7 Epic Escapes You Can Fly to in 3 Hours (or Less!)

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Last year was the year of the family road trip. Now, we’re ready to pack up and head to the airport. Whether you need a passport or not, you’ll only need three hours or less to fly to these family-friendly destinations. We’ve rounded up the perfect family vacation spots, and you and your crew can fly to each one in under three hours. 

Montreal, QC

Visit the largest French-speaking city in North America, and you’ll quickly find history and charm.

Play: If your family feels adventurous, take a ride on Canada’s longest zipline. The Voiles en Voiles aerial park and ropes course is next to the MTL Zipline tower. It is 32 feet high and includes seven aerial routes connecting two huge sailing ships. The Pointe-à-Callière is the birthplace of Montreal and home to the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History. A visit to the Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port presents an interactive, kid-friendly environment.

Stay: In the heart of Montreal, Le Square Phillips Hotels and Suites features an indoor pool and a gorgeous sun deck. The hotel provides chic family suites, all equipped with full kitchens. Add a short train ride, and you’ll be at Club Med Canada, an all-inclusive resort in Quebec Charlevoix, a beautiful vacation spot for families, couples, and friends. Experience the best of skiing, sports, and Quebec culture. 

Flight time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Chattanooga, TN

Recently, this booming southern town started popping up all over travel websites. It’s an up-and-coming family-friendly town to visit.  

Play: Head up, Lookout Mountain, and you’ll have plenty to fill your time. Visit Rock City Gardens to see seven states from a single point. Then, drive five minutes across the mountain to see Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest underground waterfall. Next, try State of Confusion for delicious food and outdoor games. Then, walk to Synergy Climbing and Ninja gym, where young and old alike can try an age-appropriate ninja course and rock climbing walls.  

Stay: Ideally located in Southside; The Chattanoogan is the perfect place to call home while you’re in town. The hotel is within walking distance of great restaurants, shops and activities, and the public library, full of kid-friendly fun. If you prefer a unique place to stay, try the Treetop Hideaway at the base of Lookout Mountain. Climate-controlled treehouses with full amenities will make for a family vacation you won’t soon forget. 

Flight time: 1 hour 45 minutes

San Antonio, TX

Get ready for fantastic food, an engaging culture, and many family-friendly activities. This buzzing town is perfect for your next family vacation.

Play: Don’t miss the San Antonio River Walk, a spot full of shops, restaurants and attractions. Book tickets on a guided river cruise if you’d rather explore San Antonio on the river. Go back in time to the Alamo. The highlight of the mission for the kids is the living history exhibit in the back courtyard. Brackenridge Park, a 343-acre park near the San Antonio Zoo, is a great place to spend the afternoon.

Stay: La Cantera has long been a beloved destination for families because it embraces both what parents need to relax and what kids need to play. Enjoy peaceful river or lush courtyard views from a two-bedroom suite at  Omni La Mansión del Rio.

Flight time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Oklahoma City, OK

Named one of the Best Places to Visit, Oklahoma City offers all the culture, cuisine, attractions and amenities you expect in a modern city. And with its rugged Western past, working stockyards and title as “Horse Show Capital of the World,” it’s also rich in cowboy culture.

Play: The Science Museum Oklahoma is a must-see. Indoor playgrounds, interactive exhibits and hours of learning fun fill any getaway with joy. Feed the giraffes at Oklahoma City Zoo. Voted the best donuts in Oklahoma, Belle Kitchen has the best sweets in town. Drive down historic Route 66 through Arcadia, Oklahoma, and you can’t miss the neon, 66-foot-tall soda bottle in front of POPS. It’s a great photo-op for the gram. 

Stay:  Book your stay in a teepee or Conestoga wagon at Orr Family Farm. Glamping guests get to explore the farm after hours, too. Bradford House believes in creating adventure, both near and far. Stay in the modern guesthouse, with chic bunk beds for the kiddos. Rent a local RV, and reserve a spot at Twin Fountains RV Resort. The private limo shuttle will take you to and from the downtown attractions.    

Flight time: 2 hours 55 minutes

Portland, ME

Play: Among the top iconic things to do in Portland in the summer is a trip to Peaks Island. Take a short ferry ride to Peaks from downtown Portland. Next, explore the abandoned Battery Keyes fort built in 1906 at Fort Williams Park. Play dress-up, splash at the water table, or create a unique sculpture in the Maker Space at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine. Then, let kids pick out that night’s dinner from Harbor Fish Market.

Stay: Located on Maine’s Great Diamond Island, the Inn at Diamond Cove is a tranquil destination that provides guests with a peaceful and relaxing stay. Enjoy an ocean view from every room, and watch lobster boats float by at the Log Cabin Island Inn. Whether for a night, weekend or week, Inn by the Sea offers a cozy outdoor fire pit and family-friendly resort amenities and activities.

Flight time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Panama City Beach, FL

Pick this off-the-beaten-path beach town for your next family vacation. You’ll enjoy a laidback getaway full of fun in the sun. 

Play: Panama City Beach’s shoreline has much room to play, unlike many Florida beaches. Visit Pier Park for great shops and restaurants, or walk across the street and fish off the massive pier. Book your beach fire package with Endless Beach Rentals, and they’ll set up chairs, couches, and a fire pit to watch the sunset.

Stay: Families love the variety of room options available at Legacy By The Sea. Some rooms offer kitchenettes or full kitchens and separate bedrooms allowing families to spread out. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Gulf and the heated pool. Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach features two pools and a large water playground known as Aqualand. Kids love attending Splash’s Kids’ Club for arts and crafts, pirate-themed lunches and parties hosted by a DJ, complete with games and prizes. 

Flight time: 1 hour 50 minutes

La Romana, DR

Play: Ride a catamaran to Saona Island and enjoy turquoise waters full of starfish. Head for the city and visit Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. Take a day trip to Scape Park to explore caves, relax on the beach, or go zip-lining.

Stay: Count on fun for all ages at Hilton La Romana. Your kids will love their treasure hunts, sandcastle building and oceanfront camping. Older kids will love the foam parties, gaming and bonfires. There’s no better place to enjoy a family vacation than Bahia Principe Grand La Romana, a peaceful oasis. Everything is included, so your crew can freely enjoy the activities, food and relaxation. 

Flight time: 3.5 hours (It’s worth the extra 30 minutes)

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