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East Coast Family Vacations: Best Destinations and Tips for Planning

If you’re looking for a family vacation that combines stunning beaches, thrilling theme parks, historic sites, and outdoor adventures, the East Coast is the perfect destination. With so many options to choose from, planning an East Coast family vacation can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top destinations, accommodations, activities, and tips for a memorable East Coast family vacation.

Top Destinations for East Coast Family Vacations

Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida - East Coast Family Vacations

Known as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. These parks offer a range of rides, shows, and attractions that cater to all ages, making it a perfect choice for families.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the top beach destinations on the East Coast, with miles of sandy beaches, boardwalks, and a variety of family-friendly attractions such as the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and Ripley’s Aquarium.

Washington, D.C.

A visit to the nation’s capital can be both fun and educational for families. There are numerous Smithsonian museums, historic sites, and monuments to explore, and many of them offer interactive exhibits and activities for kids.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg is a historic town that offers a glimpse into life in colonial America. Families can visit Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum, and explore Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is a great destination for families who love the outdoors. The park offers hiking trails, scenic drives, and the opportunity to see wildlife such as moose, bald eagles, and harbor seals.

Accommodation Options for East Coast Family Vacations

There are many different types of accommodations available for families on the East Coast, including hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. Here are some tips for choosing the best type of accommodation for your family:

  • Hotels and resorts: These are great options for families who want amenities such as pools, restaurants, and kids’ clubs. Look for hotels that offer suites or connecting rooms to accommodate larger families.
  • Vacation rentals: Vacation rentals such as condos, apartments, or houses can provide more space and privacy for families. They often come with a kitchen, which can be a money-saving option for families who want to prepare some meals at home.
  • Campgrounds: Camping can be a fun and affordable option for families who enjoy the outdoors. Many campgrounds offer amenities such as playgrounds, swimming pools, and campfire rings.

Activities for Families on East Coast Vacations

There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy on the East Coast. Here are some of the top choices:

  • Beach days: The East Coast is home to some of the best beaches in the world, including Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, and Cape Cod. Spend a day building sandcastles, swimming, and playing beach games.
  • Theme parks: As mentioned earlier, Orlando is home to some of the world’s top theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. But there are also smaller parks such as Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia and Six Flags New England in Massachusetts.
  • Historical sites: The East Coast has a rich history, and there are many sites that offer educational and interactive exhibits for families. Some top choices include the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
  • Outdoor adventures: From hiking and biking in Acadia National Park to whale watching in Cape May, New Jersey, there are plenty of outdoor activities for families to enjoy.

Best Times to Visit for East Coast Family Vacations

The best time to plan an East Coast family vacation depends on what you want to do and see. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your trip:

  • Summer: This is the peak season for many East Coast destinations, especially beach towns. Expect crowds and higher prices, but also longer days and warm weather.
  • Fall: The fall foliage season is a popular time to visit New England, with colorful leaves and harvest festivals. The weather is also milder, and crowds are generally smaller.
  • Winter: Some East Coast destinations, such as Orlando, offer special holiday events and decorations. Ski resorts in New England and the mid-Atlantic region also offer winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
  • Spring: Spring is a great time to visit Washington, D.C., when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It’s also a good time to visit beach towns before the crowds arrive.

Tips for Planning an East Coast Family Vacation

Here are some practical tips for planning an East Coast family vacation:

  • Set a budget: Decide how much you can afford to spend on your trip and stick to it. Look for deals and discounts on accommodations, attractions, and transportation.
  • Choose the right transportation: Depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re going, you may want to fly, drive, or take a train or bus. Consider the cost, convenience, and time involved in each option.
  • Pack wisely: Pack for the weather and the activities you have planned. Don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Plan your itinerary: Research your destination and make a list of the must-see attractions and activities. Consider pre-booking tickets and reservations to avoid lines and crowds.
  • Be flexible: While it’s good to have a plan, it’s also important to be flexible and willing to change course if needed. Leave some room in your schedule for unexpected events or spontaneous adventures.


What is the best East Coast beach for families?
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is a great choice for families, with wide sandy beaches, plenty of attractions and activities, and a range of accommodations.

What are some affordable accommodations for families on the East Coast?
Vacation rentals such as condos, apartments, or houses can be an affordable option for families. Camping can also be a budget-friendly choice.

What are some kid-friendly attractions in Washington, D.C.?
The Smithsonian museums, National Zoo, and International Spy Museum are just a few of the kid-friendly attractions in Washington, D.C.

When is the best time to visit Orlando for a family vacation?
The best time to visit Orlando is during the off-season, which is typically January through early February and late August through early December.

What are some outdoor activities for families on the East Coast?
Some outdoor activities for families on the East Coast include hiking in Acadia National Park, whale watching in Cape May, and biking on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

In conclusion, an East Coast family vacation offers a diverse range of destinations, accommodations, activities, and experiences that are sure to please everyone in the family. By following these tips and recommendations, you can plan a memorable and fun-filled vacation that your family will cherish for years to come.

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