12 Perfect Family Vacation Spots

Colonial WilliamsburgTrolley ride through San Francisco, CaliforniaGaudi's art in Barcelona, SpainSeaWorld San DiegoNiagara Falls

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

Make Central Park your backyard when you take a trip to New York City.

— Songquan Deng/Dreamstime

Everyone in Colonial Williamsburg likes to play dress-up, and visitors are no exception.

— Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime

Take your kids back to the 1700s with a trip to Colonial Williamsburg in Virgina.

— Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime

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

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

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

Kids will be amazed to see iconic sites like Big Ben in person during a trip to London.

— Kmiragaya/Dreamstime

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

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

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

Rent bicycles for the whole family when you are in Berlin, which has 400 miles of designated bike lanes.

— Fallostupido/Dreamstime

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

Philadelphia has museums and tours that will appeal to kids of all ages.

— Sean Pavone/Dreamstime

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

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

Families visiting Barcelona for the first time often report that the city has a fairytale, made-for-children quality about it.

— Costin Rotaru/Dreamstime

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

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

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

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

— Photoquest/Dreamstime

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

Wanna-be swashbucklers will love a pirate-themed trip to St. Augustine, Florida.

— Paul Brennan/Dreamstime

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

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

Related Content