Family Travel Destinations that are Often Overlooked

Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles are a few of the popular travel destinations that people choose every year, but the world is filled with many other cities that are perfect for family vacations.  Anyone who is trying to plan their next vacation will want to consider going to a place that is slightly off of the beaten path.

Family Travel Destinations that are Often Overlooked

Here are 5 family travel destinations that are often overlooked:

  1. Boise, Idaho

Yes, everyone thinks of potatoes when they hear Idaho, but Boise is much more than potatoes.  Boise is filled with art, culture, sports, and numerous outdoor activities.  The River Greenbelt is a twenty-five-mile park that follows the river throughout the city.  Families will enjoy walking in nature and stopping to eat a picnic lunch or snack by the river.  Adults and older children will be interested in visiting the Old Idaho Penitentiary which was built in 1872 and held prisoners until 1973.  During a tour of the prison, everyone will see the cell blocks, solitary confinement, and the gallows.

  1. Traverse City, Michigan

Peace and quiet are plentiful in this sleepy little seaside town, so it is the perfect place for a relaxing yet adventurous vacation.  There are plenty of nature trails throughout the town and people can never get enough of them.  The majority of the activities that take place in Traverse City are on the waterfront, so everyone has spectacular views and the breeze from the water to enjoy.  The busiest time of the year for this town is in July when they hold the National Cherry Festival.  There are parades, races, and lots of food.  Dining and shopping can be a lot of fun at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons since the stores and restaurants are located in an old asylum.

  1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Most families head to Nashville and Memphis when they decide to go to Tennessee and they always miss out on the small-town charm of Gatlinburg.  This Appalachian town is perfect for families who like to spend time outside in the mountains, but also want be close enough to some major attractions.  The best way to experience the Smoky Mountains is to drive along Route 441 and make stops during the trip.  When the entire family needs something more than the mountains, they can venture over to Dollywood for a fun-filled day of rides and shows.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

  1. Bethel, Maine

Towns do not get much smaller than Bethel in Maine.  People can walk the entire length of the center of town in a couple of minutes, but the adventures they can have while there are much grander.  While there are many hiking trails scattered around the town, many people choose to drive along the scenic route of Grafton Notch and stop at the trails located on the route.  A couple of the popular ones are Screw Auger Falls, Moose Cave, and Mother Walker Falls.  Once a person has successfully hiked one of these trails, they can then brag to their friends that they hiked the Appalachian Trail.

  1. Islamorada, Florida

Islamorada is similar to Key West, but without the millions of people and craziness.  This town is filled with art galleries, culture, water sports, and entertaining nightlife.  The beach is a well-loved destination during the day and most people love kayaking, fishing, and swimming in the water.  Morada Bay is where everyone wants to be each month when there is a full moon, because they have the best Full Moon Parties complete with live music, dancing, and bonfires.

These five places are perfect for families who want to have a great vacation without going to a regular tourist destination.  They all have attractions and activities that are unique and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.



  1. Shelley N says

    Although good options it would be great to feature non-US ones especially given the issues that many people are having at the border. I personally do not want to spend the premium on the U.S. dollar and right now there are many other reasons that I do not want to go there.. There are tons of amazing places in Ontario -Thousand Islands/Kingston area, Ottawa, London is fun with kids since Port Stanley is near by and London has a lot to do. Kitchener/Waterloo area, Niagara region, Hamilton/Burlington . If you are looking for beaches then there are plenty of great options on Lake Erie as well as Kawartha lakes, Haliburton, Muskoka, Lake simcoe, Grand Bend, Wasaga Beach etc etc . There are plenty of lower cost housekeeping cottages around the province so you do not have to spend a fortune.

  2. Tennessee is an absolutely gorgeous state, and I’m not at all bias because my husband is from there 😉 We love doing road trips through the USA, because there is so much to explore. Maine is another favourite state too!

  3. Since I live on the border we do a lot of US travel and I have to say Idaho is pretty awesome. My favorite state is Wyoming but there is still so much to explore. I’d love to visit Tennessee and Maine one day.

  4. We live less than an hour from the Canada/US border and love to mvisit when we have the opportunity. These all sound like great destinations and have pinned your post for future reference!

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