8 Family-Friendly Travel Destinations For 2016

With the New Year already in full swing, its time to start making some travel plans for the spring, summer, and fall seasons. The New Year offers a plethora of new museums, up and coming cities, and annual festivals and celebrations that offer the opportunity for new tastes, sights, and sounds that everyone can enjoy. So don’t wait; start making some plans now so you can get closer to making the memories of tomorrow! Here are a few suggestions to help get you started.

1. Buffalo, NY

Buffalo is the perfect place to go for water, chicken wings, and summer festivities. A beautiful half-hour drive from Niagara Falls, the city is known for its weekly summer festivities, including Taste of Buffalo and Italian Fest, and the celebrated shopping and dining scene along Hertel and Elmwood Avenues. Buffalo also has a gorgeous waterfront that features Canalside Park, and the city has been ranked the 3rd Best City for local foods in the last few years, making it a great location for a long summer weekend. 

2. Denver, CO

Denver has always been renowned for its ski resorts, and thousands of tourists flock to the city every year to check out the slopes and the local restaurant and shopping scene. The last few years have also born witness to Denver’s up and coming art scene. New museums like the Clyfford Still Museum and The Art Hotel are making the city a major player on the local art circuit.

3. Washington DC

A lot will be happening in the nation’s capitol this year. For starters, the Presidential Elections will be causing a stir in the city over the next 10 months, and the restoration of the Capitol Building dome will be completed before the years end. While you are there to take in all the political excitement, you can also check out the new National Museum of African American History at The Smithsonian, or the MGM Casino at National Harbor. 2016 also marks the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks Service, and the celebration will be going on year-round, so be sure to take the kids to soak up a bit of history and celebrate the outdoors.

4. Toronto, Canada

Just north of our borders, Toronto is starting to surpass Vancouver and Montreal as the go-to city in Canada. The city features a new transportation system for easy transport to and from the airport, and The Junction has brought a large variety of new bars, coffee shops, and live music to the city’s downtown area. The world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival is also held annually and features an assortment of films (both independent and feature films) and filmmakers, all there to celebrate the artistry of film and introduce new generations of talent.  Plus, Toronto is just down the way from Detroit, which is also now up-and-coming in the wake of nationwide gentrification and economic improvement,

5. Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids is not only a beautiful city, but also a cultural center for the arts and college football. The University attracts hundreds of new students each year, and the newly refurnished Grand Rapids Downtown Market has brought new meaning to the taste of Grand Rapids with celebrations like Slows BBQ. The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park also features a newly designed Japanese garden, and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and have some family time.

6. Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, much like Toronto, is another city becoming known for its up-and-coming art scene and beautiful New England climate. The new Creative Mile is an 8-acre park featured right along the river with trails and beautiful scenery, and a short ways away, Little Narragansett Bay in Watch Hill plays host to the Ocean House, a five-star, seaside resort that features a spa, and fine-dining experience you can only find in New England. This makes Providence an excellent summertime weekend spot.

7. East Bay, California

East Bay, California has seen a huge spike in tourism in recent years. This is partly owing to a number of factors, including more than 300 newly opened restaurants across the area, and the up-and-coming art scene. A former naval air base in nearby Alameda has also been transformed into a large brewery, in what tourists and locals are now calling “Spirit’s Alley.” With the beautiful scenery, fine wines, and excellent dining and art scene, East Bay is definitely one of the go-to places if you are visiting California this year.

8. St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis rests right along the banks of the Mississippi, and is as known for its music and dining scene as nearby Chicago is known for its hot dogs. The new National Blues Museum is opening in the city this April, and the City-Arch River Project is also expected to be finished this year, giving visitors a new, unique vantage point on the famed St. Louis arch.