Family Vacation Destinations That are Budget Friendly

When it comes to planning a family vacation, one of the major stumbling blocks is the price. Where can you go that is budget-friendly but also offers enough for everyone to have fun?

family vacation

There doesn’t seem to be that many at first thought, but rest assured as this list has covered. You will create memories that will last a lifetime without having to burn a huge hole in your wallet.

Here are 5 family vacation destinations that are budget-friendly.

1. San Diego, California

First up it’s the Golden State. San Diego has so many things to do for the entire family that will keep everyone entertained on a budget.

Head to Balboa Park to find all kinds of interesting spots. There’s a wide range of museums and gardens to explore, playgrounds to let the kids blow off some steam, the Old Globe Theatre and more. 

You also can’t visit San Diego and not go to the zoo. It’s regarded as one of the best in the world and is full of interesting and beautiful animals. In fact, there are over 800 different species to discover here, so everyone in the family will have a chance to find their favorite. There’s kangaroos, Komodo dragons, lions, tigers, the works. There’s also a Children’s Zoo where the kids can really interact with farm animals at the petting zoo.

And of course, being in California, there’s the beach. San Diego is well-known for its gorgeous beaches. Stretching for 70 miles, there are all sorts of activities the family can do here on a budget. Build sand-castles, sunbathe, take a swim in the ocean or even try out some surfing. 

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

The bright lights of Las Vegas are appealing to all ages. While most people associate Vegas with gambling and not suited for kids, there are actually plenty of things to do – and on a budget!

First up is the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Each season brings something new to the table. If you visit during the Chinese New Year, you’ll even experience a special presentation. It doesn’t cost a penny to do either. You will find the Gardens just across the lobby. 

Just outside that same casino are the world-famous Bellagio Fountains. You may have seen them on the telly but it’s another thing entirely watching them in action in person. Again, it’s totally free and will have everyone mesmerized.

While you’re in Vegas, make sure you head to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and take a self-guided tour. There you can enjoy the free samples and watch them make the chocolate.

Las Vegas is also all about the hotels. According to CoolThingsChicago, even some of the best are available on a budget. As noted by VegasForAll, head to a show and experience all of what Vegas has to offer. 

3. Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City is not just a party town. There’s plenty to do here for the entire family and it makes for a perfect budget-friendly family vacation destination. 

According to Kate Huber, at NJGamblingFun, “It’s imperative that you visit the beach and the boardwalk during the summer months. These are Atlantic City’s biggest attractions, where you have opportunities from taking a dolphin-watching cruise to riding a rollercoaster. The boardwalk also has plenty of shops to buy a souvenir to take home and sweet shops to keep the kids happy all day.”

If you fancy doing a bit of shopping, AC has you covered thanks to The Playground Complex and Tanger Outlets shopping center.

Atlantic City is a good place for a winter getaway too. If you head to the boardwalk, you can still play all the arcade games. You can also check out all the local museums and aquariums.

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Next up to bat is Pittsburgh and there are just as many budget-friendly activities for a family vacation here as all the other places on this list.

Firstly, take a walk downtown and just enjoy the city. It’s full of stories and the skyscrapers are something to behold. Pick up a sandwich and take a bite from Pittsburgh’s finest or take a break and go for a coffee.

You must also check out the Old Allegheny County Jail Museum. It was used up until 1995, but is now a big tourist attraction. Today, a small section of cell blocks is preserved as a museum. It’s another chance to get a glimpse of the city’s rich history.

And of course, there’s the McDonald's Big Mac Museum Restaurant. It is home to the largest Big Mac statue in the world and you will also find many celebrations to this legendary burger.

Finally, when you’ve think you’ve done it all, take a drive to Mt. Washington. You’ll soon see why it was named by USA Weekend as “one of the Top 10 most beautiful views in the country.”

5. Winter Park, Colorado 

The final best budget-friendly family vacation destination is Winter Park, Colorado. Many of the best things to do here are free and even those that aren’t won’t cost you more than $20 each.

Every weekend in Winter Park is an opportunity to attend a festival or event. These include the likes of High-Note Thursdays, Blues After Dark and more. 

Head to the Winter Park Resort and take a ride on the longest Alpine Slide in the entire state. Further, head to the YMCA to play some disc golf, pool, use the basketball courts, go hiking, play on the playground and more. You don’t even have to stay there if you don’t want to.

Additionally, the Fraser River Valley Lion’s Club is an excellent spot to go fishing. It’s totally free for kids under 18 and the rods are quite cheap to rent. Feel free to bring your own gear if you have it at no additional cost.

Finally, go to the center of Winter Park and head to Cooper Creek Square. Here you will find activities fun for the entire family. There are magic shows, street performers, arts and crafts and a whole lot more.

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