlessly blending rustic charm with luxury. The grand lodge-like lobby, often accompanied by a pianist playing Disney melodies, creates a welcoming atmosphere. Beyond its charming interior, the hotel offers convenient access to Disneyland Resort parks, a true delight for overnight guests. The pool deck is a family haven, boasting three pools and a thrilling 90-foot water slide cleverly wrapped around a faux redwood tree stump, ensuring endless entertainment for kids of all ages. Parents can indulge as well, sipping cocktails from the poolside GCH Craftsman Bar, making it a perfect destination for the entire family.

9. Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort | Oahu, Hawaii

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort | Oahu, Hawaii

Nestled along the pristine shores of Waikiki Beach and conveniently adjacent to Ala Moana and Fort DeRussy beaches, the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort offers an ideal location for families seeking to discover the finest sandy expanses in this bustling island district. Opt for a room with a captivating view of Diamond Head, the iconic and hike-worthy volcanic crater just a stone’s throw away. Make sure not to overlook the enchanting evenings featuring live Hawaiian music performed by local artists, or the chance to partake in a wood-carving session guided by a master craftsman. This resort promises a truly immersive Hawaiian experience for the whole family to relish.

10. Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

In the heart of upstate New York’s Lake Placid, Whiteface Lodge beckons with its expansive six-million-acre backyard of Adirondack forest. This luxury lodge offers a year-round haven for guests. During the warmer months, you can explore the wilderness through hiking, boating, biking, and rock climbing. As winter blankets the landscape, the lodge transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering a plethora of snow sports, from downhill skiing to dog sledding and toboggan-chute rides. For those seeking tranquility, there’s a serene catch-and-release fishing pond on-site. Additionally, film enthusiasts can enjoy daily screenings in the lodge’s 56-seat movie theater. Whiteface Lodge promises an unforgettable escape for all seasons.

11. French Lick Resort | French Lick, Indiana

French Lick Resort | French Lick, Indiana

French Lick Resort is a self-contained haven of leisure, boasting two iconic historic hotels, a modern accommodations tower, and a plethora of outdoor activities ranging from golf to horseback riding. Designed with families in mind, the resort offers a dedicated activities center where children can engage in creative crafts and entertaining games. Special events abound, with evenings featuring movies under the starry sky, lively pool parties, and captivating circus performances. This world-class destination ensures that both adults and kids have a memorable and enjoyable stay.

12. Alisal Ranch | Solvang, California

Alisal Ranch | Solvang, California

At Alisal Ranch, horseback riding takes the spotlight, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to family-friendly activities. This Western-style retreat offers a range of accommodations, from cozy studios for three to spacious houses that can comfortably host up to 12 guests. Beyond horseback adventures, families can delve into a world of excitement with opportunities for fishing, invigorating hikes, encounters at the petting zoo, navigating challenging ropes courses, and attending thrilling rodeo shows. What’s even better, the standard nightly rate covers several of these activities as well as daily breakfast and dinner, making it a value-packed escape for all.

13. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa | Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa | Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa draws inspiration from the values of togetherness, the art of storytelling, and the importance of family, providing a warm and inviting haven in the picturesque Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, mere minutes away from the renowned theme park. The resort boasts an array of amenities tailored for family enjoyment, such as an interactive splash pad, a zero-entry pool, and convenient door-to-door transportation to the park. To add a touch of Dolly Parton’s charm, you’ll find delightful Dolly-themed accents sprinkled throughout the resort, making it an even more memorable and heartwarming retreat.

14. Mohonk Mountain House | New Paltz, New York

Mohonk Mountain House | New Paltz, New York

Embarking on a dreamy vacation begins with a castle stay at the all-inclusive Mohonk Mountain House in the scenic Hudson Valley. Here, the enchantment goes beyond mere accommodation. Inclusive rates cover a plethora of outdoor activities, ensuring that adventure and exploration are on the family agenda. The Kids Club provides young travelers with exciting experiences, while buffet-style dining caters to various tastes, making it the perfect destination for families seeking a well-rounded and delightful escape in this picturesque valley.

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15. Grand Hotel | Mackinac Island, Michigan

Grand Hotel | Mackinac Island, Michigan

For over a century, Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel has been a cherished Midwest getaway, celebrated for its iconic world’s longest front porch and breathtaking views of the Straits of Mackinac. With a diverse selection of more than 300 guest rooms, including spacious multi-room suites, families can revel in ample space to unwind. Tailored packages, encompassing full or partial meal plans, offer flexibility to match your family’s size and length of stay, ensuring the best value for your vacation.

The Grand Hotel is a hub of family-friendly activities, inviting you to explore the island through biking, engage in friendly lawn games, cool off with a swim, and embark on horseback rides and carriage tours departing from the hotel stables. The recently refurbished Esther Williams swimming pool and its surroundings now feature an all-new family-oriented section, complete with a zero-depth beach entry, a playful water jet area, and an exhilarating water slide. Your family’s summer escape awaits on Mackinac Island.

16. Kingsmill Resort | Williamsburg, Virginia

Kingsmill Resort | Williamsburg, Virginia

Nestled on 2,900 acres of picturesque landscapes along the banks of the James River, Kingsmill Resort is a haven for families seeking an array of outdoor adventures combined with the comforts of home. Whether you’re unwinding in the Lazy River Pool, teeing off on one of three championship golf courses, or partaking in hiking, biking, and watersports at the marina, there’s no shortage of outdoor excitement.

This AAA Four Diamond resort boasts a variety of dining options and a range of accommodations, from guest rooms to spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos complete with fully-equipped kitchens, catering to diverse family sizes and multigenerational getaways. As your home away from home, Kingsmill Resort serves as an ideal launchpad for exploring nearby attractions like Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and the thrilling Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Bottom Line (Family Resorts in the U.S)

Selecting the perfect family-friendly resort for your next vacation is no easy feat, but this list of the 16 best family resorts in the U.S. is designed to make your decision a whole lot simpler. From theme park extravaganzas to beachfront paradises and mountain retreats, these resorts cater to every type of family and guarantee an unforgettable, stress-free getaway. With amenities and activities for all ages, flexible accommodations, and a focus on fun, these destinations ensure that everyone in the family will create cherished memories.

FAQs

How can I choose the right family-friendly resort from this list?

Consider the interests and preferences of your family members, whether it’s beach activities, theme parks, outdoor adventures, or relaxation. Look for resorts that offer suitable amenities and activities for your family’s needs.

What should I pack for a family vacation at one of these resorts?

Packing essentials include comfortable clothing, swimwear, sunscreen, and any specific items needed for the activities at the resort. Don’t forget essentials for kids like diapers, strollers, and favorite toys.

Are these resorts budget-friendly for families?

While the cost may vary from one resort to another, many offer packages and deals for families, including discounted rates for children or all-inclusive options to help manage costs.

How can I make the most of our family vacation at one of these resorts?

Plan ahead and make a list of activities and attractions you want to experience. Take advantage of on-site childcare services if available to have some adult time. Be flexible with your schedule to accommodate everyone’s needs and interests.

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