Aug 26, 2021 02:36 PM EDT
The Most Family-Friendly Travel Destinations in the U.S. South
Whether you're daydreaming about next summer or you're actively planning a family trip, the American south has some great options.
We've compiled some of the region's very best options, many of which are inexpensive as well as being perfect for all families.
Branson is a little bit south and also a little Midwest.
Branson is known for its family-friendly dinner and entertainment shows, but there's much more to the area than live entertainment. The Ozarks region where Branson is located has a lot of scenic beauty, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from.
Branson is on the southern border of Missouri, close to northwest Arkansas.
The culture is very much centered on warm hospitality, and you'll find that people are friendly and talkative.
There are many hotels and resorts, and also campgrounds and RV parks, and if you like outdoor beauty, you might opt to camp on the shores of Table Rock Lake.
Branson is known as the Live Music Show Capital of the world, with more than 150 productions to choose from at any given time. The shows often have themes including comedy, country, variety, family bands, magic, and gospel.
There are interactive museums, mini-golf, and then there's the ever-popular Silver Dollar City theme park, built around the concept of an 1880s mining town.
Williamsburg, Virginia is known best for Colonial Williamsburg, which will transport you back to the 18th-century. This is the world's largest living history museum.
There are two art museums and more than 40 sites and trades. Your kids can fully immerse themselves in what life was like during this time.
You can also go to the Raleigh Tavern or see the Revealing the Priceless exhibition, which shows the efforts of the 18th century enslaved women, men and children.
The American Revolutionary Museum at Yorktown helps you connect with the people who were subjects of a king and then who eventually helped build a nation. Almost all the attractions are interactive.
Yet another historic site is Jamestowne. This is where your family can speak with archeologists who excavated on the site, where the first permanent colony in America was found. There's also the Jamestowne Settlement, where you can climb onto replicas of three ships that made the voyage from England in 1607.
It's not all history in Williamsburg. If you want to have some adventurous fun, there are Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.
Tybee Island, Georgia
Tybee Island is a Georgia barrier island that's been a vacation spot since the 1800s. Tybee Island is just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah. Tybee has more than three miles of expansive, sandy shoreline and five beaches to take your pick from.
There are many restaurants, including options that are directly on the sand, and many of which have outdoor patios.
Tybee Island Marine Science Center is on North Beach, and it features touch tanks, classes, and exhibits.
You should also make time to drive to Savannah, which features some of the most stunning historic homes in the country. You can walk down River Street and take in the beautiful trees that shroud the city's squares in mystery.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston should be on everyone's travel bucket list, and it's a great family destination. Charleston has something for everyone. The downtown area has beautiful homes, great restaurants, and sprawling parks. The architectural and cultural scenes in Charleston are like nowhere else in the world.
It's easy to get around the city, and there are fantastic museums like The Charleston Museum and the South Carolina Aquarium that will appeal to all ages.
While you're there, consider a visit to the Fort Sumter National Monument, and if the Charleston City Market is a little too crowded for your liking, think about the Charleston Farmers Market instead, which is on Marion Square on Saturdays.
Barrier islands surrounding Charleston including Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island, both of which are around 20 minutes by car from downtown. There's also Kiawah Island, which is more high-end and is about a 30-minute drive away.
Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is tranquil and unspoiled, making it a wonderful family-friendly getaway. Around 30 miles from Jacksonville, Amelia Island has beaches with golden sand, where you can ride horses along the shoreline.
It's a barrier island off Florida's northeast coast, and it's very different from South Florida or maybe what you think of when you think Florida in general.
Fernandina Beach has excellent restaurants, and if you're looking for a place to stay, consider the hotels on American Beach. If you want something family-friendly and high-end, there's a Ritz Carlton, and there's also an Omni resort with many amenities.
Houston is a major U.S. city, but it can also make for a good family-friendly travel destination.
If you want to explore some of the city's top destinations and save money, you might buy the Houston CityPass. The CityPass offers access to museums and attractions at a fraction of the cost, including Space Center Houston, the Houston Zoo, the Children's Museum, and the Downtown Aquarium.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the most visited in the country, featuring a paleontology hall, a planetarium, and a 3D IMAX theater. There's also a lovely butterfly exhibit.
The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a 155-acre wooded retreat in the center of Houston, with five miles of nature trails and workshops to learn about plants and wildlife.
SplashTown is a large waterpark spanning 40 acres and featuring the Stingray Racer thrill ride.
Buffalo Bayou is a 52-mile trail for biking and walking.
Day trips from Houston include Moody Gardens on Galveston Island, and the Schlitterbahn Water Park, also on Galveston Island. It features climate-controlled rivers, pools and slides.
You might even opt to stay near Galveston for the beaches and then make your way into Houston for a day trip, rather than doing it the other way around.
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