Best Places to Travel in the US with a Baby or Toddler

Author: Celine Brewer

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Being family travelers from Canada, we love to visit our neighbors to the south. We’ve traveled many times to the US with a baby, with a baby and a toddler and with toddlers. Whether we fly with a baby or take a road trip with toddlers, we have visited many beautiful places in the US and visited some incredible baby-friendly cities. We love discovering the best places to travel with a baby or toddler in the USA!

In addition to our own family travels in the USA, we’re also fortunate to have a community of traveling parents who have shared with us some of their favorite places in the US with a baby or toddler. The recommendations below are based on our collective real-life travels in the US with a baby or toddler.

We hope the following list of toddler and baby friendly vacations in the USA inspire your family to go out and create memories which will last a lifetime.

a toddler on vacation to Shenandoah National Park holds a map while hiking with his family

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Best Places to Travel with a Baby or Toddler in the US

San Diego with a Baby and Toddler

A baby and toddler on vacation in San Diego play on the beach near Mission Beach

Looking for a place that’s perfect for travel with a baby or toddler? Look no further than San Diego, California. With plenty of indoor and outdoor activities, your family will have no trouble coming up with the best things to do in San Diego with toddler or babies.

We visited San Diego with a 2 year old and a 9 month old. Between playing on Mission Beach, hiking in nearby Torrey Pines Natural Reserve and visiting the San Diego Zoo & Safari Park with a baby and toddler, we were easily able to fill our one week itinerary. Our baby especially loved the Birch Aquarium and the beach, while our toddler couldn’t get enough of the animals at the world famous San Diego Zoo.

San Diego truly is one of the best family vacation spots in the USA with toddlers and babies.

a mom visits La Jolla in San Diego with hera baby and toddler
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Sedona with a Baby or Toddler

A mother on a family trip to Sedona enjoys a hike with her kids

We took a family vacation to Sedona, Arizona when our kids were 2 years old and just 3 months old. Traveling to Sedona with a baby and toddler was the first true “hiking vacation” we had taken with our little ones. If your family loves hiking, then Sedona is one of the best places to travel in the US with toddlers.

The scenery is incredible and it was easy to find short hikes in Sedona to do with toddlers. We also loved doing more difficult hikes by carrying our daughter in a backpack carrier for hiking with toddlers.

Besides the incredible hiking, we found it was easy to get around and find a family friendly place to stay in Sedona. With Phoenix nearby, Sedona is the perfect place for an extended family vacation.

A family poses on the Devil's Bridge hike while on vacation in Sedona

Palm Springs with a Baby or Toddler

a mother visiting Palm Springs with her toddlers plays in front of a colorful popsicle mural

A great place to escape in the winter, Palm Springs, California is one of the best places to travel with baby in the US. With easy access to Disneyland, Legoland and Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs should be on your list. A family trip to Palm Springs with little ones is guaranteed to be a fun and easy family vacation.

There are plenty of good hikes in Palm Springs for kids, tons of good restaurants to choose from and family-friendly resorts and hotels to please any budget.

From Palm Springs, you can easily do a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park then spend the next day frolicking in the hotel pool. Take a day or two to visit Legoland and Disneyland, then return to Palm Springs to decompress. You’ll love every minute of your time in Palm Springs with small kids.

For slightly older kids, we recommend reading this post on Palm Springs with Kids on our Family Can Travel site.

Chicago with a Baby and Toddler

a family visiting Chicago with toddlers poses for a picture in front of the bean

One of the country’s greatest cities, Chicago is one of America’s best cities to visit with toddlers. There are so many great parks, playgrounds and toddlers activities in Chicago to fill your days.

With plenty of baby and toddler-friendly things to do in Chicago plus museums, architecture and culture for parents, Chicago is a perfect city to visit in the USA to visit with a baby or toddler.

a unique playground in Chicago for toddlers

Savannah with Toddlers

majestic oaks draped in spanish moss at the Wormsloe State Historic Site
Photo Credit: Familycantravel.com

Part of our amazing SE USA road trip with toddlers included visiting the charming cities of Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. Of course, one of the must-see places in Savannah with kids is the Wormsloe Historic Site to see the long road of towering oak trees covered in Spanish moss.

With a little extra time, make sure to visit some of the kid-friendly Wormsloe hiking paths. One of the fun hikes with toddlers in Wormsloe lets your kids explore a replica house from the plantation era.

We recommend your family spend a day walking through the charming streets of Savannah, stopping at Ellis Square to let toddlers play in the fountain and grabbing some sweets along River Street.

a toddler plays in a splash park in Ellis Square while on a family vacation to Savannah, GA

Then, hop in your rental car and get out to enjoy the beautiful Georgia countryside around Savannah. Skidaway State Park has some shorter trails that are perfect for hiking with a baby or toddler. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some dolphins in the Skidaway Narrows River.

Charleston with Toddlers

small kids play in a splash park while on a family trip to Charleston, South Carolina
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

One of our favorite US cities to visit with toddlers is Charleston, South Carolina. Besides walking the beautiful streets and parks of Charleston with a baby or toddler, you’ll love strolling the Historic Town Center. Make sure to leave time for the City Market and some delicious Southern eats!

Take a walk down Waterfront Park to let toddlers burn off some energy. The South Carolina Aquarium, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and Magnolia Plantation are also great spots when visiting Charleston with a toddler.

two small kids love watching the large fish at the Charleston Aquarium while on a trip to South Carolina with their family

If you are up for a little more adventure, go to the coastal islands south of town for a kayak. Who will be the first one to spot dolphins?

New York City with a Baby or Toddler

a mom laughs with her baby while visiting the Top of the Rock Observation Deck with in NYC

We visited New York with our (almost) one year old. While Manhattan may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about the best cities to travel with a baby in the US, it really is incredibly baby friendly.

Traveling to New York City with a baby or toddler can be an incredible US family holiday. With a baby carrier and a lightweight travel stroller, you can get virtually anywhere without having to worry about rental cars and traveling with car seats.

visiting grand central terminal in NYC with baby

There’s plenty to do that the whole family will enjoy and if you need to give your baby or toddler time to play, you’ll have no trouble find parks to stop at. With so many family-friendly NYC hotels and virtually limitless options for family activities, NYC is certainly one of the best cities to visit with toddlers.

Just be aware that with so much going on that NYC can be very stimulating for a baby or toddler, so getting your baby or toddler to nap on-the-go might prove to be a little difficult.

attending a New York Yankees game with a baby while on a family trip to NYC

North Conway with a Toddler

a beautiful lake in North Conway, New Hampshire

After several recommendations for visiting North Conway with a toddler, our contributor Erica shares all the best things to do in North Conway with toddlers.

Between short hikes, playing at Echo Lake and Story Land, it will be easy to keep your toddler happy and entertained with a visit to North Conway, New Hampshire.

a toddler is all smiles within a pumpkin coach at Story Land

If your family is more active, don’t miss these best hikes in the White Mountains with a baby or toddler!

Huntington Beach with a Toddler

Huntington Beach

One more great place in California with toddlers: Huntington Beach. With family friendly beach resorts, playgrounds and fun day trips, our contributor Trisha Simone shares all the best things to do with toddlers in Huntington Beach.

Magic Kingdom with Toddlers

a handsome toddler is all dressed up to meet the Disney Princesses on a family vacation to Orlando, Florida
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

If you have a daughter obsessed with Disney Princesses, then you’ll likely find yourself planning a family trip to Disney World in Orlando like we did. We really wanted to capture that moment when she was in awe of meeting the Disney Princesses and a trip to Disney World is just the ticket.

Of course, it goes without saying that Disney World is fun for the whole family. Disney World with a toddler is a fun, easy thing to do (though expensive). There are a few things to know before going to Disney, especially for parents with a baby or toddler who might have limited time.

a young girl visiting Disney World with her family is all dressed up in a princess dress on her way to have breakfast with Cinderella

If you have several days in Orlando with your kids, take a day off the Disney theme parks to give everyone a break. We loved the airboat ride just an hour drive away from Orlando.

Disneyland with a Baby

taking a baby to disneyland travel tips

Is Disneyland with a baby worth it? To be honest, unless you absolutely love Disney, it’s probably not worth it to visit Disneyland with just a baby. But if you are traveling with a toddler and a baby, then there’s plenty of family fun to be had at Disneyland, California!

Character greetings at Disneyland with a baby

Before you go, make sure to read these best tips for visiting Disneyland with a baby and all of these tips for Disneyland with toddlers.

Legoland with Toddlers

Legoland with toddlers

Now Legoland truly is a special place for toddlers and one of the best places to visit with toddlers in the USA. With plenty of small rides and places to play, you’ll have no trouble spending the entire day (or a few days) at Legoland with a toddler.

Even if your toddler isn’t quite into Lego yet, it’s a smaller version of the Disney parks which makes it great for toddlers. While your toddler may not be able to go on all the rides, there will be enough to keep your toddler happy. At Legoland, parents will enjoy less time in line and the smaller crowds.

Wilmington with Toddlers

A toddler plays on the beach while on a family trip to Wilmington, North Carolina
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

To be perfectly honest, we knew very little about Wilmington, North Carolina before deciding to use it as a stop over to break up a long drive between Charleston, SC and Shenandoah National Park. After spending a full day in Wilmington with toddlers, we really wished we had planned more time there.

We were pleasantly surprised with the outdoor fun we had in Wilmington. We looked for Venus Flytraps in the Carolina Beach State Park, we played on the beach in the Fort Fisher Recreation Area and did an Eco Tour on Masonboro Island. Nevermind the ease of finding delicious food in Wilmington.

a toddler talks to a park ranger while on a family vacation to wilmington, north carolina

While our visit was too short, we definitely would consider this one of the best vacation spots for toddlers in the USA and wouldn’t hesitate to return!

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Asheville with a Baby - Visiting Breweries

With plenty of fun breweries, great restaurants and a plentitude of places to get out and enjoy nature, Asheville, North Carolina should be on your list of places to visit!

Find out the best recommendations from a local, and you’ll enjoy every minute of this charming and friendly city!

Sanibel Island with a Toddler

Sundial Beach - Sanibel with a toddler

Sanibel Island, Florida very family friendly destination and a great place to travel in the US with a toddler! You’ll find families with kids of all ages there and you are bound to spark up conversations with fellow travelers, learning what the highlights of their trip was.

There are bike paths all over the island, so you can easily get around Sanibel Island with a bike. A rental car isn’t necessary to have on the island but definitely allows you to explore a bit more.

a family on vacation with a baby and toddler in Sanibel Island, Florida

Find yourself a top Sanibel Island family resort, like the Sundial Resort, where you can spend countless hours in the pool and have easy beach access. Other fun activities on Sanibel Island with a toddler include collecting seashells on the beach, Ding Darling National Park, and Captiva Island.

US National Parks with a Baby or Toddler

The US has some of the most incredible national parks and many are so easy to visit with a baby or toddler. Home to some of the best scenery in the country, the national parks are one of the best places to travel with baby in the US.

If you love family hiking, don’t miss all these best hikes in the USA with babies or toddlers.

Here are the top US National Parks to visit with toddlers or babies:

Toddler Hikes in Arches National Park

Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

We loved visiting all of the Mighty 5 National Parks on our family Utah road trip. Each of the Utah national parks had something different to offer. For those traveling to Utah with a toddler or baby, we’d recommend Zion National Park or Arches National Park with small children.

The views alone are incredible while driving through Arches National park, but there’s many good spots to make a stop. We found plenty of toddler friendly hikes in Arches National Park. A short hike to Landscape Arch or Sand Dune Arch is the perfect way to get your toddler hiking while giving some time to stop and play in the sand. Don’t forget a fun stop to Double Arch and Windows Arch too.

Double Arches in Arches NP with a toddler

Also, check out this post for tips on a Utah Road Trip with a Toddler.

Zion National Park with Kids

national parks like Zion are some of the best places to travel with a baby in the US
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

If you’re just starting hiking with a toddler or traveling with a baby, Zion National Park is a great national park for your family to visit. While there are plenty of opportunities to explore nature and try more difficult hikes, your toddler will also enjoy some of the flat, paved trails. These trails also make it easy to use a stroller in Zion National Park.

If you are looking for stroller friendly trails in Zion National Park, try the Pa’rus trail and the Riverside Walk. The Pa’rus trail has some incredible views on a long, paved trail. The Riverside Walk is also mostly flat and takes you into the canyon where the popular Narrows hike starts.

a toddler enjoys an easy walk on the Pa'rus trail while visiting Zion National Park with his family

For those hiking with a baby carrier, try more difficult hikes like Watchman trail.

Joshua Tree National Park with Toddlers

Joshua Tree National Park with Toddlers
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

If ever there was a US national park made for toddlers and kids, it’s Joshua Tree National Park in sunny California. If you have a toddler that loves to run and climb then Joshua Tree is one of the best places to travel in the US with toddlers for you.

Joshua Tree National Park has plenty of short hikes and even more opportunities to climb on rocks. Take your toddler to see Skull Rock then continue on the trail towards the campground. Even better, stay in one of the campgrounds that are typically surrounded with fun rocks to climb.

Skull Rock hike with a toddler in Joshua Tree NP
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

If you are hiking in Joshua Tree National Park with a baby (or a toddler in a backpack carrier), you don’t have to miss out on more difficult hikes like the one up to the summit of Ryan Mountain. Get all our recommendations for toddler hiking gear before you hit the trails!

White Sands National Park with a Baby or Toddler

A mom enjoys sliding down a dune while visiting White Sands National Park with a baby

Previously known as White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, White Sands National Park is a must visit! While visiting family in New Mexico, we visited White Sands National Park with a baby and had the best day ever. The expansive, soft white sand dunes are unlike anything you’ve seen. Don’t forget to stop at a nearby pistachio farm after! They have some of the best pistachio flavours.

Be prepared when you visit White Sands National Park! It’s fun to slide with your kids down the sand dunes. You also want to make sure you are prepared for the sun and heat. Bring plenty of water too.

a well-covered baby is protected from the powerful New Mexico sun at White Sands National Park

While the highlight of our visit to New Mexico was White Sands National Park, we also made stops in Roswell, Ruidoso and Santa Fe. New Mexico has plenty of places to fill a road trip with a baby or toddler.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Toddlers

Two siblings read a sign while on a family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photo: FamilyCanTravel.com

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the USA. With the nearby tourist towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, there are endless fun activities for the entire family. Given that there’s so much to do, we had to include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as one of the best places to travel with a baby or toddler in the US.

a father chases his toddler and preschooler in the fog at Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With baby and toddler friendly hikes like Clingmans Dome, a chair lift ride up to Anakeesta or an afternoon at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do.

Acadia National Park with a Baby

Hiking with baby in carrier in Acadia National Park

For parents who want to get back into camping with a baby, Acadia National Park in beautiful Maine is the perfect spot.

Acadia National Park is one of the smallest US national parks and there are a number of small towns connected to the park, which makes it easy to relax after a day of hiking with a baby.

Jordan Pond - best things to do in Acadia national park with an infant

Our contributor Christina of Niko Explores shares everything you need to know about visiting Acadia National Park with a baby.

Shenandoah National Park with Toddlers

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is the perfect place to get out and enjoy nature while hiking with toddlers.

a toddler brings his stuffy lion on a family-friendly hike in Shenandoah National Park

There are plenty of Shenandoah hikes that are easy and fun for toddlers. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife too!

Rocky Mountain National Park with a Baby

parents near elevation sigh while hiking Ute Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park with a Baby

Rocky Mountain National Park has plenty of hikes to choose from. Whether you are up for a challenging day hike or a few easy hikes, you’ll find something there.

The afternoons are perfect for hanging out in Estes Park. Just make sure to book accommodations with a balcony so you can enjoy some time spotting wildlife after your baby is sleeping for the night!

For more places in the US to travel with a baby or toddler, our post on the best places to travel with toddlers includes Atlanta, Key West & Little Rock with toddlers. Our post on the best places to travel with babies includes the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone & Yosemite.

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Best places to travel in the us with toddlers and babies

This post was written & edited by:

Celine Brewer - Baby Can Travel

Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.

Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.

Read more about Celine Brewer.

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