When I was a kid, my parents would put the four of us kids in the back of the station wagon with a bunch of pillows and sleeping bags and take off for fun destinations or grandma's house. I have great memories of those trips. Even though kids have to be buckled in now to head down the road, it's still a great chance for your family to spend quality time together.
Here are five fun, kid-friendly road trip ideas the whole family will love!
Arizona's Route 66
Car windows turn into real-life postcards when you drive down this stretch of highway. It starts in Holbrook, Arizona and then winds through the Painted Desert before heading into the Petrified Forest National Park. Visit the Meteor Crater, where an asteroid left an imprint behind of about 570-feet deep. Once you come to Sedona, seek out the Pink Jeep Tours company. It can accommodate kids who are as young as 18 months and they supply free car seats.
California Theme Parks
It begins in Universal City, home of Universal Studios Hollywood. There's a new ride in town – the Transformers 3-D battle. If your kid is a bit too small for this ride, you can skip them over to the Shrek 4-D ride. This ride is effects-filled with talking donkeys, moving seats, and squirts of water. Of course, no California road trip is complete without a trip to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland! This is still my all time favorite place in the whole world. Little kids can meet all of the characters of Disney, ride Dumbo, and join the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Older kids will love the thrill rides like Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. You can also literally hop over to Disney California for a whole new Disney theme park experience. Finally, drive a little further south to San Diego and hit the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and (if your kids are under about 8) Lego Land.
Lone Star State
In the cowboy capital (Bandera, Texas), you can stay at the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge. This is basically a "dude ranch" where you can ride, groom, and feed the horses. They can even accommodate kids as young as two. Dude ranch vacations are a great way to bond as a family.
U.S. History Tour
If you live on the East coast, you're lucky enough to be surrounded by history, and chances are good some of our nations most treasured landmarks are close by and make an excellent driving tour. Head to historic Williamsburg for a step back in time, spend the day in Washington D.C. visiting all of the memorials, or head north to Vermont and take the famous Vermont Cheese Trail. There's so much to see, from the coast of Florida to New York City and beyond, you can truly choose the thing your family loves to do and tailor your road trip to that activity.
This is just a brief sampling of a few of the places you can visit with your family on your own road trip this year. There are more stops and ideas than can possibly be covered in 100 blog posts. The key is to pick your dates, pick your place, pack everyone up, and hit the road this year. You'll love what you'll discover, both out the window and together as a family right in side your car.