Most Accessible Resorts
Family vacations are a great way to relax with your children and build lifelong memories. What’s more, with the increase in accessible resorts, more and more families are able to enjoy these moments together with environments and services that support them. Whether you’re in need of an autism-friendly ski resort or are looking for an accessible resort with sun and surf, you can find our top accessible resorts for your next vacation in this guide from TravelAble!
Fun in the Sun at Autism-Friendly Resorts
If you are looking for warmth, water, and sunshine, there are a variety of accessible resort options along the east coast of the United States and the Caribbean.
Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney World offers top-notch customer service, just like Walt Disney envisioned so many years ago, and battery yet, their resorts and theme parks are all extremely accessible to special needs families. They offer both wheelchair-accessible rooms as well as hearing-accessible rooms. All over Disney World, from their hotels to their theme parks, they are wheelchair accessible and offer support to guests with cognitive disabilities so that everyone can experience the magic of Disney.
TradeWinds Resort, St. Pete Beach, Florida
If relaxing on the beach and playing in the water is your idea of the perfect Florida vacation, then you’re sure to enjoy TradeWinds Resort. As a designated special needs-friendly resort, their staff is highly trained to understand the needs of all families. They offer in-room alarms, in-room safety equipment, temporary safety tattoos, and special food options, and their resorts are also accessible for people with mobility special needs. What’s more, their KONK drop-off service ensures that kids can have fun in a safe environment while their parents have a bit of alone time to recharge with each other or other adults.
Beaches Resorts, Caribbean
Beaches Resorts, located in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands, is the first resort company to complete the rigorous IBCCES training and Autism Certification. This means that their staff is trained in sensory awareness, social skills, communication, and a variety of other areas relating to kids on the autism spectrum. Beaches is also accessible to wheelchair users, although some restrictions apply at certain resorts due to the location of some of their restaurants.
Ocean Creek Resort, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Ocean Creek Resort is another incredible destination for families who are seeking a beach vacation that is inclusive for everyone of all abilities. Ocean Creek Resort was the first Champion Autism Network (CAN) Certified Resort. They offer pools, a gorgeous beach, golf, and the Ocean Creek Kids Club as well as other activities and amenities.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean sails autism-friendly ships and programs for families with children with autism, Downs Syndrome, and other developmental special needs. Special accommodations include sensory-friendly films, dietary menu options, and autism-friendly activities. Royal Caribbean also offers special autism-friendly cruises to a variety of destinations through their partnership with Autism on the Seas.
The Mountains are Calling: Autism Accessible Ski Resorts
If fresh mountain air, stunning vistas, and trees are calling you, there are a variety of autism-friendly ski resorts and resorts for people with a variety of abilities. Many mountain resorts offer extensive adaptive learning programs that make sports like skiing, mountain biking, and hiking accessible to all. Here are some of our favorite mountain destinations throughout the United States and Canada.
Snowbird Resort, Snowbird, Utah
No matter if it is winter or summer, Snowbird and Wasatch Adaptive Sports are a top destination for adventure seekers of all abilities. In the winter, you can ski, snowboard, or participate in snowshoeing, indoor cycling, or yoga. In the summer, enjoy cycling, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. Wasatch Adaptive Sports is trained to work with adults and children of all ages and abilities.
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Dollywood is home to a theme park, water park, and shows for country music fans. It is also autism-friendly and has a special Calming Room for families who need a relaxing environment away from the regular hustle and bustle of the theme park. The Calming Room includes weighted blankets, fiber optic strands, and a teepee along with cushy seats and a serene environment. At the Dollywood DreamMore Resort and Spa, your child can enjoy Camp DW and enjoy seasonal crafts, ranger talks with local park rangers, and listen to bedtime stories.
Smugglers’ Notch, Jeffersonville, Vermont
Smugglers’ Notch may be known for great skiing, but this autism-friendly ski resort also offers family fun activities for people of all abilities throughout the year. Through their Adaptive Program, the staff at this resort works with each person individually to make the outdoor sports of Vermont accessible to all. In fact, Ski Magazine just voted Smugglers’ Notch the most family-friendly ski destination of 2020.
Vail Resorts, Vail, Colorado
Vail Resorts is home to some of the best skiing in the United States. It also has a world-renowned Adaptive Learning Program that helps people of all physical and cognitive abilities learn to ski and snowboard. When not hitting the slopes, families can check out the tubing and Nature Discovery Center.
Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler, BC, Canada
Whistler Blackcomb Resort in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, is home to world-class skiing, the Coca-Cola Tube Park, and stunningly beautiful terrain. You can check out dog sledding, the Magic Castle and Tree Fort, and a variety of other entertainment options. Whistler Blackcomb’s Adaptive Ski & Snowboard Program offers lessons and equipment to people of all abilities, and helps them focus on feeling empowered and able to enjoy winter sports.
Plan Your Accessible Vacation Today with TravelAble!
Our team of certified experts is here to help you plan a custom vacation package that meets your needs. We’ve lived around the world and have traveled with autism, feeding tubes, and more, so we’re well aware of the challenges that can come up and how to accommodate them. What’s more, we provide 24/7 support every step of the way. To find out more about designing your dream vacation, reach out to our travel specialists today!