Best Family All-Inclusive Resorts in the US

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From time to time I do some writing and online videos for The Travel Channel, and recently they contacted me asking if I could write an article on the “Best Family All-Inclusive Resorts in the US”.  On this blog I primarily stick to miles and points related things, so I think it is fun to occasionally write about different travel related destinations.  In doing the research for the article, a very bad thing happened…I found myself really wanting to visit a few of these spots.  Occupational hazard?  That is bad as they don’t take points!  Of course, you could use some points that are good toward travel related charges like from the Barclay Arrival card, but that still isn’t going to get you all of the way there.

Even if I can’t necessarily afford these places right this second, it is good to know what is out there.  There are plenty of places in the US and beyond that are outside the miles and points world, but still worth considering.  I certainly don’t want to be too myopic and miss what could be a great travel experience for my family.

As a teaser, I can tell you the places that really jumped out at me are the Tyler Place Family Resort in Vermont and the Red Horse Mountain Resort in Idaho.  I love all five of the resorts I included, but these two in particular seem to call out to me – especially because they seem like pros at meeting the needs of a 3 or 4 year old.  The Tyler Place Family Resort doesn’t just have a kid’s program – they have up to 9 different programs based on very specific age groupings.  Obviously the needs and wants of a 4 -5 year old are different than a 8 -9 year old, and they get that.  Unlike many other dude ranches, the Red Horse Mountain Resort assigns kids as young as 3 a horse for the week, and I know my daughter would be all over that!

Family dude ranch trip in Cody, Wyoming ’09

If my kid is happy, everyone is happy.  I also think it is really special that at resorts like the Tyler Family Resort they encourage families to return the same week each summer so you get to know the other families, and the kids look forward to seeing each other each year.  It’s like the best parts of summer camp without the homesick part!

Call me selfish if you must, but my idea of the perfect family vacation involves great activities to do together as a family, as well as the opportunity to have Little C well entertained and cared for while my husband and I get a chance to sit back and relax for a bit.  Both of these resorts seem to have that down to a science, and that makes me really want to save up and try them out for myself some day!  The prices do give me some sticker shock (some more than others), but they all offer varying degrees of an all-inclusive plan, and I have to remind myself that I am extremely spoiled when it comes to hotel prices since I typically just use points and avoid them all together.

Though I am already drooling over a few of these spots, please feel free to torture me further and let me know if you have any personal experiences to share!

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  1. Ha…great timing of this post! This morning our group of friends have been actively texting one another as we try and nail down details for an all-inclusive vacation together. Although, they’re all thinking Mexico and adults-only. But seeing your post makes me want to reconsider if we should stay domestic and bring along all our kids. All of ours are between 2-5 years old… these are some great recommendations! Thank you for posting, I’m going to be checking them out. But mostly thank you for showing that these types of vacations options and opportunities exist out there.

  2. Everyday Ryan, well Mexico adults-only will be very different than domestic with kids, but both sound fun!
    Will, may do that in the future, but most would likely be in the Caribbean/Mexico and not in the US.

  3. You might want to check out the full service family camps sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), a nonprofit conservation organization in the Northeast. I spent a delightful week at the Cold River Camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This is a camp experience for active families, with organized hikes, lodging in rustic cabins, meals in the lodge, and old-fashioned evening entertainment. AMC volunteers operate a couple of other family camps — one near Acadia National Park in Maine, and one on an island in Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. You will be shocked at how reasonable an AMC family camp vacation can be!

  4. Hi Mommypoints, My son is an active 16 year old.Did you come across any all-inclusives geared for the older teen?

    • Mary Jane, all depends what he is into but things like a dude ranch sound great for teens. They would be challenged to do adult type outdoor activities!

  5. I went to Tyler Place for a week every year when I was a kid. It is the best place on earth. I can’t wait to take my daughter there (1 year old) in a few years!

  6. We have gone to Tyler Place every Aug for the last 4 years and love it. My hubby and I get a true vacation with family time and time by ourselves doing fun things with interesting people in a beautiful environment. I highly recommend!

  7. Just as an FYI, my family is doing our first all-inclusive resort this Feb @ the Hilton Rose Hall in Jamaica – and it’s being booked solely on points. Burned those Hilton points for 6 nights, and waiting on AirTran to open their flight schedule further into Feb to use my credits there.

  8. Up&Away- we did that trip at Spring Break at Hilton Rose Hall. All on Hilton points. Enjoyed it, ESP the moment when I got the bill for 5 nights and it was $90 (for the stuff I bought in the gift shop!)

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