The Best Summer Vacation Destinations for Families | b.e.happe

The Best Summer Vacation Destinations for Families

Summer is the perfect time to take a relaxing vacation with your family. Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway, a cultural experience, or an adventure-filled escape, there are plenty of great options for family trips. From hiking in the mountains to exploring vibrant cities and serene islands, here are some of the best summer vacation destinations for families suggested by fulltime RV travel families.


Eyerly Family | @doubledeckerfam

We’ve been to a lot of fantastic places on our travels, but the two that we’d say are the very best to visit as a family are: Yellowstone National Park and Rapid City, South Dakota.

We say Yellowstone because it’s incredibly beautiful and unique. With the immense amount of wildlife and geothermal features and a wide range of family activities like hiking, fishing, and bus tours there are few places that can rival Yellowstone. However, our absolute favorite place for a family trip this summer would have to be Rapid City, South Dakota.

Double Decker Family visiting Yellowstone and Rapid City South Dakota

Rapid City offers a huge mix of outdoor recreation, historical sites, cultural attractions, wildlife, and incredible landscapes. We love staying near Rapid City and doing small day trips to locations like Devil’s Tower National Monument, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, Hot Springs Mammoth dig site, and our absolute favorite - Custer State Park’s Needles Highway to Sylvan Lake. While there are a million other places you could take your family this summer, we believe exploring the Rapid City area is the best place for a summer trip - and it’s not as hot as a lot of the other places you could go. The Black Hills offer scenic beauty, ample opportunities for outdoor adventure, and a chance to experience the natural wonders of the American West without the drawbacks of being overcrowded.


Graham Family | @CanadianCaboose

When planning an RV adventure, your ideal trip usually involves a State Park, beach, city, or attraction far from home. Planning an RV staycation within your home state is less common but it can be just as adventurous and in some cases, less stressful and less expensive as you are not driving as far and there is less unknowns.

After our first year of full-time RV travel, we decided to do just that and ventured around our home state of New Hampshire when we returned for the summer to visit friends. There were so many parts of the state that we hadn’t explored previously because we were too busy doing normal family things like work, school, and extracurricular activities. New Hampshire is known for the White Mountains National Forest and specifically, Mount Washington. But NH is one of the states that you can spend the morning in the mountains and the afternoon at the ocean.

3 Tips when planning your RV trip to NH
1. Unless you are set up for winter camping, plan on visiting in spring, summer and fall. Yes, NH is known as well for some epic ski hills but there are very few campgrounds open year-round.
2. Book early especially if you are planning a trip over major holidays or during the fall as the whole state because very busy with leaf peepers.
3. Most campgrounds are older National Parks, State Parks and family-owned
campgrounds which means maneuvering big rigs can get tricky. Call ahead to make sure your big Class A or 5th wheel will fit before you book. Anyone traveling with a rig 38’ and under should be fine.

Head to the Mountains
If your plans include venturing to the mountain region, there is an abundance of hiking trails to be found, tucked away swimming spots, tubing down the Saco River and smaller theme parks and attractions such as Santa’s Village. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 feet and there are three ways to reach the summit in the summer, the Mount Washington Auto Road, the Cog Railway or by hiking, (for experienced
hikers only). I personally have driven the auto road and taken the Cog. The drive is a bit of a white-knuckle experience but beautiful. Don’t make the mistake of wearing white pants on the railway like I did. It is steam powered using coal so it gets dusty on the train. In both situations be mentally prepared for the incline and the cold windy temps at the top!

summer vacation ideas from RV families
Who Doesn’t Like a Beach Day?
If spending time by the ocean is your plan, you can’t go wrong with heading to Hampton Beach for swimming, people watching, and activities during the summer like live music and the annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic held every June. If you want a quieter beach experience then head to Wallis Sands State Park. Portsmouth is a fun town with great entertainment, shopping, and restaurant options.

My Neck of the Woods
If you want to head to my neck of the woods, then head to the Monadnock Region and the towns of Keene or Peterborough. We’ve lived in the Peterborough region for the last 20 years when we first arrived in the US from our home country of Canada. I recommend finding a secluded swimming spot around Dublin Lake, checking out a kid-created theater production at
Andy’s Summer Playhouse and grabbing ice cream at Ava Marie’s Handmade Chocolate. For a moderate hike, plan on spending a good portion of the day climbing Mt. Monadnock. At 3,156 feet high, it is one of the most climbed mountains in the world because of its terrains and views
at the top. And as such reservations are required so plan accordingly.

Kreifel Family | @simply.scenic

When it comes to planning a family-friendly spring break getaway, there is no better destination than Florida. With its stunning beaches, amusement parks and endless entertainment options, Florida is the perfect place for families to have fun together without breaking the bank. Here are just a few reasons
why you should consider Florida for your families next summer trip.

Unbeatable Beaches
From South Beach in Miami to Clearwater Beach in Tampa Bay and everything in between, Florida beaches offer something for everyone when it comes to relaxation and recreation. Plus, with the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean surrounding the state, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and boating activities any time of year. Specifically, our family has enjoyed Clearwater Beach for many years. It is home to some of Florida's most stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear water, shops on the boardwalk, amazing restaurants, including the famous Frenchy Rockaway Grill, and endless outdoor activities.

Thrilling Amusement Parks
Home to some of the worlds most renowned theme parks including Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando, Florida is an ideal spot for thrill-seekers of all ages. Whether you want to take on high-speed roller coasters or explore fantasy worlds filled with characters from the page and screen, these parks
have plenty of attractions that will make your next spring break unforgettable.

Magic Kingdom is one of our favorite parks at Disney World with entertainment to enjoy for the whole family. Our thirteen-year-old son loves the thrill of the Space Mountain roller coaster, our four-year-old daughter loves The Barnstormer which is a junior roller coaster, my husband loves The Pirates of the Caribbean ride and my personal favorite is Under The Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid. We usually end our evenings at Magic Kingdom with their amazing fireworks display. If there is one Disney park I would hit to experience that Disney magic, it would be this one.

For those who prefer taking it easy on vacation, there are plenty of options. Countless hotel resorts are offering up spas, pools, and luxurious amenities. However, one of our personal favorites in Florida is U-pick farms. This is a different way to & relax; but it is something our family enjoys! They are a great way for families to enjoy all of the fresh produce Florida has to offer and it is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax in the peacefulness of nature. Not only do they provide the chance to get out into the open air, but they also allow you to connect with the land and spend quality
time with your family while harvesting some delicious home-grown produce. Strawberries, oranges, and vegetables -- there are plenty of u-pick options throughout the state. Some of our favorite U-pick farms include Keel & Curley Winery + Keel Farms and Ridge Island Groves. And, with many farms offering discounts and special family packages, you can pick up some delicious treats while spending quality time with your loved ones.

Happe Family | @b.e.happe

If you’re looking for a great destination for your next family summer vacation, consider Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. This beautiful island offers something for every member of the family – from outdoor adventures to relaxing activities and everything in between. Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your time on Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head is home to 12 miles of gorgeous beaches. Whether you want to relax with a good book or work on your tan, there are plenty of options available. You can also join a beach volleyball game or try out some paddleboarding or kayaking if you’re feeling adventurous. Of course, no trip to the beach is complete without building sandcastles and playing in the surf!

best summer vacations for families
Outdoor Adventures
If you’d like to explore beyond the beach, there are plenty of outdoor adventures waiting for you on Hilton Head Island. Take a hike through one of the many nature trails, or rent bikes and go for a ride around town. You can also try your hand at fishing, golfing, or even zip-lining! There are plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement outdoors here on the island.

Spas and Shopping
Hilton Head isn’t just about outdoor activities; it also offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation. Spend an afternoon browsing through boutiques and art galleries around town, or take some time to unwind at one of the many spas located on the island. There are also several restaurants offering delicious local cuisine that will be sure to please everyone in your family!

No matter what kind of activities you’re interested in, Hilton Head Island has something for every member of your family. From exploring nature trails to relaxing at one of the many spas on the island, there is no shortage of things to do here during your summer vacation. So don’t wait – start planning your trip today and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

Valdez Family | @driventoventure

Our beautiful country offers many amazing places to see and visit, but one of our core family favorites is visiting the Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks! There is something majestic and special about this area of the US and with the two parks so closely located, there’s opportunity to visit both at once.

Grand Teton National Park is so grand, with the epic peaks of the Teton Range jutting up from the plains. We highly recommend taking in the views on the winding roads throughout the park. Be sure to stop for pictures along the way! If you are feeling more adventurous, take a quick boat ride or walk around the Jenny Lake Loop trail, and you can be hiking the Tetons in no
time! We particularly enjoy hiking the 4.9 mile Hidden Falls Trail. For accommodations in Grand Teton,

We love staying at the Colter Bay RV Park right on Lake Jackson. Staying within the confines of the park means cell phone service can be spotty here, but the ability to disconnect from our overly busy world is a welcome breath of fresh air! With its location inside Grand Teton National Park Colter Bay is within 45 minutes of Yellowstone National Park and makes for a great launch point to visit both parks.

bestfamilyvacation spots
To the north of Grand Teton is Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is an iconic, bucket-list vacation destination. Oftentimes popular destinations are oversold and once you arrive you are sorely disappointed- this is not the case for Yellowstone! A truly breathtaking park, pictures and videos do not do it justice. Crowds usually grow throughout the day, so we highly recommend seeing the most popular sites (Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, etc) early in the
morning or later in the evening. The landscape throughout the park varies drastically, and just when you think the landscape can’t get any more beautiful, you turn the corner and the feeling of awe and wonder repeats all over again.

In both Grand Teton and Yellowstone we thoroughly enjoy visiting the park Lodges. Our favorite Grand Tetons lodge is Jackson Lake Lodge, where you can get an amazing meal and epic view of the Tetons from the Mural Room restaurant. For Yellowstone, we love to visit Old Faithful Inn. Construction on Old Faithful Inn began in June of 1903- if only those walls could talk! We simply love to sit in the lobby, with a hot cup of coffee, watching people bustle about
and trying to imagine what it must have been like in the early 1900s.

Just a few tips for visiting these two wonderful National Parks: Stay within the parks, whether it’s the campgrounds or the different lodges, staying inside provides more time to explore and less time driving. Become an early riser, you will find yourself with significantly lower crowds and your chances of seeing wildlife increase drastically. Visit the historic lodges in both Grand Teton NP and Yellowstone NP, and enjoy the beauty of these grand works. Pack a picnic to take with you on your drives throughout the parks, since there are so many beautiful places to stop for a picnic!

Finally, be sure to visit the National Park visitors centers and participate in the Junior Ranger Programs and stamp your Passport books!

The Schultz Family | @Venturingtogether

We found the spot!

It has fun for kids, but great walking trails for adults as well! Let’s head 25 minutes north of Austin Texas to the “Play For All Abilities Park”. This fully-gated park is home to many pod areas that are geared towards different skills. From a real-life small city complete with a Chick-Fil-A drive through and working stop lights to a full race track for the kids to ride their bikes and scooters; it has it all! 

Best spots for summer vacation

Built right alongside access to the massive “Brushy creek regional trail” for walking and biking, this park has 51,000 sq feet of outdoor fun for kids of all ages and abilities. You will easily spend hours having fun at this family friendly location.

Fun tips: 

  • Bring a bike or scooter along.
  • The Kona Ice truck is here often.
  • Head to the “car wash” to be misted to cool down from the TX heat!
  • Parks are fun after dark too! They light up the town with Christmas lights and the race track is fully lit as well!

 best spots for summer vacation

You can find the Play For All Abilities Park at 151 North A.W. Grimes Blvd. Round Rock, Texas 78664

Open 6am to midnight and is free to all! 

Tran Family | @nuclear.nomad

If you're traveling on the east coast this summer, The Outer Banks (OBX) of NC is a must visit! You'll find family fun, history, good eats and adventures! You can take your RV on a ferry to hop the Islands. It's the easiest way to get to the OBX if you're coming from the southern NC beaches.

Our favorite place to stay is at Camp Hatteras RV Resort on hwy 12 in Rodanthe, NC. It's not to desolate and not over commercialized! Camp Hatteras RV Resort has over 400 sites, oceanfront, AND soundfront. The amenities are endless, non-denominational worship service, indoor & outdoor pools, water sport rentals, planned activities, a dog park, and much more. Their website,, is easy to navigate and has an organized link for local finds!

There are so many amazing places around the world that make perfect summer vacation destinations for families! Whether you’re looking for an adventurous escape or just want to relax on a beach somewhere exotic, there’s something out there that will fit your needs perfectly. Start planning your dream vacation today and make unforgettable memories with your loved ones this summer!