With so many interesting states and attractions to see, the South is a great place to take a budget-friendly family vacation. From the thrills of the Disney parks in Florida and the historic charm of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and the excitement of learning about space in Houston, there’s truly something to do for every kind of family, no matter what their taste or travel budget allows. Whether you want an outdoor adventure, a relaxing beach vacation or an educational trip, the South has it all.
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Orlando, Florida (Hotel Prices & Photos)
One of the best places for a fun family vacation is of course, Orlando. It’s home to the Walt Disney World Resort, which includes six different amusement parks in itself – the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios), Animal Kingdom and two water parks – Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. But, that’s just the start. During your visit, you and the kids can also feel like you’re in the middle of your favorite movies at Universal Studios, watch a dolphin or whale show at SeaWorld and take a drive to Winter Haven to wander through life-size LEGO displays at LEGOLAND Florida – the largest LEGOLAND theme park in the country.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (Nearby Hotels)
If your family is into history, Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect spot for your next vacation. As the world’s largest living history museum, it’s home to more than 40 different sites to explore including historic buildings, churches, gardens and art museums. You can watch tradespeople use authentic 18th-century trades and tools like blacksmithing, carpentry, gunsmithing and silversmithing, and interact with a “Nation Builder” – a group of costumed interpreters that portray real historic figures from the 18th century. Plus, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of town and enjoy an authentic meal like Brunswick Stew or Shepherd’s Pie at a candlelit historic tavern.
Space Center Houston, Texas (Nearby Hotels)
The astronaut and space enthusiasts in your family (both young and old) will love taking a vacation to Houston, Texas, where they can get an up-close look at previously flown spacecraft and spacesuits worn by real astronauts and tour a replica of the shuttle Independence. There are also lots of other exhibits to explore including the NASA Johnson Space Center tram tour, the International Space Center Gallery and the interactive Mission to Mars exhibit. If you want to kick your vacation up a notch, you can also have a meal with an astronaut or take a “Level 9 Tour,” which gives you behind-the-scenes access of NASA’S Mission Control Center.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Hotel Prices & Photos)
For a fun-filled beach vacation, not many places compare to Myrtle Beach. In addition to sixty miles of sandy beaches for sunbathing and swimming, the popular town is also packed with kid-friendly attractions and beachfront resorts with water parks. All up and down the Grand Strand, there are shops, miniature golf courses, live shows, museums and restaurants to explore. Plus, a few “mega” attractions like the Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Broadway at the Beach – a massive boardwalk and village of more than 350 shops, restaurants, attractions and nightlife. Plus, there are several hotels on-site, so you can stay right in the middle of all the action!
Tybee Island, Georgia (Hotel Prices & Photos)
For a more relaxed and laid-back beach vacation, there’s Tybee Island, located just outside of Savannah in Georgia. With three miles of uninterrupted beaches to explore, there’s plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, collecting seashells, swimming in the ocean or just taking a walk along the shoreline. The Tybee Light Station and Museum offers panoramic views of the whole beach from the top of the lighthouse, while the Tybee Island Marine Science Center offers guests the chance to visit with the sea turtles that live there. Plus, you and the family can learn to surf, go fishing, explore the island by bicycle or even take an exciting airboat ride through the marshes. And, since Savannah is less than 30 minutes away, you can also easily enjoy all the downtown district has to offer including shops, historic sites, quaint city squares and first-class dining.