In the Pacific Northwest’s most progressive city, public breastfeeding is as common as microbrewing. So it’s no surprise that pretty much everywhere caters to babies and toddlers — even brewpubs like Hopworks Urban Brewery, where parents can actually enjoy a frosty pint while their little ones have fun in the toy-filled play space.
You'll find tons of leafy parks and playgrounds in Portland. Some pizza places host live kiddie bands. And fun, affordable family-friendly hotels like McMenamin’s Kennedy School have mommy-and-me matinees.
Bonus: Summertime highs usually don’t creep much past 80 degrees, so even with a baby attached to you, you’ll be comfy.
Don't miss: The seriously fun Oregon Zoo summer concert series.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Even getting to Martha's Vineyard – a quick, easy ferry ride from the mainland – is fun. And Massachusetts’ favorite island enclave is as fit for babies and toddlers as it is for presidents.
The best way to experience it is by renting a home. Most homes come stocked with the essentials: beach chairs, umbrellas, sand toys, cribs, and, most important, permits to enjoy some of the private, gorgeous stretches of sand.
The charming Flying Horses Carousel, a National Historic Landmark in Oak Bluffs, offers gold rings for older siblings to reach for. And it sits conveniently next to a Mad Martha’s ice cream shop that everyone will love.
For dinner, why wrestle wriggling, wailing babes in a crowded restaurant when they can play in the sand and run free at a sunset beachside clambake?
Don't miss: Felix Wildlife Sanctuary with flocks of shorebirds, 4 miles of easy hiking trails (bring your baby backpack!), and a marshy lagoon for making mud pies.
San Diego, California
For starters, it houses the most famous zoo on the planet. The San Diego Zoo's 3,700+ animals alone are worth the flight to Southern California. Then there are the beautiful beaches, sprawling Balboa Park's puppet theater and model railroad museum, and, in nearby Carlsbad, Legoland.
Good news: Children under 3 get into Legoland free, and some rides cater to even the smallest kids. The park’s stellar Baby Care Center makes it easy to change diapers and keep milk cold.
The Legoland Hotel – an easy stroller walk away – has a dragon-guarded entrance, pirate-themed rooms, pits of Lego in the lobby, and a pool area with plenty of shaded chaises.
Don't miss: Just in case the zoo doesn’t cut it, there's a full-on Safari Park outside the city where white rhino and Cape Buffalo roam.
The Adirondacks, New York
Because you want to get your kids hooked on the great outdoors early, and Upstate New York’s favorite 6 million-acre escape is the ideal spot. Crickets, canoes, lakeside cabins — it has all the trappings of a relaxing summer vacation.
A highlight of your visit might be the Wild Center, a stunning 31-acre indoor/outdoor educational center that even babies and toddlers will enjoy. It features interactive science exhibits designed for small, pudgy fingers, play spaces, a bird blind, and otter and turtle-filled ponds.
Don’t miss: Whiteface Lodge, a kid-friendly resort on Lake Placid with bowling, shuffleboard, ping-pong, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, and a low-key luxury that parents love, plus an arsenal of experienced babysitters and the complimentary Kamp Kanu for big siblings 3 to 10 years old.
Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Dunes, Michigan
Let’s face it, all babies really want to do on vacation is eat sand. And there's no prettier place for it than this national lakeshore on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan.
You could frolic around the dunes forever — some are as high as 400 feet — but the surrounding small towns are fun, too: Glen Arbor offers cute B&Bs and The Homestead, a 500-acre waterfront resort. Traverse City beckons with fruit orchards, fabulous food, and Moomer’s Homemade Ice Cream — a dairy farm/parlor with grazing cows, wagon rides, and 120 flavors.
Don’t miss: The cherries. There are millions of ‘em to pick or pick up at roadside farm stands, or celebrate at the annual summer National Cherry Festival.