Hm. It’s vacation time. The car is gassed up, the dog’s in the kennel, and the kids are antsy with anticipation. There’s just one problem. You have no idea where to go.
Whether you’re spoiled for choice or completely devoid of ideas, perhaps this list of awesome road trip destinations will help provide you with an ‘a-ha’ moment.
This nation is filled with roadside novelties that capture the interest and imaginations of people of all ages. Boasting a myriad of the ‘World’s Largest’ items, replicas of far-off tourist attractions, and things that are just downright unusual, a curious traveler can find a hidden gem around almost every corner.
Not sure where to begin? Time Magazine’s ‘Top 50 Roadside Attractions’ highlights some of America’s finest, including a giant gorilla holding a Volkswagen Beetle in Leicester, VT; the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, KS; Lucy the Elephant-Shaped building in Margate City, NJ; The World’s Largest Pez in Burlingame, CA; and the Leaning Tower of Niles, Illinois.
Your closest National Park can provide you and your family with an outdoor adventure steeped in the beauty of nature. Whether you long to hike, take in panoramic vistas, or spot wildlife, these pristine settings may provide the backdrop for your best family road trip yet.
South Dakota’s Badlands National Park has a smorgasbord of delights including breath-taking canyons, bison, and close proximity to the iconic Mount Rushmore. The breath-taking Grand Canyon National Park is, without a doubt, something that everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. And, as ‘Exploring Crater Lake with Kids’ recommends, Crater Lake National Park is a great spot to see a variety of wild critters, plus you can take a Volcano Boat Cruise or visit the nearby Shakespeare Festival.
Heading to your nearest–or not-so-nearest–State Fair is sure to tickle the kids and big kids, alike. And, if you want to experience the Granddaddy of all state fairs, you may want to mosey on down to the State Fair of Texas. Not only does it offer the usual fair fare, but this Dallas installment also boasts the original corn dog. And, that’s not all. As ‘The Big Daddy of Fairs’ states it is the deep-frying capital of the world boasting what seems like deep-fried everything including beer, grilled cheese sandwiches, funnel cake, Mac and Cheese, Hostess Twinkies, butter, and bacon. Thank God this artery-clogging slew of delights comes just once a year.
Who says museums have to be boring? Thanks to some of the nation’s most off-beat, but clever curators, you and your family can likely find an awe-inspiring collection a mere road trip away.
’26 Weird Museums to Visit for the Ultimate American Road Trip’ offers up a few notable options including Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum in Texas, the UFO Museum in Roswell, of course, Kansas’ OZ Museum, California’s International Banana Museum, and Vegas’ Neon Boneyard.
As one can see, a trip down America’s roads will be anything but boring. So, ponder no more. Grab your map and plot the route that leads to your family’s most sought-after destinations. Precious memories await.
What is the best family road trip that you’ve experienced? Where did you go and what made it so special?
Neon Museum image courtesy of: Neon Boneyard – Las Vegas (license)