If you’re looking for a family vacation that’s easy, fun for everyone, and offers good value for your money, consider staying at an all-inclusive resort. The advantages are clear: You pay one rate per night, and drinks, meals, and most activities come with the price tag, so you’re not mentally adding up every outing your family wants to do and wondering if you’re going to completely blow through the trip budget. Plus, all-inclusives usually have lots of dining options (so you’re not scrambling while trying to find a restaurant that appeals to everybody), organized activities for kids (so you can get in some adults-only time), and enough entertainment options so that you rarely — if ever — have to leave the resort (which means no fighting over directions in an unfamiliar city).
Whether you’re considering a dude ranch where the kids can ride horses and roast s’mores by the fire, a Caribbean resort with pools and waterslides, a Florida vacation close to theme parks, a getaway to Mexico where you can spend all your time at Instagram-worthy beaches, or a vacation in the U.S. that makes you feel like you’re re-living your summer-camp days, we have options. Here are a few of the best all-inclusive family resorts for the ultimate stress-free getaway in 2020.
The Tyler Place Family Resort (Highgate Springs, VT)
At Tyler Place, you can choose to stay in a cottage or a family suite, with a separate bedroom for the kids, a porch, and a kitchenette. During the day, there are morning and evening activities for kids, who will be divided into seven different age groups to make sure the activities are tailored to their interests and abilities. Infant and toddler care is also available.
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Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
Kids can meet SpongeBob and some of their other favorite Nickelodeon friends, get “slimed” at a water park, and enjoy their own indoor kids’ club at this all-inclusive resort that also includes multiple pools and a gorgeous beach. Some first-floor rooms even have a small pool directly outside the hotel-room door. A second Nickelodeon Resort is scheduled to open in Riviera Maya, Mexico in 2020.
Mohonk Mountain House (New Paltz, New York)
C Lazy U Ranch (Granby, Colorado)
The C Lazy U Ranch, named the top resort in Colorado by Condé Nast Traveler, has been welcoming guests since 1919. The all-inclusive ranch, featuring rustic-chic cabins, has programs for kids of every age. Little ones can enjoy pony rides and picnics, while teens can go horseback riding and take supervised whitewater rafting trips.
Beaches Turks & Caicos (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)
Woodloch Pines Resort (Hawley, Pennsylvania)
This all-inclusive Poconos resort has plenty to keep the family busy. Activities include rock climbing, go-karts, and trivia contests, as well as nightly entertainment. Meals are served family-style, and always include a delicious dessert (the chocolate peanut butter pie is a favorite).
Club Med Sandpiper Bay (Port St. Lucie, Florida)
Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Club Med’s only U.S. property, is located in Port St. Lucie, on Florida’s east coast. It’s all about being active at this family-friendly all-inclusive — golf, beach volleyball, tennis, sailing, kayaking, trapeze, and yoga are a sampling of what’s offered. Need a break? Chill out by the pool, where you can take in the sunset.
Migis Lodge (South Casco, Maine)
For a classic New England vacation, rent a lakeside cottage at Migis Lodge, an all-inclusive retreat on Sebago Lake (40 minutes northwest of Portland). Take the kids canoeing or fishing, or simply soak up the peaceful lake vistas from your porch. The lodge’s menu changes daily, but it always includes fresh Maine lobster.
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The Ranch at Rock Creek (Philipsburg, Montana)
At the upscale all-inclusive Ranch at Rock Creek, families can stay in glamping cabins equipped with gas stoves and creek-facing porches. Activities for all ages include learning to horseback ride and fly fish, and after dinner in the Western-themed Granite Lodge, there’s bowling in a four-lane alley in the Silver Dollar Saloon.
Hotel Riu Palace (Aruba)
On Palm Beach, Aruba’s main strand, is the Hotel Riu Palace. At this all-inclusive family resort, you can relax poolside or work up an appetite playing beach volleyball. There are multiple restaurants to choose from, as well as snacks available around the clock and an ice cream parlor. In the evenings, there’s family-friendly entertainment, including karaoke and a magic show.
Vista Verde Guest Ranch (Clark, Colorado)
Vista Verde Guest Ranch, near Steamboat Springs, is a classic all-inclusive dude ranch. While there, you’ll sleep in upscale cabins and lodge rooms, dine on hearty comfort food (anything from buttermilk pancakes to potato gnocchi), learn to ride horses and rock climb, enjoy a cooking class and wine tasting, or even join a barn dance!
Dreams Rivera Cancun Resort & Spa (Puerto Morelos, Mexico)
The Explorer’s Club at the all-inclusive Dreams Riviera Cancun allows kids to hunt for treasure or watch a movie under the stars, while the ‘rents can hang by the pool or hit the spa. No one will go hungry — there are nine restaurants to choose from, ranging from a buffet for tacos and burgers to an adults-only French restaurant.
Ambergris Cay (Turks and Caicos)
The kids will feel like castaways at this new all-inclusive private island resort in the Caribbean with just 10 luxury villas. Spend your days snorkeling and kayaking, tooling around the island on a bicycle, playing tennis, or taking a beginner boating lesson. Calico Jack is the main restaurant, but there’s also 24-hour room service.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
At this all-inclusive resort kids will have a ball playing mini-golf, zooming down a water slide, chilling on a lazy river, playing video games, and checking out the cool rock memorabilia. There’s also a dedicated Kids Club, which goes until 10:45 p.m., giving parents time to play a few hands of blackjack in the casino.
Disney Hotels (Orlando, Florida)