Family Fun Magazine 2013 Travel Awards

The April 2013 issue of Family Fun magazine lists their new list of travel awards. I was quite interested to take a look at the lists and see where are family has been, and whether there were any bright highlights for our future vacation ideas.

Top 10 Favorite Family Destinations

120615 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Marines Monument

  1. Yellowstone National Park: WY, MT, ID
  2. Acadia National Park: ME
  3. Carlsbad Caverns National Park: NM
  4. Grand Canyon National Park: AZ
  5. Mount Rushmore National Memorial: SD
  6. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: MI
  7. Yosemite National Park: CA
  8. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park: FL
  9. Glacier National Park: MT
  10. Pearl Harbor Visitor Center/USS Arizona Memorial: HI

Top 10 Tourist Attractions

100814 Niagara Falls, Canada

  1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial: Keystone, SD
  2. Pearl Harbor Visitor Center/USS Arizona Memorial: Honolulu, HI
  3. Statue of Liberty National Monument: New York, NY
  4. Colonial Michilimackinac: Mackinaw City, MI
  5. Niagara Falls State Park: Niagara Falls, NY
  6. The White House: Washington, DC
  7. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library And Museum: Springfield, IL
  8. George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon, VA
  9. The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village: Dearborn, MI
  10. Fort Mackinac: Mackinac Island, MI

Top 10 Tourist Towns

070613 Myrtle Beach, SC

  1. Mackinaw City, MI
  2. Monterey, CA
  3. Lake Tahoe Region, CA & NV
  4. Gulf Shores, AL
  5. St. Augustine, FL
  6. Duluth, MN
  7. Wildwood And Cape May, NJ
  8. Traverse City, MI
  9. Myrtle Beach, SC
  10. Bar Harbor, ME & Wilmington, NC

I never really knew what all of the hullabaloo was about the Mackinaw (pronounced Mackinack) area until we visited in 2010 for our anniversary. Little did I know we would be drawn back, as I recall the wonderful memories we made there with our oldest son (age 1 at the time). Mackinaw Island, where we stayed, was an amazingly relaxing island, and after the tourists cleared out in the early afternoon, our family was able to enjoy the island like a local with no one else around.

My wife, her family, and I visited Myrtle Beach back in 2007, when I was newly engaged to my wife. A beach vacation was different than anything other vacation I had ever taken before, and it had so much of an impact on me, we are headed back again this summer. The major difference is that we will have not only our two boys with us, but also the new baby. Just planning this vacation has us really excited, as there is something wonderful about a relaxing week at the beach.

Top 10 Museums, Zoos, & Aquariums

090906 St. Louis Zoo, MO

  1. Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History: Washington, DC
  2. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium: Omaha, NE
  3. Saint Louis Zoo: St. Louis, MO
  4. Museum of Science and Industry: Chicago, IL
  5. Museum of Science: Boston, MA
  6. Steinhart Aquarium: San Francisco, CA
  7. Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History: Washington, DC
  8. The Field Museum: Chicago, IL
  9. Shedd Aquarium: Chicago, IL
  10. Tennessee Aquarium: Chattanooga, TN

I was raised always visiting museums and other attractions when we travel, so seeing as we have visited so many of these locations is pretty easy. We are also planning a return trip back to St. Louis this summer, and the free St. Louis Zoo is perhaps one of the best zoos we have ever visited. This will be our first family trip after having the new baby, so we look forward to seeing how well the family does on a long road trip.

Top 10 Nature Escapes

120619 Halema'uma'u Crater, Big Island, HI

  1. Yellowstone National Park: WY, MT, ID
  2. Acadia National Park, ME
  3. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
  4. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
  5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI
  6. Yosemite National Park, CA
  7. Glacier National Park, MT
  8. Arches National Park, UT
  9. Zion National Park, UT
  10. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, HI

Visiting our countries natural exhibits of beauty is definitely where our family needs to focus more of our future travels. We really have not ventured out west to far, so this list provides for some wonderful opportunities to see our Country in its fine natural state of being.

Top 10 Amusement Parks

120819 Cedar Point Historical Marker

  1. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park: Orlando, FL
  2. Disneyland: Anaheim, CA
  3. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari: Santa Claus, IN
  4. Islands of Adventure: Orlando, FL
  5. Disney California Adventure: Anaheim, CA
  6. Cedar Point: Sandusky, OH
  7. Disney’s Epcot: Orlando, FL
  8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Orlando, FL
  9. Hersheypark: Hershey, PA
  10. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: Orlando, FL

I am glad to see that we have been to almost all of the top amusement parks, with Holiday World on our horizon after recently discovering it a couple weeks ago. I am also rather surprised that Disney California Adventure (DCA) somehow managed to score higher than Cedar Point, Hershey, and any of the other Disney Parks that made the list. After visiting DCA again last summer, we were extremely disappointed with the park, and could not imagine bypassing any of the other parks for it.

Top 10 Family Resorts

121215 Kalahari Resort, Sandusky, OH

  1. Walt Disney World Resorts Hotels: Orlando, FL
  2. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: Honolulu, HI
  3. Loews Coronado Bay: San Diego, CA
  4. Smugglers’ Notch Resort: Smugglers’ Notch, VT
  5. The Hotel Hershey: Hershey, PA
  6. Kalahari Resort: Sandusky, OH
  7. Northstar California Resort: Truckee, CA
  8. Great Wolf Lodge: Wisconsin Dells, WI
  9. Omni Mount Washington Resort: Bretton Woods, NH & Callaway Gardens Pine Mountain, GA
  10. Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa San Antonio, TX

If you take a look at the regional pages, there is a nice compilation of where various locations ranked against each other.

Regional Favorites: The Midwest

Regional Favorites: The Northeast

Regional Favorites: The South

Regional Favorites: The West

So how many of the top ten have you and your family gotten to visit? Find any inspiration in these list for your future travels?

Save Money, Travel More!

Source: Family Fun Magazine

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6 thoughts on “Family Fun Magazine 2013 Travel Awards

  1. I’ve not visited as many of the top attractions as you have but there are a couple on the list that I’d definitely recommend.

    St. Augustine is one of my favorite places to vacation- just keep an eye on your speed if you’re driving. We got caught in a speed trap (I’m convinced it was strictly because we were out of state with the front license plate to prove it) and it was by far the most expensive ticket to date.

    The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is wonderful. My family enjoyed it so much that we purchased an annual pass when we lived in Northern Alabama.

    Also, I just returned from a stay at the Yacht Club, a Disney World Resort. First time I’ve stayed on the property, other than the campground. My daughter enjoyed the hotel so much, she didn’t even want to go to the parks!

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