Family Fun in the Northeast States
Discover larger-than-life history in the big cities that dot the Northeast region. See a family-friendly Broadway show on the Great White Way, or explore Boston’s Freedom Trail, where American founding fathers fought for freedom. Don’t overlook the area’s wide-open spaces, like New York’s Adirondack Park, the largest publicly protected area in the Lower 48.
Jump to a State
Maritime history comes alive in Mystic. Walk aboard the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship or stroll the shops along the historic seaport. New Haven is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with several state parks nearby. While in town, explore the remarkable campus and museums of Yale University. Take a cultural excursion to Hartford to visit the Mark Twain House & Museum, where the author penned “Huck Finn.”
Delaware might not be the first place that comes to mind of when you think of beaches. However, the state is home to many miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Head inland to explore Dover, where you can learn about aviation history at the Air Command Mobility Center or catch a race at the Dover International Speedway. Brandywine Valley, in the northern part of the state, offers natural beauty and historic sites for families to enjoy.
Indiana caters to kids at the popular Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the top-rated Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, with sweeping views of Lake Michigan, is a picturesque place to hike, swim and paddle. Tucked away in the countryside, several state parks offer hiking trails with scenic views. Racing fans can’t leave the state without a stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Stately lighthouses line the rocky Atlantic shores of America’s easternmost state. Bring your binoculars to do some epic whale watching, or set out on the start of the famed Appalachian Trail to explore the rugged terrain. Acadia National Park offers spectacular scenery, and Cadillac Mountain is a beloved spot to catch a sunrise or sunset or to gaze at the stars.
Few places showcase American history with more flare than the Bay State. Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston to see Bunker Hill, Faneuil Hall and Boston Commons. Cape Cod is the ultimate family getaway, with a slew of small towns with eateries that serve up fresh lobster. Relive a witchy chapter in America’s past at Salem.
Known as America’s Third Coast, Michigan has more miles of shoreline than any other state in the Lower 48. On the west coast, climb up the huge dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for a remarkable view of the sapphire lake below — and a fun trip down. Take a ferry off the northern coast to explore Mackinac Island’s charming carriages and Victorian architecture.
Take your family vacation to new heights. The scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway or Mount Washington Auto Road will expose you to jaw-dropping views of the White Mountains. At a lower altitude, Lake Winnipesaukee is 72 square miles of angling and boating fun. Throughout the state, small towns embody New England charm. For something different, Santa’s Village is a top-rated theme park in Jefferson. Throughout the state, restaurants serve up maple treats that will satisfy the family sweet tooth.
The Jersey Shore in the southern part of the Garden State is synonymous with saltwater taffy and bustling boardwalks. Try your hand at a carnival game, take a spin on a Ferris wheel, or find a tasty treat before relaxing at the seashore. Keep the fun going at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Thomas Edison National Historical Park and Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum
When it comes to vacations, it’s hard to compete with New York City, home to the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park. Still, the rest of the Empire State gives the Big Apple a run for its money. The Adirondacks unfurl with stunning scenery and charming small towns. Niagara Falls roars with raw power, with several vantages points on the New York side.
On the shores of Lake Erie, Cedar Point Amusement Park rollercoasters defy the laws of gravity. Find more thrills in Cleveland at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the lively West Side Market. The Buckeye State’s mellow side abides in the verdant landscape of Hocking Hills State Park or the quaint villages of Ohio Amish Country. Aviation history comes alive in Dayton, the Wright Brothers’ hometown.
Educational vacations don’t get much better than this: Philadelphia honors its U.S. Founding Fathers with the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. A Pivotal Revolutionary War attack unfolded in Valley Forge National Historical Park, and the Civil War is preserved at Gettysburg National Military Park. Pittsburgh offers big city fun, while Lancaster serves up the simple pleasures of Amish Country.
Scenic beauty, culture and history — Rhode Island has it all. Get away from the everyday by relaxing in picturesque state parks like Colt, Lincoln Woods and Burlingame. Hunt for seashells or work on your tan on the sandy beaches of Narragansett Bay. Kids will love getting hands-on with interactive exhibits at the Providence Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium and RISD Museum of Art.
Get ready for unforgettable family adventures in the Green Mountain State. In the winter, ski or snowboard to your heart’s content at renowned ski resorts like Stowe, Sugarbush and Killington. When the snow melts, head to Lake Champlain for endless sailing, hiking, biking and fishing opportunities. Don’t forget to sample Lake Champlain Chocolates and tour the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory while you’re here.