15 Vacation Options If You Want To Pass On Disney World

15 Vacation Options if You Want to Pass on Disney World

Disney World is one of the most magical places on earth, but it is also one of the most chaotic. Between expensive tickets, insane crowds and long lines you may end up enduring more stress that you anticipated. The good news is that there are plenty of family-friendly places to go that don't involve an abundance of people and screaming children.

*Related: 18 Reasons Why You Need to Take  a Cruise This Year

Virginia Beach

This resort city is the perfect family getaway. It is home to miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels. Take the kids to Ocean Breeze Waterpark and have fun on over 30 rides, slides, and attractions; head to the Virginia Aquarium and explore coastal habitats from around the world, then venture out to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and journey through 8,000 acres of sand dunes, ponds maritime forests, and fresh water marshes.

Legoland, California

Stay at the Legoland California resort for the ultimate family getaway. Enjoy their Sea Life Aquarium, Water Park and their huge amusement park. Kids will love the Lego Ninjago World, Imagination Zone, Castle Hill and Land of Adventure. There are tons of rides, a Lego Factory, kids play area, and 4-D movies where you can relax for a bit.

New York City

New York City is full of spectacular attractions and a variety of things to do. Take your family to the American Museum of Natural History, go for a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge, spend the day in Central Park, go on some fun rides in Coney Island, and climb to the top of the Empire State Building for a stunning view of the entire city. If you're looking for cool museums, check out the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Mathematics.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach will be one of your most memorable family vacations. Have some fun at the beach, take the kids to the Brookgreen Zoo, explore the Ripley's Aquarium and walk through the WonderWorks museum. For some water fun, plan a day at the Myrtle Beach waterpark; after that, hop on the SkyWheel and capture views of Myrtle Beach in a completely different way. At night, take your family back in time to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Enjoy a night of jousting and cheering as your knight fights for victory.

Carnival Sunshine Cruise

The Carnival Sunshine has had a $155 million extreme makeover and has refurbished and expanded its kids club," cruisecritic.com says. Kids will never find a shortage of things to do. Swim under the stars, participate in scavenger hunts, play bingo, make your own pizza, build stuffed animals, and get your faces painted.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Have fun and go wild on a variety of family adventures in Williamsburg, Virginia. Spend the day at Busch Gardens, visit Colonial Williamsburg, splash around at Water Country USA, learn the chemistry of making glass at the Jamestown Glasshouse, and go for a walk around the York River State Park. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, try the Ape Treetop Adventure Course and zip line your way through Williamsburg's tree tops.

Hershey, Pennsylvania

When most of us think of Hershey, Pennsylvania, we think of the Hershey amusement park. Spend the day riding roller coasters, sliding down water slides and eating some of the best chocolate around. Also in Hershey, you will find the ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, the Hershey Theatre, Hersheypark Stadium and the Crossroads Antique Mall.


Head to the Big Major Cay island in the Bahamas and take your family to meet new friends while swimming with pigs. If you are looking for a family-friendly place to stay, look no further than the Atlantis Resort. It is home to one of the largest outdoor marine habitats in the world with more than 50,000 aquatic animals and 250 species. Other animals to look out for include flamingos, dolphins, iguanas, and turtles.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Leave the cold weather behind and take your family to Honolulu, the ultimate paradise. Try a new water sport, go scuba diving and snorkeling. Have some fun in the sun at Waikiki Beach, take pictures by the beautiful Manoa Falls, and walk the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. Then take a private tour, visit the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and learn more about history at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Diamond Head State Monument and the Honolulu Museum of Art.


Regardless of the season you choose to visit, Alaska offers an abundance of family-friendly adventures. Go kayaking surrounded by glaciers; Glacier Bay National Park offers some of the most spectacular sea kayaking in the world. View marine life including sea lions and humpback whales and see spectacular scenery. While you are there, make sure you go to the eastern boundary of Denali National Park and go whitewater rafting on the Nenana River. It is perfect for people of intermediate to advanced skill levels with Class III and IV whitewater. Also, don't forget to check out their famous ice caves, visit their beautiful national parks, and go fly fishing.

Yosemite National Park, California

From the trees to mountains, high cliffs and stunning waters, if you have a love for nature you will have a great appreciation for Yosemite. If you are planning a trip Yosemite, first decide which season you plan to visit. In the warmer months there are a variety of water sports at your disposal. From swimming in their outdoor pools to going on a rafting adventure, Yosemite will not disappoint. If you chose to visit during the colder months, gear up for some of the most incredible cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing around. Take tons of pictures, view over 400 species of vertebrates; even spot mountain lions and bears. Also capture a variety of stunning views that are accessible throughout the entire park.

Orlando, Florida

When many of us think of Orlando, Walt Disney World usually comes to mind. The good news is that there are other fun options for those of you looking to avoid the chaotic park. Visit SeaWorld and get up close and personal with animals. View dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, and flamingos. Educate yourselves in the interactive exhibits, ride roller coasters, watch spectacular shows and treat yourself to a private buffet with Shamu. Other fun places to visit include Universals Islands of Adventures and Aquatica Orlando.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui offers the best of both worlds – a laid back atmosphere but also exciting family-friendly adventures. Take up a new watersport – "no matter what sort of aquatic adventure you crave, Maui has you covered. This waterman's playground offers world-class surfing, wind surfing, kiteboarding, spearfishing, snorkeling, cliff jumping, waterfall-pool frolicking and more," scubadiving.com says. Maui is also home to some of Hawaii's most over the top resorts, one of the most popular being The Grand Wailea. The resort offers guided kayak tours, scuba diving programs, and paddleboard lessons. It consists of 9 pools, an incredible 2,000-foot long river with waterslides and waterfalls, caves, rope swings, and more.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Visit the Grand Canyon with your family for the ultimate adventure vacation. Go on a hike, take a guided bike tour, or try a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. When you get tired, visit the Grand Canyon IMAX Theatre, then head to the Havasupai Falls and take pictures in front of the beautiful waterfalls. In the winter, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Tip: If you have younger children, go on a nature walk or bird watching.

Las Vegas, Nevada

You don't have to be a high-roller to experience Las Vegas. Believe it or not, this resort city is actually a very family-friendly destination. If your family is interested in trying new adrenaline inducing activities, head to the Stratosphere Hotel and hop on their thrilling rides – SkyJump, Big Shot, Insanity, and X-Scream. When you want to take it easy, bring the kids to the Aquarium at the Silverton Hotel and view 160 species of fish from around the world; or go to the Bellagio's Conservatory of Botanical Gardens and admire the seasonal displays made of stunning flowers and ornate sculptures.