|photo credit: Tony J Case via photopin.com|
There is nothing more American than a family road trip! No matter where you live, there is an adventure awaiting your family; with a little research, route planning, and flexibility, your family could hit the road and find any number of wonders to build amazing family vacation memories on! Below are some of our favorite trips and sights; feel free to add some of your family's favorites in our comments section!
1. The Western Front - California and the Desert Southwest
Topping many a bucket-list are our first two spectacular excursions, which make fantastic trips individually or combined: California's Coast and the Desert Southwest!
- Enjoy the spectacular views, history, and sights along California's famous Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco, through Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and down to sunny Los Angeles. Don't miss attractions include: San Francisco's majestic Golden Gate Bridge, famed Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman's Wharf, renowned for seal watching; the spectacular Monterey Bay Aquarium; the breath-taking views along Big Sur; the legendary Mission in Santa Barbara and historic Hearst Castle in San Simeon, and Hollywood's Walk of Fame in sunny Los Angeles.
- If you have a chance to extend your trip, consider a road trip through the desert southwest, beginning in Las Vegas, which actually features an array of kid-friendly fun such as Lied Discovery Children's Museum, Shark Reef (at Mandalay Bay), and the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (the Mirage). Head over to the Hoover Dam before continuing north to Utah's Zion National Park and then south to Arizona's Grand Canyon, where there are opportunities to embark on outdoor family adventures like rafting, hiking, helicopter tours, and horseback riding.
2. The Cradle of Modern America - the Mid-Atlantic
Introduce your children to the history of their country in a way that truly brings it to life! The I-95 corridor connects many of the most historic locations in the Mid-Atlantic that date back to our nation's Colonial days; New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C.. Along the way, don't miss these family-friendly spots: the Empire State Building, the 9-11 Memorial, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty, the Jersey Shore, Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, George Washington's Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Museums, and Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg.
3. A Little Southern Charm - the Southeast
Slow down and savor the laid-back pace of a road-trip tour of the Old South; relax and savor the gentle breezes while sipping on some sweet tea. The I-95 corridor heading south offers visitors a chance to explore some of the nations most beautiful coastal areas in the US; including the barrier islands along the Outer Banks, NC, Hilton Head, SC, Savannah, GA, and St. Augustine, FL. Play and swim at one of many sandy, sun-drenched beaches, kayak through preserved wetlands, crab and fish along beaches covered in rolling dunes or stroll through the the South's historic landmarks. Don't-miss stops along the way include: the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Fort Raleigh, NC, and the charming architecture and historical landmarks in Charleston, S.C., Savannah, GA, and St. Augustine, FL.
4. The Great American Breadbasket: the Midwest
With its wholesome, all-American feel, the Midwest is the perfect place to take a family road trip! Home to some of America's most beautiful prairies, lakes, and forests, as well as amazing architecture and world-class attractions, the Midwest has tons to offer! From St. Louis, MO home of the spectacular Gateway Arch, head north to Chicago, IL and Wisconsin Dells, then follow the shoreline of Lake Michigan north and east from Milwaukee, WI along endless miles of lighthouse-dotted sandy beaches and craggy cliffs to reach beautiful Mackinac Island, home to historic, revolution-era Fort Mackinac, but leave your car behind, because travel on the island is limited to foot, bike, or horse and buggy! Along the way, be sure not to miss: the Willis Tower (a.k.a. Sears Tower), Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Harley Davidson Museum, and Jelly Belly's Visitor Center.
The US has the distinction of being one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world; what better way to celebrate that than to get out there and share it with your family! Safe and happy travels!
- Destination Mom