The excitement of going on vacation or visiting a new place is a timeless experience felt by travelers of all ages. Whether your group includes young children or the grandparents of those children—or both—it’s often important to plan your group tour itinerary with a range of generations in mind.

From amusement parks and museums to national parks and cruises, countless destinations across the United States can cater to both the young and—less young.

Iconic Islands

Off the coast of Texas, Galveston is bursting with family-friendly attractions and 32 miles of beaches. Groups of any age range and background will delight in a day spent at attractions like Galveston’s Historic Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids, or the Bryan Museum. Or, for groups looking to get in the water, dolphin and harbor tours make for an experience your clients will never forget.

“The ability to get from bay to beach and everywhere in between with ease makes experiencing Galveston stress-free for groups with varying interests,” says Bryan Kunz, director of sales and services for Visit Galveston. “The island is only about 2 miles wide and 32 miles long and rife with group outdoor activities like fishing charters; kayaking; amusement and water parks; and unique cultural and immersive art experiences for all ages.”

Visit Galveston is in the process of rolling out a new-and-improved group savings pass for attendees to use at participating Galveston restaurants, attractions, and services.

“Get in touch with the team at Visit Galveston so they can help curate a visit that suits everyone’s interests and needs,” Kunz says. “Our sales and destination services teams pride themselves on their love of Galveston and value their relationships with planners and groups. They will help you pick the property that best aligns with your groups. … Tours are a great option for multigenertional groups and are also a great way to see around the island.”

Wildwoods Boardwalk, The Wildwoods, New Jersey;
Credit: Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority

Another island ideal for groups is the Wildwoods in New Jersey. With 160 special events and festivals hosted year-round; a world-famous, 2 1/2-mile boardwalk housing more than 100 rides, attractions, shops, games, and more; and plenty of beaches, the Wildwoods draws millions of visitors each year. And many of the Wildwoods’ hotels offer mid-week and shoulder season special packages/group rates to make your group’s visit much more affordable.

“You can plan to do as much or as little as you like while vacationing in the Wildwoods, as the island offers endless opportunities for adventurers to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air,” says Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority.

He adds that the Wildwoods offer a perfect blend of past and present. “The memories your family will make in the Wildwoods are meant to be shared for generations, inspiring families to return to re-create the family fun year after year. Kids can lead the way to the water parks and rides, as parents and grandparents enjoy the excitement that younger generations create. Long days on white sand beaches are shared by all generations of the family.”

Amusement Thrills

Perhaps one of the nation’s most famous tourism attractions is Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Undoubtedly, any visit to the “Happiest Place on Earth” will be met with the sight of hundreds of young children in Mickey Mouse ears holding the hands of their parents or grandparents, families posing for photos in front of Cinderella’s Castle, or groups basking in the thrills of the amusement park’s 170-plus rides.

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida;
Credit: Adobe/Joni

Comprising four theme parks—Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT—Disney World will entertain your group for hours. Exciting games, delicious cuisine, rides both fast and slow, adorable animals, and scenes straight out of your favorite movies all come together at Disney World, allowing your group to change up the pace and enjoy a vacation suitable for all members.

Another hot spot for amusement park fun is the Wisconsin Dells. Nestled in the heart of Wisconsin, the “Waterpark Capital of the World” boasts more than 20 indoor and outdoor parks. Known for its winding lazy rivers, roaring wave pools, sky-high rope courses, and scenic geological features, the Dells is a mecca for family fun and adventure.

Attractions like Kalahari Resort, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Resort, Wisconsin River boat and amphibious duck tours, the historic Circus World Complex, and so much more attract more than 4 million visitors to the 19-square-mile region each year.

“The Wisconsin Dells area offers a wide variety of lodging, attractions, and activities that can appeal to everyone from infants to octogenarians,” says Jill Diehl, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau. “We can help you find the accommodations and activities that will be perfect for your multigenerational group.”

Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin;
Credit: Kalahari Resorts and Conventions

Looking for something a bit sweeter? Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the largest amusement park in the state. There, guests will find thrilling rides, special seasonal events, and—most importantly—lots and lots of tasty treats. Groups of 20-plus save more than 45% on prepurchased tickets.

Timeless Attractions

While the excitement of amusement parks or seaside boardwalks is tough to beat, some groups might opt for a more relaxing multigenerational excursion.

And what’s more timeless than a visit to one of our nation’s national parks? While some parks might be more limiting for people of varying ages than others, classic destinations like the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Yosemite National Park in California, Glacier National Park in Montana, and many more offer spectators of all ages the chance to witness the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. Whether traveling on foot, by horseback, or in a vehicle, there are many ways to enjoy the grandeur of our awe-inspiring national parks.

Or, consider a more comprehensive journey for your group with American Cruise Lines. This river boat cruise line offers trips along the Mississippi, Columbia, and Snake rivers; along the New England and the Southeastern coast; around Alaska or Washington’s Puget Sound; or past several national parks.

For a shorter-term group experience, consider visiting a family-friendly museum like the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Kentucky; any of the Smithsonian locations in Washington, D.C.; the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California; or Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

By Madeline Fuerstenberg

Main Image: Historic Pleasure Pier, Galveston, Texas; Credit: Visit Galveston