a family out shopping

Get away for a much needed vacation with your favorite people. (Photo: Marriott International)


Friends and Family: 5 Great Multifamily Trips to Take with Your Friends (and Their Kids)

Traveling as a family brings with it the opportunity for a different type of bonding, away from the routines and expectations (and chore charts!) of home.

So it makes sense that traveling with other families — especially if they’re some of your best friends to begin with — can also make for formative friendship and bonding moments.

And what better way to introduce your own kids to the kids of your closest friends than by heading off on vacation together? Here’s a roundup of a few cities that lend themselves naturally to fun and intuitive multifamily adventures.

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.

San Diego, California

Splashing in the surf of the Pacific Ocean and building castles in the sand make for great moments of connectivity among California’s sublime natural wonders when you plan a multifamily trip to San Diego’s Coronado Island.

Make the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa your home base, and rent bikes, kayaks and snorkeling gear near the ferry landing to explore the island.

You can even hop on the Coronado Ferry for a short cruise across San Diego Bay to the city’s historic Gaslamp Quarter (kids 3 and under ride free).

Back on Coronado Island, grab some ice cream along the main drag, Orange Avenue, or pop into charming Geppetto’s toy store, a family-owned local favorite, to check out all sorts of fun and engaging toys.

A few blocks away, Miguel’s Cocina is a laid-back spot perfect for group dining with big booths, outdoor seating and California-inspired Mexican fare on the menu.

Tampa, Florida

Get ready for lots of vitamin D, a sparkling rooftop pool and nonstop fun in the great urban outdoors when you book the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street for a vacation in Florida’s most abuzz Gulf Coast city.

A hotel in Tampa Florida
Experience a variety of amenities and accommodations at JW Marriott Tampa. (Photo: Marriott International)

Located in the heart of downtown Tampa’s lively Water Street neighborhood, the hotel is close to Amalie Arena and the Florida Aquarium. Sparkman Wharf, where the kids can play in a parklike setting by a canal lined with pop-up restaurants housed in shipping containers, is a short walk away.

It’s easy to explore here on foot or using public and communal transportation options.

Hop on the free streetcar that stops just outside the hotel for transport to nearby Ybor City. Or pile aboard the Pirate Water Taxi, a swashbuckling-themed pontoon boat, to reach cool sites along the Tampa Riverwalk, including Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Armature Works.

The latter — a food hall inside a former trolley warehouse — has tons of options for everyone to eat and lots of space outside for the kids to run and play.

Columbus, Ohio

With a pleasant mix of natural beauty and urban attractions, Ohio’s capital ticks most every vacation box for families looking to enjoy a range of activities in a compact setting.

A hotel pool in Columbus
Grab your family for sun and fun. (Photo: Marriott International)

A quick stroll from the riverfront Scioto Mile Promenade, part of a scenic 175-acre park system, the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel has a heated rooftop pool for the summer months and spacious suites with sofa beds.

Walk across the Scioto River to the COSI (Center of Science and Industry) for kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits and Ohio’s largest planetarium. And don’t miss the splash pad and playground at the adjacent riverfront Genoa Park.

Adventures slightly farther afield might take you to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where you can help bathe the resident elephants or hand-feed giraffes, or to Legoland Discovery Center.

Back near the hotel, when it’s time to eat, options include pizza restaurants, a brewery with a great kids menu and Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace, a cult favorite for beef, vegan and vegetarian dogs.

Phoenix, Arizona

Desert nights and city adventures await when you venture to Phoenix with friends. It’s just a 10-minute stroll from the central Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, with its heated rooftop swimming pool, to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. And there’s so much more to explore at the hotel which has been honored with Downtown Phoenix’s “Family Friendly Hotel Award.”

A hotel rooftop area in Phoenix
Spend quality time with your loved ones in the outdoor area. (Photo: Marriott International)

Come for the unique “sock skating” rink (slippery white tiles) over the holiday season and year-round exhibits that include an interactive children’s garden, a treelike climbing installation and a kiddie-sized supermarket where little ones can measure, weigh and play.

Just east of downtown, ride the safari cruiser eco-shuttle, gently stroke cownose stingrays and see Sumatran tigers at the Phoenix Zoo. Or go for nature walks nearby among towering cacti of the Sonoran Desert at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Back downtown, just a mile from the hotel, gather to feast on chicken and waffles, fried chicken, mac and cheese and buttery biscuits at Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles.

Montreal, Canada

When Canada’s calling, Montreal answers with a French accent, fabulous cuisine (don’t miss the wood-fired bagels the city is famous for) and lots of great walkable streets to explore.

A picture of the Montreal skyline
Stay in Downtown Montreal in the middle of the hustle and bustle. (Photo: Marriott International)

A stay at Delta Hotels Montreal puts you right downtown, making it easy to explore the city. Gather in the mornings for breakfast at the hotel’s Brasserie Milton or get snacks and drinks for the road from Grab’N’Go at the front desk.

Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal) brims with scenic streets to roam and the city’s atmospheric Old Port, where you can take the gang ice-skating, cruise aboard a pedal boat when it’s warmer or even settle in for an IMAX film.

Also in Old Montreal, don’t miss Crêperie Chez Suzette’s sweet and savory crepes and bubbling fondue lunches and dinners for a cozy meal best shared with a full table of old and new friends.

Organize the perfect group getaway with some of your favorite people. With 30 hotel brands to choose from, Marriott Bonvoy makes it easy to plan. Find the perfect stay with your friends and family, then focus on sharing new experiences.