Best Vacation Spots Families Must See This Year

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Do you know those best vacation spots that your family can’t stop talking about five years later?  Those Mom-hit-a-homerun-when-planning-this-trip kinda getaways.  Yeah, we need more of those.  Each of these extraordinary destinations allows your family to leave the madness back home and get back to tight-knit, family fun.

Our main goal is to find the best family vacation spots that are amazing for the entire family but not your typical, overcrowded touristy destinations.  My list below reflects the most incredible places we’ve found lately in the South.  I’ve included recommendations for each in case you want to plan your own family vacations right away.

Best Family Vacation Spots

The Palm Coast that is sandwiched between St. Augustine and Daytona is one of the most serene, non-touristy, vacation spots in Florida. Your family can practically have the surf and sand, Marineland, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, the European Village, the Florida Agricultural Museum, and Princess Place all to yourselves.

Best Vacation Spots

Suggestions for Palm Coast sleeps and eats Beverly Beach Camptown, Island Cottage Oceanfront Inn and Spa, and Flagler Fish Company.

Space Coast Florida was not what I expected – it was so much more.  I adore the old, classic Florida vibe of days gone by with its simple, authentic feel and places like Dixie CrossroadsHonest John’s Fish Camp, and Airboat rides.  Where else can you find such laidback Manatee, Dolphin, and Kayak activities?  Please, for the love of all things holy, take your family to Kennedy Space Center and check for upcoming launches.  You may think that the younger generation will be bored at Kennedy, but young and old alike will walk around with a dropped jaw because of the sheer magnitude of what you are experiencing.  Trust me on this one.

Best Vacation Spots

Suggestions for Space Coast sleeps and eats Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach and Beachside Grill and Deli.


Cumberland Island is a one-of-a-kind treasure you can’t let your family miss out on!  Can you imagine roaming around one of the largest underdeveloped islands (accessible only by ferry and private charter) in the world on foot along beaches with wild horses, under a canopy of maritime forest oaks, and incredible American history of James Oglethorpe, Nathaniel Greene, and the Carnegie family?

No stores.  No restaurants.  There are no signs of civilization except for the occasional ranger or primitive camper nearby.  Once you’ve traveled deep in the island, you might stumble upon the Carnegie estate’s ruins, an old home-turned-bed-and-breakfast of one of the Carnegie children, or the tiny chapel where John F. Kennedy, Jr. had his secret wedding.  I’ll bet your family will squeal with delight and call that adventure.

Suggestions for sleeps and eat near Cumberland Island:  Country Oaks Campground, Spencer House Inn Bed and Breakfast, and Riverside Cafe.

Hunting Island South Carolina & nearby Historic Beaufort should be on the bucket list of those seeking the best vacation spots with happy seaside towns and fabulously secluded beaches.  Visit Beaufort’s National Cemetery, Historic Waterfront, and get to know the Gullahs and the military history of Parris Island.  Prepare for stress-free days at Hunting Island State Park as you discover our family’s favorite beach, climb the lighthouse, and stroll along the marsh boardwalk.

Best Vacation Spots

Suggestions for Beaufort & Hunting Island sleeps and eats:  Hunting Island State Park Campground, Country Inn & Suites, and Red Rooster Cafe.

Do you understand now why these four destinations are some of the best vacation spots in the South?  They are all truly spectacular to us in very diverse ways.  Laid back, family-friendly, gorgeous, unique are all adjectives I love sharing with you so that your fam can make the most of your time and money when you do get special opportunities to travel.

How bout a sneak peek video of the best family vacation spots before you go?!

 Do you have your plans made to these best vacation spots of ours yet?

best vacation spots

More you may enjoy:

Best Weekend Getaways near Savannah Georgia

7 Reasons to Visit Jekyll Island Georgia

Experts Share Favorite Southern Camping

Family Friendly Things to do in Charleston


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Kathleen
    April 23, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Oh, I have to go to that island with the horses. It sounds heavenly. I’ve been to the two places in Florida, actually we went to Kennedy Space Center this past December. So interesting. The wheels were really turning in my daughter’s head. Love this list. Thanks for linking up to Tips and Tricks. Hope to see you again this week.

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  5. Mother of 3
    April 29, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    These all sound so lovely and relaxing!

  6. Crystal
    April 30, 2016 / 10:23 am

    I want to visit Cumberland Island. I love your header. Paying back the love! Will follow on Facebook.

  7. Breeze
    April 30, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    As a mom traveler I really appreciated these location ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Rachel @ Smart Mom Smart Ideas
    May 12, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    These are some great suggestions for vacations. I have not been to Palm Coast in many years. Thanks for sharing at Mom-to-Mom Mondays.

    • Shan
      May 12, 2016 / 11:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Rachel. I can’t get over how much we enjoyed Palm Coast, Space Coast, Cumberland Island, and Hunting Island. They were all surprisingly amazing in their own ways.



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  10. Theresa Bailey
    May 26, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Great ideas! It’s so nice to see there are other places besides “take the kids to Disney” which can be stressful. We’ve mentioned Space Camp at NASA in Alabama to my kids and they seem interested.

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  14. Brooke
    July 25, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing these. We have planned our summer this year already, but will keep them in mind for the future. Thanks again.

  15. Vaishnavi
    September 26, 2016 / 5:11 am

    Cool vacation spots and awesome shots. Great suggestions. Am already visualizing these pics, with me on them 🙂

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