15+ Wheelchair-Accessible Vacation Ideas Around the United States
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  • Post published:12/06/2021
  • Post last modified:12/06/2021
father and daughter traveling with mother in wheelchair
Taken by S. Intintoli via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Summer is quivering just over the horizon.

That means the time to start planning your next vacation is now. But for wheelchair users, a summer journey can take a little more planning. This just means that when you finally embark on your trip, it’ll be even sweeter.

Our wheelchair-accessible vacation ideas will help you decide on a dream trip.

Theme Park Vacation

With inclusivity ever-rising, a trip to a theme park has become one wheelchair-accessible vacation idea you can enjoy whether you’re flying solo or traveling with a family. Here are a few parks you may consider:

Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)

Nestled on the shore of beautiful Lake Erie, Cedarpoint packs an impressive collection of 18 highly-rated roller coasters and the historic Hotel Breakers. On top of this, the park’s parent company, Cedarfair, has instituted several accessibility policies to make sure you have a good time, such as boarding passes, wheelchair and scooter rentals, and a guide to the best rides for your mobility.

Sesame Place (Langhorne, Pennsylvania)

If you’re a parent with young children, this little park captures the magic of Sesame Street with a plethora of family-friendly rides and a recreation of the show’s set. Additionally, the park has a ride accessibility program designed to match those with mobility issues to rides, set-aside viewing areas for parade-watching, and provide accessible seating in all the restaurants in the park.

Sea World San Diego (San Diego, California)

Sea World is the perfect combination of action-packed thrill rides, exciting shows, and animal encounters that are sure to help you make warm memories. Like Sesame Place, the park provides an accessibility program. They also have a “virtual queue” that gives you a predetermined boarding time for rides. So, you don’t have to wait in line physically. 

Related Read: 4 Important Tips for Taking a Road Trip with a Wheelchair

National Parks

Just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t hit the open trail. For a 10-dollar processing fee, you can get a lifetime pass to a national park. National parks across the country have wheelchair-friendly trails. Here are some parks to check out:

  • Great Smokey Mountains National Park (Tennessee)
  • Accadia National Park (Maine)
  • Yosemite National Park (California)
  • Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
  • Zion National Park (Utah)
  • Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
  • Glacier National Park (Montana)

The trick with national parks is to get to them at the right time of day. At 10 a.m., tour buses tend to pour in, and rangers often temporarily close the gates for safety. If you don’t want to sit for an hour waiting to get in, arrive early.

Related Read: 4 Best Roadside Attractions to Visit on Your Trip Through the United States

Road Trips

Sometimes, you just have to get behind the wheel, head to a new city, and see what’s out there. If that’s the case, road trips are perfect. But even spontaneous trips need a little planning.

Make sure you have an accessible van that’s easy to get in and out of. Also, keep in mind how long you’ll go between stops on your trip. Then, research the city you’re visiting.

Some of the top-rated cities for wheelchair accessibility are:

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Washington, DC

The beauty of a road trip is that you have full control over your itinerary, and there’s room for spontaneity. So, whether you want to fill your trip with activity or just slow down and see the sights, you can create a perfect vacation for you.

Related Read: 3 Great Reasons Why Road Trips Are Better Than Flying

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