10 Accessible Vacation Destinations

Summer will be here before we know it, so it’s time to get ready for vacation season. If you or your loved one is in a wheelchair, you want to make sure you plan a vacation in a disability-friendly destination. Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 destinations for wheelchair users:
  1. Sonoma County, CA. Located in Northern California, Sonoma County is home to several accessible attractions. Sugarloaf State Ridge Park has accessible campsites and the Robert Ferguson Observatory, where you can see the stars through a 40-in. telescope. Sonoma Coast State Park offers beach wheelchair rentals, as well as camping, trails and picnic areas.
  2. Colorado. The mountains aren’t just for winter sports. Take a summer trip to Colorado and you can kayak, camp and go off-roading. You can enjoy the accessible trails and campsites at Rocky Mountain National Park, take up a new sport at The National Sports Center for the Disabled or enjoy adaptive activities on the 39-acre Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. You can find all of these attractions about a hour or so outside of Denver, so you can also catch a Rockies game while you’re there.
  3. San Diego, CA. With seven beaches that offer free beach-friendly wheelchair rentals, San Diego is a great destination for soaking up some rays and enjoying the ocean breeze. Interested in experiencing the history and seeing the city’s most popular landmarks? There are accessible trolleys, water tours, and cruises for that too!
  4. London, UK. Ever imagine yourself riding in one of London’s black cabs? Did you know that most of them have lifts? You’ll find that level of consideration throughout the city. You can also roll onto all of the buses, which come with designated wheelchair spaces. All of that easy transportation means nothing if you can’t see the sights, right? Making buildings that are hundreds of years old accessible can be quite a feat, but London has done a lot to make their most popular attractions friendly for disabled visitors.
  5. Washington, DC. Our nation’s capitol has done a great job in following the guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is fitting, because it’s where the ADA was born. There are over a dozen Smithsonian Museums where you can take in some art, learn about our country’s history or let your inner science nerd show. All of them are accessible to visitors with disabilities.
  6. Las Vegas, NV. Since tourism is their business, Las Vegas has made sure that everyone can have fun when they come to visit. With more accessible hotel rooms than anywhere else in the country, finding lodging, as well as transportation and shows won’t be a challenge. From the airport to the monorail, you’ll find that modifications have been made throughout Sin City.
  7. Morgan’s Wonderland. Located in San Antonio, TX, Morgan’s Wonderland is a theme park that’s completely accessible. Created by a father of a special needs child, Morgan’s Wonderland offers free admission for those with special needs. It’s completely wheelchair-accessible. Next year, they’re opening a splash park, the first water park for people with special needs. Where else can you enjoy wheelchair swings, ride a carousel with chariots for wheelchairs, and enjoy a show in a totally accessible amphitheater?
  8. Oahu, HI. Who doesn’t have Hawaii on their list of dream vacations? Oahu is the most popular Hawaiian island, and there’s plenty to do. You’ll find that most of the major chain hotels have made accessibility a priority and have rooms and pool access for people in wheelchairs. You can learn about Hawaiian culture and history at the Polynesian Cultural Center, or rent an all-terrain wheelchair to get up close and personal with the beach.
  9. Utah. Like Colorado, Utah is an outdoorsman’s dream. With five accessible national parks, Utah is also home to several adaptive sports facilities. Discover your next adaptive adventure with Splore, a local nonprofit that’s been around for nearly 40 years, check out one of the state’s scenic byways, or see some of the sights in Salt Lake City. You’ll find that there are accessible accommodations throughout the state.
  10. Tenerife, Spain. Widely considered one of the most accessible destinations in the world, Tenerife has beautiful weather that you can enjoy year-round. The government of Tenerife is aiming to become the model of accessibility for the European continent. From transportation to entertainment, a lot of effort has gone into making this city wheelchair-friendly and visitors love it. You’ll find obstruction-free promenades in the cities and Europe’s largest barrier-free pedestrian sea promenade in Los Cristianos. It’s a breathtaking destination that offers a wide range of activities.

No matter which destination you choose, planning ahead is the most important thing you can do to ensure that you spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time trying to find ramps, elevators and accessible attractions.

Have you visited any cities that make accessibility a priority? Tell us about them in the comments!

And while you’re planning for your trip, be sure that you’re fully stocked up on catheters, ostomy supplies and other medical needs!

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