America’s Best Summer Road Trip Destinations For Every Family, State By State

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Spring has sprung and summer is almost here. That means warm weather, time off school, and fun family road trips. 

The pandemic stopped many families from going on vacation this past year. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your family vacation on hold. 

Vacationing as a family is actually super important (and not just because it’s fun). According to the Family Holiday Association, 49 percent of families reported that their happiest memory was one from a family vacation. 

Don’t put those memories on hold any longer. Instead, skip the plane, hop in an RV, and discover the beauty that the U.S. has to offer. 

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RELATED: 10 Reasons To Go RVing in 2021

America’s best summer road trip destinations by state.

Need some ideas for fun family road trip destinations? We’re here for you! We’ve partnered with RVShare to help you plan a fun family road trip no matter where you live. 

Check out our lineup of some of the best road trip destinations for families, by state!

Alabama — Civil Rights Tour

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

It only seems right to embrace Alabama’s rich Civil Rights legacy by traveling through some of the most iconic locations in U.S. history. Beginning at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, families can continue on through Tuskegee, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma in Alabama. 

Road trip stops:

Freedom Ride Museum: Located in Montgomery, this museum is literally a part of history. Until 1955, it served as the city’s Greyhound Bus Station and was the site of the 1961 Freedom Ride during the Civil Rights Movement. 

16th Street Baptist Church: Though a part of the South’s dark history, this church, located in Birmingham, serves as a great stop for families to immerse themselves in the area’s past and present. 

Alaska — Klondike Highway 

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Visitors can get the best of both worlds by beginning their Alaskan adventure in Canada’s Yukon territory before crossing over in the U.S. Driving north from Skagway on the glorious Klondike Highway allows passengers to take in the Wild West of the area and choose their own unique stopping points. 

Road trip stops:

Historic Skagway Inn: Built in 1897, the inn was originally created to accommodate the rush of prospectors visiting during the Gold Rush. As a former brothel, this Victorian inn has quite the history, rich with stories from long ago.

Carcross Desert: Commonly referred to as a desert, this area is actually made of a series of northern sand dunes. Left over from a glacial lake, these rolling dunes are kept dry by the rain shadow effects of the mountains and perfect for photos. 

Arizona — Painted Desert

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Arizona’s Painted Desert is perfect for families hoping to bop from Grand Canyon National Park to Petrified Forest National Park. Located in the Four Corners area, this desert landscape looks as if it's been painted by an artist. 

Road trip stops:

Little Painted Desert County Park: Positioned just off Highway 87, this area is entirely free for visiting. Many familiar with the area find sunset to be the perfect time for photos of the striped rocks, as they light up from the sun’s rays. 

Stewart’s Petrified Wood Shop: Little ones may enjoy a stop at the local rock and woodworking shop, where they can sift through tons of different odds and ends. Take a little piece of the desert home! 

Arkansas — Ozarks 

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Known for its views of waterfalls, incredible plant life, and fields of wildflowers, the Ozark Mountains are a must-see for nature lovers. With three glass chapels placed along the Arkansas woods, visitors may want to stop — not just to pray — but also enjoy their architectural beauty. 

Road trip stops:

Glory Hole: The Glory Hole Waterfall Trail is only about two miles in length and sports a spectacular aquatic centerpiece. With a glorious crag that sits atop a sea of trees, visitors can also take in amazing views from a higher vantage point. 

Whitaker Point: This trailhead is a popular scenic hiking route amongst travelers. With an amazing overlook, the top of the point makes for incredible photo ops. 

California — Big Sur

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Although quite short in length, Big Sur definitely lives up to its name through breathtaking scenic views of Northern California. Running from San Francisco to Los Angeles, this stretch of Highway 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, is just 35 miles and can be driven in just one fell swoop or inched along for maximum enjoyment. 

Road trip stops:

Soberanes Canyon: Stretch those leg muscles on scenic walking trails lined with wildflowers. Hiking from Point Lobos State Park, this canyon trail can be done in just seven minutes, but many travelers end up staying for hours to fill their camera roll.  

Spring Visit: Calla Lily Valley is a great stop for those road tripping in the spring. This stop has a peek-a-boo look at the ocean and wild lilies aplenty.

Colorado — Peak to Peak Byway 

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Beautiful any time of the year, the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway runs from Estes Park to I-70. Just a three-hour drive, this miniature road trip can be made much longer through sight-seeing stops along the Continental Divide. 

Road trip stops:

Rocky Mountain National Park: Sporting 415 square miles of spectacular mountain views, this national park is among the most loved by visitors. Choose to explore any part of the park and be met with towering mountains, dense forests, and the Alpine tundra. 

Historic Markers: The Peak to Peak Byway is actually Colorado’s oldest. Lined with quaint, small towns full of charm and helpful service stops, there’s a bit of history behind each and every windy turn. 

Connecticut — Gilmore Girls Trip

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Small-town enthusiasts and The Gilmore Girls lovers alike can take great pleasure in road tripping around some of the cozy, quaint towns that inspired the beloved television show. Kent and Washington Depot in particular served as show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s reference points for the series’ setting. A short day trip from New York City to some of the quieter Connecticut small towns should only take about three hours. 

Road trip stops:

House of Books: A cozy bookstore visit seems only right for those wishing to embrace their inner Rory Gilmore bookworm. Located in the heart of Kent, Connecticut, House of Books features a selection of independent titles, kids' books, gifts, and trail guides. Plus, it’s right down the street from the local tavern. 

Mayflower Inn: This five-star inn and spa is essentially the real-life version of the Dragonfly Inn featured on The Gilmore Girls. Set atop 58 acres of sprawling land, the inn has something for everyone in the family; from its putting green to meditation labyrinth. 

Delaware — Rehoboth 

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Traveling along the Atlantic Coast, road-trippers can enjoy the sights of Delaware from historic Lewes to Rehoboth Beach. Less populated than other state’s local coastlines, Delaware’s is much more peaceful and ideal for a lengthy, slow-moving beach vacation. 

Road trip stops:

Seashore State Park: Located next to Newey Beach, this park is met with the Atlantic Ocean to its east, and Rehoboth and Indian River Bays to the left. Covering a vast 2,825 acres, families can choose their own adventure through swimming, surfing, or sunbathing. 

Fenwick Island: Known by many for its more intimate and easy-going vibes, this coastal town lies on the Delaware-Maryland state line. Family-friendly activities can be found around every corner, from mini-golf to beachcombing. 

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Florida — Gulf Coast

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Florida’s Southern Riviera takes road-trippers on an unforgettable drive around the state’s panhandle. The versatility of scenic 30A allows for never-ending views of white sand beaches, wetland, marshes, and both fresh and saltwater lakes. Taking this coastal route also gives drivers the opportunity to stop at any of the fun-loving beach towns along the way. 

Road trip stops:

Fort Myers Beach: Located on Estero Island, this beach is popular amongst gulf shore towns. Known best for its crystal clear and shallow waters, Fort Myers is ideal for little ones new to the sea. 

Pelican Island: Those interested in bird watching or animal rescue may enjoy a stop at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. Located just off the western coast of Orchid Island, visitors can enjoy a peaceful nature walk while keeping an eye out for pelicans. 

Georgia — Tallulah Gorge

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Only one thing comes close to Georgia peaches, and that’s a trip through this southern state in autumn. As all of the colors change, driving southeast from north Georgia can lead road-trippers on an adventure full of beautiful lakes toward the famous Tallulah Gorge. 

Road trip stops:

Clayton: The town of Clayton makes for a great rest area to stock up on snacks, gas, and trinkets while exploring the outskirts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Originally inhabited by Cherokee tribes, this small town is worth a stretch of the legs.  

Point Overlook: The Tallulah Point Overlook first opened in 1912 and has been offering travelers the perfect gorge lookout ever since. With toys and souvenirs to pick through, the overlook embraces its old-fashioned charm. 

Hawaii — Road to Hana

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Considered the most popular drive across the Hawaiian islands, the Road to Hanna is 60 miles of breathtaking ocean views. Dotted with waterfalls and nearly 60 different bridges, this route will be a fun one for passengers. Drivers may also enjoy the road's continuous twists and turns, keeping them on their toes for around 600 curves. 

Road trip stops:

Hana Cultural Center & Museum: Visitors from the states should definitely take a trip to the center of Hana Town to experience the cultural center. Filled with educational displays and artifacts, it’s ideal for little ones to get a taste of Hawaiian history. 

Black Sand Beach: The Wai’anapanapa State Park is Maui’s only famous black sand beach, spread across nearly 122 acres. This piece of coastline is particularly special and unique to Hawaii. 

Idaho — Lake Coeur d’Alene

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Follow south along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene to Potlatch for an unforgettable road trip of Idaho. From the area’s rolling hills to its stunning scenic viewpoints of the lake, the natural beauty is unmatched. Nearby national forests serve as vacationers’ ultimate backyard. 

Road trip stops:

Giant White Pine: St. Joe National Forest is beloved by many for its dense forests. The Giant White Pine Campground specifically homes a White Pine that’s thought to be over 400 years old and nearly 200 feet tall. 

Hughes House: Located in St. Maries, the Hughes House Historical Society teaches visitors all about the region’s logging history. A visit to the house makes the surrounding forests feel all the more impressive! 

Illinois — Lake Shore Drive

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With a total length of just 26 miles, it seems nearly impossible for Lake Shore Drive to live up to the hype of its name. But, just starting at the southernmost point of the drive, road-trippers soon understand why it receives so much acclaim. With everything from beaches to huge skyscrapers, passengers will be holding on to the edge of their seats just waiting to see what's to come next. 

Road trip stops:

Urban Architecture: Such a short drive saves time for families to get some steps in, pounding the pavement beneath towering and unique buildings of great stature. Hours can be spent downtown looking up at the impressive architecture found here. 

Navy Pier: This 3,300-foot-long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan is the perfect place to have fun in the sun and enjoy both the natural and man-made joys of Chicago. With a rich history, the pier offers stories of its time as a naval base, university, and so much more. 

Indiana — Heritage Trail 

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Indiana’s 90-mile Heritage Trails take road-trippers through the communities of Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, Bristol, Wakarusa, and Shipshewana. Between learning more about the Amish heritage in the area, and driving through stunning backroads, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy at a leisurely pace.

Road trip stops:

Craft Shops: Amish-owned shops line county roads, showcasing the area’s homemade and handcrafted goods. Shopping at the surrounding artisan shops is an easy way to embrace the culture of the area.

Quilt Gardens: Quilt Gardens along the trail combines quilting, gardening, and art into a summer event worth a visit. The outdoor area features more than a million blossoms, 16 large gardens, and huge, hand-painted murals. 

Iowa — River Bluffs Scenic Byway

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Considered a paradise by nature-lovers, this 109-mile route completes a loop around Fayette and Clayton Counties in Northeast Iowa. With the nickname “Little Switzerland,” thanks to its tall bluffs and vast green landscape, this topographically diverse definition has much to be discovered.  

Road trip stops:

Byway Communities: Thirteen byway communities can be found across the length of this route. Each has its own special history, festivals, and shops to explore. 

River Recreation: This area of Northeast Iowa is home to one of the largest recreation areas in the state: Volga River Recreation Area. There, the family can enjoy kayaking, cave exploring, and sinkhole hunting. 

Kansas — Western Vistas Historic Byway

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A dream to geologists and paleontologists, the area surrounding this 102-mile route is covered in wild rock formations and sports some of the best fossil hunting in the world! However, this region also possesses a rich Wild West history, filled with stories of buffalo hunters and the last conflict between American Indians and United States Troops. 

Road trip stops:

Fossil Hunting: Families may want to do a bit of land exploring, just like the first fossil digs of the area way back in the 1870s. With a fossil record including previously unknown and extinct animals, the byway’s unique landscape makes for a real adventure. 

Battle Canyon: Located in Scott County, Battle Canyon was the site of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork. Experience the place where the last Indian battle in Kansas was fought through educational tours.

Kentucky — Bourbon Tour

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Nothing quite says Kentucky like a tour down its famous Bourbon Trail. Although there is no set route for this trip, many find its trails leading up as north as Maysville and as south as Bowling Green. A more free-form trip even allows for more hidden gem discoveries, unique to which Bourbon locations were chosen. 

Road trip stops:

Kentucky Castle: This one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast is set in a medieval-style castle on impeccably manicured lawns. Featuring its own library, ballroom, and billiard room, this classic country castle’s grand hall is located just five miles from the Blue Grass Airport.

Jim Beam American Stillhouse: As one of the most popular Bourbon tour stops, Jim Beam’s fans can get a look at their favorite distillers behind the scenes. Set with guided tours and even some opportunities to bottle one’s own Bourbon, they’ll take visitors through the process. 

Louisiana — Breezy Bayou

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Starting in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, families can enjoy a romping good time in the city before going west. Driving down Highway 31 will take passengers through roads decorated with Spanish moss and towering oaks. 

Road trip stops:

Breaux Bridge: Deep in the heart of Cajun country, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana is considered the crawfish capital of the world. Snack on some of these tasty sea creatures while learning more about Cajun history. 

Swampy Scenes: Driving past the bayou’s lagoons can make for a riveting game of "eye spy." Whether an alligator or grand heron, children and adults alike can spot a variety of wildlife from the road.

RVshare makes it easy to create fun family memories your kids will never forget.

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RELATED: Add to Your Bucket List: The 9 Newest National Parks

Maine — Million Dollar View Scenic Byway

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Though just eight miles long, this scenic byway is enjoyed for its stupendous views of the surrounding lakes and mountains. This particular stretch of U.S. Route 1 allows travelers to gaze upon the Chiputneticook chain of lakes, vast hayfields, and nearby mountainous terrain. Side trips can easily turn this day trip into something more, whether north to Aroostook County or across the border to Canada.  

Road trip stops:

Weston Community Church: Unlike many other churches, Weston Community Church was actually moved across the ice of East Grand Lake from Canada. 

Danforth: A proud former lumber town, Danforth is the southernmost point of the byway and makes for the perfect rest break. Small-town amenities can be found here, along with a rich port history.

Maryland — Covered Bridge Trip

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As late summer turns to autumn, it may be the perfect time to hit the road in Maryland. Traveling for just over three hours can take road-trippers through a scenic drive featuring six different, historic covered bridges. Each with its unique history and sweeping views, this drive begins in Frederick County and ends in Cecil County. 

Road trip stops:

Gilpin’s Falls: Covered bridge number five on the road trip also doubles as a nice rest stop. This bridge’s last decade of service was in the 1920s and it can only be strolled over on foot. Its bright red color makes for lively photos, too! 

Gunpowder Falls: This state park serves as a public recreation area covering approximately 15,000 acres of Baltimore and Harford County. Visitors can easily climb up the falls and explore thanks to their very slight angle. 

Massachusetts — Cape Cod

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Salty sea air never felt so good. Taking a long drive from Mashpee to Provincetown may be one of the more relaxing drives across the U.S., decorated with tree-shaded back roads and beautiful beach views. With such a rich history, visitors are sure to enjoy historical landmarks along the way as their pit stops. 

Road trip stops:

Pilgrim Monument: Built between 1907 and 1910, this museum commemorates the first landfall of the Pilgrims in 1620. Located in the heart of Provincetown, road-trippers can look forward to this stop as their grand finale. 

Cottages: Quaint shops and older cottages line many of the roads on the Cape. Take a short walking tour to admire the old architecture. 

Michigan — Red Arrow Highway

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Starting with the Red Arrows Highway, road-trippers can enjoy Michigan’s beautiful coastline on their way toward New Buffalo and St. Joseph. Heading north, with views of Lake Michigan to the left, drivers will come across inviting villages such as Harbert, Lakeside, and Union Pier. These small coastal towns make for the perfect resting points for families to refuel and re-energize. 

Road trip stops:

Wine & Arts: Western Michigan is abundant in sprawling vineyards and views galore. Those of age can sample wines from the Lake Michigan Wine Trail featuring reds, whites, and those in-between.  

Mini Netherlands: South Haven and Holland present the perfect small towns with charm to spare. Known internationally for its acclaimed Tulip Time Festival, families can join in the celebration of Dutch heritage in the month of May. 

Minnesota — Superior North Shore 

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This road trip follows the North Shore of Lake Superior that runs from Duluth, Minnesota, at the southwestern end of the lake, to Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Ontario in the north to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in the east. As the largest of all the Great Lakes, Superior presents a range of different warm water activities for families to enjoy together. 

Road trip stops:

Gooseberry Falls State Park: Waterfalls and free parking make this the second most-visited state park in the Twin Cities. Kids can pull on their water shoes and climb on the low rocks, or, follow the river down to the lake for swimming. 

Split Rock Lighthouse: A picturesque yellow lighthouse can be found at mile marker 46 of the trip. The state park, though competitive to camp at, has the best views of the lighthouse and is well worth the trouble. 

Mississippi — Natchez Trace Parkway

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Also referred to as the “Old Natchez Trace,” this historic forest trail extends approximately 444 miles from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. This trail connects the Cumberland and Mississippi rivers, nearly guaranteeing pretty views of the water. 

Road trip stops:

Witch Dance: The Witch Dance stop, 233 miles in, on the Natchez Trace Parkway is known best for its paranormal activity. Families looking to get spooked may enjoy a visit to this scary exit with a potentially dark history. 

Jackson: Jackson, Mississippi is just 10 miles off the parkway and presents road-trippers with dozens of museums, historical sites, and attractions galore. There’s truly something for everyone in the family to do in the state’s largest city. 

RELATED: What to Do on an RV Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Missouri — Klondike Park 

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Klondike Park offers an amazing trip for families looking to hike and cycle together. With a variety of trails, travelers can enjoy the set out to explore the extremely diverse set of wildlife and habitats the region possesses. More than 250 acres offer up their beauty for discovery! 

Road trip stops:

Katy Trail: The Katy Trail is the country’s longest recreational rail trail and runs 240 miles. The trail’s state park was specifically designed for bicycles and hikers, so pack a good pair of shoes and enough water bottles to go around. 

Picnic Spots: Klondike Park maintains a very family-friendly feel. Dotted with picnic shelters and playgrounds, the kids will have plenty of room to run around and expel all their pent-up energy. 

Montana — Glacier National Park 

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Although this trip is only available for a limited amount of time each year due to weather conditions, once the summer sun warms the area, it’s a beautiful visit. Passengers may even sneak a peek at bears or mountain goats in their natural habitat while driving through this 50-mile stretch of road. 

Road trip stops:

West Glacier KOA: With amenities like pools, clean showers, and restrooms, the West Glacier KOA can make for a luxury camping experience after being on the road for too many nights. The family can live it up at their RV camping site, or even rent out a cabin. 

Lake McDonald: The largest lake in Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald is approximately 10 miles long, over a mile wide, and 472 feet deep. Visitors can check out the native trout, bears, and deer found around the great natural resource.  

Nebraska — Spooky Nebraska 

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If the family is looking to bond through a bit of good, scary fun, haunted Nebraska is just the tour. This 14-hour journey through areas like small-town Valentine and Niobrara State Park showcases the state’s selection of haunted hotels, battlegrounds, theaters, and more. 

Road trip stops:

Fort Robinson: The former military camp was the site of the awful Fort Robinson Massacre of 1879, the end of the Sioux and Cheyenne Wars in the state. Visitors often cite hearing and seeing the ghosts of soldiers and Native Americans across the grounds. 

Speakeasy: With spooky stories galore, this unique restaurant sets itself apart by creating an immersive experience for customers. Faceless Fred will bang pots and pans around the kitchen, adding to the theatrics. 

Nevada — Loneliest Road in America 

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This transcontinental highway drive is notorious for making travelers feel as if they’re the only people left on Earth. However, its remote nature, stretching all the way from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California can also provide unmatched peaceful solitude. Nevada’s stretch in particular features a variety of small towns known for their charm. 

Road trip stops:

Collect Stamps: Travelers may stop in the towns of Fernley, Dayton, Fallow, Austin, Eureka, Ely, and Baker to collect stamps from local shops. After completing and sending it off to Travel Nevada, participants receive goodies for their lonely drive. 

I-Spy: Keep an eye out for a range of different wildlife that roams freely through the desert. Passengers may spot wild horses, antelope, and elk. 

RVshare makes it easy to create fun family memories your kids will never forget.

Don’t have an RV? Rent one through RVshare!

Own an RV? List it on RVshare!

New Hampshire — Mt. Washington Auto Road

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This New England state is home to one of the first man-made attractions in America. This road trip is only eight miles long, but it climbs to over 4,600 feet! The kids can take in the scenery while the parents focus on the twisty-turny road up to the top. The view is definitely worth the trip, even though it’s just 30 or 45 minutes long. 

Road trip stops:

Lookouts: From the bottom to the top there are lookout areas to enjoy the view. These lookouts are spacious, so you can park the RV and take in the scene. 

Mount Washington Summit: This is the highest peak in the northeast of the U.S., so the views will be spectacular. The kids will love exploring the Summit Stage Store, Mt. Washington Observatory Museum, and the Tip-Top House. Don’t forget to check out the hiking trails that are sprinkled throughout!

New Jersey — Route 29

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A trip along state highway Route 29 runs almost 35 miles from Hamilton Township to Route 12 in Frenchtown. This route allows families to pull off and enjoy several stops and footbridges. Small-town charm is big in the area, especially since it’s very walkable through nearby towns. 

Road trip stops:

Bulls Island: A recreational area fit for exploration, this stop is just north of Stockton. This can serve as a great stop to stretch one’s legs. 

Washington Crossing State Park: Though not technically in New Jersey, this leafy park may be the perfect place to kick off one’s trip (or end if going the opposite direction). The green space here is unmatched and bursts with color during the fall. 

New Mexico — Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway

Photo: Bonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock

Approximately 54 miles along Highway 14, this drive is a great shift off the freeway. The scenic and historical area encompasses about 15,000 square miles of New Mexican adventure, connecting Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Named for its rich turquoise deposits, the byway carves through the beautiful rock outcroppings and hills. 

Road trip stops:

Mining Towns: Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos were once booming mining towns. Now, not only can their great history be appreciated in retrospect, the towns are alive with museums, restaurants, and arts and crafts.  

Sandia Crest: This crest allows for the best views of the area. High above the rest of the desert rocks, Sandia Crest is perfect for family photos, just not too close to the edge! 

New York — Finger Lakes

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Outside of the hustle and bustle of New York City, a drive to the Finger Lakes can soothe even the tensest nerves. Trade the concrete jungle for a sprawling green landscape marked by picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and clear air. Named after the Iroquois tribe native to the area, legend says the lakes were formed by God’s hand himself. 

Road trip stops:

Glenn H. Curtiss Museum: Named after an early-20th century visionary, this museum features grand collections of early aircraft, bicycles, cars, and motorcycles. Craftsmen show visitors around while refurbishing old pieces. 

Watkins Glen State Park: One of the most popular parks of the region, Watkins Glen sports a lovely Gorge Trail along a stream. Take a look at the 19 waterfalls on the park’s grounds before settling in at camp or taking a dip. 

North Carolina — Outer Banks

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North Carolina’s Outer Banks may be getting a bit more attention these days, thanks to the hit Netflix series of the same name. However, this idyllic road trip has been providing fun and adventure to families since long before the show's success. The Outer Banks Scenic Byway will take vacationers across 138 driving miles and even 25 ferry miles. 

Road trip stops:

Bodie Island Lighthouse: Tucked just south of Nags Head and Whalebone Junction, the Bodie Island Lighthouse presents the perfect opportunity for drivers to stretch their legs by climbing up the recently renovated tower. Tall pines and freshwater marshland make the views unbeatable and incredibly unique. 

Wild Horses: Passengers should keep their eyes peeled while traveling along the coast. It’s not uncommon to catch a glimpse of the wild horses roaming free. 

North Dakota — Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway

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A much more leisurely drive than that of Interstate 94, Old Red Ten Scenic Byway offers rural countryside views. Leading through towns from Mandran to Richardton, this route runs parallel to the busier interstate, with much more magic. What other route can boast that it was once used by Custer on his westward march to Montana, after all?

Road trip stops:

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Schnell Recreation Area: This 2,000-acre nature preserve is located between Hebron and Richardton. The non-motorized area presents great opportunities for wildlife viewing, photography, and hiking. 

Mandan Depot: The German beer hall-style restaurant is a favorite among visitors. With a calendar full of different events for everyone in the family, fun can be found during each season at the Mandan Depot. 

Ohio — Sandusky 

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Following along the shores of Lake Erie, the Sandusky area is well-known for its family attractions. From open water and wildlife to amusement parks and museums, the place was made for quality family time. 

Road trip stops:

Maritime Museum: The Maritime Museum of Sandusky features countless exhibits on boatbuilding, ice harvesting, and shipwrecks. Dedicated to preserving and sharing the maritime history of the area, the location is a fun visit for anyone interested in the deep blue sea. 

Cedar Point Park: Renowned for its multitude of roller coasters, this park is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary. Featuring 71 different rides, including 17 roller coasters, there’s sure to be an attraction for each member of the family. 

Oklahoma — Medicine Park 

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Positioned near the city of Lawton and Fort Sill, Medicine Parks sits in the Wichita Mountains. In fact, the park is situated right next to the entrance to the 60,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. But, if that’s not desired, maybe the city’s cobblestone town will make a better fit. 

Road trip stops:

Scenic Trails: Take leisurely strolls by Medicine Creek of Bath Lake to soak up the sun outside. Or, take those walks straight into town to visit a bevy of bed and breakfasts, cottages, and antique stores.

Aquarium & Natural Sciences Center: Bring the family for a fun and educational visit to the city’s aquarium. Thought to be a unique eco-tourism attraction, the area houses over 90 fish, reptile, amphibian, bird, and mammal species. 

Oregon — Coastal Cascades 

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A trip through Oregon would feel simply incomplete without a visit to the Rose City, or downtown Portland. Beginning in the city, road trippers can head east via the Historic Columbia River Highway to take in the Cascades and picturesque waterfalls. Heading right on Route 35 toward Mt. Hood will make for great hiking adventures, too! 

Road trip stops:

Donuts: Downtown Portland has quite the selection of delectable cuisine, but none as sweet as their donut variety. Visitors can visit Voodoo Donuts, Pip’s, or even Blue Star for some gourmet treats.

Multnomah Falls: Oregon’s iconic Multnomah Falls are a must-see. If the water is warm enough, families can even enjoy wading through the small pools below. 

Pennsylvania — Lancaster

Photo: Vadim 777/Shutterstock

As one of the oldest inland towns in the country, Lancaster possesses a rich history. Road tripping around Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country is often full of long gazes out of the RV windows, admiring the area’s rolling hills, farmland, and slower way of living. Lancaster is also home to one of the largest Amish populations in the U.S., making it an especially unique area for families to experience together.

Road trip stops:

Amish Living: When in Amish country, do as the Amish do. Shop for hand-made crafts and enjoy authentic Dutch cooking found nowhere else in the county. 

Horse & Buggy: Families can take tours of the Pennsylvania Amish countryside via horse and buggy. This potentially bumpy ride is sure to create memories and provide gorgeous views of the windmill-laded landscape. 

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Rhode Island — Route 102

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The 44.4-mile Route 102 serves as a non-freeway beltway around the Providence metro area. Beginning in the northern part of the tiny state, this road trip starts in the village of Wickford and travels through lesser developed, more natural areas of western Rhode Island. Eventually ending in the village of Slatersville, this route embraces all things small-town America. 

Road trip stops:

Brigido’s Fresh Market: Families can grab a snack or refreshment from this family store, first opened by a Portege immigrant in 1943. Enjoy the sweet smells of fresh baked goods before heading out to explore the rest of North Smithfield.  

Slatersville Fishing: Visitors can indulge in fishing or boating at the Slaterville Fishing area on the Upper Slatersville Reservoir. This 144-acre body of water can be enjoyed through kayaking and canoeing too! 

South Carolina — North Myrtle Beach to Georgetown

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East Coast road-trippers might especially enjoy this trip from Myrtle Beach to Georgetown for its southern flare. Though a bit short, travelers can easily extend this Georgetown-focused trip by starting in Charleston and ending in Myrtle Beach (or vice versa). From beach views to history lessons, this route covers all the road trip bases. 

Road trip stops:

Hopsewee Plantation: A former rice plantation and National Historic Landmark, this plantation was built prior to the American Revolutionary War. Tours teach visitors about sweetgrass, basket weaving, and what life was like at the plantation in years past.

Alligator Adventure: Take the family to visit this Myrtle Beach animal park featuring live shows with reptiles. This swampy attraction will keep kids and adults alike on their toes with excitement. 

South Dakota — Black Hills

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Take this 69-mile route along the Needles Highway for beautiful views of Sylvan Lake while venturing toward the Crazy Horse Memorial. Take in the natural awe of the Black Hills traveling onward to Rapid City. There, nature meets a vibrant downtown scene with outdoor festivals year-round. 

Road trip stops:

Crazy Horse: What started as a homage to the legendary Lakota tribe leader in 1948, the Crazy Horse Memorial remains an unfinished work of art. Funded solely from admissions and donations rather than government funds, visitors can see small bits of progress as the statue continues to take shape over time. 

Hill City: Home to the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, this stop will thrill kiddos interested in dinosaurs or stunning gemstones. Admission is even free for children ages five and under! 

Tennessee — Great Smoky Mountains

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Utilizing the slightly longer 33-mile Newfound Gap Road to travel through the Great Smoky Mountains, visitors are able to enjoy one of the most scenic road trips in the country. This road bisects the mountains and acts as a thruway. With a number of overlooks and trails, it’s the perfect place to take a walk in the woods or eat a picnic lunch.   

Road trip stops:

Off-Road Trails: More than half of the scenic overlooks on Newfound Gap Road have their own short walking trails. Instead of eating snacks on the road, why not snack in the great outdoors? 

Nature Photography: Photography lovers may enjoy this route through the Great Smoky Mountains best for its lush surroundings. Golden hour cannot be missed while traveling though!

Texas — Route 66 Pan Handle

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While Route 66 is over 2,000 miles long, stretching from Chicago to California, traveling through just a portion of the Lone Star State can be incredibly rewarding. Many find the two-day trip from St. Louis to the very edge of Texas to be full of nostalgia, wanderlust, and reminiscent of all things Wild West. Via the Lake of the Ozarks and Oklahoma City, travelers will come across a myriad of American history.

Road trip stops:

Natural Wonders: The Meramec Caverns in Stanton make for an adventure-filled stop enjoyed by parents and children alike. The 4.6-mile-long cave features expansive underground spaces that have been used by Native American tribes for shelter, and maybe even the outlaw Jesse James as a hideout. 

Southern Cooking: Between old-timey curio shops and scenic views, vacationers may want to stretch their legs and have a taste of real southern-style bbq. Locals take extreme pride in their specialty sauces and cooking methods that can’t be matched elsewhere. 

Utah — Moab

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The city of Moab serves as the gateway to huge red rock formations in Arches National Park. Traveling southwest from this area can lead travelers to Canyonlands National Park as well, where mesas and buttes have been carved out by both the Green and Colorado rivers. Kids and dinosaur-lovers alike are sure to enjoy nearby sites like the Bull Canyon Overlook where tracks have been found. 

Road trip stops:

Mountain Biking: Bikers will love the extensive network of trails in Moab, including that of Slickrock Trail. Even off-roaders can look forward to the area’s annual Moab Jeep Safari. 

Museum of Moab: Featuring a mix of geology, paleontology, and geology collections, this museum speaks to Utah’s vast natural wonders. Visitors can also learn more about the area’s pioneer and mining past through interactive exhibits. 

Vermont — Route 100

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Scenic Route 100 Byway runs along the eastern edge of Vermont’s Green Mountains. Located in south-central Vermont, this route is also referred to as the state’s main street, as it travels nearly its entire length. With 146 miles of road, Route 100 not only connects some of the most top-notch Northeastern skiing and riding, but it also provides many chances to explore the small towns along the way. 

Road trip stops:

Ben & Jerry’s: A visit to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory is basically mandatory when driving along Route 100. With an interesting history, parents are able to learn more about the famous ice-cream producers while the kiddos chow down.  

Trapp Family Lodge: The Von Trapp family, famous for their own entertainment as well as The Sound of Music, are said to have moved from Austria to Vermont because it reminded them of home. The lodge and restaurant they originally bought are still owned by the family and offer a wonderfully scenic place to grab a drink, a bite to eat, or stay for the night. 

Virginia — Blue Ridge Parkway

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This 469-mile drive connecting Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains remains one of the most visited roads maintained by the U.S. National Park System. From Virginia to North Carolina, this journey is certainly of epic proportions — especially in the fall when all of the colors begin to change. 

Road trip stops:

The Natural Bridge: At milepost 61.6 road-trippers will find a 20-story, naturally occurring rock bridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. With a shuttle bus system to bring visitors back up, it’s a must to decent 137 steps down the Cedar Creek Nature Trail to the bridge. 

Blue Ridge Music Center: Music lovers may want to plan their trip around this outdoor amphitheater and its rotating bluegrass concerts. The center is open from May through October.  

Washington — Olympic Peninsula 

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If lush greenery is desired, Washington’s Olympic Peninsula can surely fill the order. Just a few days in the Pacific Northwest can act as a natural reset, full of rainforests, hot springs, and hiking trails galore. To enjoy it to its fullest, travelers should visit in the late summer or fall, missing much of the area’s rainy season. 

Road trip stops:

Twilight’s Inspiration: Twilight series lovers will have to make a stop in Forks, Washington, where parts of the movies were filmed and inspired by. Small shops make the tiny town a delight, although its natural surroundings are a bigger draw. 

La Push Beach: A series of three beaches on the Pacific Coast make for ideal rest areas. With unique sea stacks and rock formations, visitors can enjoy kayaking or surfing if the weather is right. 

West Virginia — Harpers Ferry and Dolly Sods

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Just off Route 340, which passes through Virginia and West Virginia, travelers can find Harpers Ferry. This incredibly small, historic town is full of 19th-century buildings, a Civil War Museum, and John Brown’s Fort. Nearby, The Point, or where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet, offers incredible views of both Maryland and Virginia. 

Road trip stops:

Appalachian Trail: Extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath trail in the world. The trial conservatory can be found in Harpers Ferry, though!

Dolly Sods: The Dolly Sods Wilderness is situated in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia. Part of the Monongahela National Forest, it's no surprise the area is considered one of the most treasured natural assets around. And, it’s beautiful to look at and hike around.

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Wisconsin — Highway 42 

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This scenic drive along Door County’s western shore features handfuls of road trip stops. Families interested in exhilarating zip lining and kayaking, or those keen on tasting the areas Scandivan treats, can find everything and more around this peninsula. 

Road trip stops:

Lavender Farms: Take a quick ferry ride to one or both of the area’s nearby lavender farms to gather great photos and fragrant bouquets. 

Pottawatomie Lighthouse: The oldest of Door County’s many lighthouses, the Pottawatomie has been protecting the passage since 1836. Though more of an attraction now, the lighthouse once served as a key part of the gateway between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. 

Wyoming — Glacier National Park

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The state of Wyoming is full of natural beauty, but none quite like that of Glacier National Park. While the day trip is only available during the warmer months of the year, the 50-mile stretch is well worth the wait. Wildlife is one of Glacier’s perks, with bears and mountain goats often making themselves present for a photo-op from a distance. 

Road trip stops:

Going-to-the-Sun Road: Known as one of the most scenic mountain roads in the United States, this nearly 50-mile road takes drivers right through the Rocky Mountains. With its twists and turns, passengers may want to hold on extra tight to both their cameras and car seats. 

Hidden Lake: Glacier National Park’s Hidden Lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Met with Bearhat Mountain to the southwest, Clements Mountain to the north, and Reynolds Mountain to the east, visitors can feel like they’re fully immersed in their green surroundings.  

RVshare makes it easy to create fun family memories your kids will never forget.

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— Created in partnership with RVShare.

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Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on travel and adventure. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, MSN, and Matador Network

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