Six of the Top Family Resorts

We searched from east to west to come up with this short list of family-friendly resorts.

By FamilyTime


There is no shortage of hotels, motels, and full-service resorts in the United States that welcome families with open arms and exceptional facilities. While we make no claims that these six are "the best," we think they are worth checking out if you're planning a family vacation.

None of these resorts is inexpensive, nor are any owned by Disney. Without question, Disney resorts and hotels cater to families, and so we went beyond them to select these six, chosen by region and willingness to accommodate families.

Be sure to investigate other resorts in the part of the country you want to visit. Use these ideas as a jumping off point. Our primary source was the Zagat Survey 2002 Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts & Spas.

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, Tuscon, Arizona
Built on what used to be a 19th century cattle ranch, this dude ranch resort is for families who like to ride horses and get a taste of western living. Reports are of a friendly staff, kind to "tenderfoots," and family-style food. Tuscon is warm year around.

Rocky Mountains Home Ranch, Clark, Colorado
Many family-friendly resorts in Colorado are in famous ski villages such as Aspen, Vail, and Crested Butte, but if you're looking for a place away from that scene, try this ranch nestled high in the mountains. Cross-country skiing and hiking are good family sports; the resort offers a varied roster of other activities, many designed expressly for kids. Visit this upscale ranch winter or summer.

New England
Topnotch, Stowe, Vermont
Stowe boasts some of the best skiing in New England and this casual resort is a short way from the slopes. Other activities such as hiking, cross-country skiiing, golf, tennis, and swimming make it a year-round destination.

Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head island is warm all year, although not always warm enough for swimming. This sprawling resort is on a five-mile-long beach and offers kids' programs as well as activities such as horseback riding, bicycle trails, golf, and tennis.

Florida Registry, Naples, Florida
A large hotel on the west coast of Florida, this one is on a secluded beach and has programs designed for children and their parents, as well more traditional resort activities and a reportedly friendly and helpful staff.

Embassy Vacation Resorts, Maui, Hawaii
A trip to Hawaii is always fun for families. The islands are great for kids of all ages. For a comfortable stay on Maui, this resort offers suites with kitchenettes as well as a large pool and a kid-friendly staff. And then, there's the beach…