10 Great Cities for Family Vacations

PHOTO: Navy Pier Park, in Chicago.

When planning a family vacation, it may be tempting to head to a beach resort or theme park where inclusive activities lure the little ones. But big cities can also offer fun alternatives.

Family Vacation Critic, an online family travel planning guide, recently released its list of top 10 urban destinations based on a survey of its readers, with New York City leading the pack. The Big Apple was closely followed by Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Honolulu, San Antonio, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Boston.

"New York City topped the list," said Lissa Poirot, executive editor of Family Vacation Critic. "With so many attractions, hotel choices and restaurants, a family can visit again and again and never see it all."

In addition to fun attractions, other city criteria included a range of family-friendly accommodations and easy-to-navigate public transportation. Affordability was also a key consideration, as 40 percent of parents polled found the toughest part of a city vacation was "finding a family-friendly hotel that fits the budget."

"Family-friendly hotels come in a number of shapes and sizes," said Lissa Poirot, executive editor of Family Vacation Critic. "When looking for a family-friendly hotel in a city, specifically, location is everything. A hotel that's near various attractions and restaurants is always a plus, or at least one that's near transportation to those places."

Poirot also noted that diverse room configurations and amenities "like an in-room fridge, breakfast included, welcome kits for kids, and milk and cookies at bedtime" can go a long way toward currying favor.

When it's time to hit the streets, planning ahead is always the best way to avoid a stressful situation.

"All cities have budget-friendly options," said Porot. "For families looking to plan an affordable city trip, we've put together city getaway guides that offer itinerary suggestions, planning tips and a number of activities that families can do for free, or at a low cost, while visiting."

What do you think, readers? What city would you designate the best for family-friendly travel?

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