Last updated: 10:02 AM ET, Fri March 20 2015

The 10 Best Family Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | March 20, 2015

The 10 Best Family Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

The warm and sunny Southeast is home to some of the top U.S. family tourist destinations, at least according to FamilyFun magazine's third annual Travel Awards, which were revealed this week in the magazine's April issue. 

Sanibel, Florida; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Savannah, Georgia; St. Augustine, Florida and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin came in as this year's top five tourist towns for families. 

To determine the top destinations, FamilyFun asked 2,000 American families traveling with kids ages three to 12 from four different regions of the country to rate more than 460 destinations across multiple categories. 

Other award categories included animal attractions, state parks, and science museums.

"The Travel Awards are such a unique program because we rely on real families to vote on their favorite destinations—from awe-inspiring science museums to charming American towns with rich history and culture," said FamilyFun magazine editor-in-chief Ann Hallock. "The winners in each category represent places where families have formed lasting memories, and offer adventures for all types of interests, for animal lovers to history and science buffs."

Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution featured heavily atop the list of top science museums for families, with the National Museum of Natural History and National Air and Space Museum coming in at Nos. 1 and 2 respectively. 

The Midwest's Children's Museum of Indianapolis rated third, and two Ohio-based science museums rounded out the top five. Ohio's Cincinnati Museum Center/Museum of Natural History & Science and Center of Science and Industry both made the cut. 

Meanwhile, the top five animal attractions for family vacationers were much more spread out, with Omaha, Nebraska's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium topping the list ahead of wildlife attractions in Missouri, California and Georgia. 

Here's the breakdown of 2015's top 10 overall winners:

1. Sanibel, FL

2. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

3. Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC

4. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, NE

5. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

6. Gatlinburg, TN

7. Savannah, GA

8. St. Augustine, FL

9. Mackinac Island State Park, Mackinac Island, MI

10. Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO

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