If you’re in the process of planning a family friendly vacation in the United States, you have a lot of options available.
The southern region of the U.S. offers a wide variety of different types of travel destinations, including beaches, mountains, and big cities.
Some of the country’s best travel spots are in the southern part of the country, and the following are five favorites.
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Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are only around six miles from each other. They are two of the most popular places in the Smoky Mountains to visit, for a wide variety of reasons.
First, they’re located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which happens to be the nation’s most popular national park.
Along with the hiking and other outdoor activities of the park, there’s a lot more to this area.
For example, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are known for fantastic dinner theater options, hospitality, a thriving arts scene, and amusement options for the whole family.
The area is home to Dollywood and the Titanic Museum, as well as the Island which is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex with a Ferris wheel.
You can rent a cabin or opt to stay in a hotel, but regardless of the specifics of your trip, it’s a perfect family-friendly destination.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
All of the beaches along the North and South Carolina coast are stunning and great for families, but Hilton Head tends to be a real standout.
Hilton Head is an island, and it’s incredibly casual and laid back. There are sports like golf and biking, and boating as well as being on the beach of course.
Hilton Head is pristine and largely unspoiled by major development, which can be a rarity in coastal communities. You’re not going to find high rises and some of the other things you might think of when you consider a tourist destination.
Of course, if you do want something like that you can go north to Myrtle Beach, which is another excellent southern destination for families.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is one of the most picturesque historic locations in the country, and it’s packed with family-friendly activities as well.
The South Carolina Aquarium offers the chance to see more than 5,000 fish and animals up close and personal.
The Children’s Museum of the Low country is an interactive venue particularly good for younger kids, or you could make your way to the Angel Oak Park on John’s Island.
The tree is thought to be at least 400 years old.
The Battery is the heart of the Charleston historic district, and along with the truly stunning homes, there’s a public park, White Point Gardens.
The Charleston City Market offers local artisan items as well as books, toys and children’s clothes and it’s right in the middle of the activity of downtown Charleston.
Exciting Things to do in North Carolina at Night
Atlanta is a big southern city, but it can feel like a small town in many ways. It’s an affordable place to visit, and since there are so many hotel options, they tend to stay relatively affordable.
You could also rent an Airbnb if you’d like more space. The Georgia Aquarium is in Atlanta and is the largest aquarium in the country.
The Ponce Market Rooftop Arcade features old-school carnival-style games and city views, and there’s Zoo Atlanta. Another family-friendly activity is padding along the Chattahoochee River, or you could visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden features the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden, which has a tree house and other kids’ activities. Atlanta is home to the Center for Puppetry Arts, and they have the interactive exhibit “The Jim Henson Collection.”
It features scenes from the career of Jim Henson and puppets like Kermit.
Perdido Key, Florida
Perdido Key is an ultimate family travel destination. First, it has an average temperature of 75 degrees, and there are typically around 343 days of sunshine every year.
Perdido Key is a community between Pensacola, Florida and Orange Beach, Alabama. It is home to Perdido Key State Park with white dunes and views of the Gulf.
There’s also Big Lagoon State Park, which is great for hiking and camping. You can visit the nearby Historic Pensacola District, or go to Five Flags Speedway.
There are lighthouse tours, and the historic forts of McRee, Barrancas, and Morgan.
Dolphin cruises, charter boats, deep-sea fishing, and scuba diving are all available, and the area is home to the USS Oriskany, which is the world’s largest artificial reef.