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Discover new destinations and make memories you’ll cherish forever with these summer family vacation ideas. These destinations cater to all kinds of families, whether you’re looking for a sunny escape to the Caribbean, an adventure to the Last Frontier, or an extraordinary encounter with wildlife.

Go snorkeling amongst tropical fish and unwind on pristine, white-sand beaches. Discover some of the most historically significant sites in the U.S. Get up close to animal species not found anywhere else in the world.

These are some of the most fun places to go in the summer with your family.


People relaxing on Aruba's beach


Located in the far south of the Caribbean, Aruba has an almost desert-like appearance. The island is surrounded by beaches of dazzlingly white sand, with colorful reefs just offshore.

Head for De Palm Island for a day of playing on waterslides, splashing around in the shallows, snorkeling, beach volleyball, and banana boat rides. Take the family on a sailing and snorkeling expedition to Boca Catalina, where you’ll have plenty of time to get close to reef fish in dazzling colors.

ATV ride in Arikok National Park, Aruba

Arikok National Park, Aruba

Or join an off-road expedition in 4x4s, racing across the arid landscapes and stopping for swimming in deserted coves. For a slower pace, several establishments offer gentle horseback riding, suitable for all levels of experience.

Aruba’s famous beaches aside, kids will love the colorful inhabitants of the Butterfly Farm and the furry ones of Aruba’s Donkey Sanctuary, where formerly working donkeys are retired and cared for.


Beach in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), is a great summer vacation idea for families. There’s no shortage of beaches here. Brandywine Beach is good if you have younger children, as it’s sheltered and safe, with pretty shells and good snorkeling close to the shore.

The wide sweep of Cane Garden Bay is busier but has sugary-soft sand, turquoise water, and plenty of places to drop in for a burger and ice cream at lunchtime.

The BVI is famous as a one-time hangout of pirates, and kids will love the idea of a catamaran sailing trip to secret caves and coves where pirates would stash their loot. Sleepy Norman Island is one of the best places to visit—and is said to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, Treasure Island.

Clear waters of The Baths at Virgin Gorda

The Baths at Virgin Gorda

One of the best things to do in the BVI is to head over to The Baths on nearby Virgin Gorda. This is a series of enormous, tumbled boulders along the beach. You pick your way from one end to the other, scrambling over the rocks, up short ladders, through caves, and across shallow wading lagoons. It’s enormous fun and safe for all ages.

St. Maarten

Sandy beach of Grand Case, St. Maarten

Grand Case Beach, St. Maarten

The French-Dutch island of St. Maarten is fringed with fabulous beaches that families will love. Orient Beach is one worth visiting, with soft sand and plenty of facilities, while Grand Case beach is close to the pretty village of Grand Case, famed for its gourmet French restaurants.

Great Bay Beach, on the Dutch side, runs alongside the main street of Philipsburg, so you can combine shopping with swimming and indulge in Dutch pancakes piled high with whipped cream after.

Airplane flying over Maho Beach, St. Maarten

Maho Beach, St. Maarten

One of the most famous beaches in St. Maarten is Maho Beach, at the end of the runway of the island’s international airport. There’s an all-day party scene here, as revelers gather in the gentle surf to perform Mexican waves as huge jets roar low overhead.

Away from the beach, St. Maarten has plenty of other adventures to enjoy. Rent a dune buggy to drive around, or join a sailing trip along the lush shoreline. Your kids will thank you for agreeing to ziplining, either at Rockland Estate Park or Loterie Farm. Buckle up and fly high over the rainforest, with spectacular views below you and the wind in your hair.

Santorini, Greece

Summer family vacation ideas - Oia in Santorini, Greece

Oia in Santorini, Greece

Santorini is packed with novelty, making it an excellent place to go in the summer with family. The whitewashed towns spilling over the plunging cliffs, the mule trains up from the waterfront to Fira, the capital, and the fact that this is an actual giant volcano all tick boxes in young minds.

You won’t run out of things to do here. Head to Red Beach for the sheer novelty of red sand and russet-colored cliffs, or Kamari Beach, where the sand is black. Remember to pack water shoes as the sand gets exceptionally hot here.

Historic site of Akrotiri in Santorini, Greece

Akrotiri in Santorini, Greece

For an educational trip, take the family to Akrotiri, an exceptionally well-presented archaeological site that tells the story of the Minoans, who fled from here just before the cataclysmic eruption some 3,600 years ago.

To get closer to the intriguing geology of Santorini, take a boat trip to the lava islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni at the very center of the caldera. From here, you can see the whole rim of the submerged volcano.

View of Palea Kameni in Santorini, Greece

Palea Kameni in Santorini, Greece

Hike up marked trails to the top, the aroma of sulfur in the air, and take a moment to consider that you’re standing on top of an active volcano. Most boat trips also include a dip in the nearby hot springs, where you can swim in geothermically heated water.

Read: Best Beaches in Santorini 

Florence, Italy

Summer family vacation ideas - Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Beautiful Florence, basking along the banks of the River Arno against a backdrop of rolling Tuscan hills in shades of green and gold, is a fabulous family vacation spot. You may not think the great art treasures of the Renaissance would be the first choice for kids and teens, but Florence has plenty that will appeal to young travelers.

Book a tour of the famous Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, but with a difference. You’ll see the eerie catacombs under the cathedral, and then head up into the vast, intricately decorated cupola. From here, you can look down into the nave, where the milling crowds look like ants.

Iconic Duomo in Florence, Italy

Duomo in Florence, Italy

Kids will love the Terraces, accessed via a secret passage near the entrance to the Duomo. It’s 150 steps up, with views down over the city’s rooftops and squares.

Fashion-conscious teens may also enjoy the Gucci Museum, a chance to learn about the history of one of the world’s most famous fashion brands. There are workshops all over the city producing leather bags and purses, and ample opportunity to shop for them, too.

David inside the Accademia Museum in Florence, Italy

Accademia Museum in Florence, Italy

Meanwhile, teens studying art in school will thank you for taking them to the Accademia, for which you’ll need to book ahead. This is where Michelangelo’s exquisite David is displayed, along with countless other Renaissance masterpieces.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Art in Florence 

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Family eating tapas in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Compact Palma curves around the wide sweep of Palma Bay and offers plenty for vacationing families. Head up to Bellver Castle, overlooking the city, where there’s plenty of space to run around in the pine forest and inside the 14th-century castle itself.

Wander around Santa Catalina, one of the biggest food markets, and stop for tapas; even the pickiest eaters will love croquetas, creamy balls of ham and cheese cooked in light breadcrumbs.

Vintage train in Soller in Mallorca, Spain

Soller in Mallorca, Spain

Head out of town on the vintage train that clatters up through hills and olive groves to the pretty mountain town of Soller; the train ride itself is half the fun of this outing. Take a boat trip along the coast, or pick up bicycles in town and cycle along the waterfront.

If you’re looking to enjoy some of Mallorca’s beaches, jump in a taxi to Cala Major or Palma Nova, two of the nearest beaches. You’ll find sun umbrellas to rent, soft sand, and shallow water at both.

Cozumel, Mexico

Lush shoreline of Playa Mia

Playa Mia in Cozumel, Mexico

Experience Mexican culture and traditions on a trip to the island of Cozumel. This idyllic destination is an ideal choice for families who love participating in water sports, relaxing on white-sand beaches, and swimming in warm Caribbean waters.

Lush landscape of Punta Sur Eco Beach Park in Cozumel, Mexico

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park in Cozumel, Mexico

Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts can explore Cozumel’s colorful marine world. Head to the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, where you’ll be able to see animals endemic to the island both on land and in the sea. Snorkel around coral gardens that extend throughout the park, and see what kind of tropical fish you find along the way.

Little ones will enjoy a day at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park, a fun-filled destination where parents can relax under the sun while the kids are entertained by twin towering water slides, a floating park full of bouncing trampolines, pedal boats, and a pirate ship.

For an unforgettable experience, head to the island’s dolphin aquarium, where your family will learn all about these gentle marine mammals and even be able to shake fins, share a hug, or even kiss the dolphins. You’ll soon see why Cozumel is one of the best Caribbean islands for families.

Archaeological site of San Gervasio ruins

San Gervasio ruins in Cozumel, Mexico

If you’re looking for a different summer family vacation idea, trek through the jungle and explore ancient Mayan ruins and carvings at San Gervasio, a former Mayan shrine to Ixchel, the goddess of birth and fertility.

The Bahamas

White sand beach and clear blue waters of a beach in Bahamas

Pearl Island in Nassau, Bahamas

One of the most fun places to go in the summer with your family is The Bahamas, where there are plenty of water sports, parks, and beautiful beaches to keep everyone in the family happy.

Scuba dive or snorkel in the Bahamas around its diverse underwater ecosystem. Depending on where you go, you’ll have the chance to swim with sea turtles, admire coral reefs filled with tropical fish, and spot stingrays in the distance.

People swimming with dolphins

Blue Lagoon Island in Nassau, Bahamas

At Blue Lagoon Island, kids can play with dolphins and sea lions, while parents can spend time at one of the island’s white-sand beaches while sipping a tropical cocktail.

In Nassau, the whole family will love spending a day at Atlantis. At the Aquaventure Water Park, there’s something for everyone to stay entertained. Get your blood pumping by riding on one of the park’s nine water slides, including one that plunges down seven stories, enjoy a trip through the lazy river, and let the little ones play in the splash zone.

Atlantis Resort amidst blue waters

Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas

Take some time to explore its marine exhibits, where you’ll be able to witness the ocean’s most fascinating animals. See the exhibit dedicated to the legend of Atlantis, and learn about marine predators like barracudas, stingrays, and piranhas. At the underwater tunnel, you’ll see sharks swimming overhead.

The Galapagos Islands

Tourists looking at massive Galapagos tortoise

Galapagos tortoise

Nature and animal lovers looking for a unique family vacation should look no further than the Galapagos, an archipelago of protected islands near Ecuador that are full of stunning flora and unique wildlife.

Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, whose studies in the Galapagos helped develop his theory of evolution. Discover a number of endemic species including Galapagos penguins, land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and Darwin finches during your travels around this eco-paradise.

Galapagos penguins

Galapagos penguins

Spending the summer in the Galapagos with kids is particularly memorable as each island offers its own unique experience. Visit the black beaches of Santiago Island, walk on top of hardened volcanic lava, or dive into the ocean, where you’ll see a number of fish and maybe some Galapagos fur seals in the distance.

To complete your Galapagos Islands vacation, visit Isabela Island’s breathtaking volcanoes and saltwater lagoon that make for ideal backgrounds for a family photo you’ll want to frame back home. In Santa Cruz Island, spend a day at a pristine white-sand beach, or play with the colorful flamingos that call the island home.

Key West, Florida

Family taking a picture from Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

The island of Key West is a fun and quirky destination that has a little bit of everything for all ages to enjoy.

With some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Florida, Key West offers plenty of opportunities to see marine wildlife. Take a boat out to Key West’s coral reefs and shallow sandbars teeming with tropical fish, or kayak through the area’s mangroves, where you’ll spot birds and other local wildlife.

Front porch of Ernest Hemingway House

Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida

If you’re looking for activities that don’t involve water, book lovers can pay a visit to the Ernest Hemingway House. The literary hero’s former home turned museum is a great place to learn more about the author’s life and work. Your family might even encounter one of the six-toed cats that like to roam the property.

Teach the kids about geography by taking them to the Southernmost Point of the United States, a popular landmark where everyone can pose for a photo next to the colorful striped buoy that marks the spot.


Family sightseeing from glass-domed trains in Alaska

Glass-domed train in Anchorage, Alaska

It doesn’t get more family-friendly than Alaska. With breathtaking natural beauty, adventurous sports and activities, and wildlife you have to see to believe, Alaska is one of those destinations that leaves an enduring mark on everyone that visits.

View of Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

Discover the majestic wonder of Alaska’s glaciers and the awe-inspiring rivers of ice that sparkle in shades of blue and white. One of the biggest attractions is Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America and one of the few glaciers in the world that is still advancing. Your kids will be amazed watching the glacier calving, when chunks of ice dramatically detach from the wall of the glacier and drop into the water below.

Head to the charming fishing village of Ketchikan, home to the world’s largest collection of Northwest totem poles, and the Misty Fjords National Monument, a striking landmark where you can stare in awe at lush fjords, 1,000-foot waterfalls, and sea cliffs.

Kids running in Denali National Park

Denali National Park, Alaska

Visit Denali National Park, a vast expanse of rugged terrain spanning over six million acres. At Denali National Park, you’ll see all kinds of wild animals in their natural habitat, such as grizzly bears, moose, endangered birds, and wolves. Plus, you’ll also spot the magnificent Denali mountain, North America’s highest peak.

People whale-watching while on a cruise

Whale-watching in Alaska

Alaska has so many fun places to go in the summer with your family, where you can embark on whale-watching tours and fishing expeditions, try dog sled racing, and go mining for gold.


Waterfront of Bermuda


The paradise of Bermuda is famous for its pink-sand beaches, pristine blue water, and of course, the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

There are over 300 shipwrecks all around Bermuda, and visiting one of these underwater landmarks should be at the top of the list of things to do with your family. Explore two of the island’s most famous shipwrecks: the Montana, which sank in 1863; and the Constellation, which collapsed almost one hundred years later in the exact same spot. Snorkel around the wreckage and discover an underwater world full of colorful fish and exotic marine wildlife.

Aerial view of Horse Shoe Bay, Bermuda

Horse Shoe Bay, Bermuda

Head to the most popular beach in Bermuda, Horseshoe Bay, where the pink sand and gentle, shallow water is perfect for little ones to splash around and build sandcastles. Teens, meanwhile, can go swimming and explore the bay’s many inlets and caves.

For an educational experience, head inland and visit the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, where you’ll see the North Rock Marine Exhibit, which is the world’s most spectacular living display of coral. Other exhibits feature sharks, lionfish, exotic birds, and reptiles.

Glowing crystal cave in Bermuda

Crystal Caves, Bermuda

More adventurous families can visit the Crystal Caves. Once you descend down its many steps, marvel at the reflective pools of azure water and the thousands of stalagmite and stalactite formations above.

Read: Bahamas vs. Bermuda: Which Should You Visit?

Grand Cayman

Family walking on white beach in Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach in George Town, Grand Cayman

Savor the glitz and glamour of the Cayman Islands during a vacation to Grand Cayman, a haven filled with beautiful beaches, world-class shopping, and marvelous marine wildlife.

Lounge on the impeccable sands of Seven Mile Beach, a beautiful stretch that actually spans five-and-a-half miles and the kind of place you picture in your mind when imagining a tropical paradise.

People on a boat in Stingray City

Stingray City in George Town, Grand Cayman

Head to Stingray City, a must-visit destination during any trip to Grand Cayman. Dip into the shallow sandbar and experience an up-close encounter with stingrays in their natural environment.

At the Cayman Turtle Centre, you’ll be able to see turtle hatchlings and pet yearling turtles, hand-feed birds, meet crocodiles, and bathe in a freshwater pool with waterfalls and slides.

Unique blue iguana of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in George Town, Grand Cayman

Admire the island’s diverse flora and fauna at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Stroll through its lush gardens, count the colors at the Floral Colour Garden, and spot reptiles at the blue iguana captive breeding program.

Puerto Rico

People on a horseback ride adventure in El Yunque, Puerto Rico

El Yunque, Puerto Rico

There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy in Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory island that lies in the middle of the Caribbean.

Explore the wonders of El Yunque Rainforest, which spans over 29,000 acres and is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. Take the family on a hike around its many winding paths and see hundreds of plant and animal species.

Later, cool down by dipping into one of the natural pools in the area, most of which are surrounded by breathtaking waterfalls, like La Coca Falls that was once believed to be the fountain of youth.

Pastel colored buildings of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Young kids obsessed with pirates and buccaneers will love walking through the old town of San Juan. Learn all about Puerto Rico’s battles against Spanish, English, and Dutch invaders during a tour around Fort San Cristobal and walk on top of the large walls of the fortified city.

Then, head to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a fortress that dates back to the 16th century which was once considered unconquerable.

If you’re looking for a spectacular natural attraction and a memorable summer family vacation idea, stop by Cueva Ventana (Window Cave) in Arecibo. Step into this limestone cave, where you’ll see pre-Columbian petroglyphs and stone engravings. The real showstopper comes at the end when the cave opens up to a natural window frame that provides an unbeatable view of the island’s rainforest.

Aerial view of Escambrón Marine Park, Puerto Rico

Escambrón Marine Park, Puerto Rico

For an extra dose of adrenaline, sign up for a zip-line adventure that takes you through the lush trees and mangroves of Puerto Rico, or head to Escambrón Marine Park, where you can you kayak, snorkel, or scuba dive and see yellowtail snappers, turtles, and its “Fish Protection Wall.”

If you’re intrigued by this list of fun places to go in the summer with your family, an easy way to explore these destinations and more is by traveling on one of our award-winning cruises, which are also full of fun activities for the kids.

Family hanging out by the pool on a cruise

Celebrity Edge pool area

On a family cruise, spend your days swimming together in the pool and admiring the surrounding ocean views. Sign them up for Camp at Sea, our fully customizable onboard kids program, where they’ll be entertained with art, recreational, culinary, and STEM activities. Make dinner an unforgettable experience with Le Petit Chef, a 3D interactive dining experience. Enjoy a number of exciting shore excursions in every port and make unforgettable memories with your family.

Visit our website and start planning your next fun family cruise vacation today.

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Free Vacation Planning Services