A quaint town in the lap of Mother Nature, Uttarakhand in the Northern region of India is the ultimate getaway to beauty abound. Nature’s bounty brings the crowning glory to the land, which is believed to be the residing place of Gods.

Thus fondly known as Devbhoomi or the Land of Gods, Uttarakhand is one gorgeous state marked by famous pilgrimage tour destinations.

With its majestic mountains, lush valleys, glistening rivers, and spiritual charm, Uttarakhand offers an enchanting experience for families seeking a rejuvenating vacation. From adventure sports to serene landscapes and sacred temples, there are many best places to visit in Uttarakhand.

This article enumerates the top 20 places in Uttarakhand to visit for a family vacation. Don’t forget to incorporate these top places to visit in Uttarakhand while planning a memorable vacation.

Top places in Uttarakhand for a memorable vacation

1. Nainital

This enthralling hill station is located in Uttarakhand’s foothills of the Kumaon ranges. Being one of India’s most visited hill stations, this place is adjacent to Dehradun and Delhi.

Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

This charming hill station is also known for its emerald-green Naini Lake. The town offers a tranquil environment and stunning vistas to captivate your family’s hearts.

Established by the British, Nainital has many colonial structures that intensify the place’s beauty.

Take a boat ride on the lake, stroll along Mall Road, visit the Nainital Zoo, and enjoy panoramic views from Naina Peak. Don’t miss exploring the nearby lakes like Bhimtal, Sattal, and Naukuchiatal, perfect for picnics and water activities.

Best time to visit:  all year round

How to reach: Nainital doesn’t have an airport; it takes around 7 hours from Delhi.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to taste Bal Mithai from the local sweet shops.

You can also purchase wax candles, shawls and woollens from Mall Road to make your vacation memorable.

Places to Stay:

Our recommendations,

  • Oyo Flagship 77095 Hotel Bihan Hospito India ($21 per night**)
  • Oyo 75217 Hotel Navya Grand ($22 per night**)
  • Collection O 30928 Hotel Pranjal Inn Bailey Rd ($23 per night**)

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Which is better, Nainital or Auli?

Auli offers the best skiing experience and is ideal for adventure lovers. You can find plenty of things to do in Auli in winter. But if you want a quiet vacation, then Nainital could be the best option.

2. Mussoorie

Known as the “Queen of Hills,” Mussoorie is a popular destination for families seeking respite from the scorching summers. This hill station stands at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level.

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India

The town’s colonial architecture, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Doon Valley make it a top place to visit in Uttarakhand.

The Mall, also called Mall Road, is one of Mussoorie’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a slightly steep boulevard lined with restaurants and other shops. The Mall evokes a distinct colonial atmosphere, from the quaint houses scattered throughout the area to the architecture of even the lamp posts.

Enjoy a cable car ride to Gun Hill, visit Kempty Falls, take a leisurely walk along Mall Road, and explore the scenic trails of Landour. The Children’s Lodge and Mussoorie Adventure Park are great attractions for kids.

This hill station is the gateway to the glaciers of Yamunotri and Gangotri.

Best time to visit: September to June

How to reach: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant International Airport, Dehradun, 60 km from Mussoorie.

Places to Stay:

Our recommendations,

5-star hotels,

  • Yog Wellness Resort & Spa By Amritara ($105 per night**)
  • The Fern Brentwood Resort ($117 per night**)

Get 15% off on stays with “BNG15”. [T &C apply]

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3. Jim Corbett National Park

For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to Jim Corbett National Park is a thrilling experience. It is India’s oldest national park and offers a chance to witness the majestic Bengal tiger in its natural habitat.

Jim Corbett National Park

The park has nearly 600 species of birds, an equal number of animals and around 488 different types of plants and trees. It is indeed one of the best places to visit Uttarakhand.

The park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park and later renamed Jim Corbett, a famous hunter and naturalist. It was the first place where Project Tiger was launched in 1973.

The park has an area of more than 500 sq km and is divided into five zones: Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna Domunda and Sonanandi to support tourism.

Throughout the year, Jim Corbett organizes safaris and hiking trails through the buffer zones of the dense forest. It is one of the best things to do in Uttarakhand.

Embark on an exciting safari, explore the Dhikala zone, and indulge in bird watching with your family. The park also has accommodations ranging from luxury resorts to forest lodges, ensuring a comfortable stay amidst nature.

Best time to visit: all year round (except monsoon)

How to reach: Ramnagar is the nearest railway station, while Dehradun Airport is the nearest airport.

Places to stay:

Our recommendations,

  • Corbett Soho Resort By Signum Hotels And Resorts ($29 per night**)
  • Corbett Panorama Resort ($64 per night**)
  • Beyond Stay Forest Next Corbett Resort ($73 per night**)

Book for four nights and get two nights free with “2NIGHTS”.[T & C apply]

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4. Dehradun

Being the capital, it is one of Uttarakhand’s best places to visit. Located at 1400 feet above sea level, Dehradun observes a pleasant climate throughout the year.

Dehradun

Dehradun brims with many attractions. Robber’s Cave, also known as Guchu Pani, is one of the popular natural attractions on Dehradun’s outskirts.

This unique cave is formed by a river that disappears underground and reappears a few meters away, creating a surreal experience for visitors. The cave is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for picnics and nature walks.

For those seeking spiritual solace, visiting the Mindrolling Monastery is a must. Situated in the Clement Town area of Dehradun, this magnificent monastery is one of the largest Buddhist centres in India. The grandeur of its architecture, intricate murals, and towering statue of Lord Buddha make it a sight to behold.

Other popular attractions could be Tapkeshwar Temple, Lacchiwala, Sahastradhara, etc.

Best time to visit: May to October

How to reach: Dehradun has an airport called Jolly Grant Airport, 29 km from the main city.

Where to stay:

  • Beyond Stay Kastura Kanatal ($54 per night**)
  • Club Mahindra Kanatal ($122 per night**)
  • The Fern Brentwood Resort, Mussoorie ($177 per night**)

Get 15% off on stays with “BNG15”. [T & C apply]

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What are the top tourist attractions in Dehradun?

The most popular tourist attractions in Dehradun are,

  • Robbers Cave
  • Tapkeshwar
  • Buddha Temple
  • Dehradun Zoo
  • Daat Kali Temple

5. Rishikesh

Rishikesh, the “Yoga Capital of the World,” is a spiritual haven nestled on the banks of the holy Ganges River. This serene town offers adventure, spirituality, and cultural experiences.

Rishikesh

This consecrated city has several mythological and religious legends associated with Lord Vishnu, Lord Bharat, and various prominent sages. It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya established the city in the 9th century AD.

Rishikesh is divided into two prime areas: the downtown area known as Rishikesh town, where the Triveni Ghat is situated. 2 km upstream from the popular Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula is the other side of Rishikesh where you can find many ashrams, cafes, and hotels.

Haridwar and Rishikesh are the first Indian cities that receive the title of “twin national heritage cities”.

Explore the iconic suspension bridge, Lakshman Jhula, participate in a Ganga Aarti ceremony at Triveni Ghat and indulge in river rafting or camping along the banks of the Ganges.

Best time to visit: February to May and October to November

How to reach: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. On the other hand, Haridwar Railway Station is the adjacent rail station.

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6. Auli

Are you looking for the top places in Uttarakhand to visit with your family? Then, nothing can beat Auli’s charm and attraction. Situated in the Garhwal Himalayas, Auli boasts stunning views of snow-capped peaks and is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts.

Auli

As the gateway to Auli, Joshimath is a religious town with several temples and sacred sites. It is home to the famous Shankaracharya Math and the Narasimha Temple. Auli also offers a scenic ropeway ride, connecting it to Joshimath, where you can visit the revered Badrinath Temple.

The Auli Ropeway, also known as the Auli Gondola, is one of Asia’s prime attractions and longest ropeways. It offers breathtaking aerial views of the Himalayan ranges and takes you to the top of Auli, where you can witness magnificent panoramas.

Auli is close to the Nanda Devi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its diverse flora and fauna. You can explore the park through guided treks and witness rare Himalayan wildlife.

Auli is also a much-appreciated attraction among sports lovers, as they can enjoy snowboarding and skiing.

Best time to visit: April to June, November to March (Snow)

How to reach: You can reach Auli from Rishikesh or Dehradun.

7. Haridwar

Known as the “Gateway to God,” Haridwar is an ancient city famous for its religious significance. Haridwar is a city that holds great religious and cultural significance in India. It is a place where people can seek spiritual solace, experience vibrant Hindu traditions, and connect with nature.

Haridwar

The city attracts millions of devotees and tourists yearly who come to dip in the holy Ganges and participate in religious ceremonies.

One of the major attractions in Haridwar is Har Ki Pauri, a ghat (steps leading to the river) on the banks of the Ganges. It is believed to be where Lord Vishnu left his footprint and is considered the most sacred ghat in Haridwar. The famous Ganga Aarti (a ritual of worshipping the river) takes place at Har Ki Pauri every evening, attracting many people.

Apart from its religious significance, Haridwar is also known for hosting the Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. The Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years in Haridwar, and it attracts millions of pilgrims who come to take a holy bath in the Ganges.

In addition to its spiritual importance, Haridwar offers picturesque views of the surrounding hills and is a popular destination for nature lovers.

The city is also known for its traditional markets, where you can find various items like religious artefacts, handicrafts, and Ayurvedic medicines.

Best time to visit: October to March

How to reach: you can reach there either by plane or train

Where to stay:

Our recommendations,

  • Collection O 30114 Ranipur Mor ($17 per night**)
  • Le Roi Haridwar Hotel ($33 per night**)
  • Udman Haridwar By Ferns N Petals ($39 per night**)

Book for two nights and get a free night stay with“FREENIGHT” [T & C apply]

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8. Valley of Flowers

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of Flowers is a natural wonder that will leave your family spellbound.

Valley of Flowers

It is renowned for its vibrant alpine flowers, lush meadows, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks, making it a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers.

Spread over an area of approximately 87 square kilometres, the Valley of Flowers is nestled at an altitude ranging from 3,500 to 6,500 meters. More than 650 species of wildflowers, including orchids, poppies, primulas, marigolds, daisies, and anemones, bloom here during the summer months (June to September), creating a stunning carpet of colors.

Trek through the vibrant meadows adorned with a myriad of alpine flowers, witness cascading waterfalls and revel in the serene ambience of the valley.

This enchanting paradise is a treat for nature lovers and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks.

Best time to visit: July to September

How to reach: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, 149 km from Hemkund Shrine.

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9. Lansdowne

Lansdowne is a charming hill station located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Situated at around 1,700 meters in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas, it offers a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Lansdowne

Lansdowne is known for its picturesque beauty, pleasant weather, and colonial-era charm. It was originally established as a cantonment town by the British in 1887 and still retains its old-world charm with well-preserved colonial buildings, churches, and barracks.

The town is surrounded by lush green forests of oak and pine trees, which enhance its natural beauty. The panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks from Lansdowne are breathtaking.

Lansdowne offers various attractions and activities for visitors. The War Memorial, dedicated to the Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army, is a prominent landmark. The Darwan Singh Museum, located near the War Memorial, showcases the Garhwal Rifles’ history, achievements, and memorabilia.

Bhulla Lake is another popular attraction in Lansdowne, known for its serene ambience and boating facilities. For adventure enthusiasts, Lansdowne offers opportunities for trekking and camping in the nearby hills and forests.

Lansdowne is also a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of bird species found in the region.

Best time to visit: April to June

How to reach: Kotdwar is the nearest railway station at a distance of 1 hour.

Where to stay:

Our recommendation,

Tatvam Resort Lansdowne ($72 per night**)

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10. Chopta

Situated at around 2,680 meters (8,790 feet), Chopta is often called the “Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand” due to its breathtaking natural beauty.

Chopta

It serves as the base for trekking enthusiasts who want to journey to the famous Tungnath Temple and Chandrashila Peak. Tungnath Temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world and holds great religious significance. The trek to Tungnath is relatively moderate and offers mesmerizing views of the Himalayan ranges.

Chopta is also a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, home to diverse flora and fauna. The place offers astonishing 360-degree panoramic views of mountains, including Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhambha peaks.

Best time to visit: March to June and winters for snow

How to reach: It is well-connected to all prime cities, including Rishikesh, Srinagar, and Pauri.

11. Almora

If you are looking for an off-beat place in Uttarakhand to visit, Almora could be your best choice.

Almora offers a serene environment, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and spiritual seekers. The charming streets of Almora have been flooded with traditional stone houses and ancient temples, reflecting its deep-rooted history and conventional architecture.

Almora

One of the prominent attractions in Almora is the Nanda Devi Temple, dedicated to the goddess Nanda Devi. It is a revered pilgrimage site and holds great religious significance.

Almora is also known for its vibrant cultural festivals and fairs. The annual Nanda Devi Fair, held in September, is a major event that attracts many devotees and tourists. Traditional music, dance performances, and various cultural activities take place during the fair, showcasing the local traditions and customs.

For nature enthusiasts, Almora offers several trekking and hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints. Bright End Corner is a popular spot that offers panoramic sunrise and sunset views over the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Another notable viewpoint is Kasar Devi, known for its captivating vistas and spiritual ambience.

Apart from its natural and cultural attractions, Almora is famous for its traditional handicrafts, including intricate woodwork, handwoven textiles, and vibrant woollen shawls.

Best time to visit: Anytime, except monsoons

How to reach: The nearest airport is Pantnagar, 116 km from Almora.

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12. Uttarkashi

Our list of the top places to visit in Uttarakhand won’t be completed if we don’t mention the name of this place.

Uttarkashi is known for its scenic beauty and spiritual significance. The district is considered the gateway to the Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines, two of the region’s most revered Hindu pilgrimage destinations.

Uttarkashi

Apart from its religious importance, Uttarkashi also offers breathtaking natural landscapes. Majestic mountains, lush green valleys, and pristine rivers surround the district.

It is a popular destination for trekking and adventure activities, attracting outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.

Best time to visit: March to June and September to November

How to reach: The nearest airport and train station is Dehradun

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13. Chardham

If you are looking for spiritual tourism, nothing can be better than these amazing Uttarakhand tourist places ( Yamnotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath). Chardham holds immense religious significance for Hindus, and pilgrimage to these four sites is believed to cleanse one’s soul and lead to salvation.

Yamunotri: Located in the western region of the Garhwal Himalayas, Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River. The main attraction here is the Yamunotri Temple, dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The temple is perched at an elevation of about 3,293 meters and attracts a large number of devotees every year.

Yamunotri

Gangotri: Situated in the Uttarkashi district, Gangotri originates from the holy river Ganga (Ganges). The Gangotri Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, is the prime pilgrimage site here.

Gangotri

Kedarnath: Located in the Rudraprayag district, Kedarnath is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (lingams representing Lord Shiva) and holds great religious significance. The temple is believed to have been constructed by the Pandavas from the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

kedarnath india

Badrinath: Situated in the Chamoli district, Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The Badrinath Temple, located at an altitude of approximately 3,133 meters, is the main highlight. It is believed to be the place where Lord Vishnu meditated, and it attracts a large number of devotees.

Badrinath

Undertaking the Chardham Yatra (pilgrimage) is considered a significant spiritual journey for Hindus. The yatra usually starts from Yamunotri, proceeds to Gangotri, Kedarnath, and concludes at Badrinath.

Devotees often travel by road or trek through the scenic Himalayan trails to visit these sacred sites.

Best time to visit: Late April or early May, and it continues until October or early November.

How to reach: You can easily access Badrinath and Gangotri by road. The remaining two destinations of Kedarnath and Yamnotri require extensive trekking.

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14. Dhanulti

Dhanaulti is a serene hill station in the Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Dhanaulti offers a peaceful retreat amidst the picturesque Himalayan landscape.

Dhanulti Uttarakhand

Dhanaulti is blessed with dense forests, towering deodar and oak trees, and panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.

The major attractions in Dhanaulti include Eco Park, Surkanda Devi Temple, Dashavatar Temple, Apple Orchards etc.

Dhanaulti is famous for its apple orchards. During the harvest season, visitors can savor freshly plucked apples and enjoy the scenic beauty of the orchards.

Best time to visit: October to January and April to June

How to reach: Dhanulti can easily be reached from Dehradun.

15. Chamoli

Popularly known as the ‘adobe of Gods’, Chamoli is famous for its shrines, temples and connections with Hindu mythology and stories. Travellers prefer this place for its villages and rich Garhwali traditions.

Chamoli Uttarakhand

Situated in the Chamoli district, Joshimath is a significant pilgrimage site and a gateway to several revered destinations. It serves as a base for pilgrims heading towards Badrinath, one of the Char Dham sites.

Joshimath is known for its ancient temples, including the Narasimha Temple and the Sankaracharya Math.

Best time to visit: Anytime, except monsoons

How to reach: You can reach this place either from Dehradun or Rishikesh.

Conclusion

Uttarakhand, with its diverse landscapes, spiritual aura, and adventure opportunities, is a treasure trove for families seeking an unforgettable holiday.

Whether you are exploring the scenic hill stations of Nainital and Mussoorie, discovering wildlife in Jim Corbett National Park, immersing in the spirituality of Rishikesh and Haridwar, skiing in Auli, or marvelling at the Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand promises an experience that will be etched in your family’s memories forever.

So pack your bags, embark on a journey to this Himalayan paradise, and create beautiful moments together amidst nature’s beauty.

FAQs

How many days are enough for Uttarakhand?

Generally, 8-10 days are sufficient to cover all important tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. But if you have less time, you can only visit the prime attractions like Rishikesh, Nainital, Mussoorie, Auli, etc.

Which is the coldest place in Uttarakhand?

Auli is the coldest place in Uttarakhand. The place observes 4.3 degree Celsius throughout the year. It also gets heavy rainfall during monsoons.

Is Uttarakhand safe for solo travellers?

Uttarakhand is generally considered safe for solo travellers. Though the government here ensures a safe and comfortable environment, you should take certain precautions to ensure your safety and well-being.

What can I buy from Uttarakhand?

Uttarakhand offers a variety of unique and traditional products that you can buy as souvenirs or gifts. Some popular items in this state could be handicrafts, woollen products, handmade jewellery, honey, local products, Pahadi attire, etc.

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