February 15, 2018

Kid-Friendly Travel Destinations

Jacket: Vince (old, but similar here)  |  Bodysuit: Wolford (wearing a small)| Denim: Topshop | Belt: Gucci (size 80)  | Shoes: Aquazzura 

We’re currently in the middle of planning our next family vacation, or rather, trying to figure out where to go. Last week, I asked you all for some recommendations on your favorite places to travel with little ones. Our ideal wishlist: “a mix of beach life, charming neighborhoods to walk around in, good food and basically, a place that’s fun for all of us.” Also, having a direct flight is pretty important! As always, I received some incredible recommendations and I felt it was my duty to summarize it into an edited post. Rather than sharing all of the suggestions, I’m including the destinations that got mentioned several times. Continue reading till the end to see the place we ended up choosing!

Charleston (Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island): By far, the #1 recommended place based on our criteria. We’ve never been and and from what everyone has told us, Charleston has the best mix of great eats, charming neighborhoods and beaches that are close by.

Hawaii (Oahu/Maui):  Anh, who has a little girl, has traveled to Hawaii with her family several times and always has the most beautiful photos.  It’s definitely on top of our list, but I don’t think we’re ready to take on that long flight (with Nate) just yet!

Florida (Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seaside, Naples): Growing up on the East Coast, Miami was the part of Florida we’ve always traveled to. To be completely honest, I never realized just how many other beautiful places Florida had to offer until the 20th person mentioned it. Rosemary Beach was at the top of our list, but without a direct from NYC, we wanted something a bit easier.

Portugal/Lisbon: Never would I have thought Portugal would be an ideal option, but now it’s extremely high on my radar. It came recommended for the beaches, the culture and for the food and wine scene.

Aruba: Apparently, super family friendly with beautiful beaches. I also got several recommendations for the Ritz.

Turks & Caicos: The first place we took our family vacation and I have to agree with all of you who recommended it. This time around, we were craving a bit more walking and exploring, but we would 100% go back.

Spain (Seville/Marabella/Barcelona/San Sebastián): Spain is one of my favorite places in the world. Keith and I spent two weeks there a few years ago and I still dream about that trip. We definitely plan to go back as a family, but probably when we’re able to take a bit more vacation time.

Riviera Maya, Mexico: Keith and I have been to Riviera Maya and it truly is one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve been to. As far as families go, I got a few recommendations for Rosewood, Bayan Tree and Miroma for beautiful beaches, excellent food and service!

Bermuda: Beautiful beaches and a super easy flight, especially from NYC.

As I mentioned, way in the lead of recommendations was Charleston! Someone left me a suggestion to fly into Charleston, spend a few days there and then drive to Kiawah for more of a beach vacation feel -which is probably the route we’re going to take. After a lot of going back and forth between Rosemary Beach (Florida) and Charleston, Charleston just felt like the better choice. It’s a place none of us have ever been to and being rather big foodies, we love the idea of having a combination of a walking/eating start and ending with a few days on the beach. We’re currently looking at VRBO and Airbnb’s for rentals – our preferred method when traveling with Nate. For us, it’s important to have two rooms so we’re able to still hangout after he goes to bed. If anyone has any apartment or area recommendations, please share!

Regardless of our choice, if you have any personal family travel experiences, recommendations or places to share that you loved, please leave in the comment section below! I know I’m not the only one who would love to read!

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  • Maureen

    Hi Helena! You’re going to love Charleston. My family owns a condo on Kiawah and we have been going for 8+ years now. It’s an incredibly beautiful island, perfect for families, activities, and relaxing. Even if you stay at an Airbnb or VRBO, make sure to check out the Sanctuary hotel. The decor is stunning and it has a beautiful bar at night. Below is a hyperlink to their condo if you’re interested. If you need any recommendations on activites or food, I’m also happy to share! https://www.pamharringtonexclusives.com/vacation-rentals/kiawah-island-resort-south-carolina/villa/4364-windswept-lakeside-villa

    • Helena

      Hi Maureen,

      I’m so glad to hear that! And thank you so much for your recommendations!


  • Natali

    I’m falling for you shoes and bag big time! Also, your little guy is such a charmer! I’d add Croatia to your list of kid friendly travel destinations. 🙂


  • Fatou Diaw

    Thank you for letting us know!

  • Francine

    Hi Helena,

    How fun! I’ll be interested to hear how you enjoy it. I have three boys (13, 8, 8) so always fun to learn about new places. At their age though, they just want a beach and a pool! Which is actually quite nice for us (we sit, drink, read – and they run wild).

    BTW, I purchased those jeans based on your recommendation and they are a DREAM. Had to go up a size, but they are very sexy and flattering. What a great value, too. Wearing them right now as a matter of fact 🙂

    • Helena


      Aren’t they the best! I Had to size up 1 size as well (which didn’t make me happy) but they really are the most flattering jeans!


      • Francine

        HA, glad to hear that sizing up wasn’t just for me. Of course, then there’s the opposite…vanity sized denim (1-2 sizes DOWN, which fools you into a whole other dimension!) Yes, talking to you Current Elliott & Madewell.

  • Jandrew

    I have traveled with a young child before , and we found an all inclusive 4or5 star , has so much to offer ! A vacation for Mom and Dad too ! Check out Riviera Maya.
    Dress The Part

  • Kristina

    I cannot give you any recommendations. But I just wanted to stop by and tell you how gorgeous your red pumps are!!

  • Olga

    I love Charleston so much – it is a foodie’s dream! I recommend 167 Raw (small but mighty) for great lobster rolls and oysters; Leon’s Oyster Shop for Southern seafood in a hip and casual converted auto garage that reminds me of Brooklyn; Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit for the perfect biscuit breakfast sandwich; The Grocery for the local produce bounty; Butcher & Bee for a fresh, delicious meal or snack at any time of the day; and The Rarebit, a wonderful bar & grill with great food and excellent Moscow mules…I would skip Hominy Grill – it appears on many Charleston lists, but we found it underwhelming and touristy…Instead, check out Sunrise Bistro Xpress, a small neighborhood restaurant with the best shrimp & grits I’ve ever had. Enjoy!

  • Christina drewyor

    Wilmington,NC is wonderful too. Has a great downtown vibe and the beach is right there. Most of the restaurants are locally owned so great food options as well.

    • Christina drewyor

      I do love Charleston as well it is beautiful.

  • Mary-Austin

    Excited you’re going to Charleston! You should try to get a reservation at Husk.. it is to die for! Also google Anthony Bourdains’s Charleston episode (starts out weird but trust me) because he hangs out with the chef of Husk and Bill Murray the whole time! It also has great recs hidden in the episode of where to go and eat! Have fun! Xx

  • Leeya

    I’ve been to the Ritz Carlton in Aruba and it is an absolute must!! Now that I have a 14 month old son I will definitely be going back and taking him with us!!

  • Liz

    You will love, Charleston. I moved from NYC to Charleston 6 years ago. There is a great kids museum downtown and a pretty awesome aquarium for the little guy. The food options are limitless. You have already received great restaurant recommendations. There are some new comers I wanted to recommend. Vintage Lounge and Tu. Also, The Workshop or Edmund Oast Brewing Co. It’s a common spot for families to dine for dinner and the kiddos run around and play on the giant AstroTurf lawn. Enjoy your trip!

  • Kathryn

    Love this list! Thank you for the time to share all of these great recommendations that you received. We have been wanting to get away as well but not sure where to start!

  • Aisha

    Definitely go to Husk! We have one here in Nashville, but the one in Charleston is the original. If you can, do a food tour—not sure if Nate will be able to go, but it’s so good! Charleston is one of my favorite cities to visit. Hope you all have a blast!

  • ALexa Bueno

    must must go to Kaminkys for dessert! Right across a super nice street market.Perfect place for afternoon coffee and some sweet indulgence.

  • La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    Wonderful recommendations!
    Merci for sharing.

    ??LA BIJOUX BELLA ??| By Mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Amy

    We just spent a few days in Charleston with our almost 3 yo twin boys over Christmas and it was perfect! Stayed in the Mt pleasant area in an airbnb. Vickery’s for kid friendly great seafood right on the water. Perfect Charleston feel!

  • Tasha

    Thank you for sharing!!! ?

  • Brittany

    Thanks for sharing these! And I’ve heard Charleston is beautiful – I can’t wait to hear about your trip. I would also second Portugal, specifically Lagos in the Algarve, as a destination to add to you bucket list. It truly is the perfect blend of a quaint European vacation and a beach getaway! 🙂

  • Sharon

    I just came back from the Sarasota area of Florida and was so impressed by Siesta Key beach. It’s incredibly family friendly, clean public bathrooms and all, a bar with drink at $4, parking, etc. Did I mention white sand beaches that are incredibly clean!

  • Courtney

    If you stay at Kiawah, go to the Mingo Point Oyster Roast. It’s lovely!

  • Courtney

    We have a vacation home in the Seaside area (we’re in Seagove….between Seaside and Alys) and it is the best! We have great food (whether fish market, restaurants, or private chef), really nice beaches, and you bike EVERYWHERE! Also, if you’ve never done an in-home chef for a couple of meals, I highly recommend. Can’t say enough good things about the 30A area. (Charleston is great too, as is Playa Mujeres)

  • Ewa Macherowska

    Nice pic! 🙂


  • Kristian Olson

    Northern Italy (Italian Riviera) like, Sanremo, or the nearby smaller towns like Arma Taggia. Nice in France (all of these are super close to each other) too.

  • Joanne

    When my son was 2, we went to Paris, Nice and Monte Carlo – absolute best time. Two summers ago, we went to London, Paris, Zurich, Belgium and Monte Carlo. Of all the places we’ve travelled – and we’ve travelled extensively, my kids’ absolute favorite place is Monte Carlo. Everything about it is wonderful!

  • Julie

    We traveled to Charlestown several times in the years our kids were young. We enjoyed staying in Wild Dunes/Isle of Palms, enjoying the beach and activities during the morning then after naps, heading into Charlestown for city fun and food.

  • Carolyn

    I used to go to Kiawah with my family every year as a child and am actually going back this summer! I highly recommend. It’s a beautiful place – lovely beach and great community feel. There’s a lot of places to rent on the island but we’re staying in condo: https://www.vrbo.com/3497495ha

  • Simply Sory

    Mi recomendación por supuesto es España y Portugal, muy bonitas y con mil cosas que hacer y ver.


  • Rekha Soni

    I’m falling for you shoes and bag big time! Also, your little guy is such a charmer! I’d add Croatia to your list of kid friendly travel destinations. ?

  • sarah

    you MUST stay at wild dunes in isle of palms! u can rent your own house/ townhouse, there are kid pools with waiter staff and adult beverages! ill be there june 7-11 😉

    • sarah

      wait* staff

  • In the world of Save. Spend. Splurge.: Where these are realistic birth announcements | Save. Spend. Splurge.

    […] to toddlers….. I’m sorry, but these heels are just for the photos right? Who are these mothers like Brooklyn Blonde who are wearing 4″ stilettos and walking around with small, energetic, willful children? Tell […]


    Hi Helena!

    Love your site. My husband and I are trying to plan a vacation to Costa Del Sol, Spain. What area did you and Keith stay? We are looking for something with access to nice beaches, restaurants and easy access to transportation. Any hotel recommendations?
    Thank you!

  • Brick carting perth

    Great travel ideas, thanks

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