Getting the kids away from screens and enjoying the great outdoors can be never-ending battle for parents. Choose a home in any of these family-friendly US destinations, however, and a digital detox will be easy – for all the family!
Orlando and Disney, Florida
One of the world’s busiest tourist destinations, Orlando overflows with attractions for both children and adults, with Disney World and the other theme parks spearheading its global appeal! In short, central Florida was created for entertaining, helped by its balmy year-round climate.
But the Orlando area isn’t just about theme and adventure parks. Most Brits and other foreign homeowners head to communities or resorts in the famous ‘Golden Triangle’ area, which includes the metropolises of Kissimmee and Davenport. Here, there are countless championship golf courses, water parks, all types of sports and leisure facilities, not to mention world-class shopping. Many of the newer developments coming on stream today are in themselves mini resorts, with facilities to keep the family occupied for days, including their own water parks, cinemas, soccer academies and more. Plus, even in Orlando you have a choice of beaches within 75 minutes’ drive east or west.
Orlando International Airport, approx. 30-35 minutes from Disney and most of the Golden Triangle.
Within a typical established community in the Golden Triangle: from $150,000 for a condo, from $200,000 for a townhouse and from $280,000-$300,000 for a single-storey home/villa. Higher for new developments.
Why not split the cost between several families? Find out how in our free guide, Buying Abroad with Family or Friends.
Sarasota and Siesta Key, Florida
A coastal city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota blends a lively arts and culture scene with an outdoorsy beach lifestyle. A string of linked islands, joined to the mainland at various points, run the length of its coastline, include Siesta Key, more than once voted #1 beach in the USA!
Sarasota is a hub of year-round festivals and events, thanks to its rich history in the performing arts, film and famous Ringling circus. The choice of museums is endless, complemented by an aquarium, zoos, and adventure and nature parks. Chances are though, your kids will never want to wander far from one of the fine white beaches that Sarasota is known for, where they can swim, play in the sand or doing just about type of water based activity that exists.
Orlando is still just two-hours’ drive away, so a day or overnight trip to Disney and the theme parks is always an option.
Sarasota has an international airport but there are direct UK flights from Tampa International Airport approx one hour away, or Orlando International Airport approx two hours 45 mins.
Standard detached homes in the Sarasota suburbs start at around $320,000, more for somewhere with a pool, either shared of private. The keys are notably pricier: frontline two-bed condos on Siesta Key start around $550,000, or from $350,000 within walking distance of Siesta’s beach.
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Cape Coral, Florida
Fans of being on the water as well as in it, as well as those who enjoy getting close to nature will be in heaven in Cape Coral, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Built around more than 400 miles of canals on the estuary of the Caloosahatchee river, you’re never far from the water there so the activities on offer to children are boundless.
Occupying outdoorsy kids is a cinch in Cape Coral, where typical days are spent boating, kayaking, fishing, enjoying the beach, shelling (the beaches are famous for its stunning seashells) and doing water sports. Then there are the other on-shore leisure options, such as the large water park, family fun park, the golf courses, and tennis and other sports facilities.
The area is also known for its eco-tourism and is surrounded by protected natural areas, with networks of trails for exploring and enjoying the wildlife. There is also bicycle friendly, with 90 miles of designated bike routes, linking up around the community. Just off-shore are Sanibel and Captiva island, with their protected pristine beaches and unspoilt charm.
Fly into Tampa a 2.5-hour transfer. Other options include flying into Miami for a 3-hour transfer across Alligator Alley, or fly into Atlanta and get a connecting flight to Fort Myers.
Typical single family homes next to canal start from approx $250,000. For a waterfront condo, budget from approx $170,000.
Daytona Beach, Florida
The spiritual home of NASCAR racing, today Daytona Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast is about far more than just the thrill of the racetrack, offering the full entertainment package of an international beach resort. Central to Daytona’s attraction is its 23-mile stretch of beach, separated from the mainland by the Halifax river and where the hardpacked sand makes it possible to drive and cycle along much of it.
At the heart of the resort is the famous boardwalk and pier, with plenty to entertain the kids. Other beachfront attractions include the lagoon with its waterpark, speedboat adventures and Screamer’s amusement park.
Dubbed the Festival Capital of Florida, there is never a dull moment in Daytona, with festivals happening year-round. Themes are a mix of culture and motor-racing and biking, with many held in the famous Speedway stadium. Music concerts are also held on the beach.
Fly into Orlando International Airport for a transfer of just over an hour.
Typical single family homes in a community a short drive from the beach start from approx $250,000. For a beachfront condo, budget from approx $250,000.
Adirondacks, New York
Families that love getting close to nature and having fun in the great outdoors should feel right at home in the Adirondack Mountains, located in New York state.
Covering more than six million acres, the Adirondacks is the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states of the US, comprising more than 10,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and a wide variety of habitats including wetlands and old-growth forests.
Days there can be spent swimming in the silky freshwater lakes, such as Placid and George, or sailing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, trekking cycling… it is a true paradise for outdoorsy types. And when winter and the snow come, the Adirondacks has a choice of ski resorts to enjoy. Being on the eastern side of the US and near New York, means travel from the UK shouldn’t be overly stressful for little ones.
Fly into New York’s JFK airport for a transfer of approx. 4-5 hours, Boston’s Logan airport for a similar transfer time.
For a traditional family home in good condition in and around towns like Lake Placid and Lake George budget from $250,000, while small tourist condos available from less than $100,000.