Vacationing without kiddos in these top travel spots
Kids are lots of fun, but they definitely change the vibe of a vacation! Sometimes, creating lasting memories for the little ones comes at your own expense, and that’s assuming you even have children. Whether by design or by circumstance, some folks don’t have kids—and they prefer to travel without the distraction of unsupervised children in hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
And there’s no denying it—childfree travel is trending in a major way. From childfree flights to adults-only resorts and cruises, the travel industry is paying attention. We scraped three years of conversations from Twitter and Instagram, looking at relevant hashtags related to taking vacations without kids (think terms like #childfree, #DINK, #nokids, #babymoon, #vacation, and #travel). More than ever, people are opting for childfree getaways when they plan their vacations—in fact, from 2016 to 2017, social media chatter about childfree travel literally doubled!
You’re certainly not alone if you’re considering a vacation where you specifically avoid kids. Whether you’re a parent craving some “me time” or you’re childfree and searching for travel spots that fit your vibe, we’ve got you covered. Here are 15 top U.S. travel spots where you can vacation to your heart’s content, without worrying about little ones skittering underfoot.
If the term “beach vacation” reawakens traumatic memories of dodging tweens on crowded shores—or trying to relax in resort pools teeming with floaty-ensconced toddlers—you’ll definitely want to consider Big Sur for your next getaway. Wineries and spas aside, there are decidedly adult-friendly beach spots. For example, Pfeiffer Beach is considered one of the 28 most extraordinary beaches in the world, but its high winds and narrow roads often cause families to pass it by.
Unwind: Treat yourself to a stay at Ventana, a cozy-yet-modern childfree resort, which boasts a poolside bar, full-service spa, on-site yoga studio, and plenty of beautiful hiking trails on the premises. Plus, the resort is serious about its strictly enforced adults only policy; they mean over 18, so you won’t have to worry about high school soccer teams cheering all night at this beautiful and peaceful retreat! If you’ve got a pooch you’d rather not leave behind, you’re in luck, too—for an extra charge, pets are welcome to join you.
Indulge: You’ve got several options for dining, depending on the vibe you’re seeking. If you can handle well-behaved children and are planning to check out some of the things to do in nearby Monterey, trek up to Old Fisherman’s Grotto, which has gained quite a bit of publicity around its children’s policy—noisy and misbehaved children are simply not allowed in the dining room, nor are strollers or high chairs. If you’re seeking a more upscale dining experience where you’re unlikely to encounter tots, check out The Sur House right in Big Sur. There’s no kids menu, the atmosphere is chic, and it’s located right inside adults-only Ventana.
Experience: Challenge yourself to the 5-mile Tanbark Trail, where you’ll enjoy the shade of redwoods and fabulous coastal views, plus an abandoned tin house to explore at the end. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many children on longer hikes and you can bring the doggo along if you’d like! Another option is to treat yourself to a day at Esalen, an iconic spa retreat known for fostering spiritual and personal growth.
Beautiful Victor is located in Idaho’s scenic, wide-open Teton Valley, and it’s the perfect place to unwind sans children and catch up on some much-needed rest. With the peace and quiet of miles of open space and the jaw-dropping backdrop of the Tetons and Big Hole Mountains, you can’t help but appreciate the solace of a childfree vacation.
Unwind: The peaceful Dreamcatcher Bed & Breakfast has a stringent policy of not admitting guests aged 18 or younger, which is music to the ears of both the childfree and the parents of rowdy teens who usually tag along for vacations. You’ll love telling the kids, “Sorry, not until you’re in college!” as you breeze out the door, then treating yourself to everything from massages to a luxury campout.
Indulge: Be sure to try some famous Big Hole BBQ –you can grab takeout and enjoy a relaxing picnic in the valley. Whether you’re an omnivore or a vegetarian, you won’t leave hungry—there’s everything from mouthwatering pork ribs to fried okra and creamy mac ’n’ cheese.
Experience: Toss back a few pints at Grand Teton Brewing Company, where you might run into some littles, but your buzz will decrease your care factor. If you’re seeking solitude, head to WorldCast Anglers to grab what you’ll need for a day of fly fishing on the Teton River.
A wine-country getaway has a powerful allure, but nothing dampens the bliss of an oenophile’s buzz like unsupervised kiddos. That’s one of the reasons why Rutherford, CA made the list. With a world-class childfree resort and plenty of adult-oriented dining and activities, it’s a much-needed respite for worn-out parents needing a break, as well as their childfree counterparts seeking a boozy vacation minus the tripping hazards.
Unwind: Auberge Du Soleil offers exceptional childfree lodging that’s more than just a place to lay your head—it’s a true resort experience. With on-site yoga classes and tennis courts, you’ll be able to stay active without dodging unsupervised kids, and you can also grab a complimentary loaner Mercedes-Benz to explore the area’s vibrant art and music scene. This primo getaway only allows guests aged 16 and older, so you won’t be kept awake by the thundering sound of children racing down the hallways.
Indulge: There’s no shortage of adult-centric restaurants in the Rutherford area. If you want a near guarantee of nary a rugrat in sight, your best bet is the Michelin-rated Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil. Another option is Morimoto Napa in nearby Napa, where the upscale atmosphere is decidedly adult-focused.
Experience: There’s no excuse not to check out the vibrant wine country that Rutherford calls home. While many wineries allow kids on the premises, Lasseter Family Winery in nearby Glen Ellen only allows guests aged 21 and over on the premises on Saturdays and Sundays.
Call it a village or call it a town, but Millersburg makes a point to invite visitors to slow down and enjoy life a bit. This concept is mighty appealing to over-stressed parents and childfree jetsetters alike, which is why it’s such an ideal pick for a kidless vacation. If you’re not looking to slow down at all, though, and prefer a wild girls night out, Millersburg makes a great pick, too—there’s a city-endorsed night each year (usually in late February) when local establishments fling their doors open just for the ladies, offering entertainment, massages, chocolates, crafts, mani/pedis, raffles, drink specials, and more…just for her!
Unwind: Bed and breakfasts are known for offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of life, and The Inn at Honey Run takes this reputation seriously – no guests under the age of 21 are allowed, guaranteeing utter solace on the premises, which comprises the inn, a restaurant and bar, and hiking and biking trails.
Indulge: Your best bet for a childfree meal is at the award-winning on-site restaurant, Tarragon, which offers a delectable seasonal menu—blissfully lacking special options for kids. If you’re itching to go offsite, though, consider the trek to nearby Strasburg, where you’ll find SHY Cellars, an upscale eatery that promises a memorable experience to foodies and wine-lovers alike.
Experience: Millersburg sits right in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country, so you’ll be perfectly poised to explore the quiet way of living. If you’re looking for a truly childfree escape, consider a day of antiquing; you’ll be hard-pressed to find children who actually enjoy spending the day browsing old furniture and tchotchkes.
What better place to escape the thundering—er, pitter patter—of little feet than Milledgeville, a quaint southern town where the only thundering sound you’ll hear is the soothing current of the Oconee River. If you’re a culture or history buff, you’ll delight in the opportunity to appreciate the architecture and museums of this city at your own pace, without the kids tugging at your shirttails. And if you’re the proud parent of a fur baby, you’ll find plenty of options to bond with Fido during your stay in Milledgeville—the outdoorsy town is considered a haven for dogs and dog lovers alike.
Unwind: Book a room at Antebellum Inn, where you’ll note a blissful absence of guests under the age of 17. That is, of course, unless you count dogs—pups are allowed to stay with you for an extra fee. The pool cottage is a great option for a girls getaway, two couples fleeing the kiddos for a vacation, or any other adults who simply want the space and full kitchen with a sweet poolside location.
Indulge: While Milledgeville itself isn’t bursting with childfree eateries—it’s a small town, after all—you can easily enjoy takeout sans kiddos. Your dog will be welcomed in the outdoor seating area of Gringo’s Taqueria or, if you’re seeking something special, there’s also the option of making the trek to Macon for a romantic meal at The Back Burner, which has multiple seating areas so you can choose a quiet spot sans family noise.
Experience: Take advantage of the antiquing scene—you’ll see precious few kids in the shops—or head to the dog park at the Oconee River Greenway with Fido in tow.
Maui is frequently thought of as a family-oriented island, which is why you may be surprised to see Wailea on this list. There are enclaves on Maui where you can find childfree respite, though—pockets of Wailea being among them. Unlike Kaanapali beach, which is usually overrun with families and overly enthusiastic kids (not that you can blame them because, well, Hawaii), there are plenty of things to do in Wailea that don’t include screeching children. In fact, Wailea makes for one of the most calm and laid-back childfree vacation spots around if you know where to look.
Unwind: Don’t hold back—after all, you’re headed to Hawaii—find sanctuary at the coveted Hotel Wailea, which strictly enforces a minimum guest age of 16 and takes its reputation as an adults-only resort very seriously. The resort provides all sorts of complimentary amenities, including mixology courses, aerial silk and yoga classes, electric bicycle rentals, outrigger canoe trips, and access to a members-only section of Wailea Beach.
Indulge: Forget chicken tenders and grilled cheese—Koiso Sushi Bar in nearby Kihei is the place to go for some of the best sushi you’ll ever have. If you’d rather stay at the resort, The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea whips up locally sourced island-to-table cuisine that you’ll remember for years to come. Speaking of memorable, ask to dine in the Treehouse—it’s lush, dramatic, and truly secluded, providing the perfect spot for romantic dinners or special occasions.
Experience: Rent a kayak and escape to the solace of the open water—or take an evening lava hike on La Perouse Bay—most of the parents will have packed up the kiddos and headed back to their hotels by that point.
Hawley is the perfect place for a childfree getaway for countless reasons. Its location is perfect—tucked in the Pocono Mountains just two hours outside of NYC, it’s accessible and convenient for Big Apple parents looking to ditch the littles for some alone time. With an impressive farmers market—one that has an on-site playground to keep the kids out of your hair while you browse—and several music and outdoor-oriented festivals scheduled throughout the year, it’s no surprise the town’s slogan is “Small town charm. Big town culture.”
Unwind: There’s really nothing like escaping into the Pocono Mountains, and The lodge at Woodloch has taken the qualities that make this region special—from the dense foliage to the calming sounds of natural streams—and created a true sanctuary, complete with a strict 16-and-over rule. The nice thing is there’s a sister resort that’s family friendly, so you can always return to Hawley with the kiddos in tow for a different—yet equally special—experience.
Indulge: Book a table at Capri Restaurant in nearby Lakeville. You’ll enjoy lovely views of Lake Wallenpaupack and satisfying, authentic Italian fare. If you’d rather stick around the lodge, check out TREE Restaurant and Bar – it’s located on-site so you know there will be nary a tot or tween in sight. What’s more, you can check out other events, such as cooking demos, chef-hosted dinners, wine tastings, and more.
Experience: Head to the Hawley Antique Exchange, where you’ll find more grandparents than grandchildren, then go on a secluded waterfall hike at nearby George W. Childs Park.
Ivins has wide-open spaces, low humidity, and epic red mountains towering in the background. Sound good? Of course, it does! And what makes it better is the lack of little ones demanding to use the potty right after you stepped outside. There’s undeniable solace in Ivins, a town of just under 7,000 residents and some of the most unique and tranquil desert landscape in the nation—it’s the ideal pick for an adults-only getaway.
Unwind: Red Mountain Resort is a perfect spot to decompress, with on-site yoga and Pilates classes, a health club, a steam room, and three (yes THREE) spa whirlpools. There’s even the choice of an indoor or outdoor pool, where you won’t be subjected to cannonballing children—kids under 12 are simply not allowed on the property. If you’re planning to bring the pooch along for your getaway, you’re in luck; the resort welcomes pets for a small daily fee.
Indulge: Get your well-deserved fine dining fix at Aragosta—kids are not technically disallowed, but there’s no kids menu and multiple diners have reported that it’s simply not the type of place you bring your kids. The on-site Canyon Breeze Restaurant is another solid bet for avoiding the rugrats—its refined menu and location at The Red Mountain Resort minimize the chance of dining next to kids.
Experience: Explore Red Cliffs Conservation Area—bring the doggo if you’d like—then treat yourself to a luxurious Chakra Aromatherapy Massage at Sacred Space. Artsy types will enjoy taking classes or simply browsing the wares at Coyote Gulch Art Village.
Cannon Beach is much loved for numerous reasons, including the heaps of adorable tufted puffins perched on Haystack Rock (when the season’s right) and 9 straight miles of picturesque shoreline. Speaking of shoreline, that iconic coast helped Cannon Beach make the list of the world’s 28 most extraordinary beaches, and here’s another bragging right: it’s tops for childfree getaways!
Unwind: Private fireplaces, jetted tubs, and an incredible seaside location are just part of Stephanie Inn’s appeal –add to that list the fact that you won’t even need its soundproofed rooms (though they’re certainly appreciated), as no kids under 12 are allowed on this luxurious boutique property.
Indulge: Venture over to Castaways, where you’ll find an appealing assortment of ethnic fare, not to mention no kids menu, high chairs, or any other kid-friendly accoutrements.
Experience: Stop by Icefire Glassworks for a glassblowing demo or tap into that inner nostalgia and recreate an all-adults version of the Goonies scenes on Cannon Beach—complete with Haystack Rock in the background.
The outer banks of North Carolina are generally teeming with family-friendly activities, but there’s an oasis for those seeking childfree solace. Brimming with historical sites, museums, and culture, Manteo is the outer banks’ best-kept secret. This Roanoke Island gem boasts welcoming locals and a laid-back vibe—it’s a bit like stepping back in time.
Unwind: Recharge your batteries by staying at The White Doe Inn. If this is your last childfree getaway before the baby arrives, you can indulge in a Babymoon Package, complete with a prenatal massage for mom and a Swedish massage for dad, along with other treats. And, rest assured, you’ll enjoy plenty of peace and quiet—no kids under 12 are allowed.
Indulge: Grandstaff and Stein is a great place for a meal out—it’s quite boozy and has a burlesque brunch most families would avoid!
Experience: If anything says childfree, it’s whiskey tasting! If you opt to sip spirits at Outer Banks Distilling, you’ll be guaranteed a childfree experience—the establishment explicitly states all visitors must be 21 and older. If you’re feeling adventurous, book an airplane tour of the outer banks with OBX Air Tour Adventures.
You’ve got to take a second look at any city that calls itself The Most Beautiful Small Town in America—is it fact or is it hype? Bardstown makes a pretty strong case for itself; the main street is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting and Kentucky’s second-oldest city has retained so much historical charm, you’ll wonder if you’ve stepped back in time. We all know how much kids love history, right? Wink, wink! This is the perfect spot to visit when you leave the littles with grandma!
Unwind: Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast is a perfect choice for the childfree to cut loose—not only are no kids under 18 allowed on-site, there’s also a bourbon-themed bar, The Bunghole, where adults can party hearty! Proud pup parents will also be pleased—for a small fee, pets are welcome to tag along.
Indulge: Have dinner on wheels by booking a table at My Old Kentucky Dinner Train—if you time it right, you can even take a bourbon excursion or enjoy a murder mystery-themed meal. While you’re in town, enjoy a glass of vino at Bullitt’s Winery & Bistro along Downtown Mainstreet, or, if you’re willing to drive about 45 minutes to check out some of the things to do in Louisville, 610 Magnolia is an excellent dinner spot that focuses largely on the dining experience, rather than accommodating small children.
Experience: Visit Spalding Hall, which houses a museum of whiskey history and another museum with heaps of local artifacts and memorabilia. If you bring the fur baby to Bardstown, you’ll be thrilled to let your pup run off leash at Bourbon City Bark Park.
Pearl River is a quiet, friendly community where you can laze along the river (or bask in the sunshine on its sandy shores), explore the mysterious Honey Island Swamp, or even day trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast or New Orleans. Most people opt to stick around and enjoy Pearl River, though, because once you set foot in the slow-paced, welcoming community, you don’t want to leave.
Unwind: The quaint, peaceful Woodridge Bed & Breakfast means business with its strict adults-only policy. With a minimum guest age of 19 years and lush grounds—complete with a tranquil garden, sparkling pool, and romantic fountain—the property invites grownups to truly kick back, sans kids of any age.
Indulge: Allow ample time for the Jazz Brunch at Palmettos in nearby Slidell—the selections are geared toward a more mature palate. But if you’re looking for a completely kidless getaway, no worries! Another option is picking up takeout from Cajun Mike’s Kitchen and eating somewhere peaceful.
Experience: No trip to Pearl River is complete without exploring the swamp. Book a Honey Island Kayak Tour and enjoy a tranquil day of boating underneath a canopy of trees.
If New Jersey beach towns make you instinctively recoil—so many children!—take a deep breath. Sure, much of the Jersey Shore is lacquered in little ones, but Point Pleasant Beach has some areas where you can find adults-only respite.
Unwind: You’ll definitely want to book a room at The Tower Cottage Luxury Inn, an English garden-themed sanctuary with in-room whirlpool tubs and the delightful lack of children under age 15. If you’ve chosen to be childfree for environmental reasons, you’ll be pleased to know that the inn uses energy-efficient heating/cooling and is continually adding green measures throughout the facility.
Indulge: Head to The River Market in downtown Point Pleasant Beach. While kids are certainly not forbidden on the premises, there’s no official kids menu and you’ll enjoy definitively complex flavors and a decidedly adult-friendly vibe.
Experience: While there are tons of kid-friendly spots in Point Pleasant Beach, make a beeline to adult-oriented activities, such as visiting antique shops. When night falls, head to Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club; unless there’s a rare kids comedy show scheduled, the club only allows guests aged 21 and over.
Danville should be on every childfree traveler’s bucket list. In addition to boasting plenty of fun activities to enjoy without little ones in tow, it’s just an overall easygoing area. The people are warm and welcoming, it’s brimming with historical houses, and there are plenty of scenic views to enjoy as you stroll along the Susquehanna River. It’s the perfect relaxing weekend jaunt for anyone, whether it’s overworked childfree jet-setters or frazzled parents seeking alone time.
Unwind: Abigail House, which welcomes guests aged 13 and older, offers a peaceful respite that’s just minutes from Danville’s vibrant downtown. Fun fact: the original owner of the house, Abigail Geisinger, led quite the charitable and progressive childfree lifestyle!
Indulge: Unlike larger bars in the area, pint-sized The Pub II caters to adults–you’ll be hard-pressed to find kiddos in this quiet pub, which also happens to offer legit eats. Opt for the mac ’n’ cheese skillet dinner.
Experience: Enjoy a drive-in movie at Point Drive-in in nearby Northumberland. You’ll be blissfully free from worrying about noisy kids in the comfort of your car. If you’re visiting Danville for the scenery, enjoy the canopy of foliage at Robbins Trail Park or explore Montour Preserve.
One of the best things about being childfree—or simply taking a childless vacation—is the opportunity to take full advantage of every vacation spot to its fullest. You don’t have to skip out on attractions to deal with kiddos or opt for sticky children’s museums, when all you want to do is sip wine and take a painting class. Lake Geneva is the ideal spot for some serious adulting. With miles of scenic hiking trails, unique architectural sights galore, and art galleries with such delicate treasures that you’d be terrified to take a toddler inside, it’s the perfect place to embrace childfree travel.
Unwind: Rustic and cozy Lazy Cloud is ideal for romantic jaunts sans children. With in-room jetted tubs, private entrances, and complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries, childfree couples can enjoy as much solitude as they wish during their stay. With an English garden and plenty of lush foliage, and no guests under the age of 18, this spot is perfect for couples seeking “us time.”
Indulge: Take the time to enjoy the Gilded Age-themed Champagne brunch buffet at The Baker House, where you can dine at multiple stations throughout a lakeside Victorian mansion. Kids are allowed, but the nature of the buffet’s setup enables you to steal off to your own alcove and dine in peace, should a child’s squeal threaten to disturb your meal.
Experience: Don’t miss a night at Studio Winery, which is equal parts wine studio, art studio, and recording studio. Yes, you can do everything from sampling wines (as one would expect), to taking painting classes, to laying down slick beats. This is not a place for kiddos, but it will definitely bring out the kid in you!
Have you taken a childfree trip that blew you away? Share your recommendations with us!
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