Spring and summer will be here soon, which means vacation time! A vacation is synonymous with hassle-free relaxation. Truth be told if you’re traveling with an individual with special mobility needs, keeping your vacation as relaxing as possible requires careful planning up front.
Without doing your homework on where you’re about to go, and the best attractions to see while you’re there, you could end up traveling to a location that isn’t equipped to meet mobility needs.
The good news is wheelchair accessible vacations, including wheelchair accessible beaches, are easier to plan for than ever before. We believe every stage of your vacation should be as hassle-free as possible, even the planning process. So we’ve gone ahead and done the research to find you the top rated wheelchair accessible vacation spots available.
Whether you want to travel abroad, stay within the United States, or just stay in New Jersey, we’ve got you covered. There’s a mix of everything on this list of wheelchair accessible vacations, so get your passport ready, you’re about to get the travel inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Wheelchair Accessible Beaches
When people think of going on vacation, many automatically think of going to the beach. Fortunately, the number of wheelchair accessible beaches is on the rise in large part due to specialized beach wheelchairs.
Wheelchair accessible beaches allow the individual to use one of these specialized wheelchairs to not only enjoy the sandy shores, but go right into the water’s edge itself. It’s also becoming more common for beaches to offer beach wheelchairs on-site, meaning it’s not something extra you’ll have to travel with.
You won’t necessarily have to go far to enjoy wheelchair accessible beaches. Avalon and Stone Harbor beaches right here in New Jersey offer beach wheelchairs by reservation, with wheelchair accessible boardwalks to enjoy them on. In addition to their beach accessibility, Avalon and Stone Harbor host several events throughout the summer, offering a great combination of relaxation and entertainment!
If you’re looking to travel a little further than NJ, Hanauma Bay and Kailua Beach Park in Honolulu, Hawaii, offer beach wheelchairs at no extra charge to vacationers with special mobility needs. Hanauma Bay offers two beach wheelchairs available for those who make a reservation in advance. Both wheelchairs have large balloon tires available and you can wheel them right into the water. Hanauma Bay also offers a tram that can take people using wheelchairs from the parking lot to the beach area.
If Hawaii is on your bucket list, make sure to check Honolulu’s official website for a complete list of wheelchair accessible beaches in the area.
Another state known for its gorgeous beaches is California. The state is also particularly accommodating to those with special mobility needs. Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla, all in San Diego County, are all wheelchair accessible beaches with beach wheelchairs available on-site. Ocean Beach not only has accessible parking and bathrooms, but it also offers beach wheelchairs to their patrons. Downtown Ocean Beach, which begins at the southern end of the beach, has a plethora of clothing boutiques, antique stores, cafés, restaurants, and bars.
San Diego has done an extraordinary job turning its beaches into wheelchair accessible vacations, which are visited by people from all over the country. If California sounds appealing, make sure to check their comprehensive list of accessible beaches in San Diego.
Wheelchair Accessible Theme Parks
Another popular vacation destination is theme parks, and many of them are exceptionally accommodating to those with special mobility needs. Disney theme parks in particular have built a reputation on going above and beyond to accommodate those in wheelchairs with everything from accessible ride passes, ramps to the top attractions, accessible on-site resorts, and accessible shuttles to and from the parks. For wheelchair accessible vacations that include theme parks, we recommend looking no further than what Disney has to offer.
Wheelchair Accessible Museums & Historical Sites
For the traveler who wishes to take in some of the world’s finest in history and culture, many world-renowned museums are outfitted for those with mobility needs. Here are some ideas for wheelchair accessible vacations that include museums and historical sites.
Not far from New Jersey is the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which offers offers tours specifically for individuals with mobility needs. Feel like grabbing a bite afterwards? There’s a wheelchair accessible Shake Shack on 86th street, about half a mile from the museum. Beautiful art and delicious burgers on the same trip? Sounds like a great trip!
For those looking to travel abroad, London, England offers some highly accessible attractions such as the Tate Modern Museum and the Science Museum. Believe it or not, Stonehenge is one of the few historical sites in the world that offers wheelchair accessible paths for visitors.
Who can forget about Paris, France, which is home to one of the world’s most famous museums. Of course, we’re talking about The Louvre. This museum is wheelchair accessible, though it’s not immediately obvious upon entering. You’ll have to make sure to ask for an accessibility map, which will point you toward all of the accessible paths and elevators throughout the building.
Whether you’re planning a vacation around enjoying scenic beaches, exciting theme parks, or taking in some world history, there are many options for wheelchair accessible vacations available to you.