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10 Best Places to Travel in the US with a Baby or Toddler

10 Best Places to Travel in the US with a Baby or Toddler

Having spent plenty of time moving and traveling around the US with my family right from when my two boys were babies, I know how stressful planning a vacation with your little ones can be, especially if you don’t know where to go. 

So to help make that decision a little bit easier, I created this post to shortlist some of the best places to travel with a baby or toddler in the US. I’ve covered many different destinations all over the country so you can easily find something to suit the interests and needs of the whole family. 

Obviously, when you plan on traveling with kids in the US you might need to either bring your car seat or rent it, because apart from NYC you will have to drive around.

1. Utah – Anywhere

Toddler in a straw hat standing in front of the iconic Balanced Rock at Arches National Park, a must-visit place in the US with a baby

Utah is honestly designed for families with many kids, as Utahns have many kids, and it’s one of the most welcoming places in the US.

Not only are there plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Salt Lake City, but Utah’s dramatic landscape and many accessible national parks make it a great place to travel with a baby or toddler. 

You can easily go skiing in the winter or visit ice castles, basing yourself in Salt Lake City or Park City.

The best way to explore the state is by embarking on an epic road trip with your family stopping at Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, and Arches National Park, all of which have easy paved walking trails suitable for strollers

Make sure not to miss the Dinosaur National Monument on your way which is sure to be a highlight for your little ones!  

2. Sedona, AZ

If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination in the US that has a little bit of everything including history, culture, and outdoors, Sedona, Arizona might be exactly what you’re looking for. 

There are plenty of unique day trips from Sedona that will allow you to experience something new every day but some of my picks for anyone with a toddler or baby would be the Verde Canyon Railroad, Red Rock Jeep Adventure, Slide Rock State Park and you certainly can’t miss the best family favorite; Out of Africa Wildlife Zoo.

Back in town, your kids will love the Wild West feel so make sure to eat a meal at Cowboy Club and take a trip to Blazin’ M Ranch for the full experience.

3. San Diego, CA

People strolling along a scenic coastal path with lush greenery on one side and the ocean on the other, ideal for traveling in the US with a baby.

The world-famous San Diego Zoo, Zoo Safari Park, and Birch Aquarium are reasons alone to visit San Diego with your family, but the city has so much more to offer you and your youngsters. 

Sesame Place is another big hit with toddlers and this Sesame Street-themed water park is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. 

But if you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, make sure to add La Jolla Beach to your San Diego itinerary for a nice day out for the whole family. 

4. New York City

Surprised? Many people don’t think New York City can be kid-friendly, but it’s a lovely place to explore with little ones because there’s just so much to do!

From strolls around Central Park, visiting multiple exhibits for kids, window shopping at Fao Schwarz, to even seeing the skyscrapers won’t disappoint.

You can take the kids to a Broadway show and eat food from literally any world cuisine. Plus, there are plenty of incredible family hotels for you to choose from.  

5. Outer Banks, NC

Seaside vacations are another classic family favorite for all ages, and the Outer Banks in North Carolina are no exception. 

Aside from spending many hours playing with sand and bathing in the ocean, the area boasts several great family-friendly attractions such as the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, H2OBX Water Park, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, and the fun playgrounds in  Elizabethan Gardens.

You can even take a dolphin tour or find beautiful wild horses at Carova Beach if you have a 4×4 and are up for a family adventure!

6. Charleston, SC

Full of history and culture with great weather and an easy-to-navigate center, Charleston is another great place to vacation with your baby or toddler if you are looking for somewhere a little more laid back while still having plenty to do. 

The Charleston Museum should be at the top of your list. Aside from the megalodon jawbone on display in the Natural History Gallery, the Kidstory exhibit is always a hit as youngsters can get hands-on with an art project while learning about the city’s history. The Museum also provides great family programs specifically for toddlers!

If you’re looking for more toddler and baby-friendly attractions, make sure to check out the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, the North Charleston Fire Museum, and the Dock Street Theatre. 

7. White Mountains, New Hampshire 

Wooden walkway passing through a stunning rocky gorge with a stream, a picturesque spot for family travel in the US.

With its quaint towns, picturesque viewpoints, and plenty of things to do, the White Mountains is the perfect getaway for anyone who likes a good amount of time in nature mixed with plenty of relaxation in a cozy holiday home. 

The great thing about the White Mountains is that there are multiple scenic drives like the Kancamagus Highway which boasts countless viewpoints that allow you to simply step out of the car and admire your surroundings with minimal effort.  

Don’t miss a trip to the top of Mount Washington via car or cog railway, visit the bears at Clark’s Trading Post, and the chance to eat at Polly’s Pancake Parlor for the best family trip possible! 

8. Legoland

Family enjoying a boat ride with toddlers, exemplifying fun travel activities in the US for young children.

I think that Legoland is the best theme park for kids in Florida (yes, it’s more fun than Disney due to zero lines or having to constantly check the app to book your spot in lines). There are actually 3 locations in the US (California, Florida, and New York) so you can visit whichever one is most convenient for you. 

Legoland is much quieter than Disney making for a more relaxed trip for the whole family. With short wait times and a smaller space, little ones are less likely to be overwhelmed, and as parents, you won’t have to stress about making it to reservations on time, it’s a win-win in my book! 

Plus, I’ve found that most kids will love Legoland, even if they haven’t started playing with Legos themselves yet

9. Glacier National Park, MT

For any outdoorsy families looking for an easy getaway with a huge payoff, the beautiful Glacier National Park is one of the best things to do in Montana with little ones. 

There are plenty of easy hikes in Glacier National Park with extremely rewarding views and some walks that you can even do with your stroller. Plus, the Going-to-the-Sun Road which crosses directly through the middle of the park offers stunning viewpoints right on the side of the road. Expect to see super clear blue lakes, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, and more. 

Before you begin your trip, make sure to pick up a Junior Ranger Packet and National Park Passport Book at the visitor center. During your visit, you can collect stamps and fill out questions about what you see. The Junior Ranger Packet can be returned at the end and your kids will become official “Junior Rangers” earning a wooden badge for their efforts. 

10. Oahu, Hawaii

Woman standing by a large skull in a lush green valley, a unique place to explore while traveling in the US with a baby.

Last but not least, Oahu is the most family-friendly island in Hawaii, boasting a huge range of activities both in the city and out in nature. 

Topping the list of things to do with kids is probably the Kualoa Ranch. This popular movie set is complete with lifesize dinosaur bones and countless adventure tours for all ages. Travel to a secret island, explore the jungle, or join a boat tour to see all the different sites of this magical place. 

Back in town, eat the best Shave Ice, try the flight simulators at Pearl Harbor, see the Sea Life Park and Honolulu Zoo, attend an authentic Hawaiian Luau, or visit the Polynesian Cultural Center to give your kids a little culture. 

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