Finding a vacation spot that your entire family can enjoy can be an arduous task, but your decision-making can likely be eased with a little data.
A recent travel study from KOALA, a vacation rental platform where timeshare owners list properties, has narrowed down some of the best family vacation destinations in the U.S.
The tech-forward company analyzed popular destinations on its website based on seven key metrics, including the number of kid-friendly attractions, nature and parks, child-friendly restaurants, crime rate, average accommodation price per night, average annual temperature and annual rainfall.
In total, KOALA named 43 U.S. destinations as family-friendly and ranked each with an "overall score." The destinations to make it into the top 10 are in Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, California, South Carolina, Colorado, Virginia and Massachusetts.
Here is a breakdown of KOALA’s findings.
10. Nantucket, Massachusetts
KOALA’s Overall Score: 6.83
Coming in at 10th place on KOALA’s family-friendly destination list is Nantucket, Mass. The small island is off the coast of Cape Cod with an average annual temperature of 51 degrees Fahrenheit. According to KOALA, Nantucket’s average accommodation price per night is $83 and 21.4% of the attraction on the island are listed as "good for kids."
9. Estes Park, Colorado
KOALA’s Overall Score: 6.85
Beating out Nantucket by a slight margin is Estes Park, Colo. The town is not far from Rocky Mountain National Park, and accommodations in this area cost an average of $185 per night, according to KOALA. The travel company also determined 34% of the attractions in Estes Park are considered kid-friendly while 75% of the restaurants there are kid-friendly. This Colorado town’s annual average temperature is 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Williamsburg, Virginia
KOALA’s Overall Score: 6.92
The historic city of Williamsburg was named the 8th best destination for families. The Virginian city is warmer and cheaper than Estes Park with an annual average temperature of 59.6 degrees Fahrenheit and an accommodation price of $122 per night. While nearly a quarter of attractions in Williamsburg are considered "good for kids," 56.9% of the city’s restaurants are kid-friendly.
7. Durango, Colorado
KOALA’s Overall Score: 6.97
A second Colorado destination makes it onto KOALA’s best family-friendly vacation list in 7th place, and that destination is Durango. The small city is located in southwestern Colorado, near the New Mexican border, where the annual average temperature is 42.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Nightly accommodations run families an average of $110, according to KOALA. Similar to Williamsburg, nearly a quarter of attractions in Durango are considered kid-friendly while 58.1% of restaurants in the area are a good fit for children.
6. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
KOALA’s Overall Score: 6.98
Hilton Head Island in South Carolina is next on KOALA’s list for the best family-friendly destination. The tourist-friendly island has an average annual temperature of 67.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Accommodations here average $170 per night, according to KOALA. More than a quarter of the attractions on Hilton Head Island are said to be kid-friendly as are 74.1% of the restaurants there.
5. Lake Tahoe, California
KOALA’s Overall Score: 7.02
Landing the halfway point of KOALA’s list is Lake Tahoe. The California city is revered for its beaches and ski resorts. Accommodations in this popular vacation spot average $154 per night and the average annual temperature is 42.2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to KOALA. More than a fifth of attractions in Lake Tahoe are considered kid-friendly while 53.4% of the city’s restaurants are as well.
4. Sedona, Arizona
KOALA’s Overall Score: 7.02
While Sedona, Ariz. Tied with Lake Tahoe with an overall score of 7.02 out of 10, KOALA placed the desert town at no. 4 on its best family-friendly destination list. Nightly accommodations here also average $154, but Sedona has a mild climate with an average annual temperature of 55.8 degrees Fahrenheit, according to KOALA. Parents might want to have activities prepared if they visit though because only a tenth of Sedona’s attractions are considered kid-friendly. The Arizona town does have Lake Tahoe beat with 61.2% of its restaurants being kid-friendly.
3. Sanibel, Florida
KOALA’s Overall Score: 7.40
Sanibel is an island and city in southwest Florida, and it comes in 3rd place on KOALA’s list. The beach destination is the warmest in the top 10 rankings with an average annual temperature of 74.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Accommodations in Sanibel cost an average of $280 per night, according to KOALA, and there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities with nearly a third of the destination’s attractions being deemed "good for kids." More than half (69.5%) of the restaurants in Sanibel are considered kid-friendly, according to the travel website.
2. Wailea, Hawaii
KOALA’s Overall Score: 8.27
Coming in at 2nd place on KOALA’s best family-friendly destinations list is Wailea, Hawaii. The "census-designated place" is located in Maui and has an average annual temperature of 64.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The destination is cheaper than Sanibel with an average accommodation price of $241 per night. More than a third of Wailea’s attractions are considered kid-friendly while 80.4% of its restaurants are as well.
1. Waikiki, Hawaii
KOALA’s Overall Score: 8.38
The no. 1 family-friendly destination on KOALA’s list is Waikiki, Hawaii. The district is located in the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu and has an average annual temperature of 74.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Accommodations in Waikiki cost an average of $295 per night, according to KOALA. The island district leads the pack with 83.3% of its attractions being listed as "good for kids" in addition to 84.2% of its restaurants being listed as kid-friendly.