Cities make great getaways for families. They’re hubs for direct flights, ample hotels and restaurants and attractions that appeal to all ages. In these cities, kids will be wide-eyed with wonder as they stare up at towering skyscrapers and bright lights – they’ll even feel a bit like grown-ups! City visits certainly aren’t for relaxing vacations and lazy afternoons though. They’re about seeing and doing it all, then coming home with so many memories that you’ll need a bigger scrapbook.

Here are the 10 most popular cities for families, based on members’ positive reviews. We happen to agree with each one!

Written by Lissa Poirot

Planning on visiting one of these great cities? Check out our Weekend Getaways section, where we have two- and three-day city itineraries!
You didn't think we'd begin the city adventures anywhere else, did you? In the Big Apple, there is something for children of all ages, from Broadway shows like "Annie" and "The Lion King," to Central Park's Zoo and Wildlife Center, Children's Zoo, horse and carriage rides, and Belvedere Castle. In just a few blocks, you can fill an entire weekend. Hop aboard the ferry to the Statue of Liberty or ride the elevator to the Top of the Rock for everlasting views. Pop into the American Museum of Natural History or Metropolitan Museum of Art for a bit of culture. Grab a pretzel or slice of pizza from a street vendor or let the kids sample their first frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. No matter what you find, the family is bound to have fun!

Recommended Hotel: Casablanca Hotel

Our nation's capital is also one of America’s greatest cities. Where else can you find 19 free museums? The Smithsonian's museums, which include the Air & Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American Art provide days upon days of interactive fun. If that's not enough, there's all of Washington's monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, located around the National Mall, with views of the White House and the Capitol Building. This city makes kids' history books come to life, and cannot be missed.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Palomar Washington D.C. – A Kimpton Hotel

This West Coast city is filled with sunshine (when the fog doesn't roll in), ample beaches and parks, interesting quirks (the zigzagging Lombard Street and Haight-Ashbury), and kid-size fun for all ages, including a visit to Fisherman's Wharf where wild seals bathe and bark in the sun. One of the San Francisco Bay’s most iconic settings is the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and the island where Alcatraz rests and our most notorious bad guys once lived when it was a jail. San Francisco is rich in culture, and its diverse neighborhoods provide an international flair -- just turn the corner into Chinatown and you'll forget you're even in California. Plus, just short drives away are some of the state's most beautiful national parks, such as Point Reyes National Seashore.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf

The Windy City's Magnificent Mile truly is magnificent, as are the beaches lining the shores of Lake Michigan, which is so large that it looks more like an ocean. The Museum Campus houses the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, while the Navy Pier will give kids a glimpse of the lake from a Ferris wheel vantage point. Another world-famous ballpark, Wrigley Field calls Chicago home, and kids can catch the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears or Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks in stadiums across this sports-loving city.

Recommended Hotel: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

In this romantic city, you’ll see architectural influences from France, Spain, the Caribbean and Africa. New Orleans made a major rebound after Hurricane Katrina, and now that it's back to its original splendor, take the kids to immerse them in jazz music pouring out of Jackson Square, ride the Mighty Mississippi in an old-fashioned steamboat, discover the colors of Mardi Gras at Mardi Gras World, and play with bugs at the Audubon Insectariums. Further afield, introduce them to swamp life with airboat adventures just outside the city.

Recommended Hotel: Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans

While most travel to the Hawaiian Islands to enjoy the beaches, oceans and rainforests, Hawaii’s capital city of Honolulu is a great destination for families who want to enjoy Hawaii and its culture but still bask in a never-ending-things-to-do city. Oahu Island’s famed Waikiki Beach provides a place to relax, shadowed by skyscrapers, restaurants and hotels galore. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor and Iolani Palace for history, take the kids to the Waikiki Aquarium to get them closer to Hawaiian sea life, and enjoy plentiful shopping in Honolulu’s International Market Place or outdoor malls in this island mecca that may be more difficult to get to, but is well worth the long flight.

Recommended Hotel: Aston Waikiki Beach Tower

Deep in the heart of Texas is the uber family-friendly city of San Antonio. Although the city itself is an example of sprawl, its downtown River Walk means you can ditch the car and enjoy the old town, from a visit to The Alamo to a relaxing dinner cruise down the river. The vibrant River Walk is filled with restaurants and shops and is located near plenty of kid-friendly attractions, such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and the Children’s Museum. Just outside the city awaits SeaWorld and Six Flags theme parks, making San Antonio just one of two cities on our list that features city life next to amusement parks.

Recommended Hotel: Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown

This Florida city’s long stretch of golden sand rests along a large pedestrian sidewalk where roller blades, strollers and bikes merge in this sunny playground. But just a few blocks away from the beach awaits Las Olas Boulevard, a street filled with art galleries, boutiques and restaurants that puts on a number of family-friendly festivals throughout the year. At the end of the street, the Museum of Discovery and Science is a perfect last stop in a day of exploration. Cruise along the Intercoastal Waterway by riverboat or even just a water taxi for views of the city and great sunsets.

Recommended Hotel: Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

San Diego is a top vacation destination for families because of its consistently perfect weather and wide array of attractions. A large city of suburban sprawl, a car ride will get you to places like SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, and the Zoo Safari Park, but within walking distance or a quick cab, families can really get to know the city of San Diego. In the downtown area, families can walk through the historic Gaslamp District and visit the Maritime Museum and the USS Midway Museum. A short taxi ride to the beautiful Balboa Park will present plenty to do with a chance to explore 15 museums and the famed San Diego Zoo. And if that’s not enough, there are plenty of beaches to practice your surf skills.

Recommended Hotel: Omni San Diego Hotel

Beantown -- as everyone but locals calls it -- is a small, big city with a healthy dose of old and new. Boston's past remains a fixture of its present, with cobblestone roads that Bostonians have navigated since the 1700’s. In this very walkable city, you’ll find the country's oldest standing baseball stadium, Fenway Park, shopping and dining in the city's historic and original "mall" at Quincy Market, and a Common park and Public Garden that have been serving the city for centuries. New buildings house the Children's Museum and New England Aquarium, as well as the Museum of Science, all of which provide kids with hands-on learning opportunities that are also fun and exciting.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Commonwealth

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10 Best Cities for Family Vacations
Casablanca Hotel Reviews
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Hotel Palomar Washington D.C. - A Kimpton Hotel Reviews
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Holiday Inn Express Fisherman's Wharf Reviews
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Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago Reviews
tracys - Nov 30th, 2011

It was a pleasant suprise for everyone in the family. It was a work trip that I took my family along, since it was my daughter's birthday. My husband and kids had a blast! The hotel and service is impeccable--5 star entrance and greetings. We had ... read more
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago reviews
Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans Reviews
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Aston Waikiki Beach Tower Reviews
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Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown Reviews
rhale - Mar 11th, 2013

I have to say this hotel was a huge disappointment. 1st I was called the reservation number. I get connected to a lady that informs me that this hotel has Sleep Number beds and free guest parking. Both were flat out lies. This hotel charges ... read more
Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk-Downtown reviews
Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa Reviews
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Omni San Diego Hotel Reviews
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Hotel Commonwealth Reviews
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