The Top 10 US Road Trip Destinations For Families
Families looking to create lasting memories and take on new adventures together should consider planning a road trip in the States. Whether it's driving to a new destination just a few hours from home or going on a week-long getaway on the other side of the country, road trips can be affordable and fun for every member of the family. But the best part? You feel free to make your own schedule as you go, and you always wind up having a bit of old-school fun in the form of car games like I Spy and 20 Questions. From underrated small towns to iconic US cities, here are our top 10 road trip destinations for families. See you on the road!
Finger Lakes, NY
The Finger Lakes region of New York offers a wide variety of activities for all ages, including The Strong Museum of Play — the world's largest collection of toys, dolls, and board and electronic games. Along the road trip, families can also visit culinary gems together (there are kid-friendly wine stops!), camp in the wilderness, and marvel at the gorgeous foliage in the Fall.
There's a ton of activities for families road tripping to Seattle. Kids can get up close to animals at the Woodland Park Zoo, and parents will love relaxing at one of Seattle's family-friendly breweries. With more than 400 parks and open space, most of which are within walking distance from one another, Seattle is often considered a top family destination.
At the intersection of three major interstates (I-24, I-40, and I-65), Nashville is incredibly easy to get to by car, and it's central location in the Southeast means it's within close range of numerous major cities. Known for its world-class music, rich history, arts and culture, a booming dining scene, and much more, there's something in Nashville for everyone. The "Music City" is also known for its charming Southern hospitality and affordable options for travelers, making it the perfect family-friendly vacation any time of the year. Families can also check out a Nashville Sounds minor league baseball game while in town.
Beaver Creek, CO
Beaver Creek offers a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year. Held every Thursday, the Beaver Creek Rodeo series is a beloved tradition, complete with bull riding, barrel racing, and team roping. Additionally, every Wednesday throughout the Summer, locals and visitors alike can enjoy free live music in Creekside Park at the Concerts by the Creek series.
Fort Worth, TX
Families will find gems around every corner while exploring the Texan city "where the West begins." For animal-lovers, the Fort Worth Zoo is undergoing a major renovation and just opened its African Savanna that includes an aviary, hippo exhibit with on-land and underwater viewing, and and elevated deck for giraffe feeding. After the zoo, families can satisfy their sweet tooth with the seasonal flavors at Melt Ice Creams or the over-the-top delicious doughnuts of Funky Town Donuts.
Get your blood flowing after long stretches of driving with an adventure pit stop in West Virginia. For those traveling along I-79, I-77, or I-64, hop off the highway to explore the quaint town of Fayetteville, and raft through America's best whitewater in the New and Gauley Rivers. Consider booking the multiday The Great American Adventure, which includes three nights camping, some meals, and outdoor adventures for all ages like kayaking, zip lining, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing and rappelling, guided hiking, and more.
San Francisco, CA
With so many attractions, there's plenty of kid-focused things to do in San Francisco. Families can drive down The Pacific Coast Highway, check out the aquarium that's in the heart of Pier 39, admire the animals at the local zoo, bike around Angel Island, and more.
Home to the birthplace of Elvis Presley, the small town of Tupelo in Northeastern Mississippi is a hidden gem and often underrated travel destination. With its unique culinary scene and vibrant musical influence, Tupelo is a little bit of country and a whole lot of rock and roll. Families can hike, bike, boat, horseback ride, and camp along the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway.
Kansas City, MO
The Midwest's hub for family-friendly activities is the 85-acre Crown Center complex in the heart of Kansas City, complete with attractions and events that appeal to all ages. Families can spend the entire weekend in the complex, jumping from LEGOLAND Discovery Center to SEA LIFE Aquarium. Catch a show at Kansas City's kid-centric theater, The Coterie, and refuel at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, which Food Network deemed Missouri's most family-friendly restaurant.
Orlando's central location right in the heart of Florida makes is an easy road trip destination. Kids will enjoy its theme parks and attractions such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Busch Gardens. It's also easy to throw in a visit to the beach, which is only a short drive away from the city.