From charming, historic little towns to scenic mountain ranges, these family friendly escapes capture the essence of America’s best from coast to coast.
For Foodie Families
Charleston, South Carolina
Adventures abound in this charming city by the sea. Step back in time and stroll the cobblestoned, multi-coloured streets of this historic Southern city. From historic , museums, and sharing the stories of patriots and to , a relaxing beachside, and 120 public parks, Charleston is attractive for adults and children of all ages. What’s more, it’s one of America’s top dining destinations. That Southern charm and hospitality paired with modern takes on low-country dishes, fresh seafood, and gin joints galore, make for unforgettable (and delicious) dining experiences.
Auto body shop turned foodie favourite, on historic King Street, is an upscale dive (and very kid-friendly) joint serving up decadent fried chicken, fresh oysters, hearty salads, foreign and American beer, soft-serve ice cream, rose wine on tap, and more. Owned by the same restaurant group, and are also among the must-try spots here. Gobble up elevated Southern food and farm-fresh seasonal fare at FiG (Food is Good). Located in a former bank, local hotspot The Ordinary is actually extraordinary, serving up the freshest seafood around including a robust raw bar with local oysters, shrimp, and clams. For more elevated takes on Southern food, head to James Beard Award winning and indulge in dishes like the Carolina gold crab rice and southern-fried chicken skins with pimento cheese “ranch” and scallions.
is an ideal home base for your culinary (and other) adventures. With a 30,000-square-foot tropical pool deck, waterfront Tiki Bar, a fun and educational children’s program, and an impressive lineup of water activities, you and your family will find both relaxing refuge and utter fun here. Downtown Charleston is only a water taxi away. For local tasty treat discovery head to , held weekly in Marion Square and enjoy fresh food and live music.
The bucolic setting of Stowe – consisting of rolling hills and picture-perfect blue skies – offers the most incredible surrounds for family fun. Whilst considered a top US winter-ski destination, Stowe is just as (if not more) lovely in the summer months. Summer activities like hiking, swimming, biking, and mountain town exploring can build up quite an appetite. The ever-so-charming Trapp Family Lodge offers world-class, farm-to-table dining in a casual and quaint setting. They also have a slew of scheduled activities featuring wine tastings, culinary lessons and more, to enjoy “a little of Austria…a lot of Vermont.”
Just up the road you’ll find the luxurious Spruce Peak, an elevated slope-side community, at the base of Stowe’s iconic Mount Mansfield. Families can enjoy concert series, a robust lineup of fitness and recreational activities, or even partake in lazy days lounging at the pool and pampering at the spa. Perhaps their most iconic summer event is for the culinary-minded: A Taste of New England, where the region’s best chefs come together for a food and wine celebration.
For the Art Aficionados
While Miami has been a longtime destination for art lovers during the city’s annual Art Basel and Miami Art Week celebrations, Miami is an art mecca year-round. Whilst most museums in the area are family friendly, here are some highlights for you and the kiddos to have some fun in the sun and get your culture fix. Contemporary art museum, The Bass, on Miami Beach, is among the most kid-friendly. Feed your budding art connoisseurs and borrow an ‘explorer kit’ and an ‘activity guide’ from the front desk, which are filled with fun, interactive visual aids and activities to help your child explore the museum on an entirely new level. The graffiti-filled Wynwood neighbourhood is another family approved exploration point, with awesome attractions including Wynwood Walls and The Museum of Graffiti, the world’s only museum dedicated exclusively to graffiti art.
Stay at the retro-chic beachfront Confidante Hotel, with a colourful pool scene and playful, ‘Backyard’ filled with giant games for the entire family to enjoy. The hotel also has a fabulous rotating artistic residency programme, where guests can view exclusive exhibitions from global artists. Next up is Hispanic-American visual artist and muralist, Muta Santiago.
Des Moines, Iowa
A regular on several ‘best places to raise a family’ lists, Des Moines is certainly a worthy family vacation spot. From a globally recognised State Fair in August, to a budding art scene, this laidback Midwestern capital is a prime spot for art-loving families. The centre of your cultural escape should be the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. With over 30 works of open-air artworks, and plenty of room for the little ones to run around, this stunning park makes art easy and fun to consume for kids of all ages. The Park’s nearby parent institution, the Des Moines Art Center features everything from 19th-century Impressionism to the best of today’s international contemporary art. Opened in 1948, and housed in a gorgeous Art-Deco style edifice, the museum also has an impressive permanent collection with pieces from legendary artists like Rodin and Matisse.
Stay at the urban-chic Surety Hotel which brings artists from all over Des Moines together throughout the hotel experience – from art on guest room walls to pottery in the hotel’s Mulberry Street Tavern. In the summer months, the hotel’s Courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy shareable bar bites, craft cocktail, and live music.
For Nature Lovers
Glacier National Park, Montana
Time spent in nature can be calming and rejuvenating, so for families looking to escape the city and head to the great outdoors, make your escape to Montana’s Glacier National Park. Established as a National Park in 1910, this national treasure consists of 1,600 square miles of mountain ranges carved by prehistoric ice rivers, deep forests, waterfalls, glistening glaciers, and sparkling lakes. Completely unspoiled by man, the area’s vistas are absolutely breathtaking.
So remote, the area isn’t exactly bursting with luxury hotels and resorts but Meadow Lake Resort, located in Montana’s majestic Flathead Valley offers upscale lodging and loads of family fun, about a 25-minute drive from Glacier National Park. When not exploring Glacier, the resort offers hiking, rafting, watersports, and an 18-hole championship golf course.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Hot springs, horseback riding, paragliding, fly-fishing, water rafting, and extreme kayaking await you and your family in Jackson Hole. Just at the base of the mighty Teton Mountain Range, Jackson Hole offers a taste of the wild, wild west via outdoorsy activities like hiking in the Grand Teton National Park, soaking up the Yellowstone hot springs, or taking a visit to the National Elk Refuge. This July through August, visitors can also enjoy live music in the great outdoors thanks to the Grand Teton Music Festival, now in its 61st season and offering orchestral, chamber, and solo performances of primarily classical music.
Book your family’s rustic stay at charming vacation rental, Abode at Skyline. A delightful retreat set amongst verdant trees and hills, the property is comfortably cosy, with amber-hued wooden beams, rich pickled-wood floors, underfloor hydronic heating, and beautiful metalwork. For an über-luxurious, five-star experience, check out The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole. Surrounded by incredible wildlife in nearby Grand Teton national Park and set inside a verdant mountain valley, this chic resort offers the best nature has to offer with luxury amenities, lodging, recreation, and dining. Parents in need of R&R can take refuge in the property’s 11,685-square-foot, 11-room spa. The signature treatment, Après Ritual ($440, 100 minutes) is ideal post-adventure – start with champagne in an oversized tub, followed by a customised arnica massage.