12 Road trip ideas with Kids this summer

12 Road trip ideas with Kids this summer

Want to avoid flying in 2020 but still want to travel with the kids?  Pack up the car and hit the road to these fun destinations around the United States instead!

There’s something special about going on a road trip. Playing games in the car, eating snacks on the way, singing songs, simply looking at the world pass by, and it’s especially exciting to arrive at your destination. Roadtrips are more adventurous for kids compared to long airport lines, stuffy airplanes, crowds of people, and perfectly manicured resorts.

Where ever the summer takes you, remember to pack ZizzyBee Bags!  Our reusable bags replace 1000+ plastic ziplock style bags a year.

Use for:

  • Travel toy bag for the kids
  • Toiletries
  • Swim gear (goggles, sunglasses, sunscreen, change of clothes, etc.)
  • Puzzle pieces, crayons, paper and other games
  • Makeup
  • Snacks
  • Quick grab-n-go diaper and wipes bag for baby
  • Cords and chargers
  • And much more!


Here are 12 roadtrip ideas with the kids this summer:

Tip: If any of these are too far to drive to, just search for the same type of activity in your area!

#1 Camping / Glamping

Camping when I grew up meant sleeping in a tent, but nowadays “glamping” definitely has its perks. Glamping is a combination or camping and luxury – aka “glam.”

Strawberry Park

Strawberry Park is an award-winning 160-acre campground nestled in the heart of southeastern Connecticut, just minutes from Mystic Seaport, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos. Three huge swimming pool, showers with electricity, RV Trailers, log cabins, themed weekends, tons of fun activities throughout the

Click to view best campground in Connecticut.

Photo by Strawberry Park

Asheville Glamping

Asheville, NC is a magnificent place to visit. It held the title of Beer Capital of America for having the most breweries per capita – remember, most breweries and family-friendly.

“Most glamping sites include the basics: weatherproof shelter, chairs, fire ring and picnic table. Stay in tents on platforms, yurts and more. Inside, find comfortable beds – often with sheets and towels. Not all glampsites are created equal, so amenities vary greatly. While some glamping communities offer resort-like packages, others keep it simple.” (Romanticasheville.com – glamping in Asheville, NC)

Here’s a glamping tent in Asheville that sleeps 8 and even has a slide for kids!  

Moose Meadow Lodge

Try a private, luxury log cabin camping in Waterbury, Vermont at the Moose Meadow Lodge. Nestled on 86 secluded acres in the Green Mountains, this glamping site offers four luxury guest rooms and a treehouse for rent. Just minutes from many Vermont attractions including skiing, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, antiquing, and fine dining. Click for more info – Moose Meadow Lodge in Vermont.

#2 Indoor Water Park

Pump House Indoor Waterpark (Jay, VT)

Photo by Mommy Gearest – www.mommygearest.com

Vermont made the list again with their indoor waterpark resort, the Pump House Indoor Waterpark. With slides, rapids where you float through, Flowrider surfing, indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, and even snacks and drinks at the poolside bar, this waterpark has a little something for everyone. Kids will love it!

Check out this amazing blog by Mommy Gearest – Things to Do at Pump House Indoor Waterpark in Jay, Vermont.

Epic Waters Indoor Water Park

Photo by Little Feet Big Adventures – www.littlefeetbigadventures.com

Epic Waters Indoor Water Park in Grand Prairie, Texas is the largest indoor water park in Texas – they do say everything is bigger in Texas! This park is 80,000 square feet and has 11 water slides, 300-gallon tipping bucket, lazy river, sprinklers, pools, and much more. They even have a retractable roof to enjoy the real sunshine!  

Click for more – biggest indoor water park in Texas and check out this fabulous blog by Little Feet Big Adventures to see a review of Epic Waters Indoor Water Park in Texas.

#3 Swimming Holes & Hiking

Swimming holes are one of my favorite memories of a child up at the Kancamangus Highway in North Conway, NH.

Swimming holes are places where water collects in pools deep enough to swim from rivers (usually with waterfalls too). The entire family can have a dip to cool off. Most are free too. I love the ones that you have to hike a little bit to get to. The water is always so clean and refreshing.

North Conway – Kancamangus Highway

Stay at a B&B near the White Mountains in North Conway, NH and spend your days visiting swimming holes. Pack a lunch or enjoy the plenty of local restaurants in the area.

A stay at the Old Red Inn & Cottages are around $150 a night during peak season. They even have a beautiful pool to swim in and each morning breakfast is served B&B style. The owners are so lovely and make you feel instantly at home.

Here are some of the many swimming holes to visit in the area:

  • Dianna’s Baths
  • Lower Falls
  • Little Eddy (a local, unknown gem)
  • Paradise Sawyer Brook Bartlett
  • Champney Falls

The Daily Adventures of Me Blog wrote about some great hiking trails and captured beautiful waterfalls to visit near North Conway, NH.

Photo by The Daily Adventures of Me – www.thedailyadventuresofme.com

#4 Explore a Cave

Emerald Cave – Willow Beach, AZ

In the afternoon light, Emerald Cave is gorgeous. A great place to picnic and kayak to the cave. There are Emerald Cave Kayak Tours you can buy tours.  Live Like Pete is a great blog – check out his review of kayaking the Black Canyon which includes Emerald Cave.

Photo by Live Like Pete – www.http://livelikepete.com/paddle-report-kayaking-black-canyon/livelikepete.com

BONUS: this is only 1.5 hours from downtown Las Vegas, Nevada!

Carlsbad Caverns – New Mexico

Photo by Inspired Imperfection – www.inspiredimperfection.com

Formed from sulfuric acid erosion of underground limestone deposits, the Carlsbad Caverns are tucked into the Chihuahuan Desert and include 119 known caves. “Carlsbad Cavern includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a natural limestone chamber which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at the highest point. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world.” (www.newmexico.orgvisitor information New Mexico)Visitors are free to take a self-guided tour or sign up for a guided tour.  

There’s a really interesting blog called Inspired Imperfection that has a blog review of Carlsbad Cave.

#5 Rent a Boathouse

Skip renting a house on land, what about sleeping on the water?  Houseboats are literally floating houses. Everything you need to live and sleep comfortably is provided except you are floating on the water.

Houseboating.org has 29 houseboating destinations to choose from with a variety of rentals to choose.

Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee

Dale Hollow Lake is known for being a party spot where nearly every marina rents out houseboats. “Lined with evergreen trees and sandy beaches, Dale Hollow Lake is a gorgeous body of water in Northern Tennessee.” (Rent a houseboat on Dale Hollow Lake – Houseboating.org). Also famous for their small-mouthed bass if your family likes fishing!

Lake Billy Chinook – Oregon

“Lake Billy Chinook is a canyon lake in Oregon, its clear waters flowing between the deep carved banks of the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius Rivers. The dam has made this convergence a reservoir instead of a three-in-one river, but the lake is unusually narrow. The unique width of Lake Billy Chinook however makes houseboating that much more interesting. Boating between the intense cliffs in the bright summer or in the cooler spring isn’t quite like boating anywhere else.” (Rent a Houseboat on Lake Billy Chinook)

#6 Rent a House

I was at a conference once and heard the story of the guy who started Airbnb. It started with him meeting a stranger one night at a bar – another guy. The guy was sharing a story on how the hotel he booked did not have a room for him when he arrived. He had no place to stay. The guy invited him to stay on his couch. So the idea popped in his head to book your home to travelers. For four years they tried to get funding and kept hearing, no. Then one day they finally got funding and now it’s a $38 billion dollar business.

It’s fun to look at rentals on Air b n b. For the summer filter your search to include beachfront or a pool so you and the kids can have a way to cool off without having to go far from the rental – or leave at all!

Start searching for summer house rentals in your favorite areas.

Photo by Depositphotos.com

#7 Tiny House Escape

Ever want to spend a night in a tiny house? Well now you can and the best ones are emerged in nature like this Tiny House Resort in the Cat Skill Mountains. They have multiple tiny houses to choose from all equipped with everything you need – just like a mini house!  With nature all around you, the kids will love playing in the babbling creek and seeing the beautiful waterfall.

Click to see this Tiny House Resort in Nature.

Photo by www.atinyhouseresort.com

#8 Tropical Hotel Getaway

Photo by Deposit Photos

Ft. Lauderdale – Sheraton

Want to feel like you are in the Caribbean without flying? Florida is a great place to book a hotel and enjoy the sunny days and palms swaying in the wind while you sip a drink and the kids play in the pool. Oh and by the way the turquoise, warm ocean and white sandy beach is only steps away, too! This hotel has the best service and the Blackened Grouper Sandwich is the best I’ve eaten EVER!

Southernmost Seaside Resort – Key West

This seaside, colonial-style hotel is a block from Duval Street’s boutiques and eateries, a 3-minute walk from the southernmost point in the continental U.S. and an 11-minute walk to the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum. Book today and check prices for Florida Keys hotel resorts here.

#9 Drive a Highway

Sometimes driving in and of itself is a great trip! There are a ton of famous highways to drive and explore. Map out your trip and make stops along the way to swim, see landmarks, hike, eat, camp, shop, and more.

US Rt 100 in Florida Keys

Photo by Deposit Photos

Driving Rt. 100 in the Florida Keys is GORGEOUS. The National Geographic did a great story on this highway and says, “Embrace the laid-back Keys life on a classic drive down the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (U.S. 1). The roughly 100-mile (one-way) route island-hops along the southern rim of the Everglades and Florida Bay from Key Largo south to Key West. Featured stops celebrate all things Keys: fresh-caught seafood, old-school roadside attractions, and unspoiled state and national parks.” (The Ultimate Florida Keys Roadtrip)

Pacific Coast Highway

“The amazing thing about the Pacific Coast is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself.” (Plan a Pacific Coast Highway Trip – Road Trip USA)

Photo by Deposit Photos.

Road Trip USA listed all the great stops on the Pacific Coast Highway:

  • Olympic National Park, Washington – Combines the features of Maine’s rocky coast, the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and the unique rainforests of the Pacific Northwest
  • Astoria & Fort Clatsop, Oregon – Part of the extensive Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, Fort Clatsop is just outside the oldest American city west of the Rockies
  • “Dune Country,” Oregon – Hop out of the car and into a dune buggy to travel through some of the tallest sand dunes in the world
  • Redwood National Park, California – Stretch your legs with a walk through Lady Bird Johnson Grove
  • Mendocino, California – One of the prettiest towns on the California coast, and extra fun for fans of the TV show Murder, She Wrote
  • San Francisco, California – Easily one of the most enjoyable cities in the US and a great place to start, end, or spend a weekend along the Pacific Coast Highway
  • Monterey, California – Home to the excellent Monterey Bay Aquarium and the internationally famous Monterey Jazz Festival
  • San Simeon, California (Hearst Castle) – One of the truly unique attractions to see on a classic Highway 1 road trip
  • San Luis Obispo, California – A lively college town with a beautiful 18th-century Spanish mission to tour, and the Madonna Inn, one of the quirkiest places to spend a night
  • Los Angeles, California – Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, and an intersection with another storied road trip: Route 66
  • San Diego, California – Beautiful beaches, grand buildings, and home to the San Diego Zoo, one of the largest and most popular zoos in the world”

(Plan a Pacific Coast Highway Trip – Road Trip USA)

Take a look at Big Sur – wow, this is worth it alone!

Big Sur is a sparsely populated region of the central California, United States coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The terrain offers stunning views, making Big Sur a popular tourist destination. Photo by DepositPhotos.com.

#10 Visit a National Park

National Parks are great for family roadtrips. Metalfloss.com gave 15 reasons why to visit a national park this summer – some of which are:

  • Affordable – even the most renowned parks are just a few bucks. $15 to $30 on average.
  • Convenient – every state has national parks so this it’s easy to get to one.
  • Discover Natural Wonders – national parks have many different eco systems and landscapes – they are stunningly beautiful and preserved.
  • Educational – a great way to teach your kids about nature, conservation, science and history all in one.
  • Healthy – National Parks require walking and hiking so it’s healthy to get moving with your entire family. Some parks you can even swim at!

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Located in Newhalem, Washington (110 miles north-east of Seattle), the North Cascades National Park has an alpine landscape including jagged peaks, glaciers, waterways, and forested valleys. It even has 300 glaciers! There are a ton of family-friendly hiking trails and things to do in North Cascades National Park.

Photo by Deposit Photos

Adirondak Park – New York

VisitAdirondack.com says it best, “The Adirondack Regions feature over 100 welcoming communities, mountains, lakes, verdant valleys and steep cliffs. Spanning more than six million acres, the Adirondack Mountains are home to the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 of the United States. Like a patchwork quilt, the Adirondacks are made up of twelve distinct regional destinations, each offering their own brand of Adirondack adventure. From the endless canoeing and kayaking in the Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake regions, to the extensive hiking trails of the High Peaks Wilderness in the Lake Placid Region – discover an area as diverse in geography as it is in activities and events. Bicycle between wineries on the Adirondack Coast, or dive to sunken shipwrecks in the Adirondack Seaway near the Canadian Border. You’re invited to explore the Lake George Region’s family-friendly attractions and discover the Adirondack Tug Hill Plateau’s one-of-a-kind recreation opportunities…

Discover why the Adirondack Mountains are like no other place on earth. There are no park fees to enter, no gates that close at night, just a boundless natural preserve and the promise of adventure. Explore the hiking trails of the famed Adirondack High Peaks. Choose your own camping adventure under the stars. Unwind on the pristine lakes of an Adirondack paradise.

To make planning your visit to the Adirondacks easier, we offer a variety of FREE brochures available for download, with information about hiking across the region, scenic drives that include easy access to shopping and restaurants, as well as information about the best fishing spots and paddling.”

How fun!

#11 Visit an Island

Just because we are not hopping on a plane to visit the Bahamas or Aruba, doesn’t mean we cannot do a roadtrip to an island in the United States! You may have to take a ferry, but that’s all part of the fun.

Block Island

Block Island is special in so many ways. They say it’s unlike anywhere you have ever visited. Enjoy a beach day, bike ride around the island, kayak adventure, paddleboarding, or exploring the island, Block Island should make your list of summer destinations.

It’s actually pretty easy to get on the island. The island is only 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast so you can take a 15-minute plane ride from Westerly, Rhode Island; a half hour on the high speed ferry from Point Judith, Rhode Island; or just over an hour on the ferry from New London, Connecticut. There’s even a ferry from Montauk that brings visitors from Long Island and New York to this unique island. There’s also a new high speed ferry too that comes from Newport, RI.

On the island there is no traffic lights or big chain businesses. The landscape is breathtaking with pristine beaches. There are a ton of restaurants, music, art, and much more fun to enjoy on Block Island. Make it a day trip or overnight – there are a ton of B&B inns and air b n b rentals.

Click to get more information about visiting Block Island and where to stay / what to do.

Photo by Deposit Photos.

Duck, North Carolina

This is not technically an island, but is on a strip of land off the coast of North Carolina so it feel like an island. They call it the Outer Banks (there’s a great Netflix show too called The Outer Banks!).

According to the Town of Duck website, “The Town of Duck, North Carolina, is a thriving coastal community. We respect and value our delicate yet dynamic barrier island environment – clean waters and beaches, maritime forests, wetlands, and dunescapes. With an eclectic mix of independent businesses and the Duck Town Park and Boardwalk, Duck Village is a source of pride and the heart of Duck. Whether you are a resident, a first-time visitor, or someone who feels that Duck is your home away from home, we welcome you to explore the Town of Duck.”

DuckNCguide.com says: “Visitors and locals can roam 7 miles of beaches that are wide and uncrowded. A soundfront boardwalk makes getting around to Duck’s many shops and restaurants very pleasant, not to mention safe. Duck is one of those places where you can ditch the car and get around on bike or foot. Duck consistently ranks high on the Travel Channel’s annual America’s Best Beaches list and has been somewhere on the best beaches list since 2000. This is what the Travel Channel has to say about Duck. ‘Duck’s relative solitude and its vast array of neatly constructed rental homes make it ideal for families. That is, unless your family likes to go bar hopping until the wee hours, in which case you may be out of luck. … Still, while we admit Duck would never make the list for top spring break party spots, boredom is hardly a threat here.’

Duck may be our next stop this summer – sounds like a little slice of heaven if you ask me!

Photo by Deposit Photos

#12 Rent ATVs

Growing up in the country riding dirtbikes and fourwheelers (not called quads by the kids) was the thing to do and SO FUN. I love to give my kids a chance to experience the same things I did as a kid so renting ATVs is a great way to do this if you don’t own any or have the land to ride on.

“The Poconos” – Pennsylvania

The Poconos Mountains – often referred to as “the Poconos” are a beautiful place to visit. There are a ton of ATV rental places in the Poconos.

Poconomountains.com says, “The four-county region is famous for its resorts, natural scenic beauty, 150 lakes including Lake Wallenpaupack, and quaint, historic towns. The varied landscape inspires a range of experiences, from the private and peaceful to the bold and exhilarating. Cottages & condos and hotels promote restful mountain moments while waterparks and adventure courses, offer excitement around every turn.” Click to learn more about what to do and where to stay in the Poconos.

Photo by Deposit Photos

Fat Daddy’s ATV Park – Georgia

FAT DADDY’S ATV PARK is 500 acres in Waycross, Georgia on the beautiful Satilla River. With miles of ATV trails and UTV trails, both sand and mud for riding, this park is fun for the whole family. There are even some sand hills for those who like more of an adrenaline rush. ATVs not your thing? Instead you can enjoy a relaxing day on the Satilla River. There is private camping available with bathroom and shower facilities. Now this may not be glamping, but a day of down and dirty muddin’ will keep a smile on everyone’s face. Learn more about this ATV rental park in Georgia.

Photo by Deposit Photos

What would you to add to this ultimate list of summer roadtrip ideas with kids?