Top 14 Accessible Destinations for Travelers With Limited Mobility

NEWS & TRENDING - TRAVEL NEWS
Discover the world's most welcoming destinations for travelers of all abilities.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Woman in wheelchair enjoying view on the beach with her dog

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Traveling is a joy that everyone should experience, regardless of their mobility level. 

With increasing efforts to make tourism more accessible, many vacation destinations now cater to travelers who use wheelchairs, crutches, or other assistive devices.

You don't need any special travel planning secrets, either, as everyone has the right to be accommodated.

From breathtaking natural wonders to vibrant cities rich in culture, these destinations have accessible attractions and experiences for everyone.

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Alaskan cruises

Allen.G/Adobe cruise ship at port in Juneau

Alaska's landscapes and wildlife are a sight to behold, and you can experience them on an accessible cruise. Many companies offer accessible staterooms, onboard amenities, and trips designed for travelers with limited mobility.

You can see glaciers, gorgeous fjords, whales, and bald eagles from the comfort of your cruise ship. Stops like Glacier Bay, Denali, and the Kenai Fjords are also in ADA compliance. You might even spot a moose!

Barcelona, Spain

Mapics/Adobe Park Guell in Barcelona Spain

Barcelona, known for its architecture and welcoming culture, has made significant strides in accessibility. The public transportation system is super wheelchair-friendly, and there are no cobblestone streets to deal with. La Rambla, a pedestrian area, is also easy to navigate.

Must-visit attractions like La Sagrada Família have improved accessibility features, allowing everyone to appreciate Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece. You can even jump to the front of the line and get in free at many places.

Central Florida

Shawn.ccf/Adobe magic kingdom park

Central Florida is a hub for accessible theme park experiences. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando have worked diligently to ensure that visitors with limited mobility can enjoy fun rides and magical experiences.

Venture off the beaten path and explore Florida's natural attractions, including pristine springs that are as accessible as they are beautiful. You can even snorkel with wild manatees in some special areas.

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Florence, Italy

rh2010/Adobe dome of Santa Maria del Fiore church

Florence's rich history and art — including Michelangelo's “David” — are bucket-list-worthy and mostly accessible to folks with limited mobility. The Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, and Accademia Galleria offer accessible entrances and services.

Florence’s compact layout makes it easy to explore on wheels, and many restaurants and hotels are wheelchair-friendly. Once you finish taking in art and eating your way through the city, exploring the Tuscan countryside is a must-do.

Las Vegas

lucky-photo/Adobe view of las vegas strip

Las Vegas is known for its casinos and over-the-top luxury, but it's also one of the most accessible cities in the world. 

Most resorts on the Strip have accessible rooms and amenities. There are also accessible transportation options, and the streets are wide and easy to navigate.

Restaurants, shows, and museums are all ADA-compliant as well. Even the High Roller observation wheel is wheelchair accessible.

Melbourne, Australia

gb27photo/Adobe Melbourne's central business district

Melbourne is another one of the most accessible cities in the world. The Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Museum, and Queen Victoria Market have accessible facilities. Trains and buses are wheelchair-friendly, making it easy to explore this second-largest city in Australia.

Don't miss the chance to drive on the famous Great Ocean Road, a scenic highway with breathtaking views and must-see stops. Of note are the 12 Apostles, limestone formations that rise majestically out of the Bass Strait.

Oahu, Hawaii

okimo/Adobe Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Crater

Oahu, one of Hawaii's islands, is a bucket-list destination for its natural beauty. 

Many beaches will let you use a beach wheelchair for free, making this tricky terrain easy to navigate. Adventure seekers can take an adapted surfing lesson or swim with wild manta rays.

Indoor attractions like the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and Honolulu Zoo have accessibility features to make your experience easy and enjoyable.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Marc Jedamus/Adobe Reykjavik at wintertime Iceland

Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, is an accessible destination surrounded by natural wonders. The Blue Lagoon has accessible facilities, and many tour operators offer inclusive trips to experience the country's stunning landscapes, including waterfalls, geysers, and glaciers.

Hotels and restaurants are also accessible to people with limited mobility. And though it may be more challenging to get around during the snowy season, seeing the Northern Lights may be worth the extra effort.

Singapore

krunja/Adobe airplane flying over singapore

Singapore is arguably the most accessible city in Asia. The city-state's subway system is well-equipped for travelers with limited mobility, as are most buses. Sidewalks are flat and navigable.

Attractions like Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Zoo, and Sentosa Island have accessible facilities, making it easy to explore the gems of Lion City. The culture of Singapore is also known for being very helpful to tourists, so you can quickly get assistance from locals.

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South Africa safaris

urosr/Adobe Herd of zebras

A safari can be as accessible as it is unforgettable. Many game reserves have accessible accommodations and vehicles with ramps. 

These adaptations allow folks with limited mobility to see elephants, lions, and more up close in iconic destinations such as Kruger National Park.

You may find that working with a travel company that caters to people with disabilities is a good idea as they handle all of the particulars, allowing you to focus on the once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Tokyo, Japan

tawatchai1990/Adobe tokyo cityscape with beautiful lightning at night with mount fuji in background

Tokyo strives to adhere to the UN's protocol of accommodations issued in 2000. The public transportation system, including buses and trains, has been dubbed "90% accessible." 

Hotels are also working to accommodate people with limited mobility, though Airbnb fills the gaps.

Many attractions like the Sensō-ji and Tokyo Skytree have good wheelchair accessibility. Some cultural heritage sites may be less so due to the need to preserve historic architecture.

U.S. National Parks

Lane Erickson/Adobe Grand Prismatic Pool at Yellowstone National Park

Many U.S. National Parks have made significant progress in becoming more accessible. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Yellowstone National Park, and Acadia National Park, among others, offer accessible trails, visitor centers, and services so everyone can enjoy their beauty.

Note that people with permanent disabilities get free admission to national parks as long as they have the Access Pass.

Vancouver, Canada

JFL Photography/Adobe view of vancouver skyline from beside stanley park

Vancouver is striving to ensure that travelers with limited mobility can enjoy all it has to offer. In 2023, the city council announced they were investing hundreds of millions to become "the most accessible city in the world."

That plan includes massive sidewalk upgrades, facility renovations, and auditing public spaces to ensure they're up to snuff. 

Many attractions and transportation options are already accessible, but once the work is done, Vancouver just might get the title it's working toward.

Washington, D.C.

p_gangler/Adobe us capitol building

Washington, D.C., is home to numerous accessible landmarks and museums. The Smithsonian museums, the National Mall, and many memorials have accessible entrances and services.

The city's public transportation system is also equipped to accommodate travelers with limited mobility. For these reasons, the city ranks high on inclusivity lists. 

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Bottom line

stokkete/Adobe tourist riding an electric scooter

Should you choose to retire early, you can explore as many of these destinations as you desire. Adventure knows no boundaries, and accessibility is paving the way for everyone to travel on their own terms.

When planning your vacation, it's essential to research hotels, attractions, and transportation providers in advance to ensure all your needs are met.

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Cat Lafuente Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.

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