These Are the 15 Best Hotels and Resorts for Families in the U.S.

Urban escapes, dude ranches, island retreats, and more: This list of the top 15 family-friendly hotels across the United States is your go-to guide for a multigenerational getaway.

Child wearing cowboy hat with dog at entry to Lil Wrangler Clubhouse (a tan tent) at Brush Creek Ranch

The Lil Wrangler kids club at Brush Creek Ranch is a standout experience for families.

Courtesy of Brush Creek Ranch

Whether they travel for spring break, summer vacation, winter holidays, or an impromptu escape from the grind of work and school, the savviest U.S.-based families who travel keep a list of go-to domestic hotels for an easy getaway that reliably caters to the multigenerational needs of their crew.

To that end, Afar’s Hotels We Love series has launched a list dedicated to the best hotels and resorts for families across the United States. This list of retreats—many of them among the top places to stay overall in their geographic areas—excel at family-friendly vacations, and they’re all vetted and approved by our staff and contributors who travel regularly with their kiddos in tow.

It’s no surprise that Hawai‘i takes 3 of the 15 spots on our list or that perennially popular California and New York each have 2. Read on for our diverse list of hotels that span cities, islands, rural areas, and mountain regions—and promise to keep parties of all age groups happy.

Blackberry Farm

Aerial view of small white boat house on lake, with mist and trees reflected in still water and hills in backgound

The grounds of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee

Courtesy of Blackberry Farm

  • Location: Walland, Tennessee
  • Why we love it: A farm resort that’s both stylish and kid-friendly
  • Loyalty program: Always Be Expected (Relais & Châteaux)
  • Book now

Tucked away on 4,200 acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the all-inclusive Blackberry Farm pretty much invented the farmhouse chic aesthetic. Its stylish cottages, with four-poster beds, wingback chairs, high ceilings, and spacious porches, are roomy enough for families and are stocked with complimentary snacks.

The property is open year-round and can arrange different itineraries centered on a group’s preferred activities, which can include farm tours, cooking classes, horseback riding, fly fishing, and forest bathing; the nearby lake offers boating, wake-surfing, and water-skiing. A visit to the on-site kennel to play with and pet the farm’s cuddly Lagotto Romagnolo dogs and puppies is a must. Each day ends with a meal at one of the award-winning farm-to-table restaurants—be sure to try some of the farm-made items, including cheeses, beers, and honeys. From $1,345, including meals

Brush Creek Ranch Lodge & Spa

Exterior of brown wooden Trailhead Lodge at Brush Creek Ranch, with porch

The main Trailhead Lodge at Brush Creek Ranch has 19 rooms.

Courtesy of Brush Creek Ranch

  • Location: Saratoga, Wyoming
  • Why we love it: An immersive (and luxurious) take American ranch experience for all ages
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)
  • Book now

A working ranch in southern Wyoming about 150 miles south of Casper, Brush Creek Ranch is composed of three properties, and families are welcome at the all-inclusive Lodge & Spa. The 44 well-appointed log cabins and lodge rooms feature Pendleton blankets, throw pillows, cowhide rugs, and wood furniture.

Guests can choose from a wide range of activities, including horseback riding, ATV rides, mountain biking, fly fishing, and clay shooting. The standout Lil Wranglers kids club offers many of these activities tailored for children. Be sure to visit the Farm, which has a goat cheese creamery, brewery, and distillery, all offering workshops and guest experiences for different age groups. From $1,200 per person per night

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Distant view from ocean of Four Season Resort Maui at Wailea, with nearly empty beach in foreground

Enhance your stay at Four Season Resort Maui at Wailea with a plethora of educational activities.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

  • Location: Maui, Hawai‘i
  • Why we love it: A postcard-worthy setting with plenty of programming for kids
  • Book now

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea represents the epitome of island luxury. The feeling begins to settle in as you walk through the crescent-shaped property’s lobby, catching plumeria-scented breezes on your way to the sprawling cabana-lined saltwater infinity pool. The sunset views over the beach just beyond are postcard worthy but not exclusive—you can see them from nearly all the 383 rooms and suites. The accommodations themselves are also something to look at: Outfitted in sandy hues, light-colored wood, and subtle blue accents, they channel the land and sea on the other side of floor-to-ceiling windows.

Cultural programming at the resort is at the forefront of the Native Hawaiian cultural renaissance movement, led by Wendy Tuivaioge, director of Hawaiian programs and cultural ambassador at the resort. The resort’s complimentary Kids for All Seasons program (for ages 5–12) is infused with educational elements. From $1,420—Michelle Baran and Julia Cosgrove. Read Afar’s full story about how to get off the tourist trail in Maui.

Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

Aerial view of white Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, with Lake Huron and large swimming pool in foreground

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a National Historic Landmark.

Courtesy of the Grand Hotel

  • Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan
  • Why we love it: An American grand dame that recalls the family resorts of yesteryear
  • Book now

One of America’s oldest hotels (and part of Historic Hotels of America), this icon has stood grandly on a hill above downtown Mackinac Island since 1887. Like the island itself, which does not allow cars, Grand Hotel Mackinac Island embraces the past, starting with a horse and buggy ride from the ferry landing to the hotel, where guests pull up to the world’s largest porch, lined with rocking chairs.

The 388-room resort, open seasonally between May and October, has hosted multiple U.S. presidents, been the site of several movies, and is famous for its pattern-filled decor by prominent American designer Carlton Varney. The family will keep busy on property swimming at the pool, playing miniature golf and pickleball, horseback riding, and dining at one of the 12 restaurants. Nature lovers will particularly enjoy exploring the secret garden and nature center. Off property, book a horse and buggy tour of the island to discover its history and highlights, and don’t forget to buy some fudge in town. From $429. Read Afar’s full article on the top historic hotels in the U.S.

Hotel del Coronado

Woman on lounge chair on porch facing wide beach and a few palm trees at Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado offers ample room to relax.

Photo by Amanda Friedman, Afar Media

  • Location: Coronado, California
  • Why we love it: A history-filled hotel that makes younger guests feel right at home
  • Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
  • Book now

An iconic hotel in Southern California, Hotel del Coronado has hosted presidents and celebrities, yet it still makes kids and their families feel like VIPs. At the beachfront landmark, located west of San Diego Bay, kids can learn about marine life with classroom and beach activities through the resort’s Ocean Explorers program. They can also hang 10 at the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience school and enjoy beachfront movie screenings with s’mores. Meanwhile, parents can escape to the spa for a lomi lomi massage or a gemstone clear skin facial. The Del’s 10 dining outlets are crowd pleasers, too, and include a taco shack, a pizzeria, and an ice cream parlor.

The hotel is completing a multi-million-dollar restoration to its 534 rooms and public areas, which added 75 accommodations in modern white, beige, and turquoise color palettes. The original 1888 building, called the Victorian, has a grand lobby and front porch that’s in the middle of a restoration. (Note that the Victorian is closed for renovations until spring 2025 and will have more rooms when completed.) From $566

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

A Deluxe Ocean View Suite at Mauna Lani, with wood floor, long white sofa, and glass door opening to porch

A Deluxe Ocean View Suite at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

Courtesy of Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

  • Location: Kamuela, Island of Hawai’i
  • Why we love it: Plenty of ways to experience Hawai’ian culture in a gorgeous setting
  • Book now

In the high season, many Hawai’i hotels labeled family friendly tend to have crowded pools and loud restaurants. Instead, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection remains an oasis of calm, even at full capacity. The 333 contemporary-feeling rooms, with neutral hues and natural textiles, feature big lanais with large sliding glass doors that frame Pacific Ocean views. The property has three slide-free pools—one that’s adults only, one that’s for babies and toddlers, and one designated for all ages.

The resort features numerous activities that focus on sharing Hawaiian culture, like ukulele lessons and talking story with cultural ambassador Danny Akaka, outrigger canoeing, and surfing classes. A great perk for families with smaller children is the free Holoholo Kids Crew club that focuses on cultural activities, arts and crafts, and beach games. Bonus: Kids under 10 eat free all summer. From $999

Mohonk Mountain House

Aerial view of huge, red-roofed Mohonk Mountain House on Lake Mohonk

The Mohonk Mountain House dates to 1869.

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

  • Location: New Paltz, New York
  • Why we love it: An all-inclusive historic resort with plenty of outdoor activities
  • Book now

The castle-like grand dame Mohonk Mountain House has a long history since its founding in 1879 (the same family that still owns it today). Set along a private mountain lake in New Paltz, New York, and surrounded by nature, the retreat offers family-friendly ways to explore the great outdoors via skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and ice-skating in winter and hiking, biking, boating, and horseback riding in summer. The 259 guest rooms retain a cozy, turn-of-the-century feel, with warm wood accents and neutral tones.

A massive indoor pool, top-notch spa, and activities ranging from archery to rock climbing will keep the entire family busy. Meals, most activities, and the resort’s Kids Club are included in the cost of an overnight stay. Best of all, there are several times a year when kids stay free, while children under three always stay free. From $1,245. Read Afar’s full article on the top historic hotels in the U.S.

Montage Palmetto Bluff


Montage Palmetto Bluff

  • Location: Bluffton, South Carolina
  • Why we love it: An immersion in scenic South Carolina Low Country
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)
  • Book now

Montage Palmetto Bluff is an ideal base for families looking to explore the diverse ecosystem of South Carolina’s Low Country. But there’s no need to leave the resort to do so: The property sits on 20,000 private acres, most of which are part of a nature preserve. Explore the grounds via naturalist-guided property hikes, go fly-fishing in the salt marsh flats, or kayaking and canoeing through the miles of calm waterways. The property features two massive tree houses for kids; wrapped around live oaks, one has a slide and rope ladder.

The 200 accommodations range from guest rooms and cottages to individual homes ideal for larger groups. Interiors feature four-poster beds and marble bathrooms, and many have furnished balconies and fireplaces.

The nine food and beverage outlets include an ice cream shop and a vintage 1950s Mack Fire Truck turned pizza truck. The Paintbox kids club focuses on outdoor activities like bike riding, nature hikes, and scavenger hunts. Every Friday and Saturday night is Children’s Night, where parents feast on a quiet dinner while littles watch movies, do art projects, and eat dinner with staff. All Montage hotels have a partnership with Uppababy to provide such gear as strollers and playards. From $545

The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel

This Carnegie suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York has wooden floors, a chandelier, and views of Central Park.

A Carnegie suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York

Courtesy of the Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel

  • Location: New York City
  • Why we love it: A New York landmark with some famous fictional young residents and guests
  • Loyalty program: Accor Live Limitless
  • Book now

A New York icon, the Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel, has been a family favorite for decades, thanks to famous fictional young residents including Eloise and popular movies such as Home Alone 2. It’s also preferred among family travelers for the bend-over-backward hospitality of its staff—not to mention the prime Central Park South location. The fun starts at arrival, with a new kid’s check-in program that gives each child a Plaza Passport decorated with illustrations by artist Tanu Vasu and a ride on the luggage trolley from the lobby up to the guest room. Meanwhile, the hotel’s excellent concierge can assist with babysitting, stroller rentals, and reservations for restaurants, museums, and shows around the city.

The Plaza’s 282 guest rooms channel old New York, with chandeliers, gilt headboards, and floor-to-ceiling drapes. Many of the 102 spacious suites have adjoining rooms ideal for families, and cribs, pull-out couches, and rollaway beds are provided on request. For a splurge, book the pink-decorated two-bedroom Eloise Suite, which is filled with Eloise books, toys, clothes, and treats. The suite also includes an Eloise-themed afternoon tea at the Palm Court. Meanwhile, the Home Alone 2: Alone in New York package includes a limo ride around the city, a large cheese pizza, and a massive ice cream sundae (we’re talking 16 scoops) with all the trimmings a kid could dream up. From $795

The Resort at Paws Up


The Resort at Paws Up

  • Location: Greenough, Montana
  • Why we love it: A sprawling ranch with luxury lodges and glamping retreats near Missoula
  • Book now

About 45 minutes by car from Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up gives ranch life a glamorous spin while offering guests a deep immersion in the area’s natural beauty on its 37,000 acres. The resort’s family-friendly activities include horseback cattle drives, fly fishing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. In the winter, there’s skiing, dogsledding, ice skating, and sleigh rides. The Kids Corps of Discovery incorporates many of these activities into dedicated programs for kids ranging from toddlers to teenagers, which allows parents to go get pampered at the acclaimed Spa Town.

Accommodations include 28 large homes with up to four bedrooms, with full-size kitchens, fireplaces, hot tubs, and personal SUVs for use on the property. There are also 36 designer glamping tents along Blackfoot River (Paws Up is generally credited with inventing glamping tents in the United States), where guests can expect a butler to care for their campfire and meals. Eight of the 28 homes have tents in the backyards for mini adventures. In the evening, families can reconvene at entertaining dinners like the Chuck Wagon, Montana Long Tables, and Rodeo Dinners. From $1,730

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island


  • Location: Amelia Island, Florida
  • Why we love it: A seaside getaway that caters to both adults and children
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Book now

On a barrier island in the Sea Islands along northern Florida, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island comprises 446 sea-inspired guest rooms and suites with neutral interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows. The resort also appeals to its youngest patrons with Pirate Tuck Ins, during which a pirate brings milk and cookies for them to munch on as they listen to a bedtime story.

The resort’s prime position on the water, and its private beach, inspire much of the programming. On dolphin tours, guests double as citizen scientists by using sonar devices to locate the marine mammals and collect data for area marine biologists. Shark tooth hunts are among the unique activities offered in the Ritz Kids® program, which also features naturalist-led classes and beach walks, crafts, and environmentally minded games. From $699/night

Salamander Middleburg Resort & Spa

This suite at the Salamander Middleburg Resort & Spa has a large bed with brown carpeting and closets with white doors.

A suite at the Salamander Middleburg Resort & Spa

Justin Kriel/Salamander Middleburg Resort & Spa

  • Location: Middleburg, Virginia
  • Why we love it: Luxurious lodgings in Virginia’s wine and horse country
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)
  • Book now

Salamander Middleburg Resort & Spa sits on 340 acres amid Virginia’s bucolic Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of horse and wine country. Its 168 guest rooms and suites seem suited for a country estate, complete with balconies or patios, and the dining options lean local, seasonal, and nostalgic (think prime bone-in rib-eye steaks, perfect Caesar salads, and s’mores around the firepit).

Meanwhile, the many active offerings—from zip lining and equestrian programming to fishing and falconry—appeal to the young and the young at heart. The smallest animal lovers can take pony rides or pet the miniature horse, Cupcake. Southern hospitality and tradition are infused in every experience; there are lawn games such as corn hole and croquet, plus tennis courts and a gratis putting green. From $550

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee


  • Location: Greensboro, Georgia
  • Why we love it: A dreamy lakeside retreat with a dedicated kids clubhouse
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Book now

Set on a picturesque lake in central Georgia, the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is a lakefront retreat with 257 guest rooms, all featuring chic interiors clad in hardwood floors and decorated with plenty of large couches and outdoor areas for lounging. Guests spend their days swimming, playing on the giant bouncy rafts offshore, or going on boating and paddleboarding adventures around the lake. Younger guests can take advantage of the Ritz Kids Clubhouse, a dedicated space for scavenger hunts, nature hikes, arcade games, and more. They can also partake in Ritz Kids Lake Adventures, which hosts a new outdoorsy activity every day, including fishing and tent building.

For the parents, there’s a recently renovated spa and five championship golf courses, along with sporting clay courses at the resort’s Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds. At the end of the day, the family can take part in nightly s’mores snacks around the firepit. From $649

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort is located on O'ahu's North Shore.

Turtle Bay Resort is located on O’ahu’s North Shore.

Courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort

    • Location: O‘ahu, Hawai‘i
    • Why we love it: An all-ages immersion into the wilder North Shore of O’ahu
    • Book now

    Turtle Bay Resort on Oʻahu’s North Shore is the sole resort property at the northernmost tip of Oʻahu, a scenic one-hour drive past soaring green cliffs and along crystal-clear blue water. Once at Turtle Bay, which will soon be part of Marriott’s luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel collection, families will feel a world away from the skyscrapers of the Hawaiian capital. The resort has a distinct sense of place, marrying the North Shore’s epic surfing cred, the natural wonders of the surrounding environment (the area is home to numerous sea turtles), and the region’s deep ranching roots.

    The property offers a long list of family-friendly experiences that guests can sign up for to dig deeper into the local culture and nature, such as bird-watching tours, cultural bike tours, kayaking in search of sea turtles, stargazing, and ukulele lessons. Turtle Bay Resort also hosts a Kahuku Point restoration workday on the second Saturday of each month, during which volunteers work with the North Shore Community Land Trust to remove invasive species and debris and help restore the coastal sand dune ecosystem at Kahuku Point.

    Additionally, the Stables at Turtle Bay has a new Paniolo Pāʻina (paniolo is Hawaiian for “rancher” and pāʻina means “party”) experience that celebrates the region’s rich ranching history (which dates back to the 1800s) with farm-to-table food, music, and dancing. The Stables is also a fine place for horseback riding—the trails have picturesque views of the ocean—another way to get a taste of the islands’ ranching tradition. From $366 —Michelle Baran. Read Afar’s full list of the world’s 15 best family-friendly hotels and resorts.

    Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

    Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite.jpg

    • Location: Dana Point, California
    • Why we love it: Togetherness is the name of the game at this swanky SoCal retreat
    • Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
    • Book now

    Set on a pretty bluff along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California’s Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club has all the trappings of an idyllic beach vacation. While there’s a kids’ club and kids’ golf camps, one of the best parts of the resort from a traveling-with-littles standpoint is that much of the focus is around families doing things together. To wit: The weekly Waldorf Rituals are workshops and activities that act as bonding opportunities; they might include Shibori indigo tie-dyeing, poolside dive-in movies, floral-bookmark making, and tide pool conservation walks.

    Surfing, boogie boarding, and stand-up paddleboarding draw close-knit clans to the exclusive beach club, while there’s also a Robert Trent Jones Jr.–designed golf course and a family swimming pool with a splash pad. Ultimately, the only challenges may come from being spoiled for choice, as with the slew of restaurants and distinctive views available from 400 classically styled rooms and suites. From $770

    Devorah Lev-Tov is a Brooklyn-based food and travel journalist who has been published in the New York Times, National Geographic, Vogue, Bon Appetit, and more.
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