FAMILY TRAVEL IDEAS

Photos: 12 Perfect Family Vacation Spots

Wondering where to take the kids this summer? Here are 12 great destinations to consider.

  1. New York's American Museum of Natural History is a magnet for kids, with its iconic "dinosaurs in the attic"—featuring some of the world's best reconstructed dinosaur skeletons.

    (Jorg Hackemann/Dreamstime)
  2. Make Central Park your backyard when you take a trip to New York City.

    (Songquan Deng/Dreamstime)
  3. Everyone in Colonial Williamsburg likes to play dress-up, and visitors are no exception.

    (Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime)
  4. Take your kids back to the 1700s with a trip to Colonial Williamsburg in Virgina.

    (Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime)
  5. Go straight to the history-packed National Mall in Washington, D.C. to see the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol building, and the Washington Monument.

    (Songquan Deng/Dreamstime)
  6. Book in advance if you want to take one of the popular tours of the U.S. Capitol, offered Monday through Saturday.

    (Elena Yakusheva/Dreamstime)
  7. Thanks to literature and film (think Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan, and a certain young wizard), American kids already associate London with mystery and discovery.

    (Thomas Ramsauer/Dreamstime)
  8. Kids will be amazed to see iconic sites like Big Ben in person during a trip to London.

    (Kmiragaya/Dreamstime)
  9. Boston is the epicenter of America's Colonial history. Who needs a social studies book when the Freedom Trail lets you learn about Colonial history as you walk in its footprints?

    (Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime)
  10. Even die-hard Yankees fans have to admit that visiting Fenway Park, Major League Baseball's oldest stadium, is an exercise in Americanism.

    (Americanspirit/Dreamstime)
  11. While Berlin may not spring to mind as a must-see for families with children, the German capital has become one of the best places on the continent to have—and be—a kid.

    (Alex Zarubin/Dreamstime)
  12. Rent bicycles for the whole family when you are in Berlin, which has 400 miles of designated bike lanes.

    (Fallostupido/Dreamstime)
  13. Take one of the excellent ranger-led tours of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted.

    (Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime)
  14. Philadelphia has museums and tours that will appeal to kids of all ages.

    (Sean Pavone/Dreamstime)
  15. San Francisco's California Academy of Science is more like a combo zoo, museum, and classroom, including a planetarium, aquarium, and natural history exhibits such as dinosaurs.

    (Rramirez125/Dreamstime)
  16. Shiv collections and cramped jail cells don't exactly sound kid-friendly, but they offer a glimpse into Alcatraz, America's most notorious island prison—and the National Park Service is all for bringing younger ones for a visit.

    (Jeff Whyte/Dreamstime)
  17. Families visiting Barcelona for the first time often report that the city has a fairytale, made-for-children quality about it.

    (Costin Rotaru/Dreamstime)
  18. Head to Museu Picasso, in Barcelona's La Ribera neighborhood, to learn how the master's famous Blue Period came about during his stay here in the early 1900s.

    (MaxiSports/Dreamstime)
  19. With more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing 800-plus species and subspecies, the San Diego Zoo is one of the most diverse in America.

    (Joshua Daniels/Dreamstime)
  20. SeaWorld San Diego allows kids to have a Dolphin Interaction, Shark Encounter, splash along one of its many thrill rides, and of course take in one of the park's legendary sea mammal shows.

    (Sprokop/Dreamstime)
  21. Sure, your grandparents honeymooned there, but the majestic Niagara Falls straddling the U.S.-Canada border are worth a 21st-century trip.

    (Photoquest/Dreamstime)
  22. When in Niagara Falls, sign up for the Cave of the Winds tour, which begins after you change into a complimentary yellow poncho and sandals (trust us, you'll need 'em).

    (Tigerbarb/Dreamstime)
  23. Wanna-be swashbucklers will love a pirate-themed trip to St. Augustine, Florida.

    (Paul Brennan/Dreamstime)
  24. St. Augustine's historic district, founded in 1565, is built around a central plaza that is the oldest public park in the U.S.

    (Francocogoli/Dreamstime)

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