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With health and safety in mind, the best places to go with the family in 2022 are all-inclusive resorts, family-friendly beaches, national parks, and, as always, the best theme parks. So, get your bags ready, and check these places to go with the family in 2022.
Even though the Omicron virus caused a recent rise in coronavirus cases (and now they are talkinga bout a new variant, centaurus), family travel in the U.S. is on the rise again in a big way. Parents can now feel less worried about their kids because they can get the COVID-19 vaccine if they are at least five years old.
Families who have been stuck at home for a long time are also eager to get out and see the world. In fact, travel levels may go back to what they were before the pandemic, especially in places where families can get away from people and do things in the open air.
1. Orlando in Florida
Orlando is always at the top of the list of places to go on vacation with kids. It’s easy to see why, with its many famous theme parks and equally amazing water parks. The 50th anniversary celebrations at Walt Disney World will go on until 2022, so the new year is a good time to plan a trip.
Even if Star Wars Land at Disney or the Harry Potter parts of Universal Studios aren’t your thing, Orlando isn’t a one-trick pony. Outdoor activities like zip lining, kayaking, and even golf vacations are also fun things to do in Orlando. Attractions like Madame Tussauds, the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, and Andretti Indoor Karting and Games that are good for kids almost guarantee that everyone in the family will have a good time.
When it’s time to relax at the end of the day, you can stay in one of the many Disney World hotels in Orlando or go a little further away to Kissimmee, where the water park at Reunion Resort will keep kids busy and refreshed during vacation downtime.
2. New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia
A trip to a national park gives everyone in the family a chance to be surrounded by natural beauty. But because more people are looking for peace and quiet in nature, many of the most popular parks in the U.S. are getting more visitors than usual.
The fact that New River Gorge in West Virginia just became a national park in December 2020 makes it one of the best places to take kids this year. Most vacationers still don’t know about it. Flowing water continues to shape one of the longest and deepest gorges in the Appalachians. It is a great place to fish, and the many colorful birds and amphibians that live there make it a paradise for people who love animals. Families with older kids and tweens will enjoy whitewater rafting, an obstacle course in the trees, and the dangerous Bridge Walk across the New River Gorge Bridge.
The Tru by Hilton Beckley is 10 miles from the park and has a lively lobby with a game zone that families will appreciate. Even closer, you can stay at Adventures on the Gorge, an outdoor outfitter with a resort right on the rim that is inside the park.
3. Playa del Carmen in Mexico
The all-inclusive beach resort of your kids’ dreams is the new Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya (All Inclusive) in Playa del Carmen. The oceanfront resort is only 30 minutes by car from Cancun’s international airport. It has its own private beach, interactive entertainment based on Nickelodeon characters, and a huge six-acre outdoor water park with a lot of space to be alone. Oh, and each room has its own infinity pool with a swim-up bar that looks out over the Caribbean Sea.
You can be sure that health and safety are taken seriously because of the improved cleaning protocols and social distance measures. Also, because you’ll spend most of your time at the resort, you’ll be less likely to be exposed to COVID-19. (From the hotel lobby, you can set up day trips to popular tourist destinations like Chichen Itza or Tulum, which are outside the resort).
When meals, activities, and lodging are all included, there are no surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.
Since COVID-19 travel rules are always changing, you might not feel ready to hop on a plane to see Europe’s best tourist spots just yet. But the Caribbean island of Aruba has a touch of Europe without having to cross the Atlantic. It also has some nice beaches. (Think water the color of turquoise and sand as soft as flour.)
Aruba has been an independent country since 1986, but it still has close ties to the Netherlands. Papiamento is a mix of Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and English that people in the area use to talk to each other. Even the food on the island is a delicious mix of tropical ingredients and Dutch flavors like Gouda cheese. When your family has had enough beach time, the kids will love going inland to the Arikok National Park to explore the stark desert landscape.
The Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa is a boutique hotel on one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see in the Caribbean.
5. Santa Monica in California
You can start thinking about sustainability at any age. Going to a city where you don’t need a car is good for the environment, and since car rental prices are so high right now, it’s also a good idea for a family vacation.
Santa Monica doesn’t fit the stereotype of Los Angeles as a city where everyone drives a car. It has a strong cycling community, shopping streets that are only for people on foot, and the Expo Line Light Rail, which connects the community to the rest of Los Angeles. Without a car, you and your kids can splash in the Pacific waves, ride bikes along the beach, and have fun at the Santa Monica Pier, which has rides like a solar-powered Ferris wheel.
Also, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows has a view of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a classy hideaway with private bungalows, outdoor movies by the pool, and delicious food.
6. Boston in Massachusetts
Boston, which is small and easy to get around on foot, is a fun place to learn about American history that is way more engaging than any textbook. Bring the kids and walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, which includes 16 historical sites like the Paul Revere House. Then, visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum for a hands-on way to learn about an important event in our country’s history.
In the capital of Massachusetts, there is also a lot of green space, like the always-fun Boston Public Garden. Fans of the children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” must ride a Swan Boat and see the Make Way for Ducklings statue.
If you stay at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, you can see Boston Harbor from afar. It is great for families because it has one of the only rooftop pools in the city.
7. Boise in Idaho
Boise is a small city with a lot of space and easy access to the outdoors. Families can raft, run, ride bikes, and rollerblade in the middle of town, where there are a number of well-designed parks and the Boise River Greenbelt. Food trucks are becoming more popular, giving people cheap ways to eat outside, surrounded by tall mountains.
There is an aquarium, the Discovery Center of Idaho, which is a hands-on museum, and the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which is a good fit for a city with a large and active Basque community.
The Residence Inn Boise West has large guest suites with full kitchens that are great for families of all sizes and ages.
8. San Juan in Puerto Rico
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is always one of the best places to go with kids. U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents don’t need a passport to go there. This has never been more true than in 2022, when Old San Juan will celebrate its 500th anniversary with special art shows, parades, and concerts.
Families will enjoy walking on the blue-colored cobblestone streets and seeing El Morro, the city’s famous fort, before building sandcastles on San Juan’s beautiful beaches.
Puerto Rico has put in place strict COVID-19 measures to protect residents and travelers. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company keeps a page with up-to-date travel tips for people who have been vaccinated and people who have not.
Stay at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, where you and your family can enjoy both the city and the beach.
9. Denali National Park in Alaska
Alaska‘s beauty is both transformative and off the beaten path. It has a lot of stars, a lot of animals, and a lot of wilderness. In Denali National Park, the tallest mountain peak in the United States, Denali, is surrounded by six million acres of taiga forest and tundra.
Even though Denali is a long way from the nearest port, there will be fewer tourists in Alaska in 2022 because fewer cruise ships will be going there. This makes this year a great time to visit.
10. New Orleans in Louisiana
Even though New Orleans is known as a place for adults to have fun, it has a lot of outdoor activities that are great for kids. This makes it a great place to visit with kids in 2022. At Besthoff Sculpture Garden, kids can skip along paths shaded by live oaks and looking at fun three-dimensional shapes. City Park is a dream with its many trees, boating, mini-golf, tennis, and carousel.
Eat a beignet with sugar on it at Café du Monde, dance to live music at the Jazz and Heritage Festival, and take a guided kayak tour through the bayou to see the different landscapes.