As the school year begins to wind down, many families may wonder how they’ll spend their summer vacation.
To help whittle down the countless travel options, the experts at the Family Vacation Guide compiled a list of top U.S. travel destinations for families.
They looked at factors, such as the cost of flights, accommodation options, the availability of kid-friendly activities and restaurants, crime index scores and air quality, to score and rank each city.
Florida dominated the list with three cities in the top five, while a few unexpected vacation spots also made the list.
5. Miami, Florida
Coming in at No. 5 is Miami. According to the Family Vacation Guide, the coastal city is popular for its warm weather and beaches, and it offers a variety of accommodations and fun activities for the whole family.
The weather in Miami provides for a tropical beachside experience. Average highs in the summer rise to the high 80s and low 90s from June through September. Visitors may have to contend with some rain, however, as each summer month sees between 7.36 and 10.51 inches of rain on average.
4. Aspen, Colorado
For families who enjoy cooler climates, the No. 4 city on the list may be to their liking. The ski resort town of Aspen, Colorado, is nestled in the Rocky Mountains and offers many outdoor activities. Experts at the Family Vacation Guide note the small town’s fresh air, low levels of pollution and low light pollution.
From June through September, average high temperatures stay between the high 60s and high 70s. The total amount of precipitation is low with only 0.45 inches to 1.21 inches falling per month.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
Back on the East Coast we find city No. 3 on the list. One of the most historic cities in the country, Boston offers a number of kid-friendly activities and attractions, such as the Arnold Arboretum. Additionally, the Massachusetts city is also safe with one of the lowest crime rate scores on the list.
Summer high temperatures in Boston stay in the high 70s and low 80s on average. Visitors may also see a smattering of rain, as the city sees between 3.27 and 3.89 inches of rain per summer month on average.
2. Marco Island, Florida
City No. 2 brings us back down to the Sunshine State. Marco Island, a barrier island off the southeast coast of Florida, is considered a prime travel destination for its natural beauty. According to the Family Vacation Guide, travelers can enjoy a number of family restaurants and kid-friendly activities, along with the lowest light pollution levels on the list.
Marco Island boasts average high temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s from June through September. However, much like nearby Miami, Marco Island sees significant rainfall in the summer compared to some of the other cities on the list with between 6.6 and 9.92 inches of rain on average per summer month.
1. Orlando, Florida
At the top of the list is Orlando. The central Florida city is home to more than a dozen theme parks and attracts an estimated 60 million visitors each year, said the Family Vacation Guide.
Travel experts found that Orlando offered the most activities for children and the highest number of accommodations of all the cities on the list, along with a moderately low crime index score.
As is the case with the other Florida cities on this list, Florida offers beautiful weather for travelers. While up to 8.05 inches of rain may fall during a summer month, travelers can enjoy warms average temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s from June through September.
At No. 6 was Palm Beach with one of the highest numbers of kid-friendly restaurants per mile. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Monterey, California, tied for No. 7, while San Francisco came in at No. 9. Rounding out the top 10 was Tampa, which boasted one of the cheapest flights on the list by Family Vacation Guide.
Other cities on the list were off the typical summer vacation search, but could be hidden gems. Those cities included Salt Lake City Utah, which ranked at No. 20, and Minneapolis, which came in at No. 22. Ashville, North Carolina and Portland, Oregon, also on the list, offer plenty of summer outdoor wilderness adventures.