19 Unforgettable Vacation Ideas For Families With Teenagers (2023)

vacation ideas

Families need to create memories and connect, especially during the holidays. And let’s face it, finding a perfect getaway for parents and teens can be challenging. It can be difficult to find activities that appeal to both. Well, fear not. Our list of the top family vacation ideas with teenagers considers parents’ and teens’ needs and interests.

From the breathtaking beauty of tropical beaches to the excitement of world-renowned theme parks and the thrill of the mountains, we’ve got you. 

This article will outline the best vacation for teens, highlighting the prime activities and attractions. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, our guide will help you create the perfect plan for your family.

Let the adventure begin! 

19 Stunning Cities To Visit Teens Will Enjoy 

Choosing a city that matches everyone’s preferences and interests can be overwhelming, to say the least, since teens, in particular, can be harder to please as they are still developing their sense of self, and may not be as enthusiastic about sightseeing or visiting museums as younger kids or adults.

Here is a list of the top cities that offer a balance of adventure and relaxation that will keep everyone happy and entertained throughout the vacation. 

1. New York City, New York

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If you’re considering taking a family vacation with your teens, consider New York City. This city is packed with excitement and adventure, and there’s never a dull moment. Whether you’re into art, shopping, or just soaking up the city vibe, there’s something for everyone here.

Here are some of the things you can do in New York City: 

  • Stop by Central Park: Take a stroll, picnic, or rent a boat on the lake.
  • Take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge – Enjoy panoramic views of the city and snap some unforgettable photos.
  • Shop on Fifth Avenue – Visit high-end shops, department stores, and boutiques for a unique shopping experience.
  • Take a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – One of the world’s biggest and most comprehensive art museums, with over 2 million works of art.

2. Orlando, Florida

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When it comes to theme parks, Orlando is at the top. This city holds some of the greatest attraction sites, like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios that have everything from exhilarating rides to live concerts to entertain your teens. 

These theme parks regularly update their offers and add new experiences, guaranteeing a memorable trip for your entire family every time you visit.

Here are some ideas to get you started: 

  • Outdoors & adventure: Orlando’s many parks and nature reserves are perfect if you have active teens that love the outdoors. You can go kayaking, hiking, or take a scenic hot air balloon ride.
  • Shopping & dining: Head to the Florida Mall or The Mall at Millenia for the ultimate shopping and dining experience. These malls offer many shops and entertainment options for your teens to enjoy.

3. Denver, Colorado

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Denver, Colorado, is a total blast for families with teens. Its beautiful nature, city life, and endless adventure options make it the perfect place for a family vacation. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Sports & entertainment: If your teens are sports fans, they’ll love attending a game at one of Denver’s many stadiums and arenas, including Coors Field or the Pepsi Center.
  • Cultural attractions: Denver is home to several world-class museums, including the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Nature & Science, and the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Outdoor adventure: The city is known for its stunning natural surroundings and opportunities for adventure. Take a hike in the nearby mountains, go rafting or kayaking on Clear Creek, or visit the Denver Botanic Gardens for a relaxing afternoon.

4. Charlotte, North Carolina†

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Charlotte, North Carolina, is another family destination to explore with your teenagers. The city offers a unique blend of sports, culture, and affordability. These factors and the cityís southern charm and history make it one of the most appealing destinations for families. 

Some of the factors that set Charlotte apart include:

  • Growing technology industry: Charlotte has a thriving technology sector, making it an interesting destination for tech-savvy teenagers.
  • Sports culture: Charlotte is home to several professional sports teams, including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, offering opportunities for families and teenagers to attend live sporting events.

5. San Diego, California†

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San Diego is home to several of the greatest beaches in the country, making it a great destination for families who enjoy water activities and sunbathing. The city is also known for its diverse cultural scene, with various museums and festivals. Whether youíre searching for adventure, relaxation, or a combination, San Diego provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable family vacation. 

Here are some additional reasons to visit San Diego with your family:

  • World-Class attractions: Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and the USS Midway Museum for an educational and entertaining experience
  • Lots of beaches: San Diego is home to many stunning beaches, including La Jolla Cove and Coronado Beach. Perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
  • Beautiful weather: The city has a Mediterranean-style climate, with mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it a great destination for families looking for warm weather.

6. Washington D.C.

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Washington, D.C. is a fantastic destination for families with teens looking to combine history, culture, and adventure. 

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Get active: With plenty of parks and green spaces, Washington D.C. is perfect for getting outside and getting active. Rent a bike, go for a jog, or take a hike – endless options.
  • Explore iconic monuments: From the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, D.C. is packed with historical sites and museums that will give your teens an education in American history.

Theme Park And Water Park Vacations

Theme parks and water parks are fantastic family vacation destinations for teenagers. This is because your teens will love the excitement and thrills that come with these destinations, and you’ll love the bonding experiences you’ll have as a family.

7. Universal Volcano Bay, Orlando

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The theme parks Universal Studios Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure have got everything from movie-themed rides to Harry Potter magic to thrill-packed sites. 

Moreover, some of the best-handpicked hotels near the area offer special perks like early park 

admission and exclusive transportation to provide families with a more seamless experience. 

Here are some things you can do at Universal Orlando Bay:

  • CityWalk:  After a day of exploring the parks, CityWalk provides a chance for the whole family to enjoy a night out with a wide range of dining and entertainment options.
  • Stop by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Many teenagers grew up reading and watching books and movies. Hence, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter offers a chance for them to experience the magic and immerse themselves in the story.
  • Universal Studios: This park offers a unique blend of movie-based attractions and shows. Teenagers who are fans of movies and television will love seeing their favorite characters come to life.

8. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin†

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Wisconsin Dells is a great option for a family vacation with your teenagers. This Midwestern destination offers a wide range of activities, from thrilling water parks and outdoor adventures to relaxing hikes and scenic bike rides. 

Here are a few suggestions for things you can do on a family vacation in Wisconsin Dells with teenagers:

  • Outdoor adventures: Thrill-seeking teenagers might enjoy ziplining, horseback riding, or rock climbing in the scenic Wisconsin Dells area.
  • Water parks: Wisconsin Dells is known for many water parks, like Noah’s Ark and Mt. Olympus, perfect for a fun-filled day of splashing around.
  • Amusement parks: For a classic family fun experience, visit one of the area’s amusement parks, such as Mt. Olympus Theme Park or Wizard Quest.

Exciting Road Trip Vacations 

A family road trip can be the perfect way to bond and make memories while seeing new sights and experiencing new adventures. 

†9. Los Angeles To Sequoia National Park

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A road trip from Los Angeles to Sequoia National Park is perfect for families with teenagers to bond and spend family time. The drive from LA to Sequoia is a scenic journey through beautiful landscapes, and once you arrive, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to explore. 

Here are some additional reasons to go on a road trip:

  • Educational opportunities: A road trip to Sequoia National Park is an excellent opportunity to learn about the natural world and gain a deeper appreciation for the environment. 
  • Adventure nature: Sequoia National Park offers a chance to return to nature and experience amazing outdoor adventures. From hiking to exploring the giant sequoias, your family will love being outdoors.

10. New York To Vermont

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Vermont is well known for its natural beauty and unique culture, making it an ideal destination for family trips. The journey offers a break from city life and a chance to explore new and scenic places, including picturesque towns and historical landmarks.

A road trip from New York to Vermont provides several memorable experiences, including:

  • Cultural immersion: Vermont is home to a rich cultural scene, including museums and art galleries, providing a unique and educational experience for teenagers.
  • Teen appeal: Teens often enjoy the independence and freedom that comes with road trips, and they can play an active role in planning the trip, making it more enjoyable for everyone. 
  • Scenic drive: The drive from New York to Vermont offers breathtaking views of rural landscapes providing a break from the city and an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the countryside.

Mountaineering And National Park Trips 

Letís not forget that a trip to the mountains is a great family vacation option that provides unforgettable shared memories and many teen-friendly activities. 

11. Arizona Hot Springs, Arizona 

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Suppose youíre visiting the Hot Springs, Arizonaís wildlands boast several hot spring destinations. Thereís a wide range of activities and sports for you and your teens to explore, including hiking trails, campgrounds, and spas.

Here are a few popular activities to consider for a family vacation with teens in Arizona Hot Springs:

  • Hiking: There are many scenic hiking trails in the area, including the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Havasupai Falls.
  • Hot Springs soaking: The Arizona Hot Springs themselves are a must-visit destination. The warm waters are a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
  • River rafting: The Colorado River offers a variety of rafting options for different skill levels, including calm float trips and challenging white-water rapids.

12. Park City, Utah

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Park City is another dreamland of family adventure. The city offers a wide range of ski resorts with sports like skiing, snowboarding, and golfing. Besides that, there are many reasons why a family trip to Park City is great.

  • Cultural activities: Park City also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with museums, and live music venues, providing a range of indoor entertainment options.
  • Family-friendly: Known for being one of the top family-friendly destinations, there are a variety of activities, restaurants, and accommodations to suit families of all sizes.
  • Delicious cuisine: Park City has a diverse range of dining options, ranging from gourmet restaurants to casual cafes, providing a great opportunity for families to sample different types of cuisine.

13. Lake Tahoe

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Surrounded by crystal clear beaches, and scenic mountain views, Lake Tahoe is an ideal vacation destination for families with teenagers. Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as camping and boating. The Lake also provides opportunities for indoor activities like rock climbing to satisfy even the most adventurous teens.

Here are some other reasons why Lake Tahoe is a great family spot: 

  • Relaxed atmosphere: The lake is laid-back, making it a great destination for families looking for a stress-free trip.
  • Cultural attractions: Lake Tahoe has a range of cultural attractions providing opportunities for families to experience the arts and culture of the area.

14. Grand Canyon

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A trip to the Grand Canyon is easily one of the most popular vacation sites for all families. The canyon provides various enjoyable opportunities like scenic drives, camping, and breathtaking panoramas with incredible sights. 

Since itís a natural wonder, with cliffs, unpredictable weather, and rugged terrain, itís also important to take precautions to prevent accidents and injuries when visiting. 

The Grand Canyon is located in a remote area and can have high dust and pollution levels. Wearing masks can help filter out harmful particles. People with allergies or sensitivities to dust, pollen, or other airborne irritants should consider wearing a KN95 face mask while visiting the park, to reduce the risk of respiratory irritation and symptoms. Remember also to bring extra water bottles to keep your body hydrated.

Here are some popular activities for families with teenagers at the Grand Canyon:

  • Guided tours: Join a ranger-led tour for a more in-depth look at the park’s history and geology.
  • Camping: Set a tent and spend a night under the stars in the park’s designated campgrounds.
  • Rock climbing: For the more adventurous types, rock climbing is available with proper permits and equipment.

15. Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone National Park is an iconic destination unlike any other. The park has abundant wildlife and stunning scenery and offers various outdoor activities like camping and fishing. 

Hereís what you can expect: 

  • Scenic beauty: Yellowstone is known for its stunning scenery, hot springs, and waterfalls. The park’s natural beauty is a great way to engage teenagers in the wonders of nature.
  • Adventure opportunities: With its challenging terrain and various natural features, Yellowstone provides opportunities for adventure, including mountain biking, rafting, and rock climbing.

All Inclusive Resorts – Best Beach Vacations 

If youíre looking for a vacation to keep your teens entertained and happy, you canít go wrong with going to the beach. With so many activities, your teens will never get bored.

There’s always something to do, from surfing and snorkeling in the water to beach volleyball and water sports on the sand. Hereís a list of the best beach vacations with teenagers that they will be sure to enjoy.

16. Oahu, Hawaii

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Oahu is a dream paradise that offers you and your teens many opportunities to enjoy much-needed bonding time. Besides just surfing the famous North Shore waves and hiking up Diamond Head, your teens will always have something fun, like exploring the rugged coastlines and having a chance at snorkeling.  

Here are some other reasons that make Oahu, Hawaii, a great family spot: 

  • Scenic beauty: The island’s stunning scenery and iconic landmarks provide the perfect backdrop for families looking for a picturesque vacation.
  • Unique culture: Oahu has a rich cultural heritage, including a range of historical and cultural attractions that provide a chance to experience the culture ourselves. 

17. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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With one of the nationís most beautiful beaches and fun-filled attractions, itís no secret that Myrtle Beach is a favorite family vacation spot. One of the biggest draws of Myrtle Beach is its long beaches and warm, inviting waters, making it the best place to bring out swimwear.

Families can bring their favorite beach outfits, from colorful to stylish swimwear, while soaking up in the sun and relaxing near the beach. Julbie, a lingerie store, for example, has a wide range of swimwear to choose from. 

Here you can choose from a variety of styles, keeping in mind to consider the comfort of those around you and choosing swimwear that is appropriate for a family setting.  

What’s more, Myrtle Beach is much more affordable than other beach destinations. Families can enjoy their vacations with teens without breaking the bank and still look stylish in their swimwear. 

Myrtle Beach offers a wide range of activities for families with teens, such as:

  • Nightlife: The town offers a lively nightlife scene, with a range of nightclubs and entertainment venues for families to enjoy live music and dancing. 
  • Amusement parks: Myrtle Beach is home to several amusement parks, including Family Kingdom, its classic wooden roller coasters, and the Myrtle Waves Water Park, with its water slides. 

18. Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, Costa Rica

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A stay at the planet Hollywood Beach Resort means more fun for the family. This breathtaking resort offers a unique blend of stunning natural beauty and a wide range of activities to keep everyone entertained. 

Here are some ideas to get you started: 

  • Water activities: The resort has a range of water activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and surfing that is ideal for families with teenagers who enjoy being active and exploring the ocean.
  • Luxury Accommodations: With its high-quality amenities and luxurious accommodations, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort provides families with a comfortable and relaxing environment.

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Punta Cana is one of the most popular go-to resort destinations. Located on the tip of the eastern Dominican, the area is filled with a wide range of family-friendly resorts and theme parks to explore. There are also tons of activities for your teens, like nightly movie screenings and talent shows.


Any trip with teens will have its ups and downs, but they are all worth it. Itís always best to choose a trip that will appeal to your teenís style and preference. Whether exploring a new city, hiking the Grand Canyon, or even taking a road trip, make sure to get your kid’s opinions too. 

If youíre looking for relaxation or adventure, these destinations are great for giving you a leg on making the most out of your family trip. Take the trip and make unforgettable memories. If you liked this blog post, check out our other travel-related articles to avoid missing out on anything. 

About Author: Steph Burton is the founder of Luxurymodoô. She loves traveling to different places and experiencing various cultures. Follow Steph on her adventures and get to know the best hotels for your next vacation at luxurymodo.com