Zagat Survey Publishes First-Ever U.S. Family Travel Guide
Zagat Survey(R), the world's leading provider of consumer survey-based leisure content, today released its first-ever U.S. Family Travel Guide in association with Time Inc.'s Parenting, the nation's leading magazine for moms. Developed by families for families, the guide integrates everything a parent needs to plan a U.S. vacation, with family-oriented ratings and reviews for more than 1000 sites and attractions, including amusement parks, ballparks, historic sites & monuments, national parks, zoos and more. The guide also covers family-friendly hotels and restaurants.
Together, Zagat Survey and Parenting surveyed over 11,000 avid travelers to rate family-oriented attractions across the United States, ranging from New York's Museum of Natural History (the #3 most popular U.S. destination) to Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Using Zagat Survey's signature 30-point scale, sites and attractions were rated by Child Appeal, Adult Appeal, Public Facilities and Service. Cost estimates are also included. In addition, the guide features more than 80 handy indexes categorized by special features such as strollers available, guided tours, childproof rooms, crayons at the table and more.
According to the results of the Zagat Survey, the winners are:
Most Popular Attractions:Top Rated Attractions Overall:
1. Disney's Magic Kingdom, Orlando 1. Disney's Magic Kingdom, Orlando
2. Epcot, Orlando 2. Discovery Cove, Orlando, FL
3. American Museum of Natural History, NYC 3. Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA
4. Disneyland, Los Angeles 4. St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis
5. Central Park, NYC 5. Disneyland, CA
6. Disney-MGM Studios, FL 6. Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH
7. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 7. Grant's Farm, St. Louis
8. Disney's Animal Kingdom, FL 8. San Diego Zoo, CA
9. Bronx Zoo, NYC 9. National Air & Space Museum, DC
10. Yosemite National Park, CA 10. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, FL
Top Rated by Child Appeal: Top Rated by Adult Appeal:
1. Magic House, St. Louis, MO 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
2. Disneyland, CA 2. Yosemite National Park, CA
3. Disney's Magic Kingdom, FL 3. Yellowstone National Park, MT
4. Paramount's Kings Island, OH 4. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
5. Toys "R" Us, NYC 5. Art Institute of Chicago, IL
6. Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA 6. Nat'l D-Day Museum, New Orleans
7. Children's Museum, Boston 7. Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
8. Hersheypark, Hershey, PA 8. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Mus., DC
9. Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia 9. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
10. Bronx Zoo, NYC 10. Bass Performance Hall, Ft. Worth
Top-Rated Attractions by Type:
* Amusement Park -- Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH
* Aquarium -- Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA
* Ballpark -- SBC Park, San Francisco
* Government Building -- The White House, Washington, DC
* Historical Interest -- Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
* Malls/Shopping -- Newport on the Levee, Cincinnati, OH
* Museum -- National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC
* National Monument/Memorial -- U.S. Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC
* National Park -- Yosemite, Yosemite National Park, CA
* Theme Park -- Disney's Magic Kingdom, Orlando
* Water Park -- Discovery Cove, Orlando
* Zoo/Animal Park -- St. Louis Zoo
Other Survey Findings:
In addition to rating and reviewing attractions, lodging and restaurants, the U.S. Family Travel Survey measured consumer sentiment regarding family travel trends with the following results:
* Families Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple: Of the 50 "Most Popular" U.S. attractions, New York City is host to 10 family favorites. Orlando is second with seven attractions, followed by San Francisco and San Diego with five each.
* Animals and Art Rule: Of the 50 "Most Popular" Attractions, surveyors named animal-related sites such as zoos and aquariums (10 out of 50) and museums (9 out of 50) as their favorite sites. Amusement/theme parks also do well with eight out of 50.
* Where to Stay: When traveling, families prefer staying in resorts or large hotels, each favored by 27%. Fifteen percent prefer smaller accommodations such as inns and small hotels, while a budget-conscious 15% report staying with friends and family. Merely 4% prefer roughing it by camping.
* Documenting Memories: Sixty-four percent of surveyors said they use a digital camera to document family vacations. Thirty-four percent record their memories with video, while a nostalgic 12% keep a written journal. (Multiple answers were allowed.)
* Get Ready for Takeoff: Air travel is strong with over 50% of surveyors saying they usually fly for a family vacation. Autos are preferred by 40%, while only 8% travel via boats, trains or buses.
For a complete list of top-rated properties, see pages 15-24 of the U.S. Family Travel Guide. The guide sells for $14.95 and is available in bookstores and through Zagat.com.