8 Best Places to Vacation With Adult Children
Travel experts suggest these destinations for a getaway when your kids are fully grown.
When your kids are little, one of the best ways to make memories is by taking a family vacation. Perhaps you book an all-inclusive where your kids can stay entertained all day, or maybe you show them the ropes at a special place where you vacationed as a youngster. But this doesn't have to stop once your kids are adults, and you might even find the experience is more enjoyable now that they're older.
"I've always loved taking vacations with my son, but now that he's an adult it's even better," Sherry Arkfeld, travel blogger behind Digital Nomad and a Dog, tells Best Life. "Everything doesn't have to be about him. When he was young, the entire vacation had to be planned around what he wanted to do. After all, going to an art museum with a six-year-old isn't going to be fun for any of us."
Arkfeld adds that traveling with an adult child allows you to "enjoy each other's company as equals," as opposed to the strict roles of parent and child. Now, you can indulge in a few cocktails or mocktails together, or see a musical that wouldn't have been appropriate years ago.
But the key to a successful trip with your adult kids is all about planning: You want to make sure you involve your adult children in the process and set clear budgets and financial expectations. Booking separate accommodations can also be helpful to ensure everyone has their privacy, Pam Howard, owner and author of Our Adventure is Everywhere, says.
Being that you're all adults, there should be a consensus on the destination—and if you're looking for recommendations on where to go, we've got you covered. Read on for the eight best places to vacation with your adult kids.
8 Best Places to Vacation With Adult Children
1. San Diego
If you want a beachy destination that doesn't require booking a full tropical vacation, consider San Diego.
"The coastal city not only promises a relaxing atmosphere and beautiful weather but also offers plenty of activities that cater to adults," Kristin Lee, travel expert and owner and author of the travel blog Global Travel Escapades, tells Best Life. "For instance, families can go wine tasting in the local vineyards or even day trip across the border to the flourishing Valle de Guadalupe wine region. There are also tons of food tours that include sampling different beers and alcoholic beverages."
If you and your older kids have a more adventurous side, Lee also recommends paragliding off Torrey Pines Gliderport or kayaking around La Jolla Cove.
"Overall, San Diego is a great vacation spot for families with adult children because the city caters to a diverse range of interests and preferences," she says.
2. Vail, Colorado
While you may hear "Vail" and immediately think of skiing, this small town actually has a lot to offer all year round.
"For families who crave outdoor adventures, Vail is a great destination option," Terika L. Haynes, DBA, CEO and founder at Dynamite Travel, says. "From skiing and snowboarding during the winter season to hiking and mountain biking in the summer, Vail has a plethora of activities for adventurous adult souls. Luxurious ski-in/ski-out chalets, exclusive mountain lodges, and high-end resorts ensure that families can retire in style after a day filled with thrilling escapades."
As a bonus, if you wait to visit Vail until your kids are older, you can also skip the bunny slope and easy trails in favor of more challenging runs and hikes.
3. Maui, Hawaii
If Hawaii is at the top of your bucket list, you might want to invite your adult children along for the ride.
"For families seeking a tropical paradise, Maui is a perfect destination with its golden beaches, lush landscapes, and captivating water activities," Haynes says. "Travelers can explore the breathtaking Road to Hana, snorkel amidst colorful marine life, and witness stunning sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Maui's luxury beachfront resorts provide a dreamy backdrop for family reunions in an island paradise."
If you want to see more of Hawaii, you can also book a cruise around the islands. Cruises are known for having a little something for everyone—and even though you and your children are all adults, you may have different priorities. With older kids, you can trust that they can entertain and take care of themselves.
"I'm not a late-night person, so I can go to bed while my son stays up and sees late comedy shows or goes to the casino," Arkfeld says of cruises. "During the day we can do different things and not feel obligated to spend every second together. But then we meet up for meals and excursions. We spend time together because we want to, not because we're stuck with each other."
4. Charleston, South Carolina
Embrace true Southern charm in the coastal town of Charleston, South Carolina. This spot is a great destination for parents and kids who bond over their love of history or a good meal. According to Haynes, Charleston "boldly displays history, culture, and Southern hospitality."
"Travelers can stroll along cobblestone streets, discover historic landmarks, and immerse themselves in the city's vibrant art and culinary scene," she adds. "Charleston's upscale boutique hotels and lavish historic mansions offer a sophisticated setting for families to unwind and create lasting memories."
5. New Orleans
Another Southern city sure to steal your heart is New Orleans. This is a great option for those families who want to be immersed in history, with the option to have a little fun.
"One of the best things about having adult children is you can now eat and drink through your travels," Lindsay Myers, travel and lifestyle expert behind Get Lost With Lindsay, tells Best Life. "New Orleans is known for its Cajun and Creole foods…the city is alive with its culture, food, and music, [and there's] something for everyone in the family.
Mercedes Zach, travel expert at flight booking website Asaptickets, adds that it's a good option if you and your adult children are looking for a more affordable getaway.
"It is also relatively less overpriced and crowded, as many travelers choose to visit West or East Coast resorts for their vacations. There are still, however, plenty of things to do and experience while in this Mississippi River city," she says.
Zach notes that the Big Easy is a great place for live music—it's even considered the birthplace of jazz. Museums abound as well, including the National World War II Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Vue Orleans observatory.
Ghost tours through New Orleans' many cemeteries may be too scary for youngsters, but with adult children, the family can also enjoy a good scare together.
6. Montreal and Quebec City, Canada
If you want to take an international trip with your adult kids, but you don't want to travel too far, Canada might be your best bet. Becca Siegel, travel expert and writer at Half Half Travel, recommends Montreal and Quebec City as ideal options.
"My family (three 'kids' and two parents) took a road trip to Montreal and Quebec City when all the kids were in our twenties," she explains. "These cities are awesome destinations in Canada because you could say there's something for everyone: history, museums, pretty walks on picturesque streets, dining, cafes, live music, and natural hikes nearby."
These cities are a great option if you're bringing adult kids who aren't yet 21. "Going to Canada as an American is also thrilling if you have kids on the cusp of the 18 to 20-year-old age group because the drinking age surely isn't 21 once you cross the border!" Siegel says.
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7. Napa Valley, California
Looking for a more peaceful and upscale retreat? Head to northern California and explore wine country with your adult children.
"Nestled amidst picturesque vineyards and rolling hills, Napa Valley offers an exquisite retreat for families," Haynes says. "Families can embark on wine tastings at world-renowned wineries, indulge in delectable farm-to-table cuisine, and unwind at exquisite boutique hotels or charming private villas."
It's probably not the spot you'd want to bring youngsters—and your grown-up children will likely be grateful that you waited to take them.
"This destination allows families to bond over shared culinary passions, appreciate the beauty of nature, and savor the pleasures of life together," Haynes says.
8. U.S. National Parks
If there's ever a perfect vacation for you and your adult children, it's an adventure at a U.S. national park. There are approximately 425 national parks across the country, making these trips accessible no matter where you live. If you're looking for a specific destination, however, Myers suggests heading to Utah.
"The area is a nature lover's dream," she says. "Now that your children are old enough, they can out-hike you. Take advantage of all the adventure experiences Utah has to offer. Being in nature as a family is one of the best bonding experiences."
In Utah alone, there are multiple national parks that Myers says you shouldn't miss, including Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park.