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While everyone’s definition of budget-friendly is different, if you’re looking for a more affordable, high-value resort for a family vacation, it can be hard to know where to begin. Some amenities are a must, and you don’t want to sacrifice comfort to save a few bucks. These family-friendly resorts won’t break the bank while offering something for just about every age, from powdery sands to sparkling lakes and thrilling water parks.
Captain’s Quarters Resort - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
One of the most popular beach destinations for families, Myrtle Beach is home to Captain’s Quarters Resorts, a great value right on the sand with multiple different accommodation options, including many rooms that boast ocean views. The one- and two-bedroom efficiencies and the suites all come with full kitchens to help you save on dining out. All include flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, while the grounds include a large water park and many outdoor pools, including a children’s pool with a pirate ship plus an indoor lazy river pool. There’s an on-site bowling alley and an arcade too. Plus, you’ll be close to many other attractions like the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Family Kingdom Amusement Park, with a wide range of eateries available within a short walk too. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best beachfront family resorts in the U.S.
Ka’anapali Beach Hotel - Maui
Despite being in one of the most popular areas of Maui, the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is a great pick for families on a budget. Set on an 11-acre property along soft sands, this budget-friendly beach resort in Hawaii includes a whale-shaped pool and a great kids’ program for ages 12 and under with activities like lei-making and hula lessons. Everyone can enjoy free activities like lei ceremonies and ukulele lessons, while the Ocean Activities Center will set you up with building sandcastles, boogie boarding, standup paddleboarding, or surfing lessons. Golfing enthusiasts can take advantage of the shuttle to Ka’anapali Golf Course too. When it comes to dining, you’ll find a bar and grill serving international dishes sure to please all, plus it hosts free nightly hula shows. If you want something more authentic, the main restaurant offers Hawaiian fare.
Great Wolf Lodge - Concord, North Carolina
There are Great Wolf Lodges across the country that are ideal for families who want to enjoy lots of activities and a comfortable stay for a reasonable price. This one is located in Concord, just a short drive from Charlotte, providing easy access to a wide range of attractions in the area too, including the Sea Life Aquarium, historic sites, museums, and NASCAR racing. One of the most popular water park resorts in America, you can enjoy four pools, nearly a dozen water slides, a ropes course, mini-golf, an immersive theater, a fitness center, and multiple dining venues all right on-site. A variety of lodge-style suites are available, including options with balconies or patios. Kid-friendly suites include cave-themed sleeping areas, mini log cabins, or tents.
Tyler Place Family Resort - Swanton, Vermont
One of the best all-inclusive resorts for families, Tyler Place Family Resort is set along the banks of Lake Champlain and has offered memorable vacations since 1933. The kids’ program is divided into nine different age groups, from babies to teens, allowing the adults to enjoy some alone time together while enjoying everything from wellness offerings and water sports to nightlife. Just a few of the activity options include swimming in the lake or the pools, paddleboarding, rock climbing, and disc golf. Every guest gets a loaner bike too, with many different types available, including mountain bikes, cruisers, tandems, and bikes with training wheels for the little ones. Accommodations include rooms, suites, guesthouses, and cottages with kitchens or kitchenettes sleeping up to five.
Chula Vista Resort - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
If you’re looking for lots of fun in the water, you might want to head to Wisconsin Dells, the “Water Park Capital of the World.” It also happens to be an affordable destination, with resorts like Chula Vista offering budget-friendly all-inclusive packages. It includes indoor and outdoor water parks for a good time year-round, spread over 200,000 square feet. There’s an 18-hole golf course, a mini-golf course for the kids, and a children’s activity center, while the parents can enjoy some pampering in the spa. The variety of eats is sure to please everyone in the family, from burgers and pizzas to a chophouse. Accommodation is in rooms, suites, condos, and vacation rentals, ensuring a more comfortable stay with plenty of space.
The Postcard Inn - St. Pete Beach, Florida
The Postcard Inn offers a prime location right on St. Pete Beach with its powder sugar-like sands edged by the shallow turquoise waters in the Gulf of Mexico. It includes a beachfront pool and water sports rentals right on-site, while the mellow swells are ideal for those who want to learn to surf. You’ll also find shuffleboard, photo booths, arcade games, and a fire pit on the property, while dining options include the casual Beach Bar & Snack Shack along with a bar/grill restaurant. Rooms are surfing-themed with decor like vintage longboards, flea market treasures, and retro light fixtures. All include Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Some have patios that connect to the pool area.
Lutsen Resort - Lutsen, Minnesota
Set along the shores of Lake Superior, Lutsen Resort offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including guided sea kayaking tours, hiking, fly fishing classes, and outstanding fishing with opportunities to catch everything from tour and salmon to northern pike, smallmouth bass and walleye. There’s a private beach, complimentary shuttles to hiking spots, 9-hole golf, and an indoor pool too. After a day of play, enjoy pampering treatments in the spa, followed by dining on traditional North Shore cuisine. There’s a pub, and live music is hosted too. Accommodation is in Scandinavian-style lodge rooms, log cabins with full kitchens, and luxurious villas with Jacuzzis.
Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton - Oxnard, California
An all-suite resort, Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton is a beachfront hotel on California’s Central Coast. It has an island feel with a lagoon-style pool for lounging around and a large hot tub for relaxing soaks. The staff sets up games for the kids on the courtyard lawn every morning, and there’s a park within walking distance that includes a very impressive playground. Guests can also take advantage of on-site bike rentals to explore the area on two wheels. Shovels, sand buckets, and kites can all be borrowed for free. Try out some yummy bites from their retro food truck or try more refined coastal dining at Ox & Ocean. Every suite has two bathrooms, one to rinse the sand off, and if you book one of the two-room suites, you’ll have more privacy with a separate bedroom and a living room that includes a sleeper sofa.
Woodloch Pines Resort - Hawley, Pennsylvania
A popular Poconos resort for families, Woodloch Pines offers lots of fun amenities with reasonable all-inclusive rates. It sits on 400 acres and offers a dizzying array of activities, from fishing, sailing, bumper boats, mini-golf, hiking, and go-karts to ice skating and sledding. There’s a huge seasonal outdoor pool on the lakefront and a year-round indoor pool, a large sports center, and a fitness center with Zumba, yoga, and Pilates classes. And that’s just the shortlist. Plus, parents can enjoy time on their own while the kids take advantage of activities at the kids’ club. Meals and most drinks are included in the rates, while accommodation options range from basic motel-style rooms to private homes on the lake.
Massanutten Resort - Massanutten, Viriginia
Located just a short drive from Shenandoah National Park, Massanutten Resort not only offers a great base for enjoying activities there but it hosts many of its own at budget-friendly prices. It’s one of the premier all-season resort destinations on the East Coast, with 30 miles of trails to hike, stocked ponds for fishing, mini golf, horseback riding, and much more. It’s especially popular in the winter with snow-covered slopes for skiing and snowboarding, an outdoor ice skating rink, and snow tubing. The indoor water park is open year-round, complete with tube and body slides and features for little ones like a giant tipping bucket and a water-powered playhouse. A wide range of lodging options are on-site, and dining includes everything from burgers and pizzas to salads, BBQ, and pub fare.
Cape Winds Resort - Hyannis, Massachusetts
Cape Winds Resort is a top choice for families looking for affordability in Cape Cod, with extra-spacious one- and two-bedroom condo-style units complete with full kitchens that make it ideal for staying with kids and saving money on dining out. On-site, you’ll find a large indoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center, while Hyannis Village is less than a 5-minute drive away and offers many outstanding restaurants.
Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake - South Casco, Maine
Just a 45-minute drive from Portland in southern Maine, Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake is a classic lakeside lodge that’s been welcoming families since 1916. An all-inclusive property, it sits on 125 acres and offers excellent value with three meals a day, a wide range of activities, and accommodation all included in the rates. There are lots of ways to enjoy the lake, including kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, wakeboards, sailboats, and water skis, while various camps for the kids are divided into age groups ensuring fun for everyone. A supervised evening program for the younger ones is a great way for parents to enjoy some alone time. Accommodation is provided in rooms with private balconies and lake views or stylish cottages that are particularly ideal for families, some with multiple bedrooms and call come with porches and fireplaces.
Sylvan Lake Lodge at Custer State Park Resort - Custer, South Dakota
Located inside Custer State Park right at its crown jewel, Sylvan Lake, Sylvan Lake Lodge offers historic lodge rooms and private cabins sleeping as many as 22 guests. Staying here, you’ll be surrounded by hiking trails while enjoying easy access to the water with kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and more, all available to rent. Look forward to memorable wildlife watching with the park inhabited by everything from eagles, elk, and deer to pronghorn antelope, bison, and wild burros. Dining on meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients is available right in the lodge too.
Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort - Lake Placid, New York
Golden Arrow offers it all, an ideal location on Mirror Lake within walking distance of shops and eateries, affordability, scenic views, a gorgeous beach, and complimentary kayaks, paddleboards, water bikes, and canoes to use on the water. There’s also a heated indoor pool and a great restaurant right on-site. Among the wide variety of room options, some of the best for families include family suites with two bedrooms and apartment-style units with kitchenettes.