Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The biggest and best theme park around is still Walt Disney World. With four massive, main parks, as well as tons of side attractions including miniature golf, two world-class waterparks, and a nightclub area, your family can stay a full week in one of the many on-site hotels and still not get to everything. Disney is truly a world unto itself.
Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
Down the road from Disney is Universal Studios theme park, with a slightly edgier and more mature take on the theme park experience. The newer Islands of Adventure features breathtaking thrill rides and state-of-the-art 3D attractions. Opening soon is the new Harry Potter "Wizarding World," which includes attractions based on the books and movies, such as Diagon Alley and Hogwarts itself.
Sea World, Orlando, Florida
Sea World's famous aquatic live shows are still entertaining audiences by the millions. The park's centerpiece attraction continues to be the astonishing "Believe" show, featuring the world-famous killer whale Shamu. Guests can also enjoy thrilling rides and educational exhibits, learning about the importance of ocean life to the world's ecosystem.
Life moves a little more slowly in the Florida Keys. The gulf stream ensures that they stay at a temperate climate all year long, which means that families can enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities in any season. Don't miss the stunning sunsets in Key West's Mallory Square.
Cape Canaveral, Florida
The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral is always a favorite destination for Florida visitors. Take a tour to learn about the history of the United States' space program, and get an up-close look at the technology that sends astronauts to outer space. If you plan your trip just right, and have a little bit of luck, you may even be able to watch a space shuttle launch.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy is back! New Orleans
is open for business and better than ever. Visit the historic French Quarter for good eats and energetic night life. New Orleans is renowned for its music and festivals, especially the epic Mardi Gras celebration each winter. Plus, your tourism dollars will help to revitalize areas still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
The Outer Banks, North Carolina
North Carolina's Outer Banks region is a vacation destination unlike any other. Warm, inviting, and rustic, the area comprises gorgeous landscapes, mild climes, and fascinating history, including Kitty Hawk, the site of the Wright Brothers' airplane flight. Whether your family camps out or stays at a vintage bed and breakfast, you'll find the perfect environment for family fun.
Zoo Atlanta, Georgia
Zoo Atlanta is one of the largest and most trafficked zoos in the country. With a wide variety of plants and animals to see and learn about, you'll be lucky to see everything in one trip. Before you go, you can even keep tabs on one of the zoo's most popular inhabitants by viewing the online Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta's official website.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
If your family likes to learn about history, you won't find a more compelling vacation destination than Colonial Williamsburg. It's a painstakingly detailed replica of life in the earliest days of the American colonies. You'll see how the first settlers lived and worked, and have the chance to ask expert actors about all facets of colonization. For a change of scenery, visit the nearby Busch Gardens theme park.