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Your family vacation begins and ends in the car. You can make lots of memories on the road. Stock up your car with some fun road games and make sure you have some music for singalongs. This is also a great time to have fun conversations with your kids.
No car travel is complete with snacks. Even if you usually make your kids healthy, vacation is a time to indulge in some junk food. Let your kids pick out some of their favorites and add in some nutritious treats like nuts and dried fruit.
Kids today tend to spend most of their time in the car on their phone or tablet, but vacation time should be family time. Plus, if you're driving somewhere new, they may miss some really great sights. They may grumble about it now, but they will thank you later.
Try not to pack so much stuff that you need to use the front and back seats for storage. Car travel can be uncomfortable, and it's made worse if you don't have room to stretch out a little bit. Try not to pack any more than what can fit in your trunk or get a roof rack box.
No matter how old your passengers are, they need to get out and stretch their legs every couple of hours. Make sure to stop at rest stops, or better yet, find a few cool things to see along the way.
You never know what may happen while you are away from home. It's best to get travel insurance in case something unforeseeable happens.
San Diego is one of the best cities to visit with kids. No matter how long you spend there, you will find plenty to do. There are the major attractions, like Legoland, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo, but there are also fun things like biking around the city and going whale watching. You'll find plenty for kids of all ages.
If you want to enjoy nature on your family vacation, Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places to visit. You can camp, hike, bike and explore amazing sites like the thermal basins, hot springs and geysers. If your kids love animals, there's plenty of wildlife to see at Yellowstone.
The Dinosaur Graveyards of Utah is the ideal location for budding paleontologists. You can learn some ancient history with over 1500 dinosaur fossils and view the petroglyphs. Make your trip even more of an adventure with hiking and rafting.
If your family wants to splash in the waves and hit up some fun tourist stops, there's loads to do in Myrtle Beach. When you're tired of the beach, you can hit up one of the area's many amusement parks, like Broadway at the Beach, and enjoy thrills like a ropes course and go-kart rides.
No list of family vacation ideas is complete with the addition of Disney World. It's a destination that kids should visit at least once during their childhoods. While you may think Disney is just a place for smaller kids, it has a little something for older kids too, especially now that the park has added the new Star Wars-themed Galaxy's Edge and has plans to add some Marvel thrill rides in the future.
If you want a mountain adventure, look no further than the Great Smokey Mountains. You can spend the day hiking around areas like Cade's Cove and Clingman's Dome or enjoy some thrill rides at Ober Gatlinburg. There are lots of fun dinner shows, and downtown Gatlinburg has some quaint stores for souvenir shopping.
Family trips can be fun and educational, and Colonial Williamsburg offers both. Families can enjoy the Colonial-era town and explore historical sites. The town is full of actors who teach visitors about life during the Colonial period. If you want some extra thrills, you can take a ghost tour or hit up Busch Gardens theme park.
Whether you are traveling in the winter or summer, Jackson Hole has some exciting adventures for your family. During winter, you can hit the slopes while summer allows you to explore nature with hiking, biking and gondola rides.
Universal Studios is a haven for movie-lovers and thrill-seekers. Hop on one of the superhero-themed roller coasters or have a mug of Butterbeer the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Wizarding World is a must-see for fans of the famous books and films.
If you don't just want to see fossils, but want to actually walked where the dinosaurs roamed, take your family to Dinosaur Valley State Park. Kids can actually walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs - an awesome way to get an idea of just how big these creatures were. There are times when the tracks are not visible, so you will want to contact the state park before getting your kids' hopes up. After walking with the sauropods, there's still lots to do, including camping, hiking and fishing.
Glacier National Park is an excellent spot for families to get back to nature. If you have smaller kids, the park has a few trails that are kid-friendly. There's also a river and a lake for rafting and other watersports. After a day on the lake, you can explore more of the park on horseback.
If you have a group of thrill-seekers, Cedar Point Amusement Park is known as the roller coaster capital of the world. Cedar Point has 18 roller coasters, including the world's highest, fastest and longest hybrid coaster. There are also other thrill rides and rides for younger kids. If you visit during the summer, Cedar Point has a water park, and you can have fun on Lake Erie.
If your crew is craving a city destination, you cannot beat the Big Apple. Hit up a Broadway show, stroll around Central Park and check out the Museum of Natural History. Next, you can learn about some important moments in US history at the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
At the Redwood National Forest, you kids can awe at some of the world's tallest trees. You can check out even more interesting trees at the Trees of Mystery, drive through a tree in Klamath, visit the beach and find some beautiful hiking paths. If you want to keep with the nature vibe, considering camping out at one of the many state parks in the area.
The Grand Canyon is a bucket list place, and for a good reason. The Canyon itself is pretty incredible, and there's plenty more to do. You can ride a mule down the Canyon, whitewater raft and walk the Canyon Skywalk, a glass-bottomed bridge. You may also want to visit Bearizona, a wildlife park you can drive through.
Colorado Springs is a good hub if you want to visit the Rocky Mountains. Take time to visit Pike's Peak and a couple of the area's numerous caves. There are many options for places your kids will love. You can take an old-fashioned steam locomotive through a mining town, visit a Christmas-themed amusement park or get up close to animals at one of the area's many wildlife centers.
If you have junior history buffs, make sure to check out our nation's capitol. You can tour significant sites like the White House, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial to learn about the US's founders. Also, make sure you have plenty of time to explore the Smithsonian Museums.
There is so much to do at Niagara Falls. After you visit the Falls, you can take a hike, visit a carousel museum and more. The area is a perfect mix of outdoor activities and metropolitan attractions like the aquarium and an aerospace museum.
The Pacific Coast Highway runs from Southern California all the way up into Washington. It is considered one of the best highways for a road trip and is a great way to see the West Coast. One of the best things about the PCH is that you can tailor it to your trip; you can drive as much or as little of it as you want. There are many cool places to stop along the way, including San Francisco, Big Sur, Olympic National Park and so much more.
Great Wolf Lodge is a resort and indoor waterpark with locations all across the country. In addition to a waterpark, the resort also has rock climbing, a ropes course and an interactive digital game that is played through the hotel. Pro tip: take your kids during the winter. They'll love getting to splash around in the waterpark while it's freezing outside.
If your kids are begging for a beach trip, Miami has a lot to offer. After you hit up the beach, there's still a lot to do. You can explore animal life at the Seaquarium and the Jungle Island, or take a boat tour of Biscayne Bay. For a truly magical experience, take a day trip to Key West.
Many people don't think of Chicago as a top family vacation destination, but there's actually quite a bit to do there with kids. One of the top places to explore is Millennium Park. It's a great place for a walk, and there's a lot of outdoor art and other features to see. Navy Pier also has some fun things to do, like boat tours, bike rides and the Centennial Wheel, a huge Ferris wheel.
You can start your trip to San Antonio with some important historical exhibits like the Alamo. If you have some young thrill-seekers, there are SeaWorld and Six Flags nearby. Take a riverboat cruise, one of the best ways to see the city. Don't forget to stop by the Riverwalk, the city's best spot for shopping, dining and other fun experiences.
If you have sports fans in the family, Louisville is a great destination. If you time your trip right, you can catch the Kentucky Derby, but even if you don't, you can still catch a race at Churchill Downs and visit the Kentucky Derby Museum. The Louisville Slugger Museum is full of baseball history and is also home to the world's largest baseball bat.
Memphis is a mecca for fans of music history. You can tour Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and visit many sites of importance to the blues, such as Beale Street. There are also several museums, like the National Civil Rights Museum and the Memphis Zoo.
No matter where you decide to go for your family road trip, you are sure to have a blast. Just remember that the most important thing is spending time together and making family memories that will last a lifetime.
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