Orlando, Anaheim: Beyond Disney
OK, we're not even going to try to pretend that the crowds and the Florida heat will suddenly dissipate in summer 2011 (try these tips for seniors and families). Yet these factors never seem to deter the millions of us who visit Orlando each year to ride the Magic Kingdom's Dumbo, splash at SeaWorld or try "quidditch" at Universal Studios' new Harry Potter attraction. There's something about those rides and those memories that make all the effort worth it — for the young, or just the young at heart.
See also: Gulf Coast getaways.
And there's more to Orlando than theme parks — spas, golf, nightlife and even a gator or two might await. Boating and fishing are plenty, and Florida's gorgeous white beaches are less than two hours away. Should you care to marry or renew your vows on vacation, resident experts will give you your dream day.
Meanwhile, Anaheim, Calif., is the home of the original Disneyland park and winner of TripAdvisor's "2011 Number One U.S. Amusement Park Destination" award. Far smaller than its Florida counterpart, Disneyland maintains some of the quaint, classic attractions its big brother does not have.
Beyond the Mouse, Orange County offers more than those pesky housewives — America's original "Surf City," Huntington Beach, Angels' baseball games, whale-watching, aquariums and Little Saigon, just for starters.