A few years back, we went on a road trip from Boston to New York City. It was fuelled by my desire to go to NYC and also as an adventure for the family. It was certainly different from our normal holidays. We LOVED our trip and also it brought out a new-found passion for exploring the USA. The USA is incredibly family-friendly, and we found it very easy to travel there. We’ve pulled together 10 American sights to see with kids, hopefully over the next few years we’ll be ticking them off!
1. Volcano National Park, Hawaii
After numerous kitchen-table experiments with vinegar and baking soda, I would love to show my kids the real thing: A trip to the Volcano National Park on the big island. Smelling the sulphur and hearing the hiss of the steam from the molten is better than any science lesson. It’s easy to see the Crater rim by with either foot, bicycle, car or, if you are feeling flash, helicopter. This really is a family-friendly experience. It’s easy to then go home and chill out at one of the vacation rentals on Big Island.
2. Niagara Falls
There’s a reason 1000s of people visit Niagara every year: To watch the six million cubic feet of water that thunders over the massive falls every minute. Being on a boat and feeling the mist from the falls and the hearing the pounding of the water is an experience not to miss.
3. Golden Gate Bridge
This may be an obvious one, but with good reason! This highly instagrammable suspension bridge is not only good for those all important holiday snaps, but you can easily walk or cycle the 1.7 miles across it. Added to this, there are fabulous views of the bay and Alcatraz.
Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness, which means plenty of exploring for young minds. There are waterfalls, granite cliffs, streams and glaciers to explore. To me, I would love the children to see the sequoia tree in its natural environment, and I am sure it would make a fantastic memory to watch them try to hug one!
5. Santa Monica Pier
This double-jointed pier in California has been a long mark for 100 years. I know my kids would love the arcade, ferris wheel and amusement park. Whereas I am sure, we’d all love the summer outdoor concerts. It just sounds so dreamy, and maybe a rival for our beloved Brighton?!
6. Grand Canyon
At 277 miles long, there’s plenty to explore at the Grand Canyon. There are multiple hikes, and depending on your family’s fitness level, there are varying lengths and difficulties. I personally would like to have a walk on the Grand Canyon Sky Walk. This horseshoe-shaped glass-bottom bridge would be great for daredevil kids!
7. Mount Rushmore
Another American history classic, the carved out faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are definitely a site for kids to see. The short trail through the avenue of flags is perfect for little legs. You can tour during the day, or in the evening for a lighting ceremony.
8. Pike Place Market, Seattle
The first time I was introduced to Pike Place was in a training video at work! The purpose of the video was to show how well a team can work together, obviously whilst throwing fish. The market seems to be an exceptionally kid-friendly tourist sight: From the vast array of produce to the chewing gum wall and add your own piece (Yes, really a wall with copious amounts of the stuff on it) to of course, the fish-throwing vendors which really is a show unto itself.
I always think go *that bear* and the similar sounding park name when conjuring up images of Yellowstone. But less of the picnic baskets and more of hiking and seeing wild wolves, bison and moose. Then of course, the biggest draw for me would be seeing the Old Faithful Geyser and hot springs, which are pretty much guaranteed to erupt, so you’d see the water erupted upwards. The geysers themselves hiss and fizz, and are also incredibly multi-coloured – a real sight for the eyes. And of course, trying to spot a grizzly or black bear (preferably without a picnic basket!)
10 The Everglades
Of course, Florida is home to other rather kid-friendly attraction. I excluded Disney as think we all know it’s a must-do for any kid (and adult). That aside, there is still plenty of Florida that is just as kid-friendly.
One such place is The Everglades, a river with a large mangrove ecosystem. Home to an abundance of wildlife. Within the varied eco systems live thirteen endangered and ten threatened species, including the American crocodile and alligator (the only place they co-exist together, no less), Florida panther, manatee, and sea turtles. Taking the kids on an airboat to see the Everglades would be an unmissable adventure.
These are my ten America sights to see with the kids. America offers such a varied landscape: My list includes rock-carving, volcanoes, mangroves, huge trees and an iconic pier; it couldn’t be more varied. There are so many great cities in the USA we’d like to explore.
I think the United States is a fantastic place to explore as a family, and I would love to know if you have any great recommendations for what you think are great sights to see in America. Please do let me know in the comments!
All images sourced from Pixabay
This post is written in collaboration