Family Vacations in the Northeast USA

Gorham Mountain in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine

Michael Rickard/Getty Images

Families who live in the Northeast have a smorgasbord of wonderful vacation options within a day's drive. The region includes the six New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) as well as three in the Mid-Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania).

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    Tyler Place Family Resort: Highgate Springs, VT

    Tyler Place Family Resort

    Tyler Place Family Resort

    One of America's best all-inclusive resorts, the 165-acre Tyler Place Family Resort pioneered all-inclusive pricing during the Great Depression and has been helping families create awesome summer family vacation memories ever since. With nine age-staggered groups from babies through teens, the children's program is simply unbeatable. (Tyler Place is also on our shortlist of top vacations with a baby and toddler.)

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    New York City

    Castillo Belvedere in Central Park

    Scott Dunn/Getty Images

    From Broadway shows to iconic sightseeing and shopping, New York City offers a slew of fun options for visiting families.

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    Hershey, PA

    Hersheypark

    brownpau/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Talk about sweet. Hershey is a town where lampposts are shaped like Hershey's Kisses and the pervasive candy theme is, well, just chocolate icing on the cake. The big draw is Hersheypark, whose impressive array of roller coasters make it one of the best theme parks on the East Coast.

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    Acadia National Park: Mt. Desert Island, ME

    Acadia National Park

    heipei/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    One of America's most visited national parks, Acadia is set on the rugged coast of Maine. The park is home to myriad plants and animals, as well as the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the coastal scenery.

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  • 05 of 17

    Whiteface Lodge: Lake Placid, NY

    Whiteface Lodge

    Whiteface Lodge

    For families looking for a mountain getaway that's luxurious yet completely family-friendly, the all-suite Whiteface Lodge is a fabulous choice in the gorgeous Adirondacks of Upstate New York.

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    Harborview Nantucket: Nantucket, MA

    Harborview Nantucket

    Harborview Nantucket

    Not quite a vacation rental, but not quite a hotel, Harborview Nantucket is comprised of 11 impeccably designed luxury cottages that frame a green lawn beside a boat-filled harbor cove in Nantucket. The property is a wonderful oasis in this bustling little town, and it would make a super home base for multi-generational gatherings or reunions. 

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    Ogunquit, ME

    Ogunquit, Maine

    Corbis/Getty Images

    The Algonquin Indians named it Ogunquit, or “beautiful place by the sea.” A jewel along the southern Maine coast, the pretty village of Ogunquit delights families with a stunning coastal walk, wonderful beach, saltwater taffy, lobstering cruises, and lots of unpretentious family fun.

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    Philadelphia, PA

    Philadelphia One Liberty Observation Deck
    Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    As if the Liberty Bell and cheesesteak weren't enough, there are many more fantastic reasons to bring your kids to Philadelphia.

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  • 09 of 17

    Mohonk Mountain House: New Paltz, NY

    Mohonk resort in New York

    Fred Hsu/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    The 251-room Mohonk Mountain House overlooks sprawling grounds containing a pristine lake, 85 miles of hiking trails, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, stables, and a grand lawn where families can watch movies in the open air. Kids ages 4 to 12 can participate in the award-winning children’s program that includes guided nature walks, animal tracking, and fossil hunts.

  • 10 of 17

    Skytop Lodge: Skytop, PA

    Skytop Lodge

    Skytop Lodge

    The oh-so-grand Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains has been welcoming families since 1928. There's a huge choice of activities, including zip-lining, kayaking, archery, tennis, boating, biking, rock climbing, and hiking, plus an excellent supervised children’s program, and golfers get a bonus that’s virtually unheard of: Unlimited greens fees. 

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    The Sagamore: Lake George, NY

    The Sagamore Resort Lake George

    The Sagamore

    For families looking for a lake getaway that's luxurious yet completely family-friendly, The Sagamore is a wonderful choice on spectacular Lake George in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains.

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    Upper Cape Cod, MA

    Quissett Harbor

    Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    The most westerly region of Cape Cod—Bourne, Sandwich, Mashpee, Falmouth, and Woods Hole—make up the Upper Cape. Life is a bit sleepier here than on the Outer Cape. The beaches are a bit calmer and prices a bit lower, too, which combine to make this an ideal getaway with kids. 

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    Winnetu Resort: Martha's Vineyard, MA

    Winnetu Oceanside Resort

    Winnetu Oceanside Resort

    The upscale Winnetu Resort on Martha's Vineyard is wonderfully family-friendly, offering spacious accommodations, family-friendly dining, babysitting, and children's activity programs for kids ages 3 to 12 as well as for teens.

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    Woodstock Inn & Resort: Woodstock, VT

    Woodstock Inn

    Woodstock Inn & Resort

    For families looking for a relaxing Vermont getaway with a host of family activities, the Woodstock Inn & Resort is an excellent upscale choice. This four-season resort where family time means games and hikes, farm visits, and afternoon cookies and cider.

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    Rocking Horse Ranch: Highland, NY

    Rocking Horse Ranch Highland, NY

    Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

    Rocking Horse Ranch is a popular, extremely kid-centric dude ranch in the hinterland of the Hudson Valley. Besides the usual ranch activities such as horseback riding (kids must be at least 7 years old) and hay rides, there's an enormous wagonload of other fun things to do, such as rock climbing, archery, swimming, tennis, and more.

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    Great Wolf Lodge New England: Fitchburg, MA

    Great Wolf Lodge

    Great Wolf Lodge

    The wildly popular Great Wolf Lodge chain of indoor water park resorts opened its first New England property in the Boston area in 2014. At 68,000 square feet, the indoor water park is the largest in Massachusetts.

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    Providence Biltmore: Providence, RI

    Providence Biltmore

    Providence Biltmore

    The grandest hotel in the Creative Capital, the Providence Biltmore opened in 1922 and has been wowing guests ever since.

    – Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher