Planning a trip the whole family will enjoy is easier when you let AAA's travel professionals help point the way with expert recommendations.
To select their top picks for key family travel destinations, AAA editors became kids again. With an eye toward finding options for tots to teens, they visited and played at countless attractions touted as kid friendly — many designated as AAA GEMs, offering a Great Experience for Members — along with notable restaurants and events. This family-friendly content is available in AAA's popular digital and printed travel guides for select destinations.
"The key to a successful family vacation is planning activities that are fun and exciting for every member of your group, recognizing that what's exciting to a 6-year old can differ from what appeals to teens," said Bill Wood , executive editor, AAA Travel Publishing. "Recommendations from our editors help make these distinctions, ensuring easier travel planning and memorable vacation experiences."
AAA's Top Picks for Kids are currently available for 19 U.S. cities coast to coast, including New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Selections are separated into categories that include options for kids under 13, teens and kids of all ages.
AAA Editors' Top Picks for Kids can be found in the AAA.com Travel Guides, the downloadable AAA eTourBook® guides available at AAA.com/ebooks and the printed AAA TourBook® guides available at AAA/CAA offices.
SAMPLE: AAA Editors' Top Picks for Kids – Miami
Miami Seaquarium: At this AAA GEM attraction, kids enjoy the antics of Salty the sea lion, Flipper the dolphin and Lolita the killer whale. Between-show activities include saltwater exhibits with sea turtles and reef fish. There's even a pirate ship playground with water guns and a spiral slide.
Monkey Jungle: What could be more fun than a whole park filled with monkeys? A fenced-in path through this subtropical forest keeps humans and monkeys safely separate while allowing visitors to get really close to these wonderful animals.
Duck Tours South Beach: If you want to tour South Beach and get a taste of its rich Art Deco legacy without hearing choruses of, "I'm bored," hop on an amphibious vehicle. The entertaining and educational 90-minute excursion concludes with a big splash into Biscayne Bay.
La Carreta Restaurant: Enjoy a delicious introduction to home-style Cuban cuisine, a big part of the Miami experience, at this local institution, a AAA One Diamond Restaurant, on Little Havana's Calle Ocho (8th Street), sample charbroiled meats and chicken-and-rice dishes, and snap a family photo with the giant metal chicken outside.
Beaches: You're in Florida after all. Miami Beach is the obvious choice, particularly if you are staying there. There is also nearby Key Biscayne with its two public beaches: Crandon Park – a 2-mile stretch of sand noted for its calm waters and rental cabanas – and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, with its postcard-worthy historic lighthouse.
Everglades National Park: Drive down to South Florida's wilderness jewel, a AAA GEM attraction. This endangered "River of Grass" is a haven to birds as well as alligators, snakes, turtles and manatees. Drive the 38 miles from the entrance to the Flamingo Visitor Center and enjoy the views from your car. Trailheads radiate out from the road at several spots, inviting short hikes. A thrilling high-speed way to explore the park is by airboat ride, offered at Everglades Alligator Farm and Everglades Safari Park.