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Top Ten Autism-Friendly Places to Visit in 2021

Updated: Mar 9

A sunset beach with a pink sky with puffy clouds.  The sea reflects the sky with slight pinks and teal blues.  There is a title that says autism friendly travel Top Ten Autism-Friendly Places to Visit in 2021

You may think that travel is out of the picture in 2021 and beyond if you have a child or another family member with autism. However, I am here to tell you that travel is for everyone, and you can easily do a bit of autistic globetrotting to so many places! I can talk to you about how you can accomplish autistic vacations, and all you need to do is click here to contact me to get the conversation started. While you can choose anywhere in the world to travel, I recommend starting with a few of the more autism-friendly places in the United States.

A boy and a girl jumpin in the waves at a beach.  The boy has dark brown hair and asian features.  He has a white swim shirt on with orange, blue and white swim trunks, he holds a yellow bucket.  The firt has long curly hair and is weaing a black one piece swim suite her arms are outstretched.  It is the middle of the day with a bright sky.

Top Ten Autism-Friendly Places to Visit in 2021

1. Park City, Utah

A photo of Park City, UT.  There are people kayaking in a lake.  There are pink flowers in the forground.

Park City is a wonderful destination in Utah. You will find many accessible places to spend time during your autism-friendly vacation there. However, since this is a popular ski destination, I wanted to share a little more about that. Over at one of the ski resorts, you will find multiple adaptive ski programs that your entire family can take advantage of. So, pack those warm clothes if this is one of the autism-friendly activities you have been searching for!

2. St. Pete, Florida

A shot of the pier of St. Pete Florida.  There are boats in the water and smaller boats on the shore.

We all know that most people with autism love the water, which is why the beaches of St. Pete are an excellent autism-friendly vacation option. When you are not swimming at the beaches or your hotel’s pool, you may wander around your resort. One of St. Pete’s resorts has been certified through the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). The staff at this resort has been specially trained to assist families with special needs. The resort also offers safety kits with outlet covers, corner cushions, door alarms, and more. Add in the KONK Club, which is short for Kids Only No Kidding Club, with sensory features and special dietary options at mealtimes, and you will find yourself relaxing more than worrying when you are on vacation in St. Pete.

3. San Antonio, Texas

A photo of the San Antonio River Walk at night time.  A light streak is in the forground showing a riverboat passing through the photos.  There are people on either side of the riverwalk.

Every kid loves going to theme parks. Most theme parks can be overwhelming for kids with autism, though. Of the three theme parks in San Antonio, Morgan’s Wonderland is the best for children with special needs. Morgan’s Wonderland has long been called the Ultra Accessible Family Fun Park. Your entire family will love all the rides, the Wonderland Express and Depot, Music Garden, and Sensory Village. The best part is that children with special needs are always given free entry into this park.

4. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

A sunset with the Smokey Mountains in the background.  There are pinks, blues and dark browns in the photo.

A vacation in Pigeon Forge must include a visit to Dollywood. This theme park has created a calming experience for even the most sensitive guests. When your family is not riding on the FireChaser Express, Lightning Rod, or Barnstormer, you can all wander along the creeks and trees on the property. And if the day gets a little out of control, the Sensory Room or Calming Corner at the water park can help everyone calm down. Of course, vacations in Pigeon Forge are not all about Dollywood. The expansive Smoky Mountains are waiting for you to explore, too, so contact me today, and let’s go over some of the amazing things you can do there!

5. Mesa, Arizona

A dee blue sky with one puffy culumous cloud.  In the bottom of the photo is the red rock mesas of Mesa, AZ.

You may not know this, but Mesa, Arizona, was the very first city to become an autism-certified city through IBCCES. Practically every inch of Mesa has been designed to be autism-friendly, so you will never lack for finding things to do and see. Calming adventures can include Butterfly Wonderland, while more adventurous days must consist of tubing at the lower salt bend. Mealtimes will never be an issue in Mesa, thanks to all the autism-friendly restaurants waiting to serve you!

6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A sunset of Myrtle Beach.  You can see the pier reaching out to the ocean.

Myrtle Beach is another autism-certified center that is certified by IBCCES. This city has improved its autism-friendliness by partnering with CAN, the Champion Autism Network. Savannah’s Playground and WonderWorks are fantastic places your family will love while vacationing in Myrtle Beach. I recommend getting your CAN Card when you arrive in this area, though, because it will give you many other ideas and support options you may need while on vacation.

7. Lake Havasu City, Arizona

A photo of Lake Havasu with the Sierra Nevadas on the background.  There is a hot air ballon with yellow, purple, blue and orange on the ballon.  It is about to land near Lake Havasu.

When you are on vacation in Mesa, Arizona, you must take a little time to check out Lake Havasu City. This city is another autism-certified center, and it is full of autism-friendly things to do. Swimming is the number one activity at Rotary Community Park, but don’t rule out all the other fun activities you will discover during your visit.

8. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

A foggy photos with barren trees and fog going into between the branches.  There is a lake that reflects back the photo.

Sometimes, the best vacations are filled with low-key activities and lots of quiet time. You will find all that and so much more when you take the time to vacation in the Berkshires. There are plenty of hiking trails to tackle, as well as bodies of water for swimming and kayaking. Add in the local farms and businesses, and you will discover your own little piece of paradise away from home.

9. Mosca, Colorado

A foggy dusty photo with the Rocky Moutanis in teh background. In the middle ground is large sand dunes and people walking on the dunes.

You may have never heard of the Mosca area in Colorado, but I am sure you have heard about the Great Sand Dunes National Park. If your child with autism loves animals and the great outdoors, they will love everything about a vacation in Great Sand Dunes. This vacation will include lots of hiking, spotting wild animals, and, of course, sandboarding on the dunes.

10. Madison, Wisconsin

A sunset photo with oranges and blues in the sky.  There is a pier that goes out to the lake with deep greens in the water.

The city of Madison employs an autism expert to ensure families with autism are welcomed with open arms. On vacation in Madison, you can visit museums, explore parks, and create art. The local theater also offers autism-friendly options every month. You will never feel out of place or stressed out.

These are the top ten autism-friendly places to visit in 2021. I would love to help you create an autism-friendly vacation for your family at one of these destinations. We can pack any vacation with autism-friendly activities while making sure you are staying in an autism-friendly resort at the same time. Send me an email today, or click here to set up a time to chat that is convenient for you.

A mother and her son are kayaking.  You can see tons of fish under them .  There is a title that reads Autism Travel Tips Autism Friendly Holiday Vacations.

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