10 Wheelchair Friendly Places to Visit Across America

Planning a trip when you have a disability, or when traveling with someone who does, can feel overwhelming. However, with a bit of research and careful planning, finding your next accessible travel destination is possible. Whether you’re dreaming of a beach getaway, an adventure at an amusement park, or exploring a national park, many popular travel spots are equipped to accommodate visitors with disabilities.  

Ready to plan your accessible vacation? Here are ten wheelchair-friendly places to visit across the U.S.

Accessible Amusement Parks and Theme Parks

1. Disneyland and Disney World

Two of the world's most popular theme parks, Disneyland and Disney World, are renowned for accommodating people with disabilities. These parks offer:

  • Wheelchair and scooter rentals

  • First aid rooms

  • Service dog relief areas

  • Accessible transportation within the Disney owned properties

  • Accessible hotel rooms- both onsite and nearby

  • Allergy-friendly menus

  • Disney's Disability Access Service (DAS) for guests with developmental disabilities.

For more information, visit the respective websites for Disney World and Disneyland.

2.Universal Theme Parks

Universal’s theme parks in Orlando and California provide:

  • Wheelchair and stroller rentals

  • First aid rooms

  • Service dog relief areas

  • Accessible hotel rooms- onsite or nearby depending on your park location

  • Allergy-friendly menus

  • Individual Accessibility Cards (IAC) for guests unable to wait in traditional attraction lines.

Accessibility information for Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood can be found on each park’s respective website.

Wheelchair-Friendly Beach Destinations

While beaches may not always come to mind when thinking of wheelchair accessibility, several across the U.S. cater to visitors with mobility challenges. Travel blogger Cory Lee highlights his favorite accessible beach destinations, including:

3. Panama City Beach, Florida

4. Lake Michigan Beach, Ludington, Michigan

5. Long Beach, California

Discover more accessible beaches and tips in Cory’s blog, "Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Beaches in the U.S."

National Parks with Wheelchair Accessibility

Did you know U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities can visit national parks free of charge with the Access Pass? This lifetime pass grants access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. It also offers discounts on camping, swimming, boating, and guided tours. Some accessible national parks include:

6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Services available for guests with disabilities include:

  • All-terrain wheelchairs, 

  • Accessible trails

  • Wheelchair accessible campsites, 

  • Shuttle transportation for people with disabilities

7. Yellowstone National Park

The following are available for guests with disabilities:

  • All-terrain wheelchairs

  • Accessible campsites, 

  • Accessible boating and waterfront activities

  • Wheelchair accessible campgrounds.

Accessibility may vary between parks; contact the park you plan to visit in advance for information on wheelchair accessibility and mobility aid rental.

Recreational Activities for Travelers with Disabilities

Regardless of where you travel, you can find accessible activities in nearly any destination. If you’re unsure of where to visit, consider commonly accessible places like a local zoo, aquarium, museum, botanical garden, or even a theater for a live show. A few additional places to consider include: 

8. The Smithsonian Museums

This group of museums in Washington, D.C. is among the most popular in the U.S. With multiple museums in close proximity, visitors with disabilities can explore many significant and historic sites without having to travel far. 

9. The Kennedey Space Center 

If you’re looking for a wheelchair accessible travel destination that is out of this world, consider the Kennedy Space Center. This wheelchair-friendly destination provides accessible services including:

  • Wheelchair and scooter rental

  • Theaters with accessible seating

  • Headphones for guests with sensory disabilities

  • Accessible transportation equipped with wheelchair and scooter lifts

  • The shuttle launch simulation includes an accessible seat equipped with a 5-point harness for added security. 

10. San Diego Zoo Safari Park 

The largest zoo in the world, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park has many species of animals, as well as botanical gardens to explore. The zoo offers:

  • Wheelchair rental

  • Shuttle services available to guests with mobility challenges 

  • ADA maps for finding locations of accessible bathrooms, first aid centers, and elevators. 

If you have yet to find your accessible travel destination, be sure to check out our related articles below, with information on the most accessible cities in the U.S., and wheelchair accessible cruises. And, if you need to rent a wheelchair accessible vehicle for travel, be sure to contact your local BraunAbility dealer today.

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