10 Wheelchair Friendly Places to Visit Across America

There are 75 million wheelchair users worldwide: that’s twice the population of Canada! A lack of accommodations makes it difficult for many of them to enjoy taking vacations or traveling.

With some research and planning, you can find a destination to enjoy some time away, whether you’re looking for peace and relaxation or adventure and fun. Many popular travel destinations are doing a better job of catering to visitors with all types of disabilities, and the rest of the travel industry is finally following their lead.

Here are 10 of the most recommended wheelchair-friendly travel destinations to visit in the US (and don’t forget to consider a wheelchair van rental to get there in style!).

1. Disneyland and Disney World

Disneyland and Disney World are two of the most popular theme parks in the 

Atmosphere at the "The Princess And The Frog" World Premiere, Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA. 11-15-09

world. Efforts to increase accessibility have helped everyone experience a bit of their magic. Both Disneyland and Disney World offer services such as advanced ticket purchases and wheelchair rentals. Service animals are also allowed throughout the parks. The attractions spread over the parks have varying levels of accommodations, so be sure to plan your trip in advance.

2. Yellowstone National Park

This large park touches three states: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. It's a well-known and popular destination, and it's making efforts to improve accessibility. Even if you can’t hike the mountains, many of Yellowstone's trails, fishing sites and walkways are accessible. The park also offers great guided audio tours and wheelchair rentals.

3. Little Valley Mountain Resort

The Great Smoky Mountains are another wheelchair-friendly national park, but you can also spend all your time in this very accessible resort if you prefer. The cabins are easy to get around in with open floor plans and ramped entries, as well as an accessible space designated for fishing.

Access ramp to the beach of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on O'ahu island in Hawaii, United States

4. Hanauma Bay State Park

This gorgeous park has the white sand and blue water you'd expect in Hawaii. What sets it apart is that it sits inside a dormant volcano. Accessibility options also make this park unique. Wheelchair rentals are easy to find, and balloon-tied beach chairs are free year-round from 8a.m-to 4 pm. You’ll also find inclusive snorkeling outfitters, dolphin watching, cruises and helicopter tours. There are enough activities in Hanauma Bay to ensure you never get bored. They include snorkeling, dolphin watching, Luas, cruises, and tours on a helicopter or catamaran.

5. Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas

Cruises are a great option for wheelchair users, and this is one of the best. You'll pass by several beautiful destinations while enjoying delicious food and captivating shows. The boat has 

46 accessible cabins with large doors, bed lifts, low sinks, and roll-in showers. The recreational facilities also cater to wheelchair users. The pools have lifts to help you in, and the theaters have specialized seating.

6. Niagara Falls

This popular destination may not be the first one you consider when looking for wheelchair-friendly places to visit. It was difficult to navigate in the past, but today it's more accessible than ever. The Maid of the Mist boat ride gives you a relaxing, accessible trip around the falls. You can also choose the Niagara Scenic Trolley if you want a different travel option. Consider the Cave of the Winds tour if you're prepared to get wet. You'll end up on the permanent deck only 75 feet away from the falls.

7. Kennedy Space Center

Children and adults all over the world who are fascinated by outer space will certainly enjoy this wheelchair-friendly destination. Accessible equipment is available for rent at the front door, and each theater includes plenty of accessible seating. Even the shuttle launch simulation has an accessible seat and a 5-point harness to keep you in place!

8. Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch

The founder of this Yucca, Arizona spot has first-hand experience with how to travel in a wheelchair. His daughter uses one, and he customized this Yucca, Arizona ranch to fit her needs. Aside form a one-of-a-kind Western experience, the accommodations at Stagecoach Trails include roll-in showers and ADA tubs. There's also intentionally plenty of space to maneuver around in the lodge and dining room.

9. The Smithsonian

This cluster of museums in Washington, DC is one of the most popular in the US. It gets crowded with tourists who want to see the slice of history they provide. This popularity may be part of the reason for efforts to ensure that wheelchair users aren't left out. Every exhibition is wheelchair accessible, and so are its restrooms. You can also take an elevator up to its public floors.

10. Seattle Zoo and Aquarium

Seattle is one of the most accessible cities in the US, despite being known for its hills. One of the many reasons for this is its many forms of public transportation, including ferries, taxis, buses, and rails. The zoo and aquarium are two of the city's most famous attractions. They both offer free wheelchair rentals and have accessible restrooms. Still, some of the zoo's paths are steep and bumpy. You'll need to be careful as you go along and may need a bit of help to keep you from falling.

WASHINGTON DC, USA - January 04, 2009: The African Elephant in the Museum of Natural History in WASHINGTON DC.

Getting out of the house can feel like a major hurdle, but it doesn't have to be. Don’t forget, wherever your travels take you, BraunAbility has the products you need to help you get wherever you want to go. You can also rent wheelchair vans from a local mobility dealer.

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